Window Air Conditioner Installation

A window air conditioner, sometimes known as a through the wall air conditioner, is a great option in cases where there is no central air conditioning unit or for an older home without ducts. These instructions will show you how to install an air conditioner wall unit through a vertical opening window (double hung). For instructions installing an in wall air conditioner through a horizontal sliding window, you will need to consider a casement window air conditioner. For installation instructions for these types of units, please visit our article Casement Window Air Conditioner Installation. You could still make normal air conditioner window unit work in a casement window, but it will require more effort.

How to Install a Window Air Conditioner

Window Air Conditioner

Window Air Conditioner

  1. Determine which window will hold the unit. The electrical power chord should reach the outlet you will use. The outlet needs to provide the required electrical output for your unit (refer to your owner’s manual for this). Inspect the window to be sure there is nothing loose or rotten, particularly if it is a wooden window. Remove any screens that may be present.

  1. You will notice that there is a groove on the bottom of the air conditioner made for the window sill. Lift the window open and, with the help of a friend, lift the in wall air conditioner onto the opening of the window, making sure the unit falls into the window sill on the groove. You can attempt to lift the unit on your own if you feel you can do this by yourself. However, since safety is the most important thing when installing the wall unit air conditioner, we encourage you to take the safest course possible.

  1. Tilt the unit toward you and then close the window so that it catches the lip at the top of the unit. Gently back up the unit until the window catches the top lip of the air conditioner. Once the window is holding the unit, it is time to secure the movable part of the window. We suggest using an adapter like this one that will hold the window in place so that it doesn’t open. If the unit is to be permanent, you can insulate the top and bottom with window foam or another form of insulation.

  1. Then, can extend the plastic side screens of the unit to reach to the side window sills to close the openings on either side of the air conditioner. To hold them in place, there are perforated holes for nails or screws at the top and bottom of each screen. If you don’t want to damage the window, you may want to just nail down the bottom hole. Another option is to use artist tape or some other tape to hold the side screens in place.

  1. At this point, you are done! Plug in the unit to he outlet and turn it on.

The are additional steps you can take to improve insulation and the effect of the air conditioner window unit. You could insulate the sides with foam backing. You could use window foam or spray foam to fill in any openings that you may see. If you are installing the unit in a downstairs room, you may want to reinforce the plastic side screens with either plywood or another strong material if you are concerned about someone breaking into the home.

Air Conditioner Service

If you are like most home owners, you are concerned about the air conditioner service cost. Before calling a professional to service your air conditioner, there are several things to check. Below is a short list of things you can check and essentially do an at home air conditioner repair:

  1. If you are having issues with the air conditioner not turning on, check your fuse box. Look for the heat and/or AC breaker. Turn the breakers for the air conditioner off, wait a few seconds and then turn them back on. After this, wait three to five minutes. If the unit turns on, then the problem is fixed. If the breaker keeps tripping, then you will need to call a professional. If the unit does not turn on but the breaker does not trip, then let’s look at the second area.

    Air Conditioner Thermostat, air conditioner repair, air conditioner service

    Digital Thermostat

  2. If you have a digital thermostat, be sure to check the batteries in the unit to see if they need to be replaced. Take the cover off the thermostat, replace the batteries and then put the cover back on. Turn on the air conditioner and wait three to five minutes. This is because all thermostats have a delay. See if the system comes back on. If it doesn’t turn on, you will need to try the next step.

  3. Sometimes, the drain line can be backed up. The drain line is usually found next to the furnace. A couple of ways to fix this is to flush the drain line out with a vacuum cleaner or with a water hose. If the drain line was clogged and if your unit has a flow switch, once the line is clear, the flow switch will reset, and the unit should turn back on. If this fixes the problem, be sure to check the line about once a month and service the air conditioner about every six months.

  4. If you are still having problems, the next thing to check is the air filter. In some units, the filter is in the furnace unit itself. Other times, the filters are inside the home. Look for intake vents. The vents will vary in sizes but they are larger than the regular air conditioner vents. If the filter is dirty, replace with a new filter. While changing the filter in the furnace, check to see if you see any ice in the coil. If you do, change the filter and turn the fan to on and let is run for a while. This should thaw the ice. After this, turn the unit to cool. If the unit keeps freezing, it’s time to call the air conditioner repair service company.

  5. The outside condenser unit may be dirty. This prevents the air conditioner from cooling. The condenser needs to be free of grass or weeds, so be sure to cut these off from around the unit. It is also good practice to rinse the unit with water to keep it free of debris. You can use a hose to do this, but be sure not to blast or use any objects as this could damage the metal fins. Only use water. After cleaning, remove any debris from the bottom of the unit with your hand.

This list of things to check should help you in determining whether or not you need to call a professional for your air conditioner repair. They will be able to service the unit properly and will have the air conditioner parts that you may need.

Portable Room Air Conditioner Installation

A portable room air conditioner is a great option when you want to cool a small area and a window unit doesn’t work. For example, these units would work great in basements or computer server rooms. A benefit of one of these units is that they are much easier to install than a window air conditioner. Also, you may prefer the look and functionality of a portable single room air conditioner. You won’t have a big unit hanging out of a window possibly blocking your view or making it an eye sore for you home. 

portable room air conditioner

Portable Room Air Conditioner

Other benefits of a portable single room air conditioner is that it can be used in addition to a central heating and cooling system. These units give you the ability to cool just a room instead of having to cool the entire home. You can keep your thermostat on a higher setting and save money on electricity. Some units even have heating options and could be used as humidifiers as well. For a great unit that works well and has high ratings, visit this page

There are some things to keep in mind when setting up one of these units. First, be sure the unit is able to cool the size of the room you are using it in. There are units that range from 200-600 sq. feet (rooms that are 10’x20′ up to 20’x30′). Once you know the proper dimensions of the room, you can select the best portable air conditioner for your needs

Also, there must be a way for the unit to vent out hot air to the outside. Many units include these venting kits, but if not, you can purchase one like this one. Just open a window and install the kit. Because of the ability of kits to be adjusted, the unit it can be installed using a variety of window types, instead of just traditional windows as in the case of a window unit. For an example of a window kit, click here.

How to Install a Portable Room Air Conditioner

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s go over how to install a portable air conditioner:

  1. Because of the weight of the unit, you may need some to help you get it out of the box. Once the unit is out, remove all packaging and read the instructions carefully.

  1. Check to see that the ventilation kit will fit your size of window. The kit should be flexible enough to fit both vertical and casement (horizontal) opening windows. Check the manual to verify minimum and maximum window sizes.

  1. Your unit should have a foam seal with adhesive backing. Cut it to fit all four sides of the opening. The opening of the window needs to be the height of the vent pannel assembly. (For more details, please refer to your owner’s manual).

  1. Insert the vent panel assembly into the window opening and extend any extension panels that you may be using to close the opening.

  1. Carefully lower the window. To secure the panel assembly, please use the enclosed screws. If you do not want to damage the window with screws, you can use artist’s tape or a similar adhesive tape to secure the panel assembly. If your unit comes with non-adhesive foam, use it to close any gaps between the glass and the window to prevent air flow and insects from coming in.

  1. For security reasons, most kits come with security brackets that can be screwed into the window frame. If you are concerned about damaging the window, you could use an adapter like this one as well. 

  2. Now, install the plastic end of the diffuser into the opening in the panel assembly and the other end to the air conditioner. The unit is ready to be plugged in and turned on.

  1. Be sure to insert the batteries into the enclosed remote control and power up the unit. If the unit does not power on, check to see if the power chord has a reset button. It may need to be pressed. Please refer to your owner’s manual for more details.

You should now be able to enjoy your new portable air conditioner! If you have any issues, please refer to your owner’s manual and follow it’s recommendations.

Air Conditioner Parts

No matter which type of unit you may have, air conditioner repairs are needed from time to time. The parts that will most often need repair are usually the same across units. This articles will discuss how air conditioning works, how parts are set up in window air conditioner, portable air conditioner and a ductless split system air conditioners. Finally, we will outline the parts that commonly need replacement.


How Air Conditioning Works
(by Mark Quasias of

How Air Conditioning Works

How Air Conditioning Works

Air conditioning works by exchanging heat between two separate areas. It does this by compressing gas and then expanding it. When the gas expands it gets cooler and absorbs heat from the interior of the vehicle. When it is compressed it retains heat, which is transferred to the exterior of the vehicle. It does this by passing through a pair of heat exchangers, which are similar to radiators. The exchanger on the inside of the vehicle is called the evaporator because this is where the gas expands and cool air is blown into the compartment. The exterior unit is the condensor, so named because the gas is condensed after it leaves the compressor. This is where the heat is removed from the refrigerant by the condensor fan, which blows it into the atmosphere.

An engine driven compressor pumps the cold low pressure vapor and compresses it into hot high pressure gas. As this gas passes through the condensor the condensor fan blows the heat away into the atmosphere, cooling the refrigerant into a cool liquid form. It then passes through a receiver/drier, which ensures that there is no moisture in the system that could cause any freeze ups in the lines, and then enters the expansion valve. The expansion valve is a small orifice that allows the refrigerant to expand to a gas form as it passes through. The cool liquid refrigerant will convert to a cold gas. As it passes through the evaporator it picks up the heat from the air that the evaporator fan is passing through the core giving you nice cold air as it’s output. It then returns to the compressor pump and begins it’s cycle all over again.

Air conditioning systems have their limits. Each unit is designed for a given temperature drop in degrees. A typical system is designed to cool up to 20 degrees. The temperature differential (also known as Delta T) between the condensor’s intake air and the evaporator’s output air will be 20 degrees and no more. So, if you have 100 degree air entering your system the output temperature will never be any lower than 80 degrees. As the intake air cools down the output air temperature will also be lowered so the cooling will improve the longer it runs. They key is to start it early enough before the temperatures get too extreme.

Humidity also pays a factor. Humid air is dehumidified as it passes through the evaporator core. This condensate will run down the roof or be pumped out via drain tubes. But the process of making this condensate does steal some of the ability to lower the output air temperature so your Delta T may drop to 16-18 degrees rather than 20, depending on just how humid it is. Therefore your air conditioner will perform better in drier climates than in humid areas. The main thing to remember is that your unit won’t cool as well in seriously hotter temperatures than it will in milder temperatures.

Each system requires a certain amount of refrigerant in order to function. If the unit is low on refrigerant it won’t perform as designed. Each system has a certain volume to it and requires a proportionate amount of Freon. An RV has a large condensor and long hose lengths that connect the evaporator in the front of the motorhome to the rear radiator area where the condensor is found. Therefore a 40′ motorhome will require more refrigerant than a compact car. Adding extra refrigerant above and beyond the specified amount will not improve your air conditioner’s performance. In fact, it will be detrimental to it and cause higher head pressures that will result in compressor failures.

Air Conditioner Parts by Type of Air Conditioner

Parts of an Air Conditioner Window Unit

Parts of an Air Conditioner Window Unit

For window air conditioner parts, let’s begin with the inner components. The evaporator coil converts the refrigerant liquid into gas that absorbs heat and humidity from the air. This heated gas is then carried outside through a tube called the condenser coil. The fan is responsible for blowing the cooled air into the room. There’s also the thermostat which determines the room temperature. The filter keeps most solid components from entering the coils.

A panel separates the inner and outer components. The outside components include the condensing coil, the compressor and the condensing fan. For more details, visit our article Window Air Conditioner Installation.

Portable Air Conditioner, air conditioner parts

Portable Air Conditioner Air Flow

For a portable air conditioner parts, they are similar to window air conditioners but are configured differently. The main difference is that rather than part of the unit being outside as in window air conditioners, all cooling components are housed withing the unit. The vent hose carries the hot air out of the room to the outside. For more details, visit our article Portable Air Conditioner Installation.

Ductless Mini-Split Air Flow, air conditioner parts

Ductless Mini-Split Air Flow

For a ductless or spit system air conditioner, the cooling mechanism is split into two units. The outside condenser delivers refrigerant to the inside air handler which blows air over the coils to either cool or heat the room. For more details on portable air conditioners, please visit our article Wall Mounted Air Conditioner Installation.

Home air conditioner parts that need replaced most often are:

  • Air Filter
  • Refrigerant
  • Thermostat
  • Transformer
  • Breaker
  • Wire
  • Condenser Fan

There are also parts specific to each type of air conditioner that may need replaced as well. The good news is that home air conditioner parts can be purchased at most hardware stores or online sellers such as Amazon. Most repairs for the units we have talked about can be done at home. However, if the repairs are more extensive, you will need to call a professional to service the air conditioner.