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Window air conditioners can be life-saving during the summers when the heat gets unbearable. However, once the brunt of the summer is done, it is advisable to winterize these units so they can survive the cold winters and be handy when the summer sets in again.
This is especially important if you live in an area that gets a lot of snowfall during the inters. While your window AC can handle some amount of snow, an extensive build-up of snow and ice and damage the compressor.
Here’s an easy DIY guide on how to winterize your window AC unit.
Switch off the air conditioner
Open the control panel on the air conditioner and make sure you turn it off. You need to be sure that the power has been turned off because the last thing you need is for it to automatically turn on if you have a warmer than usual winter day.
Wash the outside portion
Wash the exterior of the window air conditioning unit from the outside. Begin by washing it with warm water and dishwashing soap. Once the dirt and debris on it have been removed, wash it with clean water and let it dry in the sun.
Clean the interior
Next, remove and clean the front grill of the window AC unit. You should be able to remove the front grill simply by applying a little pressure and yanking it out. However, if it is stubborn, use a putty knife for leverage and you ought to be able to get it out.
Wash the grill with warm, soapy water and rinse it clean. Then, as it dries out, use a vacuum cleaner to clean out the hair, lint, and other dirt from the inside of the unit.
Replace the grill once it has dried out completely.
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Insulating the AC
Buy foam insulation sheets and cut them into small pieces to close off and insulate all the gaps in the space the AC is sitting in.
Then secure foam insulation pieces on the exterior pipes using duct tape. Make sure that no gaps are left where the AC meets the window.
Next, it’s time to get to work with plastic sheeting. Cover the entire air conditioner unit with plastic sheeting and secure it in place with duct tape. Being waterproof, plastic sheeting will offer your AC unit extra protection during the cold winters.
There is an added advantage to insulating your AC this way. It will make sure no cold air and drafts enter your home through the AC window, and the extra insulation will help reduce your heating bills.
Removing and storing a window AC unit
Some experts believe that removing and storing the unit is the ideal way to winterize window ACs since the chances of damage due to the weather are greatly reduced. Here’s how to go about the process.
- Turn off the power and unplug the unit.
- Remove the front cover or grill.
- Removing the AC unit is a two person job. Using the help of a friend or partner, carefully remove the unit from the window and lower it to the ground onto a towel. Some water may leak from it, but that is to be expected.
- Unscrew the base of the air conditioner.
- Now that you have removed the air conditioner, it may be a good time for maintenance activities. Use the opportunity to change filters and to get any pending repairs attended to.
- Remember to store it properly in an upright position. The ideal place to store your air conditioner during the winter would be a cool, dry place. If you’re storing it in your garage, store it on an elevated platform for extra safety.
Read more: DIY air conditioner maintenance checklist