Best Window AC Brackets: Top Options for 2021

| Last Updated: June 24, 2021

Window air conditioner (AC) brackets ensure your unit’s safety—preventing the possibility of them falling, becoming damaged, or injuring somebody.

This article discusses the factors to consider, construction materials, and their impact. We also discuss how to install a window AC safely.

In addition, we review the five top products and discuss their merits and problems.

Comparison of the Best Window AC Brackets

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Universal bracket is adjustable for easy fit
  • Installation is convenient and quick thanks to tool-less design
  • Rubberized feet add stability and safety
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  • All hardware is included for simple installation
  • Transfers the weight off the sill and sash onto the support
  • Universal bracket is adjustable for easy fit
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  • Best for the Money
  • Can be installed by drilling just 3 holes in the sill
  • Made of solid epoxy-coated, galvanized steel
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  • Best Window AC Support Bracket No Drilling
  • Heavy duty build can hold AC's up to 200 lbs
  • 4-sided leg design offers stability and support
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  • Transfers the weight off the sill and sash onto the support
  • Can be adapted to most window units
  • Installation is convenient with all parts included
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Factors to Consider Before Buying a Window AC Bracket

Before deciding which window AC bracket to buy, you should consider a few critical factors that influence your choice. We highlighted some of these considerations below. 

Local Laws or Regulations

Before choosing a bracket, confirm that it complies with any local laws or regulations, including the building or co-op rules if you reside in one of these. Some landlords may have different rules regarding fittings and fixtures, especially those that impact the complex or building’s outdoor look. Also, consider your DIY ability or the ability of the person fitting the bracket.

Construction Material

At first glance, construction material may not seem important, but steel and aluminum don’t mix well together. If you need to fit a steel bracket to an aluminum frame, at least insulate the two materials with some weatherstripping or rubber to prevent corrosion. 

Do the same between an aluminum bracket and a steel AC casing. If you live in a coastal area or anywhere that rust is a factor, consider purchasing a stainless steel bracket for durability. 

Bracket Size

Bracket size is equally important. The bracket needs to fit into the window opening and support your AC. A 24-inch frame won’t fit into a 20-inch window opening.

Surprisingly, many people try, and it never ends well. Ensure that the bracket’s platform is wide enough to support the AC, and remember to offset smaller supports to accommodate uneven weight distribution in the window AC. 

Weight Holding Capacity

The bracket that you choose must be able to support the full weight of the unit. The 85-lb bracket may be cheaper or look neater, but if its job is to hold a 100-lb appliance, it’s not fit for purpose. 

Wall Thickness Range

Different brackets accommodate different wall thickness ranges. The wall thickness range of a stand will either be listed among the specs or the features. Also, consider whether the bracket is suitable for the type of window that you have. 

Review of the Best Window AC Brackets

We have reviewed a few of the top window AC brackets for your convenience, including the best value for the money, best overall, and the best no-drilling bracket. The best support for you depends on a few variables like window frame design, DIY skills, and budget. We compare the different products on the market, saving you time.

 

Best Overall

Ivation Window AC Bracket

Ivation Window Air Conditioner Mounting Support Bracket – Easy To Install Universal AC Mount, No Tools Required – Heavy Duty Steel Construction Holds Up To 200 lbs – Fits Single Or Double Hung Windows

Specifications

Dimensions in Inches: 10 x 19 x 20 (Expandable to 38 Inches)

Weight: 8.93 lbs

Carrying Capacity: Up to 200 lbs

Construction Material: Epoxy-coated, heavy-duty steel

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Review

The bracket is universal, so it fits any window and any AC. The installation is easy and doesn’t require any drilling or tools, allowing you to install the AC in under six minutes. Because it’s designed as a universal bracket, the fit isn’t perfect. Still, there’s enough scope for adjustment to make it almost as appealing as a custom-made bracket. 

The Ivation window bracket is ideal for rental properties. It isn’t a permanent fixture and won’t damage walls, window frames, or sills. The easy installation means you can fit this bracket yourself without any skill or tools. 

Bottom Line

The epoxy-coated heavy-duty steel bracket won’t rust and can support most window ACs without problems. The rest is fully adjustable so that you can easily fit it to any size window or AC. The assembly takes under six minutes and doesn’t require any skill or tools, making this the perfect window bracket for a rental home.

Pros

Frame is adjustable to any window size

Support legs and extensions provide extra safety

Bracket is easy to install and adjust without tools

No drilling required, and no damage to the structure

Cons

Support feet may leave scuff marks

There is sometimes a gap under the bracket

Runner-up

Jeacent PC01B-1

Jeacent AC Window Air Conditioner Support Bracket Heavy Duty, Up to 165 lbs

Specifications

Dimensions in Inches: 17.3 x 3.3 x 1.3

Weight: 2.49 lbs

Carrying Capacity: Up to 165 lbs

Construction Material: Heavy-gauge, epoxy-coated steel

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Review

As far as price goes, this window bracket is a winner. The built-in level assists with setting the shelf to the correct angle. As this bracket is designed for larger window units, some plastic parts seem a little flimsy. You can install the product from inside the room, making it ideal for apartments. 

You need some DIY skills and tools. All the screws and hardware necessary for the installation come in the package. Still, you may want to purchase some sturdier blocks, and the anodizing on the screws is sometimes not the best. 

Bottom Line

The Jaceant bracket is worth the price but requires some drilling and handyman work to install. The feet fit neatly on the outside wall, and no part of the bracket is inside your home. 

The carry weight is enough to support a medium to large window AC. The rack is ideal for an apartment or any place where installing a bracket from the outside is difficult. 

Pros

Relieves stress on the window

Universal design fits any window AC

All the hardware needed is included

Rubber mounts fit on the outside of the wall

You can install the bracket from inside the home

Cons

Supplied plastic inserts are flimsy

Installation requires tools and some DIY skill

Best for the Money

LBG Products LBW-S

LBG Products AC Window Air Conditioner Bracket Light Duty Support Up to 85 lbs, Designed for 5,000 to 8,000 BTU Universal A/C Unit (LBW-S)

Specifications

Dimensions in Inches: 13.9 x 3.4 x 1.35

Weight: 2.2 lbs

Carrying Capacity: 85 lbs

Construction Material: Galvanised, epoxy-coated steel

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Review

The bracket is sturdy and supports window ACs up to around 8,000 BTU, but it’s a little narrow. It’s quick and easy to install and suitable for high or difficult-to-reach windows. The built-in level ensures that you angle the bracket correctly for the AC, and the design adapts to most window frame designs. 

Although you need some DIY skills and essential tools, most homeowners can install the bracket. All the hardware you need for installation is included in the package. The best selling point of this bracket is that it’s a good value for the money, and it does the job it was designed to do. 

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for value and don’t mind doing some DIY, this bracket is ideal. There’s some drilling to do and adjustments to make, but the installation is simple. You can install the bracket on high or difficult-to-reach windows, making it ideal for apartments or trailers.

Pros

Gives you good value for money

Design adapts to most window styles

Minimal drilling required for installation

You can install the bracket from inside the home

Built-in level enables you to achieve the correct angle for the window AC

There is a fitted non-slip rubber foot to help prevent the support from slipping

Cons

You need to have some tools and DIY skills to fit this bracket

Platform is narrow, so you need to have the AC properly centered

Best Window AC Support Bracket No Drilling

Top Shelf TSB-2438

TOP SHELF TSB-2438 Air Conditioner Bracket, White

Specifications

Dimensions in Inches: 13 x 26 x 12 (Expandable to 38 Inches)

Weight: 9.1 lbs

Carrying Capacity: 200 lbs

Construction Material: 18-gauge, powder-coated steel

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Review

The bracket is easy to install with no tools needed and minimal DIY skill, and it adjusts to fit windows between 24 and 38 inches in width. The wings also extend to accommodate most sizes of window AC. Customer service from the manufacturer is excellent, and they promptly answer all questions from purchasers. 

Read the manual to avoid confusion during installation. The product is ideal for rental properties and can be used for apartments, trailers, or even detached homes but won’t work with dormer windows. 

Bottom Line

Top Shelf has an innovative universal bracket that’s easy to install and doesn’t require tools or a significant skill level. The support legs ensure that the rack is stable, and the extendable wings give the AC full support, removing the strain from the window frame, sill, and walls. The product is ideal for renters and apartment dwellers. 

Pros

Easy to install from inside the room

You don’t need any tools for installation

Support legs and wings provide extra safety

Fully adjustable to fit most windows and window ACs

There is no drilling required, so no damage to the window frame or sills

Cons

Leaves gaps that need sealing

You need to read the instruction manual before installing; the locking system is tricky

Editor’s Pick

Qualward Universal Window AC Bracket

Universal Window Air Conditioner Support Bracket Light Duty, Up to 165 lbs, Fits for 7,000-24,000 btu

Specifications

Dimensions in Inches: 17.3 x 3.7 x 1.3

Weight: 2.64 lbs

Carrying Capacity: 165 lbs

Construction Material: Epoxy-coated, thick, steel plate

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Review

The universal bracket is easy to install with minimal tools and DIY skills. With a carrying capacity of 165 lbs, it can support most window ACs up to about 24,000 BTU. The bracket looks neat once appropriately installed and removes stress from the window frame and sill. You need to drill through the window frame, so don’t use it if you want to avoid drilling holes. 

Bottom Line

Qualward has developed a reasonably well-engineered product that the average homeowner can install quickly. The bracket is sturdy enough to support most medium to large window ACs, and you can install it from inside the room. You’ll need to slightly offset this bracket to compensate for the AC compressor’s weight as the bracket is narrow. 

Pros

Fits any size window

Includes all the necessary hardware

Can be installed with minimal DIY skills

You can install the frame from inside the room

Base and blocks add extra height as needed and give a wide range of tilt angles

Cons

Isn’t suitable for casement windows

There are some tools needed, and drilling is required

Types of Brackets for Window Air Conditioners

The purpose of a window AC bracket is to support the AC, taking the strain off the window sash, frame, and sill. Most of the window AC’s weight is outside the building, and that’s where the support is needed. Different types of brackets do the job in slightly different ways. 

Standard Support Bracket

A standard support bracket is generally a steel construction with a rust preventative coating. You may need two of these small but sturdy brackets to support your window AC on either side. A wider frame can hold the AC in the center, but remember that the AC usually needs to be offset slightly to compensate for the center of gravity. 

Welded Support Bracket

A welded support bracket is rigid and smooth, with no chance of adjusting the size. The most popular construction material is steel with a corrosion protective coating. A welded frame supports heavier window AC units and is used for larger ACs.  

Qualward Universal Window AC Bracket

Aluminum Support Bracket

Lightweight aluminum support brackets still support a weight of up to 300 lbs. The aluminum construction is naturally corrosion-resistant. But take care to add insulation between the window AC and the alloy bracket, as there can be an oxidizing reaction between the differing materials. 

Stainless Steel Mounting Bracket

These are expensive, but strong and durable, mounting brackets. These brackets support weights of up to 400 lbs., and high-grade stainless steel doesn’t rust. Most stainless steel brackets utilize stainless 304, and you may experience some surface rust in coastal areas. Marine-grade stainless steel (316) eliminates this problem with added molybdenum to eliminate specific forms of corrosion. 

Laws Regarding Window Air Conditioner Safety Brackets

The United States has no specific laws regarding window AC brackets. Still, most cities have building codes and local laws to regulate the installation and use of window ACs. These regulations address the real possibility of a window AC falling and injuring or killing somebody. 

In 1988, a window-mounted AC fell from the seventh floor of an apartment building, killing a pedestrian. In 2012, NYC increased enforcement of Local Law 11 after two window AC units fell from apartment buildings, one of them into a playground. 

Most cities’ ordinances call for a fixed bracket capable of supporting the AC unit’s full weight. If you’re unsure of the law in your city, consult a lawyer for proper interpretation. Still, the most prudent course of action is to fit a support bracket regardless of legislation, ensuring your safety and preventing possible damage to your property or AC.  

Tips and Tricks for Preparing to Install a Window AC 

Before installing a window AC, first, ensure that the unit is suitable. Calculate the BTU needed to cool the room and ensure that your chosen AC fits the window. Once that’s done, follow these easy steps for a hassle-free installation. 

Read the Manual

Read the manual and the installation instructions for the AC. Buy mounting brackets that fit your window, carry the AC’s full weight, and can accommodate the wall thickness. Read the installation instructions for the frames as well. 

Prepare Your Tools

You’ve read the instructions, so you know what tools you need for the job. Have them close at hand. Make sure you have the correct drill bits, spanners, or screwdrivers that you may require. Recruit a helper to assist in lifting the AC into place.

Prepare the Area

Open the window and remove screens if necessary. Clean and vacuum the sill and channels. 

Prepare the AC and Fit the Brackets

If the AC has extensions to close the gap in the windows that fit into channels, put these in now, while it’s easy to do.

Fit the bracket or brackets according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s a good idea to fit some weatherstripping foam to the sill at this point. The foam helps seal and insulate the opening. The brackets should have a slight downward slope towards the outdoors, allowing drainage of condensation. 

Fit the AC

With the helper, you recruited earlier, lift the AC in place, and fit it correctly onto the brackets. Close the gaps around the AC and seal with weatherstripping foam. Plug your unit in, and enjoy cool air for the summer. 

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Conclusion

Preparation is the key to finding the best window AC bracket for your home. Research the bracket’s load-bearing capacity, construction material, and suitability to local laws and regulations or rules of the building or co-op where you live (if applicable.) Also, consider your DIY capabilities and how easy or difficult it may be to fit the bracket. You can check our reviewed products to give you an idea of what frames are available. 

People Also Ask

Here are some questions you may have:

Do I Need a Support Bracket for My Air Conditioner?

It’s always a good idea to have the additional support of a bracket for your window AC to prevent damage to the window frame and for safety. You may be able to fit your window AC without support, but it won’t be safe. 

What is a Window AC Bracket For?

The window AC bracket supports the AC’s outside weight and relieves stress on the window frame, the sill, and the upper casement. A bracket also prevents an AC from falling out and becoming damaged. 

What is Included in the Window Bracket Package?

Different manufacturers include different items in the package. Most brackets come with the installation instructions and the hardware needed to fit them. You supply your tools and expertise.  

Where Not to Install AC Brackets?

Don’t install AC brackets in an area where there’s insufficient clearance. The AC needs at least 20 inches of clearance to work efficiently. Also, avoid installing them in direct sunlight. The efficiency of the window AC could decrease by up to 10% if fitted in direct sunlight. 



My name is Bob Wells and I am a retired HVAC tech from Washington state. I am currently retired and no longer do much with HVAC, however, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge in the subject and I wanted to create a website where I could talk about what I've learned and help upcoming HVAC techs. Find more info about me and HVAC Training 101.