In north FL, I have a room of 500 sq ft, blinds on 4 windows kept
closed, 8-ft ceiling. Thru-the-wall 9,000 btu a/c, 6 ft off the floor,
almost kept me cool in summer but never quite cool enough. I just got a
new 13,200 Kenmore. Cannot get room temp lower than 80 degrees. Even
with temp control set at its 60-degree minimum, compressor runs for a
while (maybe 15-30 minutes), then stops (perhaps this is normal; I am
When compressor is on, air coming out of unit is 64 degrees. When
compressor is not running, air coming out of unit is 82 degrees.
On other side of wall in which a/c is installed is the garage. A/C goes
thru wall of room, then sits in sleeve which itself sits on ceiling of
a closet that opens into the garage. A/C tilted 1/4 inch so that water
(theoretically) drains toward hole that has been cut in bottom of
sleeve, then down thru tube, into bucket. After one day of a/c running,
no water has come thru hole/tube. Above closet door in garage is a 14"
x 28" screened opening. Back of a/c is about 25 inches from this
opening. I just checked temp at this screened opening with compressor
not running: 110 degrees. Temp in garage right now is 84 degrees. Side
of a/c so hot you can't touch it.
A black thing called a baffle was supposed to be installed somewhere on
back of a/c. It broke; was not installed.
Unit was installed by guys generally handy but with no particular
knowledge of a/c installation. They did installation in exchange for
old a/c. I guess I should have paid Sears to do install; live and
Will welcome suggestions as to how I can get this room cool enough for
comfort. Thanks for your patience in reading about this problem.
The hot spot is the key. Your condenser is the coil sitting outside
and it is not getting the air it needs so it is overheating and
shutting down the compressor.
Pretty simple fix really. It is meant to hang in a normal window or
thru a normal wall. So reinstall it so that the back part is
completely surrounded by lots of space. Several feet of air on all 4
sides, just like it would be if you were hanging it in a normal window
or wall. Every outside vent needs access to lots of air.
Sounds like you have not burnt it up yet, it just need reinstalling
I had much the same idea. The first AC I ever had was installed in a
back hall. There was a door from the back hall to the outdoors, and I
had to leave the back door open to let the heat out.
OP must definitely be heating the garage. Sounds also like the
condensor is clogged, and isn't dumping the heat. Since the garage is
only 84, it's not like the garage is cooking.
Sounds like the AC needs to be taken apart and cleaned.
Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
From the description it sounds like the "outdoor" portion of the A/C is
essentially in a tunnel a couple feet long which is causing the air to
recirculate and cook the unit instead of dumping heat into the garage.
In order to function and survive in that tunnel it needs to have a
second tunnel i.e. baffle to isolate the intake and exhaust air from the
A/C so they actually make it into the garage instead of circulating in
Do not believe reinstalling is feasible. A/C now sits right by 230 volt
outlet, windows of room are sliding, and wife will not permit cutting
hole in wall. I am now thinking that I must trade my new 13,200 Kenmore
to the guys who installed it and get my old 9,000 Amana back. At this
point I would be happy to be as cool as I was before.
I am wondering why the 9,000 btu Amana worked fairly well. As I recall,
its compressor did not shut down. Perhaps because the smaller Amana did
not generate so much heat and there was a little more air around it? (A
couple of more inches on the sides.)
Also, I neglected to say that the Amana had a vent on the side.
Previous installer cut a hole in the closet wall along side this vent
so that hot air (I am guessing) could vent into yet another closet
(perpendicular to the first closet), in the door of which a hole into
the garage had been cut. Maybe this venting arrangement kept the a/c
Sears service person coming tomorrow, though I am now pessimistic that
the person can do anything.
All help appreciated. Thanks.
Just seconding some the comments above. An AC doesn't "create" cold
air from electrical energy, it moves heat from one place to another -
in your case the few inches from the air inside the room to the
"outside" air surrounding the condensing coil located on the back
(exterior) side of the AC. A window or sleeve AC is designed to be
installed with ALL of the openings in the case sounding the condensing
cooling coil exposed to free flowing OUTDOOR air, it's not designed to
operate efficiently when attempting to transfer heat to an enclosed or
semi-enclosed space, or when some portion of the intended air-flow over
the coil is restricted.
Your previous unit may have functioned better by accident (it was
physically smaller, and air flow less restricted), by design (one
possibility is that it was designed for "sleeve" installation, and
provision was made for adequate flow with only a small portion of the
unit directly exposed to the outside), by some combination of both, or
for some other reason (no one here but you here as actually seen your
installation). But it's not uncommon to find the sort of problems you
describe caused by restricted or too-frequently recycled cooling air in
a confined space at the condenser, and that's where I'd start in
diagnosing the problem.
If that is the problem, and you can't find an appropriate (both BTU and
physical) size window or sleeve unit that can be properly installed in
your existing structure, one alternative is a "split" system (the
condenser is a physically separate unit for the evaporator coil)
designed to cool a single room - do a GOGLE or ASK search for "split
room air conditioner", for example:
In addition to cooling spaces that can't be properly serviced by a
"window" unit, split systems have some other advantages; because the
compressor is external and remote the portion of the unit located in
the space being cooled is usually quieter, you don't lose window area,
and you don't have the problem of sealing the opening between the AC
and the window or sleeve.
Paragon Home Inspection, LLC
I agree with the OP: The unit is not getting sufficient ventilation. You
should install a air-exchange ventilator in the space occupied by the outside
portion of the unit.
Also, you should CLOSE the fresh air intake on the unit. With that open, it
is constantly circulating - and trying to cool - heated outside air. With the
vent CLOSED, the unit only has to cool ALREADY COOLED inside air.
In the meantime, I would avoid running the unit. If, as the OP suggested, the
condenser is over heating and shutting down, it may not have many more cycles
like that before something serious - and expensive - dies.
I was not familiar with an air-exchange ventilator. I see that it does
something like take stale/hot air out and replace it with fresh air.
Since my a/c in effect sits in one end of a tunnel, completely blocking
that end, and the other end of the tunnel opens into the garage, I do
not see how the fresh-air-replacement part would function.
If I installed an exhaust fan in the end of the tunnel that opens into
the garage, do you think that might draw out enough hot air to enable
this a/c to function properly?
I don't think it is their mistake but the mistake of whoever installed
the first AC. It was not the right place to put it. Your room has 4
windows so it must have a window or wall you can put the AC in.
(Unless all the windows look out on the garage. :) )
Even if the installation to the garage were staightforward, in an open
wall with no closet, it would heat up the garage and lower the
efficiency of the AC. Even if one opened the garage door all the time
the AC was on, and that would help, well, there would never be a
breeze across the AC, but maybe it would still be acceptable. But in
practice, there will be times when one doesn't want the garage door
open and times when one forgets or someone is staying at the house who
doesn't know this rule, etc. AC's aren't meant to come out in the
Three windows are in a wall facing the front yard. So I do not want to
put an a/c in a window or wall that would be visible from the front.
One wall faces the garage; one wall faces the house. On the other side
of the fourth wall are a bathroom & storage room, and the wall has a
large sliding glass window in it, though there are a few square feet
of paneled wall under the window in which a through-the-wall unit could
be placed, except that this area of the wall is only 24 inches high and
the a/c would have to go in that area. AC would be pretty close to
ground level. (Seems I may have read that an a/c should be at least 3
ft off the ground; I may have dreamed that.) A TV cable is right in
the middle of the paneled wall area and would have to be moved.
Garage does not have a main door on it and has side openings/doors that
also provide some ventilation.
But I see that I should probably not have an a/c in this "tunnel" that
runs from the room to the garage.
At this point it looks like a split a/c system might be best, except
for the expense and the loss I would take on the 13,200 btu Kenmore
that I bought.
Thanks for your thoughts.
You didn't dream it. Cold air sinks so it's better if the AC is
pretty high. Some put them 6 feet high.
As to your question in the other post, I thought about that too, and I
think the other one didn't overheat because it wasn't as big as as the
new one. It still probably wasn't cooling as well as it could have
because it was in that tunnel. But I see from your description why it
was put there.
I don't have the answer to this, at all. But what if a divider was put
down the middle of the tunnel almost to the AC, and an exhaust fan
that would blow air down one half, so it would come out the other
half? (or out one half, air that would be supplied by the other
half.) Would channeling the air like that be better than just an
exhaust fan at the AC pointing out of the tunnel? I really can't even
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