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Can Window Air Conditioners Be Installed Through the Wall?


Window air conditioners are excellent appliances that can cool a room or a small house if you’re unable to have a split air conditioner installed. They are far more affordable and can cool either a small room or a large house, depending on their build.

So the question here is, can your window air conditioners be installed through the wall instead of a window? Fortunately, you can. The amazing thing about window ACs is that you can use the unit for both window and wall installation. Having said that, installing a window AC through a wall is unsafe unless you make the necessary changes first.

What is the Difference Between Through the Wall & Window Air Conditioner?

From their names alone, you can already tell the differences between the two ACs. Window air conditioners are put in a window, whereas wall air conditioners are installed through a wall.

Window air conditioners offer maximum airflow by venting from the back and sides of the unit, while wall air conditioners are only vented through the rear since they are installed in a wall sleeve that goes through the wall.

When placed through the wall, the side vents on a wall air conditioner would generate a lot of heat, which might overheat the machine or cause a fire. This fire threat is why it’s important to know what type of air conditioner you have before you install it.

However, both air conditioners are still interchangeable, you must first make the appropriate changes. While the venting has to be changed, the condensation drain should be fine. Both units will drain in the same manner, either via the bottom or the rear of the device.

How to Install Window Air Conditioners Through a Wall?

One piece of advice that professionals have for window air conditioners and wall installations is to be wary of the side vents. A window air conditioner, as opposed to a wall air conditioner, is designed to vent on all sides and the rear. Below are the steps you need to do to install a window air conditioner through a wall.

  1. The first step is to convert the venting. Most window air conditioners have the option of using either kind of venting, and you may switch between them by following the directions on the air conditioner’s manual.
  2. After deciding on a place for your air conditioner, the following step is to cut a hole in the drywall within your home. Mark the location on the wall where you want the AC to be installed. Determine the size of the air conditioner, then create a box or sleeve with no top or bottom that is 4 to 6 inches wider and higher than the air conditioner’s dimensions. Use 1×6 wood for the box. Mark the wall using a light pencil and a level around the outer edge of the box. Cut the drywall with an oscillating saw, following your pencil mark. Remove and lay away the drywall.
  3. The third step would be to remove this insulation if there is any. Wear protective clothing since this might be dangerous to put near your body. Using a utility knife, cut the insulation in the same line as the drywall.
  4. For further support, build a header and footer to frame around your air conditioner sleeve outside your home. You’ll also require something sturdy to connect the drywall inside your home. You’ll need to join the vertical panels perpendicular to the lateral boards using 2x4s or 2x6s.
  5. Connect the sleeve to the frame you’ve built. Use screws to fix the sleeve into the wood frame you’ve made.
  6. Install the air conditioner. The sleeve is specifically designed to fit your AC unit, so this should be simple enough to do.
  7. When the air conditioner is snugly placed inside the sleeve, it’s time to run a brief test to confirm everything is in working order.

The one con about this installation process is that there will be visible wood if you look at the air conditioner from the outside since you had to make the hole large to fit the frame. However, proper alignment will give your air conditioning unit a tidy appearance, and you can even add a bit of trimmings on the outside frame to make it visually appealing.

If you were cautious when cutting the first hole through the drywall, you might be able to use some parts of it to make repairs. If not, you call a professional who can fix it for you.

Final Notes

And that’s how you install a window air conditioner through a wall. It’s not a difficult process if you have the proper equipment, but it can take quite a bit of your time. It’s best to do this installation during weekends and during days when the weather isn’t too hot. However, if you’re not confident with your skills, there are plenty of experienced construction workers and HVAC professionals available to do the task for you.

For more AC-related posts and reviews, you can browse through our site.

JP Reyes

JP has been in the aircon industry for almost as long as he has been alive. As a child JP would help his tatay fix aircon units at their junk shop in Cavite. After graduating UP in the early 2000's, JP then started his own Aircon servicing business and within 5 years had 10 shops in 8 different cities. Fast forward to today and JP brings all his experience and expertise online to give readers trustworthy advice and reviews about Air-conditioning buying, servicing, cleaning and repair in the Philippines.

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