Window AC / September 12, 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.
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.
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.