Can you install a window AC sideways?

Determining the reasons why you cannot install a window air conditioner sideways, and the damages this will likely result in for you and your AC unit.

Should you be wondering whether or not you can install a window air conditioner sideways, the answer is no. This is because air conditioners are not designed to work in this way. Installing your window unit sideways will result in damages to the air conditioner and unnecessary expenses for you.

It is important to take into consideration some of the components of your window air conditioner that will get damaged from the unit being installed sideways.

What is likely to happen if you use a window air conditioner sideways?

In the event that you risk installing and using a window air conditioner sideways, three possible things can occur. One of the risks is having your compressor burn out, which could lead to the dangers of a possible fire.

Since a compressor uses gears and other mobile parts to compress the gaseous refrigerant, these parts require constant lubrication to function properly, which is why compressors come with lubricating oils.

This compressor oil does not just lubricate, it also absorbs heat from the compressor. Gravity is known to keep the oil at the bottom of the compressor. Should a window unit now be turned sideways, this will cause the compressor and lubricant to turn and eventually leak out. This will mean that without sufficient lubrication, the compressor will overheat, which could possibly lead to it catching fire or exploding.

Another risk is the possibility of rainwater entering into the air conditioner. As window air conditioners have vents on the sides and bottom to expel heat from the condenser, turning the unit sideways with the vents openly exposed, in the event that it rains, rain waiter will surely get into the unit. If you were to come up with a plan to cover your exposed vents, this will not help as instead, as it can result in it overheating.

The third risk to having an air conditioner installed and used sideways is that this will disturb the condensation process as condensation will drain incorrectly. This is the process whereby moisture in the air is turned from a gas to liquid.

Droplets from condensation fall by gravity into the condensation pan and then drain out of the air conditioner through the condensate drain line. If the air conditioner is turned on its side, the condensation will drip into the air conditioner, resulting in damage and leakages into the walls and floors of your home.

What are other options you can consider rather than resorting to installing a window air conditioner sideways?

Instead of installing a window air conditioner sideways, you can consider expanding the window you are looking to have the unit installed into. You can opt to expand the window and cutting it at both sides to make room for the air conditioner. This is possible if your house is wooden framed, but this is not advised if your house is a brick building or a rental.

You can also take purchasing a casement air conditioner instead into consideration. These are designed slimmer and taller to fit into a casement or sliding window, this type of air conditioner will work best for narrow windows.

It may be important to note that these can be more expensive than a window unit and are less efficient. The Frigidaire Casement window air conditioner is an example.

A portable air conditioner, in this case, can also do the trick and they can come with install window kits and require the least modification if considering installing it on a narrow window.

The only time you can install a window air conditioner vertically

This can only ever be done in the event that the air conditioner itself has a vertical design. This is often only the case when the window you intend to install the air conditioner into slides open from side to side instead of in an up and down motion.

Other than this, the idea of installing and operating a window air conditioner vertically is not regarded as a great idea. The only time an air conditioner would ever be standing up sideways is when it is shipped to you.

Therefore, the overall thought of installing a window air conditioner sideways is considered as the worst thing to do, as this will result in extensive damages to your appliance and expenses for you for repair services.

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