For guest houses, rooms that are difficult to reach and small homes, window A/C units are highly recommended. They are a more conservative and practical method of cooling certain areas of a home. When installed properly, they can make a major difference in home comfort and energy savings.
Note: Different brands of window A/Cs have different attachment methods. The new ones are packaged with manufacturer’s installation instructions. Be certain that you strictly follow these directions. When you happen to improperly install a unit, it will not yield the proper results in terms of efficiency and it may fail completely.
This guide discusses how to install a window AC unit.
1. Make sure your unit fits
The typical window unit fits along the sill of a standard double hung window. However, as different homes were built by different companies and in different eras, it is best to measure your window against the new unit you purchased to ensure that it will fit. It’s best to do this step first, before you realize that there is an issue.
2. Prepare the extensions
A majority of A/C units have sliding or accordion extensions which slide to completely fill the opening. Some units come with these extensions already attached. If your model comes with them separated, take this time to place the extensions on both sides of the unit. You will want to do this before attempting to place the unit in the window.
3. Open completely the window’s bottom sash
After doing this, if there’s one, you should remove the window screen, and then clean the channels and sill with a vacuum. Open up the bottom sash of the window in preparation for the rest of the steps in the installation process.
4. Prepare mounting brackets
A number of air conditioning units sit simply on the windowsill, while others rest on special brackets which attach to the sill. When your unit uses the mounting brackets, you should install them according to manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure you level your unit according to the stated recommendations (normally with some slight slope toward the outdoors, which allows for the drainage of condensation).
Ensure also that the fasteners are secure. Some A/C units come with two lengths of weather-stripping foam. One of them goes along the sill, below the unit, while the other goes, once installed, on top of the unit.
5. Lift the A/C unit (may need two people)
Always make sure to lift with your legs as to not injure your back. Slide the unit from inside the room into the window opening, properly positioning it on the support brackets or the sill. Once in place, lock it into the brackets. Be very cautious with this step to keep your unit properly balanced to keep it from falling out the other side of the window. If the unit has a drainage hose, go outside and route the hose so that it can drain effectively.
6. Lower the window sash
You should do this so that it snugly fits into the channel, on top of the A/C unit. The mountain flange on top of the A/C unit should fit snugly against the lower window sash. You then slide the accordion extensions outward to fill any empty spaces and secure them to the jambs of the window.
7. Seal the inner perimeter
You should seal the opening’s inner perimeter with foam weather-stripping (sometimes provided) and caulk around outer perimeter. This will ensure that your newly cold air is not going to escape, just as if the window were shut.
8. Plug-in the unit
Lastly, you can now plug-in your window A/C unit and experience the refreshing air that this area of your home has been missing. Give your unit a test-run to ensure that everything functions properly. As you test your new window A/C unit, check around the edges to make sure that a proper seal has been installed.