With cold weather approaching in Arlington, you may be thinking 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 created to resist inclement weather, including extreme temperatures and torrential precipitation.

Sometimes covers create more issues because they can trap moisture. Additional wetness inside your equipment can cause internal pieces to rust or turn moldy.

While putting on an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two seasons that are ideal for using a cover for an extended period of time—fall and summer.

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

Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and take a close look at important parts. This often allows us to identify issues before they begin.

How to Find Your Air Conditioner Cover

If you determine you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a few ideas on selecting the ideal cover.

Avoid Full Covers

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

Full AC covers can trap moisture inside your unit, potentially corroding metal parts. It could also make your system a welcoming home for animals, which could sever 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 water 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 to Use an Air Conditioner Cover

If you want 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 freely 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 rubbish 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 heavy snow is on the way. Snow and ice that collect inside your system can melt and refreeze, damaging condenser coils and lowering efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your system if a bad storm is approaching in Arlington. Hail can severely damage your system’s coils, altering efficiency.

Related: How Severe Weather Can Lead to AC Repair

We Can Help Keep Your AC Protected

Whether you have questions about heating and cooling or need air conditioning service, Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning provides help. Give us a call at 360-255-5857 or schedule an appointment online.