With cold weather on the horizon in Tucson, you may be questioning when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you need to cover it at all.
Your AC unit is a strong piece of equipment. It’s created to resist inclement weather, including extreme temperatures and torrential precipitation.
Sometimes covers do more harm than good, because they can trap condensation. 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 times of year that are ideal for using 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. Diminished airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more energy to cool your house.
Looking for 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 inspect critical parts. This often allows us to pinpoint trouble before they begin.
How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover
If you come to the conclusion 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 equipment, potentially corroding metal components. It could also make your air conditioner a welcoming home for rodents, 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 impede air, which could cause water to build up inside your system. 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 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 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 blizzard 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 strong storm is approaching in Tucson. Hail can seriously 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, Ambient Air gives aid. Give us a call at 520-201-3871 or schedule an appointment online.