Window AC / September 23, 2018 / DixieLemieux
A window air conditioner is supposed to stay in place. This is different from a portable unit which rests on casters so that you can roll it from room to room. In most cases however a window unit will provide better cooling at a lower price that what a portable air conditioner can offer. Moreover you can install a window unit in each room if necessary. By many estimates having two or three window units is still cheaper than investing in a central system. When you are choosing a window air conditioner it is a smart idea to take measurements of the room you plan to cool.
A wall with simple sheet type siding may be only 6 inches thick whereas a brick or stone wall can be much thicker. So wall air conditioner sleeves have ventilation louvers only in the back to avoid louvers being covered by the wall edges. This limits the amount of ventilation space available in turn limiting how powerful the unit can be. Wall air conditioners generally dont get much over 14000 BTU depending on the brand. So are they interchangeable? This question usually arises when someone needs a lot of cooling power in a room without suitable windows for a window unit.
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.