When a home doesn’t have central air conditioning, most homeowners turn to window AC units. Unfortunately, there are some problems with these units. Before you install your window units, you should know: are window AC units dangerous for windows?
Keep reading to learn the 5 major problems AC units pose for windows, plus how to protect your windows from harm.
#1 Risk of Falling
Window AC units vary in size, but many are quite heavy. Plus, half of the AC unit will be hanging outside of the window! Installed improperly, it’s possible for AC units to fall out of the window. This endangers any family, friends, or pets walking around under the unit (especially if the unit is on the second floor).
To avoid this, make sure that the AC unit fits snugly in the window. You might want to consider support brackets for the AC unit if it’s heavy or you’re worried about the AC unit’s effect on the window frame.
#2 Improper Water Drainage
Window AC units work by drawing the hot air inside your home into the unit, then releasing it outside the home. Simultaneously, it draws air from outside and cools it to release inside.
As the unit cools the air, it collects water. That’s because, when air cools down, it creates condensation. But where does that water go? Window AC units have drain holes, which allow the unit to release water while running.
Unfortunately, the water drainage of AC units can cause several problems.
Since you don’t control where the water drains, it can collect in the frame and cause wood rot, damaging your window frame. If the drain hole becomes clogged or rusted over, the water may start to drain inside your house (instead of outside, like it’s supposed to). This can result in damage to your home’s interiors.
Excess moisture from improper drainage can also promote mildew and mold growth—especially dangerous for people with allergies and asthma.
To avoid this big problem, keep an eye out for any signs of excess moisture or water. Clean and dry the unit (including the drain hole) and change the filters regularly.
#3 Chance of Window Sagging
As we mentioned above, window AC units can be heavy. That means there’s a risk that the unit can cause your window frame to sag or warp over time. The risk is especially high for older windows or windows that aren’t in great shape to begin with.
Damage to your window frame is a huge problem (not to mention an expensive one to fix). To prevent this, make sure to choose a window AC unit that’s appropriately sized for your window. Check the weight rating on the unit. If you’re concerned about window sagging, choose a lightweight window unit over a heavier one.
#4 Security Risk
If your window AC unit is on the first floor, that presents a security risk. You can’t use your window’s locks if you put in an AC unit, after all. This means someone can more easily break into your home through your window.
To prevent this scary scenario, consider placing window AC units on the second floor and above only. If that’s not possible, put additional security measures in place. For example, you’ll want to extend the accordion flaps of the unit and add metal or plastic flaps around the unit. These additions make it harder for burglars to remove the unit from the window to access your home. You should also consider buying sliding window locks: these keep the window from opening any farther.
#5 Visually Unappealing
Window AC units are, well, not very attractive! It’s sad to say, but it’s true. Since window AC units are typically designed for function over form, there’s usually no getting around this unfortunate downside.
However, you can decide which window to install the AC unit. If there’s a view outside a particular window that you love, install the AC unit elsewhere. Whenever possible, choose a window away from nice views!
We hope this article helps you keep your home cool, safe, and beautiful for the rest of the summer. For more tips on energy efficiency in your home, check out our previous post on how to make your home more energy efficient!