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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather coming in South Beloit and Belvidere, 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 sturdy piece of equipment. It’s engineered to withstand severe weather, including extreme temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers create more issues, because they can trap water. Too much wetness inside your system can cause internal pieces to rust or become moldy.

While putting on an air conditioner cover is a personal choice, there are two seasons that are good to use 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 obstruct your system’s airflow. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more energy to cool your home.

Wanting other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Fleming Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and inspect critical parts. This often allows us to spot 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 a few suggestions on selecting the right cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

To keep air flowing, a protective air conditioner cover should only encompass the top of your system and a couple of inches on the side.

Full AC covers can trap moisture inside your equipment, potentially rusting metal parts. It could also make your system a cozy home for rodents, 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 stop air, which could cause moisture to build up inside your unit. 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 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 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 a blizzard is on the way. Snow and ice that build up inside your air conditioner can melt and refreeze, breaking condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your air conditioner if a bad storm is approaching in South Beloit and Belvidere. 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, Fleming Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. provides help. Give us a call at 877-389-2465 or schedule an appointment online.

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