Air conditioning units require special attention as warm weather draws to a close. These are fickle appliances, and when something goes wrong, most of the time you’ll need an expert to fix it. The best way to avoid an issue with your AC is to properly maintain it and to have a home warranty plan that covers the appliance as a backup.
Between mid-autumn and mid-spring, your AC won’t be necessary, so what’s the best way to keep this expensive appliance safe in the meantime? Follow our guide on how to clean and store you AC unit until it’s time to install it again.
1. Carefully remove the AC unit or find a cover for it.
Most homes with removable AC units have them placed in windows. For these units, be sure to have a friend with you to help pull the AC inside, because they can be very heavy. Start by unplugging the AC. Always look below you if you are on a second story or higher before opening the window that is holding the AC in place. A fallen AC will cause damage to anything it lands on, and will almost certainly break the unit itself.
If your AC unit is in a fixed location – such as in a custom wall space – you will not have to move it. Instead, find a cover for your AC so that cold air will not cause a draft. Most AC covers are cotton with a drawstring or elastic band to close tightly around the unit. You could create your own to get the job done.
If you leave the AC in its place over winter or decide not to use a cover, it will decrease your energy efficiency and run up your heating bill.
2. Clean the filter and grills.
Standard units have filters that are easy to clean, and learning how to maintain an AC unit is simple.
When maintaining the unit before storing it or covering it, be sure to clean it thoroughly. Rinse and dry the removable filter, then use a vacuum followed by a damp cloth to clean the grills on the evaporator coils. Completely dry the unit when you are done so that it will not collect mold while in storage. You can speed this up by using a hair dryer on the filter and coils.
3. Store it horizontally in a dry place.
Only store the unit in an upright position as if it is still in the window. This is a major pitfall for most people storing their AC units over the winter since any other position can cause damage. When spring rolls around, if the AC was placed on its back or side, there’s a good chance it will not turn on due to compressor damage or an internal leak.
Placing it in either a cardboard box or wrapping it in a big plastic bag will suffice. Store it in a location that is out of the way and cannot fall from a tall height.
The day you decide it’s gotten too hot for your home next spring, your AC unit will be right where you left if. If you’ve properly maintained and stored your AC unit but still feel worried it won’t turn on next spring, then remember – Select Home Warranty is here to cover your AC unit for when this happens. We have a network of service professionals ready to fix and even replace your AC unit!