Best Place to Install Split Air Conditioner in Bedroom


The other day I was installing a new split AC my bedroom. So, I did a little research to find out the best place to install the air conditioner in bedroom.

The best place to install a split air conditioner in bedroom is directly above the bedhead or on the side of the bed where the air conditioner does not blow directly onto the bed which can cause you dry lips and headache.

Many people did not realize that installing the air conditioner in the wrong place can cause discomfort as well as resulting in poor performance of the air conditioner. Ultimately, paying more in electricity bills than necessary.

What to Look For When Placing the Indoor Unit?

Installing the air conditioner at the right place in your bedroom is very important because it not just concerning your health but it is also very messy to relocate it.

Cold Air Should Not Blow Directly onto the Bed

A lot of people like to have their air conditioners blow directly onto their bodies. For a while, it does feel good with the strong wind. But, with the air conditioner continuously blowing cold air onto your face during your sleep, it does more harm than good.

When the air conditioner directly blows cold air onto your body, it carries away heat and moisture at a faster rate. Thus, you may feel too cold and other problems may arise such as dry skin, dry lips, and headaches after you wake up in the morning. You may not realize that it is affecting your sleep quality.

I remember when I was a kid, my air conditioner was blowing cold air towards my face all night long. Moreover, it was a non-inverter-type air conditioner. Every time the compressor kicks in, it blasts cold air at full capacity. I couldn’t stand it and I had to either cover my face with my blanket or switch my sleeping position. Swinging the air conditioner blade up only helps a little because the cold air still falls onto my face.

Don’t Install the AC Too High, It’s Hard to Service!

The ceiling height of a typical bedroom is about 2,700mm to 3,000mm. The air conditioner should be installed at about 2,100mm to 2,400mm in height for ease of service because the filter of the air conditioner needs to be cleaned every 2 to 3 months depends on the air quality. If you place your air conditioner too high up, the service will be much difficult and takes a longer time.

Air conditioner service technicians usually use a 6-step ladder. Thus, if your air conditioner is located at a higher than expected height, the technician will not be able to reach it for the cleaning. In addition, the technician might try to reach your air conditioner despite using a short ladder due to the cost of revisiting your house which increases of risk of injury.

More about: Why Air Conditioners are Placed at a Height?

Leave Some Gap for Your Air Conditioner to Breathe

The air conditioner depends on the return air temperature to determine and control your room temperature. If your bedroom ceiling height is low, you still need to leave at least a 50mm to 100mm gap between the air conditioner and the ceiling to allow sufficient space for good return airflow. Otherwise, you’ll strain the air conditioner and it’ll not run as efficiently as it should be.

Furthermore, having a small gap between the air conditioner and the ceiling can gather insects as they like to hide in dark and tight spaces. These insects can fall into the air conditioner. Then, they’ll be stuck inside the cooling coil and you’ll need to clean them. Horrible.

Speaking of breathing, if you ever wonder whether you’ll have sufficient oxygen in your room while using the air conditioner, feel free to check out my article on does air conditioner provide provide oxygen.

There Should Be No Object In Front of the Air Conditioner

I saw some air conditioners installed above the bedroom closet. It is like almost hiding above the closet. This will cause improper airflow which will reduce the performance of the air conditioner.

Some air conditioner has a motion detection sensor where it controls the energy usage based on movements. With the closet placed right in front of the sensor, it obstructed the detection and this can ruin its energy-saving function.

I Don’t Have Space Above My Bed, What Are the Other Options?

The air conditioner also can be placed at the side of the bed as long as it does not blow directly onto your face. If you really have no other place to put your air conditioner, you can do two things:

1. Adjust the Diffusers

If you have no other options, you can adjust the diffuser of the air conditioner so that it turns the airflow away from your bed. However, it can only divert some of the airflows. You’ll still feel the cold air but lesser.

2. Consider an Inverter Air Conditioner

Inverter air conditioners are capable of reducing cooling power by regulating the speed of their compressor. When your room reached the set temperature, an inverter air conditioner will reduce the cooling power and maintain the set temperature. Your room temperature will be much more consistent compared to if you’re using a non-inverter air conditioner.

With an inverter air conditioner, your room most likely won’t be too cold even it is a small room because an inverter air conditioner typically can ramp down to as low as 4,000 BTU. Nevertheless, using an inverter air conditioner only solves the too cold problem, you may still have dry skin and dry lips problem. Thus, regardless of it is inverter or non-inverter, the cold air should not blow onto the bed.

If you are interest knowing more about inverter type air conditioner and perhaps you are wondering if you should buy it, feel free to check out my article on 9 reasons to buy an inverter air conditioner.

How About the Location of the Outdoor Unit?

Ideally, the outdoor unit of the split air conditioner should be installed at a shaded place. The outdoor unit should not be located in an enclosed space where there is no fresh air flowing through. Also, keep in mind the accessibility to the outdoor unit for servicing. The location of the outdoor unit will affect the efficiency of the air conditioner.

Most installers quote their price based on a back-to-back installation (the outdoor unit is right behind the indoor unit) where it only involved a short length of refrigerant pipe. They usually maintain their price if the indoor unit and outdoor unit is about 1 to 2 feet away. Beyond that, they’ll start to charge extra fees. Do check with your installer before start work to avoid any arguments later.

The maximum distance between the indoor unit and outdoor unit of the split air conditioner is about 15 meters. For a typical bedroom, it usually more than sufficient to allow your indoor unit to install at the perfect location.

I have an article discussing the effects of outside temperature on air conditioner. If you want to know how the air conditioner temperature can sway with the outside temperature, I encourage you to check it out.

Common Concerns

  • What if my air conditioner leaks water? You shouldn’t be too concerned if you install the air conditioner directly above the bed and it leaks water. A well-installed air conditioner does not leak water. If it does, just switch off and call for service. Rather, you should focus on the long-term effect of the air conditioner.
  • What if I have only one place to install my air conditioner? You can always reposition your bed so that the air conditioner will not directly blow onto your face when you sleep. Otherwise, you can try to adjust the diffuser as mentioned above.

My Recommended Split Air Conditioners for Bedrooms

Last time, I researched the air conditioner for my bedroom. So, I have some senses on the comparison and what kinds of air conditioners are good. Hence, I have some recommendation in case you need:

Best Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioners

See other mini split air conditioners that I’ve compared in detail [read post].

Finally, although bedrooms don’t have a big space, cleverly position your air conditioner can improve comfort. Relocating an air conditioner is really messy and costly. Thus, most people rather just suffer throughout the night.

Yu Chang Zhen

Yu was working in the air conditioning industry for the past 7 years, covering from design to installation and maintenance. Yu wish to share all the things he learned with the people around the world.

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