With cold weather on the horizon in Cedar Rapids, you may be thinking when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you need to cover it at all.
Your AC unit is a strong piece of equipment. It’s engineered to resist severe} weather, including intense temperatures and torrential precipitation.
Sometimes covers cause more problems because they can trap water. Extra wetness inside your equipment can cause internal parts to rust or become moldy.
While installing an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two times of year that are good to use a cover for a long period of time—fall and summer.
That’s because yard debris during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can build up and obstruct your system’s airflow. Reduced 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? Routine AC maintenance from Ilten's heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and examine important components. This often allows us to pinpoint problems before they begin.
How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover
If you determine you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a couple ideas on picking the right cover.
Avoid Full Covers
To keep air flowing, a protective air conditioner cover should only surround the top of your unit and a couple of inches on the side.
Total AC covers can trap moisture inside your system, potentially eating away at metal components. It could also make your AC a cozy area for vermin, which could chew 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 unit. The best type of clot 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 install it.
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 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 block leaves, nuts and other rubbish from getting 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 heavy snow is coming. Snow and ice that collect inside your air conditioner can melt and refreeze, damaging condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.
Although it’s not always possible to anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your air conditioner if a severe storm is approaching in Cedar Rapids. Hail can seriously damage your system’s coils, 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 provides assistance. Give us a call at 319-208-2351 or schedule an appointment online.