How to Store a Window Air Conditioner

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Updated February 11, 2023

Whether it be an aging apartment complex or a rural cabin, many find window units to make the best air conditioner for their living situation, especially if they know how to seal the gaps around a window A/C. But to keep them in good condition and blasting cool air, you have to know how to store a window AC unit the right way. Improper storage of your window unit air conditioner can lead to damages and eventually costly repairs. Below we’ll show you how. And if you have a portable AC unit you need to store, you can check out our article on how to store a portable air conditioner.


  • Window AC units must be thoroughly cleaned and responsibly stored to prolong the machine’s lifespan.
  • The coils and filter should be cleaned every year so that the window air conditioner remains fully functional.
  • The unit needs to be stored upright, on a flat surface, and with nothing sitting on top.

Storing your Window AC Unit

Cleaning and properly storing your AC is what will keep it breathing out cold air for a long time. It’s a simple process, but you must repeat it each season. And if you have a unit with bent coils, you can check out our resource here that explains how to straighten air conditioner fins.

Insider Tip

If you don’t want to use a harsh coil cleaner, you can make a vinegar solution.

STEP 1 Check for Any Damages

  1. After unplugging your air conditioning unit, remove it from the window frame and place it on a sturdy table.
  2. Remove the face of the air conditioner and examine the coils and electronic components for any damage.

STEP 2Thoroughly Clean the Unit

  1. Vacuum the face of the coils to remove any loose hanging dust.
  2. After putting on safety gloves and goggles, spray the condenser coil with your designated cleaner. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Wipe gently with your rag to remove the remaining dust.
  4. Then, remove the air filter, combine some warm water and gentle soap, then wash the filter with the soapy water. Next, wipe it down with the rag, let it air dry, and put the washable filter back into place. Not all window AC units have a washable filter, so if this is the case, do your best to vacuum out any dust or debris.


  1. After cleaning, clear a space that’s out of the way, cool, dry, and doesn’t get below freezing during the winter months. This is a little different than winterizing an air conditioner.
  2. Store in an upright position, preferably in the box it came in. If you don’t have the manufacturer’s box, you can use garbage bags or a tarp to cover it.
  3. Make sure it has nothing sitting on top of it and that the power chord is not pinched.


Store the air conditioner in the same upright position as it sits in the window and not on its side or back. Otherwise, you risk Freon damaging the unit’s compressor.

STAT: For a room of 1,000-1,500 square feet, it is ideal for an air conditioner to operate with 18,000-24,000 BTU. (source)


Do you have to store your window air conditioning unit during the winter?

Leaving an AC unit in the cold for too long can damage the electronics and many of the internal parts. Therefore, it is never a good idea to leave an AC unit in the cold unless you live in an area with a warm climate year-round.

Are there ways to keep air conditioners from getting dirty?

To help prevent internal scum from building up in drain lines and trays, you can drop a couple of pan tablets into the condensation pan. They dissolve and kill off any bacteria that grow in places with stagnant water.

How do you find the best window air conditioner for a home?

The first thing to consider is the size of your room. Then compare the size of the room to the AC unit’s BTUs (British thermal units). For example, in a 100-350 square feet room, you will need an air conditioner to have anywhere from 5,000-8,000 BTU.

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