With cold weather on the horizon in Houston, 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 created to resist inclement weather, including intense temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers create more issues because they can trap water. Extra wetness inside your unit can cause internal parts to rust or get moldy.

While using an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two seasons that are good to use 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 pile up and block your system’s airflow. Diminished airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more electricity to cool your home.

Wanting other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from Air Current AC & Heat heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and inspect essential pieces. 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 couple suggestions on selecting the ideal cover.

Avoid Full Covers

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

Full AC covers can trap condensation inside your unit, potentially corroding metal components. It could also make your system a cozy area for vermin, 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 impede air, which could cause moisture to build up inside your unit. The best type of clot is one that allows airflow, 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 use it.

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 sticks 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 getting 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 coming. Snow and ice that accumulate inside your system can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to expect a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your system if a severe storm is coming in Houston. 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, Air Current AC & Heat gives assistance. Give us a call at 713-322-4318 or schedule an appointment online.