Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather coming in Moline, you may be questioning when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you have to cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a tough piece of equipment. It’s designed to resist bad weather, including extreme temperatures and torrential precipitation.

Sometimes covers do more harm than good, because they can trap moisture. Additional wetness inside your unit can cause internal pieces to rust or get moldy.

While using an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two times of year that are ideal for using a cover for an extended period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard debris during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can pile up and obstruct your system’s airflow. Diminished airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more energy to cool your residence.

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from Freed Heating & Air Conditioning heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and inspect essential components. This often allows us to spot trouble before they begin.

Schedule service now

How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you determine you want to cover your air conditioner, here are several suggestions on picking the right cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

To keep air flowing, a protective air conditioner cover should only enclose the top of your equipment and a couple of inches on the side.

Complete AC covers can trap water inside your unit, potentially eating away at metal components. It could also make your air conditioner a cozy area for animals, which could sever wires.

Related: What New Homeowners Need to Know About Their Air Conditioner

Don’t Use Plastic or Vinyl Covers

Plastic or vinyl covers impede air, which could cause water to build up inside your air conditioner. The best type of cloth is one that allows airflow, like canvas or mesh.

Related: How AC Repair & Maintenance Can Actually Save You Money

When to Use an Air Conditioner Cover

If you choose to use an air conditioner cover, here are the best times to use it.

Cover Your Air Conditioner During Summer

A lightweight mesh cover during the summer allows your air conditioner to run freely while keeping grass clippings and sticks out.

Related: How Do I Know if My Air Conditioner is Running Properly?

Cover Your Air Conditioner During Fall

A breathable canvas cover will block leaves, nuts and other rubbish from falling into your equipment.

Related: Tips for Cleaning Your System

Cover Your Air Conditioner Before Severe Weather

You can temporarily cover your air conditioner in the winter when you know a snowstorm is approaching. Snow and ice that collect inside your air conditioner can melt and refreeze, breaking condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to predict a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your system if a severe storm is approaching in Moline. Hail can critically damage your system’s fins, altering efficiency.

Related: How Severe Weather Can Lead to AC Repair

We Can Help Your AC System Run Efficiently

Whether you have questions about heating and cooling or need air conditioning service, Freed Heating & Air Conditioning provides assistance. Give us a call at 309-323-9584 or schedule an appointment online.