Now that the weather is starting to cool down, it’s time to start thinking about the switch from cooling to heating your home. If you have a window air conditioning unit, it’s important to take the proper steps to clean and store it correctly during the winter. This will protect your air conditioner from the harsh winter weather, ensuring that it will be ready to go the following year when the weather begins to warm up. In this article we’ll take a look at the four basic steps to taking care of your window AC unit through the winter.
1. The first step is to remove your unit from the window. Window air conditioning units can often be heavier than you expect, so make sure that you recruit some strong friends or family members to help you with the removal. This will prevent injury to yourself or damage to your unit. Place your unit into a garage or shed to protect it from the elements.
2. Once the unit is in its new winter home, the time has come to clean your air conditioning. Start with the outside. All that is required is wiping down the unit with a soft sponge or cloth. Don’t forget to also clean the windowsill from which it was removed.
3. Once the outside is clean, make sure that you also clean the inside. To ensure that your window unit is thoroughly clean, consider calling your AC professional to do the job. He will make sure that all of the inner parts are thoroughly – and carefully – cleaned and ready for storage. If you choose to clean it yourself, start by removing the air filter. Wash the filter in warm, soapy water and then spray the filter housing lightly with a hose. While waiting for the filter to dry, take an old toothbrush or vacuum attachment to gently scrub down the rest of the unit with a vinegar and water solution. Thoroughly cleaning your AC unit can result in its increase efficiency the following year.
4. Once your unit is clean inside and out, place a cover over the unit to protect it while it is storage. You can buy a winterizing cover from any home improvement store, or you can use a clean trash bag or even the original box. Always make sure that you place a protective layer underneath the AC in case anything should leak during the winter months.
At this point, your AC is ready to slumber through the winter months and will be fully prepared to re-install once summer returns.