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I have an air conditioner that sits in the window. Due to restrictions placed by my apartment managers, I was unable to install any external support. Instead there are 2 L-brackets that keep the air conditioner mounted to the wood panel in front my window on the inside, and a piece at the top of the air conditioner rests against the bottom of the heavy window frame for support. Due to this improper install, I am afraid to remove the unit even with the help of another person.

This A/C unit does have a dehumidifier built in, and I have used it without problem when it rained outside before. I also like my apartment cold, and I typically keep my apartment at 40s-50s during the winter months. The A/C has a "fan" control that doesn't use the compressor, which I like to keep running as I don't have to buy a separate window fan.

However I have been told by someone else in my apartment that I should remove the A/C unit before winter really hits and it gets colder outside. I would like to keep it there based off the previous information I have mentioned. Is this necessary? Will anything negative come out of leaving it there?

For reference, I live in Portland, Oregon where it mainly rains during the winter. There can be some days where it snows, but this doesn't happen every year where I am.

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Given how low you're keeping the apartment temperature, and given that the ambient temperature is relatively warm, I think you can probably get away with leaving it in place. You'll lose some heat, but nowhere near as much as you would if the differential between inside and outside was greater.

Digressions:

I've seen some weird-and-sometimes-wonderful approaches to AC mounting. I've generally used smaller units that could get by without external brackets, but I've seen one (in NYC) which used a steel square-bar to bridge the opening and carry the weight rather than letting it rest against the upper sash.

The one time I had an AC which really was too heavy to lift, it did have outside brackets built into its case (rather than permanently installed to the wall). The proper solution was actually to mount the case by itself and then slide the guts into it, rather than trying to manhandle the whole thing at once. When dismounted, I kept the mechanism on a rolling cart that was almost at the right height, so I could slide it from cart to case and back without ever having to lift the full weight.

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