I just installed a GE 8300 BTU thru-the-wall unit in our master bedroom. Used the GE shell that is specified for the unit.
We like it alot. The only qualifier is that the GE unit is more noisy than a comparable LG unit. So, if I were doing the job again. I would use the LG unit and its recommended shell. (About $200 less than the GE unit.)
Also: If you cut a hole thru a load bearing wall, whether masonry or lumber, you MUST add structure. (Lintel), over the opening. It sounds like you are going to punch a hole thru a wall that is about 12" thick. Don't try to reinvent the wheel. Get one of the thru the wall AC units.
Yes and no. Most window units have side intake louvers and a back discharge. If your wall is typical, 2x4 studs + sheetrock + plywood + siding, your side intake louvers will not be "free". This will reduce your cooling capacity. A thru-the-wall unit is designed with solid sides. All air paths in and out of the unit are through the back accessory grille. In addition to separating the air paths, the back grille looks ALOT nicer than the open radiator coil you see on most window units. In general, a thru-the-wall unit is designed to stay put all year round while a window unit is designed to be seasonal. There are 2 types of thru-the-wall units; the hotel style PTAC unit, and the little brother version, "Mini-PTAC" unit. The mini-ptac most closely resembles a window unit in both design and price point. The full size hotel PTAC units are the most expensive, but also the quietest, most efficient, and they have tons of accessories to choose from (wireless controls, architectural grilles, carbon filters, etc.). Here's a good sampling of all styles: http://www.h-mac.com/brands/cooling-brands/amana.html
Originally Posted by mar3232