With cold weather coming in Manassas, you may be questioning when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you have to cover it at all.
Your AC unit is a tough piece of equipment. It’s engineered to resist severe} weather, including excessive temperatures and heavy precipitation.
Sometimes covers do more harm than good because they can trap water. Extra wetness inside your system can cause internal components to rust or turn moldy.
While putting on an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two times of year that are good to use a cover for a lengthy period of time—fall and summer.
That’s because yard waste during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can build up and obstruct your system’s airflow. Decreased airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more energy to cool your residence.
Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from Fire & Ice HVAC heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and take a close look at critical components. This often allows us to pinpoint issues before they begin.
How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover
If you determine you want to cover your air conditioner, here are several ideas on choosing the best cover.
Avoid Full Covers
To keep air moving, a protective air conditioner cover should only surround the top of your system and a couple of inches on the side.
Total AC covers can trap condensation inside your equipment, potentially rusting metal parts. It could also make your AC a welcoming home 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 system. The best type of clot 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 decide to use an air conditioner cover, here are the best times to install it.
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 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 block leaves, nuts and other waste from falling 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 approaching. Snow and ice that build up inside your AC can melt and refreeze, damaging 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 imminent in Manassas. Hail can seriously damage your system’s coils, impacting 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, Fire & Ice HVAC offers help. Give us a call at 703-595-4157 or schedule an appointment online.