Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather approaching in Saint Petersburg, 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 designed to take on severe weather, including intense temperatures and torrential precipitation.

Sometimes covers create more issues, because they can trap moisture. Too much wetness inside your unit can cause internal pieces to rust or get moldy.

While putting on an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two seasons that are ideal for using a cover for a long period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard waste 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 longer and may use more electricity to cool your home.

Wanting 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 examine important parts. This often allows us to identify problems before they begin.

Schedule service now

How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you come to the conclusion you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a couple ideas on picking the right cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Full AC covers can trap moisture inside your system, potentially corroding metal components. It could also make your air conditioner an inviting home for vermin, 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 impede air, which could cause moisture to build up inside your system. The best type of cloth 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 want 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 twigs 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 rubbish 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 snowstorm is coming. Snow and ice that collect inside your system can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to predict a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a strong storm is imminent in Saint Petersburg. Hail can seriously damage your system’s fins, 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, Hale's Air Conditioning Services Inc gives help. Give us a call at 727-369-6195 or schedule an appointment online.