Installing a Window Air Conditioner
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated July 15, 2019)
Installing a window air conditioner, unlike other types of air conditioning units, isn't that difficult and requires no real specialized training. In fact, this is a project that even the most amateur of do-it-yourselfer's can accomplish in about an hour. While there are many units that you can install by yourself, it is always a good idea to have the help of a friend when doing this project. After all, you don't really want to try and lift that heavy air conditioner all by yourself, do you?
One word of warning. The method for installation presented here is for ground floor units only. If you are going to be installing any units on the second floor, having an assistant is a necessity. In addition to a friend, you will also need to have a good, sturdy ladder that can support your weight and the weight of the air conditioner. If you are considering installing an air conditioner in a third floor window—don't. Hire a professional to do it for you instead.
- Screwdriver bits
- Small level
- Mounting brackets
- Angle brackets
- Weather stripping (foam preferably)
- Install mounting brackets. Most models of window air conditioners have some kind of a mounting bracket. Some of these are the kind where the unit will rest on a bracket, while other use chains from the roof to help support the unit. Screw the brackets into place, being sure that you use the appropriate type of screws for your home. This means that you use wood screws for vinyl or wood sided homes, sheet metal screws for aluminum siding homes, and masonry screws for brick or stone homes. Check to make sure that the bracket is level before tightening down the screws completely. Use a level to ensure that the bracket is level. Close the window as much as possible.
- Insert the air conditioner. Open your window, and place the air conditioner unit into the window and on the mounting bracket (if any). If necessary, have a friend hold the unit in place to help you make any adjustments. Many window air conditioners have a sliding "accordion" type of panel, open these all the way to help provide a weather tight seal. Use some small screws to help attach these panels to the window. Make sure that you use the appropriate screws for your window, wood screws for wood window frames and sheet metal screws for metal window frames.
- Seal upper sash. If your window opens upwards, then use some angle brackets to help seal the window tight. For windows that open to the side, do the same thing. Use the appropriate screw for the type of window that you have.
- Weather strip. Fill the gap between the window panes with some foam weather stripping. This weather stripping should have came with the unit, but if not you can easily purchase some from your local home improvement store.
- Secure unit to mounting brackets. Tighten the screws on mounting bracket to help ensure that the unit is held into place. As you tighten the screws, double check to ensure that unit is flat and stable. Simply place the level on the top of the unit, and keep an eye on it to make sure everything is as it should be.
More Home Improvement Tips
No one really likes the excessive cold of the winter months, at least they don't like living in it all the time. One way ...
Once you've ruled out the possibility of repairing your heater, and you realize that it's time to replace it, look for an ...
Choosing efficient air filters is one of the most important processes that a homeowner can do to ensure that their HVAC ...