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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 strong 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. Too much wetness inside your unit can cause internal parts to rust or become moldy.

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

That’s because yard debris during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can build up and obstruct your system’s airflow. Decreased airflow means your air conditioning unit works harder and may use more energy to cool your house.

Looking for 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 critical components. This often allows us to spot problems 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 several ideas on picking the best 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.

Total AC covers can trap moisture inside your equipment, potentially eating away at metal components. It could also make your AC an inviting area 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 stop air, which could cause water to build up inside your air conditioner. The best type of material 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 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 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 on the way. Snow and ice that accumulate inside your air conditioner can melt and refreeze, damaging condenser coils and reducing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a strong storm is approaching in Hudsonville. Hail can seriously 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, West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services gives aid. Give us a call at (616) 669-3961 or schedule an appointment online.

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