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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather on the horizon in Lexington, you may be thinking when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you should even cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a sturdy piece of equipment. It’s engineered to withstand inclement weather, including excessive temperatures and heavy precipitation.

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

While installing an air conditioner cover is a personal choice, there are two times of year that are great for using a cover for an extended period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard rubbish during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can accumulate and obstruct your system’s airflow. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works harder and may use more electricity to cool your house.

Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from James Heating & A/C, Inc heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and inspect essential components. This often allows us to spot trouble before they begin.

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How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you determine you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a few tips on choosing the right cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Full AC covers can trap condensation inside your equipment, potentially rusting metal pieces. It could also make your system an inviting home 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 moisture to build up inside your air conditioner. The best type of cloth is one that allows airflow, like canvas or mesh.

Related: How AC Repair & Maintenance Can Actually Save You Money

When to Use an Air Conditioner Cover

If you choose 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 smoothly 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 halt leaves, nuts and other debris from getting 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 a blizzard is coming. Snow and ice that collect inside your system can melt and refreeze, breaking condenser coils and reducing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to predict a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your system if a bad storm is imminent in Lexington. Hail can critically 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, James Heating & A/C, Inc gives assistance. Give us a call at 336-853-6070 or schedule an appointment online.

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