Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather approaching in Laguna Niguel, you may be wondering when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you have to cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a tough piece of equipment. It’s engineered to resist inclement weather, including intense temperatures and relentless precipitation.

Sometimes covers do more harm than good, because they can trap moisture. Too much wetness inside your system can cause internal components to rust or become moldy.

While putting on an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two periods that are ideal for using a cover for a long period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard waste during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can pile up and obstruct your system’s airflow. Diminished airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more power to cool your home.

Wanting other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from Ocean Air Conditioning and Heating heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and take a close look at critical components. This often allows us to pinpoint trouble 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 suggestions on selecting the best cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Full AC covers can trap water inside your unit, potentially corroding metal pieces. It could also make your air conditioner a welcoming area 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 block air, which could cause water to build up inside your unit. The best type of material 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 decide to use an air conditioner cover, here are the best times to put it on.

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 stop leaves, nuts and other waste from dropping 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 approaching. 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 expect a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a bad storm is approaching in Laguna Niguel. 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, Ocean Air Conditioning and Heating gives help. Give us a call at 949-525-9119 or schedule an appointment online.