With cold weather on the horizon in Cedar Rapids, you may be wondering when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you need to cover it at all.
Your AC unit is a sturdy piece of equipment. It’s designed to resist severe} weather, including extreme temperatures and torrential precipitation.
Sometimes covers do more harm than good because they can trap condensation. Additional wetness inside your equipment can cause internal pieces to rust or become moldy.
While installing an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two periods 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 obstruct your system’s airflow. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more power to cool your home.
Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from Ilten's heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and inspect important pieces. This often allows us to spot trouble before they begin.
How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover
If you decide you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a few suggestions on selecting the best 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 water inside your equipment, potentially rusting metal parts. It could also make your air conditioner a welcoming place for rodents, 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 block air, which could cause water to build up inside your system. The best type of clot 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 decide 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 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 halt leaves, nuts and other waste 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 heavy snow is coming. Snow and ice that accumulate inside your system 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 air conditioner if a severe storm is approaching in Cedar Rapids. Hail can seriously damage your system’s exterior, altering 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 offers assistance. Give us a call at 319-208-2351 or schedule an appointment online.