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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather on the horizon in Wheeling, you may be questioning 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 take on bad weather, including excessive temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers create more issues, because they can trap condensation. Extra wetness inside your system can cause internal parts to rust or become moldy.

While installing an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two seasons that are good to use 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 obstruct your system’s airflow. Decreased airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more electricity to cool your home.

Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Local HVAC Repair & Service heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and examine important parts. This often allows us to spot trouble before they begin.

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How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you decide you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a couple suggestions on choosing the ideal cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Complete AC covers can trap moisture inside your equipment, potentially rusting metal components. It could also make your air conditioner a welcoming place 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 stop air, which could cause moisture to build up inside your air conditioner. The best type of fabric 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 want 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 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 getting 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 coming. Snow and ice that collect inside your air conditioner can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and lowering efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to predict a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a strong storm is imminent in Wheeling. 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, Local HVAC Repair & Service provides help. Give us a call at 224-300-4806 or schedule an appointment online.

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