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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather approaching in Carlsbad, 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 withstand bad weather, including extreme temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers create more issues, because they can trap moisture. Too much wetness inside your unit can cause internal components to rust or become moldy.

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

That’s because yard rubbish during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can accumulate and block 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? Regular AC maintenance from Banister's Heating & Air Conditioning Services heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and take a close look at essential components. This often allows us to identify problems before they begin.

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How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you come to the conclusion you want to cover your air conditioner, here are several ideas on selecting the ideal cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

To keep air flowing, a protective air conditioner cover should only surround the top of your unit and several inches on the side.

Total AC covers can trap condensation inside your equipment, potentially eating away at metal parts. It could also make your air conditioner a cozy place for rodents, which could sever 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 moisture to build up inside your system. 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 want 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 sticks 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 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 a snowstorm is on the way. Snow and ice that accumulate inside your AC 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 air conditioner if a strong storm is approaching in Carlsbad. Hail can seriously damage your system’s exterior, 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, Banister's Heating & Air Conditioning Services offers aid. Give us a call at 575-446-3948 or schedule an appointment online.

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