How to Properly Store an Air Conditioner for the Winter

Updated on November 9, 2016

Introduction

Summer has long been gone and wintertime is fast approaching. Most people do their end of season rituals and one of them is storing their air conditioner. There are actually two ways to store an air con. One is to take it down from your window and the other is to let it stay. Not unless you're Superman, it would be unlikely that you would be able to remove an air con all by yourself. You would need an extra hand or two to remove an air con without damaging it. Should you decide to remove your unit, here are a few tips on how to store your air conditioning unit efficiently.

Tips for Removing Your Air Conditioner

• The first thing to do before removing the unit is to prepare a towel or a large cloth on the floor. This is to absorb the water that may leak from the unit especially if it has been recently used.

• When buying a new unit, it would be wise not to throw the box away. If you have a large storage room, keep the unit's box because it would come in handy every time you plan on storing the air conditioner every winter. The original packaging is in fact the best storing container you can get for your unit.

• Make sure to unplug the unit. Remove any insulation around it.

• As soon as you remove the air conditioning unit, the first thing to do is to remove the filter. The filter is the dirtiest part of an air conditioner as it gets particles present in the air.

• To clean the filter, brush it gently using mild soap and warm water. You can also brush with soap under running water. To kill bacteria in the filter, soak it in equal parts of water and vinegar for at least an hour. The mixture can also kill allergens in the filter. Let the filter dry thoroughly before re-inserting and storing.

• Using a moist rug, wipe the exterior of the unit. You can save time by wiping the exterior while waiting for the filter to dry. You can also use a moist sponge or a microfiber cloth to wipe the exterior. Let it dry so molds and mildew will not grow when you store it for the winter season.

• Always store the unit in an upright position. This is to ensure that the oil remains evenly distributed and settled. Additionally, if you store the unit on its side or on its back, it can damage the compressor as well.

• If it cannot be helped that the unit will be stored on its side, make sure to let it rest in upright position for more than an hour so the oil will resettle.

• Store the air conditioner in the utility room or basement. If you need to store the unit in the garage, make sure that it is protected from rodents that can chew up and damage the wires. It should be packed neatly and tightly to avoid bugs and insects from making a home inside the unit.

• Place it on a raised platform or block so fluids will not easily seep into the base of the unit. This is especially important when storing the unit in the garage because auto fluid and other corrosive chemicals can easily damage the air conditioner.


Tips for Storing Your Air Conditioner

• Always store the unit in an upright position. This is to ensure that the oil remains evenly distributed and settled. Additionally, if you store the unit on its side or on its back, it can damage the compressor as well.

• If it cannot be helped that the unit will be stored on its side, make sure to let it rest in upright position for more than an hour so the oil will resettle.

• Store the air conditioner in the utility room or basement. If you need to store the unit in the garage, make sure that it is protected from rodents that can chew up and damage the wires. It should be packed neatly and tightly to avoid bugs and insects from making a home inside the unit.

• Place it on a raised platform or block so fluids will not easily seep into the base of the unit. This is especially important when storing the unit in the garage because auto fluid and other corrosive chemicals can easily damage the air conditioner.

• Clear the storage area especially the nearby shelves to prevent objects from falling on the air conditioning unit. It can damage the coils or cause bigger damage if heavier objects fall on it.

• In limited spaces and small apartments, other owners store their air conditioners by covering and packing it carefully and using it as a side table. It can be placed in corners or areas with less traffic to prevent any unnecessary damage or impact to the unit.

• Some air conditioning units are very difficult to take out especially if it is mounted high. In this case, you can use a winterizing cover instead. It will protect your AC unit from the freezing temperature. It will also protect the unit from debris, dirt and insects.

• When buying a winterizing cover, make sure to measure it carefully so it is snug and fit. It will help if you put some insulating foam around your AC unit before putting the winterizing cover on.


AC Maintenance in the Winter

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In Conclusion

We can only realize the importance of an air conditioner when summer time comes. Sometimes, we tend to take our air conditioning unit for granted especially during colder months. However, just like any other appliance, they should also be taken care of so they would last longer. Proper storage and regular cleaning are two of the most essential things you can do to ensure that your AC unit will be in tip-top shape for the next summer season.


Questions & Answers

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      • gregormon profile image

        Gregory Monachos 

        2 years ago from Thessaloniki Greece

        Very useful article, although i think it is not intended for the non-technician. It would be very difficult for an amateur to make all these works properly.

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