Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather approaching in Beaverton, you may be questioning 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 created to resist bad weather, including intense temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers do more harm than good, because they can trap water. Additional wetness inside your unit can cause internal components to rust or become moldy.

While using an air conditioner cover is a personal choice, there are two periods that are good to use a cover for a long 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 energy to cool your residence.

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from Garoken Energy Co. Inc. heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and inspect essential components. This often allows us to spot trouble before they begin.

Schedule service now

How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you determine you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a couple ideas on picking 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.

Full AC covers can trap condensation inside your unit, potentially corroding metal pieces. It could also make your system a cozy place for vermin, 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 stop air, which could cause water to build up inside your system. The best type of fabric 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 block leaves, nuts and other waste 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 on the way. Snow and ice that build up inside your air conditioner can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and reducing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your air conditioner if a strong storm is coming in Beaverton. Hail can seriously damage your system’s exterior, impacting 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, Garoken Energy Co. Inc. provides assistance. Give us a call at 503-374-1934 or schedule an appointment online.