Is it time to pack up your portable air conditioner or evaporative cooler for the season? Part of the appeal of a portable cooling device is that it easy to store out of the way when you no longer need it. But don’t just unplug it and shove in a closet – if you want your cooler to be in good operating condition next summer, follow these steps to store it properly first.
1. Drain all water from the unit. Most portable air conditioners today (including all NewAir models) are self-evaportive, so they don’t usually collect a lot of water. To drain what might have collected, however, unplug the drain (usually found at the bottom rear of the unit) and let the water tank drain completely.
For evaporative coolers and older air conditioners with water collection buckets that must be emptied manually, use a damp cloth and mild detergent to clean out the water tank and remove any residue or mineral buildup.
2. Run the unit fan or ventilation mode for several hours. This will dry out the interior portions of the unit and prevent the growth of mold and mildew while the unit is in storage.
3. Clean all the vents and air filters. Use a vacuum hose to remove dust and dirt from the air vents, and inside the unit if you can reach. Remove the filters and follow your manual’s instructions for cleaning them. Allow washable filters to try thoroughly before replacing them in the unit.
TIP: This is a great time to buy replacement filters so you’ll have them when you’re ready to use the cooler next summer!
4. Clean the outside of the unit. A damp cloth and mild detergent will remove exterior dirt and grime.
5. Stow the cord properly using the built-in cord storage compartment or cord wrap. This is a good time to check the cord for damage, too. If there are any breaks or fraying, have a professional repair or replace the cord for you.
6. Place the unit back in the original carton. If you no longer have the original packing materials, cover it with an old blanket or a sheet of plastic, to prevent the accumulation of excess dust and grime over the winter.
7. Keep it in a clean, dry area. Damp conditions will cause the components of your air conditioner or evaporative cooler to degrade more quickly, shortening the life of the unit. Ideal winter storage areas include closets, garages, attics and basements.
If you follow these steps to properly prepare your portable air conditioner or evaporative cooler for winter storage, then when you need it next summer it will be ready to provide all the cooling comfort you demand.