I would like to install a window type A/C unit in a wood framed wall with a
The unit will only need to cool one 14'x14' room, so I am hoping small
unit/opening will suffice.
The opening will be on the first floor of a two story structure, so there is
a lot of brick above with no other openings.
The brick and structure are in good condition.
How big (wide?) can the opening be before I have to install a lentil? Could
a wood header/stud/sill frame inside the new opening suffice?
Thanks for any ideas or suggestions.
Installing beans won't help much, but a lintel will. I'd make one from a
cross piece of angle iron with a leg on each side. Easily done if you have
any friends that weld. That would keep the opening minimally larger that
what is needed for the AC case. I'm sure some other ideas can work also.
Any unbridged opening wider than half the brick length can result in partial
collapse of the brickwork. Except in arches and such, brick is supported
only on the bottom. The support required would be a function of the weight
above and I think would be pretty substantial in your case. I would not
attempt this without professional advice.
You do not need support if you remove _one_ brick, and I imagine your
AC is bigger than that. Larger than that and you'll have to use a
piece of steel to support the brick. Do not use wood.
Have you thought about getting a unit that only requires a 4" hole?
The "portable" air conditioners have come down a lot in price, you can
store them out of the way in the winter and you won't have to mess with
framing and brickwork.
Thanks Rico, I looked at the portable units after your suggestion, and they
look like a good alternative.
Smaller hole = good. Probably the way I will go. The prices are a lot
less than I would have thought. Thanks again!
Those portable units were about a grand when they first came out, and
prices have plummeted. It's definitely an easier way to go and has
additional benefits. You'll be giving up some floor space, but you can
also have the unit move around a bit if necessary.
Any money saved due to my advice is traditionally donated, at a very
reasonable 50% or the savings (please don't undervalue your time when
doing the calculations), to the Help Buy Toys For Big Boys Fund. Send
the check to me and I'll make sure it gets distributed to where it can
do the most good.
On Thu, 30 Jun 2005 20:38:44 -0700, in alt.home.repair RE: Installing
a window type A/C unit in a brick wall "Thurston Howell"
Well, you're probably going to be using a 5k to 6k btu a/c, so the
opening is going to be about 18" to 24" wide. I would definitely use a
lentil. Even one made of p.t. 2x4 wood would likely work well unless
you get a *lot* of water on that wall.
To reply to me directly, remove the CLUTTER from my email address.
Speaking as the current owner of a home where a previous owner did just
exactly that, I can assure you that some future owner of your home will curse
the day you were born. Window A/C units are meant to go into (surprise!)
windows. Someday, somebody will put central air in that home. And then they'll
have this fugly old hole in the wall, with a fuglier old window A/C in it, and
the choices being to patch the wall, or leave the fugly stuff where it sits.
If you're really set on doing this, first find out if the brick is still being
made. If not, reconsider your plans: you're about to do irreversible damage
to the appearance of your home. If they *are* available, then buy enough
bricks - *now* - to fill the opening back in, and store them in the garage,
with a note on them explaining to the next owner what they're for. Make sure
to get an extra brick for every brick you have to cut making the opening, and
a couple extra just for spares. Get them now, because you have no assurance
that they'll still be available in 20 years when the third owner after you
wants to fix it.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
I would love to add the room in question to the existing central HVAC, but
it is not possible in this situation, without an incredible amount of work
and expense. I could not agree more about your aesthetic concerns. The
to-be opening location was selected to be the least visible.
As for the brick, they were painted before I bought the place. So matching
should not be a problem. I am thinking about RicodJour's suggestion
of a portable unit using only a 4"+/- hole.
Thanks for your valid points.
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