Window vs. Wall Air Conditioners

A wall air conditioner.

A wall air conditioner is an appliance that is installed through an opening in a wall. A window air conditioning unit is installed through a window. Both types of air conditioning units share several common factors, such as similar coverage area, pricing, and efficiency. Wall or window air conditioning is much more economical when compared to central air conditioning. The following are some of the major differences in window and wall air conditioning units.

Wall Air Conditioners

While some wall air conditioners require an opening in an exterior wall, others can be mounted, though it is less common. Once installed, a wall air conditioner is sealed permanently to the wall, preventing cold air from leaking out of the home and warm air leaking into the home. Because wall units are permanent fixtures, they may prove more economical in the long run because of the prevented air leakage.

Installation involves creating an opening in the wall to secure the unit, making installation a complex task that usually requires professional assistance. Because installation involves cutting a portion of the wall, it is generally not allowed in rental properties. Also, initial costs are usually higher from having to create an opening in the wall. So, you may want to take construction costs and installation fees into consideration.

It is important to know that air conditioning units installed through walls must have supporting brackets or sleeves to support their weight. One major benefit to installing a wall air conditioner is that you do not have to give up your window, which means you can let in fresh air on days you're not running the unit.

Window Air Conditioners

Generally, window air conditioning units tend to be more popular because they provide high efficiency at low costs. Most window air conditioners are easy to install without professional help, as they fit right in an existing window. Because a window air conditioner is easy to install and remove by yourself, installation costs are much cheaper than with wall AC units.

There are several types of window air conditioning units available, which can fit in vertical or horizontal windows. Some can also fit through sliding windows. Before purchasing a window air conditioner, make sure your window is suitable for the purpose. Also, be sure to take accurate measurements to the store with you so that the unit you purchase will fit into the window snugly. You can install brackets to get better security for your unit.

Some window air conditioners can be installed through a wall, but wall units cannot be installed in a window. If your window air conditioner is the right size for an opening in your wall, you can use it for that purpose but must purchase appropriate supporting brackets to reduce stress on the wall.

Window air conditioners are not installed permanently and must be adequately protected, or removed and stored indoors, during the winter to prevent damage. This can be inconvenient if you live in a small rental space without storage space. However, if you ever change homes, you can remove the air conditioner and take it with you, which makes it a good long-term investment.

The downside of window units is that you have to give up part of your window, cutting down natural ventilation and sunlight in the room.