With cold weather on the horizon in Cottonwood & Prescott, you may be questioning when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you should even cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a sturdy piece of equipment. It’s engineered to resist bad weather, including excessive temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems because they can trap condensation. Additional wetness inside your system can cause internal parts to rust or become moldy.

While putting on an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two seasons that are good to use a cover for an extended period of time—fall and summer.

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

Wanting other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Connolly Electric & Mechanical heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and inspect important pieces. This often allows us to spot trouble before they begin.

How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you decide you want to cover your air conditioner, here are several suggestions on selecting the ideal cover.

Avoid Full Covers

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

Complete AC covers can trap water inside your unit, potentially rusting metal components. It could also make your AC a welcoming home 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 impede air, which could cause moisture to build up inside your air conditioner. 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 It’s Time to Cover your AC

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 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 block leaves, nuts and other rubbish from getting into your equipment.

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 coming. Snow and ice that accumulate inside your system 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 bad storm is coming in Cottonwood & Prescott. 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, Connolly Electric & Mechanical provides help. Give us a call at 928-251-4327 or schedule an appointment online.