Window AC / August 29, 2018 / Lundy Brochu
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.
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.
Installing Your New Air Conditioner. Before you remove your new A/C from its packaging youll need to recruit a helper. Air conditioners are very hard to grip because their weight is uneven and dropping the unit from a window could be catastrophic. After you find a friend or family neighbor to help you can begin the installation by installing any mounting brackets that have been provided by the manufacturer. Heavy older units typically come with mounting brackets that help to support the A/C unit using the window sill and outer wall as balancing points. Next attach any extenders that come with your air conditioner.