How to Remove an Air Conditioner

Follow these step-by-step instructions and you'll never know it was there.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Next Up

The Best Portable Air Conditioners Under $600 in 2024

As temperatures rise, beat the heat with a portable AC unit. Check out these top-rated models with features like quiet operation for bedrooms and dehumidifiers for hot, humid spaces.

Easy Steps to Keep Your Air-Conditioning Unit Running Smoothly

Regular cleaning and maintenance will save you money and extend the life of your heat pump or HVAC unit.

How to Remove Wall-to-Wall Carpet

Tearing out old yucky carpeting can be one of the most satisfying DIY jobs. Plus, doing it yourself will save money. You’ll need just a few basic tools and less than half a day to complete the job.

How to Remove Wallpaper

Wallpaper removal is relatively simple with some elbow grease and a few household items.

The Best Window Air Conditioning Units for Every Budget

As temperatures rise, beat the heat with a window AC unit. Check out these top-rated models with features like quiet operation for bedrooms and stylish clear panels so the whole window isn't blocked.

How to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling in 7 Simple Steps

Learn how to remove a textured ceiling without creating a mess using these simple steps.

How to Clean an AC Filter

A clean or new filter in your air conditioner will help it run more efficiently, thus saving money on your utility bills. Plus, it improves the air quality in your home and keeps allergens away.

10 Best Air Conditioner Covers and Fences

Give your outdoor AC unit a cool facelift with these top-rated air conditioner covers and privacy screens.

How to Drain a Water Heater

Extend your water heater's life span by draining the tank annually to remove any sediment that may have built up.

How to Clean a Computer Screen

Get the low-down on how to safely remove dust, fingerprints, smudges and streaks from any type of laptop screen or computer monitor.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.