How to Install a Window Air Conditioner - NYCM Insurance Blog

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May 31, 2023

How to Install a Window Air Conditioner

The first heat wave of the season is always a joyous time to behold—until you wind down to go to bed after a long, hot day and find yourself sweating in your sheets! If you have an air conditioning unit, you can offer yourself some much needed relief from the summer heat. There are a few different options for air conditioning systems, and one of the most commonly chosen is the window air conditioner.


A window air conditioner is a popular home cooling solution for a number of reasons: it’s an affordable, easy-to-install, effective alternative to a central air conditioning system. When the weather warms up and it’s time to get your A/C unit installed, a window air conditioner can be put in and quickly turn a small space into a cool and comfortable haven from the heat.


But first you may have some questions like, “How do I install an air conditioner?” or, “How can I tell if an air conditioner is secure?” Oftentimes a window air conditioner can be heavy, and you may find yourself wondering where to start in order to install it properly and securely. But we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn how to install a window air conditioner, as well as other A/C tips for this summer!


Things to Do First


If you’re installing a unit that you’ve used before, you’ll want to replace or clean the air filter before you put it in the window. Once an air conditioner is installed in the window, it can be difficult to clean hard to reach portions. Take this opportunity at the beginning of the season to give your air conditioner a good cleaning. When replacing or cleaning the filter you should also make it a habit to clean the coils of dust and other debris.


This is also a good time to check to ensure that no coils are bent or broken, as they can block air flow and overexert the unit. When replacing or cleaning the filter, look for any buildup of mold within the unit. If not cleaned properly the mold in an air conditioner can become airborne and spread mold spores throughout your home. Clean any debris or mold with a simple mixture of warm water, bleach, and dish soap to give it a nice, thorough cleaning. Once your A/C is clean, you’re one step closer to cool comfort!


Preparing Your Space


Window air conditioners can vary in size and weight - some models may be over 100 pounds – so it’s a good idea to prepare your space before you try to get your unit installed. If you have a window screen, remove it and store it somewhere safe and out of the way for the season.


Look over your air conditioning unit and read the manual for instructions on how it's supposed to be installed. Some units are fixed by screwing the air conditioner into the window frame; others have a supportive platform on the outside of the window on which the A/C can rest. If it’s your first time installing an air conditioner in a particular window, you’ll want to make sure your window is suitable for an A/C.


Most window A/Cs are designed for a double-hung window, meaning a window with a stationary top pane and a bottom pane that slides upwards. Do some measuring first and make sure your window and A/C unit are a good match. You will also need a three-pronged outlet near the window.


Don’t forget to review your rental agreement or contact your landlord before installing an A/C unit. While most landlords may allow air conditioning units, some complexes or larger units may restrict them.


Installing Your A/C


To install your window air conditioner, open your window fully and remove any drapes or blinds that may be in the way. If you’re installing an air conditioner on the first floor and have a friend or family member to lend a hand, have them go outside the window to offer support while you get the A/C securely in place.


If you’re installing a unit on a second floor, affix your support bracket to the outside of the window before hoisting up your air conditioner. While the weight of the window frame may be enough to keep lighter units in place, it’s best not to risk any property damage or injury by leaving that alone to secure your unit.


Insert your A/C in the window and position it appropriately. Once you have your unit roughly where you want it to be, lower the window frame all the way down and extend any collapsible side panels that your unit has. Lastly, seal any air gaps you may find to keep out bugs and offer maximum cooling efficiency in your room.


Looking for ways to reduce your energy bill this summer? Check out energy-saving tips for your home!