With cold weather approaching in Des Moines, you may be wondering 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 designed to resist inclement weather, including extreme temperatures and heavy precipitation.
Sometimes covers do more harm than good, because they can trap moisture. Additional wetness inside your system can cause internal parts to rust or turn moldy.
While putting on an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two times of year that are ideal for using a cover for a long period of time—fall and summer.
That’s because yard rubbish during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can pile up and lower your system’s airflow. Decreased airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more power to cool your house.
Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and inspect essential components. This often allows us to pinpoint problems before they begin.
How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover
If you determine you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a few suggestions on choosing the best cover.
Avoid Full Covers
To keep air moving, a protective air conditioner cover should only encompass the top of your equipment and a couple of inches on the side.
Complete AC covers can trap condensation inside your equipment, potentially corroding metal components. It could also make your AC a welcoming home for animals, which could eat through 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 water 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 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 debris from getting into your system.
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 approaching. Snow and ice that collect inside your air conditioner can melt and refreeze, damaging condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.
Although it’s not always possible to anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a severe storm is coming in Des Moines. Hail can seriously 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, Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling gives assistance. Give us a call at 515-207-6569 or schedule an appointment online.