Informational Guide

Installing Window AC with Brackets

Window AC installation with brackets can be challenging and dangerous. Get the job done right with our window air conditioner install guide.

by Josh M

Air conditioners help you stay cool all year round, and they’re becoming increasingly popular every year. In fact, over 87% of homeowners in America have AC, and there are a variety of models to choose from.

An air conditioner window bracket is a key part of your AC and helps to provide support to the unit. In this guide, we’ll help explain why they are so important and introduce you to some of the best window brackets on the market.

Why Are Air Conditioner Brackets Important?

Not all air conditioners will need a bracket, and some people argue that window air conditioners don’t need them. However, this is not the case, and it’s usually a legal requirement to have a bracket for your air conditioner for safety reasons. Other than legal obligations, there are several reasons why brackets are important:

Safety

If you walk through a busy city, you can look up and see window AC units everywhere. Window AC brackets help to hold the unit in place securely, preventing them from dropping down and hitting anyone on the street below. Your AC should hold without them, but the brackets help to ensure it’s all safe and the machine won’t drop out of the sky.

Improved Performance

To work correctly, you need your AC to be tilted back slightly towards the outside of your home. This helps water to drain out of your building and prevents your home from becoming too humid. A bracket lets you set the angle and keep the AC in the right place so it can function more effectively.

Protects Your AC

Air conditioners aren’t cheap, so it’s surprising that so many people choose to spend a lot on the machine but won’t spend a little on the bracket. The bracket will stop the AC from falling out and damaging the machine. Even a short fall can cause internal damage, so a bracket is essential, especially if you have old window frames.

How To Choose the Right Brackets for Your Window AC?

Bracket Size

It sounds obvious, but you would be surprised how many people don’t understand this point. You need to have a bracket that works with the size of window that you have. If you have a 24-inch window, then a 30-inch bracket just isn’t going to fit. Start by measuring your window and make sure that your bracket will fit. It’s also worthwhile using these measurements to help you purchase the right sized AC in the first place.

Install Type – Drill Vs. No Drill

Some landlords have restrictions on drilling in your home, especially on the outward-facing elements like the windows. While most air conditioner brackets will need to be screwed in, you can get some models that don’t require any drilling. These tend to be the simpler option, too, so if you aren’t as handy with your DIY, then you might want to look for a no-drill bracket.

Weight Holding Capacity

Getting the right weight capacity is absolutely vital. Your bracket needs to be strong enough to support the weight of your AC, or it’s essentially useless. It may be tempting to go for a cheaper bracket that holds less weight, but make sure it’s strong enough to support the air conditioner you have at the moment. You should be able to find the weight of your AC in the specifications, and the weight capacity of the bracket is usually advertised clearly.

Construction Material

The construction material is hugely important to help protect your air conditioner. You should try to match the material wherever possible, so if you have an aluminum AC, you should look for an aluminum bracket. Mixing a steel bracket with an aluminum AC can lead to corrosion which will weaken the hold of the bracket and potentially damage the machine.

Wall Thickness Range

Different AC brackets are designed to be used on different walls. For thicker walls, you’ll need a bracket that extends out further, so you should consider this when you’re looking for the best bracket. From our experience, it costs a bit more for a bracket suitable for thicker walls, but there are some exceptions to the rule.

Local Laws or Regulation

Every state and city is slightly different regarding the regulations around brackets, but most will expect there to be one around a window AC. It’s worth checking out the local guidance but also speaking with your landlord to understand if there are specific building regulations you need to abide by. This is the first thing you should check because you don’t want to invest in a window bracket you can’t use.

Jeacent AC Window Air Conditioner Support Bracket

Air Conditioner Support Bracket (Best Products To Choose From)

Ok, so now you know what to look for, let’s introduce you to some of the best air conditioner support brackets on the market. Each of these has its pros and cons, but we think they offer a lot of value to homeowners:

1. Top Shelf AC Bracket (No Drilling)

TOP SHELF TSB-2438 Air Conditioner Bracket,...
  • NO TOOLS, NO DRILLING – Our A/C mounting...
  • HEAVY DUTY CONSTRUCTION– The only rust...
  • MAXIMIZED SAFETY – The tabs on the wings...
  • UNIVERSAL CONVENIENCE – With an adjustable...

The first bracket on our list is probably one of the most durable on the market in this price range. It’s made entirely from steel with an anti-corrosion treatment to protect it from the elements. This is a fairly expensive AC bracket, but the materials and build quality are good, and it should last as long as your AC unit.

The Top Shelf AC bracket can support up to 200 pounds of weight, enough for almost any home air conditioner. The 4-leg design gives increased stability, and the rubber molds help prevent any scraping or damage to your windowsill. It can be adjusted to fit into any window between 24 and 38 inches, so it will work in most homes.

What really stands out about this bracket is the simplicity. There’s no need for any drilling into the walls as it just connects together and slots straight into the window. It’s even adjustable, so it can fit in a variety of window sizes. It’s not very common to see such a solid piece of equipment without the need for any assembly, and it’s well suited to those without much DIY experience.

All in all, this is a quality bracket that is sturdy, safe, and simple. It’s perfect for renters or those who don’t want to take on much work in the home and should last a long time.

2. Jeacent AC Bracket (Light Drilling Required)

Jeacent AC Window Air Conditioner Support...
  • UNIVERSAL DESIGN - adapts to most window...
  • INDOOR INSTALLATION - easy breezy install,...
  • RELIEVE STREE ON THE WINDOW - Transfers the...
  • FITS WALL THICKNESS from 2" to 15.2",...

The Jeacent AC bracket is another sturdy option for your home. It’s made from a thick steel plate and has been treated so it can handle any weather without issue. It can comfortably support 165 pounds, so it won’t deal with the largest air conditioners, but it should handle most home units.

This bracket doesn’t need any heavy-duty DIY, and there’s no outside work needed. You will need to secure it internally to your windowsill with 2 screws, but that is pretty straightforward. It’s designed to work with any brand of air conditioner with no technical specifications that limit how it can connect up.

The best feature of this bracket is its versatility. It can be used on walls with a thickness of anywhere between 2 inches and 15 inches, and it is able to adapt to most window sizes. It can also be mounted on several different types of windows with a universal design.

AC Window Air Conditioner Support Bracket Installation Diagram

If you’re looking for an affordable bracket that will work on pretty much any AC, then this is a good option. Of course, you’ll need to make sure it can take the weight of your air conditioner, but if it can, then this is a good long-term option.

3. Ivation AC Bracket (Fits Most Windows)

Ivation Window Air Conditioner Mounting...
  • UNIVERSAL ADJUSTABLE BRACKET – Easily...
  • HEAVY-DUTY STEEL CONSTRUCTION – Durable,...
  • QUICK, CONVENIENT INSTALLATION – Installs...
  • ENHANCED SAFETY FEATURES – Support Legs &...

Not everyone has a standard size or shape of window, which can make AC brackets a bit more complicated. The Ivation bracket solves that problem nicely, with a fully adjustable bracket that can extend between 24 and 38 inches. It can also be used on single or double windows, so it helps those who may have thought a window air conditioner wasn’t an option.

This is a secure support bracket that can handle over 200 pounds of weight. The durable steel and the two support legs mean it does the job well, and you can feel comfortable that your AC is secure. It also has rubberized feet to stop it from shifting on your roof.

The best feature of this Ivation AC bracket is its simplicity. Even though it fits all different sizes, you won’t need any tools, and it can be folded into place. If you’re new to DIY and have a nonstandard window set up, then this bracket will work well for you.

4. Forestchill AC Bracket (Good for Mini Splits)

Forestchill Outdoor Wall Mounting Bracket...
  • Rust free Material-Galvanized steel with...
  • Heavy Duty Construction-Made of 16 gauge...
  • Easy Installation- Hardwares included for...
  • Esay Air Flow-This bracket has long...

A mini split AC removes the need for any expensive ductwork but does mean there’s an interior and exterior unit. Not every bracket will work to support the exterior air conditioner, but the Forestchill bracket works well as it can support 280 pounds without any issue.

This AC bracket is heavy-duty and more durable than any others on the list. Unlike some window AC brackets, the whole of this bracket is on the exterior of your home and will be hit by the elements. It’s made from galvanized steel and fully coated to protect it from rain, snow, sun, and wind. It’s also rust and corrosion-proof.

A mounted mini split can be noisy, and the vibration on the bracket can be annoyingly loud. The Forestchill outdoor bracket has vibration isolation pads that keep the air conditioner in place and limit the amount of noise coming from it. It’s also an unrestrictive bracket that won’t block any of the vents on your AC and allows air to flow in and out.

If you have a mini split and need a solid bracket to hold it up, then this outdoor AC bracket is a great choice. Tough and heavy-duty, this bracket should stand up well to the elements.

How To Install Window Wall Brackets(Step by Step Guide)

Sample Window Air Conditioner (AC) Support Bracket

If you have a good quality wall bracket, then it should be fairly easy to install. Some models don’t need any tools, and they can slot right in, but others will need a bit more work. Here’s a guide to help walk you through what you need to do:

  1. Gather Your Tools
    Start by getting a level, adjustable wrench, drill, and measuring tape. Make sure you have your bracket, and it’s completely unpackaged.
  2. Measure Your Windowsill
    Take the tape and measure the exterior of your windowsill. Mark the middle point of your sill with a pen.
  3. Fit The Mounting Block
    Drill a hole in the middle of the windowsill which you marked in the last step. Take the mounting block and screw it into the hole. (The mounting block should come with your bracket). Take the next block out and position it on top of the mounting block.
  4. Attach The Top Bracket
    Take the top bracket out and attach it to the mounting block. Thread the screws in, but don’t tighten them yet.
  5. Attach The Bottom Bracket
    Take the bottom bracket out and attach it to the other end of the mounting block. Again, thread the screws but don’t tighten anything yet.
  6. Position The Bracket
    Use the level on the top bracket to make sure it’s flat. Once level, tilt the bracket back slightly, so there’s a slope leading out of your home. This is important to get your AC running correctly.
  7. Secure In Place
    Once it’s all in the right position, you should tighten all the screws and secure everything in place.
  8. Mount Your AC
    You can now mount your air conditioner on the bracket. Make sure to follow the instructions and make sure it’s all securely in place before you turn it on.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Do all types of AC units need support brackets?

No, many air conditioner units are freestanding and won’t need a support bracket. It’s normally window air conditioners and some mini splits that will need a support bracket, and in some areas, it’s a legal requirement to have them.

Can I install window AC without side panels?

Side panels are used to make your room airtight around the air conditioner. You don’t have to use side panels, but you will need to use something to block up around the AC, or air will flow in and out of the room in an uncontrolled way.

Can you install a window AC sideways?

No, you shouldn’t install a window AC sideways unless it is specifically designed to be used vertically.

How do you install an air conditioner without drilling?

Many types of AC don’t need any drilling, and there are freestanding models available which can just be plugged in. Many window AC brackets can be installed without drilling and will just slide into place in your window. You can then mount the air conditioner onto the bracket without any need to drill holes. You will need to screw or bolt the AC unit in place to ensure it’s secure.

Conclusion

An air conditioner window bracket is an essential piece of equipment that allows you to use your AC safely. It helps to protect your windowsill and roof, and keep your air conditioner running more effectively. There’s a lot of good AC brackets out there, but not all will be suitable for your home. Hopefully this guide has helped you understand what to look for in an AC bracket.

Josh M

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with the HVAC industry. I created this website to help HVAC techs of all levels get the best out of their heating & cooling systems. I have spent thousands of hours studying air conditioners, heaters and home air products so you can learn & buy with confidence. Learn more about the team here.

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