How much should an air conditioner be tilted?

Tilting your window air conditioner slightly can help you avoid problems that may arise from your unit dripping water inside your home, which can cause damage.


Window air conditioners are designed to be placed in a window and to sit on the sill in a stable position for the unit to function optimally. It is important to measure your window to determine if your unit of choice can fit in it.

The placement of window air conditioners causes most of the back of the unit to stick out of the outside of the window for it to drain properly. This requires the unit to be slightly tilted for dripping outside.

Tilting air conditioners

Tilting an air conditioner is an important factor to remember when installing the unit in your home to ensure that when the unit drips from the drain hole, it is not messing in your home and leaving puddles that can cause damage to the inside of your space.

The main purpose of tilting the unit towards the outside is to prevent leaking inside your home. But installers of window air conditioners need to and likely will know just how much tilt is required, as too much tilting can cause the unit to be incorrectly installed.

How much should an air conditioner be tilted?

Window air conditioners typically need to be tilted when they are installed. This is because they are installed into a window where a large part of the back of the unit that contains the compressor is outside.

Most of the unit projects to the outside and needs to be at a slight tilt in order for the drain hole to drip outside. Tilting of the unit needs to be slight and should be around half an inch.

The unit’s installation guide will inform installers of how much the unit should be tilted.

When does a window air conditioner not need to be tilted?

If you are getting a newer, more modern air conditioner model installed in your home, it might have a drip pan inside of the unit. if your unit has a drip pan, then it is not necessary to tilt the unit during the installation.

The drip pans inside the units are installed at a slight angle by the manufacturer, allowing for condensation to take place and for the unit to drip to the outside of your window.

Can you tilt a window air conditioner too much?

It is possible to tilt the air conditioner more than it should be tilted, which can cause complications for the air conditioner. The unit can end up falling off the windowsill from being tilted too much, and in turn, being unstable.

Additionally, the internal components of the unit can also function inefficiently or malfunction. It is important for a unit to be tilted slightly, not so much that the balance is completely thrown off, causing further issues.

The damage of a dripping window air conditioner

Your window air conditioner is not supposed to drip into your home and is designed to drip outside where the drain hole is located.

While operating, your window air conditioner will release condensation that needs to be dispelled outside. Having a unit dripping in your home can equal disaster for its interior components.

A carpet can soak up this water and cause other problems such as unpleasant odours and mould build-up. Wooden floors can get damaged from soaking up the moisture of the liquid, and your walls can develop water stains.

Final thoughts

The installation requirements of air conditioners need to be followed well in order to avoid experiencing issues with both the unit and your home. Sometimes, window air conditioners need to be fitted in a window at a slight tilt, so that excess liquid can drip outside.

The general rule of thumb is that units need to be tilted half an inch to allow for the accumulated condensate to drip out of the drain hole or from the drip pan to the outside of the window, and not inside, as this can cause various issues for your home’s interior.

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