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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather coming in Cedar Rapids, you may be questioning 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 created to resist bad weather, including intense temperatures and torrential precipitation.

Sometimes covers create more issues, because they can trap condensation. Extra wetness inside your system can cause internal pieces to rust or become moldy.

While putting on an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two periods that are good to use 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 build up and block 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? Routine AC maintenance from Ilten's Incorporated heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and examine essential components. This often allows us to spot 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 tips on picking the best cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Full AC covers can trap condensation inside your unit, potentially corroding metal pieces. It could also make your AC a welcoming place for animals, 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 impede air, which could cause condensation to build up inside your air conditioner. The best type of fabric is one that allows airflow, 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 use it.

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 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 halt 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 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 predict a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a strong storm is imminent in Cedar Rapids. Hail can critically damage your system’s exterior, 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, Ilten's Incorporated provides aid. Give us a call at 319-208-3295 or schedule an appointment online.

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