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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather approaching in Pella, 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 created to take on inclement weather, including extreme temperatures and torrential precipitation.

Sometimes covers create more issues, because they can trap water. Too much wetness inside your system can cause internal parts to rust or get moldy.

While installing an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two times of year that are good to use a cover for a long period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard waste during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can accumulate 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? Regular AC maintenance from Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and take a close look at essential pieces. This often allows us to pinpoint issues before they begin.

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How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you determine you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a couple suggestions on picking the right cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

To keep air circulating, a protective air conditioner cover should only encompass the top of your unit and a couple of inches on the side.

Total AC covers can trap condensation inside your unit, potentially rusting metal parts. It could also make your air conditioner a welcoming area 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 stop air, which could cause condensation to build up inside your air conditioner. The best type of fabric 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 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 rubbish from getting into your equipment.

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 heavy snow is approaching. Snow and ice that build up inside your system can melt and refreeze, breaking condenser coils and lowering efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to predict a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your air conditioner if a severe storm is coming in Pella. Hail can severely 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, Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating offers aid. Give us a call at 641-628-3621 or schedule an appointment online.

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