With cold weather approaching in Sacramento, 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 bad weather, including intense temperatures and torrential precipitation.
Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap condensation. Too much wetness inside your unit can cause internal pieces to rust or turn moldy.
While putting on an air conditioner cover is a personal choice, there are two times of year that are ideal for using a cover for an extended period of time—fall and summer.
That’s because yard waste during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can build up and lower 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 American HVAC Inc heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and inspect important parts. This often allows us to spot issues before they begin.
How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover
If you determine you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a couple ideas on selecting the right cover.
Avoid Full Covers
To keep air circulating, a protective air conditioner cover should only surround the top of your system and a few inches on the side.
Complete AC covers can trap moisture inside your system, potentially corroding metal pieces. It could also make your AC a cozy 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 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 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 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 halt 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 system can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and lowering efficiency.
Although it’s not always possible to expect a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a severe storm is coming in Sacramento. Hail can severely damage your system’s coils, 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, American HVAC Inc offers help. Give us a call at 916-243-6714 or schedule an appointment online.