Are Window Air Conditioners Dangerous?

Over the years I feel like window air conditioners have gotten a bad rap. These products are a lifesaver when the heat of summer rolls in. Trust me, I would know as I live in southern Kansas where the summers seem to last forever and there is just only so much time that you can spend in the pool. We routinely have summers get and stay up and over one-hundred degrees for at least a month, on bad summers sometimes two months.

Most people escape this excruciating heat by staying inside their home, their office, or even their car. All of these options have central air conditioning to ensure everyone stays a nice and cool temperature during the dog days of summer. But what do you do if your home isn’t outfitted with a central air conditioning system? What if your home doesn’t have any central ducts? Surprisingly, this is still a large problem throughout most of the United States, even in the southern parts of the country. These older homes are just so costly to retrofit over to a central air conditioning system that most homeowners shy away from it. These people can either sit and wallow in the heat or they can embrace the second option out there: Window Air Conditioners.

The best thing about window air conditioners are the low price entry barrier. If you were to look on today for a window air conditioner you could find some at just over one-hundred dollars. Now, this range goes up and up depending the size of AC you purchase and the features that you select. But, the baseline price is between one-hundred and two-hundred dollars. That price is obtainable on even the strictest budgets.

Are Window Air Conditioners Dangerous?

No, they are perfectly safe. The only thing I would recommend when using one of these units is to be sure to clean the air filter at least once a month. By cleaning this filter you can ensure that you have the cleanest quality of recirculated air. This will help users with sensitive allergies or who are more prone to sickness.

During my research for this article I did find a lot of talk about Carbon Monoxide and window air conditioners. Let me put that myth to rest right now.

You cannot get Carbon Monoxide poisoning from an window air conditioner.

Carbon Monoxide is created by burning fuels found in items like cars, generators, furnaces, etc. Window air conditioners are not burning anything and so there is no Carbon Monoxide to worry about.

Besides that the only other thing that I read about these window air conditioners being dangerous is during installation and removal. When installing a window air conditioner it is best to have a team of two people. While the machine may not weigh very much it can be very awkward. On top of that a large portion of the unit will be hanging out the window with you holding onto it making sure that it doesn’t fall right out and land on someone. When installing these things you have to make sure that it is one-hundred percent secure. There are even some brackets out there that you can install on the outside of your home for that extra layer of support. While the risk of a unit falling isn’t as big of a deal from a first floor imagine what damage could be done if a forty pound air conditioner fell from the second story of your home and landed on someone or something.

In fact this is a common problem that fire fighters run into in larger cities. Multiple story buildings, like large apartment homes, have window air conditioners sticking out of them every which way. If a fire begins there is a large risk of these units becoming dislodged and falling down into the street and in some terrible cases hitting and striking firefighters or other emergency personnel.

The last thing that I am going to mention here is for you parents out there. If you have a window air conditioner installed incorrectly and the unit is not secure you run the risk of your toddler or young child walking over to the unit and pulling on it. If worst comes to worst and that unit comes loose you could end up with a very hurt child. As a father of two I couldn’t even imagine this scenario. Be sure to install them correctly and test and retest for sturdiness!


To wrap this up folks, yes window air conditioners are perfectly safe. Just please be sure that when installing that you install it right. There are no shortcuts here. If you think it needs a bracket for support then by George go out and get one! If you are considering purchasing a window air conditioner then I would highly suggest you check out our window air conditioner buyer’s guide here on RefrigerantHQ.