With cold weather approaching in Erie, you may be wondering when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you should even cover it at all.
Your AC unit is a tough piece of equipment. It’s designed to withstand inclement weather, including extreme temperatures and relentless precipitation.
Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap water. Additional wetness inside your equipment can cause internal parts to rust or turn moldy.
While putting on an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two seasons that are ideal for using 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 accumulate and block your system’s airflow. Diminished airflow means your air conditioning unit works harder and may use more power to cool your residence.
Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Patterson & Stirling Inc heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and examine essential pieces. This often allows us to identify trouble before they begin.
How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover
If you determine you want to cover your air conditioner, here are several suggestions on picking the ideal cover.
Avoid Full Covers
To keep air moving, a protective air conditioner cover should only enclose the top of your unit and a couple of inches on the side.
Complete AC covers can trap condensation inside your system, potentially eating away at metal components. It could also make your air conditioner a welcoming area 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 impede air, which could cause condensation to build up inside your unit. 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 use 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 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 block leaves, nuts and other waste from dropping 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 heavy snow is coming. Snow and ice that accumulate inside your air conditioner can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and lowering efficiency.
Although it’s not always possible to predict a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your system if a bad storm is approaching in Erie. Hail can critically damage your system’s coils, 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, Patterson & Stirling Inc offers assistance. Give us a call at 814-308-0416 or schedule an appointment online.