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How to Install Window Air Conditioners

by Paul Sanders

White window air conditioner vent

Things You Need:

  • Window air conditioner
  • Level
  • Power drill
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Caulking gun

You can beat the heat without sending your air conditioning bills through the roof. One way is to cool an individual room with a window air conditioner, instead of the entire house, and make it a cool retreat. Air conditioners and heaters can be used to control temperature in a single room without adjusting your home's main thermostat. Most window air conditioners are built for single-hung, double-hung and side-sliding windows. So, you'll need to select an air conditioner unit that fits your window type. These steps will help you to install your window air conditioner properly.

Air Conditioner Installation:

  1. Inspect the window sill. Open the window and remove the screen. Check the wood or metal of the window sill. If it is rotting or corroded, you may need to have it repaired or install the air conditioner in another window.

  2. Install the necessary mounting hardware. Your window air conditioner will probably use mounting hardware that will prevent it from tipping or slipping out of the window. The mounts will attach directly to the window sill.

  3. Following the instructions that come with your window air conditioner, use the measuring tape to mark locations for the mounting screws and drill pilot holes.

  4. Place the mounting brackets on the sill and use the level to ensure they provide a level surface for the window air conditioner to rest on. Screw them into place.

  5. Place the air conditioner onto the mounts. In this step, it may help to have someone assist you in lifting the window air conditioner into place and steadying it as you finish the installation. The air conditioner will slide onto the mounting brackets and snap firmly into place. Check the manual for specific instructions on mounting your widow air conditioner.

  6. Open the extensions. Slide the window sash into place to hold the upper or side edge of your window air conditioner. Then extend the accordion-like extensions on the sides of the air conditioner unit to fill the gaps on either side. You may want to screw or nail these into place.

  7. Immobilize the sashes. Your window air conditioner may include L-shaped brackets that you can use to secure the sash to the window frame, or to the other sash, with screws. This keeps the window from shaking or sliding open and provides a solid frame for holding the window air conditioner steady.

  8. Insulate window gaps. You may want to slip a foam strip into the gap between the windowpanes, which will no longer provide an airtight seal. You can also use the caulking gun to seal the edges of the extensions and the window air conditioner itself. This provides a more airtight seal and a barrier to insects and dust.

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