Install window a/c in stucco wall...or man door?

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Forum topic by Holbs posted 07-13-2014 11:20 PM 2436 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1843 posts in 1998 days

07-13-2014 11:20 PM

I was “given” a new 12,000 BTU window a/c unit (free!). It’s time to put this puppy to work in my 22’x22’ garage. However, I have no windows. This unit is 19” wide and will fit between my 24” OC studs so no king stud framing or headers required. I have to decide to cut an opening in the OSB/stucco or cut hole in the man-door. Decisions decisions. I have to consider sealing and weather proofing any opening, and also in case I ever move, how to plug hole back up.
For permanent wall mount thru OSB/stucco… flashing will be required (never done this before) and other sealing aspects that I’ve never done, so kinda spooky as I do not want to damage or rot garage wall structure. For man door, it’s not a big issue because can just replace door and less building code to worry about. I am really leaning towards the man door because I never use it. If I did open it with the window a/c mounted there, I could use a brace on the floor while it was open.
Decisions decisions.
I even considered having a/c sit inside, hanging close to my reznor natural gas heater and just vent the rear hot air out the same outside vent after decoupling the reznor and coupling a/c. Which would be the easiest and cheapest solution. similar to this youtube video of sealing rear of unit to exhaust out.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

6 replies so far

View MrRon's profile


4720 posts in 3212 days

#1 posted 07-14-2014 06:24 PM

I vote for the man door option as long as it isn’t needed for access; easy to replace. The door is probably a hollow core unit, so I would take a piece of plywood the width of the door to mount the A/C to. The plywood then can be attached to the door close to the edges where there is solid wood to attach to. Make sure the A/C slopes away from the door on the outside. You will of course have to cut a hole in the door, so the A/C controls will be accessible.

View English's profile


642 posts in 1446 days

#2 posted 07-14-2014 06:44 PM

The vibration of the AC unit may be a problem in a door. I would frame up the opening in a wall then cut it out trim around the hole and plan on leaving the AC unit if I moved. In the wall you can pick a spot for good air circulation and can add jack studs under the bottom plate to transfer the vibration into the foundation.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View JoeinGa's profile


7735 posts in 1976 days

#3 posted 07-14-2014 10:59 PM

Well, it could be mounted either way, and I’m not sure which way is best.

But I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to tell you that YOU SUCK for getting a FREE AC unit! :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2644 days

#4 posted 07-15-2014 01:09 AM

I wouldn’t cut a hole in a stucco wall unless I really knew for certain it was done correctly. I vote for the door. It shouldn’t be a hallow core door on the outside of the house but you never know what you might find. A door can be replace for $125 or so and a hole in the wall will cost a mint to repair. Good stucco people are hard to find here.

View Holbs's profile


1843 posts in 1998 days

#5 posted 07-15-2014 01:28 AM

Joe.. with me being a business telephone guy, I encounter alot of useful personal situations. This a/c was at a distribution warehouse to be disposed of because of a single scratch on the metal. Somehow, it’s cheaper to just dispose of it than to re-send back to factory to fix. I am not just talking this a/c unit, but there were hundreds like it. Same for 70” LCD tv’s, double door fridges, etc. It was my first request of nabbing something, so went small. I was going to come back later on about the tv’s and other appliances, but a new logistics manager came on board and changed company policy about disposals. darn it. but i have my hopes up one day things will go back :)
I am really ‘fearful’ about the stucco route because I’ve never dabbled with stucco. Kinda looks like a pain to repatch and repaint. Today, I thought of just removing the door off the hinges all together and make frame and paneling (probably with Styrofoam as a medium) with a window a/c cutout and then replace the door once a/c is not needed for the seasons. This solves the problem of cutting a big square hole in the door itself (it turns out, it’s not wood but feels like sheet metal with styrofoam middle). I’ll have to start a blog on this as I’ve never seen it done this way but could be handy for others to think about.
This way, I avoid needing a building permit and inspection, no cut out / hole / damage to the stucco, no cut out / hole / damage to the man door. Seems like a win win

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

View bigblockyeti's profile


5101 posts in 1690 days

#6 posted 07-15-2014 02:07 AM

I vote in the door. If you have a fairly nice, expensive door, buy a cheap new (or used) door that you wouldn’t mind hacking up to see if it will do what you want. Much easier to fix if/when you move vs. a big hole in the side of your house.

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