Can a Window AC Unit Be Installed on Its Side?

People nowadays are getting more into doing things by themselves, otherwise known as DIY-ing. Some prefer setting up things by consulting the user’s manual or searching online. People do this to save time and money. But sometimes, others do the DIY installation the wrong way, like installing a window AC on its side.

Whether it’s a window AC, casement AC, or portable AC, it can’t be installed on its side; various factors affect the moment you do so. And if the AC is stored or shipped on its side, place it upright and wait 24 hours before using it.

Now that we know that installing a Window AC on its side is not correct, how can we install it correctly? We have prepared an easy-to-digest guide for you to follow to ensure you do it the right way.

Should Air Conditioners Be Installed on Their Side?

AC Unit in Window

It is not advisable to install your air conditioners on their side. Even in storing and shipping, you should always keep it upright. If you install it this way, many things will be affected inside the air conditioning unit, such as:

Damaged Compressor

The AC compressor is one of the critical parts of an air conditioning unit. It is the part where it helps the refrigerant distribute the hot air out and usually looks like a small motor.

But most of its components inside require lubrication to work at their best, which is in the form of oil. And if the AC is installed on its side, the oil will sit on the half part of the compressor only, leaving the other part empty, resulting in burnout and causing the whole unit to be completely inoperable in the long run.

Drainage Failure

A Window AC works by pulling indoor air in and blowing out cool air. The air gets cold by passing into the refrigerant coils, then condensation happens. This process will make the coils sweat a lot, and it needs to be drained perfectly to avoid any damage inside.

The moment you install the Window AC sideways, water may leak to the wrong side of the AC. It might go through the grills, resulting in an AC that spits out water. It may also pose a threat of damage to the Window AC as it may affect the electrical system too.

Casement Air Conditioners

Casement Air Conditioners are types of AC that are perfect for manufactured homes. Since these homes have narrower windows than traditional homes, most manufactured homes cannot fit a conventional Window AC.

Given this, casement air conditioners are cheaper compared to traditional ones. And some of the great things a casement air conditioner provides include:

  • Energy-Efficiency: Casement window seals are not flexible, resulting in lesser airflow going in and out when sealed.
  • Easy Accessibility: The crank handle made it possible to reach hard-to-reach spots like a kitchen sink.
  • More Natural Lighting: Since these windows have no cuts in the middle of the glass, the light can pass through inside without reflecting any shadow barrier.

More Alternatives

Aside from the traditional Window AC and Casement AC, a portable AC is an air conditioner that you must install in an upright position. Installing a portable AC on its sides may damage the casement and window AC.

Portable AC

A portable AC is just like the two other types of AC, cooling the room just the same. The only noticeable difference is how they are installed.

Unlike the Window AC, which is mounted on a window or opening designed for it, the portable AC is installed on the ground as it is movable with its wheels.

The portable AC, although movable, also vents out hot air and needs a passage or way to keep the hot air out of the room. In that sense, you need to create a plug-like structure connecting the vents to the outside.

How To Install An Air Conditioner

Window Air Conditioner Unit In Outer Retail Wall

Every known type of Air Conditioning Unit has its way of the installation process. So in that sense, we have ensured that you will get it as simple as learning the alphabet.

Window AC

First, you must get the measurement of the dimensions of the AC. Then create a window frame. Once done, install the window frames, and you are ready to slide in the actual Window AC. And you can use braces or brackets to support the weight of the AC in the Window. Lastly, seal the gaps to ensure energy efficiency.

Casement AC

The installation is just the same as the traditional Window AC. The only difference is that when you purchase one, the precut inserts and fasteners tailored fit for the casement AC is already included in the package. So you will not need plywoods or styrofoams to keep them in place.

Portable AC

Since it is movable, it has a different installation trick.

First, you need to install the window kits. These are designed to fit every type of Window. After that, connect the hose, and you are good to go. Of course, it is advisable to set this up with a plug nearby. But you can always have extensions if your desired area does not have any.

To Close

You should not install any AC unit on its side if you want it to work correctly. And if they are shipped or stored on their side, place them upright and wait 24 hours before plugging them in to help the parts inside adjust back to the correct position. 

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