Window AC / August 31, 2018 / Aubrette Dumoulin.
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.
To help make that decision more clear I will explore some of the positives and negatives of the two major options. Ductless split type units are also becoming more of an option. I will do another article on that option. To include that in this article would just be more confusing. So for now we will just look at window air conditioners and central air conditioning. Central air conditioning is the best way to go if you already have a central hot air heating system already installed in your house or building. The advantage that you have is that you already have the air handler or blower part already installed.
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.
The ductwork for the distribution of the air is also all ready in place. The ductwork may need some modification to make it work well for air conditioning but the major part of it should be adequate. To use the existing furnace and ductwork a coil will need to be installed at the furnace. An outdoor condenser unit will be installed outside and copper tubing will be used to connect the coil to the outdoor unit. Some electrical wiring will need to be done to power the outdoor unit. Low voltage wiring will be needed to hook the thermostat the furnace and the outdoor unit together so that they can talk to each other. Basically the thermostat will just tell the furnace to run the blower on high speed and the outdoor condenser to start up.