Finding the right through the wall air conditioner for your home or living space can be a challenge –– especially since there are so many different options available.
Through the wall air conditioners essentially function the same way that window units do –– retrieving fresh air, running it through coils to cool it, then sending the air into the room. Unlike window units though, through the wall air conditioners are installed in a hole in an exterior wall, and require installation of a sleeve.
For those looking to cool a single room, or are worried about a unit taking up space, a through the wall ac can be a great option to consider.
Here we look at the advantages of through the wall air conditioners, and what factors you should look for.
Benefits of Through the Wall Air Conditioners
There are many reasons why through the wall air conditioners might make sense for you. It’s important to note that the coverage area for this type of AC unit is around 200-800 square feet, so this is not a whole home solution. These air conditioners are meant to cool single rooms or areas and do require a bit more upfront installation work than a window unit.
Here are a few of our favorite features of through the wall air conditioners:
While we’ve made many strides when it comes to air conditioner technology, one element that lags is the visual design. In other words, most people do not want their air conditioner to be the focal point of a room, and actually prefer to place it somewhere unobtrusive.
For this reason, through the wall AC units are a good choice, as they fit tightly inside the wall, and do not jut out too far into the space or draw attention to themselves. They don’t take up window space, which keeps the windows in the room open for their main purposes, like having a nice view. They are also easier to blend in with the decor of the room.
Similarly, air conditioners installed in the wall also save space, as they are often installed higher up or out of the way. This element makes them perfect for particularly small rooms or office spaces that need to take advantage of every square inch.
If you are using the air conditioner for a room that isn’t used all the time, these units can simply be turned off when the room isn’t in use.
For those living in colder climates where the AC isn’t needed for most of the year, having an air conditioner installed in the wall cuts down on the amount of time needed to pack, unpack, install, and take down the unit when the seasons change.
Because of the placement of the unit into the wall, these air conditioners tend to be more efficient. As they fit snugly right into the exterior, air gaps and drafts are minimized. This saves you money, as the higher the efficiency of the air conditioner, the less unnecessary costs you will have to incur on your electric bill.
Buying a through the wall air conditioner is usually a mid to low cost option. These units are a more permanent solution than a window air conditioner, are easy to replace, and last longer. The average pricing for this type of air conditioner, including installation, is around $700 – $1300.
How to Choose a Through the Wall Air Conditioner
Here’s what you should look for when shopping for a through the wall AC to make the most of your purchase:
What makes the best through the wall air conditioner? The short answer is that it depends on your situation and what is the most important to you.
First, consider size. What is the square footage of the place you are wanting to cool? With that measurement, you can use our BTU calculator to assess the power capacity you will need for your unit. Some units go up to 15,500 BTUs, which can cool spaces up to 600 square feet.
Then, think about your energy efficiency. Do you want to minimize the amount of electricity you are using? If so, look into a unit that has timers and low-voltage startups, which can help you manage your usage much more precisely.
Finally, as mentioned earlier, there is also price to consider. Through the wall ac units are generally a low-range to mid-range price, between $500 and $1200 for the unit itself, plus installation costs which will result in around $700-$2000 total. While you may want to save the most money on the ticket price, it can sometimes be more beneficial to get a more expensive unit that is more efficient, and will save you money in the long term.
You may run into the acronym PTAC in your research. PTAC stands for packaged terminal air conditioner, and describes a self-contained heating and cooling unit that is installed through the wall.
PTAC units are a great choice due to their energy efficiency and many come with a heat pump so the unit can be used for both heating and cooling a room.
What to ask about
Before you dive into the buying and installation process, consider chatting with a professional regarding things to consider for your particular situation.
Some things you may want to ask about include:
- Cost of cutting the hole in the wall / installation
- Electric wiring or plumbing considerations
- Voltage requirements
- Type of wall sleeve
Most of the time, through the wall air conditioners require professional installation, so it is a good idea to consult a contractor who can guide you on these areas.
Our Recommended Through the Wall AC Units
As we said earlier, the right through the wall air conditioner for you will depend a lot on your specific needs. That said, here are a few units that we recommend:
PTAC Air Conditioner with Heat Pump:
This unit is a powerhouse ideal for either residential or commercial use, with 14,300 BTU cooling and 13,200 BTU heat pump and electric heat. The PZH15K5SB has an EER of 10.2 making it an efficient system for cooling rooms over 550 sq. ft.
Features include a digital touchpad, a range of compatible thermostats from wired non-programmable to wireless programmable; and an Indoor Coil Frost Sensor that protects the compressor for a longer life.
For general home and office use:
The GE AJCQ12DWH 26″ is capable of 12,000 BTU Cooling Capacity with 10.5 CEER rating. While competitor units require a 7.5” minimum extension into the room with front, this slim unit needs only a minimal 5″ extension into the room for sleek, built-in look.
The AJCQ12DWH is WiFi enabled with a built-in GE SmartHQ communication card. This allows you to control the AC from your phone or other devices from anywhere with an Internet connection. Other features include 3 fan speeds, 6-way directional air-flow, an auto dimming touch panel display, and white color-matched sleeve with quick snap design.
Through the Wall Air Conditioner with Heat Pump for Smaller Spaces:
The Amana PBH092G12CC has a 9,000 BTU cooling capacity with a 1.2 kW** (3,900 BTU) electric heater, plus an 8500 BTU reverse cycle heat pump. It has a 9.8 EER quietly and is ideal for spaces measuring 300 – 400 sq. ft.
Standard features include an electronic touch pad panel, 4-way adjustable air flow options, and 2 fan speeds. The unit is designed for easy installation and maintenance, with a convenient slide-out chassis, permanent filter with polypropylene mesh, and easily removable condenser top that allows quick access to the outdoor coils and other sealed system components.
Through the Wall Air Conditioner Accessories
Architectural grilles provide an aesthetic face to your through the wall AC unit. They come in different designs, colors, and styles, such as window pane style grilles and linear bar grilles to suit your home.
Wall sleeves help securely hold your through the wall air conditioner in place. They help eliminate air gaps and drafts, allowing your AC unit to work more efficiently. We carry a variety of wall sleeves for different AC brands.
Buying a Through the Wall Air Conditioner
While the options for through the wall ACs may seem overwhelming at first, the most important elements to take into account are the power needed and energy efficiency required. When weighing out the cost of different units, note that choosing an option with greater efficiency can result in longer-term savings. We recommend consulting a professional before purchasing or installing a through the wall air conditioner.
We’ve highlighted a few of our favorite products up above, but many more are waiting for you to check out in our wide selection of through the wall air conditioners at Total Home Supply.
Easily compare, shop, and select the one that’s right for you. If you’d like more information, you can contact us, and one of our skilled professionals will help you find the AC unit that will work best for your situation.