With cold weather coming in Sacramento, 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 tough piece of equipment. It’s created to resist inclement weather, including excessive temperatures and torrential precipitation.

Sometimes covers create more issues because they can trap water. Too much wetness inside your system can cause internal pieces to rust or get moldy.

While installing an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two times of year that are good to use a cover for a lengthy period of time—fall and summer.

That’s because yard rubbish during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can pile up and lower your system’s airflow. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more electricity to cool your residence.

Wanting other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from Bishop’s HVAC heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and take a close look at essential parts. This often allows us to identify trouble before they begin.

How to Find Your Air Conditioner Cover

If you determine you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a few suggestions on picking the best cover.

Avoid Full Covers

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

Complete AC covers can trap moisture inside your equipment, potentially eating away at metal parts. 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 block air, which could cause condensation to build up inside your air conditioner. 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 It’s Time to Cover your AC

If you decide 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 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 stop leaves, nuts and other debris from getting into your system.

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 build up inside your system can melt and refreeze, breaking condenser coils and reducing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to expect a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your system if a strong storm is coming in Sacramento. Hail can critically damage your system’s fins, 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, Bishop’s HVAC offers aid. Give us a call at 916-591-6889 or schedule an appointment online.