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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather on the horizon in Auburn, you may be questioning when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you should even cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a sturdy piece of equipment. It’s created to resist severe weather, including intense temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers create more issues, because they can trap moisture. Extra wetness inside your equipment can cause internal parts to rust or get moldy.

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

That’s because yard rubbish during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can accumulate and obstruct your system’s airflow. Diminished airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more energy to cool your house.

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from Forster Heating heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and examine critical parts. This often allows us to spot problems before they begin.

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How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you determine you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a couple ideas on choosing the best cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

To keep air circulating, a protective air conditioner cover should only enclose the top of your unit and a few inches on the side.

Complete AC covers can trap moisture inside your system, potentially rusting metal components. It could also make your AC a cozy place for animals, 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 condensation to build up inside your unit. 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 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 unrestricted 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 debris from dropping 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 heavy snow is coming. Snow and ice that build up inside your air conditioner can melt and refreeze, damaging 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 coming in Auburn. Hail can seriously 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, Forster Heating gives aid. Give us a call at 530-885-8081 or schedule an appointment online.

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