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What you need to know about moving an air conditioner

What you need to know about moving an air conditioner


So you’re thinking about moving an air conditioner unit, you might say to yourself: “How hard can it be? Just disconnect the power, put a clamp on the pipe – or a kink in it – to keep the gas from escaping, and Bob’s your uncle!”

Well, Uncle Bob should be worried – very worried – about his nephew, because there is so much that can go wrong unless you’re qualified home air conditioning expert. With electricity involved, and around 2.75 kilograms of refrigerant that could blast out and severely burn you or blind you, you’d be well advised to proceed with caution…

When it’s time to get moving

There are lots of reasons why you might like to relocate or move an air conditioner or even reposition ducted air system vents.

Perhaps you’ve bought some new furniture that would be perfect for where the air conditioner unit currently is. Maybe you’re re-configuring a room, or possibly you’re painting or renovating and it would be so much easier if the room was bare.

(Incidentally, if you are painting, do not attempt to remove the air con from the wall while you paint behind it. Even the slightest movement may damage the unit and invalidate your warranty).

It could be that you’d like to move an air conditioner to another room, or you’re selling it, or even giving it to a friend or relative.

Whatever your reason, there’s NEVER any reason to attempt to do it yourself.

Not when our technicians can expertly move your split system air conditioner or ducted air conditioning vents, including all the electrical wiring, so you don’t have to hire an electrician separately.

Air conditioner relocation is a specialist job that should only be carried out by professionals, and experienced ones at that.

You won’t have the re-gassing and gas recovery tools necessary to get the job done safely.

And don’t forget, moving an air conditioner yourself may well make your Manufacturer’s Warranty null and void.

Moving the Outside Air Con Unit. Not as Easy as it Sounds.

In the majority of cases, the external air conditioning unit (the condenser) stays where it’s put for the life of the air con.

However, there are many instances when you’d like to move it, or it simply has to be moved. These include:

  • Improving the looks of the home by relocating/hiding the unit
  • New fencing
  • Adding a landscaping feature
  • Home extensions and additions
  • Adding a deck, patio or garage to a home
  • Improving access
  • Meeting new codes or to comply with existing codes
  • Damage to unit caused by storms, pets, children
  • The addition of a spa or pool
  • A new dwelling next door has caused lack of circulation of air
  • Too close to a dryer vent
  • Your property has been re-zoned, or property lines changed.

Moving an air conditioner  isn’t simple, and naturally there will be some costs involved.

It all depends on whether it is a temporary move, say to paint the wall behind it, or a permanent one.

Either way, one thing to bear in mind is that the refrigerant line should definitely not be excessively stretched or bent; this could cause a dangerous leak in the line.

Let’s start with a temporary, short term move, based on the fact that only the internal unit will be moved.

How we can temporarily move an air conditioner

The first thing we do before temporarily moving an air conditioner unit is to use the compressor to safely pump the refrigerant (in older models called Freon Gas) back down into the compressor unit.

Our next step is to disconnect the power to make sure that everything is perfectly safe.

Then we seal the pipes and solder it closed, and either extend or shorten the copper wire.

There are restrictions on how far the line set can be run, but we’ll take care of all that.

After that the unit is placed back where it was, or in its new location.

We then reconnect the unit, using a vacuum gauge to eradicate all remnants of moisture and air; that way we ensure that only pure refrigerant is returned to the system before recharging.

Finally we re-level the unit, move the pad, reinstate the power and restart the system, testing it thoroughly to ensure that it’s working as well as it did before the move.

How we can permanently move an air conditioner

We follow basically the same steps, with one notable difference.

Instead of simply pumping the refrigerant back into the compressor, for longer term moves we pump it into a purpose-built storage bottle…which is always clinically clean.

This is for environmental reasons, as much as safety.

The refrigerant is extremely expensive, especially for larger air conditioning systems, so it’s imperative that this is done right.

Be it a short or long-term move, it is a time consuming process, however we will only charge you a nominal fee for this service, plus a fair and reasonable charge for any necessary parts.

All things considered, it will be a small price to pay for a professional job AND total peace of mind.

For more information or advice about relocating or temporarily moving an air conditioner, please click here to contact us today to speak to one of our friendly team members.