Some high rise buildings and other multi-family residences have rules regarding the installation and removal of window units. Why wasn't this page useful? However if that should prove too difficult, or you live in a climate with a very short winter, you do have other options. An uncovered wall-unit air conditioner is like an open window to the outside. So, to quickly dispel these concerns – no, neither low temperatures nor strong winter winds can damage the outside unit of an air conditioner, whether it’s a window I have had central heating and air my entire life until I moved to my current home. Energy Efficient Home Guide for a Mortgage Owner. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. Farmers' Almanac predicted that the summer of 2014 would be a scorcher. After the summer cooling season is over, it's time to prepare for the winter months. (see attached. Your window air conditioner works hard during hot months so use these tips to properly store it during the winter. For this job, I’m going to be using some weather seal and a pair of scissors. These covers are plastic on the outside with quilted fabric inside. If the unit is already installed but you see daylight around its perimeter, add more air conditioner insulation around the unit. Window insulation kits are a more affordable way to insulate multiple windows. 3. Find the best window insulation this winter. While window unit air conditioners offer much-needed relief when central air isn’t an option, installing the window unit in a hurry can have a downside. Make use of rope caulk to seal cracks The Rope caulk is like silly putty which has been rolled out into a long rope which can be pulled apart and then jammed into a large space and gap in the windows. Things to Consider Before Installing a Window Air Conditioner There are many things to know before buying or installing a window AC in your home, including the following factors. Insulating windows from the outside can lower your energy bills through the winter months. These covers slide right over the outside portion of the unit and help protect it from seasonal elements like heavy snow, rain, ice or hail. With this type of air conditioning unit, there are two options when it comes to weatherizing the home: cover and insulate around the unit or remove the unit entirely and seal the window for the winter. Use silicone-based caulk for metal and glass surfaces. Also with roof vents and air conditioner there can be gaps that may allow cooler air to skip in. Thus, it is important to ensure that the curtains cover the window completely in order to fully insulate your house window for the winter season. When the weather starts to cool down, you don’t want to worry about drafts and cold air coming in from the outside. I have a Friedrich WallMaster through-the-wall air conditioner that's great during the summer, but leaves my apartment exposed to the elements during the winter months. Winterizing window air conditioners is necessary as there may be a space between the window and the air conditioner. Many people make the mistake of leaving their window air conditioner in place during the winter or not taking the time to properly prepare the AC unit for storage. Measure the air conditioner unit before buying the cover to ensure the cover is the right size; if it's too large, it may not stay put or block cold air from entering. Weatherstripping is available in many widths and lengths at just about any hardware or big-box home improvement store. With this type of air conditioning unit, there are two options when it comes to weatherizing the home: cover and insulate around the unit or remove the unit entirely and seal the window for the winter. Go inside and repeat the process, filling any gaps where you see daylight coming through from the outdoors. Thanks, this is a Friedrich CP10F10 10K btu. Add more foam atop the window sash, as air may leak through here as well. Stay warm while cutting costs this winter with our 5 tips for insulating your apartment windows. You must also insulate the unit to keep the cold Keep reading to learn seven simple techniques to keep cold air from coming through your windows and what you can do for a more permanent, safer solution. Winterize your windows with our newest HGMM team member, Allen! Cut lengths of firm foam insulation sized according the height and width of the window unit. Hold a lit candle lighter indoors near the air conditioner. Actually we have this window air conditioner installed nicely this time that we do not want to uninstall it and re-install it again next summer b/c it is a difficult task. Window air conditioners can be easily removed during the winter months, but wall units typically are mounted in … If you never remove the unit from one season to the next, insulate that window AC unit to save money all summer long or throughout the year. This can get real tough as you cannot place a curtain or cover directly like for a window or a door. Cut the foam strip to the width of the window sash and stick it on the bottom edge of the sash before installing the air conditioner. Cover or fill the gap with foam insulating strips to better insulate the window AC unit. For these reasons, you should insulate and seal your window air conditioner to make them airtight. Huge gaps around the air conditioner behind the accordion flaps could be problematic as they won’t prevent precipitation from getting inside the window area. By making these small, inexpensive adjustments throughout your rental home, you can quickly see the benefits to your comfort level at home and to your (or their) energy bill. Insulate windows in your home to save money this winter. I was concerned about moisture buildup too with an inside cover as well. A window air conditioner unit is a lifesaver in the sweltering summer when every day lasts forever and temperatures soar. Keep reading to learn how to temporarily and permanently insulate windows for winter and when you should call in a professional to help with the insulation process. Place a thick plastic garbage bag over the unit so it covers it completely and tuck the excess parts of the bag inside so it is fully sealed. All Rights Reserved. How to Insulate a Cold Air Leak Around the Air Conditioner. These covers are also good to have in the event of a very strong thunderstorm regardless of the time of year, just be mindful not to run the unit with the cover in place. The best way to help prevent air leaks around the air conditioner is to follow the complete installation instructions, including the insulating techniques offered in the instruction booklet. By insulating your windows, you can save on energy costs, reduce your utility bills and experience warmer indoor temperatures in the winter. These help prevent outside air and insects from finding their way indoors. Use duct tape to hold the bag in place if necessary. Fall is also a good time to ensure all the weatherstripping around the air conditioner is in good shape. For cracks in the window sash or around the window that are 1/4 inch wide or less use water-based latex caulk. Testing in this way is especially important if you leave the unit in the window all year, as it can help prevent heat loss during the winter. Put plywood over the top of the unit only to shield from snow and ice, weighing it down with bricks or rocks to keep in place. Here are some suggestions for how to cover an air conditioner for winter in a way that doesn’t trap moisture inside, yet still keeps the unit protected: Use a cover made of breathable material. it's a window unit installed through the wall.) This can cause premature wear and broken components. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Remove the outside cover from the window AC unit so that the inside components are exposed. The same holds true for any old windows in the home. We already have an outside metal cover. If you can't remove the air conditioner from the window when it gets cold outside, you face a winter full of drafts and poor insulation. In some cases, air may leak in from outdoors even if you can’t visibly spot a gap. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, Kroger and Landlordology, among others. Weatherizing the window AC unit will also help extend the life of the appliance by protecting it from the damaging effects of the elements. Stuff the remaining gaps with flexible foam insulation material. How to Insulate a Window AC Unit for the Winter, Bathroom Designs for the Elderly and Handicapped, Deep Cleaning Checklist: Easy Guide to Clean Like a Pro, Capricorn-Aquarius Cusp and Its Complexities Explained, Martin Luther King Jr. Facts and Resources for Kids, Choosing a Tent and Sleeping Bag for Winter Camping. We used to take it out in winter time and put it in summer time but Many window units are easy to install and uninstall. Proper storage techniques are also important when removing and storing a window AC unit. Insulate around your water heating tank and along pipes that go to fixtures throughout your rental. The flame will flicker where there’s an air leak. The problem is that the job usually requires an additional pair of hands and handling a heavy air conditioner on a ladder can prove to be difficult and dangerous. If your window unit is permanently in place in the window, it can be a major source of energy loss during cold, windy weather if not properly insulated. Are Thermal Drapes Good for the Summer Also? All windows, regardless of age, are a home’s biggest cause of lost heat in the wintertime . If you're unable to remove the window AC unit entirely from the window, you will need to insulate the unit to help keep the warm air from escaping the home. Use caution when removing an air conditioner to avoid injury or property damage. He shows you how to insulate your windows using bubble wrap and/or plastic wrap. As we approach the fall/winter season, you can see the leaves begin to change color and the weather start to change. Check the rules in your facility before removing or installing a window air conditioner on your own. Knowing how to insulate a window air conditioner for the winter is essential if you have this type of AC unit. This allows you to close the window and seal it properly against winter's icy-cold touch. Once you’ve finished installing the air conditioner and are happy with its angle sloping downward outside the house, slide the air conditioner’s two plastic accordion pieces outward as far as they’ll go to span any visible gaps within the window area. Especially window models are often the cause of lots of anxiety. Frugal Way to Make Energy Efficient Drapes or Curtains, Popular Mechanics: How to Install a Window Air-Conditioner Unit, General Electric Company: Room Air Conditioners, Frost King: Air Conditioner Covers Prevent Heat Loss, Most Common Problems in Installing a Window Air Conditioner, How to Insulate Louvers for Whole House Ventilation Fans. Using some simple-stupid window insulation solutions can save you a bundle! Keep in mind that a closed window is better for heat retention For sections that you intend to later paint, use paint-quality caulk since not all caulk (notably silicone) can be painted. The cooler fins and condenser lines are soft and can easily become bent if care isn't taken when storing the unit. Now is the time to remove your air conditioner unit from your window and get it stored for the winter. © 2006-2021 LoveToKnow, Corp., except where otherwise noted. Window air conditioning units are an effective means of cooling homes not equipped with central air systems. Afterward, you’ll learn how to insulate a window air conditioner to maximize its efficiency. Frost King has all the products to install, insulate and preserve your window air conditioner, including a range of foam tapes that seal gaps in your home. Purchase a quilted air conditioner cover to go over the outside of the window unit. This peel-and-stick foam is designed to go on the bottom edge of the window sash, that part of the window that closes downward onto the air conditioner as viewed from in the house. Insulate windows for winter with secondary glazing, curtains & blinds, insulation films, foam tape & more. Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. So how to Seal drafts and keep your home warmer when you winterize window air conditioners before the cold weather begins. Fill these spaces with hard foam insulation board, cut or snapped to size. But when winter sweeps in, your AC unit can really take a beating. Most hardware stores sell heavy fabric covers made specifically to fit window AC units. Place the covered unit in a spot where nobody will accidentally pile anything on top of it.By learning how to insulate a window AC unit for the winter properly, you'll not only save on your heating and cooling bills; your unit will last significantly longer than you might expect. Secondary Glazing is a simple and effective way to insulate your windows for winter and to make your home warmer all year round. Once this is finished, reinstall the outside cover. The side accordion panels as well as the frame that would hold those panels in the window are gone so I essentially have an air conditioner in the window with 6-8 inches open to the cold winter … Window air-conditioners block light and can cause drafts. If you want to ensure that your window AC unit is in operational shape come next summer, make sure you store it properly over the winter, not simply setting it down in an unused corner of the basement. This can get real tough as you cannot place a curtain or cover directly like for a window or a door. While your window air conditioner works in the summer to keep your home cool, do not allow it to continue to cool your home during the winter months. Using heat control window film doesn’t interfere with the look of your windows. Pick one up and cover your air conditioning unit to keep it safe and insulated all winter long. Rather than removing your air conditioner from the window for the winter you may choose to leave it in place and winterize it. Use a putty knife to push the strips of insulation down into the tiny gap between the unit body and the window frame. Add foam weatherstripping along the tops and sides of sliding windows to block obvious air leaks. How to cover window air conditioner for winter The equipment for this job is so simple. Sew a simple cover for your ugly air conditioner to make it good-looking when you're not using it Small children or cats that enjoy the windowsill may create tears or holes in the plastic, which may need to be fixed or replaced more often. One way you can help reduce heating bills and save energy is to cover your window air conditioner. Want to save on your utilities? If it’s easily accessible, check the outdoor portion of the unit as well. Install removable magnetic window insulation Removable magnetic window insulation is the perfect solution if you want to occasionally open your windows during the winter… Air leaks around the perimeter of the air conditioner waste energy and potentially allow bugs or even precipitation to get indoors. The unit should be wrapped in a breathable fabric or covering and set someplace where it will not come in contact with the floor. Leaving up to 1-inch space from the window frame border, apply adhesive tape to the entire window. Spray foam insulation can also be used; use it sparingly as the foam insulation expands tremendously. Please help us improve. But in an apartment building, removing them for the winter should be left to a professional. Frost King shows you how to insulate your water tank . Storing Knowing how to insulate a window AC unit for the winter is one of best things one can do to keep heating costs under control once the thermometer starts to dip. Outside installation may perform better in certain situations. Move the lighter around the perimeter of the air conditioner and the edges of the window sash. We'll explain what you have to do with your air conditioner in winter to ensure your investment is protected and fully operational in spring. Knowing how to insulate a window AC unit for the winter is one of best things one can do to keep heating costs under control once the thermometer starts to dip. She has also written many pieces on landlord and tenant concerns. Look for pieces of foam air conditioner insulation in the box. While taking the time to learn how to insulate a window air conditioning unit for the winter is a great way to help control your winter heating bills, nothing works as effectively as removing the unit outright.