If you are like most homeowners, you have at least one portable heater or air conditioner tucked away in the garage, attic, or basement. We all buy them for temporary use somewhere and are hesitant to get rid of them, “just in case”. The problem with storing them in these places comes when time, temperature, and even pests invade them without our knowing it. If you store a window air conditioner, for example, in the garage, you may end up with mice, spiders, and other pests using it as a home. The layers of insulation make for a cozy place the hang out and the casing keeps them safe from predators. You may think that all is fine, take it out and plug it in, and find that it doesn’t work or that the electrical components have been damaged making it a fire hazard. You have no way of knowing that it has been used as a home for these inhabitants. If you do keep these items for years it is important that you have them checked out ahead of time before assuming that all is well. Your local HVAC dealer normally has a service that allows you to drop off portable units and have them cleaned and checked out to make sure you are safe. You should be aware that, at times, these fees can cost a hundred dollars or more. In some cases you many just decide to purchase a new unit instead. Either way you choose to handle the issue, the money you spend is nothing compared to the safety and comfort of your home and family.