Rules for the location of the outlet for air conditioning: choosing the best place to install

Alexey Dedyulin
Checked by a specialist: Alexey Dedyulin
Author: Olga Kiseleva
Last update: January 2020

Agree that the outlet in general is not the most important decoration of the room, and therefore you should not focus on it and place it in a conspicuous place. Of course, the location of the outlet for air conditioning does not greatly affect the overall interior of the room, but it should be carefully thought out so as not to ditch the wall and not use extension cords again.

We will talk about where to install air conditioning sockets. We will show you the best and safest places to place a power point. Also, the article gives recommendations on masking outlets and cords from HVAC equipment.

Features of AC outlets

Installing a conventional domestic air conditioner allows the use of standard power outlets. Most of the air conditioners are factory-fitted with plugs and cords, but still, climate control is not a TV or a refrigerator, so you need to take care of arranging the electric lines in advance.

Such equipment belongs to powerful technical devices that consume a large amount of electricity during operation.

Because of this, you cannot connect other energy-intensive equipment to the same outlet with air conditioning. Correctly performed installation of electricians when connected climate equipment to the network - the key to the long and effective operation of these devices.

Design project development
Professional development of a design project involves determining the location of the outlet for climate equipment in the room, regardless of its purpose

Each air conditioner has its own indicator of rated power consumption. This value must be taken into account when installing the device in order to minimize the risk of an accident and ensure normal power supply of the equipment. It is indicated in the data sheet of the device. But when laying electrical wiring lines and outlets, it is better to take indicators slightly higher.

The standard power ratings for a non-production air conditioner typically range from 800 to 1800 watts. The exact value depends on the type climate equipment and the area of ​​the refrigerated space. In most cases, a simple outlet with a rated load of about 16 A will be enough for such equipment.

Air conditioner data sheet
Before installing the outlet for the air conditioner, you should familiarize yourself with the main characteristics of the climatic equipment indicated in the technical data sheet of the device

But for split systems designed to cool large areas, such a socket will not work, because it will not be able to withstand loads. For powerful equipment, sockets are selected individually depending on the power parameters of the device.

It is best to buy a power outlet for connecting climate technology. They cope well with high loads and have a long service life. The most reliable Euro outlets include products of the brands ABB, Legrand, Siemens, GIRA, etc.

Where is the best place to install a power outlet?

Air conditioning cords can reach a meter in length, and therefore you need to plan the location of the outlet in such a way as to exclude the possibility of sagging wires. If, when installing the air conditioner, it is not planned to carry out electrical work, you will have to dodge: spoil the decoration of the room or try to use existing connectors.

Normal outlet
The electrical outlet for a domestic air conditioner has standard dimensions, but its location in a residential or commercial room must be determined in advance

When installing a simple household air conditioner in an ordinary apartment, few people think about the location of the outlet for the split system. The device is connected to the nearest 220V outlet through an adapter, with the extension of the wire or directly (depending on the location of the outlet point).

But such a connection is suitable only for non-inverter models with a capacity of less than 4 kW. Also, subject to some phase orientation, this method can be used to connect low-power inverter climate systems.

It is best to install a new outlet for the air conditioner. Even if the existing outlet can perfectly cope with the load of the appliance, the hanging wires will look unaesthetically, although in apartments they do not make the outlet points of the network under the ceiling.

Ugly wire from the air conditioner
Dangling wires from a domestic air conditioner can ruin the entire interior of a living room, because because of them the room looks untidy

When designing and installing HVAC equipment, it’s worth “hiding” the socket between the air conditioner case and the nearest wall so that it looks as harmonious as possible.

If this is not possible, it can be installed under the device or on the side of it (not from the side of the adjacent wall). Do not mount the outlet over the equipment, because in this case you will have to hang the air conditioner a little lower.

General rules when choosing a place for the outlet

When choosing a place for mounting an individual outlet, you need to take into account the power of the climatic equipment, the location of the remaining technical devices in the room, the thickness of the electrical wiring section and the specifics of the layout of the room.

Appliances and furniture should not become an obstacle to connecting a household air conditioner to a power outlet. Also, plants and flowers should not be placed in front of the outlet, because they often have to be watered, and therefore there is a risk of accidental spillage of water and getting it into the connector.

Creepy air conditioning installation
The cord extending from the air conditioner to the outlet must not go around paintings, wall clocks, shelves, and various interior items

It is forbidden to mount the outlet near gas pipelines. Ideally, the distance between the gas pipes and the power outlet should be at least half a meter.

In addition to these parameters, other factors must be taken into account:

  • total load on the selected power line taking into account all connected electrical appliances;
  • the ability to change the cabling scheme;
  • the presence of a machine in the house from overload, etc.

The cord of the air conditioner most often has a length of up to a meter, so the outlet should be installed as close as possible to the device (ideally, it should be located at the level of installation of the device). Indeed, otherwise you will have to pull extension cords across the room, which can adversely affect the interior.

In addition, extension cords and adapters are unnecessary connections and additional contacts, therefore manufacturers of HVAC equipment recommend avoiding such a multi-stage connection.

Because of this, the distance from the ceiling to the outlet of the electrical network usually does not exceed 30 cm, since the air conditioner itself is fixed high under the ceiling. At the same time, the distance between the outlet and the ceiling should not be less than 15 cm.

But there are exceptions to any rule. For example, if a very wide baguette (ceiling plinth) is installed in the room, then the outlet will have to be lowered lower from the ceiling.

Skirting conditioner
When installing outlets for HVAC equipment, it is necessary to take into account the design features of the room in which the installation of air conditioning equipment

If the outlet cannot be equipped under the ceiling, and it is mounted in the lower part of the wall, then it is not worth installing too low. The convenience of operating the room depends on how high the outlet for the air conditioner is from the floor.

Experts advise doing it at a height of 10-15 cm, because then when washing the floor, water will not get into the connector. But in most cases, the outlets in the apartment are located much higher.

According to the European standard, they are installed at a height of 30 cm from the floor, and according to the Russian standard (it has remained since Soviet times) - at 90 cm. The distance between the outlet and the window slope should be at least 10 cm, and between the outlet and the nearest wall be at least 20 cm.

Air conditioning options
Before installing a domestic air conditioner, electrical wiring and a standard outlet, measurements should be taken indoors and on the floor

All grounded metal elements (batteries, heat pipes, water pipes, etc.) must be located at least 50 cm from the outlet of the power supply network. Also, the electric wire is additionally protected from heating pipes by insulation.

Industrial models with high power are switched directly to the switchboard. For this, an additional cable is laid in the room. Also, an outdoor unit of split systems is connected directly to the electrical panel. The cord of the indoor unit can be connected to a conventional indoor outlet.

The presence of a separate line and a separate machine when connecting climate equipment has several advantages:

  1. In the event of a breakdown of the air conditioner and a short circuit on the line, the remaining electrical appliances will work in standard mode.
  2. If there is a separate line, you can install an air conditioner of any power without calculating the total load on the wiring.
  3. The presence of a separate line makes it possible to install additional differential protection and control system. This is true if the outdoor unit is available for touch.

Regardless of where the air-conditioning outlet is installed, it must have ground or differential relay. Grounding is an artificially created contact between an electrical device and ground, due to which the voltage of the electrical installation is reduced.

The lack of grounding can lead to potential on the case and on all metal parts of the air conditioner at half the phase voltage due to the presence of a power filter. Manufacturers of any climate equipment indicate in the passport the presence of mandatory grounding, so they should not be neglected.

Also, all electrical wires stretching from the outlet must match the load. It is best to choose reliable copper three-wire wires of white, blue and yellow-green color (phase, zero and ground), since aluminum have a lower electrical conductivity. If the outlet has aluminum wires, it is better to replace them with copper.

Aluminum with copper
When connecting aluminum and copper wires, twists should be avoided due to the high risk of fire in the places of their union

It is best to take wires with a cross section of about 2.5 mm2. If the wire cross section is too small, they will not withstand the load.

Connecting the air conditioner to the network

Before connecting the split system to the mains, you should familiarize yourself with the diagrams and specifications for the components of the device and analyze the composition of the walls. Then you need to inspect the existing power supply system, measure the cross section of the incoming cables and test the selected route with a special detector.

There are several ways to connect the air conditioner to the mains. If the wiring line for a powerful electrical appliance was not provided in advance, you will have to lay networks and install sockets after a major overhaul.

It is most convenient to connect the outlet in the junction box of the room. But this becomes possible only if the electrical wiring from this box to the electrical panel of an apartment or private house can withstand the maximum possible load of all connected electrical appliances.

Another way involves laying new wiring lines. In this case, you need to pave the wall, lay a new cable in a plastic corrugated pipe and connect it to the junction box. If the depth of the gate is more than 2 cm, the cable can be hidden in the wall without a corrugated pipe.

Corrugation for wiring
Corrugated pipe (corrugated pipe) is a pipe with a variable cross-section, in which there are thick-walled and thin-walled sections that give it rigidity and flexibility at the same time

The strobe can pass horizontally or vertically, but it cannot be located diagonally. This contradicts the basic building regulations.

On the basis of the project for the arrangement of lines, it is possible to determine in advance the places of output of the electric network, including and for climate technology. If there is no way to shatter the wall, the wiring can be laid in an open way.

In this case, the wires are hidden in a special plastic cable channelwhich is fixed on the wall with screws. This method is the least time-consuming and costly, but the plastic channel can disrupt the appearance of the room.

Cable channel for electric wire
You can hide the cord, extending from the household air conditioner to the power outlet, in a plastic box of any color and shape, depending on the particular interior of the room

If none of these methods is suitable, you can connect the device via a loop to a socket that supplies equipment with less power. In this case, the cable runs from the socket next to the air conditioner to the very point of power supply. But you need to check the capabilities of the outlet. If the network does not cope with the load, the wires will burn.

Connecting a split system to the power supply using a plug and an earlier installed outlet is the easiest way. To do this, you do not need to perform electrical work, so anyone can handle such a connection.

This mounting option is chosen for:

  • split systems of small power (up to 4 kW);
  • air conditioners integrated in the window;
  • air conditioners that were installed in the room for a short time.

But it is better to work out the layout of the climate technology and outlets for it in advance. This will allow you to lay more reliable wires to those outlets from which the air conditioner will be powered in the future.

How to hide the outlet of the split system?

Sockets for air conditioning are usually in sight.They do not need to be forced into furniture or appliances, but sometimes they can violate the general design concept of the entire room.

This applies even to modern flat outlets, which only slightly protrude on the wall, which is to say about ordinary "pot-bellied" models. In this case, designers go to small tricks and mask outlets in the most unusual ways.

Extendable socket
Spectacular retractable sockets are ideal for residential buildings made in a modern style (high-tech, modern, gothic, etc.)

For example, the outlet is mounted in a shelf on which climatic equipment stands, is hidden in a three-dimensional picture next to the air conditioner, or is made in the form of a blocksliding out of the wall when pressed. The latter option is suitable if the air conditioner only occasionally connects to power.

Also today, sockets with covers (folding and retractable) are available. These covers can be additionally decorated, painted in a bright color, or made as invisible as possible.

Socket in the shelf
The shelf next to the air conditioner, in which the electrical outlet is hidden, can also be used for its intended purpose, i.e. books or figurines can be placed on it

If there is a closet next to the air conditioner, you can hide the outlet in it and place it in the form of a retractable unit (top, bottom or side). Also, it can be closed with a false panel or cornice.

If the climate technology has a cord that is too long, then it can be masked together with a socket using a non-standard volume unit made of drywall, made in the same interior style.

The location of the air conditioner next to the picture
Setting an unusual picture near the air conditioner in the bedroom, hall or living room allows you to refresh the interior of any living room

Also today, there are other ways to mask outlets. They can be closed in a small cabinet with compartment doors or hung with a folding mirror. If the style of the interior allows, the connector can be placed behind a small decorative door. This solution will be interesting to look in the interiors in the style of country, Provence, chalet, etc.

The outlet can be covered with artificial flowers. In the bedroom or living room, you can use a print, stained glass panel or pattern to mask the connector so that it looks part of the design composition.

In the children's room, an electrical outlet can be hidden behind a retractable multi-colored panel, an interactive map, or some voluminous models. For example, if a child is fond of Star Wars, then you can hide the connector behind the plastic model of the Death Star or the Millennium Falcon.

Masking outlets
You can hide the outlet for the air conditioner in the mini-locker in the living room, in the corridor, in the bedroom, and in the children's room

Usually, sockets for the air conditioner are hidden in the same way as sockets for other household appliances in the room. The choice of a particular disguise method depends on the design features of the room. But today, some architects do not propose hiding outlets and wiring to the air conditioner, but making them as open as possible.

Moreover, the design concept provides for the use of wires of contrasting colors (for example, to fix black wires almost in the central part of the wall on a white wall). If the wiring of the air conditioner is open, then there will be no sense in installing a hidden outlet, and this detail can be made bright.

When the air conditioner cannot be connected to the outlet?

Climatic equipment can be connected to the household network both in the apartment and in the country house, but for this certain conditions must be met. Otherwise, there is a risk of an emergency.

So, it is forbidden to connect the air conditioners to the outlet if:

  • no good grounding;
  • electrical wiring is in poor condition (for example, in the room there is only aluminum wiring of the old model, which can not withstand the load from the air conditioner);
  • there are no devices balancing power surges (this is especially dangerous in houses with wooden floors);
  • the cable has insufficient cross-section for connection, etc.

Climatic equipment requires good electrical wiring. It is sensitive to voltage drops and can become unusable in case of any problems on the power line.

Checking the functionality of the outlet
Before installing and connecting the household air conditioner to the network, you need to check the operation of the electrical outlet using a special tester

You can check the functionality of the outlet at home. To do this, you only need to buy a tester and familiarize yourself with its instructions.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Since the installation of an air conditioner and sockets for it takes a lot of time and effort, the issues of its power supply should be taken as seriously as possible. Before installation, it is worth using the advice of electricians and designers.

Some recommendations for installing outlets in the apartment are given in the video below:

If possible, you should design the location of an individual outlet and lay a separate power line to ensure uninterrupted operation of the climate equipment. This can be done both at the stage of overhaul of the room, and during the installation of the air conditioner in the already renovated room.

Tell us about where and how they placed the electrical outlet for the air conditioner in your apartment / office / house. Share the nuances of the arrangement, known only to you. Please leave comments, ask questions, post photos in the block form below.

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