With cold weather approaching in Frederick, 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 strong piece of equipment. It’s created to resist severe weather, including excessive temperatures and relentless precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems because they can trap water. Extra wetness inside your system can cause internal parts to rust or turn moldy.

While installing an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two seasons that are great for using a cover for a lengthy 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 energy to cool your residence.

Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from May's Heating & Air heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and examine essential components. This often allows us to identify trouble before they begin.

How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you come to the conclusion you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a couple suggestions 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.

Total AC covers can trap water inside your unit, potentially eating away at metal pieces. It could also make your AC a welcoming home for rodents, 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 condensation to build up inside your system. The best type of clot is one that’s breathable, like canvas or mesh.

Related: How AC Repair & Maintenance Can Actually Save You Money

When You Should Cover Your Air Conditioner

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 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 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, damaging 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 Frederick. Hail can severely damage your system’s exterior, affecting efficiency.

Related: How Severe Weather Can Lead to AC Repair

We Can Make Sure Your AC Is Always Covered

Whether you have questions about heating and cooling or need air conditioning service, May's Heating & Air offers help. Give us a call at 301-690-0397 or schedule an appointment online.