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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather approaching in Des Moines, 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 take on severe weather, including extreme temperatures and relentless precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap condensation. Extra wetness inside your system can cause internal pieces to rust or turn moldy.

While using an air conditioner cover is a personal choice, there are two periods that are good to use a cover for a lengthy period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard debris during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can accumulate and block your system’s airflow. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more electricity to cool your home.

Wanting other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from Heartland Heating & Cooling heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and inspect essential pieces. 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 picking the best cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Total AC covers can trap water inside your equipment, potentially corroding metal components. It could also make your AC a welcoming home for vermin, 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 air conditioner. The best type of material is one that allows airflow, 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 install it.

Cover Your Air Conditioner During Summer

A lightweight mesh cover during the summer allows your air conditioner to run smoothly 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 debris 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 coming. Snow and ice that accumulate inside your system 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 system if a strong storm is approaching in Des Moines. Hail can seriously 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, Heartland Heating & Cooling gives help. Give us a call at 515-344-3579 or schedule an appointment online.

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