X.K. Air Conditioner Installation

  1. The member is responsible for air conditioning and heat pump units, including mounting, installation, and any holes in the wall except as provided by Section II of these rules, Maintenance Responsibilities.

  2. GHI encourages through-wall air conditioner installations for portable air conditioning units rather than window installations due to aesthetic considerations and the loss of an operable window.

  3. All air conditioner installations must first be approved in writing by GHI. Nameplate data and electrical requirements must be submitted for all installations. Air conditioner sizing calculation sheets are available from Technical Services. Reinstallation of a new air conditioner the same size as the old unit, providing all other requirements of this section are met, is automatic, and does not require written permission from GHI.

  4. Central Units and Ductless Split Systems
    1. Installation must be performed by a qualified technician.
    2. Electrical plans must be submitted in accordance with section C.2.c.
    3. Plans must include a disconnect switch on the outside near the condenser unit.
    4. Installations on the serviceside are required in order to keep noise to a minimum on the gardenside; any alternate location requires written consent from adjacent neighbor(s). Exterior condensers with a sound rating equal to or quieter than 65 dba are exempt from this requirement.
    5. Routing layouts for HVAC connections between outdoor units and indoor units shall be submitted for review & approval. Criteria for acceptance, in order of priority, shall include:
      1. minimize the quantity of / eliminate elbows and changes of direction in a straight run
      2. keep horizontal runs as low as possible
      3. route sets together where possible
      4. For homes where the indoor unit(s) cannot be located on an exterior wall with direct access to the outdoor unit, refrigeration/electrical lineset(sets) may be routed inside the home using the following guidelines:
        1. Lineset(s) shall not be routed through crawl spaces
        2. Lineset(s) shall not be routed so as to require condensate pumps
        3. Maximum four inches (4") horizontal run of lineset and cover are acceptable between the end of indoor unit and nearest exterior wall; or
        4. Horizontal lineset and cover are acceptable directly beneath indoor unit with single horizontal ell, extending not further than three feet (3') to nearest exterior wall; or
        5. Lineset may be installed vertically inside wall cavity to just above baseboard, then extended horizontally on surface of interior wall, covered by small dimension lineset cover, to exterior wall penetration point.  In this case, indoor unit(s) shall be not be located on party wall between homes, unless no other reasonable location is available.  Connections of lineset to interior unit piping and wiring shall be inside wall cavity, just below right end of indoor unit; and 8"X8" nominal, flush-mounted access panel may be used to conceal connections unless alternative access is provided.
    6. Connections between outdoor units and indoor units shall be covered on a building exterior, and covers shall be finished as follows:
      1. for homes painted or sided a uniform color, the color of lineset covers shall match the wall or siding
      2. for unpainted brick homes, the color of the lineset covers shall be dark brown to match gutters and downspouts
      3. for brick homes previously painted and currently in the weathered condition, where the remaining paint is single or multiple colors, the color of the lineset covers shall be determined by staff, and
        1. be dark brown where predominant wall color is darker
        2. match one of the wall colors, where the predominant wall color is lighter
      4. for homes where the member states that s/he intends to paint it a different color in the future, the color of the lineset covers shall match the current color
      5. Colors are limited to approved exterior paint colors & dark brown.

    7. Electrical Requirements for Portable Air Conditioners
      1. Portable units (including window and through-wall installations) may be 110-120 v up to 8,000 BTU, one unit per existing circuit. Above that they must be 208/220 v units, on a separate circuit, or existing heater circuit. Outlets must be located in the same room and within 6' of the appliance. Extension cords may not run through doorways, walls, or beneath carpets, and they must be designed for appliances (no lamp cords).
      2. GHI cannot guarantee the adequacy of the existing circuits for the electrical requirements of any cord-connected appliance, including air conditioners. If no existing circuit is adequate for the proper operation of an air conditioner, the member must install a dedicated (separate) circuit at his or her own expense.

    8. Through-wall Installation
      1. Installation must be self supporting and properly constructed according to the standard GHI detail (available from Technical Services) for the home type.
      2. Exterior trim must be complete. Vinyl siding shall employ J-Channel and be properly caulked. Trim for masonry walls should use treated or painted wood, or some other suitable material, and be properly caulked.
      3. All units must slope away from the wall to facilitate proper drainage.
      4. When a new air conditioner is installed in an existing wall opening, the difference in size must be filled with wood capped with trim metal.
      5. Replacing through-wall HVAC
        With permanent removal of equipment, acceptable replacement of the building exterior materials is:
        • vinyl siding to match existing in alignment, size, shape, and color
        • authentic masonry brick to match original surrounding in alignment, size, texture, and color
        • masonry block to match original surrounding in alignment, size, texture, and color

        Other materials shall require Board permission.


    9. Window Installation
      1. PLEASE NOTE: IMPROPER INSTALLATION OF AN AIR CONDITIONER IN A WINDOW COULD RESULT IN WINDOW DAMAGE FOR WHICH THE MEMBER IS RESPONSIBLE.
      2. All window mounted air conditioner installations are considered temporary.
      3. No holes or penetrations may be made in any window frame or sash. All holes or other damage must be repaired by the member.
      4. All air conditioner units must rest on wood blocking above the bottom of the window frame in order to prevent damage to the window frame.
      5. If the unit is able to rest on the wood blocking without the window closed and without additional support, no additional bracket is required.
      6. If the unit is not capable of self support without closing the window, a bracket is required. Brackets may be factory or dealer supplied, custom design as specified by GHI, or of an original design as approved by GHI. Brackets for frame home windows may not attach to the exterior wall and thereby damage the vinyl siding.Plans are available from Technical Services for such a bracket.
      7. Open window areas above the air conditioner unit installed in sliding windows must be properly sealed with clear lucite sheet (Plexiglass) and rope caulking (for easy removal) or some other secure method. A fitted frame with Plexiglass is advisable for first floor installations to deter easy entry.
      8. All installations must slope away from the window.