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Thread: Through wall AC

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    DIY Member mar3232's Avatar
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    Default Through wall AC

    I need a small air conditioner in my bedroom and I'm probably answering my own question here but other than the fact that a "through wall" unit is built for going through a wall, there's no real reason why you can't use a window unit, right?

    I've done it before 2 or 3 times and it is sort of a pain -- but works.

    Why they charge so much for through wall types, I don't get -- almost twice as much PLUS the housing.

    I know you should keep the vents to the exterior air etc if you're using a window unit.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Properly supported, sloped, and sealed, a window unit should work in a custom hole. It just may not look all that great around the edges without more work, but should still work. A window unit is likely wider than the stud spacing, and you'd have to frame the wall to support it, and unless you can do all of this yourself, you'd probably find that the cost difference goes away.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    It is done often...mainly because window units cost less! Here are the caveats:
    > The window unit is not spefically designed to be weather sealed thru-the-wall. You will need to engineer that feature.
    > The windo chassis is not structurally as strong as a thru-the-wall. You will need to engineer the securing method.
    > The BIGGY: window units have ventilation louvers on sides, and sometimes top. It is imperative that these are not obstructed by a thick wall, flashing, etc.
    > Window units are non-standard chassis size. Might change every year. You will most likely never be able to just slide the chassis out and slide in a new one at replacement time. Start from scratch

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    DIY Member mar3232's Avatar
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    yeah -- I've done it a couple of times before but this time I need to go through 8" block + another stud wall, so the side louvers probably won't make it.

    tried a portable AC unit with a vent hole through the wall and took it back the next day -- those damn things are too noisy.

    wish the prices weren't so high on through wall units.

    fact is, what I'd REALLY like to do is mount a small (5000 btu or so) unit high on my bedroom wall and built some sort of chamber that vents it through the attic and to the outside (or just into the attic itself? -- because one of my roof vents is right above where I want to put it).

    THAT is what I'd really like to do but I posted on this forum and it was discouraged.

    But what about if I do a really small window unit (Like I say 5000 btu or so)?

    Obviously, I'd put a drain pan underneath it and run to a pipe.

    a chamber kind of like this? ---

    ATTIC

    I I
    ___I I
    I > I
    I________I

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    DIY Member mar3232's Avatar
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    my art fell out of sync -- you know what I mean, a backwards L shape chamber.

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    DIY Member mar3232's Avatar
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    also -- I'll only be using this when I'm sleeping, so I would imagine the attic may be cooler then?

    for example, how about this 6000 btu LG?

    http://www.homedepot.com/Appliances-...&storeId=10051

    I don't know why it wouldn't work -- be great if I could just vent the hot air to the attic below that roof vent.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member JB40's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mar3232 View Post
    I need a small air conditioner in my bedroom and I'm probably answering my own question here but other than the fact that a "through wall" unit is built for going through a wall, there's no real reason why you can't use a window unit, right?

    I've done it before 2 or 3 times and it is sort of a pain -- but works.

    Why they charge so much for through wall types, I don't get -- almost twice as much PLUS the housing.

    I know you should keep the vents to the exterior air etc if you're using a window unit.
    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

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