AC Service Provider

Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather coming in Greater Richmond, you may be questioning 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 engineered to withstand severe weather, including intense temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers do more harm than good, because they can trap condensation. Extra wetness inside your equipment can cause internal parts to rust or turn moldy.

While installing an air conditioner cover is a personal choice, there are two periods that are good to use 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 accumulate and obstruct your system’s airflow. Decreased airflow means your air conditioning unit works harder and may use more energy to cool your residence.

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and examine important pieces. This often allows us to identify trouble before they begin.

Schedule service now

How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you determine you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a few 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 system and a few inches on the side.

Full AC covers can trap water inside your system, potentially eating away at metal pieces. It could also make your air conditioner an inviting place 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 stop air, which could cause condensation to build up inside your unit. The best type of material 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 want 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 branches 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 waste from getting 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 reducing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your system if a severe storm is coming in Greater Richmond. Hail can severely damage your system’s exterior, impacting 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, Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling gives assistance. Give us a call at 804-302-6657 or schedule an appointment online.

Back To Blog