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For those of us without central heat, we all know what a blessing a window-mounted air conditioner can be.

Even if it only works in one or two rooms, the right AC can really make all the difference in summer time, and for those few months you’re glad to see it there.

Of course, once the weather takes a turn and you have to find somewhere else to put it, you’re…not so happy after all.

 

Winter AC Unit Storage Tips

 

The first thing you’re going to want to do before you put your AC up for the year is to give it a thorough cleaning. This can help it last a lot longer when not in use, and may actually prolong the life of your unit by helping it not work so hard through all the gunk and build-up. (You’ve surely seen the sort of things that can get blown into your air conditioner by now.)

Ideally you’ll be able to clean it outside, since there’s bound to be a lot of built-up dirt, leaves, and condensation inside. Lay down some towels, take the plastic grill off the front, and give everything a good scrubbing with a brush and your favorite spray-on cleaning solution. (If possible, try to cover the more delicate electronic parts with plastic bags, if anything gets too exposed.) If the filter is REALLY bad, remove it before cleaning it separately, or replace it altogether if it doesn’t seem savable. After scrubbing the innards, make sure to give the whole thing a good washing with a spray water bottle, or use the hose if there’s a lot of caked-on stuff.

 

After you give it a few hours in the sun to dry out, you’ll want to find a new home for it somewhere in the house. While every home is obviously different, there’s a few tips that can apply everywhere when it comes to safe air conditioner storage:

  • Keep it away from anything it can break: Especially if you’re keeping it up on some shelves, you’ll want to make a wide berth between your air conditioner and anything it could potentially fall over and damage. There’s not gonna be a lot of things in your house that could stand up to having a whole air conditioner dropped on them, so make sure to make a lot of room to prevent anything else from getting damaged in the event of a fall.
  • Use the toughest shelves you can: Even the most sleek, modern window AC is going to be pretty dense and heavy, and it’ll need a solid place to stay. Use home wire shelving or home metal shelves (as long as they’re rated for the right weight, of course) that can handle the size of the AC and prevent rust from any runoff water that may still be in there.
  • Look for somewhere with low traffic: Ideally, your air conditioner will be stored somewhere without a lot of risk of someone bumping into it. Find a quiet corner, or an extra storage room where there’s not usually a lot of traffic (particularly from any younger kids who could get hurt by tripping on it or bumping into it)
  • Keep it room temperature: While AC units are designed to be used half outdoors, they’re mostly optimized for warmer temperatures, and might not work as well if they’re stored somewhere too cold. As best you can, try to keep it somewhere that will stay room temperature throughout the winter, like a finished basement or insulated garage.

 

With these factors in mind, you should have a much easier time trying to keep your window AC unit safe until you need it again next summer!

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