How to Winterize a Window Air Conditioner

The window air conditioner is used by many homeowners to keep cool during the summer. The window air conditioner is just one of a number of AC unites that are used by people, the other common type being the central air conditioner.

During the winter, when window air conditioners are not being used, the winter weather can affect both the units and the home. Winterizing air conditioners is one way to increase their durability and extend their life.

Protecting your window air conditioners against damage during the long winter months is an important part of preparing your home for the winter.

Winterizing Air Conditioners

The window air conditioner will need to be removed from the window for this process; take off the seals from the window units, and remove any fixing devices used to keep the air conditioner in place.

Ensure that the window air conditioner is clean of leaves, dirt, and debris. It may be an idea to use your garden hose to rinse off the unit, or you may wish to place the unit in a sink filled with soap and water, and apply a scrubbing brush to the unit, particularly on the outside. Regular cleaning of the window air conditioner discourages mold growth, so an occasional bath is good for the unit.

Ensure that the unit is completely free of leaf litter, insects, and other debris, as these can become stuck in the workings of the window air conditioner, preventing it from working properly when it is used again in the summer. Check that there are no obvious signs of foreign objects on the motor.

Allow the unit to dry thoroughly. Ensure that all moisture is gone from the unit before the next stages in winterizing are performed. This prevents the motor in the air conditioner from rusting.

Drain water from the window air conditioner, particularly if it is evaporative, and ensure that the weep hole is not blocked. Any water left in the cooler will freeze, and can easily damage parts of the air conditioner.

Place the air conditioner on the ground, and wrap them in newspaper or other wrapping material before placing in a warm, dry area off of the ground. Storing them in a high place will also help to prevent condensation and rusting in the unit.

Permanent Fixtures

Should you have permanently fixed the window air conditioner to the window, clean with the garden hose, and do a spot-check to ensure that there is no debris in the unit. Leave to dry, and when you return, cover the window air conditioner with burlap or tarp. Alternatively, you can purchase an air conditioner cover. This cover helps to keep the window air conditioner dry and insulated during months of heavy rain and snow. Ensure that your window air conditioner is properly secured by tying with bungee rope to prevent shifting during snow drifts and heavy winds. Keep a close eye on your cover during the winter months: check that it is not ripped or damaged.