A British Thermal Unit, or BTU, is a standard unit of measurement to determine how much energy per hour an air conditioner uses to remove heat. You may need a 14,000 BTU, 20,000 BTU, 24,000 BTU, or larger air conditioner, depending on the size of your home. But a 4,000 BTU system is just fine for a 10 x 10, 12 x 12, or 14 x 14 foot room. A window air conditioner is suited for meeting this demand and can save money compared to installing a central air system. Where to place a 4,000 BTU air conditioner is an important consideration during installation.
Find the Ideal Location
A window air conditioner should be installed as close to the center of the room as possible. There should be a three-prong electrical outlet nearby. This will avoid the need for an extension cord which, when used with an AC, can be dangerous (unless the cord is rated for use with a window AC). If you can’t find a centralized location to install the unit, do so on a shaded side. The system will work harder to provide cooling if it’s in direct sunlight.
Inspect the Window Before Installation
Check the type of window you have first. Most units are designed to fit in a double-hung window, which has a fixed upper pane and sliding lower pane. A 4,000 BTU window air conditioner can’t be installed in a window that moves from side to side, or in casement windows that tilt outwards. The pane must slide up and down. Also, make sure there are no pieces of furniture or walls inside, or trees and shrubs outside, within 20 inches of the unit.
Inspect the condition of the window as well. If the window sill is rotting, mounting an AC on top can do more damage that can lead to safety issues such as the unit falling. Check the window sash for damage and make sure the inside and outside of the window are clean. It may not be operated for several months.
Remove Any Obstacles
If you have storm window frames or window screens, they may need to be removed before you can install the air conditioner. You also want to make sure there are no obstacles or tripping hazards nearby. Handling a window AC isn’t the easiest thing to do. Make sure the area is clear before you get started.
Position the Unit Correctly
If the unit requires brackets installed outside the window, follow the owner’s manual for installing them. When positioning the unit, open the window just enough and fold in the air conditioner’s accordion panels. Slowly and carefully place the unit in the opening. Lower the top sash, which will hold it in place as you angle the air conditioner unit in. The owner’s manual should show you the exact angle to position it. For example, some ACs must be angled backward to ensure proper drainage.
When the unit is in position, expand the accordion panels outward. Each panel should touch the edges of the window and be screwed into the bottom sash. Create pilot holes if there aren’t already screw holes (with a drill bit slightly smaller than the screw size). Inserting screws into an unprepared surface can split the wood.
If the unit comes with L-shaped brackets, install them in the front top window sash to secure it. Alternatively, you can cut a 2 x 2 inch piece of wood and wedge it from the bottom window sash to the top of the window frame. Then seal the gap between the glass panes with foam weatherstripping. Caulking the outside of the window can provide insulation and block out wind and rain.
Additional Tips for 4,000 BTU Air Conditioner Placement
- Double check your measurements for square footage and the height and width of the window opening.
- Check whether you need a permit to install a window AC if you live in an apartment, condo, or property run by a homeowner’s association.
- Always have someone to help; a window air conditioner can weight up to 100 pounds, making it hard to hold and maneuver in a tight space.
Contact a Professional Air Conditioner Installer
Installing an air conditioner isn’t for everyone. No matter what type of unit you need, Black Hills Home Services can do the work for you. Our licensed technicians are fully trained and experienced to handle any AC installation job. For help installing your 4,000 BTU air conditioner, request service on the web or call 888-530-7677 today.