I'm trying to design a frame for a window ac that will allow me to easily move the unit in and out of the window. (mostly for security reasons - I want to be able to close the window properly at night.)

Here's my current design: the unit will sit in a frame that is attached above the window to hinges, I should be able to swing the unit in and out easily. (If I'm not being clear, imagine an ac unit stuck in a awning window. When you swing the window open the unit clears the window frame - that's roughly what I'll achieve with the frame I'm building. In my case I have a sliding window, so when the unit is no longer in the window I can close the window properly.)

Here's a rough outline of the design

Here's my question, how much of an angle can the unit be kept at. Obviously the unit won't be running while it is at an angle, but a quick search shows that even storing a unit sideways can damage it.

I'll be keeping the unit at a roughly 15 degree angle (according to my current design) for extended periods - sometimes just overnight and sometimes for perhaps weeks. I want to be able to slip the unit back into the window when I want, and turn it on right away. Can anybody tell me whether such an idea will damage the unit?


  • Did you check the installation/service & maintenance manual which would advise the proper way, as well as the improper way to store the AC unit.? Also, are you going to unplug it every night?
    – r13
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 22:53
  • I think you will need to let the unit "rest" for an hour or so before operating it, after moving it from "tilted" to level. This will allow the refrigerant to settle back to its normal operating position. Commented May 12, 2021 at 23:18
  • 1
    You might want to consider properly securing the AC unit in the window, as this should provide just as good security as the glass of the window that you're closing behind it. If I were a thief looking to break into your house and saw that hand-dandy window smasher on a hinge just sitting there... Lift the AC as high as I can reach and let go - 2 or 3 tries, at the most and it should have the window broken for me.
    – FreeMan
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 11:31
  • Umm, I know wood prices are crazy right now but could you get a scrap piece of two-by-four to stick between the top of the frame and the topo of the bottom sash to prevent the sash from being lifted? Is your window super-wide as well so you fear someone getting in through the side curtains? If I was a burglar I would probably opt to rob a house that has central A/C and not one with window units...
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 14:10
  • Your plan is to make your window A/C dead simple to steal from the outside of your house?
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


That's unlikely to be a problem. Plenty of such units have been stored on crooked trucks and pallets without damage.

It may be more of a concern if you were to run it at an angle, as the bearings in the motor may not be designed for that type of load, and condensation drainage may be wonky.

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