What is the best place to install an air conditioner?

It's getting hot up here, there's no denying it summer is on its way. It's usually about this time of year that we start thinking about how we are going to make it through the sweltering summer days ahead. Not to mention the hot summer nights when even a sheet is too much and the ceiling fan just moves the steaming air around the room.

What is the best place to install an air conditioner?

The difference between suffering through the heat and enjoying our beautiful climate could be as simple as an air conditioner.

A common air conditioning myth we hear often is that you have to air condition the whole house for it to be of any use. This couldn't be further from the truth. A well-placed unit can create a comfortable environment for much of the house during the most troublesome times of the day.

For many residents who are only home most days during the evening and night, the main cooling issue is creating a comfortable sleeping environment. But each home will be different, each family will have varying requirements for their home cooling system so it's important to think about what you want from the air conditioner before you decide where to put it.

Best place to install an air conditioner

Ask yourself these two simple questions to work out where a split system air conditioner could be placed in your home to get the most efficient and effective cooling.

  • When do we need the cooling most?
  • morning
  • midday
  • afternoon
  • evening
  • night
  • Which part of the house do we spend most of the time during this period?
  • living room / lounge
  • kitchen
  • home office / study
  • bedrooms

Other aspects to consider

The answers to these questions will guide rest of the installation decisions you or your air conditioning technician will need to make. Once the general room or area location is established consider these aspects:

  • Positioning the air conditioner in the center of the room will provide a more effective, even air flow.
  • Locate the air con away from heat sources like the oven, fridge, or large non-covered windows
  • If possible don't place the outdoor unit (or condenser) where it is going to be in the sun all day.
  • Ensure the air flow won't be blocked by large obstacles like bookshelves, partitioning walls, open doors, or stairways.
  • Allow space around the outdoor unit so it can draw in fresh air, and the hot air expelled will not overheat plants or blow across doorways.
  • Place the indoor and outdoor units as close together as possible to benefit from the full cooling capacity your air conditioner has to offer and increase the energy efficiency of the unit.
  • Place the indoor unit in the largest part of the room. For instance, if you're cooling an odd shaped open plan living area position the air con in the lounge or dining area, not the hall or kitchen.
  • Don't install the air con over the bed. The constant flow of cool air blowing directly on to you while you sleep could become very uncomfortable.

What size air conditioner do I need?

Once you have determined where the air conditioner should be placed make sure you purchase the right sized unit.

An air con which is too small for the room will constantly struggle to maintain the desired temperature. However, installing a large system in the hope that it will pump out the cool air like it's got a direct line to the Antarctic could be a huge waste of money. It won't cool the space any better than a smaller one and you'll be spending more than you really need to on the power bill each month. For more tips on air conditioner sizing - What size air conditioner do I need?

The number one tip we can offer when deciding where to install a new air conditioner is to get professional advice. Each home has unique aspects which need to be considered to provide you with the best, most energy efficient air conditioning setup possible.