Sometimes, opening the windows or wearing shorts just won’t cut it when it’s 90 degrees out. Having a functional air conditioning unit is a must for your peace of mind. With them being fairly affordable nowadays, every house has one or another type of AC unit.
Depending on the type of device, installing an air conditioning unit is typically not a DIY project. On top of being easily damaged, some of them need electrical and wiring setups. It is dangerous to try and do them without prior experience. You can, however, install a window or a portable AC unit. If you’re a passionate DIYer, you might very well be able to do a good portion of installing a mini-split unit. However, something like the replacement of your central air conditioning unit must be left to professionals.
Window AC Unit
Compared to split units, window air conditioning units come as a single device and are the best choice for smaller spaces. With a window AC unit, you’ll have ideal circulation in your room at a much better cost. It’s possible to install a window unit yourself without having a lot of experience. As long as there are no cuttings or modifications involved, it’s a straightforward process.
Before beginning the installation, make sure you are choosing the right spot. Check the window to ensure that it is structurally safe and firm.
Measure the window sizes and compare them against the measurements of your unit to make sure it’ll fit without an issue. The width of the window must be larger than that of your unit’s. For maximum efficiency and lifespan, make sure the window is shaded so that the unit will not be exposed to direct sunlight.
Finally, make sure that there is an outlet within 5 feet of the window.
How to Install a Window AC Unit
To ensure the safety of your AC unit, install a bracket to your window’s exterior sill. Choose the correct screws based on whether you’re still metal or wooden.
Attach the top rail to the unit with the screws that come with it. Slide the accordion panels to each side of the unit.
Mount the unit on the exterior bracket. It’s best if the back of the unit (the side facing outside) has a slight downward angle so that the rain will flow down off the unit.
For the AC to work efficiently, both sides of a window air conditioning unit must be completely isolated from each other. This will prevent the cooled air from escaping the room, and the energy to waste. First, close the window against the top of the unit to hold it in place. Then, stretch the extendable accordion panels from each side of the unit to touch the window frames. Use foam stripping to seal the gaps between the panels and the sides of the window. On top, fill the gap between the glass and the lowered window panel to prevent air from circulating.
To secure the unit in place, screw the top of the accordion panels to the window panel by drilling screws into the screw holes. Then, attach the frame locks, locking the bottom of the accordion panels to the window sill. Finally, attach the small brackets to the top of the window panel to keep it from moving and sliding open.
The Installation is complete. Connect the power, turn on the unit and enjoy.
To extend the life of your unit, it’s best to take it off the window and keep it in a dust-free spot in cold months. If the winters are ruthless in your area, the build-up of ice, residue, and dust can over time clog the system and damage the coils. If you can’t do that, the next best option is to cover your unit tightly in seasons when you don’t turn it on.
Washing the fins and the filters also go a long way through letting your unit work a few good extra years until you need a replacement.
If you face any unexpected issues with the installation or the functioning of your air conditioning unit, it will be best to contact a professional.
How to Install a Portable AC Unit
Portable air conditioning units are the simplest to install. They are window AC units on wheels where the circulation happens through the vent hose. If you’re going with a ventless portable AC unit, just plug in the cord and start using it. Keep in mind that although much more convenient and movable, a ventless portable AC unit doesn’t actually circulate the air. Since it doesn’t have a way of accessing the outside air, it’ll blow cool air by evaporating water into the room.
To install a portable AC unit with a vent, first, you need to install the window seal into the window. This is where the vent hose will connect to. First, attach a layer of foam to the window from the top of one side of where the bracket will be installed to the other side, covering the bottom as well.
Measure the width of your window and adjust the bracket accordingly. Do so by fastening the two panels of the bracket through the pre-drilled holes. Install the bracket into the window. With the help of the foam stripping, the brackets must tightly fit into the window space and have no room for the air to circulate.
Lower the window and shut it against the bracket. Attach the window security brackets to the top of the window panel to prevent it from opening.
Finally, attach one side of the vent hose to the back of the unit. Attach the other side to the window seal and lock it in.
Installing air conditioning units can be tricky. They need you to know a little bit of everything. With the proper following of instructions, you can install your own AC unit and enjoy the cool air. However, there are always complications. If you feel like you’re not comfortable with the process, our professionals are always there to lend you a hand. Our technicians at FixTman with years of experience under their belt are happy to help you with all your installation needs.