Winter Storage Tips For Your Window AC

Window air conditioners shouldn't simply be turned off in the fall and ignored until spring. There are specific fall maintenance tasks you want to perform to ensure that the units work properly next summer. The following tips can help you winterize your window AC units.

Tip #1: Clean the filter

Most window units have reusable filters. After turning off the unit for the last time for the season, open up the front panel and remove this filter. Carefully brush off the dirt and dust that has collected on the filter, then rinse it with water to remove any remaining dirt in the filter's pores. Allow the filter to dry completely before placing it back into the unit.

While waiting for the filter to dry, take your vacuum and use the hose attachment to vacuum out any dirt and dust that has collected inside the filter compartment.

Tip #2: Remove the unit from the window

It's good practice to remove the unit from the window for the winter months. Carefully lift the window and unmount the unit from the ledge. You may need help to maneuver it out safely, depending on the size of the unit. There should be a variety of rubber and foam seals that were fit around the unit while it was in the window. Wipe these clean with a damp cloth and store them flat in a box or bag.

Tip #3: Clean the back of the unit

Leaves and dirt tends to collect on the back side of the unit. You can rinse it clean with a gently stream of water, or you can vacuum it out with the hose attachment of your vacuum. Just be carefully not to get a lot of water into the vents on the back of the unit (a small amount won't harm the AC). If it seems particularly dirty, remove the outer casing from the rear of the unit and vacuum out the debris that has gotten lodged inside.

Tip #4: Store it properly

Proper storage is a must. Make sure the unit dries out completely before storing it, since you don't want it to rust. The best storage location is in a dry place, such as in a storage closet or dry basement or garage. Set the unit on top of a pallet or on a shelf so it isn't sitting on the ground where moisture can become trapped beneath the unit. Cover the unit with an old sheet or fabric painter's dropcloth to keep dust out of the unit while still allowing air circulation.

For more help, contact an AC contractor in your area (or visit sites like