Summer in NYC can be unbearable without AC, but window, wall-through, and portable (standing) air conditioners all present the potential problem of water damage from condensation. Tenants may not notice condensation dripping inside the unit, or may not bother to notify the owner promptly. Over time, damage to window sills and floors can accumulate into the thousands of dollars, all from a small but persistent drip.

This photo shows how much water can accumulate in just a couple of weeks. The unit on the right is a portable unit that was placed in a large plastic bin when we noticed a small amount of dripping underneath the unit. As the water began to accumulate, the water was emptied into the 3.5-gallon bucket on the left, which is getting close to full.


Owners should insist that all air conditioning units be professionally installed, or consider upgrading to a modern dual pack / split pack system. This apartment will be upgraded to such a system in a couple of months, which should improve the marketability of the unit and should provide energy savings to the next tenant.