With cold weather approaching in The Bay Area, you may be questioning when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you need to cover it at all.
Your AC unit is a strong piece of equipment. It’s designed to resist inclement weather, including intense temperatures and relentless precipitation.
Sometimes covers do more harm than good because they can trap condensation. Extra wetness inside your system can cause internal pieces to rust or become moldy.
While installing an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two periods that are great for using a cover for a long period of time—fall and summer.
That’s because yard debris during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can build up and lower your system’s airflow. Diminished airflow means your air conditioning unit works harder and may use more electricity to cool your house.
Wanting other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from Contra Costa Heating & AC heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and inspect essential components. This often allows us to spot problems before they begin.
How to Find Your Air Conditioner Cover
If you decide you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a couple tips on picking the right cover.
Avoid Full Covers
To keep air circulating, a protective air conditioner cover should only encompass the top of your system and several inches on the side.
Complete AC covers can trap moisture inside your equipment, potentially eating away at metal parts. It could also make your AC a cozy area 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 impede air, which could cause condensation to build up inside your unit. 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 It’s Time to Cover your AC
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 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 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 blizzard is on the way. Snow and ice that build up inside your system can melt and refreeze, damaging condenser coils and lowering efficiency.
Although it’s not always possible to expect a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a bad storm is approaching in The Bay Area. Hail can critically damage your system’s exterior, altering efficiency.
Related: How Severe Weather Can Lead to AC Repair
We Can Make Sure Your AC Is Always Covered
Whether you have questions about heating and cooling or need air conditioning service, Contra Costa Heating & AC offers aid. Give us a call at 510-343-9841 or schedule an appointment online.