Other similarities include the ability to cool one indoor space, and also, both kinds of A/C use air both from the outside and from the inside. Beyond these things, there are important differences between a wall unit and window A/C.
Window air conditioners have a more slender profile, with the unit made specifically to set on a sill. The window itself closes onto the metal housing of the unit to create a good seal.
Panels which the manufacturer includes with the unit fill in the spaces between the sides of the window frame and the air conditioner itself. Most of the window A/C unit is outside the house or building, and vents on the sides and top help create good circulation of air.
Because the louvering allows great movement of air, window air conditioners are more robust than the consumer may realize. They move 36,000 BTUs. That’s a lot of air, and so these units work well in big interior spaces.
A through the wall air conditioner sleeve is different in many ways. Walls can differ in thickness depending on whether they have brick or stone facing or have some type of wood or vinyl siding.
As such, louvers are limited to the back of the air conditioner, and this makes for less ventilation space and less power. A wall unit will only move around 14,000 BTUs, less than half of what the window kind can. Plus power varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.
So what can the consumer who needs a large amount of cooling power do if he does not have windows? Look at what the manufacturer says regarding the thickness of walls. Some brands accommodate certain wall dimensions without covering those all important louvers on the unit.
Let’s look at how Amana handles this. Their Amana PBC093E00BB 9,200 BTU Through-the-Wall Air Conditioner with Electronic Touch Pad and Remote Controlunits accommodates a wall that is 8.5 inches or less. If the wall thickness is below that measurement, the Amana wall air conditioner will function as a wall unit.
It’s important to keep louvers free of obstructions because covering them restricts the air and decreases how well the unit runs. Also, covered louvers could become dislodged and pulled into the air conditioner, damaging it.
Friedrich gets around potential problems by providing different kinds of sleeves for the same type of unit.