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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather on the horizon in Las Vegas, you may be thinking when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you need to cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a strong piece of equipment. It’s engineered to withstand inclement weather, including intense temperatures and relentless precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap moisture. Too much wetness inside your unit can cause internal parts to rust or become moldy.

While installing an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two periods that are good to use a cover for a long period of time—fall and summer.  

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

Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Polar Air & Heating, Inc. heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and inspect critical components. This often allows us to pinpoint problems 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 a couple ideas on picking the ideal cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Total AC covers can trap water inside your unit, potentially corroding metal components. It could also make your air conditioner a cozy 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 block air, which could cause moisture to build up inside your air conditioner. The best type of fabric 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 put it on.

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 waste from dropping 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 blizzard is coming. Snow and ice that collect inside your AC 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 air conditioner if a severe storm is imminent in Las Vegas. Hail can critically 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, Polar Air & Heating, Inc. offers help. Give us a call at 702-623-0579 or schedule an appointment online.

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