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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather approaching in Saint Petersburg, you may be wondering when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you have to cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a sturdy piece of equipment. It’s engineered to resist severe weather, including excessive temperatures and torrential precipitation.

Sometimes covers do more harm than good, because they can trap water. Extra wetness inside your equipment can cause internal parts to rust or turn moldy.

While putting on an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two seasons that are good to use a cover for an extended period of time—fall and summer.  

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

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from Hale's Air Conditioning Services Inc heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and take a close look at essential pieces. This often allows us to identify issues 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 ideas 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 several inches on the side.

Total AC covers can trap water inside your system, potentially eating away at metal pieces. It could also make your system an inviting area for vermin, 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 stop air, which could cause moisture to build up inside your air conditioner. The best type of material 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 want 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 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 stop leaves, nuts and other waste 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 blizzard is on the way. Snow and ice that collect inside your air conditioner can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your system if a bad storm is imminent in Saint Petersburg. Hail can critically damage your system’s exterior, 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, Hale's Air Conditioning Services Inc offers assistance. Give us a call at 727-369-6195 or schedule an appointment online.

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