Window AC / September 8, 2018 / Babette Arsenault
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.
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.
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.