Air conditioning in an apartment: the best solutions

Would you like to air-condition your apartment to obtain a temperate temperature, winter and summer in your interior? Yes…but you don't know what your rights and obligations are vis-à-vis the co-ownership of the building or your landlord.

Don't worry, each case has its own solution!

We have prepared a small comparison of the different options (mobile air conditioner without outdoor unit or split air conditioner) and our recommendations according to your situation.

We explain the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of air conditioners for apartments so that you can find the best way to air condition yours. And to see perfectly clearly, we also remind you of the constraints to be respected at the level of the building, the trustee, your landlord if you are a tenant, the neighbors and the town hall for worry-free air conditioning!

Option 1: install an air conditioner without an outdoor unit in your apartment

air conditioning apartment

It is possible to quickly air condition an apartment without having to ask anyone for permission by buying a monobloc air conditioning. This type of air conditioner consists of a single all-in-one mobile device that is positioned in the room that you want to air-condition.

Advantages of mobile air conditioner

- No permission needed

As there is no outdoor unit to be positioned in front of the building, you do not need to seek authorization from the syndic of the co-ownership, the town hall or your landlord to use this air conditioning solution.

You do exactly whatever you want inside your home, as long as your air conditioning does not exceed acceptable noise levels for the neighbors of course.

- Easy and fast air conditioning at a lower cost

No need to hire an air conditioning professional to install this type of portable air conditioner. You can buy it yourself and install it in minutes without any knowledge. It is the cheapest and easiest method of air conditioning to install.

Disadvantages of mobile air conditioner

- The view and noise inside the apartment for a lesser result

This type of all-in-one device is often unattractive, bulky and noisy, because the motor is located inside the room you are trying to cool instead of being moved outside the home. It is also generally less efficient and only allows one room to be cooled.

- The problem of the evacuation duct

In addition, if the monobloc air conditioner does not require drilling a wall to fix it, it is nevertheless necessary to think of the evacuation duct which must allow you to evacuate the hot air towards the outside of the apartment. It is therefore necessary to position the duct so that it passes through an open window, an evacuation duct or a chimney for example. Suffice to say right away, the sheath that crosses the room is anything but aesthetic, it can be prohibitive if you care about its decor.

On the other hand, if you have to open a window to let the hot air exhaust duct pass outside, then the heat from outside can seep back into the room to be cooled. That's the whole paradox! This is why it is advisable to also buy something to caulk the window around the duct to prevent the open window from heating up the room you are trying to cool.


The monobloc air conditioner is an additional solution at a lower cost.

It can be an interesting solution while obtaining the agreement of the co-ownership to install a more durable, design and efficient air conditioning system.

Option 2: Install air conditioning in your apartment with a remote motor outside, on the facade, balcony or terrace

To avoid the problems of the monosplit air conditioner, and benefit from a more efficient air conditioning system, it is naturally preferable to install when possible a split or multi-split air conditioning system.
These air conditioners are made up of at least 2 devices: a small device located on the wall of the room(s) to be cooled (the diffuser), and a second device located outside the home (the compressor). The outer block contains the motor and a fan responsible for evacuating the hot air outside the apartment. The two devices are connected by a sheath which is usually embedded in the wall or in the floor of the apartment to make it invisible.

Advantages of the split or multi-split air conditioner with an outdoor unit

- The decor and calm in the apartment

There are many advantages when you are in your apartment. The interior unit of the split air conditioner is much more discreet and design and you avoid the evacuation duct which crosses the living room. Furthermore, the fact that the motor is moved outside the apartment makes the device much less noisy inside the room.

- Performances

Air conditioning performance is also superior and you can cool several rooms with a single outdoor unit (multi-split air conditioner).

- You can also heat yourself in winter

Finally, if you choose a so-called "reversible" air conditioning, you can use it not only in the air conditioning version to cool the apartment in summer, but also in the heating version, to heat the apartment in winter.

Disadvantages of the split air conditioner

- Constraints to be respected

It is understandable, the fact of deporting the motor unit of the air conditioning outside the apartment generates a lot of comfort for the inhabitants inside, but this suddenly creates constraints to be respected vis-à-vis the exterior (co-ownership of the building, town hall, etc.) which we will detail below.

- Slower installation

Moreover, this type of installation requires the intervention of a professional and therefore often takes more time.


The split or multi-split air conditioner is the preferred solution if you want a durable, efficient and discreet air conditioning system.
But before installing it in your apartment, do not forget to contact your landlord if you are a tenant, and to check beforehand what it is possible to do at the level of the co-ownership of the building and the town hall.
And to deal with visual and noise pollution on your balcony or terrace, it is advisable to use a quality air conditioning cover that will hide it and reduce its noise without interfering with its operation.

air conditioner cover on the balcony terrace

Reminder of the authorizations required to install an outdoor air conditioner on the facade of your building, on your balcony or on your terrace

1) The town hall: request the town planning agreement via the "Preliminary Declaration"

Article R. 421-17 of the town planning code stipulates that the installation of an outdoor air conditioner on the facade of the building requires the filing of a Preliminary Declaration with your town hall.
The latter then has one month to respond to you and if it does not do so within this period, then it is worth consent.

2) The co-pro and the trustee of the building: co-pro regulations and vote in GA

If you intend to modify the common areas to air-condition your apartment, for example by drilling a facade of the building to fix the external air-conditioning block, then the agreement of the co-ownership is mandatory.
If you simply plan to put the exterior block on your balcony or terrace, in this case, the authorization of the copro is not mandatory (unless the copro regulations classify the balconies as common areas).
The first thing to do is therefore to read the co-ownership regulations carefully. Especially since it may impose specific constraints in this area, or on the contrary that it authorizes the installation of outdoor air conditioners by default.
If the agreement of the co-ownership proves necessary, in this case it will be necessary to have the project voted on during the GA and we therefore advise you to do this well in advance, and to prepare an argument which will show that your project will not impact the building too much to maximize your chances of success (think of the outdoor air conditioner cover ).

What obligations vis-à-vis the neighbors of the building?

Technically, it is not necessary to collect the agreement of the neighbors before installing an air conditioning, even split. On the other hand, think ahead about the best way to install it to prevent your air conditioning from generating noise pollution at home that could be qualified as an abnormal neighborhood disturbance. Indeed, beyond the legal problems that this can cause you, it is also about getting on well with them.

To find out more and go through all these steps serenely (town hall, copro, neighbours, etc.) read our detailed article on the authorizations and specific constraints to be respected for the installation of an outdoor air conditioner .

And be aware that the installation of an exterior air conditioning cover generally helps greatly to obtain the agreement of the town hall and the co-ownership insofar as it makes it possible to conceal the device and reduce noise pollution.

Install air conditioning in your apartment when you are a tenant

No need for the owner's agreement to install a monobloc air conditioning in his apartment

Indeed, since it is a mobile device that does not modify the structure of the apartment and does not impact the co-ownership, the tenant does not have to ask his owner for authorization and can freely use it. 'install.

Split air conditioner: ask its owner to take the necessary steps

On the other hand, if a tenant wishes to install split air conditioning consisting of an indoor unit and an air conditioner located outside the apartment, he must then ask his landlord to carry out the authorization requests at the level of the condominium.