Briefly, because a wall air conditioner may have similarities in size to a window air conditioner, it is possible to use a wall air conditioner in a window, but complications in installation and other technical differences would make this task something extremely complicated and prone to cause problems in the long run.
In architecture and construction, there is a phrase that I love to repeat very often “just because something is possible to do, does not mean it is functional”.
You may be able to install a wall-mounted air conditioner in a window, but I’ll explain the main complications below so you can decide if it’s worth the effort.
Basically, there are many similarities between wall air conditioners and window air conditioners in terms of their operation and sometimes they may have similar sizes.
These similarities are what might lead a person to think about the possibility of using a wall air conditioner in a window, but it should be noted that both teams have been designed and adapted to be installed in different spaces.
The problems of installing a wall-mounted air conditioner in a window
The main problem lies in the installation, in itself, and wall air conditioners are equipment that requires some difficulty to install on a wall, in a window that difficulty is exponential.
And is that the wall air conditioners are much heavier than window air conditioners, the work of installing a wall air conditioner requires a metal device called a sleeve that holds the air conditioner in the wall to support its weight.
On average, an air conditioner weighs between 60-180 lbs (27-82kg), While window air conditioners weigh on average 64 lbs (29 kg), and ductless indoor window air conditioner units weigh much less.
A wall is a firm and resistant element in which this metal sleeve to support the weight of the air conditioner can find support, however, a window is simply a gap.
You would have to be very lucky for the window opening to be the exact size of the sleeve supporting the wall air conditioner, which is very unlikely.
The air conditioner sleeves are of two types. For air conditioners intended for use with a sliding chassis sleeve, the sleeve is supplied with the air conditioner. This type of air conditioner ventilates from the sides and rear, so it will tend to work well with walls 8 inches thick or less.
Slip-on chassis sleeves only fit the air conditioner model for which they are intended and are not interchangeable with other models. Air conditioners that are designed for through-the-wall air sleeves do not come with the sleeve, you purchase the sleeve separately.
These sleeves are designed to be recessed between the wall, so in order to install the wall air conditioner in a window, you would have to have a special sleeve made to the size of the window with special brackets so that it can support the wall air conditioner.
Keep in mind, that the brackets designed for window air conditioners are intended to support the weight of these air conditioners, do not be confident that these brackets can hold a wall air conditioner well, especially since these are heavier.
Another notable problem that may arise when trying to install a wall air conditioner in a window is that a certain degree of tilt is required in a window air conditioner so that it does not cause dripping problems at the window or inside the room.
Due to the forced installation that could represent a wall air conditioner in a window, it is very likely that the proper tilt is not achieved and could have dripping problems inside or on the window sill.
What are the main differences between wall and window air conditioners?
As previously mentioned, window and wall air conditioners have many similarities in appearance and function, but there are some fundamental differences.
Window air conditioners ventilate sideways and backward, they weigh much less than wall air conditioners, this is because window air conditioners are designed to be easy to install units and can be uninstalled just as easily.
Wall air conditioners, on the other hand, can weigh more, because they are designed to be fixed to a wall, usually, wall air conditioners ventilate to the rear, although some models can also ventilate to the sides and back.
Although both are designed to cool a single room or space, wall air conditioners are typically available in higher cooling capacities than window units and there are models that are ideally suited for almost any room.
The installation of a window air conditioner is relatively simple, so simple that it can be installed by the owner himself, however, the installation of a wall air conditioner requires some technical knowledge and labor for installation.
A wall-mounted air conditioner installed in a window can fall down
A properly installed window air conditioner is very unlikely to fall unless two serious mistakes are made, either the air is not properly secured to the window, or the installed air unit does not fit the window properly.
Guess what, a wall air conditioner installed in a window can easily meet those possible mistakes that could prove disastrous, if you try to install a wall air conditioner in a window, and you fail to do a good job of support, or the air conditioner does not fit very well, it is a risk that it could fall by any accident or unforeseen.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you put an AC sideways in a window?
Air conditioners, both wall and window air conditioners, are designed to work from one side to the other, i.e. indoors and outdoors.
Placing an air conditioner on its side in a window can damage it, usually, window air conditioners ventilate backward and sideways, placed on its side its ventilation will not work properly, running the air conditioner in this way will quickly burn the compressor, which is located inside the unit.
Does a window AC have to be in a window?
A window air conditioner is designed in such a way that it needs a window to evacuate the heat, a window air conditioner could be used in a place other than a window, as long as a way is found to direct the ventilation of the air to the outside.