Window Air Conditioner Installation & Repair 

A window AC unit

West Coast Chief services all brands and types of home air conditioners, including window AC units.

  • All repairs come with a guarantee on labor and parts. We honor manufacturer warranties and will work with your insurance company.
  • If your window air conditioner needs replacement, we’ll install a new unit for you.
  • Call us before noon for same-day service.
  • We maintain service contracts with many older apartment complexes in Los Angeles that still rely on window air conditioning.

Why Window Air Conditioners Are Still a Thing

Window air conditioners were among the first home cooling solutions introduced in America in the early 20th century. They remain popular today because:

  • They’re affordable and widely available. Many homes don’t have space for a central AC system, or central AC may be too pricey, making window units a more viable option.
  • They’re easy to install and maintain. And regular maintenance is simple, requiring only periodic cleaning to ensure proper airflow and performance.
  • They work well in small spaces. Window air conditioners are the perfect choice for cooling a single room, a garage, or even an apartment or smaller home.

At West Coast Chief, we offer expert repair and installation for window air conditioners. We stand by our work with a guarantee on labor and parts, and we’re committed to providing the highest quality service at an affordable price.

Window Air Conditioner Installation

Single or Double-Hung Sash Windows

Always ask us for help with installation. If you buy your unit through us, we’ll give you a great price on an installation service that comes with our guarantee.

We’ll install the unit with a tight and secure fit so that it doesn’t fall out of the window in high winds.

A tight fit is essential for more than safety reasons. Poorly-fitted air conditioners lose energy efficiency quickly. Cool air can leak outside, or warm air from outside can re-enter your home, which is entirely counterproductive!

  • Most window units have recesses and guide panels to help the lower sash hold the AC in place. These usually have to be adjusted for a perfect fit.
  • Adjustable panels fill the gaps on either side, and fitted stops prevent sashes from moving.
  • Fastenings and mounts must be screwed or bolted in place. The AC unit should angle so that any condensation will drip harmlessly outside.

Sound easy? It is, compared to installing a central air conditioner.

But window air conditioners are heavier than most people realize — often too late! You can wreck your back trying to save a few bucks, or you can call us instead.

Worse, every year, poorly fitted air conditioners drop out of windows all over the country. This does no good for the air conditioner, but the tragic thing is that innocent bystanders have been hurt and even killed by window air conditioners plummeting from two stories or more.

Again, it only makes sense to call us for your installation. We’ll do the job right, ensure the air conditioner has a tight seal and a proper fit, and our services are much cheaper than a replacement air conditioner or a lawsuit.

A window air conditioning unit

Sliding & Casement Windows

It’s common to install window air conditioners in sliding or casement windows.

We don’t recommend this approach.

  • A metal bar or piece of wood replaces the lower sash. Wood, plexiglass, or even cardboard replaces the glass above the air conditioner.
  • This type of installation offers little security. It’s easy for intruders to break in and for the appliance to fall out.
  • It also looks trashy. We prefer to have your AC blend into the decor and not stand out like a sore thumb.

How Window Air Conditioners Work

Window air conditioners connect to the outside of your home via small tubes and ducts.

They work by drawing warm air from the room into the unit and cycling it through cold coils. The cooled air is pumped back into the room, lowering indoor temperatures.

  • A compressor produces cold air and directs it into the room with the help of a fan.
  • The same compressor moves warm interior air outside.
  • The air conditioner reduces humidity. Water vapor condenses on the condenser coil; the unit expels excess water outdoors.
  • Window air conditioners operate according to the same refrigeration principles as central AC units and even kitchen fridges and freezers.

Window Air Conditioners Can Be Seasonal

Some people install window AC units at the beginning of summer and take them down when the weather cools.

They’re ideal for renters or people who don’t want to invest in more complex systems. Also, you can place a window air conditioner in a garage or shed detached from the house.

They typically last 4 to 5 years; proper care can extend and even double their lifespan.

Types of Window Air Conditioners

Most window AC units, regardless of brand, are similar in size and shape to fit standard sash windows, although some models can be installed onto sliding or casement windows, too (which we don’t recommend).

The real difference lies in the power of BTU (British thermal units).

A 5,000 BTU air conditioner is more than enough for a 150 square ft room, while a 1,000 square ft room may need a 12,000 BTU unit.

All window air conditioners work more or less the same way, although fancier models have thermostats, timers, and other bells and whistles lacking on the most basic AC units. Most manufacturers use similar parts.

Choosing the Right Window Air Conditioner for Your Home

The first step is to figure out how much power you need.

As a rule of thumb, one BTU per square foot of room space should be enough. But there are other factors, such as the height of your ceilings, the number and size of windows, etc.

It’s best to ask us for help in making this determination. We know all the tricks to ensure that you get an air conditioner that perfectly fits your home without overspending BTUs. More isn’t necessarily better where BTUs are concerned.

Something smells bad

What Problems Can a Window AC Unit Develop?

Most window air conditioners will run for years without a problem. But they won’t function correctly if even one component is damaged.

While some problems require only a simple adjustment (lowering the temperature, cleaning the filter, etc.), many issues demand professional expertise.

No Response from the AC Unit

Check the power, the outlet, and the breaker box. If the power checks out, the AC motor will sometimes shut off because it has been running too long. It needs a break!

If the AC won’t restart even after a prolonged rest period, it’s time to call us at West Coast Chief.

Inadequate Cooling

Several factors can lead to inefficient cooling, from a clogged air filter to a coolant leak or faulty compressor.

  • Lower the thermostat by at least 5 degrees.
  • If you don’t notice a difference, clean or replace the AC filters and try again.
  • Still no luck? You may have a problem with your motor or compressor.
  • Coolant leaks and exterior blockage (other than the filter) are common causes of inadequate cooling.

Foul Odors Emanating from the AC

Air conditioners are damp inside, and unless you clean coils often and replace filters regularly, there’s a risk of mold and bacteria buildup.

  • If you detect a strange odor coming from your window AC unit, turn it off and clean it thoroughly.
  • If you don’t know how to clean the coils and filter, let us do the dirty work.
  • If you smell a burning odor, the AC may have overheated. If the odor persists, call us for a repair.

Unusual Noises from the AC Unit

Air conditioners are noisy and clanky, but if you hear new or unusual sounds, it’s time to call us.

Knocking, screeching, whining, buzzing — none is normal or acceptable.

A rattling sound could indicate that the fan blades need to be re-attached or balanced; a squealing noise may signal a belt issue (or worse). A grinding noise often means a problem with the compressor.

If you can’t track down the source of noises coming from your air conditioning unit, call us for repairs.

5 Tips for Safe & Efficient Window Air Conditioner Installation

While it may seem like a simple process to install a window air conditioner, there are several things you should consider before making a spur-of-the-moment purchase and DIY installation.

  1. Cooling Power: Your air conditioner’s BTUs should be ju-u-ust right, like Goldilock’s porridge. A unit lacking power will run constantly and still come up short. An overpowered air conditioner will turn on and off frequently, driving up your energy bill. Calculate 1,000 BTUs for every 50 square feet, starting with a 5,000 BTU air conditioner for a 100-150 square foot space. This will ensure the most comfortable temperatures and keep bills down.
  2.  Installation: While most window air conditioners are designed to fit comfortably in a double-hung window, you may have better options. Some homeowners create a housing space in the wall, leaving windows unblocked and fully functional. Whether you choose a window or wall installation, the appliance should fit securely without gaps. Also, the installation should be close to level. An uneven air conditioner is an inefficient air conditioner.
  3. Electrical needs: Air conditioners use more power than most electronics and appliances in your home. Before buying a window air conditioner, make sure you have the electrical outlets to accommodate it. Finding out too late will lead to frustration and expense.
  4. Energy Efficiency: Like other appliances on the market, all air conditioners are rated for energy efficiency. Look beyond the sticker price to select an air conditioner that will save money in the long run and not just the short term.
  5. Maintenance: You’ll need to keep up freon levels need, clean and replace filters, clean coils and condensers, and so on. Give your window air conditioner the TLC it needs to love you back with years of quality service.

Count on Chief for Professional Window AC Installation & Repair

We’ve been installing and repairing window air conditioners for over 30 years!

All Chief technicians are licensed, insured, and certified, and all work we do is guaranteed.

If your window air conditioner isn’t working as it should, or if you need a new unit installed, call us today.