Is It OK to Leave Air Conditioner in Window During Winter?

Air conditioners are amazing during the summer and more and more people are thinking about them more of as necessities rather than luxury items. What should you do with your AC unit in the winter, however? Can you use it to warm up your home? Is it OK to leave a window air conditioner there for months if you’re not using it? These are all quite important questions if you don’t want to ruin your air conditioner so let’s quickly go over them.

Should you use your air conditioner during the winter months?

Running window AC in winter is something that worries a lot of people. So, should you do it? It depends on your unit – some air conditioners are meant to be used for heating as well as for cooling, while others really aren’t. A lot of modern AC units have “heating functions” but really are neither effective nor efficient at heating so they shouldn’t be used for that.

If you do have a good and powerful AC unit that can indeed be used for heating and if you’re OK with the electricity bill it’s going to rack up – go for it. But in 99% of the situations, there are more efficient and comfortable heating options to go for.

Should you leave the AC on the window if you’re not going to use it?

The big question here is what you should do with your window air conditioner if you don’t intend to use it in the winter. Is it OK for the AC? Is it OK for your home? The answers to both of these questions are “No.”

As with any other electronic device, air conditioners are meant to be used. Leaving them unused for months, especially under harsh conditions such as freezing colds and stark blizzards will amortize a lot of the unit’s components, it can freeze the coils inside of it, and so on.

Additionally, unless the AC is really well insulated with the window, the whole thing’s going to be a cold spot in your home which is bad for your heating efficiency and expenses.

So, the best thing to do here is to dismount the window AC and to seal off the window for the winter – this will both protect the air conditioning unit and help you keep your home warm in the winter. Come spring, you can easily just mount it up again.

How to insulate a window air conditioner for the winter?

If you don’t feel like removing a whole AC unit and sealing off the window, the other good option is to seal a window air conditioner for the winter. This means both covering the outside body of the AC unit with a plastic bag to weatherize it and then covering it with a heavy fabric cover to protect it from the elements. Such covers are typically sold both online and offline and are quite affordable.

The next step will be to also insulate the gaps between the AC unit and the window itself. Simple strips of firm foam insulation can do the trick here – it’s quick and effective, and it will easily boost the temperature in your home with a couple of degrees throughout the winter.

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