Window AC question

BillyBobJoSeptember 23, 2011

Hi Y'all! I've got a little question on Window Air Conditioners. I'll appreciate any help I can get!

So my first question is if this is insulation I have here for my Window AC should work ok?

Its a 5,000 BTU Sharp Window AC unit. Now what I'm wandering if its ok to have most of the unit inside the way it is [espically the hot compressor and intale vents for the condenser fan]. I know that air is sucked through them vents on the side. It seems to me like the bad would be cold air in the room would get sucked out, But the good is that the cool air would seem to help keep the compressor cool and could cool the condenser coil better. What do Y'all think?

I mainly have it mounted this a way because my Windows slide horizontally and not vertically like this machine is intended for. I also live on the 2nd story of the building, well actually more like 3 1/2 cause we got them big garages so something to support the AC on the outside isn't an option for me. I also ain't got no real way of securin it neither in this type of windows.

Reason is that it doesn't cool real well on them real hot days over 80 Degrees. I know my room is slightly too big for 5,000 BTU as its 196 Sq Feet, and its gets A LOT of sunlight through a HUGE slider door [but it does have shades that work to some degree. Also I would suppose the cardboard boxes aren't very efficient at all, but I do actually have them sealed pretty well. Also I have Central Air, but it really doesn't work that great in my room but it works ok [Actually better than the Window AC seemingly] and it only has one intake vent so it doesn't remove any hot air from this room, only adds cool air. I also want to try and save money by not running the Central when just I'm home.

But I do have one other option I'm really leaning towards which is to put the Window AC unit in the door in my bedroom that leads to the deck. There are 2 entrances to the deck one from the living room so it doesn't really matter. Only thing is this is where during about 12-3 theres tons of direct sunlight and it gets real hot on the deck but I think I could help keep the AC cool by building it a small wooden thing with a roof to shade it.

I'm also considering a bigger AC unit. I can probably pick up a 10,000 BTU or more unit at the flea market for $50. This is the route I'm really heading, maybe that and put the big one in the door and this small one down in my garage where its shaded. Or is the window setup I have ok? Also I do plan to put plywood there but not until I have a good setup.

Heres the door:

Thanks I appreciate any suggestions or ideas.

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if that setup would help the efficiency of the unit wouldn't the company that designed it recommend such an install? The problem is- if the unit is sucking cold air out of the building that would cause negative pressure within the building which would be filled with hot outside air which in turn would cause the ac unit to work that much harder. Remember the job of an a/c is to remove heat it doesn't care if it is all at once or just a steady flow it still has to remove it. Also the condensate water helps cool the condenser side of the unit through evaporation.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 9:21AM
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For the reasons heatseaker detailed, your first option is likely to increase your cooling costs rather than decrease them compared to using your central AC. It is like putting an exhaust fan in your window. If you can do it better on the door out to the deck, it should work better. Don't block the air flow when you build the wood thing to shade it.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 11:25AM
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Thanks for the replies guys.

Sounds like you guys are right, I'll try and put it in the door to the deck today, and see if it works better. Yea I'll make sure the wood thing doesn't block any airflow, the reason I plan to build one is because during 12-3 the sun just blasts the deck, the floor on the deck is so hot it burns like hell just to touch it for a second, and it seems like it could be hard on the unit, especially with it being a bit undersized, although I know these are built to take it just an idea.

It's gonna be a hot one near 100 today so I'll let Y'all know how it works. If it doesn't work much better I'll invest in a bigger unit this weekend if I can find a good one at the flea market.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 12:48PM
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There are support brackets that you can purchase that might work for the window. It would require drilling into the siding and part of the window.

I have a similar AC unit that I used to put into a sliding window. I cut a piece of plywood the size of the opening above the AC unit. I shaved down the edges of the plywood so that it would fit into the grooves of the window. I then slid the window tightly up against the AC unit and the plywood. The AC unit was held by the sides of the window and the sliding part, not by the top. The plywood fit behind the top rail of the AC unit. I then sealed around it with insulation and duct tape.

As to the cardboard on the right, think about buying some rigid insulation panels from HD and cutting them to size.

If you're going to attempt to put something in the doorway, you should think about getting a rigid insulation panel.

Also, these units need to tilt slightly to the rear so that the condensate will drain out. From a security standpoint, you should put something in the window/door track to prevent sliding open. Like a piece of broomstick.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 4:08PM
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Well I was installing it in the door and screwing in the expanding curtains and then I dropped one of the screws into on of the outside air intake vents! I had it tilted so I could screw them in easily. So I had to pull the whole unit apart to find it. And man is this thing dirty!

I got this unit not too long ago from a friend and I never really cleaned it other than the filter. And man its pretty damn dirty inside! It must be a little older, maybe 90s or so since it uses HCFC 22. The whole bottom pan is covered with mud! Theres lots and lots of mud inside! I don't know how that happened! Usually these do get dirt collected in there and stuff like that but mud is kind of unusual. There was lots of cobwebs and dirt too so I'm cleaning it out inside with the hose and then I'll install it and give it a try. Hopefully it'll still be hot out by then.

weedmeister Yea at first I was gonna install it in the window kind of how you mentioned, but the windows are very cheap and weak, and when I had a temporary install you just push lightly on the window frame and the AC almost falls out. If I lived on the first or maybe even second floor then I'd say screw it and go for it, but on the 3rd its a little risky. Maybe eventually I'll find a way to do it securely though.

But I don't plan on living here too much longer, I'll probably be moving to a house, but it may be a year or 2 or maybe 3 so I don't want anything real permanent but something that works. If it leaves a little damage oh well, but I don't want to have to replace the window. I think the deck Idea may work out. And as for having the AC tilted the floor of my room is a few inches higher than the deck, so that won't be a problem.

I'll let you know what happens when I get it in.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 4:47PM
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Well, its still nasty out! I think about 90 Degrees and a bit humid. I got it goin now setup in the door. It fit right in just perfect, and somehow the cardboard boxes fit in 100% perfect! No leaks either! Almost didn't need tape! But of course I taped em up good!
As far as it workin, it seems to be working much better, WAY quieter with the compressor outside! Bout 1/4 the noise. Performance wise it does seem to be cooling the room better, actually MUCH MUCH better! My slow digital thermometer seems seems to have indicated a drop from 90 in the room to 86.7 in the room in the last 10 minutes! Not bad, however this may be do to the sun having moved and me putting down the Window shades [They were up letting in sunlight heating it up].

However the sun is pretty much done shining on my room so I can't really test it today. But after a good cleaning and spaying of both coils with the hose and compressed air it seems to be doing fine.

Unfortunately I won't be here most of the day Tomorrow and Sunday I won't be here most of the day cause I'm going to a big o'l town garage sale Saturday and then the flea market Sunday so I may not be able to test it till Monday. If I run into a good deal on a bigger BTU unit I may pick it up as well.

I'll check here though and appreciate any more ideas.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 8:39PM
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Well, you guys were definitely right! I decided to give the Sharp a chance with the new setup before replacing it with a bigger one at the flea market Sunday. So already today its cranking pretty well! Keeps the room at 70 so far, and its already starting to b get blazing hot. Before it'd be about 76 already and keep climbing, but its a steady 70. I'll let you know how it works for the rest of the day.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 2:35PM
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Just an update the AC is really working well! Its about 80 degrees out, and the AC is maintaining a steady 69-70 degrees. I guess that does make a huge difference!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 5:45PM
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You could always just leave the refrigerator and freezer doors open.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 3:56PM
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Don't think that'd work to well!

Anyways the unit works perfect now, no need for bigger unit. I'm putting some plywood over it today. Kept my room at 68-69 Degrees all day and it was damn hot out here!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 4:52PM
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