Window AC / September 15, 2018 / Babette Arsenault
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.
A window air conditioner in my opinion is a last resort for air conditioning your house or building. There are many down sides to window air conditioning units. There are two good things that window air conditioners have going for them. They are very inexpensive when it comes to cost per BTU of cooling. They also install very quickly and easily. That is where the good part of them ends. Window air conditioners are security risks. If a thief wants to get into your house the thin sheet metal box that holds the unit in the window can easily be pulled apart to get in through the window.
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.