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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather on the horizon in Williamsport, 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 sturdy piece of equipment. It’s designed to withstand inclement weather, including excessive temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers do more harm than good, because they can trap condensation. Too much wetness inside your equipment can cause internal parts to rust or become moldy.

While putting on 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 obstruct your system’s airflow. Decreased 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? Annual AC maintenance from Lycoming Heating Company heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and take a close look at essential pieces. This often allows us to spot trouble before they begin.

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How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you decide you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a couple tips on choosing the ideal cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

To keep air flowing, a protective air conditioner cover should only surround the top of your equipment and a few inches on the side.

Total AC covers can trap moisture inside your unit, potentially rusting metal components. It could also make your air conditioner a cozy place 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 impede air, which could cause condensation to build up inside your system. The best type of cloth 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 decide 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 halt 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 heavy snow is coming. Snow and ice that build up inside your AC can melt and refreeze, breaking condenser coils and reducing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to expect a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your air conditioner if a bad storm is approaching in Williamsport. Hail can severely 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, Lycoming Heating Company offers assistance. Give us a call at 570-244-2510 or schedule an appointment online.

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