If your home lacks central air conditioning, choosing to install window AC units during the summer may be your only option for relief against the heat. However, exterior AC units have limited use during cooler months. Some units can actually cause heat to escape your home in the winter, leading to higher energy bills. Depending on how harsh winters are where you live, you may also have to repair AC units that are left out year long. To avoid these unnecessary costs, window AC units should be removed in the fall to help prepare your home for the winter months ahead.
However, removing an AC unit by yourself can lead to DIY disasters if not properly executed. Consider our handyman guide for safety tips which will help you avoid repairing outside walls or broken bones as a result of carelessness.
Tip 1: To avoid the risk of electrical shock, always turn off and unplug the unit first before handling it.
Tip 2: Even under supervision, DO NOT attempt to remove an exterior AC unit that is located above the ground level by yourself – unless you are a professional. Doing so could result in damage to the unit as well as your building and injury to yourself and any unlucky bystanders below.
Tip 3: Wear safety gloves when lifting the air conditioner to maintain a tight grip and avoid hand injuries.
Tip 4: Air conditioner units tend to be very heavy. In addition to using the proper safety equipment, always have an extra person to help with lifting and a spotter to ensure safety below.
Tip 5: This should go without saying, but use common sense and never climb out of an open window! Your weight added to that of the unit will put extra strain on supports which could unexpectedly give without warning.
Bottom line: Whether installing or removing your window AC unit for the year, you may want to consider spending a little extra on a professional handyman rather than the expense of your own life or that of a family member.
The entire installation process depicted above was documented on camera and you can view all the DANGEROUS photos here. Danger is why we recommend a pro for this type of installation. Please note these photos illustrate what NOT to do!