Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather approaching in Huffman, you may be wondering when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you should even cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a sturdy piece of equipment. It’s designed to resist severe weather, including excessive temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers do more harm than good, because they can trap moisture. Extra wetness inside your equipment can cause internal parts to rust or become moldy.

While installing an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two times of year that are good to use a cover for an extended period of time—fall and summer.  

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

Wanting other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from Air Houston Mechanical LLC heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and inspect essential components. This often allows us to spot issues 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 a couple 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 unit and a couple of inches on the side.

Complete AC covers can trap moisture inside your system, potentially eating away at metal parts. It could also make your air conditioner a welcoming area for rodents, which could chew 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 moisture to build up inside your air conditioner. The best type of material 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 decide 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 twigs 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 accumulate inside your AC can melt and refreeze, damaging condenser coils and reducing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to expect a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your air conditioner if a severe storm is imminent in Huffman. Hail can severely damage your system’s exterior, 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, Air Houston Mechanical LLC provides assistance. Give us a call at 832-777-1521 or schedule an appointment online.