Sunday, March 17, 2013

What is the Difference between a Window Air Conditioner and a Through the Wall Unit?

If you are thinking about buying a new air conditioner, you might be wondering if it is better to purchase a window air conditioner or a through the wall unit. This article examines the similarities and differences between these units.

Window Air Conditioner
In the US, window units are the most popular air conditioner for a number of reasons. Window units are relatively inexpensive, ranging in price from 0 to 0. They can be used in all types of windows, including casement windows, and they are easy to install. Finally, window models can be removed during the off-season and stored elsewhere.

Window air conditioners are easy to find just about anywhere. You can purchase one from a local big box store (like Walmart or Target) or you can pick one up at a home improvement store (like Home Depot or Lowe's). In recent years, many consumers have opted to purchase a window unit from Amazon.com. The benefit of that is that the unit is delivered to your front door.

There are two major downsides of buying a window air conditioner. First, it has to sit on your windowsill and this means that you will lose your view from that window (at least during the summer months). The second common complaint about window units is that they tend to be quite loud. Because the loudest parts of an air conditioner the compressor and condenser - are housed in one unit that is inside your home, the noise level on these machines can be high.

Through the Wall Air Conditioner
A permanent alternative to a window unit is a through the wall air conditioner. This type of air conditioner is built into a wall in your home or apartment. Oftentimes, through the wall units are designed to be used year round as they also come with a heater.

Like the window units, you can purchase a through the wall air conditioner locally or on-line. But because you will have to have the unit professionally installed, you will also need to contact a local contractor or HVAC specialist to install it. Your best bet is to use Angie's List or other online reviewers for recommendations.

To install a through the wall air conditioner, you have to hire the professionals. Installation is a bit tricky, requiring a hole in an exterior wall. Once the hole is cut, the technicians will fit the air conditioner snugly into the wall with the vent facing outside.

The main difference between a window and through the wall unit is that a through the wall unit is permanent. You won't take it out and store it during the winter. But because many include heaters, you can get year round use out of these units.

Through the wall air conditioners have other advantages. Primarily, you don't have to give you your window to an ugly, bulky aid conditioner.

The downsides of through the wall units are that they are more expensive than window units (starting at 0) and they also require a costly installation process.

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