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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather on the horizon in West Columbia, you may be thinking 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 bad weather, including extreme temperatures and relentless precipitation.

Sometimes covers create more issues, because they can trap moisture. Additional wetness inside your unit can cause internal parts to rust or become moldy.

While installing an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two periods that are great for using a cover for an extended period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard rubbish during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can pile up and lower your system’s airflow. Diminished airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more power to cool your home.

Wanting other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and examine important components. This often allows us to pinpoint trouble 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 several suggestions on picking the best cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Complete AC covers can trap moisture inside your equipment, potentially rusting metal parts. It could also make your system a cozy place for animals, 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 impede air, which could cause condensation to build up inside your air conditioner. The best type of fabric is one that lets in air, 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 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 halt leaves, nuts and other waste 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 heavy snow is coming. Snow and ice that build up inside your system can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to expect a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a strong storm is approaching in West Columbia. Hail can severely damage your system’s fins, 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, Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. offers help. Give us a call at 803-265-4208 or schedule an appointment online.

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