With cold weather approaching in Fort Lauderdale, you may be wondering when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you should even cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a sturdy piece of equipment. It’s engineered to resist severe weather, including intense temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems because they can trap moisture. Too much wetness inside your system can cause internal pieces to rust or become moldy.

While using 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 debris during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can build up and lower your system’s airflow. Decreased airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more energy to cool your residence.

Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from Solar Air Inc. heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and inspect essential components. This often allows us to identify trouble before they begin.

How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

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

Avoid Full Covers

To keep air flowing, a protective air conditioner cover should only enclose the top of your unit and a few inches on the side.

Full AC covers can trap condensation inside your system, potentially rusting metal components. It could also make your AC a welcoming place 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 system. The best type of material is one that lets in air, like canvas or mesh.

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

When It’s Time to Cover your AC

If you choose 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 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 waste from getting 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 coming. Snow and ice that collect inside your air conditioner can melt and refreeze, damaging condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to predict a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your air conditioner if a severe storm is imminent in Fort Lauderdale. Hail can seriously 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, Solar Air Inc. gives help. Give us a call at 954-320-7398 or schedule an appointment online.