With cold weather approaching in Rapid City, you may be wondering when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you have to cover it at all.
Your AC unit is a strong piece of equipment. It’s designed to resist severe weather, including intense temperatures and heavy precipitation.
Sometimes covers create more issues because they can trap water. Too much wetness inside your system can cause internal components to rust or turn moldy.
While installing an air conditioner cover is a personal 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 debris 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 electricity to cool your residence.
Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Precision Mechanical heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and examine essential parts. This often allows us to spot issues 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 few tips on selecting the best cover.
Avoid Full Covers
To keep air flowing, a protective air conditioner cover should only encompass the top of your unit and a couple of inches on the side.
Full AC covers can trap moisture inside your equipment, potentially corroding metal components. It could also make your AC an inviting place 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 stop 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 It’s Time to Cover your AC
If you choose 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 twigs 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 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 heavy snow is coming. Snow and ice that accumulate inside your system can melt and refreeze, breaking condenser coils and reducing efficiency.
Although it’s not always possible to anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your air conditioner if a severe storm is coming in Rapid City. Hail can severely damage your system’s fins, affecting efficiency.
Related: How Severe Weather Can Lead to AC Repair
We Can Help Keep Your AC Protected
Whether you have questions about heating and cooling or need air conditioning service, Precision Mechanical gives help. Give us a call at 605-206-3766 or schedule an appointment online.