Pros and Cons: Keeping Your Window AC Units in Over the Winter

Window AC units are a popular way to provide air conditioning to apartments with no built-in air conditioning system. These units can be a lifesaver during the hot summer, but is it okay to leave them in during the winter? Read on below for the pros and cons of keeping your window AC units in over the winter.

Pros

While window AC units are typically meant to come out during the winter, they can provide versatility and simplicity to people living in certain climates.

Versatility through unpredictable weather

The primary benefit of choosing to keep your window AC units in during the winter is that it gives you the flexibility to still cool your apartment if the temperatures rise again. This isn’t an issue in all areas, but some regions of the country have extremely volatile weather that might be freezing one day and hot the next.

If you don’t have your window AC unit in during the winter, your options for temperature control will be limited during any unusually warm days. Fans can help circulate air around your apartment, but an AC unit will always be the best option for cooling.

Easier to leave them in

Another simple positive aspect of keeping your window AC units in over the winter is simply that it lets you avoid the hassle of removing the units and replacing them at the end of the winter. Moving AC units can be a difficult job and often requires two people, so if the winters where you live are typically pretty mild, it might be worth it to just keep your AC unit in.

Can be helpful in humid areas

AC units aren’t only helpful for keeping your apartment cool, but they can help dry out excessively humid air as well. Many units will have a “fan-only” mode that lets you run a fan and reduce the humidity of the air without directly impacting the temperature.

Cons

Leaving window AC units in over the winter can let cold air into your apartment and potentially damage the AC units.

Can damage the AC units

Leaving a window AC unit in the window unused over a long period of time can cause damage to the unit. If it gets too cold, the coils in your AC unit can freeze, which can lead to expensive maintenance or even replacement costs for you.

Cold air will get in your home

While it is possible to properly insulate window AC units to keep cold air from entering your apartment during the winter, in most apartments, this won’t be the case. Your landlord or property management company will most likely assume that you’re going to remove the unit during the colder months, so making sure cold air doesn’t get in isn’t usually a priority.

The verdict

As a general rule, it’s best to remove your window AC units during the winter. This can help you save on energy bills and make maintenance of your AC units easier, and often your landlord will specifically ask you to do this.

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