Window AC / September 12, 2018 / Lundy Brochu
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.
Have everything ready and laid out before you have unpacked. Have the screen removed from the window. Remember that these only work for windows that can be pulled up. Ones that crank out will not open wide enough nor will they have anything to hold the air conditioner steady. Open up the window as wide as it can go to give yourself a little extra room to work. It is helpful if you have someone there to push down the top sash when the time comes. Make sure the air conditioner is facing the right way. The front which should be inside the room should have the dials and the cord to plug into the wall.
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.