How To Vent My AC Through A Crank Window?

Crank windows are an excellent choice for energy efficiency and ventilation, but you might wonder if it's possible to vent an AC through them. Can you install an air conditioner in a crank window, and how should you do it? We've done the research and summed up the details in this post.

You can install and vent your AC through a crank window. Here's a simple breakdown of what you need to do:

  • Measure your window
  • Prepare the plexiglass cover
  • Install and connect each component
  • Secure and test the AC

Some air conditioning units come with easy-to-install ventilation kits. If yours did, you can use it instead by following the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

In most cases, you should vent your AC to ensure it functions efficiently and effectively. Keep reading to learn more about venting an AC through a crank window and related topics.

Outdoor Window Air Conditioning Units on an Old Brick New York City Apartment Building during Spring. - How To Vent My AC Through A Crank Window?

How To Install An AC Through A Crank Window

It's possible to install an AC in a crank window, usually with portable models. Most air conditioning units come with installation kits upon purchase, but you can also get them online.

Click here to see the portable air conditioner vent kit on Amazon.

With an installation kit, you only need to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Note that you should turn the plate and install it vertically when using it on a crank window.

Old air conditioner installed on window

Another option is to build a plexiglass vent for a portable AC. Here's a brief overview of how to do it.

1. Measure Your Window

Measure your crank window . Note the measurements of the window's opening to use as a reference for your vent cover.

2. Prepare The Plexiglass Cover

Take your plexiglass insert or cover to the store and have them cut it according to your window's measurements. Ask them to add a hole for the vent hose as well.

3. Install And Connect Each Component

Keep your crank window open. Attach the plexiglass cover to the window frame using twist clamps.

It should fit just right, but if it doesn't, use weatherstrips or caulk to seal and keep it in place. Attach the hose when the cover is secure.

Check out this white acrylic latex caulk on Amazon.

4. Secure And Test The AC

After securing everything, turn on your portable AC to see if it's working properly.

If you want a cheaper option, consider using rigid foam or plywood instead of plexiglass. However, these materials will not allow natural light to come in and may not be as secure or safe.

You can also try fabric seal kits, which may be the easiest method among the given choices.

Get this AC unit seal for use on casement windows on Amazon.

Should I Vent My Air Conditioner?

Open window with a view of the forest

Most air conditioning units require venting to control airflow and maintain efficiency. If you don't vent your AC, it loses its cooling effectiveness by circulating warm air back into a room instead of pushing it out.

When AC vents get blocked by furniture, curtains, or built-up debris, your cooling system could suffer the consequences of having no vent. So it's best to regularly keep the AC vent clean and clear of any blockage.

The following are a few reasons to keep your air conditioner vented correctly.

Keeps Indoor Air Clean

The longer air circulates through your home, the more dust and debris it collects. This can lower air quality and may lead to health complications.

You can use air filters in an AC vent to gather dust and other particles. That way, you can replace and clean the filters while preventing dust from going all over the place.

Most experts recommend replacing your air filters at least every three months and more frequently for maximum efficiency or to avoid allergies.

Maintains Proper Airflow

An air conditioner takes warm air to cool before releasing it back into the room. But even when it recirculates, inside air should still have an exit. That's where vents come into the picture.

As a result, it maintains good air circulation and regulates air pressure throughout your home.

Reduces Cooling Costs

Person adjusting a wall thermostat temperature

A cooling system that operates well achieves maximum efficiency by regulating airflow with the help of vents. It allows your AC to cool a room quicker while effectively removing humidity from the air.

And so, your system uses a fair amount of power to keep your home cool and comfortable. At the same time, it reduces the energy bill for cooling costs.

If you own a portable air conditioner, learn more about venting them in this post: Can I Vent A Portable AC Into The Cold Air Return?

How To Choose What AC To Use With Crank Windows

Although there are ways to install most air conditioners in a crank window, not all models will work best with the given structure. Below are a couple of factors to consider when choosing an AC suitable for a crank window.

BTU Capacity

The heating and cooling capacity of a unit depends on its BTU capacity. Since a crank window has different measurements than standard windows, crank window ACs tend to have a narrower cooling capacity.

When considering a model based on this, the usual recommendation for vertical air conditioners is 10,000 BTU.

Energy Efficiency Rating

Air conditioners come with different energy efficiency ratings or EERs. If a unit is highly efficient, it performs exceptionally well despite using less energy.

An AC with a high EER will likely cost more than other models, especially with lower efficiency ratings. However, they usually help reduce overall energy costs in the long run.

If you use your AC frequently, it's best to get a unit with higher efficiency ratid to ensure lower cooling expenses later on.

Unit Sizing

Some manufacturers make specific air conditioning units for crank windows, primarily because of their size. Since they are narrower than usual windows, the AC should also fit the height and width of the window.

Portable air conditioners are often installed in crank windows because they are likelier to fit. For other air conditioners, it's essential to consider the size of the window frame with an extra inch or so for other components.

If you get an air conditioning unit the same size as your window frame, it may lead to complications during installation because of a lack of extra room.

Noise Level

Many individuals prefer cooling systems that operate quietly, especially if they intend to install them in bedrooms or living rooms. It's normal for an air conditioner to produce noise when it runs, but some models offer lower sound ratings for enhanced comfort.

Keep in mind that louder units will have higher decibels. Experts recommend choosing models offering a noise level between 40 to 60 decibels.

Despite this, most air conditioning units generate operational noise. If your AC starts making strange noises, it could mean there's a problem with it.

Read this post for solutions to an AC producing unnatural sounds: Why Is My Air Conditioner Making Gurgling Noise?

Power Requirement

The hand that is holding the remote to control the air conditioner requires a cooler temperature. The background is an air conditioner that is running at full capacity.

Like other devices, air conditioners have power requirements to satisfy to keep them performing at their best.

If you put one through a crank window, it's important to consider the power source nearby. That way, you can identify if it could supply enough energy to the unit.


You should choose a reliable unit, since appliances can affect the condition of your home. Air conditioners usually have several small components installed within them, leading to higher chances of device failure.

Although these issues could be due to various reasons, you can prevent them if you maintain the unit with care. It's also good to ensure they are suitable for going through a crank window without issues.

You can also check with the manufacturer for warranties as a safety measure in case anything happens.

In Summary

Homeowners who have crank windows may be wondering if it's possible to install and vent an AC through them.

Fortunately, this is possible by using vent installation kits, fabric window seal kits, or making DIY plexiglass, rigid foam, or plywood vents. Venting an air conditioner keeps it functioning well and provides several benefits for the homeowner.

Although portable AC units are usually an option for crank windows, it's also essential to consider other air conditioning units by weighing their features. That way, you can pick a unit that operates without much obstruction in a crank window.

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