I live in an apartment where, for whatever reason, they decided to build through-the-wall (TTW) AC sleeves about a foot above the floor.

I installed my TTW unit (model DTAC100B1WDB) into it and predictably it does a poor job of mixing the air in the room and primarily cools the floor.

My current solution is to put a fan underneath it to better mix the cold air, but it needs to be turned on separately and doesn't have a remote. The cold air exhaust grille looks like it could pitch up, but I don't see anything to suggest that in the manual.

What are some options to improve the air circulation?

  • look closer inside, do you see a square or triangular opening, where to put a key for adjustment
    – knowitall
    Jun 23 at 5:33
  • Where is you air return
    – knowitall
    Jun 23 at 5:35
  • 2
    A picture of the situation would be worth 1000 words, but if it's simply a matter of cold air coming out at the floor and not rising, how about a vent deflector (like this, for example) to direct the cold air up, making it fall back to the ground and mixing as it does so.
    – FreeMan
    Jun 23 at 12:47
  • @FreeMan Yes! I made one out of cardboard last night and stuffed it into the AC grille. I'll see if I can grab a picture later. It doesn't throw the air as far as I'd like but certainly mixes much better.
    – rovyko
    Jun 23 at 13:21
  • Sticking bits of cardboard to direct the air is the final step of installing a window unit. Otherwise it just recirculates into itself and shuts off. - Some images show a vertical knob at the left of the grill; that could be broke and hanging up, or if it doesn't have a knob it's just stuck; push on the grill at the two top corners until it either moves or breaks. If it breaks, jam something in there to keep it pitched the way you want.
    – Mazura
    Jun 24 at 0:40

1 Answer 1


Since cold air sinks to the floor by itself and your outlets are already at floor level, you're getting very little mixing due to natural convection and this is making your AC unit ineffective at cooling your room (as you've figured out).

Buy or make a deflector to put over the vents on the AC unit to direct the air up into the room. This way the cold air will be directed up, directly cooling more of the air that your body occupies, and, as it naturally sinks due to convection it will mix with warmer air making more of the room more comfortable.

This is an example of a commonly produced vent deflector that I'm thinking about:

plastic vent deflector installed on metal floor vent
Images courtesy of lowes.com. No endorsement intended or implied

If you have a larger outlet vent on your AC unit, a deflector like this (designed for placing over a ceiling mounted vent and directing the cold air away from one person's desk) may work better (direct the air up):

square ceiling mount vent deflector

If neither of these will work for your particular unit, you may have to get creative with cardboard to design a deflector that works for you. If you don't like the look of cardboard, you could use it as a template to bend a sheet of thin plastic (it's amazing what you can do with a couple of blocks of wood and a hair dryer or heat gun) to replace it. Glue a couple of magnets to the plastic and use those to hold it to the AC unit, or, possibly, drill holes, remove the default grill, and use those to mount your new deflector directly to the AC unit.

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