Window AC / September 19, 2018 / Lundy Brochu
Another huge improvement in window air conditioners is in their appearance. Older models did not blend in very well with their surroundings. They were usually some shade of brown and looked like there was a box in your window. Window air conditioners today are much less obtrusive and look less like boxes. Corners are rounded and colors are much lighter. This gives them a much sleeker look. As with most things once they have been around for awhile cost become more reasonable and less of an obstacle. A window air conditioner can be purchase for less than two hundred dollars and often not much more than one hundred dollars. Of course this is for smaller units. Costs go up as the cooling capacity of the unit increases.
One sees a similar box for a wall air conditioner. Naturally people assume they are the same. But they arent and this article will explain why. The two types share some characteristics. Both span the dividing line from inside to outside allowing all components to be housed in a single box. Therefore both utilize both inside and outside air to perform. Both are designed to condition a single room. But there are differences. Windows are thin and the sleeve for a window unit is designed to take advantage of this. It sits on the window sill with the window closed onto the case to seal the top.
The answer is It depends on the wall thickness. Sleeve specifications for some window air conditioner manufacturers include the maximum wall thickness before it will cover part of the louvers. For example Amanas 18000 BTU models have a max of 8.5 inches. If the wall thickness is at or below that these models can be used in as a wall air conditioner without adversely affecting function. So whats the problem if the wall covers a little of the louvers? Two things: 1) restriction of air movement and therefore reduced efficiency and 2) these units pull air in very powerfully. Cut wall edges could become loose allowing material to be sucked into the unit and potentially causing damage.