Air Conditioners, Home Improvement

Installing Air Conditioners – Is It Just For Experts?

An air conditioning unit is now an essential part of many American households. The great news is that there are various models in the market that these families can choose from. While buying the unit is not difficult, the tougher task is how to install it inside a home.

It is vital to have the unit correctly installed from the onset since it has a huge bearing on the actual performance of the air conditioner. Wrong installations can lead to sky-high electric bills, slow cooling, or poor air circulation. Other maintenance problems could also arise out of incorrect installation.

Studies show that improperly installed air conditioners have reduced capacities and efficiency. You are looking at a whopping 20% inefficiency if an AC is not correctly installed the first time.

Now the Tips…

Here are some things that you need to know before you even consider buying an air conditioner

  • Find out which window you will install the air conditioner at. Be sure to have a three-prong outlet near that window. If you have no such outlet near the window that you choose, then have an electrician install one right away.
  • In case you decide to use an extension cord, be sure to label it for AC use.
  • Check the current load on the circuit that you are planning to use. If it is already powering many other devices, no matter how simple they may be such as a hair dryer, then you may want to choose a different window which is near a circuit that will be dedicated for the AC.
  • Know that not every type of air conditioner can fit into the window that you select. Find out first whether the air conditioner will fit into your slider, double-hung or casement window.
  • Majority of the units in the market can only work with double-hung windows. Be sure to measure the height and width of the window opening to ascertain that the AC you buy will fit.
  • Find out how much rain protection or insulation you will need to add around this window in your home. For instance, you can add a few, white, expanded foam insulation by the sides or in between the gay  of the upper and lower sashes.
  • If your chosen window is facing the west, then this is sure to catch more sunlight, hence, your AC will need to double its efforts to produce enough coolness. If the wind whips rain on the side of your home, then you may want to install water barriers outside.

Now that you have considered these tips, it is time to prep your window –

  • Be sure to inspect the window that is going to be used. If it is not in stellar condition, then be sure to have it fortified right away.
  • Upon installation, you will not be able to open that window for many months or even years so be sure to wash and clean it now – or you won’t have the chance to do it later.
  • Clear the area all about the window and be sure to leave lots of work space.
  • Be sure to check for any kind of obstruction on the opening

Now it’s time to install –

  • Every air conditioner comes with a manual. Read it well before you install the unit on the window.
  • Measure the window again and with the bottom sash pulled up, insert the air conditioner into the window. Be sure to keep it balanced while you slide.
  • Slowly lower the bottom window sash till it already rests on the AC. Check if the top sash is there to hold the air conditioner to its place.
  • Drive at least two screws on the upper flange then into the window sash. Just make sure that you have already drilled pilot holes or the screws will split the wood.
  • Attach the L-clips of the bottom sash to the top sash. Pull aside the curtains to keep moisture and bugs at bay.

Plug in and enjoy your newly installed air conditioner! If it doesn’t work, then let an expert electrician take over.

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