With cold weather on the horizon in Portland, you may be wondering 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 designed to resist severe} weather, including intense temperatures and heavy precipitation.
Sometimes covers do more harm than good because they can trap moisture. Too much wetness inside your unit can cause internal parts to rust or become moldy.
While putting on an air conditioner cover is a personal choice, there are two times of year that are ideal for using a cover for an extended period of time—fall and summer.
That’s because yard debris during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can accumulate and lower your system’s airflow. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more energy to cool your house.
Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from Three Rivers Heating & Cooling heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and examine important components. 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 a few tips on picking the best cover.
Avoid Full Covers
To keep air circulating, a protective air conditioner cover should only encompass the top of your equipment and several inches on the side.
Total AC covers can trap water inside your unit, potentially eating away at metal pieces. It could also make your system a welcoming area 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 stop air, which could cause water to build up inside your system. The best type of fabric 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 want 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 smoothly 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 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 accumulate inside your AC can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and reducing efficiency.
Although it’s not always possible to expect a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a severe storm is imminent in Portland. 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, Three Rivers Heating & Cooling offers help. Give us a call at 503-213-4433 or schedule an appointment online.