How to Remove an Air Conditioner

Follow these step-by-step instructions and you'll never know it was there.
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If you have a wall-installed air conditioner that serves only as an eyesore anymore, you can yank it out and seal the hole yourself. Just make sure to get appropriate siding or other material to patch the exterior of the house when you’re done. If you can’t find an exact match, you can have paint computer-matched to your existing color.

Here’s how to remove an air-conditioning unit and patch the hole:

Materials and Tools:

½-inch sheetrock
quick-dry joint compound
drywall tape
replacement shingles to match
2-by-4-inch boards
batt insulation
1 sheet of plywood
220-grit sandpaper
miter box or circular saw
cordless drill
drywall saw
utility knife
mud knife
taping knife
wonder bar

Steps:

1. Remove trim around the unit on the inside and cut away caulk on the outside.

2. Remove the front of the unit.

3. Remove the motor and fins from the inside.

hdswt111_2c_metalshell

hdswt111_2c_metalshell

4. Remove the metal shell, using a wonder bar to pry away from the opening.

hdswt111_2d_framein

hdswt111_2d_framein

5. Frame the opening with 2-by-4’s. Measure and cut a piece of drywall to the opening dimensions.

hdswt111_2e_drywall

hdswt111_2e_drywall

6. Screw the drywall into the 2-by-4 frame. Apply a thin layer of joint compound in the gaps.

7. Press tape into the joint compound and cover with another layer of compound. Cover screw heads with compound to fill depressions. Spread a second layer of mud to joints, feathering out to minimize seams. Let dry and then sand mudded area smooth.

hdswt111_2g_insulation

hdswt111_2g_insulation

8. Insulate the opening with fiberglass insulation with an R-factor of at least 13. The paper side goes toward the interior of the home. Note: Don’t compress the insulation as you install it. The insulation value actually comes from the air space between the fiberglass strands, not the actual fiberglass.

9. Measure and cut a piece of plywood to the opening dimensions. Screw into the 2-by-4 frame.

hdswt111_2i_siding

hdswt111_2i_siding

10. Nail in siding/shingles to match the existing exterior.

11. Caulk around the edges of the siding/shingles to seal the seams.

12. Paint inside and outside as desired.

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