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Window Air Conditioners After Summer: Keep it or Leave it?

Window Air Conditioners After Summer: Keep it or Leave it?

Window air conditioners are essential for keeping your spaces at a cool, comfortable temperature. Yet, the benefits of the window AC can diminish if the temperatures drop, leaving rooms slightly drafty from window gaps and reducing a room’s overall natural lighting. Follow these quick tips to determine if you should keep or remove your window AC.

Keep your air conditioner in its place

Some window air conditioners have heating capabilities, if this is the case, you may want to leave your window AC installed for the added comfort of supplemental heating.

If your AC unit does not have a heating function, there still may be reasons to keep it in. Removing an AC unit from a window can be difficult to do alone. In some cases, the downsides of keeping the unit in are small. Maybe you are unconcerned with natural lighting in your home or may enjoy the slight draft caused by the window opening. In these cases, you can keep your AC unit in and take steps to reduce the draft.

Insulate the areas around the window opening with rubber weather sealing or window insulation film; both are available at your local hardware store for fairly cheap. For further insulation, you can also opt to cover the entire window area in plastic sheeting.

Take the window air conditioner out

Find a friend or have someone assist you in taking out your window AC. If you are in an apartment building and wish to remove the AC, ask your landlord or another professional to remove the unit. Window air conditioners can be heavy and difficult to remove alone.

Once your AC is out of the window, gently clean the unit using a sponge and warm water. This will remove any grease or dirt that may have accumulated during the summer. Remove the filter and wash it thoroughly (if possible). If your unit requires a new filter, this is a great time to replace it before next season.

Allow the unit to dry completely before storing. If the unit is stored while still damp, mold can grow. Find somewhere safe and dry, and preferably, not too cold. A warm closet or basement are great choices. If you have the original box, storing the unit inside is a great option. If not, a traditional cardboard box will do the trick!


Following the above steps will put you in great shape for the upcoming spring and summer. When you’re ready to reinstall, simply clean any dust off and put it back in place.

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