Danger in Disguise: How to Safely Install Window Air Conditioners

By May 31, 2012 April 15th, 2018 General Updates

Air conditioners may not initially seem like dangerous objects- but an improperly installed A/C unit could fall and cause some serious damage when it hits the ground. Before installing your air conditioner, make sure you follow these New York City Department of Buildings Guidelines to avoid causing major damage or injury down below. In the process, you will also avoid exterior building violations.

I recently got a helpful and informative email from the folks over at Habitat Magazine, advising boards and property managers to establish guidelines for safe air conditioner installation. They commented on the hazards of improperly installing an air conditioning window unit saying, “like any loose object on a building’s exterior, an unsecured a/c or a jerry-built support system can tumble out of the window and cause major harm down below […] The NYC Department of Buildings is increasingly rejecting facade inspection reports that fail to demonstrate the safety of a building’s window units.”

For the safety of the entire building, Habitat Magazine recommended that boards and property managers may want to enforce a rule that only a qualified person should install air conditioning wall units, such as a super, maintenance worker, store technician or a contractor.

We thought this informative and timely reminder was important to pass on to board members, property managers and homeowners alike: heed the guidelines for safely installing air conditioners from the NYC Department of Buildings for the safety and best interests of everyone involved. Below we pulled the top 5 guidelines relating to the safety precautions of air conditioner installation:


Top 5 Safety Guidelines for Air Conditioner Installation:

  1. Make Sure The A/C Unit Is Installed Securely-
    Each A/C unit should be secured with metal brackets or mounting rails, with strong enough support relative to the size and weight of the unit. Be sure to prevent movement and shifting from vibrations from the A/C unit itself, wind and other conditions.
  2. Do Not Use Loose Objects To Support A/C Unit!
    Bricks, books, cans and other improper objects should not be used to support an A/C Unit.
  3. Do Not Place Anything On The A/C Unit-
    Plants, radios, lamps etc. should not be placed on the A/C Unit.
  4. Do Not Block Fire Escape Windows or other Exits with your A/C Unit-
    In the event of an emergency, a securely fastened A/C unit could block your safe exit from the building.
  5. Check the Condition of the Window and Surround Frame Holding Your A/C Unit-
    Make sure the A/C installation location is in good condition prior to securing your unit.

For all NYC Department of Building Guidelines on Air Conditioner Installation: Click Here

At Mackoul & Associates, we hope that these Air Conditioner Installation Guidelines help you to prevent some accidents, injuries and violations on your property. We also hope that the guidelines alert you to the dangers that could be lurking where you least expect them. Once you know the air conditioning units on your property have been properly installed, you can sit back and enjoy the cool breeze!