With cold weather on the horizon in Lake Forest, 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 strong piece of equipment. It’s engineered to resist inclement weather, including intense temperatures and heavy precipitation.
Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap condensation. Too much wetness inside your equipment can cause internal parts to rust or become moldy.
While putting on an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two seasons that are great for using 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. Diminished airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more electricity to cool your home.
Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and inspect essential components. This often allows us to identify 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 a few ideas on selecting the ideal cover.
Avoid Full Covers
To keep air moving, a protective air conditioner cover should only enclose the top of your system and a couple of inches on the side.
Total AC covers can trap water inside your system, potentially rusting metal pieces. It could also make your system a welcoming area for animals, 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 impede air, which could cause condensation to build up inside your air conditioner. The best type of material is one that’s breathable, 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 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 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 debris from dropping 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 a snowstorm is on the way. Snow and ice that build up inside your air conditioner can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.
Although it’s not always possible to anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a strong storm is coming in Lake Forest. Hail can severely damage your system’s exterior, 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, 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. provides help. Give us a call at 949-204-0859 or schedule an appointment online.