Minor Home Repairs 110: Air Conditioner Unit Installation

While air conditioner-related tasks are posted year-round in some cities, for the most part we see demand for air conditioner installation peak around May/June. This is a great task type to specialize in because it’s certain that there will be demand for it every year!

To help you make the most of this demand, top Taskers shared some tips to help you tackle installations of air conditioners in windows.

  • Clean both sides of the window.
  • Screw in the top rail and insert side filler panels.
  • The bottom edge of the window should line up with the outside rail; the window should be lowered behind the top rail.
  • Attach side panels to the frame; attach frame locks; attach sash locks.
  • Cut foam window seal.
  • Make sure the air conditioner unit leans back a bit to help with drainage; if it doesn’t, the bottom rail may need to be adjusted.
  • Save the box the air conditioner came in for storage during the off-season.
  • Always refer to the A/C user manual for additional instructions.

Check out Lowe’s, Home Depot, YouTube, and other online tutorials for detailed installation instructions. 

Here are some additional pro tips:

  • Don’t underestimate the weight of the A/C unit! If help is available, don’t hesitate to ask before lifting it. Sometimes, air conditioner installation is a two-person task and Clients are hiring you to help them.
  • The window might raise up and A/C could fall out and injure someone. Some A/Cs are set up with an outer seal to prevent them from falling, but this is pretty specific to New York City and apartment buildings. Plan on bringing (or ask the Client if they have) a support, such as a brick or piece of wood, to place under the A/C unit–never trust that it will just sit in the window. Remember that closing the window won’t securely hold the A/C unit–it’s best to safely and securely screw it in to be sure it won’t move. 
  • Bring your own backup screws and bolts of different sizes–you never know what screws will fit with the window panel you’re working with. Don’t forget your drill! 
  • You always want to lay the A/C evenly so it’s not hanging too far in or out. Not only is it unsafe, but it’s also not energy efficient. 
  • If the task is to remove an Air Conditioning unit, remember that you have to drain it first!

Scoping the task:

  • Have you measured the window and confirmed that the unit fits?
  • [If Client indicates that parts are needed:] Do you know what model the air conditioner is so I can purchase the part/s?
  • Do you know if you will need mounting brackets, and if so, have you already purchased them? 
  • Is there a grounded outlet nearby? (Air conditioners should not be plugged in through adapters or extension cords.)
  • Can you take a photo of the window and of the A/C unit? Please let me know if you have any challenges, instructions, or questions.
  • Where is the Unit located? Will I need help getting it upstairs? 

Special tools for a/c installations:

  • Power drill (not just a screwdriver) 
  • Backup supply of screws and bolts of different sizes 
  • You might need to find an object for leveling the A/C (brick, piece of wood) 

Thanks to NYC Tasker Bandele P. for sharing his expert advice!

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