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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather on the horizon in Columbus, you may be thinking when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you have to cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a strong piece of equipment. It’s engineered to withstand inclement weather, including excessive temperatures and torrential precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap condensation. Extra wetness inside your equipment can cause internal components to rust or turn moldy.

While installing an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two seasons that are ideal for using a cover for a lengthy period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard debris 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 energy to cool your home.

Wanting other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and take a close look at critical parts. This often allows us to spot trouble 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 few suggestions on picking the best cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Full AC covers can trap condensation inside your equipment, potentially corroding metal pieces. It could also make your AC an inviting 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’s breathable, 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 install 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 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 getting into your equipment.

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 build up 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 system if a severe storm is approaching in Columbus. 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, Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling gives help. Give us a call at 614-451-0846 or schedule an appointment online.

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