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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather on the horizon in West Jefferson, 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 strong piece of equipment. It’s engineered to withstand severe weather, including excessive temperatures and relentless precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap water. Extra wetness inside your unit can cause internal parts to rust or turn moldy.

While using an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two seasons that are ideal for using a cover for an extended 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. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more power to cool your house.

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc. heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and inspect important components. This often allows us to identify problems 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 several tips on picking the right cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Total AC covers can trap moisture inside your unit, potentially corroding metal pieces. It could also make your air conditioner a welcoming place 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 stop air, which could cause condensation to build up inside your unit. The best type of cloth 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 use it.

Cover Your Air Conditioner During Summer

A lightweight mesh cover during the summer allows your air conditioner to run smoothly 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 stop 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 a blizzard is coming. 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 AC if a strong storm is approaching in West Jefferson. Hail can seriously damage your system’s coils, altering 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, West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc. offers aid. Give us a call at 614-450-1575 or schedule an appointment online.

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