Is It OK to Leave Air Conditioner in Window During Winter? [How to Protect?]

Is it ok to leave air conditioner in window during winter

Air Conditioners are saviors during the summer season to escape from the heat. While air conditioners provide the cooling that your body needs and the dehumidification your home needs in the heat of the summer, but would you also need it during the winter?

The winter season comes with blistering cold, snow and ice. Unless your AC also has heating functionality, it may be unnecessary in the winter.

So, what do you do? Is it okay to leave it in the window, or do you need to take it off? We’ll provide the answers in a moment.

Is it ok to leave air conditioner in window during winter?

No, it is wrong to leave your AC in the window during winter, not by itself anyway. An air conditioner is built to run. When you leave it unused for several months, it is bound to deteriorate in some way.

This is even worse during winter because the snow would fall on the back of the unit, ice would form within and freeze the internal coils and other components. Stark blizzards and freezing cold will wreak havoc on your unit.

You’ll save yourself a lot of stress and money if you dismount your window AC unit when winter comes around. You should then seal or shut off the window for the entire winter period.

It will be easier to do this if you actually installed the unit on your window using window AC installation Kits.

Rather than using your door or cutting a hole in your wall. It will be difficult to seal if you do not have the original window components in hand.

Furthermore, taking out the window air conditioner will provide an avenue for more lighting into your home. The unit blocks out the entrance of light through that section of the window.

This would mean sealing the place with regular window panes or simply flipping it downwards if it was a simple slide window in the first place.

Using other items like wood, leather, plastic or fabric may not properly seal the place and will prevent light from coming into your home.

If you cannot go through the hassle of dismounting your window unit every winter season, you should consider getting some protective gear.

Is it bad to leave AC in window all year?

Yes, it is. Truth is, your AC can stay in the window all year, except for when the outdoor climate becomes too harsh for it. Winter is a good example of weather conditions that can damage your window AC unit.

Storms and lightning during torrential rains are other factors to watch out for. Like we said before, you may want to dismount your unit during these times or find a protective material to keep it safe.

But if you live in an area where it doesn’t snow and you do not experience ice falling off the sky, it is okay to leave your AC in the window all year.

Just be sure to turn it off during heavy rains and storms to prevent surges caused by lightning. Also, you should consider constructing a roof above it for some level of protection.

How to protect window air conditioner in the winter?

If you do not want to dismount your window air conditioner, you should consider protecting it from the winter.

You can cover the entire outside body using a plastic bag and then adding a sturdy fabric cover that shields it from the elements.

A good example of an AC cover that will do the trick is the snowproof, waterproof and windproof Sturdy Covers AC Defender. It is a popular product with double straps for secure fastening to protect your window AC from the winter snow.

If you desire a small, budget AC cover, you can consider the Jeacent Window Air Conditioner Cover. This is designed with UV-stabilized coating and Teflon polyester for added protection.

Weatherize the AC Unit

This is another way to protect your AC and it requires a few steps:

  • Detach the outside cover of the AC from the entire unit to expose the inside components.
  • Use a thick plastic waste bag to cover the entire exposed components. Be sure to tuck any excess part carefully in, ensuring it is sealed fully.
  • Hold the plastic bag in place using a duct tape, if necessary.
  • Place the outside cover back over the unit and secure it carefully.

You can add the fabric cover over the outside unit for extra protection or leave it that way. You can be sure that the internal components will be kept safe during the winter.

So, we’ve shown you three different ways to protect your window unit from winter. You can either:

  • Dismount the unit and seal the window for the entire winter unit.
  • Weatherize the unit by taking off the back cover and placing a plastic bag over the internal components of the AC, before placing the cover back in place, or
  • Use a custom hard fabric cover to house the outside of the window unit.

There is also a manufacturer’s instruction you can follow for wintertime.

When should I remove my window air conditioner?

You should remove your window air conditioner just as the winter season arrives because ice can form on the coils and cause damage.

The AC unit can also serve as an avenue for cold air to find its way into your home. But that’s not all, heat can also find its way out of your home through the AC’s accordion extension panels, causing your home to be chillier in the winter.

Removing your AC unit from the window can be a lot of work. We suggest you get someone to help. Once taken out, drain all water that may be inside and remove all debris.

You should also wipe the surface of the AC and store it in a dry spot in your home, basement or garage. When you place it on the floor, ensure it is standing upright and not upside down or on its side.

This can cause a flow-out of lubricant from the compressor, and attempting to use the AC after the winter season without giving time for the lubricant to flow back into the compressor will damage it.

Final Words:

So, if we’re to go back to where we started, is it okay to leave a window air conditioner in the window during winter? The answer is No. You should remove it and store it properly.

But if for any reason you decide to leave it, we have explained ways to protect it from the elements, as well as some recommended products you can use. Be sure to take caution and seal off every opening properly to keep you warm and safe during the harsh winter season.

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