Wall air conditioners are very similar to window air conditioners in terms of function and often size, but are a better option when you either don't have a window or would prefer to keep your window free. Wall air conditioning units exhaust heat and humidity from a single room to the outside, bring fresh air in, and fit through a hole in an exterior wall.
Advantages of in-wall air conditioners.
There are a number of reasons why in-wall air conditioners might be the best option for your living space. They are typically available in higher cooling capacities than window units and there are models that are ideally suited for almost any room. Plus, a wall unit makes it possible to keep using the windows in your room as you normally would.
Many in-wall air conditioning units have a remote control for convenient adjustments to temperature and fan speed. There are also a number of models that feature a digital thermostat and timer to keep your space at a consistent temperature whether you are in or out of the room.
While there are a number of great benefits to an in-wall air conditioner, there are a few considerations you will want to keep in mind when making your purchase decision. Wall units are often quite a bit heavier than window units and can be more labor intensive to install and uninstall. They require a metal device called a sleeve that holds the air conditioner in the wall to support its weight. If you already have a sleeve installed, you'll need to identify what type it is to be certain you get an air conditioner that will fit the sleeve. If there's no existing sleeve and you need to put a hole in your wall, professional installation is recommended.
Slide-out chassis sleeves vs. through-the-wall sleeves.
There are two types of air conditioner sleeves. Air conditioners designed for use with a slide-out chassis sleeve come together with the sleeve. This type of air conditioner vents through the sides and back, so it tends to work well with walls 8 inches thick or less. Slide-out chassis sleeves will only fit the model of air conditioner they're intended for, and are not interchangeable with other models. Air conditioners designed for through-the-wall air sleeves do not come with the sleeve — you purchase the sleeve separately. These units are rear-venting, making them ideal for thicker walls. Through-the-wall sleeves will work with most any rear-venting air conditioner model that will fit the sleeve.