Fasten spacers in place to keep the unit from tilting or even falling. Window-mounted A/C units come various sizes and cooling capacities, ranging from about 5,000 BTU to... Buy the Best. Errors will be corrected where discovered, and Lowe's reserves the right to revoke any stated offer and to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions including after an order has been submitted. A storm window frame or screen might interfere with the overhanging part of the A/C on the outside. Window air conditioners are designed with a metal lip that presses against the sash from the inside to hold them in. Installing a window air conditioner is a sweaty job, so you might be tempted to simply open the window, boost the air conditioner into place, close the window, and hope for the best. You can also buy accordion-style insulation panels and cut them to fit the opening. Start by raising the lower sash, and then measure the height and width of the opening. The air conditioner should be placed such that the bottom sash can be lowered onto the outside of the air conditioner. Before installing a window AC, open the window as far as it goes, remove the screen, and clean the windowsill, glass, and window frame. This Energy Star–rated Frigidaire is one of the best-looking window-mounted air conditioners we’ve seen. If you need new foam fillers, you can buy them separately. Here’s a simpler, no-math way to determine which size air conditioner to buy. Pull the side curtains out to the edges of the window frame to keep bugs, moisture and hot air from entering the room. NewAir Portable Air Conditioner How Your Portable Air Conditioner Works: A Quick Guide Part 1: The cooling method Though specific models vary, all air conditioning units — from an old window air conditioner to the bright white mini-split air conditioners that also function as heaters — … Plug the unit in, using an A/C extension cord if needed. Window A/C units typically have ratings between about eight and 12. You can see how one homeowner did it … If your A/C comes with a foam seal, cut it to size and slip it in place. If your window is a vinyl window, you can replace the clips by cutting strips of wood (paint stirring sticks are ideal) just long enough to wedge snugly between the sash and the top of the window frame. Expert Tip: Be careful removing it from the box. Listed below are the most common sizes of window air conditioners for rooms ranging from 150 to 1,600 square feet: It’s critically important to choose a model with a cooling capacity sufficient to cool the room. Installing a window air conditioner is not a hard task if you have minimal know-how and a little experience in DIY projects around the house. Double-check the unit’s measurements and compare them to the window opening. Screw one end into the sill and adjust the center screw on the bracket so the air conditioner will be level. For a more finished look, you can install trim or molding around the unit to suit your taste. Check for obstructions in the window opening, such as storm window frames or screens that might interfere with the overhanging part of the air conditioner on the outside. Now pull down the lower sash until it contacts the top of the A/C unit directly behind the metal flange running across the top of the unit. Link to Lowe's Home Improvement Home Page, How to Choose the Best Window Air Conditioner for You, Determine the window where you’ll install your A/C. If you choose a unit that’s too small, it’ll struggle to keep the room cool on the hottest days. Make sure the mounting brackets are level. How we test gear. Choose from well-known window air conditioner brands like LG window air conditioners and Frigidaire window air conditioners, then let us handle the rest. Either remove the storm window and frame, or fasten a spacer block to the windowsill to lift the A/C case away from the obstruction. Plus, a too-big A/C unit is louder and burns more electricity than a properly sized unit. Start by reversing the installation steps, but be very careful not to unscrew the two small L-shaped brackets until you’ve slid the air conditioner into the room far enough so that it’s resting securely on the windowsill and not tipping in or out. The energy efficiency of a room air conditioner is designated by its EER number, which stands for Energy Efficiency Rating. A rating of 10 or higher is considered ideal for saving electricity and lowering your utility bills. Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site. This is important to allow condensation to drip outside, not into the room. Measure the window where you would like to install the unit to make sure it is large enough to accommodate the unit’s size. These compact units are reliable, durable, able to cool virtually any size room, and today’s models are exponentially more energy efficient than units built just 10 years ago. Here are the tools and materials you will need to install a window air conditioner. With the bottom window sash up as far as it'll go, center and insert the A/C in the window. Raise the window’s lower sash and set the A/C unit centered on the windowsill. Air conditioners draw a fair amount of electricity, so be mindful of the circuit into which you plug the unit. How to Install a Window Air Conditioner 1 Completely open the bottom sash of the window, remove the window screen if there is one, and clean the sill and... 2 Prepare the extensions. Insulating your window air conditioner doesn't cost a lot of money or take a lot of time. Position the air conditioner in the window opening so the spacers rest on the inside edge of the window frame and tilt the air conditioner backward slightly to force condensation outside. It includes the best models you can buy for each size room. Open your window. You’ll also want to clear the area around the window and leave yourself plenty of working space with no tripping hazards. And for additional support, especially for larger air conditioners, consider purchasing a steel support bracket and mount it to the outside house wall, directly below the windowsill. This method uses the window vent insert that comes with the portable air conditioner, coupled with a piece of rigid foam or plywood to block the rest of the window. If you are worried about the stability (and safety is number one) use angle brackets. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for positioning the unit to ensure that condensation will drain properly. This may be a single hose with connectors already attached, or you may have to first attach an exhaust connector to the unit, and then attach the hose to the connector. Does the wind typically whip rain against that side of the house? Determine the Space to Cooled. Start by reading the installation manual and familiarizing yourself with all the included hardware and fasteners. And, should something go wrong with your window A/C unit, our Lowe’s protection plan has you covered. Step by Step. Pull out each extension panel on the sides of the AC to close up the spaces to the left and right of the air conditioner. For example, pieces of white expanded. Installing a window air-conditioner is best done with two people. The EER is calculated by dividing the unit’s BTU rating by the wattage of the unit. Lift the unit into the window sill. Drill pilot holes to keep the screws from splitting the wood. That space between the frame of the lower sash and the window on the upper sash needs to be filled. Bells and whistles are nice, but more so is the increased energy efficiency of these appliances. A window air conditioner is a common sight, particularly in older homes and unit blocks. Before you learn how to install a window A/C unit, you should gather some basic information. And then, wrap a piece of masking tape around the bit so that it limits your drilling depth to the length of the screw. Once you have secured the unit into its appropriate place, close the window on the top. Now, pour yourself a cold glass of water while you wait for your newly air conditioned room to cool off. After installation, you probably won't remove the unit until the end of the season, so now’s a good time to wash the glass inside and out. With the brackets screwed in place and the lower sash locked in positioned, and the A/C unit is secured. Window air conditioners are simple to install and save big money when compared to construction of a central air system. Most units work only in double-hung windows with a bottom sash you can raise and lower. Enlist a helper to set the A/C in position. Air conditioners are deceptively heavy. An oversized air conditioner will pump too much moisture back into the room, raising the humidity to unsafe levels, especially for those with breathing difficulties. This often involves attaching brackets and the accordion-style side curtains. If you’re not already handy with wall and siding repair, this is a case to hire a professional. This is primarily because they are a lot easier to install than split systems – everything comes in one box that sits on your window frame. How To Cool Down a Room (Without Blasting A/C), This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Pull out each extension to close off the space to the left and right of the air conditioner. Be sure to have those dimensions on hand when shopping for an air conditioner to ensure it’ll fit comfortably into the window. Prices and availability of products and services are subject to change without notice. If the same circuit powers other high-energy appliances—refrigerators, dryers, ovens—consider plugging in the air conditioner elsewhere. Cutting through an exterior wall to mount an air conditioner can cost up to $1,000 more than putting in a window AC. We may earn commission if you buy from a link. To prevent the sash from being accidentally raised, insert at least two screws through the upper flange on the A/C case into the window sash. Window-mounted A/C units come various sizes and cooling capacities, ranging from about 5,000 BTU to 25,000 BTU (British thermal units). ft. x 20 = 3,840 BTU). Designed to quickly cool large spaces, this high-performance, 8,000 BTU LG window air conditioner is ideal for rooms up to 17 x 20 feet. Place the air conditioner back into its original box, using the dense-foam packing material to protect it from damage. Then, use a cordless drill to screw the bracket to the upper sash. Also measure the width and the height of the window opening to confirm whether an A/C will fit. Our local stores do not honor online pricing. If you're looking for a new window A/C, well, you're in luck. Here, I’ll discuss installation for double-hung windows, which are by far the most popular style of window. This will help you avoid a tripped breaker or blown fuse. If the circuit is also powering other devices, even simple ones such as a hair dryer, you should consider adding a dedicated circuit, choosing another window near a different circuit or moving other appliances elsewhere. Use the caulking gun and silicone caulk to put a thick bead of caulk around the edges of the unit on the interior and exterior of the house. After balancing your A/C on the windowsill, it’ll be easy to see why you need the top sash to stay put and hold the unit in place. First, inspect the window to make sure it’s in good repair. Here's how to choose and install a window AC unit like a pro. Prepare the Window for Your Window A/C. How to Install a Window Air Conditioner Step 1: Remove Your AC and Find the Center of Your Window. Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. Connect the exhaust hose that came with the portable air conditioner to the air conditioning unit. While studying the AC, bring the window sash down behind the upper guide of the AC unit. Not all windows allow you to use L-shaped clips to hold the bottom sash in place. Not a good idea, for a number of reasons. Adding more barriers will keep the water from coming in. Set the box in a cool, dry place for the winter. The air conditioner … Slide the accordion panels onto both sides of the air conditioner. Vacuum the outside of the unit—especially the louvered vents—and then wipe it down with a damp cloth. How to Install a Window Air Conditioner Size the Room. Lower the sash while still holding the back of the air conditioner, with your arm outside the window. Excessive moisture can also create a breeding ground for dust mites and mold. Products, costs, availability and item numbers may vary online or by market. If you already have some of these air conditioners … GE Appliances is the first to announce voice-enabled air conditioners, so you can turn these units on and off or adjust the temperature without leaving your couch. If you’re using an extension cord, it’s important to use a cord that’s specifically designed to handle the electrical load; these heavy-duty cords are usually labeled as, "air-conditioner cord" or "major-appliance cord.". Installation takes 10 to 12 hours, compared to 2 to 4 hours for a window unit. Installing a window AC unit a two-person job. Window mounted air conditioners are a quick and cheap to install. Most window-mounted air conditioners are designed to fit into double-hung windows, but most units can also be placed in swing-out casement or sliding windows. The Window Air Conditioner Installation Process Step 1. Leaked Photo Shows ‘Motionless, Cube-Shaped’ UFO, Gen. Chuck Yeager on Breaking the Sound Barrier, Illness Plaguing Diplomats Might Be Energy Weapon. Put all the screws, brackets and other installation hardware items in a re-sealable plastic bag, and put the bag in the box. Removing a window air-conditioner unit can be difficult, so unless you really need access to the window or want to create a better seal for winter, it's best to leave it in place and protect it with a slip-on cover. Step 5 Slide the window down tight onto the air conditioner and spread the spacers out to close the gaps between the air conditioner and the window frame. Build a jamb box of 1×6 pre-primed pine about 4 inches wider and 4 inches taller than the air conditioner required. Prices, Promotions, styles, and availability may vary. To find the perfect window air conditioner for your needs, check out our top window air conditioners page. And be sure to check the air filter monthly throughout the cooling season to ensure it’s clean and clear of obstructions. Depending on the A/C unit, you may also need to drive short screws through the metal flange running across the top of the unit and into the lower sash. Open the lower window sash. When installing a window air conditioner, many people simply open the window, slide the air conditioner into it, and close the window as far as it will go. So, for example, a 12x16-ft. room would require an air conditioner with a cooling capacity of approximately 4,000 BTU (12 x 16 = 192 sq. Step 2: Open and Prepare Your Window. That competition helps you, as manufacturers hold down prices and outbid each other to add features such as voice control, app control, hand-held remotes, timers, and features like a dehumidifier setting. This would also work if you want to install an air conditioner in a sliding window as well. The last step is to install a window air conditioner in a sliding window or door. Close the window tightly to keep the unit secured in place and prevent it from falling or wiggling. Weather, vibration and the challenge of lifting a heavy A/C unit onto a windowsill can knock an unsecured spacer out of position. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions. Close the window sash against the left side of the A/C. Determine whether your window is sliding, a double-hung or casement style. You must also insulate the unit to keep the cold air outside, and the warm air in. Hot Debate: How Cool Should You Keep Your House? Window air conditioner installation requires a bit of prep work to the area, but you'll be rewarded with low-maintenance indoor comfort all season long. Popular Mechanics participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. Carefully set the AC in the window, so that it is centered and placed the AC saw at the front edge of the bottom guide is against the back edge of the sill. Most AC units have accordion or sliding extensions that … And choosing a unit that’s too big—a common mistake—is just as problematic. Expanding curtains will help seal your room, but they’re no substitute for insulation. Use a bit that’s slightly smaller than the core of the screw. Take the thick foam-rubber weather stripping and stuff it into the gap along the top edge of the lower sash to block out insects and hot air. Use a stud finder to locate two adjacent stud bays that will provide enough room for the opening. The following tips will make the process of installing a window air conditioner a breeze. Step 1 Measure the width, height and depth of your window air conditioner so you'll know the exact size cover to buy. This will prevent any air from seeping in our out of the home. Don't leave spacers loose. You’ll also be following the manufacturer’s instructions, but begin by placing the air conditioning unit inside the window (you may need to recruit a friend to help lift the unit into the window for this part). Also, keep fire safety in mind when deciding where to install the air conditioner: Don’t place it in an egress window that serves as the only means of escape should a fire erupt. If you decide to remove the air conditioner, again, it’s best to have two people. How to Install Window Air Conditioners Know Before You Buy a Window A/C. The installation kit typically includes two small L-shaped metal brackets, which are used to prevent the lower sash from being raised. After removing all the hardware, raise the lower sash and lift the air conditioner out of the window and set it onto a thick blanket spread on the floor. The Best Outdoor Gifts for Every Type of Adventure, Serenity Series Quiet Window Air Conditioner (6,000 BTU). This allows for a replacement unit, which might be larger. Screw the vertical mounting flange of each extension to the window jambs. Repeat to install the remaining bracket to the far right side of the lower sash. Install the Air Conditioner: Attach the included accordion panels to the sides of the air conditioner according to the instructions, and lift the air conditioner into place. 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