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.
If you already have a window air conditioning unit and you have noticed recently that it seems to be louder there are few steps you should take. Check to see if the unit is vibrating on the windowsill. It may need to be re-tightened on its shelf. The side panels might also be loose. Inspect those to see if they need tightening. If the unit seems to be vibrating more than normal consider sliding a piece of wood under the unit to secure it. For more tips about finding the best air conditioner check out these helpful guides: Your Guide to Finding Everstar Portable Air Conditioner Parts and Your Guide to Windowless AC Units.
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.