How Much Do Window Air Conditioners Weigh

This kind of question may not be the most common question on your mind, but it is one of the most important. Usually, you look for style, features, and company when you purchase a window air conditioner. All excellent factors to keep in mind, but the unit’s weight matters because your wall is holding it up.

Window air conditioners can weigh between 38 and 130 pounds. They vary because of how small and large the air conditioner unit may be and how much BTU you are looking for. 

This article will help you sort out the weights of window air conditioners and other facts and information about these units.

What is a Window Air Conditioner?

A window air conditioner is one of the most basic types of air conditioner and may also be called a room air conditioner.

You will find these on a wall rather than on the floor like a portable air conditioner because they are a good option for keeping individual rooms cool.

Window air conditioners also tend only to cool one room, so if you have another room nearby that might also need cooling, you will need to make additional arrangements for that. 

The window air conditioner has many components, some of which cannot be compromised, so the weight only stays in a particular range.

Although there are a lot of parts to this unit, the window air conditioner can break down into the simplest form of an outdoor component and an indoor part.

Since the unit mounts in the wall, the wall cuts out to fit the device perfectly. That leads to one of its sides being exposed to the outside. 

A benefit to a window air conditioner is that it has an option only to cool the area you will be staying in the most. Instead of having your regular system work to cool your entire house, you can utilize the window unit to save energy and money.

You hit two birds with one stone! Sometimes people rarely use their basement or a portion of their house. There is no need to have a system work for something for no reason.

Components of a Window Air Conditioner Unit

Like any appliance, there are multiple parts to it. Each piece targets a different area of the end goal. An air conditioner unit has to keep the room cool and discard the hot or humid air occupying the space inside. As simple as it sounds, multiple parts help with the circulation process. 

Let’s talk about each of these sections and break it down. Breaking the components down will help wrap your head around what each segment consists of, which will better help with the discussion of the weight. In the entire system, we have a:

  • Refrigeration system: Has the compressor, condenser coils, evaporator coils. It also holds together one of the essential parts of the circulation process.
  • Air circulation system: Has the blower and the fan. 
  • Ventilation system: Where the outdoor air comes in and the hot indoor air goes outside.
  • Control system: Has a panel where you can press buttons or switches to control different features. These features include the temperature, the flow of the air, and the direction in which the air should go.
  • Electrical Protection System: This part ensures that the unit does not get overheated and cause a problem. They have a thermostat that monitors the heating.

The window air conditioner unit has a total of eight parts that are the most important in terms of the duties they perform. The most vital parts are the compressor, fan, blower, condenser, evaporator, chemical refrigerant, and filter.

The compressor is the central part of the unit and acts as the core. Then, the fan and the blower work hand in hand. The fan takes the hot air in your room and spits it to the outside. Then, the blower regulates the temperature internally in the unit. 

The coils, condenser, and evaporator reduce and remove the heat and humidity by using the chemical refrigerant. The filter does what it sounds like it exactly does, filter out any particles that are not necessary to breathe. 

How Heavy is a Window Air Conditioner Unit?

As mentioned before, it can be anywhere from 38 to 130 pounds, give or take a couple of pounds. The weight will vary depending on the model and company that you are looking at. In the table below, you can see estimates of how many pounds each common BTU will look like.

How Much Does a 5,000 Window Air Conditioner Weigh?

The average weights below are in pounds and range for each unit with different BTUs. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. 

BTUWeight (lbs)
500040 
600039
800058
1000074
1400098
18000110
22000`123
24000130

You will not find a window air conditioner unit much lighter than the weights above because each of the components that make up the machine has been put together at its optimal level. In other words, currently, there are no other parts that are lighter than what you see. 

What Makes the Window Air Conditioner Unit Heavy?

1. Copper

In a word, the materials are what make the unit heavy. Some metals or materials weigh more than others. Copper makes up a large portion of the device.

The reason for using copper is because it is known as a good conductor of heat. Copper helps with the flow of removing the hot air that is inside your room and discarding it outside. It also weighs around 0.321 pounds per cubic inch or up to 559 pounds per cubic foot.

2. Aluminum

Another material that is good for use in the unit is aluminum. Aluminum can replace this, but manufacturers usually stick to copper because copper is the most efficient material to use. Aluminum weighs around 2.699 grams per cubic centimeter or up to 168.48 pounds per cubic foot.

Whether your unit uses copper or aluminum, the compressor, condenser coils, evaporator coils use them. But when you see an actual window air conditioner unit, there is so much more to it.

3. Steel

The compressor, condenser coils, evaporator coils usually are housed by steel that weighs around 489 pounds per cubic foot or 0.2833 pounds per cubic inch. 

The main goal of the manufacturers is not to make the lightest unit possible because that could mean compromising on the value it can deliver for its customers.

Copper works well, so they know that using aluminum might mean their unit will not be as strong as it could be.

How to Find the Right Window Air Conditioner Unit?

Unfortunately, you cannot just buy a window air conditioner unit based on its looks. There are a couple of factors that you have to take into account. Carefully assessing the system beforehand is to ensure safety for you and also the structure of your house.

You want to make sure that the unit’s weight is proportionate to the sizing of the room space the machine will need to operate for.

Typically, the way you choose what BTU is right for you is based on room size. Room size does not necessarily always mean how big it is by the floor.

It could also depend on if you have high ceilings. After all, the air is going to travel wherever it can go. The standard ceiling size is 8 feet, so you will have to increase the BTU amount accordingly if you have higher ceilings. 

Along with room size, make sure to keep the location of your house in mind as well. If you have a lot of open windows with heavy sunlight, make sure you factor that in.

The same goes for if you live somewhere where it is always shady. The location of the window unit matters as well. You will need to add more BTUs if installed in a kitchen rather than a living room.

Lastly, figure out how many people will be in the room with your unit. More people means more BTU. 

5,000 BTU usually is suitable for something around 100 to 150 sq. ft and can go up to 1,500 square feet for 24,000 BTU. Below is a more thorough breakdown of the relationship between BTU and square footage.

Note that window units do not only go up to 24,000. There is a possibility to get something more extensive than that if that is something that you are looking for. 

BTUSquare Footage
5000100 to 150 
6000150 to 250
8000300 to 350
10000400 to 450
14000550 to 700
18000700 to 1,000
22000`1,200 to 1,300
240001,400 to 1,500

Ensure that you properly assess the room before installing a window air conditioner because you want to ensure adequate air circulation.

Just because you get a bigger unit does not mean that it will be better for you. You might end up wasting energy and money on something that can be useful if coordinated smartly. 

How to Make Sure the Weight Distribution is Good

1. Build Support

Sometimes, the window or wall won’t be as sturdy as you think. You do not want to take a chance on this because it could end up causing more problems in your house.

One thing you could do is provide support underneath the unit from the outside. There are numerous ways to do this, but one of the most common techniques is to use wood.

If the air conditioner unit is on the heavy side, you could add shelf brackets meant for heavier objects.

2. Keep it Straight

Another thing you want to make sure you do is to keep it at a straight level. If you keep it at an angle, it will not function in the way that it is supposed to.

3. Good Foundation

Appliances work their best when their environment is up to par. Ensure that you have a properly insulated space to ensure that the unit can operate at its best.

You can do so by buying additional insulation material to put around the window unit if it does not already come with it. 

Other Things to Keep in Mind

Say you have found the perfect window air conditioner for your room. You need to make sure that your house’s electricity capacity can handle the unit’s electrical needs. Some window AC units might be more robust than you think.

If you are looking for something that is energy efficient, know that you have a choice! Choosing an energy-efficient model ties in with weight because there is something called the energy efficiency ratio (EER) that tells you how much BTU will be used for a single watt of power. So the ratio might be different from the tables above if you opt for an energy-efficient model. 

Structure that the Window Air Conditioner Will Be Attached to

Now that you know best practices for installing a window air conditioner, let’s see what kind of places you will install it.

  1. Double-hung Windows
  2. Sliding Windows
  3. Casement Windows
  4. Wall

Most standard designs have a double-hung window, but it is possible to have one suitable for the other two as well.

You have to make sure that you look at the unit’s measurements and capability to work with a different kind of window before you start to install it. 

Conclusion

We do not know! In the future, with more testing and interest in creating more environmentally friendly options, manufacturers may come up with options that can potentially bring down the weight and costs.

Technology is constantly evolving, so there is a better chance of asking when the weight will go down rather than if it will. 

However, right now, the average weight is between around 39 and 130 pounds. It all depends on what BTU you are looking for in your space!

Sources

Photo of author

Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started HomeInspectionInsider.com to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.
DISCLAIMER: The content published on HomeInspectionInsider.com is not professional advice. You should consult with a licensed professional and check local permit requirements before starting any project.
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