How to winterize a wall air conditioner

Preparing your wall AC for the winter season can save you from exorbitant energy costs caused by inefficient heating due to the draft that enters from outside.

It is most common and popular to use air conditioners during the hotter summer months. They help keep your indoor spaces as cool as possible when the conditions outside become uncomfortably hot and humid, causing humidity in your indoor spaces.

When winter arrives, people no longer need their air conditioners for cooling purposes and, instead opt to use their heating systems to keep warm inside, but how can air conditioners be prepared for the winter season?

Winterizing air conditioners

With the extreme temperatures that certain weather conditions can bring about, especially when it is colder, some air conditioners need to be protected from the harshness of the cold.

This is done to prevent issues like certain components of the unit freezing up, as this could lead to potential damage.  Fortunately, there are a few ways you can winterize or insulate air conditioners to prepare them for inactivity through the winter.

If you have a wall air conditioner, how can you winterize it to keep it protected when winter comes?

How to winterize a wall air conditioner

Through-the-wall air conditioners can be vulnerable to damage caused by severely the cold weather if they are left as they are when the winter season hits.

This is why preparing it to last through the winter by winterizing it is the best way to protect your unit from the cold. Additionally, this ensures that no heat is lost in the room the AC is in, as a result of open spaces around the wall unit.

Wall air conditioners are installed in a hole in the wall, and an unnoticed hole surrounding the unit can be easy access for cold air to enter through and for warm air to escape through in the winter.

Winterizing the wall unit is the answer to preventing this from happening as well as protecting the air conditioner itself. Certain parts of a wall air conditioner can allow for air leaks that can disrupt the heating process of a room or space.

The air vents are one component through which air from outside can make its way into the room, and if you are using another heating appliance, it may be difficult for it to efficiently warm the room while an outside draft is coming in.

This will certainly also increase your energy bills, as your heating appliances will struggle and overwork to warm the space efficiently.

There are a few ways to insulate a wall air conditioner to prevent drafts from disrupting the heating process and you need to have the right tools to weatherize your wall unit. This will help protect the air conditioner throughout winter and keep your spaces warm.

Use insulating foam to insulate around the wall unit

Insulation foam is a go-to tool for weatherising certain types of air conditioners such as wall units. Your foam needs to be flexible so that you can easily secure it around the wall air conditioner.

Measure the length, width, and height of your unit so that you can cut your insulating foam to fit the exact measurements of the unit and close any potential gaps precisely.

A wall unit will also need foam panels that cover the entire unit and not just the sliders and the top of the unit. Make sure you cut your foam according to the measurements of your unit.

Add the foam panels of the wall unit

The foam panels are intended to cover the entirety of the wall unit instead of just the sliders and the top of the unit, as is the case with window air conditioners.

While a window air conditioner requires three panels (two for each side and one for the top of the unit), a wall air conditioner requires five (one for the top, one for the bottom, two for the sides, and one for the front of the unit.)

Stick the panels to the air conditioner using duct tape to ensure it sticks securely.

Covering the wall AC from the outside

An optional step, but one that may be worth it, is to cover the wall air conditioner at the back too. If you can reach your wall AC from the outside, you can insulate it by creating a similar foam box that covers the outside condenser portion of the unit on all sides.

This can help to increase the efficiency of the insulation and keep cold air from coming indoors through the unit. While it is an additional and optional step, it may be well worth the effort.

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