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Where to Place an Air Conditioner in Your Home

When it comes to installing a new air conditioner, there are several important factors that you'll need to consider. Knowing the appropriate unit size, electrical needs and proper placement are essential. Here are some helpful tips to consider when finding the best location for an AC unit in your home.

Choose the Right Unit for Your Space

Measure the length and width of the room to determine its square footage. Knowing the room's size will allow you to find an air conditioner with the right BTU rating for the space. When determining cooling capacity, consider specifics like whether the room gets a lot of sun or is regularly used by people in your household.

Find the Right Fit for Your Window

If you're using a window air conditioner, choose a window that is balanced and can hold it securely. Most window units are designed to fit into double-hung windows. If you only have casement windows, you can find a model that is designed to fit into one side of these sliding windows. Do not place this appliance in a window that would be a primary means of escape during a fire or other emergency.

Evaluate Your Electrical Source

Test the available outlets, and take note of other devices that may be on the same circuit. High-energy appliances like refrigerators and dryers shouldn't share a circuit with your AC unit. Buying an air conditioner or major appliance cord that is rated for heavy current draw can help you reach a different outlet. However, it's safest to use a short cord that won't be a tripping hazard across the floor.

Consider the Angle of the Sun

Choose a shady spot on the north or east side of your home to avoid direct sunlight, which reduces the efficiency of the air conditioner's outdoor heat exchanger. By keeping the unit in the shade, you can use up to 10 percent less energy to cool your home. You can also plant trees or bushes that will shade the unit, but beware of blocking the air flow and causing the unit to overwork or burn out.