For those who have an AC already
Once you have an air conditioner, installing it is a trickier prospect than you might realize. For one, there are certain regulations you’ll have to make sure you follow. For two, you don’t want to slice your hand open. Avoid doing that.
What you’ll need
- Window-unit air conditioner
- Manufacturer’s instruction manual
- Grounded, three-prong outlet (no extension cords, no adapters)
- Power drill
- Foam seal
Step 1: Assemble your unit
Most residential window units are made with a top rail and accordion-like panels that will help keep bugs and rodents out. You’ll want to use your screwdriver and follow manufacturer instructions to screw the top rail securely onto the top of your air conditioner. For the side panels, you’ll typically slide the accordion-like panel into a track or slot on either side of your AC. (Be sure to insert each panel on the correct side, as inserting them backwards on some models can be an irreversible rookie mistake.) The plastic or metal frames of your panels should slide into the rail you fastened to the top of your unit.
Step 2: Set the AC safely in your window
As always, lift with your legs when hoisting your air conditioner into your window. Be careful not to cut your hand or arm on the sharp metal grate that is common on the back of most models. Your air conditioner should rest over the edge of your windowsill at a very slight downward angle. This helps with drainage of condensation as the air conditioner removes moisture from the air. Fit the bottom of your AC onto the rail of your window and close the window behind the top rail of your AC, and extend the side panel. (While there is no strict requirement in New York City to use a metal bracket to support your air conditioner from the outside, it is widely considered a best practice and will give you peace of mind, and many landlords may require or supply it themselves.)