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Cop J 04-18-2012 05:49 PM

Help installing A/C in apartment wall
Hey all, I am new to this forum. I just recently moved to NYC in my first apartment. Well the weather has been getting HOT here so I picked up an 8,000 BTU air conditioner. The apartment I moved into, has GIANT windows, but a hole/sleeve in the wall just for air conditioners. I opened it up for the first time today to check it out and placed my AC into the hole to see the fitting. I took a couple pics below:

Now my biggest concern is installing this thing. I have never installed an A/C and am not the BEST handyman, but I think I can handle this project if I was pointed the right direction. First concern is that most A/C's I have seen have been installed in a window, so therefore, the AC is hanging out the window and the bottom part of the A/C is exposed. With the sleeve/hole in my apartment wall, the A/C will not be hanging out, it will actually be held up by this sleeve. Is it okay? Should I make sure the A/C is tilted down slightly, even though it won't be hanging?

Also, how should I go about securing this A/C? It is heavy enough to sit there without being attached to anything, but last thing I want is a chance that this thing will fall out the window (I am on the 17th floor) and I am sure securing is important.

Lastly, I know I'll need insulation to make sure no air, bugs, etc is getting into the apartment. The A/C came with some insulation, but not enough to fill the holes the A/C left.

Overall, I don't know where to exactly start with this project. The instructions on the A/C speak about installing it in a window, but this is a little different. So what I am looking for is maybe some quick instructions from anyone experienced in doing these types of installs, so that I can get started.

biggles 04-18-2012 07:41 PM

that opening is designed to take the raw ac unit no cover or slide out panels.yours is definitly for a window not a slide in sleeve as it is in now.those accordian pull out seal it into the windowsides then dropping the window down locks the window unit in the entire building with those sleeves looking from the outside?hold your new unit receit..he might have one to slide in.what was in the during the winter months 17 flrs up...something to consider after this summer..:wink: but check with the custodians if the building has those sleeves he must have a room full of old repaired units ask you neighbors for what they have...i work in Manhattan what direction is that unit facing best would be uptown or down town so you don't get direct sun east/west your going to get blasted in the afternoon with te western sun after 1:00pm daily

COLDIRON 04-19-2012 06:26 AM

I would take the measurements and a tape measure and go buy one that fits in the opening better. 8K BTUs sounds pretty small for a apartment in NYC anyway.

Cop J 04-19-2012 04:26 PM

Thanks for the comments. I guess I can go buy a larger AC, but this is for a studio apartment that is about 300 square feet, which is why I got an 8,000 BTU A/C.

Any alternate tips on installing without buying a larger A/C?

biggles 04-19-2012 04:34 PM

the unit will work in the sleeve extend the acordian sides out and get a piece of plywood to fill in the top

Doc Holliday 04-19-2012 05:56 PM

3oo sq. ft? Oh hellz no! :)

COLDIRON 04-20-2012 05:43 AM


Originally Posted by Doc Holliday (Post 902604)
3oo sq. ft? Oh hellz no! :)

"I agree once that sun starts heating up them bricks the inside becomes an oven of sorts". We have all heard of brick oven Pizza.

bobinphx 04-20-2012 08:41 AM

ok, here is my 4000 mile away suggestions....

you have a couple of problems with what you are trying to do, but they can be solved.

The first one is that your ac unit is too small for the opening. That can be fixed pretty easy. You need some sort of filler for the gap. The filler could be plywood or metal or cardboard and will be installed around the front inside of the machine. Each material has its plus and minus attributes. If it was me, I would used wood. Wood is easy to find or buy and fairly easy to "work". I would remove the wings from the unit so that you are only working with the unit itself. Then I would cut or have cut a upside down "U" shaped piece plywood to fill in that gap. A little construction adhesive on the edges of the plywood, maybe a couple of screws, some paint and there you go, problem number one solved.

Problem two is that your ac unit needs to move air over the fins at the front and the back of the machine. There are basicially two parts of the system that need air, the front, where the machine pulls in the warm air from inside your apt and then pushes the air over the very cold fins and returns the air, now cold, to your apt. pretty easy stuff. common sense tells us that you cant put, lets say curtains or boxes in front of your ac and expect it to work. The same goes for the back side of the machine and this is where your installation gets tricky.... The backside of the machine has exposed fins. these fins needs fresh outside air to flow over them. The fresh air is a little bit cooler then the fins are. the air cools the fins (and the liquid inside the fin tubes). the problem I see with your system is that the outside air intakes are on on the sides and top of the machine and that the sides and top of the machine are inside the built in wall box. That means that your system has to pull in the cool outside air from inside the box. Then try and exaust the hot air to the outside. well, if the hot exhast does not disipate correctly and gets pulled back into the top and sides, your system will not be effeciant. so your job is to make sure that the rear exhaust air does not mix with the fresh air required by the sides and top. From the pictures and it if were mine, I would remove the outside cover and store it away some place. This would allow outside air a little easier entrance into the system. I would also make a sort of duct around outside fins to make sure that the hot exhaust air did not have an easy time mixing with the fresh outside air. The duct does not have to be to long or anything, but I would suggest that it must come to at least to the outside edge of the hole in your wall box. An inch or two past the outside edge of the wall box would be better, but flush should work. You must keep the sides of the opening clear so that fresh air can enter. I can do a quick hand sketch of the idea, if you need it.

the third issues is that I would really really really hate to see that machine fall 17 stores to the ground, so, again, if it was mine, I would secure that machine to so that it can not move. To do this, I would screw and maybe even glue the machine to the wall box. You can screw through the bottom of the machine or attach straps or do something to make sure that the machine cant, in any way shape or form, push out and fall. my worst case thoughts would be a party where some drunk person leans on it or pushes it right through the opening into space!!!! ...

there you go... my thoughts and suggestions... hope it helps.

COLDIRON 04-20-2012 01:17 PM

I think you should check with the maintenance dept. and see if there's a unit that has rear air intake and rear exhaust for the condenser coils.
Trying to draw air from inside that box could pop the internal high pressure valve and the unit to run hot. I had that internal pop on me years ago I tryed working on a through the wall unit and I had the unit pulled into the space checking it man when that thing blew I thought it was the end of the world, at that time I didn't even know what it was I was a rookie. Its the last resort before the compressor blows.

Doc Holliday 04-20-2012 06:19 PM

Not so much the temperature but the size.

Believe it or not I caught an episode of Oprah (yes, that Oprah) where she sent her designer guy to assist a lady who had a 250 sq ft. apt in New York. It came out half decent, using stripes to elongate and give depth to the room, but it was still just so tiny.

You simply can't hide form the lack of sq footage. My smallest efficieny apt was 460 sq ft. It had a seperating floor to ceiling book shelf that I stuck up a white bed sheet on to seperate the living room from the bedroom. Worked out pretty good, but I don't miss it one bit.

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