Window AC / September 2, 2018 / Denise Brisette.
I have seen many units that are not even screwed fast. If the window air conditioner is just there balancing in the window frame it becomes very inviting for a unexpected guest. The window air conditioner is also very inefficient. These units use more power per BTU of cooling than any other type of air conditioner. If you are a light sleeper than chances are you will not want one of these window shakers. Window air conditioners are one of the loudest forms of air conditioning. The blower for these units is very loud when running. Then add the noise of the compressor and you have enough decibels to keep many people wide awake all night long.
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.
Window units of today are very quiet and their efficiency has improved a lot also. In fact these units are so quiet that you can hardly even hear them operating. Window air conditioners have the same components as a central air conditioner but they are all installed in small cabinet. The biggest and most important difference is that they dont have to cooling capacity of central units. But they also dont cost as much to operate either. If you only want to cool one or two rooms then window air conditioners are a perfect choice. However if you want to cool your entire home a central air conditioner is the best alternative.
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.