While there’s plenty to love about summer, fall can be a welcome sight after a long, hot season of fun in the sun. And there are loads of reasons to celebrate the changing of the seasons from pulling out your comfy, oversized sweaters to relaxing with a good book and a hot cup of coffee on a cool day. From scenic fall drives through Minnesota’s glorious autumn countryside to starting up the fireplace for the first time, for many, autumn is a magical time of year.
But while you’re decorating your front porch with pumpkins and planning ahead for your Thanksgiving feast, don’t forget to make sure your house is ready for a frosty winter ahead. Taking a few small steps now can help save you money on heating costs and keep your house more comfortable on the coldest winter nights. In this post from the window replacement pros at Window World Twin Cities, we’re covering how to seal your window air conditioner for the coming winter months.
Window AC: The Good and the Bad
Although most new homes have central heating and air, if you live in an older home, there’s a fair chance you’re still living with window air conditioning units. Window AC units are also commonly found in garages and detached outbuildings. One of the great things about window air conditioners is that they’re fairly affordable and work well for small homes and buildings. While they’re not always the most efficient option, sometimes they’re just a better buy for the type of home or building you have to cool.
However, window air conditioning units usually come with one frustrating downside: they don’t tend to fit very well with most windows. This can be especially challenging when you’re the type of homeowner who invests in energy-efficient storm windows.
During the cold-weather months, any air leak, no matter how small, can cause your windows to work less efficiently and increase your home’s energy costs. That’s why one of the most important steps you can take ahead of winter weather is to make sure your window units are properly sealed, keeping warm air inside and the cold air outside.
Placing Your Window Air Conditioner
Sealing your window air conditioner is a fairly easy DIY project that can be done in an afternoon. Before getting started, make sure you’ve got everything you need for the job handy.
You’ll need the following materials to seal your air conditioner:
● Utility knife
● Rope caulk
● Gentle, non-abrasive cleaner
Next, take your window air conditioner unit out of the window. You’ll want to thoroughly clean both the window and the air conditioner. Taking the time to clean your AC unit will help make sure it functions efficiently next time you need it.
Begin by washing the foam filter on the inside panel of your air conditioner and vacuuming the exterior fins. After everything has been cleaned, place the unit back in the window. If possible, air conditioner units should be in shady areas as this can help with the window’s performance.
While placing your air conditioner in the window, be sure it’s leaning ever so slightly so it will drain away from your house. This can help to protect water from getting back inside your house or dropping into the wooden window frame, where it can cause the wood to warp and rot. Rotting or structurally damaged windows also allow more cold air to get into your home.
Sealing Your Air Conditioner in the Window
After placing your air conditioner back in the window, you’ll want to spread the accordion panels as far as possible. Next, attach them to your window frame using wood screws. This adds to your home’s security by making your window unit harder to remove while providing a higher level of insulation by limiting airflow.
Once your window unit has been placed, it’s time to start sealing your window thoroughly. Use rigid polystyrene board or another type of durable foam to fill in any remaining gaps. Plywood will work in an emergency, but wood is more porous than foam and conducts heat readily, so it is not the best option.
After measuring the window gaps, use a Sharpie to draw appropriate shapes on your foam. Using a utility knife, create strips in the foam board that fit the window gaps. Install the foam board using small screws.
Locate Additional Openings
Look around your window unit for anyplace else that needs to be sealed. Caulking works well for small areas and can easily be removed when needed. You can also use weatherstripping to cover the seams.
Sealing Double-Hung Windows
Double-hung windows have another area that will require sealing since they have a gap between the top and bottom window panes. Close off that opening using a rolled-up towel or a piece of foam cut to the correct shape.
Get Energy-Efficient Windows for Your Twin Cities Home
In addition to sealing your window air conditioner for the winter, one of the best things you can invest in for energy savings is more efficient windows. At Window World, we’ve got you covered with a wide range of beautiful window solutions for your Twin Cities home!
To learn more about window solutions for your home, call and connect with a Window World Twin Cities window replacement pro at 651.770.5570. You can also contact us online to get your free quote today.
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