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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather approaching in Hudsonville, 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 created to withstand bad weather, including extreme temperatures and torrential precipitation.

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

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

That’s because yard waste during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can build up and block your system’s airflow. Decreased 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 West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and examine essential pieces. 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 several ideas on selecting the ideal cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Total AC covers can trap moisture inside your equipment, potentially eating away at metal components. It could also make your AC an inviting place for animals, 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 block air, which could cause moisture to build up inside your air conditioner. The best type of fabric 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 use 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 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 stop leaves, nuts and other rubbish 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 snowstorm is on the way. Snow and ice that accumulate 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 AC if a bad storm is coming in Hudsonville. Hail can severely damage your system’s fins, altering 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, West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services offers help. Give us a call at (616) 669-3961 or schedule an appointment online.

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