With cold weather coming in Rockford, you may be wondering 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 engineered to resist bad weather, including extreme temperatures and heavy precipitation.

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

While putting on an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two seasons that are good to use 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 build up and block your system’s airflow. Diminished airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more energy to cool your house.

Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and take a close look at important parts. This often allows us to pinpoint problems before they begin.

Choosing the Right Air Conditioner Cover

If you come to the conclusion you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a few tips on picking 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.

Complete AC covers can trap moisture inside your system, potentially rusting metal parts. It could also make your system a welcoming home for vermin, 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 block air, which could cause moisture to build up inside your system. The best type of material 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 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 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 debris from falling into your equipment.

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 collect inside your AC can melt and refreeze, damaging condenser coils and lowering efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to predict a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your air conditioner if a strong storm is imminent in Rockford. Hail can seriously damage your system’s exterior, 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, Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling provides assistance. Give us a call at (815) 914-6197 or schedule an appointment online.