Window AC / June 7, 2018 / Babette Arsenault.
Window air conditioners came to the market as a solution for people who couldnt afford or did not want central air conditioning. Because central air conditioning can be quite expensive and because many people live in small apartments central air is not for everyone. This led to the advent of window air conditioners. Window air conditioners have a hot coil and a chilled coil along with two fans. The fans blow air over these coils and they in turn suck away the heat and humidity from the room into the outside area providing clean cool air. The capacity of an air conditioner is measured in BTUs. So the size of the air conditioner plays a vital role in determining its cooling capacity.
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.
The back the part that hangs outside should have the vents where water will drip out. Carefully place it on the window sill facing the right way. There should be ridges around the perimeter of the air conditioner to show you where it should line up with the window. Once you have this lined up slide open the side panels. These are designed to fill up the rest of the window that the device does not fill. Slide them as tightly over as you can. Have the top sash of the window lowered carefully and slowly down until it comes into firm contact with the top of the conditioner. The frame should be very tight against it to brace it and keep it from falling.
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.