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Tags air conditioner

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Old 24th July 2007, 09:12 PM   #1
jimtron
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Can I install my air conditioner sideways?

OK, here's a provocative, hard-hitting, timely thread. Can I install my air conditioner on its side? My bedroom is on the third floor of a 3 flat and there are two windows, both of which are quite narrow. I've looked high and low, but can't find an ac unit that will fit; however, I found one that will fit on its side. Any of you geniuses know if there's a problem with that?

Sorry for the inanity.
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Old 24th July 2007, 09:24 PM   #2
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Unless it has a steam trap-like part, and I'm not sure any air conditioners would have one, I'd guess it should be fine. The working fluid is pumped around, so I don't think gravity is too relevant. Or ask whoever's selling it to put it on it's side and run it for a few minutes, to see if it works.
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Old 24th July 2007, 09:39 PM   #3
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I would worry the vibration absorbers might not function properly if you put the A/C on it's side.

Kenmore(Sears?) makes A/C units for casement windows. Other companies also I would imagine. I think they're about 16"-20" in width. I had one back in the early 70's. Worked well, but you have a big gap to fill if you ever move to someplace with standard width windows.

Here is a pic.
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Old 24th July 2007, 09:42 PM   #4
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Check for condensation drainage ... most units design the frame such that it will drain properly when installed normally. On its side??? But maybe you can plumb something up to allow it to drain differently.
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Old 24th July 2007, 10:59 PM   #5
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A lot of units are designed with a condensation collecting pan on what is specifically intended to be the bottom of the unit. Turn it on it's side and the condensation will leak out in unpredictable ways.

Even if that is not the case there is a good chance that the oil will leak out of the compressor causing the compressor motor to burn up. That will occur with almost any air conditioner or refrigerator of any style. In fact they usually say if it was tilted at all in moving or installation to wait after it is level again for up to 24 hours before turning it on to ensure the oil has resettled.

Never ever install air conditioners on any sort of tilt at all.

Just buy one of the portable units that sit in a room and have a duct hose that will fit outside any sort of window.
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Old 25th July 2007, 07:19 AM   #6
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ACs work by compressing a gas into a liquid. The flow of that liquid is more critical than the flow of condensate. Also, the compressor units have an oil reservoir, like the crankcase in a car. It's made to supply oil when on the level. Would you expect a car to run on it's side?
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Old 25th July 2007, 07:51 AM   #7
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My guess is oil won't circulate properly. I've been told that you shouldn't even turn any refrigeration unit on after it's been on its side until it has sat upright for a few minutes.
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Old 25th July 2007, 10:15 AM   #8
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Thanks for the responses folks!
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Old 25th July 2007, 10:24 AM   #9
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Wink

You can also buy a portable A/C unit. They roll around on wheels, can be moved from room-to-room, can work off a generator (after a hurricane) and have a simple wide hose vent that will fit any window or outside opening.

Unfortunately they cost 3x what a normal a/c window unit costs.
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Old 25th July 2007, 10:57 AM   #10
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I do have a portable ac unit, but my bedroom is small, and the portable ac is big and noisy, and the vent hose is in the way. But it's nice to have on extremely hot days.
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Old 25th July 2007, 11:09 AM   #11
JJM
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I have been thinking about this for a while- I wonder if my AC is designed to accumulate 1/4 inch of water in its bottom pan. The water accumulates that deep, and then overflows and drips on the ground. I noted that my brother's AC has a similar design; except a plug can be removed to lower the water-level, somewhat.

I wondered if water-evaporation is more efficient than air-cooling. I also wonder if I should leave the plug in my brother's unit. Don't refer me to the instructions- they are as clear as a cinder-block wall.
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Old 25th July 2007, 11:37 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by JJM View Post
I have been thinking about this for a while- I wonder if my AC is designed to accumulate 1/4 inch of water in its bottom pan. The water accumulates that deep, and then overflows and drips on the ground. I noted that my brother's AC has a similar design; except a plug can be removed to lower the water-level, somewhat.

I wondered if water-evaporation is more efficient than air-cooling. I also wonder if I should leave the plug in my brother's unit. Don't refer me to the instructions- they are as clear as a cinder-block wall.
many a/c's use the condensed water to splash up and cool the heat exchanger
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Old 25th July 2007, 11:50 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by JJM View Post
I have been thinking about this for a while- I wonder if my AC is designed to accumulate 1/4 inch of water in its bottom pan. The water accumulates that deep, and then overflows and drips on the ground. I noted that my brother's AC has a similar design; except a plug can be removed to lower the water-level, somewhat.

I wondered if water-evaporation is more efficient than air-cooling. I also wonder if I should leave the plug in my brother's unit. Don't refer me to the instructions- they are as clear as a cinder-block wall.
many a/c's use the condensed water to splash up and cool the heat exchanger
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Old 25th July 2007, 02:14 PM   #14
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On a drainage note...

I noticed my AC was filling up with water inside the bottom of the case so I thought I'd poke a little hole in it to help drain it. I chose the very tip of the outside corner. I looked and looked and didn't see any hoses or pipes and figured this very tippy corner couldn't possibly have a hose in it anyway.

The burst of freon (or whatever is inside) froze the nail and the tips of my fingers not unlike those portable air cans they use to clean computers and it happened quite quickly and caused much heart over-beating. The pipe was tiny and ran around the whole edge of the bottom and couldn't be seen by looking through the vents and holes. I learned this by tearing apart the now useless beast as I needed a new one anyway. I'm thinking maybe the water was supposed to be there for some reason or another and will never try to poke holes in an AC case ever again.
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Old 25th July 2007, 04:19 PM   #15
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Even without plugging the AC in you will ruin it if you leave it on its side for a few hours. The answer is no!
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Old 25th July 2007, 04:56 PM   #16
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NO, I don't think you can. There is a drip pan collecting the condensation. And I believe there are other issues with the coolant. I put mine in and I'm sure it said to wait 24 hours to run it if you had it on its side during transport.
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