With cold weather on the horizon in The Bay Area, you may be wondering 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 engineered to resist severe} weather, including intense temperatures and heavy precipitation.
Sometimes covers create more issues because they can trap moisture. Additional wetness inside your unit can cause internal components to rust or turn moldy.
While using an air conditioner cover is a personal choice, there are two seasons that are ideal for using a cover for a lengthy period of time—fall and summer.
That’s because yard waste during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can build up and block your system’s airflow. Decreased airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more electricity to cool your home.
Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from Contra Costa Heating & AC heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and examine essential pieces. This often allows us to spot trouble before they begin.
How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover
If you determine you want to cover your air conditioner, here are several ideas on choosing the right cover.
Avoid Full Covers
To keep air flowing, a protective air conditioner cover should only encompass the top of your unit and several inches on the side.
Total AC covers can trap water inside your equipment, potentially corroding metal parts. It could also make your air conditioner a cozy 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 block air, which could cause moisture 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 to Use an Air Conditioner Cover
If you choose 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 freely 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 stop leaves, nuts and other waste 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 a blizzard is on the way. Snow and ice that accumulate inside your system can melt and refreeze, damaging condenser coils and lowering efficiency.
Although it’s not always possible to predict a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your air conditioner if a bad storm is approaching in The Bay Area. 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, Contra Costa Heating & AC gives help. Give us a call at 510-343-9841 or schedule an appointment online.