Window AC / August 26, 2018 / Denise Brisette
Side panels fill the gaps on the sides. These are also very thin so most of the sleeve is uncovered and outside. This allows for placement of ventilation louvers on the sides and top allowing free movement of air. This is the primary difference between the two types. The wide availability of louver space allows the unit to move a lot of air and this means window units can be quite powerful up to 3 tons or 36000 BTU. So window A/Cs can be effective for very large rooms. In contrast a wall air conditioner sleeve is designed for a hole through the wall. Walls vary substantially in thickness.
This will help you determine the amount of BTU s necessary to cool your room adequately. For example an 8000 BTU unit will cool a room up to about 350 square feet. Another thing to consider when buying a window unit is any special features that come with the unit. In particular most window units include louvers that let you direct airflow programmable timers so that you can set the unit to turn off or on when you wish and energy efficient features like multiple fan speeds. Many units also come standard with a remote control so that you can adjust the temperature from across the room.
If you choose to use a window air conditioner than you should also look for a place that it can be secured and placed in a room that you will not be sleeping in. As you can tell by now I am not a big fan of window air conditioners. They do have a place for some people. However you do need to be aware of the problems that you may encounter with them. The low initial cost can be offset by the fact that they typically do not last as long as a central air conditioner. Central air conditioning will last much longer be quieter during operation be more efficient be more secure but the initial cost will be higher.