Window Air Conditioners are all the craze right now. They’ve become as much of a necessity as a fridge, or a stove. However, for some, it can seem like a long-term investment and a commitment.
After all, these units are to be fixed on your window sill and will remain unmovable and stationary until you decide to move elsewhere.
That’s what makes the Window AC setup process something to be wary of- it seems like a messy job, and you’ll never know when you need to spend more to take it down again.
However, one flip through your Air Conditioner’s user manual will tell you that installing a Window AC doesn’t have to be a technician’s playfield.
Rather, it can be a one-man job- it could be your job if you had the right tools, the right mindset, and the determination to mount it atop your window yourself.
This is where you’ll find that the installation process’ bad reputation precedes it- it’s easier and much simpler than it sounds, all you need to do is read this guide I’ve assembled on how to properly install a Window Air Conditioner to get started!
While Air Conditioners do come in lighter and heavier models, keep in mind that almost all of them weigh more than 30 pounds, and hence, even the smallest Window AC unit is heavy in its own right. So, it’s suggested that you take the help of at least one more person while on this job.
Installing a Standard Window AC
The first step, naturally, would be to carefully look at the instructions for installation printed in the User Manual. These will guide you on how to use the installation ‘kit’ that is provided with some units.
The kits usually tend to include mounting and support brackets, as well as resizable window extensions that would ensure that your AC fits appropriately into the window.
User manuals give you the opportunity to learn all about the different hardware tools you’re going to be working with.
Installation processes can vary across different window types and AC units. For instance, the two most popular types of window designs are Sash Windows and Sliding/Casement Windows.
Due to the difference in design, the process of installing the AC would also vary. On the other hand, you also have to look at different Window AC builds- Standard, the Saddle, and the U-Shaped AC units.
Sash Window: A standard AC Installation
A Sash Window is one of those windows with vertically sliding panels that move up and down to open and close. A Single-hung Sash Window implies that only one window, the bottom one moves up to open into the outdoors.
A double-hung window allows for both the panels to move up and down simultaneously- the bottom sash opens up, while the top sash descends. Regardless of their dynamic movement range, any Window AC is usually fitted at the opening of the bottom sash.
Step 1: Generally, to install any Window Air Conditioner into a Sash Window, the first steps to take include inserting the Window AC unit in the open bottom sash as you move the panel up and out of the way.
Once the bottom sash is raised, ensure that you have a careful and secure grip on the AC as you let it rest on the window sill, half of the unit outside. To do this, you must exert pressure downwards, and this will prevent the AC unit from losing its balance.
Step 2: Once you’ve firmed up your grasp on the AC unit, pull down the lower window sash until the top of the AC units.
Most AC units are smaller than the space left open by the window sash, so they need to be fixed in place by lowering the sash to their level.
To keep the lower sash in place, you have to use the L-shaped metallic or steel brackets provided by the manufacturer in the installation kit. Screw-in both the brackets on the top left and right sides of the sash. You can use a drill for this.
Step 3: You can also insert screws running through the lower sash into the metal lining on the top of the Air Conditioner. When you’re done, you will have locked the Air Conditioning unit tightly in place, forgoing any risks of it falling and damaging itself.
This is the basic process for installing a Standard Window AC. This is subject to change depending on the model and company, which is why we urge you to refer to your user manual first.
Saddle Window AC Unit Installation
The structure and the make-up of the Saddle Window AC unit are much different compared to the standard Window AC. These units are designed in such a way that they hang just over the window sill, while the front of the unit rests right against the wall below the window.
Imagine the way a horse saddle is positioned over a horse’s back- that’s essentially how it looks, with the horse being your window.
Upon first unpacking the unit, you’ll find a high-density foam strip and two adjustable support brackets. The first thing you need to do is make arrangements for the AC to be fixed, so you’ve got to set up the adjustable supports right outside of your window, below the opening so that they can support the external half of your AC.
You can customize them to your liking. Then, pick up the foam block and stick it on the center of the window sill. This is where the AC will support itself.
Once you’ve made these arrangements, you can start inserting your AC unit into the opening. Be careful as you slide the AC until half of it is outside, and the center is hanging over the foam on the window sill.
As most of the AC unit is outside, it can easily weigh you down and cause you to lose your grip, so hold on tight. Check that there’s a slight outward tilt to your AC, this prevents the drain system from clogging up. Once it’s all in place, tighten the unit.
You can also adjust the Window brackets on the side of the units to hold the sash down.
U shaped Window AC Unit Installation
While Saddle Units are designed to free up window space, U-shaped Window AC units are structured to free up more. Instead of a square block that supports the AC over the window sill, they are engineered with a U-shaped curve that allows for the window to close down almost fully.
One of the first things to do is to set up the support brackets, as these will carry the weight of your AC unit over the window sill. They usually have sizeable arms in case your AC doesn’t fit the entire width of the window.
You can use screws to fasten the brackets. However, ensure that the brackets are adjusted with a slight outward tilt as they direct the positioning of your AC.
The side hinges will secure the AC in place and can be cut according to size. These will support the AC from either side of the window frame. Lastly, pull down the sash to fit inside the U. You can install an L bracket at the top of the window, or use integrated window locks to fasten it in place.
These instructions should help you understand the basics of AC installation with respect to all three kinds of Window AC units.
Sliding or Casement Window AC Installation
If you have a Sliding or a Casement Window AC, there are different steps and precautions to take. Usually, AC models are designed specifically to fit into the dimensions of a Sliding of a Casement Window structure.
The units will come with specialized instructions on how they are to be fit over the narrow and long spaces of these windows.
However, you don’t have to stew in disappointment if you have a Sliding or a Casement window, and a Standard AC.
Usually, what prevents a standard AC from a perfect installation into the Sliding or Casement window are factors like the increased risk of the AC falling over, or unsealed gaps and cracks that might mess with the functioning of the unit.
However, you can find ways around these problems. Some people use metal bars or wooden blocks or boards to fit inside the open window so that the ACs top rail can rest against it.
You can also use things like tape, or foam to cover up the gaps and cracks in the window. This will effectively seal everything up so that no dust and debris from outside gets in.
These simple hacks should go a long way in helping you with the installation process of your AC. Some units will be a breeze to set up, while others might give you trouble.
As long as you ensure a secure fit, without the risk of the Window AC unit toppling over, as well as a slight outward tilt in its positioning, you will be rewarded with a smooth and efficient Window AC unit to plug in and enjoy.
Related Articles You May Like
- DIY: Cleaning A Window Air Conditioner Without Removing It Read Here
- How To Recharge A Window AC? Refill Freon In Window AC At Home (DIY) Read Here
- Mold in Window Air Conditioner? Avoiding Mold Growth and Cleaning Mold From AC Read Here
- Why Is Your Window AC Freezing Up: Causes And DIY Fixes Read Here
- Why Your Window Air Conditioner Leaking Water: Causes and DIY Solutions Read Here