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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather coming in Lake Forest, you may be thinking 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 water. Too much wetness inside your unit can cause internal pieces to rust or become moldy.

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

Looking for 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 critical pieces. This often allows us to pinpoint problems before they begin.

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How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you come to the conclusion you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a few suggestions on selecting the best cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

To keep air flowing, 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 moisture inside your equipment, potentially rusting metal components. It could also make your system a cozy 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 fabric 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 want 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 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 accumulate inside your air conditioner can melt and refreeze, damaging condenser coils and lowering efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your system if a strong storm is approaching in Lake Forest. Hail can seriously 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.

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