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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather coming in Lexington, 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 sturdy piece of equipment. It’s engineered to resist bad weather, including extreme temperatures and relentless precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap moisture. Extra wetness inside your equipment can cause internal pieces to rust or become moldy.

While using an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two periods that are ideal for using 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 home.

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from Kelley Mechanical heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and inspect critical parts. This often allows us to identify 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 tips on selecting the ideal cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Complete AC covers can trap water inside your unit, potentially corroding metal pieces. It could also make your system a welcoming place for rodents, 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 stop air, which could cause condensation to build up inside your unit. The best type of material is one that allows airflow, 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 install it.

Cover Your Air Conditioner During Summer

A lightweight mesh cover during the summer allows your air conditioner to run unrestricted 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 debris 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 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 anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a bad storm is imminent in Lexington. Hail can seriously damage your system’s coils, 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, Kelley Mechanical gives aid. Give us a call at 859-209-3003 or schedule an appointment online.

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