Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather on the horizon in Wausau, 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 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 moisture. Additional wetness inside your equipment can cause internal components to rust or become moldy.

While using an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two seasons that are great for using a cover for a lengthy period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard rubbish during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can build up and lower your system’s airflow. Decreased airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more energy to cool your home.

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from Gilray Heating and Cooling heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and examine critical pieces. This often allows us to spot trouble before they begin.

Schedule service now

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 choosing the ideal cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

To keep air flowing, a protective air conditioner cover should only encompass the top of your system and several inches on the side.

Total AC covers can trap condensation inside your equipment, potentially corroding metal components. It could also make your air conditioner a welcoming home for rodents, which could eat through 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 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 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 block leaves, nuts and other rubbish 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 heavy snow is approaching. Snow and ice that build up inside your AC can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to expect a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your air conditioner if a strong storm is imminent in Wausau. Hail can critically damage your system’s coils, impacting 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, Gilray Heating and Cooling offers help. Give us a call at 715-301-0727 or schedule an appointment online.