Removing and Storing Window AC Units for the Winter: A Step-by-Step Guide

As the chill of winter approaches, it’s time to prepare your home for the colder months. One important task is to remove and store your window air conditioning unit properly. Proper storage not only ensures the longevity of your AC unit but also prevents drafts and heat loss through the empty space in your window. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of removing and storing your window AC unit to keep it in optimal condition for the next cooling season.

Why Remove and Store Your Window AC Unit?

Before delving into the removal process, it’s essential to understand why you should remove and store your window AC unit in the first place. Leaving the unit in place during the winter can lead to drafts, energy wastage, and potential damage due to harsh weather conditions. Removing it ensures that your window is properly insulated and prevents heat loss, which can help lower your energy bills.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Gather the following tools and materials to make the process smoother:

  • Screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Cleaning supplies (dust cloth, mild detergent, etc.)
  • Insulation material (foam or weatherstripping)
  • Exterior cover or tarp
  • Storage area (indoor storage is ideal)
  • Remote and any accessories


Safety Precautions to Consider

Prioritize safety during this process:

  • Wear appropriate clothing and gloves.
  • Ensure the AC unit is off and unplugged.
  • Don’t force any components during removal.
  • Be cautious of sharp edges and potential hazards.

Step 1: Turn Off the AC Unit

Locate the power button on your AC unit’s control panel and turn it off. This prevents any accidental start-ups during the removal process.

Step 2: Unplug the Unit

Safely unplug the AC unit from the electrical outlet to avoid any electrical mishaps.

Step 3: Remove the Mounting Hardware

Using a screwdriver or wrench, carefully remove the screws or brackets that secure the unit in place. Keep the hardware for reinstallation later.

Step 4: Enlist a Helping Hand

Window AC units can be heavy and awkward to handle alone. Enlist the help of a friend or family member to ensure a safe removal process.

Step 5: Slide Out the AC Unit

Gently slide the AC unit out of the window casing, taking care not to damage the window frame or the unit itself.

Step 6: Clean and Dust

Before storing the unit, give it a thorough cleaning to remove dust and debris. Wipe down the exterior and clean or replace the air filter.

Step 7: Insulate the Window

To prevent drafts, seal any gaps between the window frame and the empty space with foam or weatherstripping.

Step 8: Cover the Exterior

Protect the exterior of the AC unit by covering it with an appropriate exterior cover or tarp. This prevents damage from snow, ice, and debris.

Step 9: Find the Right Storage Spot

Choose an indoor storage area that is dry and cool. Avoid areas with extreme temperature fluctuations.

Step 10: Cover the Unit

Cover the AC unit with a breathable cloth or tarp to prevent dust and dirt buildup during storage.

Step 11: Store the Remote and Accessories

Place the remote control and any accessories in a safe and easily accessible spot. This will make it easier to locate them when you need them again.


By following this step-by-step guide, you can safely and effectively remove and store your window AC unit for the winter months. Proper storage ensures that your unit remains in good condition, saving you energy and maintenance costs when the warm weather returns.