With cold weather coming in Rio Grande Valley, you may be thinking 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 engineered to resist bad weather, including excessive temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers create more issues because they can trap moisture. Extra wetness inside your system can cause internal parts to rust or get moldy.

While using an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two times of year that are good to use a cover for a long period of time—fall and summer.

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

Wanting other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and take a close look at important components. This often allows us to pinpoint problems before they begin.

How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you come to the conclusion you want to cover your air conditioner, here are several suggestions on choosing the best cover.

Avoid Full Covers

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

Complete AC covers can trap water inside your equipment, potentially eating away at metal parts. It could also make your AC a cozy place 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 unit. The best type of clot is one that’s breathable, like canvas or mesh.

Related: How AC Repair & Maintenance Can Actually Save You Money

When It’s Time to Cover your AC

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 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 block 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 a snowstorm is approaching. 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 anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your system if a bad storm is approaching in Rio Grande Valley. Hail can critically damage your system’s fins, 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, Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. provides help. Give us a call at 956-630-3522 or schedule an appointment online.