Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather approaching in Excelsior Springs, you may be thinking 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 engineered to take on bad weather, including extreme temperatures and torrential precipitation.

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

While putting on an air conditioner cover is a personal choice, there are two periods that are great for using a cover for a lengthy period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard rubbish during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can pile up and block 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? Annual AC maintenance from Colvin's Heating and Cooling heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and examine important components. This often allows us to spot trouble before they begin.

Schedule service now

How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you decide you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a few tips on selecting the best cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Total AC covers can trap moisture inside your system, potentially corroding metal parts. It could also make your air conditioner a cozy place for animals, 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 material 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 put it on.

Cover Your Air Conditioner During Summer

A lightweight mesh cover during the summer allows your air conditioner to run unrestricted 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 block leaves, nuts and other waste 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 a blizzard is approaching. Snow and ice that collect inside your system can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and reducing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to predict a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a strong storm is approaching in Excelsior Springs. 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, Colvin's Heating and Cooling offers assistance. Give us a call at 816-379-3918 or schedule an appointment online.