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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather on the horizon in Manassas, 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 designed to resist inclement weather, including extreme temperatures and heavy precipitation.

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

While installing an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two periods that are great 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 block your system’s airflow. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more energy to cool your house.

Wanting other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from Air-Right Energy Design, Inc. heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and inspect essential components. This often allows us to spot issues 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 several suggestions on choosing the ideal cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Complete AC covers can trap condensation inside your equipment, potentially rusting metal components. It could also make your system an inviting home for vermin, which could chew 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 moisture to build up inside your unit. 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 choose to use an air conditioner cover, here are the best times to put it on.

Cover Your Air Conditioner During Summer

A lightweight mesh cover during the summer allows your air conditioner to run freely 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 stop leaves, nuts and other rubbish from falling into your system.

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 approaching. Snow and ice that collect inside your AC 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 Manassas. 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, Air-Right Energy Design, Inc. provides aid. Give us a call at 703-260-1148 or schedule an appointment online.

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