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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather approaching in Menomonie and western Wisconsin, 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 strong piece of equipment. It’s designed to take on severe weather, including extreme temperatures and heavy precipitation.

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

While installing an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two periods that are ideal for using a cover for a lengthy period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard waste during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can accumulate and block your system’s airflow. Decreased airflow means your air conditioning unit works harder and may use more power to cool your residence.

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from Halverson Brothers Inc heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and take a close look at important pieces. This often allows us to identify issues before they begin.

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How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you decide you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a few ideas on choosing the right cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Complete AC covers can trap water inside your unit, potentially eating away at metal pieces. It could also make your system 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 system. 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 put it on.

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 sticks 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 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 snowstorm is on the way. Snow and ice that collect inside your system can melt and refreeze, breaking condenser coils and reducing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to expect a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your air conditioner if a strong storm is coming in Menomonie and western Wisconsin. Hail can seriously damage your system’s coils, 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, Halverson Brothers Inc offers assistance. Give us a call at 715-352-4052 or schedule an appointment online.

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