Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather approaching in Bishop, you may be thinking 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 inclement weather, including extreme temperatures and torrential precipitation.

Sometimes covers do more harm than good, because they can trap moisture. Too much wetness inside your system 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 good to use a cover for an extended 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. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more energy to cool your home.

Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from Bishop Heating & Air Conditioning heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and inspect essential pieces. This often allows us to spot issues before they begin.

Schedule service now

How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you decide you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a few suggestions on picking the right cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

To keep air flowing, 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 moisture inside your system, potentially corroding metal components. It could also make your AC an inviting place 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 impede air, which could cause water to build up inside your system. The best type of material 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 want 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 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 halt leaves, nuts and other rubbish from falling 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 collect inside your system can melt and refreeze, harming 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 coming in Bishop. Hail can critically damage your system’s fins, 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, Bishop Heating & Air Conditioning gives assistance. Give us a call at 760-784-9034 or schedule an appointment online.