During this post-Labor Day week, I can sense autumn creeping into the picture. While I'm sad to see summer come to a close, there is one advantage to the impending change of season. It will soon be time to remove the air conditioners and reclaim the windows! Here are a few tips for storing an air conditioner in the off season:
- After removing your air conditioner, take the time to clean it before you stick it in storage. Remove the filter and clean it in warm, soapy water. Be sure the filter has dried completely before reinserting in the air conditioner. Also take this opportunity to clean not only the part of the machine that is inside the house but also the outside.
- Store air conditioners in their upright position. Storing an air conditioner on its side or back can damage the compressor. And a broken AC is not a surprise you'll want on the first hot day of 2011! If you must store an air conditioner on its side, let it rest in the upright position for an hour before turning it on next year. This will allow the oil in the unit a chance to resettle before use.
- Storing the air conditioner in its original box will help preserve its appearance. If you no longer have the box, consider covering your air conditioner in a large garbage bag. This will help protect the machine while it sits in storage for the next six to eight months.
- If you're unable (or unwilling) to remove your air conditioner over the cold months, it's a good idea to cover it. Covering your air conditioner will help prevent drafts and also prolong the life of your machine. Covers are available at hardware stores and online. Of course, for all you DIY-ers, you could also make your own air conditioner cover.
Image: Jason Loper