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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 3204 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Holbs

2003 posts in 2226 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 "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"


15 replies so far

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MrRon

5190 posts in 3441 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

English

660 posts in 1674 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

JoeinGa

7739 posts in 2204 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

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Grandpa

3261 posts in 2873 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.

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Holbs

2003 posts in 2226 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 "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

5285 posts in 1918 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.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View stuccoman's profile

stuccoman

5 posts in 25 days


#7 posted 11-15-2018 03:31 PM

I do stucco repairs it what I do. if the door is a option I would frame that hole to accommodate the AC. the last thing you want. is a moister machine mounted into a stucco wall. stucco has its own problems. it doesn’t need any help.

-- BP

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1135 posts in 1013 days


#8 posted 11-15-2018 06:08 PM

Your decision has to take into account your own capabilities but if it were me, I would mount the unit in the wall. OSB and stucco are easy to work with and repair if you know how or can get someone knowledgeable to help.

View stuccoman's profile

stuccoman

5 posts in 25 days


#9 posted 11-15-2018 07:39 PM

Moister is the number one contributor to rotten walls. Especially stucco . Conventional Stucco is a sponge. EIFS is a barrior system that traps moister. durock is a drainage system. Water is the problem with stucco…
OSB doesn’t hold screws. i have been doing stucco since 74 . its not easy

-- BP

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

415 posts in 1300 days


#10 posted 11-15-2018 10:54 PM

You say that your garage has no windows. Have you considered putting one in? If this is possible, it would provide a place for the AC and eliminate the need for repair after you remove it. Or, you could put the AC through the wall and then, if you need to remove it, put in a window instead of repairing the wall.

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

777 posts in 3047 days


#11 posted 11-15-2018 11:57 PM

What I did was cut a hole in the drywall wall between my shop and the garage. When I need AC, I just leave the garage door open. Cools quickly and keeps my San Diego shop comfortably cool. That was my wife Idea. She is the best.

-- Ken

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ArtMann

1135 posts in 1013 days


#12 posted 11-16-2018 02:49 AM

You are assuming that the condensate from the air conditioner is going to get to the stucco continuously, no matter how you frame in the air conditioner. That simply isn’t true. Maybe you couldn’t do it but I could.


Moister is the number one contributor to rotten walls. Especially stucco . Conventional Stucco is a sponge. EIFS is a barrior system that traps moister. durock is a drainage system. Water is the problem with stucco…
OSB doesn t hold screws. i have been doing stucco since 74 . its not easy

- stuccoman


View John_H's profile

John_H

187 posts in 1903 days


#13 posted 11-16-2018 07:13 AM

I cut a hole in my stucco wall – it really wasn’t that hard

With that being said, I used a ‘through the wall’ AC. It comes with a metal sleeve which basically takes care of any weatherproofing issues. Obviously, these types of units are better designed for what you want to do, but since you can’t really beat the price you got…

Lastly, I ended up replacing it with a mini-split, the wall AC really didn’t cut it. Fortunately, I sold it for a decent price on Craigs List

Cutting the stucco was actually pretty easy. I used a scrap board the size of the opening that I wanted and bolted it to the wall. I then got a 7” masonry blade for my 4” grinder and CAREFULLY cut along the edge of the board and got a very clean cut. Emphasis on CAREFUL

‘template’ bolted to the wall

$12 blade from Amazon
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00291EJ32/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

After I made the bulk of the cut with the masonry blade, I just had to clean up the corners. (I was surprised how thick the stucco was 3/4 to 1” in places if not more)

View stuccoman's profile

stuccoman

5 posts in 25 days


#14 posted 11-16-2018 02:59 PM

my response to this thread. was only to give my opinion of possible problems that could happen by putting a window unit in a stucco wall. if there is anyone with a stucco question . I will give my opinion. we all have one?.

-- BP

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

2003 posts in 2226 days


#15 posted 11-16-2018 04:13 PM

thanks for your input guys and BP. I may re-visit the going through the wall & stucco aspect this next summer, but for the time being I went with cutting hole in the man door. Just seemed the simplest at the time. However, the a/c sits low in the door as in 12” or so from the floor. Didn’t want to stress the door hinges.
But does look like crap :) And wouldn’t mind it sitting up higher.
For now, it works as intended. I just remove it once the hot spells go away and put in the piece of steel/styrofoam man door cut out with a little tape. Not greatly efficient but I can frame it soon (before the snow comes around) and make a more perfect temp removal piece. And then claim it’s a doggie door since it sits so low :)

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

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