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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

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 take on inclement weather, including extreme temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers do more harm than good, because they can trap moisture. Too much wetness inside your system can cause internal pieces to rust or turn moldy.

While putting on an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two periods that are great 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 more and may use more power to cool your house.

Seeking 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 unit, and examine essential components. This often allows us to identify 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 a few ideas on choosing the best cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

To keep air moving, a protective air conditioner cover should only surround the top of your equipment and several inches on the side.

Full 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 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 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 falling 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 blizzard is approaching. Snow and ice that collect inside your AC can melt and refreeze, damaging 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 approaching in Des Moines. Hail can severely damage your system’s exterior, 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, Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling offers assistance. Give us a call at 515-207-6569 or schedule an appointment online.

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