Air Conditioner Installation Tips

Before Purchase or Installation

Calculate the size of room to be cooled so that you buy an AC
unit with enough capacity. Still not sure? Contact us!

Obtain permission for installation from building management.

Make sure that electrical service is adequate. AC units should have dedicated outlets.

Ensure that the window and frame where the unit will be installed are in good condition.

Installation Guidelines

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Make sure the unit is installed securely. Support the unit from underneath, or firmly fasten it from inside with angles. You may use metal brackets, mounting rails, etc.

Supporting metal brackets, interior angles, etc. should be structurally fastened to the building and must be strong enough for the size and weight of the AC unit.

Objects or shims used to adjust the position of the AC unit must have an independent source of fastening or attachment.

Secure leveling objects to prevent movement and shifting due to vibrations from the AC unit, wind and other weather conditions.

Install the AC unit so it remains in place when the window is opened, or affix it so that the window can’t be opened accidentally.

Tilt the unit slightly to provide water drainage, but don’t over tilt

Do not use loose objects, such as wood blocking, bricks, telephone books, gypsum board or cans, to support the leveling of an AC unit.

Do not place anything (TV antennae, satellite dishes, plants, etc.)
on top of an AC unit.

Do not block fire escape windows or other exits with the AC unit.


A work permit or equipment use permit is generally not required
to install a common window AC unit, unless the unit exceeds three
tons/36,000 BTU/hr.

For more information see the NYC Building Code.


It is important to periodically check on the position of the AC and the condition of the window frame to make sure that the AC remains supported and secure.


Window-mounted air conditioners generally aren't considered a serious safety issue in New York City, probably because there haven't yet been any high-profile cases of a falling A/C unit injuring or killing someone. But a poorly installed air conditioner can pose as much of a danger to pedestrians as unsafe façade conditions, so co-op / condo owners must make sure their window units are adequately secured.
The first step is to make sure you're using right-sized air conditioner. Your A/C should have enough capacity to cool the room and have a dedicated outlet with the proper amount of electrical current.
The next step involves proper securement. The window and window frame in which the unit will be mounted should be in good condition. The A/C should be braced from underneath with metal brackets, mounting rails or similar supports, or firmly fastened from inside with supporting angles. The metal brackets and angles should be attached to the exterior of the building and be strong enough to support the size and weight of the unit.
Anything used to adjust the position of the air conditioner, such as shims, should be independently secured to prevent shifting caused by vibration, wind or ice. The air conditioner should remain in place when the window is opened, or secured so that the window cannot be opened accidentally. Tilting the unit for drainage is okay as long as it isn't at a steep angle.
Dangers come not only from an improperly secured air conditioner, but also from any loose objects used to support it. Bricks, wooden blocks, phone books or videocassette tapes should never be wedged between an air conditioner and the window sill. Items such as flower pots, satellite dishes and bird feeders should not be placed atop an A/C, either.
Aside from these general guidelines, there are factors specific to each installation, such as the size and weight of the air conditioner, the width of the window, the depth of the windowsill, the condition of the window frame, whether the unit is installed on the top or at the bottom of the window opening and how much of the air conditioner extends outside the window.
Your co-op / condo board should have established installation guidelines and procedures that residents must follow. For example, you may need to comply with a rule that window air conditioners be installed only by someone deemed "qualified," such as the building superintendent, a maintenance person, a technician from the store where the unit was bought or perhaps an exterior contractor. (Note that are there are no licensing requirements for installers.) You might need to complete a simple form verifying that a qualified installer put in the A/C.
To maintain a uniform standard of safety, your board might well not allow you to install window air conditioners on your own, especially on street-facing facades. While you might feel this isn't necessary when you can do it yourself, you can compare this issue to that of apartment alterations. Most of us accept that we cannot renovate our apartments without board approval, since accidentally removing a load-bearing wall or rupturing a gas or plumbing line, for instance, would damage not only our apartment but possibly others'. Similarly, without established A/C installation guidelines that require a qualified installer, some residents will no doubt hastily shove a unit in a window, close the sash, and be done with it. The more apartments in your building, the greater the risk that someone will not adequately secure his or her air conditioner.
As more and more cooperatives and condominiums adopt rules for window air conditioners, requiring approved installations will gradually become an accepted part of building operations
For more information, check out this fantastic article.

To schedule an installation, call or text 917 652 6097. 

For the official document, via the mayor, check out this link.