Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather coming in Long Beach, you may be wondering when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you need to cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a sturdy piece of equipment. It’s created to resist inclement weather, including extreme temperatures and torrential precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap moisture. Extra wetness inside your unit can cause internal parts to rust or turn moldy.

While installing an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two periods that are good to use a cover for a long period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard waste during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can build up and obstruct your system’s airflow. Decreased airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more electricity to cool your house.

Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from YES R&M Inc. heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and examine important parts. This often allows us to pinpoint problems before they begin.

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How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you determine you want to cover your air conditioner, here are several ideas on choosing the ideal cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Total AC covers can trap moisture inside your equipment, potentially corroding metal components. It could also make your AC a welcoming area for vermin, which could eat through wires.

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

Don’t Use Plastic or Vinyl Covers

Plastic or vinyl covers stop air, which could cause water to build up inside your air conditioner. The best type of cloth is one that lets in air, 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 install 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 branches out.

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

Cover Your Air Conditioner During Fall

A breathable canvas cover will halt leaves, nuts and other debris from falling into your system.

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 heavy snow is on the way. Snow and ice that build up inside your AC can melt and refreeze, damaging condenser coils and reducing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your air conditioner if a strong storm is approaching in Long Beach. Hail can severely damage your system’s coils, impacting 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, YES R&M Inc. gives aid. Give us a call at 562-286-6624 or schedule an appointment online.