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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather coming in Tucson, 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 inclement weather, including intense temperatures and relentless precipitation.

Sometimes covers do more harm than good, because they can trap water. Extra wetness inside your system can cause internal pieces to rust or become moldy.

While using an air conditioner cover is a personal 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 debris during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can accumulate and lower your system’s airflow. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more electricity to cool your house.

Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from Ambient Air heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and examine critical parts. 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 enclose the top of your equipment and a few inches on the side.

Total AC covers can trap moisture inside your system, potentially corroding metal components. It could also make your air conditioner a cozy home for vermin, 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 impede 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 unrestricted 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 block leaves, nuts and other waste from dropping 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 snowstorm is on the way. Snow and ice that accumulate inside your system can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and reducing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to predict a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your system if a bad storm is approaching in Tucson. Hail can severely 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, Ambient Air gives help. Give us a call at 520-201-3871 or schedule an appointment online.

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