Can You Put a Window AC Unit in the Basement?

Typically, the basement is used to store your extra things and certain appliances. A basement can be quite hot and moist at times, so an air conditioner might seem like a great addition to make the space feel more inviting and comfortable. But can you put a window AC unit in the basement?

You can put a window AC unit in the basement. It’s a quick solution to make the basement cool. However, basement windows are not always suitably sized for a typical window AC unit. If you don’t have a suitable window in the basement, try a ventilator fan, a portable AC, or a mini-split AC.

Let’s find out how you can install a window AC unit in the basement and what alternatives exist in case you don’t have space for one.

Can You Put a Window Air Conditioner in a Basement Window?

Empty White Room

Installing a window AC unit in a basement can be quite a struggle. That’s because basement windows often don’t have the same size and structure as the rest of the windows in the home. Thus, you may find it challenging to place and secure the AC unit.

The good news is that several tricks can help you install a window AC unit in a basement with ease.

Before you begin, make sure that the AC unit you are about to install is roughly the right size for the window. Take measurements of the window before you buy an air conditioner.

Once you’ve got the right unit, here are some ways to get the perfect fit in the window:

Step 1: Fix Air Leaks

If there is a gap between the AC and the window, block the space to prevent air leaks. You can tilt the AC a bit to drain the unit properly. Also, you can put boards under the AC to help it rest securely. Another option is placing plywood or Styrofoam in between the gaps.

Step 2: Secure the Window AC

Securing the window AC unit is the trickiest part of the installation process. But whether you’ve got a new or old AC, it’s essential to have a small shelf where the unit can rest. The shelf should have a slight incline so that the AC will drain to the outside.

Step 3: Maintain Security

Unfortunately, once you install a window AC unit, the window becomes vulnerable to burglars who may try to enter through the space created by the unit.

To secure your home, cut a stick or board to fit neatly between the top of the sash and the upper window frame. This is the best way to prevent intruders from prying the window open. 

How Else Can You Air Condition a Basement?

Putting in a window AC unit may sound like a daunting task. Some may find it easier than others, especially if they’ve got an appropriately sized window. But some basements just aren’t built for a window AC unit.

If that’s the case in your home, don’t fret. Here are a few other options you have to achieve a pleasant, temperate atmosphere in your basement:

Basement Ventilator Fan

System of ventilating pipes

There are ventilator fans that are manufactured specifically for the basement. This type of cooling system is typically cheaper than an AC unit. It effectively provides moisture control and ventilation throughout the basement.

If this sounds like the right option, check out the AC Infinity Airtitan T8 (on Amazon).

Portable Air Conditioner

If you’re still set on an air conditioner that works like a window AC unit, there are portable AC units that basically do the same thing. The only real difference between the two units is that the window AC is placed in the window, while a portable AC set sits on the basement floor.

The SereneLife SLPAC8 (on Amazon) is a great example of this type of unit.

Mini Split AC

A mini-split air conditioner will achieve the same results as a window AC unit, but it only requires a wall on which it can be installed. A separate compressor will have to sit outside.

No window is necessary here — and the device has a very streamlined, modern look.

A mini-split AC can also heat the room, so it’s great for use throughout the year. However, the installation can be more complicated; a hole will need to be made in the wall.

Mini-split ACs are going to cost much more than some other options, but you get a high-quality device as a result. Check out the ROVSUN 9,000 BTU Mini Split AC System (on Amazon).