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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather on the horizon in Plainfield, 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 designed to resist inclement weather, including intense temperatures and relentless precipitation.

Sometimes covers do more harm than good, because they can trap condensation. Extra wetness inside your system can cause internal components to rust or get moldy.

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

That’s because yard waste 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 harder and may use more electricity to cool your house.

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from PWA Heating & Cooling Inc heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and inspect important pieces. This often allows us to pinpoint 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 couple ideas on selecting the right 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 equipment, potentially corroding metal components. It could also make your air conditioner a welcoming 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 impede air, which could cause water to build up inside your system. The best type of cloth 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 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 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 falling 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 heavy snow is coming. Snow and ice that build up inside your system 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 system if a bad storm is approaching in Plainfield. Hail can critically 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, PWA Heating & Cooling Inc provides help. Give us a call at 815-410-1231 or schedule an appointment online.

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