Martha Stewart is known for her attention to detail and is a prime example of the old saying, "Anything worth doing is worth doing right." This extends to the air conditioners on her main property in Bedford, New York and how she preps them for winter. Here's how she rolls, and how the rest of us can try to keep up.
Martha (being Martha) doesn't just keep her A/C units sitting out for the world to see. No, they would be an eyesore, for sure. Instead, she keeps them concealed in large pits (or trenches) off to the side of the property. Cool, right? Well, it literally is. Keeping the units in the ground means they don't have to work as hard to keep the air cool. It also means less noise and a more peaceful estate.
Recently, on The Martha Blog , the queen of thoroughness herself was talking about her fall estate preparations. Along with composting fallen leaves, she has a crew who gets her air conditioner pits ready for winter. This means covering each pit with plywood and burlap to keep snow and winter debris out.
Now, for those of us without air conditioner pits (I'll go out on a limb and assume that's a solid 99.99% of us), here are a few great ways to make sure your home or window units are sealed up and ready to hibernate for the next few months, until they're needed again!
Outdoor Air Conditioners
If digging a pit for your air conditioner unit is a little out of reach, you might try making a simple wood screen to hide it from sight. We have a tutorial on how to make it. It's also great time of year to install a few inexpensive fencing panels, before the ground freezes! Some sort of cover is idea too.
Many of us don't have central air, and rely on window air conditioners to keep us cool. During the winter, the gaps around these units cause major energy loss. If you've got a place to store it, remove your unit entirely from the window before you turn your heat on for the first time this year, and check out these tips for storing it during the winter.
If your place is too small, focus on covering it for the colder weather ahead. To camouflage and insulate, try making this cute cabinet to cover it. For in-wall models, there's this smart hack. Both projects use closed doors, which makes it easy to stop drafts with an extra (but hidden!) towel.
Although they won't win any beauty prizes, to reduce heat loss you can buy covers (for the front or back) for your a/c at your local hardware store or online. A few examples below (note: be sure to measure your unit and find the best-fitting cover):
- Frost King Outside Window Air Conditioner Cover, $6.99 at Amazon
- Frost King Inside Fabric Quilted Indoor Air Conditioner Cover, $12. 98 at Home Depot
Finally, as long as you're thinking about your air conditioners, make sure your windows are prepped for winter so your home stays warm and you save money on your heating bill → 5 Ways to Insulate Your Windows for Winter.