It's A/C season: Here's what you need to know now

By Leah Hochbaum Rosner  | June 2, 2016 - 2:59PM

Forget mosquitoes: The onset of summer in NYC is marked by the universal hum of millions of window air conditioners. But are you up to date on the city's A/C rules? In the past, we've covered such critical A/C issues as whether it’s worth the money to get your unit cleaned out, tipping advice for installation, and how to install an A/C if window bars get in the way (carefully). Below, a few other must-knows:

Who does the installing?

One word: You. Installing a window unit isn’t your super’s responsibility, it’s yours, says property manager Mark Levine of Excel Bradshaw Management Group. “Unless this is a pre-established policy within the building, a renter or unit owner shouldn’t assume that it will be taken care of by the building staff,” he says.

But Levine cautions that apartment dwellers shouldn't do it themselves. Since installing a window A/C incorrectly could spell disaster for New Yorkers walking by your building, he recommends outsourcing, especially since many companies provide properly insured installation services when you purchase a new unit.

What will it cost?

Brick Underground compared prices at some local air-conditioner installers to see how much it’ll cost to get your cool on and found a wide range of pricing for window installation, all of which depend upon size and type of air conditioner and whether or not bracket installation is required.

Air-Wave Air Conditioning quotes $245 and up; Five Borough AC starts at $200, and Mike’s Air Conditioning starts at $195.

What about brackets?

NYC law actually takes the frightening possibility of A/C accidents into account by requiring that window air conditioners installed in buildings six stories and higher be secured with metal brackets or mounting rails. (More information on city guidelines is here.)

Worst case scenario: The A/C falls out

And what if, despite your best efforts, the A/C still falls out your window? You’re responsible for it, says Jeff Schneider of Gotham Brokerage (fyi, a Brick sponsor), who explains that such an occurrence falls under the personal liability portion of most renters insurance policies, which typically covers at least $100,000 worth of damage. “But that’s only if you’re not doing intentional damage,” says Schneider. “So you can’t throw [an A/C] at someone."

***Updated on June 1, 2016.


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