DIFFERENCE BETWEEN window and wall air conditioner


  • To state the clear difference between these two air conditioner types, we’ll be discussing each type in detail, while also talking about the pros and cons of each unit type.
  • We’ll also be looking at the similarities between the two air conditioners, as well as the difference.

Today, there are several AC types but all of them are designed for one purpose; keeping the house cool. Some of the newer models even come with many high-end features, one of which is the ‘Heat Mode’ which helps keep the room warm in the winter seasons. The two types of air conditioners we’ll be focusing on today are window and wall air conditioners.

Over the years, these two air conditioning unit types have emerged as two of the most popular and efficient air conditioners in the market. However, people have often mistaken them to be the same but that’s not true. In this article, we’ll be looking at the differences between the window and wall air conditioners as well as the similarities between them.

Air conditioners, as we said earlier, are designed differently but for a single purpose. For this reason, you cannot install a ductless mini-split air conditioner as a window air conditioner. First off, a ductless mini-split air conditioner is designed to be installed in a totally different way from a window air conditioner. Not only will you be making the former less efficient than it’s supposed to be when installed how it’s supposed to be installed. The whole outlook might be very awkward, and that’s if it even fits right in the first place.

As much as window and wall air conditioners are similar in a lot of ways, we still cannot close our eyes to the difference between them. Perhaps the obvious differences are the different locations and how they are being installed. Those differences might as well be the reason why people often mistake one for the other. Both are often priced within the same price range, and even work with almost the same efficiency, so it is very easy to mistake the two units as the same. Stick with us as we’ll be taking you through how both unit types work, the similarities, as well as the differences between the two air conditioning types.

What Is A Window Air Conditioner?

Window air conditioners are designed to be installed within the frame of a window, hence, earning the name ‘Window AC’. When people want something affordable and efficient, they always turn to window air conditioners; although most of them do not come with high-end features. The fact that they are always fairly priced which makes them affordable to the masses makes them the go-to air conditioner to save them through the hot summer season. Their importance goes beyond that though. When you think of the cost of operating a standard air conditioner, window air conditioners are one of the first few options you should consider. They are energy efficient and if you think the initial cost of purchase is amazing, then maybe you should also look at the cost of running and maintenance in the long run.  Everything seems easy with this unit, even down to the installation process. It is one of the easiest air conditioning units to install, and that makes people opt for it when they’re in dire need of an air conditioner they can quickly get at a very good price.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of having a window air conditioning unit as well as some of the shortcomings that come with it.



We earlier talked about how these units are a very popular option in the market because of their price tags. Compared to other unit types, except for through the wall air conditioners (these are also considered fairly priced), window air conditioners always come with relatively inexpensive price tags. The cost of purchase is not the only good thing about these units. The costs of operation and maintenance are not as high as they would have been with other units. Matter of fact, being an energy-efficient unit, the effect this will have on your electricity bills will be very minimal.


Another reason why people love this unit type is that the installation process is straightforward, and you might not even need the help of a professional. Unlike the wall unit that would need you to break a portion of the wall in the room you wish to install it in; the installation process of a window unit doesn’t need you to break any wall. The only thing is to look for the perfect window in your room to install it. Also, unlike wall air conditioners whose installation process is permanent, the flexible nature of window units is another reason why people often opt for them. They can even be removed during the winter seasons when they won’t be needed throughout that period. The cost of installing this unit type is low when you compare it with that of a wall air conditioner.


Despite the high possibility of air leakage with these window units, they are still very efficient and can comfortably cool a room as long as the room size is perfect for the cooling capacity of the unit. Window units usually have a higher cooling capacity range and that means they can cool a larger space as long as the cooling capacity is ideal for the room size. Additionally, these units can save you a few bucks on your electricity bills and that’s a good thing to know.



This is down to proper maintenance but it is one of the few things people often complain about. The fan blades can get damaged pretty easily if they are not regularly lubricated. This will only result in the unit making continuous noise which won’t stop until the fan blades are replaced or lubricated. Another cause for the unusual noise is when the drain port is blocked and this results in excessive water building up at the bottom of the unit. When the fan blades make contact with the port, unusual noise is produced as a result.


This is the most obvious ‘shortcoming’ about these window units. Windows are there for your ventilation but that’s not the only reason. Windows always give you the perfect opportunity to view your environment and stay updated about what’s happening around you. It is even more painful if you live in an environment with beautiful scenery and you have a window unit installed in one of your windows. This doesn’t make it a bad option, especially when you consider all the good things you can enjoy in this unit. It’s just safe to know that being obstructive is something most people do not appreciate in the unit.

What Is Through The Wall Air Conditioner?

Also known as ‘through-the-wall’ air conditioners, these air conditioning units are a lot similar to window air conditioners in a lot of ways. These similarities are so strong that people even think one can be installed as the other. However, despite these similarities, some obvious differences set the wall air conditioner apart from the other units, especially window units. The most complicated thing about the wall air conditioner is the installation process which some people have cited as the reason why they prefer other unit types. Wall air conditioners have to be installed through a broken wall. This way, they can get air and run it through the different coils and air filters before releasing it to the room. Due to the nature of the permanent installation, wall air conditioners are often packed with high-end features like the heat mode so they won’t be entirely useless during the winter seasons. The first-time installation might be the only shortcoming or maybe the fact that they are always huge and heavy too.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of having a wall air conditioning unit as well as some of the shortcomings that come with it.



The installation process of wall air conditioners is one thing people have complained about the most. But the good thing is; that might be the only time you’re ever going to face difficulties installing one of these units. If eventually, your wall air conditioning unit develops a fault that would require you to replace it, the process is very easy as long as you have an existing sleeve. Just ensure you get the size of the unit that is similar to the previous unit so there won’t be a need for readjustments or replacement of the sleeve.


We talked about window air conditioners being affordable and their wall counterparts are no different. Affordability is one of the most popular similarities between these two unit types. If you compare the prices of these two unit types, you may find out that window air conditioners are cheaper but that’s because they do not come with as many features as wall air conditioners. However, when you also compare them to other air conditioning unit types, you’ll realize that they are cheaper and very affordable.


If you maintain your wall air conditioner properly, there’s a possibility that it will last for more than a decade. A wall air conditioner often doesn’t develop unusual faults except if it’s not properly maintained. This makes them a very strong option when you’re considering longevity before making your purchase. Matter of fact, one of the reasons why people opt for it the most times is because they are aware that these units last long when they’re properly maintained.



The first time installation of a wall air conditioner is not so easy and that’s a fact everybody is familiar with. For people who are living in rented apartments, it might be a big issue to break some parts of the wall in the room they want to install this unit in without the consent of the homeowners. This is a turn-off for most people as they do not wish to go through that much stress and instead opt for units that will require less stress and complications to install. This has been the only real issue people have had with this unit type over the years but we guess it’s what everyone should get used to.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I use a window air conditioner on the wall?

Although these air conditioning units are designed to be installed in different ways, there are some exceptions to the different installation processes. A window AC is a lot similar to a wall air conditioning unit; with the only obvious difference being the installation process. Some window units can work perfectly in the wall as long as they fit into the sleeve or brackets. However, not every window ac can fit perfectly into a wall sleeve without having serious consequences.

2. Can a window air conditioner be installed in a wall sleeve?

As we pointed out earlier, some window units can be installed as wall units and even wall air conditioners can’t be properly installed without a wall sleeve. So, if your window unit supports this kind of installation, then you can proceed to install it in the wall; with the help of a wall sleeve of course.


Air conditioning units have now become something you can find in most homes across the country but the discussion of a wall ac vs window ac will continue for the next couple of years. Both units operate almost the same way and if you weren’t told which is which, you’d probably think they were the same.

We have talked about each unit type extensively and we hope this will help you make the best purchase decision if you ever get confused about which type to settle for. We have also discussed the pros and cons of each type so you can have a clear understanding of how both unit types operate.





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