Where To Put Air Conditioning Unit? (Placement Guide)

Staying cool and lowering your energy bill can be challenging during the summer, but proper central air conditioning unit placement can help you reach those goals. While air conditioner placement may not always be a priority, it can make a huge difference.

Types Of AC Units And The Best Place To Put Them

Different types of AC units designed for specific areas in your home are available, and proper placement is critical for them to work effectively and save money. They can vary in size, cost, and amount of cooling power they distribute. Read along to learn more about different AC units and the best places to put them in your house.

Grandaire HVAC Family

Central AC

​​Central air conditioning units, also known as ducted systems, are commonly used to keep many rooms (or a whole home) cold simultaneously. They operate on a split system consisting of indoor and outdoor units that work together to keep your house cool throughout the year. Central AC units can be complicated to install but very simple to use.

Refrigerant tubing connects the indoor and outdoor units that allow you to maintain the desired temperature and save energy, but a faulty installation can prevent you from enjoying those benefits. Installation, maintenance, and repairs require adequate space.

The indoor unit is smaller and usually placed near a furnace filter in a closet or basement, while the outdoor one is bigger, noisier, and commonly placed outside.

Indoor Unit

Indoor units contain fans and evaporator coils that absorb heat and distribute cold air through your home’s furnace duct system. Cool areas near the home’s center are ideal for indoor units because they don’t have to work as hard in that environment and allow them to circulate air evenly in every room.

Avoid placing them in the hottest rooms or areas that are hard to access for repairs. Condensation can also cause water accumulation around the indoor unit, and you should never keep electronic appliances near it.

Outdoor Unit

Outdoor units hold the condenser and compressor responsible for ensuring the proper refrigerant flow throughout the system and removing the heat absorbed by the indoor unit out of your home.

Finding the best location for AC outdoor units can be complicated because they generate noise and need to be placed in a shaded area away from trees.

Shady areas around grass or mulch, but away from trees and vegetation, are ideal because debris can cause clogs and get filters dirty faster. Avoid cement and stone surfaces as these radiate too much heat, and take into account any potential risk of child or animal injury.

Ductless Mini-Split

Ductless mini-split AC units and central AC operate using the same principles, with indoor and outdoor units, but the installation process is more straightforward. This system is ideal for houses that lack ducts, and the indoor units are placed in separate rooms instead of closets. The indoor unit placement will also affect where the outdoor one goes.

Both units must be in an accessible location for repairs and maintenance.

Indoor units are commonly placed above beds on the exterior walls of bedrooms but shouldn’t be too close to the ceiling as this prevents inspecting the top. Outdoor units are best placed in an open, shaded space with good airflow, and you can mount them on floors or walls.

Portable AC

Portable ACs are convenient for small spaces and easy to move around because all of their components are in one machine instead of indoor and outdoor units.These units should always be on hard floors, near an outside window and an electrical outlet. Portable AC units use more energy than other small appliances, and you should only connect them to grounded electrical outlets.

Make sure to keep your portable AC away from direct sunlight and furniture or other objects that might prevent proper airflow.

Window AC

Window AC units are not ideal for every window, including ones that slide from side to side and those that tilt outwards to open. Get measurements to see if the unit fits in the window and avoid installing them in ones with rotting sills incapable of handling their weight.These are heavy units that could fall off the window and hurt someone, or damage property, without proper placement. Support brackets are also available that keep your window AC unit secure in place. You should avoid using extension cords with window AC units and only connect them to wall outlets.

How To Select The Right Location For Your Air Conditioner?

Proper air conditioning location is vital for reaching desired temperatures, improving energy efficiency, and reducing safety hazards.

AC units should always be in cool, shaded areas with easy access for maintenance and repairs.

Indoor units are ideally placed in the center of a home or room where they can distribute cool air evenly. Closets and basements are best for central AC indoor units as they’ll be away from direct sunlight without blocking hallways. You can mount mini-split indoor units near ceilings, but don’t place them too high.

Portable ACs should be located on hard floors, and window AC units work best on sturdy windows that can manage their weight.

Shaded areas are perfect for outdoor units, but remember leaves can fall and impede airflow. You’ll want a grass or mulch surface as they’ll generate less heat than cement or rock, and keep your unit safe from damage.

Window Air Conditioner Unit with Brown Blinds

Where Not To Put The Air Conditioner Unit?

Contrary to popular belief, you should never place AC units in the hottest area of a home because that will make them work harder, minimize their efficiency, and possibly damage them.

You should also place them away from other objects and electronic devices as they can build up water from condensation that affects their surroundings. These units should never block any hallways.

Outdoor units are bulky and should be placed away from areas that kids play in to avoid injuries.

They should also be away from objects, leaves, and debris that might prevent their airflow. Noisy outdoor units can also bother your neighbors (or even you while you’re trying to sleep), so the location will be essential to consider here as well.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Can you put an air conditioner in the kitchen?

Yes, you can install an air conditioner in the kitchen, but the hot environment might make them work harder and increase your energy bill. Place the AC away from the cooking stove and use a kitchen chimney to reduce heat and humidity generated from cooking.

Can an AC be placed above the TV?

AC units can accumulate water from condensation and leak on objects underneath them, so you should never place them above TVs or other electronic appliances.

Why are air conditioners installed near the ceiling of rooms?

AC units are commonly installed near room ceilings because the cool air is naturally denser than warm air and sinks to the bottom of the room. Placing them too low can result in uneven and insufficient cooling.

Can an AC outdoor unit be installed on the roof?

AC outdoor units can be installed on the roof, but there are pros and cons to that. A sturdy rooftop should handle the weight of an AC outdoor unit, but it might also put it close to the sun’s heat. Still, it will make it easier to connect the unit to the ductwork.


Proper AC placement will ensure your house stays cool without wasting energy or impacting your home. It is important to always place ACs away from direct heat to avoid overworking, with plenty of access space away from objects that could impede the airflow.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with DIY and improving my family home. HVAC topics can be tricky for homeowners so I decided to share my knowledge on the subject. When I am not working on DIY projects, you can find me at the beach or my local coffee shop.