Window AC / September 19, 2018 / Lundy Brochu.
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.
So what you should do? The best thing to do is to check out the sound levels on your window unit before you make your purchase. All air conditioners come with labels specifying the decibels generated by the unit. A high number means a loud machine. For example a unit with a rating of 50 Decibels is 10 times louder than one rated 40 Decibels. The smartest thing to do is to go to a big box store like Target or Walmart and listen to an air conditioner before you buy it. Even if you are looking at a different brand it is important to get a sense of how loud the Decibel ratings are for you. You can do this best by listening to different ac units running.
Why are window air conditioners so loud? Well the reason is simple: because the entire air conditioner - the compressor the condenser and the fans - are all located in one single unit. By contrast with a split ac and a central air conditioner the compressor and condenser are installed outside of your home. That means that in those units the loudest parts arent in your home. With a window unit however the noisiest parts of the unit are inside your home. This can be a minor annoyance. It may mean that you have to turn up the volume on the tv to hear it. But it can also mean sleepless nights if your window air conditioner in your bedroom is deafening.
An additional benefit of a properly sized air conditioner is humidity control. While these units are operating moisture condenses on the evaporator coil just like a dehumidifier. Probably the most common problem with window air conditioners is that they sometimes develop rattling noises due to vibration. This is not a serious problem and can be rectified very easily by checking to make sure all screws are tight and check that the unit is mounted correctly in the window and not twisted or stressed. Air Conditioning is something that many people look at installing every year. There are many options when it comes time to make that decision.