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Are Window Air Conditioners Safe?

Are Window Air Conditioners Safe?

Window air conditioners are some of the cheapest you’ll find.

They’re also designed to be pretty compact, allowing owners to install the cooling appliance anywhere in their home. But despite its relative practicality, window-type air conditioners have often gotten criticized for safety concerns.

According to some sources, window-type air conditioners pose certain risks than split ACs.

So how safe is a window AC? Should you be worried about yours?

Here’s what you need to know.

  • Window air conditioners may present certain risks depending on how and where they’re installed.
  • Window ACs are more prone to mold and mildew than other air conditioners.
  • Some users also have concerns about window AC installation’s safety because it might reduce home security.
  • Careful planning should allow for the safe installation and use of your window AC.

There are unique dangers that come with a window air conditioner. While you can avoid many of these potential risks by proper installation and use, it is still important to know the possible safety concerns associated with window air conditioners.

Safety Concerns With Window AC Units

1. Mold and Mildew

Mold And Mildew

It is no secret that exposure to mold and mildew can make you feel particularly sick.

Associated with a range of allergy-like symptoms, mold and mildew exposure causes sneezing, teary, irritated eyes, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, a runny nose, fatigue, and headaches, to name a few.

Mold and mildew often form in dark and moist areas. Unfortunately, these conditions typically exist around a window air conditioner.

It is tough to get a window AC to fit perfectly, so there will always be cracks and gaps around the unit. Also, as it collects humidity from the indoor space, it produces moisture that gets flushed out of the system.

Again, some of this moisture may get left in the unit, causing mold and mildew to flourish in the dark, hidden recesses of the system.

Over time, your AC could blow out mold and mildew spores, causing health hazards for you and your family.

2. Security Issues

Security Issues

As its name suggests, a window air conditioner installation is done through a window.

It is designed for double-hung and even sliding windows. These air conditioners reduce the cost of installation and provide flexible use for homes of different styles and layouts.

The only problem is that you must keep your window open for as long as the air conditioning unit is installed.

And because a window air conditioner isn’t necessarily bolted into place, it presents a unique security hazard.

Some people have taken to installing window air conditioners through dedicated holes in their concrete walls to combat that.

They then secure the installation with metal grills that encase the window AC’s exterior and protect the home against intruders.

3. Fire Escape

Fire Escape

All two-storey dwellings (or higher) must have a fire escape window. Unfortunately, not all people know that a specific window in their house is a designated fire escape.

If the window air conditioner is installed in the escape window, it could become an obstacle in an emergency.

When installing a window air conditioner, ensure a safe, viable window. Check your building’s floor plan and look for fire escape windows that you should avoid.

You can also ask for help from your installation team to find out their input about where you should position your window AC.


Window air conditioners are efficient, practical, and affordable. So although they might have a few safety considerations, you can curb these risks through proper and careful installation.

Consult a specialist before deciding on a place for your window air conditioner. Once it’s installed, routine cleaning and maintenance can prevent mold and mildew.


Although it isn’t the perfect air conditioner type, window ACs still provide practical, versatile, and affordable performance.

With the right installation techniques and proper care and maintenance, your window air conditioner can serve you for years without a hitch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Window Air Conditioners Use More Electricity?

Depending on the installation, window air conditioners can use more electricity than split ACs.

By sealing up the edges around the unit, you can prevent heat from re-entering your space and forcing the AC to work harder.

You can also opt for an inverter air conditioner that uses less electricity on average versus standard models.

What Are the Downsides of a Window AC?

For the record, all air conditioners have downsides. It’s all a matter of determining which drawbacks you’re more willing and ready to deal with.

For window-type air conditioners, some drawbacks include:

  • More Noise.
  • Reduced natural light.
  • Cooling performance is limited to one room.
  • It may disrupt your interior aesthetics.
  • Lack of security.
  • Less energy efficient.
  • Prone to mold and mildew.

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