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General Wall Air Conditioner Install
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» Wall Air Conditioner Install

Are you tired of sitting in the heat, possible in an older home without central air? If so, you do not have to suffer. Instead, you can install a wall air conditioning unit to make your days cool and comfortable. To install this type of unit, a hole must be cut in the exterior wall. Although it might seem like a huge project, if you choose a wall that does not have any wires or pipes, with basic carpentry skills, you can actually do the job yourself. Make sure you follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and that you have the proper voltage outlet. Most wall air conditioners only need a standard 120-volt circuit but some will need 240 volts. Therefore, you want to choose a unit that will work with your existing outlet or you will need to have a heavier one installed.

Start by determining the placement of the unit. Your best choice would be to install the unit under framing that supports the windowsill. Additionally, you want to try to avoid buried cables, select a location above wall outlets, and remember any questions you have will be answered by your instructions. Now, measure and mark the opening and then cut away the drywall, exposing the wall framing. Trim through the surface gypsum using a drywall knife or utility knife rather than blinding cut into a wall cavity. The result will be clean edges that can be trimmed much easier and avoid running into any hidden braces or mechanical lines. Then with a pry bar, pull off the drywall.

You will now frame the opening, again following the specific manufacturer�s guidelines. The goal is to create support for the unit and to build the rough opening. Remove any insulation but save it. If you have chosen to install the unit under a window, cut through the studs to remove them. Next, add cross-timbers for the top, bottom, and new pieces for the sides. You will not transfer the location of the opening to the outside. Once you have completed the frame, mark the exterior wall for the air conditioner. This will be done by transferring the perimeter of the opening to the outside wall simply by drilling small holes at the corners by driving nails through.

Now, cut through the siding by working from the outside. With a straightedge, draw lines that will connect your marked points. To do this, your nails will need to be longer so you can see them through the wall. Cut through the siding and sheathing with a circular or saber saw. Typically, you would take the air conditioner from its chassis, mounting just the chassis to the opening. Then with a level, make sure the chassis slop is where it should be according to the manufacturer�s instructions, and then fasten the chassis to the frame.

The air conditioner can now be installed by sliding it into position inside the chassis. Keep in mind that some wall air conditioner units can be quite heavy so you may need some assistance. Now, secure the unit and finish the interior wall by insulating the gaps with the leftover insulation. Drywall around the opening and then sand the drywall seams so they are concealed. Next, paint the wall, trim the interior, and reinstall your baseboard. Finally, calk around the exterior to seal the seams between the siding and chassis and with a silicone caulk that will maintain a seal, caulk next to the actual air conditioner.
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