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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather coming in Drexel Hill, you may be wondering when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you need to cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a tough piece of equipment. It’s designed to withstand severe weather, including extreme temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers do more harm than good, because they can trap water. Too much wetness inside your equipment can cause internal pieces to rust or become moldy.

While installing an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two periods 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 lower your system’s airflow. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more power to cool your home.

Wanting other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and take a close look at critical pieces. This often allows us to identify issues 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 couple suggestions on picking the ideal cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Full AC covers can trap condensation inside your system, potentially rusting metal components. It could also make your AC 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 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 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 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 heavy snow is approaching. Snow and ice that collect inside your air conditioner 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 bad storm is coming in Drexel Hill. Hail can severely damage your system’s coils, 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, O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning gives help. Give us a call at 610-257-7035 or schedule an appointment online.

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