Window AC / August 26, 2018 / Denise Brisette
One sees a similar box for a wall air conditioner. Naturally people assume they are the same. But they arent and this article will explain why. The two types share some characteristics. Both span the dividing line from inside to outside allowing all components to be housed in a single box. Therefore both utilize both inside and outside air to perform. Both are designed to condition a single room. But there are differences. Windows are thin and the sleeve for a window unit is designed to take advantage of this. It sits on the window sill with the window closed onto the case to seal the top.
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.
They are also easy to install unlike split air systems and central ac. Installing a window unit is an easy DIY job that can be tackled in an hour or so. Also because they are installed in a semi-permanent fashion you just set it and forget it. Unlike portable ac units which are often wheeled around from room to room a window unit is designed to stay put. In spite of all of these benefits however window units have one major drawback: the noise. These units are loud and different models can range from being moderately annoying to downright deafening.