Window Too Wide for Air Conditioner (Maximum and Minimum Widths)

My window is too wide for the AC even with the side panels extended! That’s a common concern we hear, and…

We are here to help! In fact, we’ve even chosen a few of the top DIY side panels available that are super-easy to install to fill gaps between the AC or the side panels and the side of the window frame.

Intro – My Window is Too Wide for My AC

Window AC units are designed to fit inside most standard double-hung windows, but there are times when the window that the AC unit is intended to go in is too wide for the system – the air conditioner and the side panels that come with most units. Or maybe you’ve lost the side panels in a move? It happens.

When the window is too wide for the window air conditioner, you have to become resourceful to figure out how to allow the window air conditioner to fit in a window that is just too wide. Or you can check out the pre-fab products we’ve listed at the end of the article.

Read on to find out about a number of ways to fit an air conditioner in a window that is too wide and much more information about window AC units.

Maximum Installation Width For Window AC With Included Panel

Consult the owner’s manual or even the box that the unit comes in to know how wide the AC plus the panels are – then you’ll know if it will fill the gap or if you’ll have to improvise.

The fact is, there are some windows that are too wide for the manufacturer’s maximum window width. When this occurs, the homeowner has a number of options to choose from in order to “make it work.” Out of a number of different listed brands of window AC units, the maximum width for a window AC is between 36 and 42 inches.

Shopping tip #1: Most window AC units have side panels that are included, but other models do not come with the side panels standard. Most hardware or big box home improvement stores carry universal window AC unit side panels or you can purchase them online. The panels generally range between 9 and 18 inches, and can be cut or maneuvered to fit the space between the AC unit and the window frame.

Shopping tip #2: The box, as noted, and the online product page should list the information. It’s a great idea to measure the window and shop with it in mind, so you don’t run into hassles later. However, if the room or zone only has one window and it is really wide, don’t worry – you will find solutions here.

Maximum Widths for Various Window Air Conditioning Units

The maximum and minimum window widths for the various brands of window air conditioning units varies, depending on the BTUs  for the unit.

The tables below will show some of the most common brands of window AC units and the maximum and minimum window width by BTUs.

LG

BTUs MINIMUM/MAXIMUM WINDOW WIDTH
6,000 21-35”
8,000 22-36”’
10,000 23-36”
12,000 23-36”
15,000 29-41”
18,000 29-41”
24,000 29-41”

GE

BTUs MINIMUM and MAXIMUM WINDOW WIDTH
6,000 21.875-36”
8,000 24.5-36”
10,000 25-36.625”
12,000 25-36.625”
14,000 26.125-37.75”
18,000 30-39”
23,500 30-39”

TOSHIBA

BTUs MINIMUM/MAXIMUM WINDOW WIDTH
6,000 23-36”
8,000 23-36”
10,000 23-36”
12,000 23-36”
15,000 28-40.5

KENMORE

BTUs MINIMUM/MAXIMUM WINDOW WIDTH
5,000 23-36”
6,000 21.5-40”
8,000 22-36”

KEYSTONE

BTUs MINIMUM/MAXIMUM WINDOW WIDTH
6,000 23-36”
8,000 23-36”
10,000 23-36”
12,000 23-36”
15,100 23-36”

WHIRLPOOL

BTUs MINIMUM/MAXIMUM WINDOW WIDTH
6,000 23-36”
8,000 23- 36”
10,000 26- 36”
12,000 26- 36”
15,000 28- 41”
18,000 28- 41”
24,000 30- 41

HAIER

BTUs MINIMUM/MAXIMUM WINDOW WIDTH
6,000 21.875-36”
8,000 24.5 -36”
10,000 25-36.625”
12,000 25-36.625”
14,000 26.125-37.75”
18,000 30-39”
24,000 30-39”

MIDEA

BTUs MINIMUM/MAXIMUM WINDOW WIDTH
6,000 23-36”
8,000 23-36”
10,000 23-36”
12,000 23-36”
14,500 23-36”
18,000 28-40.5”
25,000 31-42”

DELLA

BTUs MINIMUM/MAXIMUM WINDOW WIDTH
6,000 23-36”
8,000 23-36”
10,000 23-36”
12,000 23-36”
15,000 23-36”
18,000 23-36”

Recommended Material To Fill The Gap

There are a number of different materials available to fill the gap if the window is too wide for a window air conditioner. Each material has some pros and cons for filling the gap around the window AC unit. Below is a list of recommended materials with the pros and cons for the material.

Plywood  

  • Pros – readily available, inexpensive, easy to work with
  • Cons – not aesthetically pleasing, not airtight without spray foam

Spray Foam 

  • Pros – Perfect for small gaps, easy to use
  • Cons – Only can be used for small gaps, not aesthetically pleasing, and hard to remove

Plexiglas  

  • Pros – Aesthetically please, relatively easy to use, inexpensive
  • Cons – not energy efficient, not airtight without spray foam

Rigid Foam Board 

  • Pros – Energy Efficient, easy to install, inexpensive
  • Cons – not aesthetically pleasing, not durable

Insulating Seal 

  • Pros – Easy to install, inexpensive, energy efficient
  • Cons – Cannot be used for wide sections, not aesthetically pleasing

Easy Window AC Unit Extensions You Can Buy

There are extensions you can purchase to “bridge the gap” between the window air conditioner and the window frame if the actual window is over the maximum size of window width.

These extensions generally can extend between 9” and 18” on each side. Below is a list of side panels or extensions that will help with the installation of a window AC unit in a window that is too wide:

Each of the options listed above range from $15.99 to $31.99, so they are affordable and easy to use.

Written by

Rene has worked 10 years in the HVAC field and now is the Senior Comfort Specialist for PICKHVAC. He holds an HVAC associate degree from Lone Star College and EPA & R-410A Certifications.

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