Window air conditioners are convenient and easy to install. But when it gets colder, you’ll need to remove the unit or insulate the area with foam board or a weather seal. In this article, we’ll explain how to apply air conditioner foam, which most hardware and home improvement stores have available.
When choosing foam insulation, there’s no harm in purchasing the lowest cost option. The purpose of foam insulation is to keep out drafts. After all, it is the wind that pushes cold air into your home. A more expensive board won’t block a draft any differently than a lower-priced one. Some insulating materials have foil on one side, which reflects sunlight; but this doesn’t do that much. Some stores charge more for this so it’s a consideration when shopping around.
Installing High-Density Foam
High-density foam can protect your home from harsh weather, bugs, and mold. Here’s a look at how to install it:
- Cleaning/Preparation: Sweep away any dust or debris in the area and thoroughly wipe down surfaces. The cleaner the surface, the easier it will be to apply the air conditioner foam. And don’t use any outlets near the insulation; running power through here can result in a fire.
- Create a Frame: If the space is wide, frame the area so the foam has something to attach to. Pre-made frames are available, or you can use wooden boards to build your own. Keep the space between them to about 2 feet so there isn’t extra room for air to pass through.
- Measure the Area: Using a measuring tape, get exact measurements so you know how much material you’ll need at the hardware store. For spray foam, calculate the square footage of the area to be sprayed.
- Apply the Foam: Make sure you wear gloves and safety glasses. Starting in a bottom corner, spray the area to insulate, moving slowly to allow the material to expand. Work the spray across, then upwards, making sure to stay in the frame. Once you’ve covered the entire area, spray any holes that appear and let dry.
Importance of Foam Insulation
Even if you have accordion panels around your air conditioner and a weather seal, there may be gaps that can allow air in. Some of these leak points may not be visible. However, you can find them by placing a lit candle or lighter near the unit. If it flickers, that means there’s an air leak. Adding foam insulation can keep your home warmer in winter and save on heating costs.
Alternatives to Spray Foam
Spray foam isn’t the only option for sealing your window AC. Flexible foam strips can be just as effective at providing insulation. They can help fill gaps and holes that you find around the unit. Once you have acquired the strip, measure these spaces and carefully cut the foam with a sharp knife. Oftentimes, new window air conditioners come with insulation foam or strips.
Instead of air conditioner foam, some people prefer to place a fabric cover over the unit. This cover fits over the outside of the unit and protects it against rain and snow. You can also weatherize the unit by removing the outer cover, placing a plastic bag around the inner components, and taping it in place before reinstalling the outer cover.
Contact Black Hills for AC Service
If you have additional questions about air conditioner foam insulation, we can answer them and provide insights into properly installing it and which method to use. We’re preferred for high-quality AC and heating services, including installation, repair, and maintenance in the Olympia area. Employing licensed, bonded technicians, we’re available 24/7 and have maintenance plans to help you save. For more information, call 888-295-1201 today!