Can AC be Stored Outside in the Winter? [+ Solutions]

Can you store an air conditioner outside in the winter? This is probably your number one concern once the colder months kick in. After all, you might not need your unit in the meantime. Read on to know whether or not you should be storing your ac when winter comes.

Can you store your ac outside during winter

No, it would be best to have your ac undergo a post-summer ritual way before winter officially starts. This is the time of the year when you should be unloading, covering, and properly storing your air conditioner until the next season.

While it may seem like a long and daunting process to store your ac, doing this not only helps you keep your unit in tiptop shape during colder months for at the same time, it also lets you save on your energy bills.

Why store your air conditioner during winter season

There are several good reasons why it is essential to store your ac when winter arrives.

The first reason is a pretty obvious one – you wouldn’t want to expose it to off-season elements that may end up damaging the unit. Different components such as the refrigerant pipes, compressor, and outdoor fan can get damaged during lengthy periods of not being in use.

The next plausible reason is to avoid heat loss during winter. If you have an ac installed in your home, specifically a window air conditioning unit, there will be a tiny gap between the window frame and the unit itself.

If you don’t seal this properly, air may end up leaking out through the gap that can be a very concerning problem. Removing your ac and covering the empty cutout will help you ensure that warm air from the room won’t leak and escape outside.

One more reason is that during winter, you might want the room to get the maximum amount of light possible. Air conditioners, especially window units, can take up a window’s space and block off any significant amount of light from getting into the room. You can free up this valuable space if you remove the ac while it is not in use so you can enjoy the highest amount of sunlight during the day that can help maintain a warm temperature in the room.

Preparing your air conditioner for winter storage

There are several steps involved when it comes to storing your air conditioning unit during winter.

Unplug the unit

See to it that you unplug the ac first before you even try to remove it.

Cover the floor under the window

Get a large cloth or towel and cover the floor with it. It will absorb any water that might leak from the ac, particularly if you just used it recently.

Remove the unit from the window

Never attempt removing the unit on your own. You will need some help here. You will need someone who will hold the window open and another one who will lift the unit from the window.

After you freed the unit from the window’s grips, tilt this back away from you then outside the window a bit to drain any remaining water inside. Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes and gripped gloves for this step. Take away all the side panels and use some vinegar and a wet rag for wiping them down.

Clean your unit outside

It would be best to clean your unit outside since you will need to hose it down. If it is impossible to do it outdoors, you can put your ac in the tub instead. You can spray down the unit with water with no need to water about damaging any electrical parts.

Remove and clean the filter

Remove the filter right after removing your ac. The filter happens to be the dirtiest part of air conditioners as this catches all the particles, dust, and debris found in the air.

Cleaning the ac filter is easy and you just need to follow a few simple steps.

  1. Hose down the filter or put this under running water.
  2. Use a toothbrush or hard-bristled brush to remove any caked-on dust and dirt.
  3. Add some soap to remove any stubborn dirt.
  4. Cleanse it properly with water.
  5. Soak the ac filter in equal parts vinegar and water for a minimum of one hour to kill off allergens and bacteria.
  6. Allow the filter to dry completely as you clean the other parts of the unit.

How to clean the water pan and condenser coils

  1. Remove the cover and front part of the unit.
  2. Spray down the coils with a mixture of several drops of soap and water.
  3. Loosen up dust and dirt by brushing the condenser coil.
  4. Hose it down until you remove all particles.
  5. Wash the water pan using water and soap.
  6. Let everything dry completely.

Clean the outer part of the unit

When cleaning the exterior of your ac, you can use a microfiber cloth, sponge, or moist rag to wipe it off. You can also spray this down using a hose then use a brush or rag for removing any stubborn dirt. Don’t forget to let the unit dry properly before you store it to prevent mildew and mold.

Store your ac inside a box in a dry and cool room

It is recommended to avoid throwing away the box every time you buy a new air conditioner. Its original packaging will always be the best container for storage that you can ever use for your ac. You need to pack it tightly and neatly to ensure that insects and bugs don’t make a home inside your air conditioning unit and prevent rodents from biting and damaging its wires.

You can store it in a storage room or utility closet. However, if you will be putting it in the garage, make sure to place this on top of a block or raised platform so that car fluid and other types of corrosive chemicals won’t seep into the unit’s base and end up damaging it.

Store your ac in upright position

Doing this helps you ensure that any remaining oil is evenly settled and distributed. Avoid storing the unit on its back or side as it may lead to damages to the compressor. If you have no choice but to store it on its side, don’t forget to let the unit rest in an upright position for over an hour before you use it again to allow the oil to resettle first.

Curious to learn are air conditioners cheaper in the winter and how to seal a window air conditioner for the winter too?

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