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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather coming in Anchorage, 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 created to withstand inclement weather, including extreme temperatures and relentless precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap condensation. Additional wetness inside your equipment can cause internal parts to rust or turn moldy.

While using an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two periods that are great for using a cover for a long 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. Diminished airflow means your air conditioning unit works harder and may use more electricity to cool your home.

Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Discount Mechanical Heating & Plumbing Services heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and inspect critical components. This often allows us to pinpoint issues 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 a few ideas on choosing the best cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Complete AC covers can trap water inside your equipment, potentially rusting metal parts. It could also make your AC a welcoming area for vermin, 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 block air, which could cause moisture to build up inside your unit. 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 use it.

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 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 halt leaves, nuts and other waste from falling into your unit.

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 collect inside your system can melt and refreeze, damaging condenser coils and lowering efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to expect a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your system if a bad storm is approaching in Anchorage. Hail can severely damage your system’s fins, affecting 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, Discount Mechanical Heating & Plumbing Services provides assistance. Give us a call at 907-202-9798 or schedule an appointment online.