One of the facts of life that apartment dwellers live with -- particularly those in older buildings -- is the window-unit air conditioner. Certainly the upside of having one is that it gets you through the airless, sweaty nights during the summer. But there also drawbacks: bulky window units are unsightly, and can lead to drafty conditions in the winter if left in place.
An option is to send your air conditioners on vacation for the winter. To where, you ask? There are several companies providing air conditioner removal-and-storage service in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. Generally these services include pick-up, storage for approximately 18 months, cleaning, and re-installation. Here are a few of them.
Air-Wave, an air conditioning company located in the Bronx, has been around for over 50 years. According to Harold, an Air-Wave employee in charge of storage, the company charges “$279 for the season for the first unit, and $269 for each additional unit for units loaded in the bottom half of the window. If the unit is top-loaded, meaning in the upper part of the window, there is an additional fee of approximately $50.” The storage fee includes a general cleaning of the unit. According to the company’s website, storage of your air conditioner will extend its life, and the cleaning process may also reveal health-related problems, which is particularly important for asthmatics and persons with allergies.
Located in the Long Island City section of Queens, CoolAir has been in the business for over 75 years. Manohari Sibchand, a company salesman, explains that CoolAir charges $279 for storage of units up to 18,000 BTUs that are mounted in the bottom of the window, while units over 18,000 BTUs are $330. Top-mounted units are $400 for the season. The fee is paid 50 percent at the time of pick-up and the balance upon re-installation, a negotiable arrangement. Like Air-Wave, cleaning service is also offered by CoolAir; a special steam-clean is an additional $100.
Sibchand offers three good reasons to store your air conditioner: “First and foremost, you get your view back,” he says. “Second, leaving the unit in the window for the winter in cold weather can damage the unit. And third, there are fewer drafts.” Who wants a fierce, icy wind blowing through their apartment in January anyway?