Window AC / September 8, 2018 / Babette Arsenault.
If you live in a college dorm studio apartment or a one-to-two bedroom apartment a window air conditioner is probably your best bet for keeping cool during the summer months. Unlike a central air conditioner a window unit can cost under $200 and will do an excellent job keeping your place cool during the dog days of summer. A window air conditioner - as the name suggests - sits on your window in a semi-permanent installation. This type of unit is designed to work straight out of the box and requires minimal hassle when installing to the window. Basically you attach the unit to your windowsill and then close the window down on top of it.
The Advantages of window air conditioning units: They are cheap. Compact. Sometimes provide partial ventilation. No installation required. Easy transportation from place to place. Suitable for apartments summer cottages and offices. Window air conditioner can be easily installed in a shop on wheels. Another important advantage is long lifetime: window air conditioners seldom get to a service center mostly after many years of usage (the simpler the system - the more reliable it is). The disadvantages: High noise level. They block a part of the window stealing the daylight. The window frame must be altered.
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.
The ductwork for the distribution of the air is also all ready in place. The ductwork may need some modification to make it work well for air conditioning but the major part of it should be adequate. To use the existing furnace and ductwork a coil will need to be installed at the furnace. An outdoor condenser unit will be installed outside and copper tubing will be used to connect the coil to the outdoor unit. Some electrical wiring will need to be done to power the outdoor unit. Low voltage wiring will be needed to hook the thermostat the furnace and the outdoor unit together so that they can talk to each other. Basically the thermostat will just tell the furnace to run the blower on high speed and the outdoor condenser to start up.