Through the wall air conditioners are a great option for anyone who wants to save some space in their house. This type of air conditioning will make sure you get to enjoy the same benefits you do with normal air conditioners, only that this time you won’t have to worry about it taking too much free space. This is what the best through the wall air conditioner can bring you.
How exactly do these air conditioners work to save space, though? Well, they are designed to fit inside the wall, being supported by wall sleeves. So, they’re just what you need if you don’t have a big house or room but still want some cool air during the summer.
If you want to know how to purchase the right unit, then all you have to do is read our through the wall air conditioner reviews and buying guide. In the end, you’ll walk away well-informed on how to pick a suitable product.
What Is a Through the Wall Air Conditioner?
A through the wall air conditioner is a unit that blows cold air and is able to cool off a room when the temperature gets too high. Basically, they are just like normal air conditioners, with the exception that they are installed through the wall, and not on the wall.
They are a little similar to window ACs, with the exception that they use a wall sleeve to support themselves, and they are installed through an exterior wall as well. Although most models are directed towards cooling, there are some that are able to provide some heating too, as an additional heating source besides an already existent one.
What’s the Difference Between a Window and Wall Air Conditioner?
Well, first of all, a difference between the two would be their location. One of them is installed into an exterior wall, while the other is installed on a windowsill. Through the wall air conditioners are usually a better option as they don’t take away from your window view, and they’re much easier to hide in a room. Concurrently, window air conditioners will block your view and can be quite annoying.
Another difference is the power. Wall air conditioners generally have lower power compared to window devices, although it does depend on the particular unit’s BTU range too.
In terms of efficiency, a through the wall air conditioner takes the lead, because it doesn’t leak air. A window air conditioner has great chances of leaking air through the window, which is a waste.
Through the wall air conditioners are also a little pricier compared to their window counterparts. Basically, they are more efficient, which is why they are a little more expensive. Overall, though, both units are quite affordable.
What to Consider when Buying a Through the Wall Air Conditioner?
Before you spend money on a new through the wall air conditioner, ask yourself the following questions:
Even with a through the wall air conditioner, one of the concerns is room space. Basically, each air conditioner comes with its own cooling capacity. That being said, some of them are able to cool on a wider distance, while some are meant for smaller rooms.
For instance, if your room is between 100 and 150 square feet, a 5,000-BTU unit will be enough. Meanwhile, a 250 to 300 square feet room will need a power of 7,000 BTUs. Concurrently, a 450 to 550 square feet room will need a 12,000 BTUs unit. That being said, make sure that you measure your room so you can find out if the air conditioner you’ve set your eyes upon will be able to cool it.
The ideal answer to the question is “no” because nobody likes to deal with a troublesome installation process. Considering this unit has to be installed through the wall, you need a professional to help you out, or you wouldn’t be able to do a thorough job.
Doing this by yourself could be very difficult, because you also have to deal with electrical work, apart from making a hole in the wall. So, check the product’s reviews and make sure it comes with as many components as needed for a smooth installation.
Keep in mind that every air conditioner will have a specific voltage. More often than not, they come in two types of voltage, respectively 115 volts and 230 volts. While with 115 volts, things are easier since you can plug the conditioner into a standard outlet, things get more difficult with 230 volts. For such a unit, you will need a special outlet.
In case you don’t have one in your house, you can always call an electrician and have him provide you with a suitable outlet.
A noisy unit will literally mess with your head in the long run, which is why most people are looking for air conditioners that don’t get too noisy. Thankfully, you can find these, so you just need to search more carefully for them.
All you have to do is look at the decibels of the product you want to buy. In general, these units will generate between 50 and 60 decibels. Just bear in mind that none of them will be completely quiet. Since they’re through the wall, they will make some noise.
Also, consider buying a test kit for home air quality to measure the air quality of your house, too.
Best Through the Wall Air Conditioners Comparison Chart
Keystone 12,000 BTU Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner
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Koldfront Through The Wall Heat/Cool Air Conditioner
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Keystone Follow Me LCD Remote Control Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner
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Emerson Quiet Kool Through The Wall Heat and Cool Combo Air Conditioner
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Koldfront WTC8001W Through The Wall Air Conditioner
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Frigidaire 12,000 BTU 115V Through-the-Wall Air Conditioner
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Best Through the Wall Air Conditioners With Heat – (Recommended Picks)
1. Keystone 12,000 BTU Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner
This air conditioner from Keystone is amazing as it’s able to use 12,000 BTUs of cooling power, as well as 10,600 BTUs of supplemental heat capability. It is powerful enough to cool your house.
The unit has a front-access design, which will allow you to clean the filter with no problem. Just bring your vacuum to remove all dust, or rinse and dry the filter, after which you can put it back.
The remote control will also be easy to use thanks to the thermostat built into it. But what we didn’t really like was the noise the air conditioner produces. Also, it doesn’t always blow cold air properly. It has moments when it blows just like a fan, so this was quite disappointing to see.
- The filter is easy to access and clean
- Easy to use a remote control with a built-in thermostat
- Can save energy if you set the Energy-saver mode
- Doesn’t always blow cold air properly
- Can be too noisy
2. Koldfront Through The Wall Heat/Cool Air Conditioner
Koldfront created this amazing air conditioning system that comes with remote control for easy operation. Whenever you want to change speeds or turn the unit on and off, you can just use the remote control.
This air conditioner has three fan speeds, so you can choose one based on the amount of cooling that you need. Besides, it also has 4-way air directional louvers and 4 operation modes. Thus, your cooling experience will be an amazing one.
Also, another thing that we liked was the sleep function. It is able to regularly adjust the temperature and return it to the set one after six hours. Not to mention that it is also very quiet, so it won’t disturb you when you need silence.
- Works very quietly
- Comes with an easy to use a remote control
- Has 3 speeds to adjust to your needs
- The temperature will be regularly adjusted through the sleep function
- The instructions aren’t too clear
3. Keystone Follow Me LCD Remote Control Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner
Isn’t it annoying when an air conditioner’s filters collect dust? You have to go through the trouble of cleaning them and, let’s be honest, it’s not the most pleasant thing in the world. But with this air conditioner, cleaning the filter will be easier than ever. You just have to pull out the filter, after which you either rinse it and dry it, or use the vacuum to eliminate all dust.
We also liked the multiple options when running the air conditioner. Basically, you have 3 fan speeds pre-programmed, and 3 cooling modes. You can save some cash on electricity costs with the Energy-saver mode and ramp up and down the fan speed with the Auto option.
Even better, the remote control has a thermostat – which means that you’ll be able to always adjust the temperature as you wish.
- Easy to use and adjust
- Easy to clean and maintain the filters
- Can save energy
- Can cool the entire house
- The grille may pop out after a while of using the unit
4. Emerson Quiet Kool Through The Wall Heat and Cool Combo Air Conditioner
What totally impressed us about this unit was the sleep mode and programmable timer. Basically, the sleep mode can always keep adjusting the temperature to make sure you are comfortable during the night. It is also able to save a lot of energy. Meanwhile, the programmable 24-hour timer can be easily set with the remote control, voice controls, onboard controls or the phone/tablet app.
Another good thing about it is the lack of noise. It can operate while keeping the house quiet – a great added advantage when you want to sleep or you don’t want to be disturbed by the annoying sound of the air conditioner.
Moreover, you have not one, but two air exhaust vents, which can be combined with the 3 fan speeds and thus help you achieve 8-way flexibility.
- It works very quietly
- It’s a very flexible model
- It’s easy to use
- Energy can be saved with the right mode
- It comes with a timer that can be set through multiple methods
- It may be a little pricey
5. Koldfront WTC8001W Through The Wall Air Conditioner
This through the wall air conditioner is able to operate with 8,000 BTUs of cooling power and 4,200 BTUs of electric heating power. It has 4 operation modes, with 4-way air directional louvers. To make sure you get the cooling experience that you deserve, 3 fan speeds are available.
You’ll be able to switch through the different speeds thanks to a remote control provided with the unit. The remote is easy to use and you won’t have too much trouble working with it. Also, we love how there’s a heat function incorporated too. If you have an existing heat source, the air conditioner can add some supplemental heating if you need more.
- Is compatible with the Koldfront wall air conditioner sleeve
- Has a heat function too
- It can use 3 fan speeds
- It is easy to maneuver thanks to the remote control
- The customer service is not always reachable
6. Frigidaire 12,000 BTU 115V Through-the-Wall Air Conditioner
If you have a room that is up to 550 square feet and you need to cool it, then this Frigidaire unit might be right for you. Basically, it is able to cool a room by using 12,000 BTUs of cooling power.
We appreciated the controls and how easy they were to use. Basically, they are ready-select electronic controls. You just have to touch a button, and the unit will operate as you want. Another thing that caught our attention was how dehumidification is possible with this product – up to 3.3 pints per hour more specifically.
The only things we didn’t like were the noise and the fact that the model may possibly stop working after a year or two.
- Can efficiently cool off a room
- The controls are very easy to access and use
- Can dehumidify up to 3.3 pints per hour
- It is quite noisy
- Many customers complained that it stopped working after 1 or 2 years
Through the Wall Air Conditioner Buying Guide
A through the wall air conditioner is not a joke – you need to find one that is able to thoroughly cool off the entire room or house, without any problems. But how do you know how to choose the best unit? Here is a little buying guide, packed with everything you need to know before you purchase a through the wall air conditioner.
Features and Specifications
There are also some special features and specifications that a good model should have. These are:
In general, most new through the wall air conditioner units will have a remote control, for easy operation of the unit. Some remote controls even have a thermostat incorporated so you always know how to set the temperature.
A useful feature of a through the wall air conditioner is a 24 hours timer. This will help you set your unit to work and turn off at specific times, so you don’t have to control it manually. For instance, if you want a cool room before you get home, you can set the unit to operate before your return.
Digital controls are needed most because they make it more convenient for you to set your temperatures.
Sometimes, power outages or failures might occur, which will stop the air conditioner from operating if it’s turned on. But the cool thing if you have an auto-restart feature is that the unit will resume the last programmed setting as soon as the power comes back. It’s quite an amazing feature to have.
Washable Air Filters
It’s important to maintain the air filters of the air conditioner and keep them clean. This is why you need a through the wall air conditioner that has reusable air filters. They are able to keep your air free of dust and other pollutants. Moreover, they can be washed, which means you won’t have to replace them and will get to save some money too.
Some additional modes can be added, such as a heating setting. For instance, you can set some units to dehumidify your house too, in case you have too much moisture. Others have a fan-only mode in order to recirculate the air in the room.
You should consider an energy-saver mode within a through the wall air conditioner if you don’t want your electricity bills to be higher than normal. Energy saver modes will stop the cooling cycle when the room reaches the temperature you want. Then, the unit will work to maintain that temperature and will not run continuously. You’ll save a lot of money this way.
The Pros and Cons of Through the Wall Air Conditioners
Like every other unit out there, through the wall air conditioners have their good parts and their bad ones. Knowing all of them and balancing them will help you decide if this unit is right for you or not.
Without further ado, let’s see the advantages and disadvantages of through the wall air conditioners:
They Don’t Block the View
It’s essential to know that through the wall air conditioners are not installed on a window. They are installed in the wall, in a pre-set sleeve. So, they can be easily introduced through the wall once you have a hole for them. On the other hand, a window unit would block the view of the outside world, which can be annoying.
No Security Risk
The problem with window air conditioners is that they can easily be pushed inside the house if a thief wants to enter. Once they dislodge it, it’s easy to gain access inside your home. However, through the wall air conditioners are much safer in this regard.
They are tightly secured inside a wall. Moreover, even if someone manages to push the unit further, they won’t be able to fit through the sleeve hole, so it’s a safer option.
Unlike window air conditioners, through the wall air conditioners are much quieter. Of course, they will still be a little noisy since they are coming in contact with the wall, but it’s nothing compared to the noise produced by window units.
With a window air conditioner, you would have to move the unit around a lot – more specifically in and out the window. Still, through the wall devices are different. They will be a permanent installation, which is way more convenient than having to move them all the time. You will just have to turn it on and off.
You Have to Maintain It
Since it’s a permanent unit, you don’t want to deal with replacements too soon. But if you don’t maintain it, that might actually happen. So, you need to constantly maintain it in order to have a long-lasting experience. The hoses have to be examined, while the air filter has to either be replaced or washed. If you take enough care of it, it can even last 10 years.
They Don’t Provide Cooling for the Whole House
Another problem with through the wall air conditioners is that, in general, they’re unable to cool off the whole house. Whereas there are indeed some models that can do that, they usually just cool the room they’re installed in, as long as the square footage of the room is suitable for the BTU.
How to Install a Through the Wall Air Conditioner Wall & Electrical Requirements
1. Turn Off the Power
Before you install the unit, you have to turn off the power. Basically, you’ll have to cut through the wall, and this can result in accidentally cutting the electrical wires, which could be dangerous if electricity isn’t turned off.
2. Make the Hole
You will need to make a hole through the wall if you didn’t have a similar unit before. You should use the supplied guide paper or sleeve, and then mark the opening on the wall.
3. Get the Wall Sleeve Ready
In case you already have a wall sleeve, you should check it and see if it’s sealed properly, and if it still works. In case no wall sleeve was installed, then make sure to install one by following the instructions’ manual.
4. Install the Louver Panel/Grille
Before you even place the air conditioner on the wall sleeve, you need to install the grille that comes with the unit. It is meant to ensure the airflow from the back of the air conditioner. Keep in mind that if there is another grille/rear louver panel on the wall sleeve, you need to replace it with the one from the new unit.
5. Position the Seals
When the wall sleeve is installed, you have to get it ready for the air conditioner. You should take the foam support blocks and positioning seals inside the enclosure, so you can fit the unit properly.
6. Install a Ground Wire
You have to secure the ground wire to the wall sleeve’s frame in order to ground the air conditioner. You will have to use a drill if there was no wall sleeve installed previously.
7. Install the Air Conditioner
It’s time to install your air conditioner into the wall sleeve. You will need another person to help you with this, as it’s not easy to do it by yourself. After you put it into the wall frame, you have to also attach the trim frame and insert the main insulating seal.
FAQs & Answers
1. Can you put a through the wall AC on a window?
Some models can be installed on a window, although it really depends on the size of the air conditioner. If the size isn’t proper, then the unit may be bigger or smaller than the window frame.
2. How to maintain a through the wall air conditioner?
3. Can I use a through the wall air conditioner with a heat mode as the only heating source?
No. Although some units have a heat mode, you should only use them in combination with an existing heating source.
4. Will I be able to sleep with this unit on?
Usually, you should be able to, as long as it’s not too noisy. However, if the noise is too much to handle, it will only keep you awake. Not to mention that if the room gets too cold and you can’t set it to turn off when it reaches the required temperature, you might wake up in the middle of the night.
Through the wall air conditioners will change your life, as they are the best choice for small rooms or houses. In case you’re looking for a permanent cooling method, then this is the right unit for you. Keep in mind that these devices work differently from the best evaporative coolers, but they are very effective, as you’ve seen from our through the wall air conditioner reviews.
Now that you’ve read the guide and our tips and tricks, you’ll hopefully be able to choose the best through the wall air conditioner.