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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Window Unit Air-Conditioners

Most window air conditioners have an expanding curtain on either side to help seal any gaps between the window frame and the air conditioner, but sometimes this seal isn’t perfect. Even extremely small gaps can leak air, which reduces the efficiency of your air conditioner and may let bugs and dust into your home. There are several ways to seal these gaps, but the simplest method is to use adhesive-backed open-cell foam weather-stripping to fill the space and prevent air leakage. Smaller gaps can also be filled with a claylike material called rope caulk.

Gaps Larger than 1/8 Inch

  1. Clean the surface of the window and air conditioner around the gaps. Remove dirt, grease and dust to ensure proper adhesion of the weather-stripping.
  2. Measure the length of the first gap. Cut a piece of adhesive-backed foam weather-stripping to this length.
  3. Peel the paper backing off the cut strip of weather-stripping and position the seal, sticky side up, along the underside of the window frame.
  4. Press the strip along the window frame to get a smooth, tight seal. Do not adhere the weather-stripping so that it rests in front of the gap. This will not seal it properly. The foam must be within the gap so that it expands to give an airtight seal.

Narrow or Hard-To-Reach Gaps

  1. Measure the length of gaps that are 1/8 inch thick or smaller. Tear off a length of rope caulk to match. Rope caulk is similar to putty or modeling clay but is removable at the end of the cooling season when you remove your air conditioner.
  2. Press the caulk into the gap. If the gap is deep, you may need to press two pieces into the gap to fill it completely.
  3. Smooth the caulk and wipe away excess from the window frame and air conditioner with a dry cloth.

Things You Will Need:
Tape measure
Adhesive-backed foam weather-stripping
Utility knife
Rope caulk

Gaps larger than 1 inch should be filled with fiberglass insulation stuffed into the gap tightly.
In most types of windows, gaps are commonly found along the top, where the window meets the air conditioners, at the corners and along the bottom at the sill.

If the rope caulk is still clean and flexible when you remove your air conditioner, peel it off the window and store it in a sealed plastic bag for later use.

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