One of our favorite in wall air conditioners is the Frigidaire FRA124HT1 12,000 BTU Through-the-Wall Room Air Conditioner (115 volts).
Insofar as initial price is concerned, through the wall air conditioner units can be far less costly than central A/C networks. For homes where the majority of internal space is mostly unoccupied, it is more economical to cool only those areas that actually need it, rather than the entire house.
With respect to long-term maintenance expense, one wall A/C can be replaced for a fraction of installing a whole new central A/C system. If a problem develops with a single wall air conditioner, it is easy to simply go to another room until repairs are made. By contrast, breakdown of a central HVAC unit means your entire house will stay hot and sticky until expensive professional intervention can be arranged.
Nevertheless, an in-wall air conditioning unit is not immune to normal wear and tear. Like any other mechanical device, it has a normal life that will eventually be outlived. Thus, it is essential to identify signs that maximum useful lifespan has been reached. This typically means immediate replacement once repair bills regularly exceed $100.
Realistic Useful Lifespan
On average, wall air conditioners provide about 15 years of service, but many models plunk out after a mere decade of duty. Due to drastic decreases in the price of in wall air conditioners during the last few years, exorbitant repair costs are not worthwhile. This is especially true when compared to that of a brand new wall A/C with a full warranty. Naturally, however, this does not apply to relatively low repair costs for newer units less than 10 years old. Other than that, you’d probably do better to throw in the towel and buy a brand new in-wall air cooler.
Where preventive maintenance is concerned, about the only DIY task that makes a real difference is washing the air filter regularly. Despite common perception, air conditioners do not break down due to over-usage. They are built to withstand many hours of continuous operation. Thus, if weather conditions call for indoor air cooling, do not subject yourself to needless discomfort. There is simply no rational reason to risk you or your family’s health due to unfounded fear of ruining your air conditioner.
If signs that it is time to replace an in wall air condition do appear, do not panic. New models are cheaper than you probably realize. Even if a brand new one costs a bit more than you planned, you won’t regret a single penny during long hot summer scorchers.
Instead, you’ll be quite glad that you had the foresight to think ahead and not be penny wise but pound foolish. Not to mention enhanced energy efficiency and lower maintenance bills that add up to multiples of initial short-term acquisition cost!