With cold weather on the horizon in Auburn, 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 strong piece of equipment. It’s engineered to resist severe weather, including extreme temperatures and torrential precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems because they can trap water. Too much wetness inside your unit can cause internal pieces to rust or get moldy.

While putting on an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two times of year that are great for using 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 block your system’s airflow. Decreased airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more power to cool your home.

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

Choosing the Right Air Conditioner Cover

If you come to the conclusion you want to cover your air conditioner, here are several tips on selecting the best cover.

Avoid Full Covers

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

Total AC covers can trap moisture inside your unit, potentially rusting metal components. It could also make your air conditioner an inviting area 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 stop air, which could cause water to build up inside your air conditioner. 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 It’s Time to Cover your AC

If you want 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 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 halt leaves, nuts and other rubbish 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 approaching. Snow and ice that accumulate inside your system 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 AC if a strong storm is coming in Auburn. Hail can critically damage your system’s exterior, altering efficiency.

Related: How Severe Weather Can Lead to AC Repair

We Can Make Sure Your AC Is Always Covered

Whether you have questions about heating and cooling or need air conditioning service, Forster Heating provides aid. Give us a call at 530-885-8081 or schedule an appointment online.