With cold weather on the horizon in Cambridge, you may be wondering when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you have to 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 water. Additional wetness inside your unit can cause internal parts to rust or turn moldy.
While installing an air conditioner cover is a personal choice, there are two times of year 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 lower your system’s airflow. Diminished airflow means your air conditioning unit works harder and may use more electricity to cool your house.
Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from Pliescott HVAC Services LLC heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and inspect important parts. This often allows us to identify problems before they begin.
How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover
If you decide you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a couple ideas on selecting the ideal cover.
Avoid Full Covers
To keep air flowing, a protective air conditioner cover should only encompass the top of your equipment and a few inches on the side.
Complete AC covers can trap moisture inside your system, potentially eating away at metal components. It could also make your AC an inviting 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 block air, which could cause condensation to build up inside your air conditioner. The best type of fabric 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 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 rubbish from dropping into your equipment.
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 accumulate inside your system 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 system if a strong storm is imminent in Cambridge. 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, Pliescott HVAC Services LLC gives assistance. Give us a call at 410-228-4822 or schedule an appointment online.