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Installing a Wall-Mounted Air Conditioner

Last modified: 2020-06-18 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

As the summer months slowly approach, we must begin to think about preparing for warmer weather. In Canada, temperatures can soar during summer months, leaving us hot and bothered. Luckily, installing an air conditioner in any home is a great way to keep cool when things outside are hot, hot, hot!

However, not everyone has the space to accommodate an internal air conditioner or a sturdy window to accommodate a window unit. Well, homeowners facing either of these problems can always consider a wall-mounted air conditioner. With our quick and easy installation guide, taking on this DIY project shouldn’t be a problem.

NOTE: It is best to hire experts who are used to carrying out this type of installation and working with the tools that will be used throughout the process. These instructions are only meant to give you an idea of the steps involved. 

Couple in living room with wall mounted air conditioner

Here is how to install a wall-mounted air conditioner!

Gather Materials and Products you Will Need

To complete this installation job, you'll want to be properly prepared with all of the correct tools and materials. This means that you should make sure to have the following:

  • stud finder
  • level
  • pencil
  • reciprocating saw
  • drill
  • hammer
  • drywall saw or Exacto knife
  • as well as a 1" drill bit.

Other handy things to keep around are a vacuum or broom for dust that will arise during the process, as well as rubber gloves and protective eyewear for obvious safety reasons. 

First Step: Choose Where you Will Install the Wall-Mounted Air Conditioner

First things first, choose a spot for your unit. Don't place it anywhere close to electronic or electrical devices, as on particularly humid days there is a potential for discharge to leak and damage these items. Plan for the bottom of the unit to be 30 to 150 cm from the floor, as this will help to minimize dust from clogging the air conditioner's filter, as well as condensation forming on the ceiling of your home.

Further, determine how thick your wall is, from the inside to outside, by measuring it. This will help you to know what type and size of the air conditioning unit you should purchase. Complete these steps before buying your unit to make the installation process that much smoother!

Start installing the appliance

Now, to start the installation process. First, you'll need to pick a spot for the unit to go. Locate the studs in your walls by using a stud finder. If you don’t have a stud finder, it’s a straightforward process to locate the studs by rapping on the walls with your knuckles and waiting for the sound to turn from hollow to solid as you rap over a stud. Make sure to mark the placement of the studs on the wall using a pencil.

Using a level, draw a line for the top edge of where you intend to cut a wall opening for your unit. Follow that with 3 other lines to complete a rectangle the size of the unit. Indicate the layout of the air conditioner in relation to the studs on the wall, trying to minimize the number of studs that will need to be removed.

Remove the gypsum

Next, remove the moulding that surrounds the intended opening for your AC unit, as well as the drywall from the area between the studs. This can be done by repeatedly scoring the wall with a razor blade or utility knife, marking along the inside of the studs. It is not necessary to completely penetrate through the drywall, as a sharp hit will break it from its place.

You can also use a drywall saw to complete this part of the project. Make sure to keep a vacuum close by to eliminate any dust build up during the process. Following this, use a hammer, or if you’re up for it, a gloved fist, to knock out enough drywall to find wires or other obstructions that may be hiding.

The next step is to carefully remove the insulation from the inside of the wall, and save this piece for future use. Grab that level and pencil and begin marking a rectangle on the now exposed exterior siding to mimic the size of the drywall opening. You're going to be cutting out an opening in your exterior siding, so using a drill, pierce a hole inside of the rectangle, making sure it is big enough to insert the blade of that reciprocating saw we mentioned earlier.

Using said saw, cut out the marked rectangle in the exterior siding to finish opening up the wall. Make sure the opening is big enough for your air conditioner to slide neatly in place, and not so big that it falls directly onto the street! Measurement is key here, so pay close attention.

Insert the Wall-Mounted Air Conditioner and Stay Cool!

Télécommande climatiseur

Now, you'll want to make a frame to support your air conditioning unit.  Create a rectangular frame out of a 2" X 4". This frame will need to be the exact size, and fit snuggly into the wall opening. Secure the frame into the studs hidden inside of the wall by hammering nails through it and into the studs.  Now the wall is prepped and ready to hold your air conditioner! On your unit, locate the metal-plastic flanges that will have screw holes.

Once the air conditioner is in place, use your drill to insert screws into the flange hole, securing the AC in place. Next, incorporate the saved insulation into the spaces between the unit and the wall. Following this, close the opening up with drywall, and voila! You'll be sure to keep this room cool with your wall mounted air conditioner unit.

One last note: these instructions offer general steps. It is possible that the model you purchase will have extra steps or an installation process that is somewhat different. Always refer to the instruction manual that is provided with your appliance. 

Get 3 renovation quotes for your wall mounted air conditioner installation project can help you get quotes for your air conditioner installation project. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from companies that are specialized in home renovations.

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