Getting Ready To Put Your Portable AC Unit Back Into Storage? Follow These Steps

The end of summer usually means that it's time to start thinking about how you're going to store your portable AC unit for the cold winter months. If you don't do it correctly, you can end up damaging your unit—which will lead to unnecessary expenses in the spring. This is what you need to do to make sure that your portable unit is safe for the season.

1.) Get It Serviced And Cleaned

Your AC unit works hard all summer—and it picks up a lot of dirt and grime in the process. Your unit's filters need to be pulled out and cleaned if they're the washable kind—and replaced if they aren't. You also need to clean the pre-filter, which is usually tucked in the upper rear part of the unit. If you neglect the pre-filter, the unit can eventually overheat. In addition, having clean filters can reduce your AC's energy consumption by 5%-15%.

Your HVAC technician can clean the pre-filter for you at the same time that he or she cleans the grit from summer off the unit's condenser coils and checks for any hidden damage that needs to be repaired.

2.) Make Sure It Is Drained And Dried

One of the things that you can do before the HVAC tech even gets there is drain the unit of water from the condensation that collects during its use. Pull out the drain pan and clean it with dishwashing solution or another simple detergent. In addition, give your unit time to rest. That way, any condensation that's still inside the unit has time to work its way out. 

It's also important to let the unit sit and dry after your HVAC technician is done cleaning the filters and coils. Even small amounts of moisture left over from the cleaning process can cause mold to develop while the unit's in storage. Don't rush it into storage until it has a day or two to completely dry inside.

3.) Properly Cover And Store It

The last step is to make sure that you properly store and cover the unit. It's okay to store the unit in an outdoor shed, storage compartment, or garage if you must, but make sure that you tightly wrap it in a tarp before you do. That will help keep squirrels or other critters from making it a temporary home for the season. Ideally, store the unit in a basement or attic instead. That way, you reduce the possibility of that particular problem.

Make sure that you also store your unit in an upright position. Storing it on its side or back can end up damaging your compressor and lead to expensive repairs. Storing it upright also helps keep the aluminum fins on the evaporator and condenser from getting bent, which can lead to blocked airflow when you try to use the unit in the spring.

If you follow these steps, you won't have to worry about whether or not your unit will function right come spring. For more information or advice, contact an HVAC technician near you or click here for more info about AC repair.