Lots of us solve the same problem every single summer. We are melting, sweating, and we envy our neighbors who have air conditioners and enjoy cool comfort. It’s time to stop surviving and do something.
There is no need to buy an expensive central unit built-in the entire home and spend thousands of dollars. Instead of it read about quiet window air conditioner for your bedroom and living room.
However, you are not a billionaire you can choose a cheap AC unit and join the club of privileged just like your neighbors. But what to do if you have only limited possibilities and want to install a window air conditioner in a sliding window or door?
The truth is that you can buy a portable AC unit designed for sliding windows or doors. But the average price of a portable AC is almost twice higher than the average price of a window AC unit. For those who are on a budget, the window air conditioning machine is the best solution between price and performance.
However, the installation needs some time and your skills it’s still cheaper than buying any other expensive variant.
The window AC units are designed to be installed in vertically sliding up and down windows. These units are provided with an installation kit for the double-hung windows. If we want to build them in a horizontally sliding window or door we have to customize it.
It means we need to create our own frame and isolate it as prevention against blowing the air through gaps. The costs for the material is very low but we will appreciate the help of our friend.
Before you buy the material in a shop try to look at your tool shed or ask friends maybe they have what you are looking for. It saves you time and money. My father always stored pieces of wood, screws, etc. and when he wanted to create something he didn’t need to buy too much material.
Step 1: Preparation
Preparation is one of the most important phases of this project. You have to think about this project and say once again you want to do it.
You need some tools which are listed below:
- Measure Tape
- Plywood Scrap
- 12 Long Wood Screws
- 2 in. x 4 in. Lumber (the length is dependent on the measurements of the window, see step 2)
If you will want to replace the wood with plexiglass or paint the wood it’s up to you. You can do what you want if you have time and skills for it. But keep in mind that makes it easy is the best way to obtain the best results without having to struggle with some failures.
PRO TIP: We suggest to use 2 in. x 4 in. lumber but it’s suitable only for some windows or doors. It’s possible you will find out you will need thicker or thinner lumbers according to your sill.
Also, if you have a change ask a friend for help. It gives you more confidence. And it’s always better to have a friend who can help and enjoy the cool comfort along with a bottle of beer after doing a great job.
Once you have the window air conditioning unit, a friend, and all the required tools you can move on.
Step 2: Measurements of Sliding Window or Door And Unit
Now, it’s necessary to measure the unit. If you make a mistake you won’t be able to install a window air conditioner in a sliding window or door. Be careful and measure precisely. Find out the width of the unit and include any vents that stick out on the side into your measures. If you don’t involve the vents your unit couldn’t slide in and the manipulation would be too complicated. Write the number on a paper.
The second thing is to measure the height of the window AC unit. In this measurement, we don’t want to involve the height of the lips on the bottom or on the top. It’s not important right now. Write the number on a paper.
Open the window and measure the height of the open window. Write the last number on a paper. Step 2 is finished!
Step 3: Cutting the Wood
Once we know the measurements we can cut the lumbers. We need three pieces of long as the unit width is (including the vents). And we also need two pieces of long as the length of the unit is (not including the lips).
Be careful while cutting and do it together with your friend. Also, protection glasses are amazing things. You will appreciate them always when you do something manually or when you work with wood.
The results of step 3 are five pieces of lumbers that are ready for the frame. Good job.
Step 4: Creating the Frame and Fitting
Perfect, as my father would say it’s time for our creative work. Put the pieces of lumbers on the floor. Now, take the shorter piece and screw the longer piece together with the shorter one. The goal is to create a frame by using two wood screws at each connection point.
Once the frame is ready you have to double-check if it’s suitable for the window. Open the window and try to slide the frame in. If it’s a little bit lose no worries. You can easily use the wedge or foam while you’re installing it.
Step 5: Finish the Top of The Frame
You know the frame is perfect, now. We have to finish the frame before installation.
Put the frame on a floor in a stand-up position. Ask your friend for help and together put the unit into the frame. Make sure the bottom and the top lips are properly aligned with the frame. Now, put the last shorter piece of the lumber on the top of the unit. Take a pencil and mark the position of the last lumber.
Take the unit and put it away. Screw the last lumber into the frame by using the last screws.
Now we need to install the plywood. There are two possibilities:
- The first one is to screw it and have it permanently fixed on the place in the frame. The second possibility is to create a window that can be used for ventilation during colder summer days instead of running the air conditioner and spending money on it.
- The second possibility is a little bit more demanding on your skills and tools but it gives you freedom.
Also, if your room is very shady you should take into consideration the replacement of plywood by plexiglass because it allows the light to get in.
Regardless of what method you choose for covering the hole in the frame, we are done.
Step 6: Installation and Assembling
The last step is to install a window air conditioner in a sliding window or door. If you are worried about the stability (and safety is number one) use angle brackets. Install the frame into the open window.
Together with your friend hold the unit up and slide it into a place in the frame. Fasten the machine by using one or two screws into the lips. And as we mentioned above if the frame is too loose simply use some wedge or foam.
The unit works properly when the room air is kept inside the room and there is no airflow around the unit. Make you there are no gaps. If so, use foam or insulation to fill them. Be creative at this job.
Once everything is on a place plug it into an outlet and switch it on. If it’s working you did a great job and it’s time to enjoy beer and cold comfort!
The Bottom Line
Installation of a window air conditioner in a sliding window or door isn’t too much complicated and it’s not definitely demanding to money and time. Since the unit is designed to be reinstall before the cold months the frame is amazing and easy to be removed. It’s a quick and easy solution.
Of course, you need some tools and materials. But the tools you can borrow and the material isn’t complicated to buy in a store. And if you ask a friend for small help the work will be as smooth as possible and you both will soon enjoy cool comfort. Now you are ready to check the best smart window air conditioners in review and buying guide.
My father always taught me that you can save money but you have to put some effort and spend time to obtain some results. Then, you enjoy the same results as your friends however they could look differently. Don’t give up just because you don’t have enough money. There is always a solution. And humankind is very creative!