Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather approaching in the Rio Grande Valley, you may be thinking 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 created to withstand bad weather, including intense temperatures and torrential precipitation.

Sometimes covers do more harm than good, because they can trap condensation. Additional wetness inside your system can cause internal pieces to rust or get moldy.

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

That’s because yard debris during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can accumulate and lower your system’s airflow. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more power to cool your house.

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and examine critical pieces. This often allows us to identify problems 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 ideas on choosing the right cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Full AC covers can trap water inside your equipment, potentially rusting metal parts. It could also make your system an inviting area for animals, 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 stop air, which could cause water to build up inside your air conditioner. The best type of fabric 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 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 unrestricted while keeping grass clippings and branches 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 debris from falling into your system.

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 snowstorm is approaching. Snow and ice that collect inside your AC can melt and refreeze, damaging condenser coils and lowering efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a severe storm is imminent in the Rio Grande Valley. Hail can severely 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, Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. provides help. Give us a call at 956-381-1162 or schedule an appointment online.