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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather on the horizon in Lawrence, 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 designed to withstand inclement weather, including excessive temperatures and relentless precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap water. Additional wetness inside your system can cause internal parts to rust or turn moldy.

While using an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two times of year that are ideal 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 build up and lower your system’s airflow. Decreased airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more electricity to cool your house.

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from Scott Temperature heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and take a close look at important pieces. This often allows us to spot problems before they begin.

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How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

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

Avoid Full Covers

To keep air moving, a protective air conditioner cover should only enclose the top of your equipment and a couple of inches on the side.

Full AC covers can trap moisture inside your system, potentially eating away at metal parts. It could also make your air conditioner a cozy place for rodents, which could sever 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 water to build up inside your system. The best type of cloth 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 decide 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 smoothly 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 debris from getting 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 heavy snow is on the way. Snow and ice that build up inside your AC can melt and refreeze, breaking condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to predict a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your system if a bad storm is coming in Lawrence. Hail can seriously damage your system’s coils, impacting 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, Scott Temperature offers help. Give us a call at 785-269-0465 or schedule an appointment online.

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