Installation tips—room air conditioners

A good fit improves unit performance

Consult a professional.
A qualified air conditioning contractor is specially trained to assess a room’s cooling requirements and can help to select the right size air conditioning unit. The contractor makes this calculation based on a number of factors such as room size, insulation levels, lighting, climate, and number, type and orientation of windows. An electrical contractor must install necessary circuitry for certain models.

Location, location, location.
An air conditioning unit needs adequate air circulation all around the unit, both indoors and out. Indoors, locate the unit away from doors, corners, drapes and furniture if possible. Outdoors, locate the unit away from shrubbery and out of direct sunlight. Choose a wall or window with northern exposure and/or plentiful shade if possible.

Install with easy removal in mind.
The location of the unit matters not just for installation, but also for cleaning, maintenance and removal. Removing and properly storing your unit over the winter will extend its life and help maintain its efficiency, saving you more money in the long run.

Think ahead to colder weather.
Consider the space that will remain when the unit is removed for the winter. Can it be insulated easily? Heat loss through this space will add to your energy bills in colder months.

Size matters.
A larger, heavier, through-the-wall unit usually needs a slide-out chassis and outdoor support—it may even require special electrical circuitry. Consult a professional to ensure safe installation. A smaller, lighter window air conditioner can typically be safely installed without professional help.

Consider safety at all times.
Air conditioning units often weigh 25 kilograms (55 pounds) or more and are extremely bulky. Make sure you have enough helpers to manage the installation safely and securely.

Mind the gap.
When the unit is placed securely, seal large gaps with the panels or side curtains provided by the manufacturer. Stop up any remaining cracks with peelable caulking or other airtight sealant that will block air leaks and insects.

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