Window AC / September 21, 2018 / Aubrette Dumoulin
A wall with simple sheet type siding may be only 6 inches thick whereas a brick or stone wall can be much thicker. So wall air conditioner sleeves have ventilation louvers only in the back to avoid louvers being covered by the wall edges. This limits the amount of ventilation space available in turn limiting how powerful the unit can be. Wall air conditioners generally dont get much over 14000 BTU depending on the brand. So are they interchangeable? This question usually arises when someone needs a lot of cooling power in a room without suitable windows for a window unit.
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.
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.