How to Install Through the Wall Air Conditioner

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Wall air conditioners are installed directly through the wall by cutting a precise opening to fit the wall air conditioners in. Unlike window units that require an open window to install, wall air conditioners can be installed in virtually any outdoor-facing wall in the home, making them versatile.

How to Install a Wall Air Conditioner: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Wall air conditioner installation will require some renovation work, including drilling a hole through the wall to place the air conditioner in. You'll need some tools not included with your wall air conditioner, such as a drill, a circular saw, and a caulking gun. Gather your materials before you start the installation process.

  • Drill set
  • Circular saw
  • Caulking gun
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Stud finder
  • Drywall knife
  • Hammer and nails
  • Lumber, plywood, or plexiglass

Step 2: Measure Your AC Unit

Locate the space where you'll be placing your air conditioning unit. Choose a non-load bearing wall that has access to an electrical outlet, and directly connects to the outside through the exterior wall. Measure your wall air conditioner using the measuring tape, and pencil in the measurements on your chosen wall space.

Step 3: Plot the Points on the Wall

Plot the points on the wall using your stud finder. Find four wall studs to support your wall aC unit, and plot the points using a pencil. Most wall air conditioners come with a guide that you can place on the wall to easily plot out these points according to the location of the studs in your wall.

Step 4: Switch Off Your Breaker

Switch off the circuit breaker connected to the electrical socket near your chosen wall space. This will prevent any electrical accidents, and will make the installation safer as you cut through the wall.

Step 5: Start Cutting a Hole in the Wall

Start cutting into the wall by first drilling through the plotted points. Use the air conditioner guide, and cut around 2.5 inches bigger than the guide to create space for the support frame. Use the drywall knife to make notches that will serve as a guide for you to saw through the hole. Try to go over as few wall studs as possible.

Cut through the insulating foam, and through the exterior wall opening. Drill holes through the exterior portion of the wall to create a guide, then head outside, and start drilling a similar hole on the exterior section of the wall.

Step 6: Secure the Wall Air Conditioner Frame

Secure the frame that comes with most wall air conditioners. You may have an indoor and outdoor frame, so be sure to secure one on each side of the wall. If your wall air conditioner did not come with a frame, you can make one out of lumber, plywood, or plexiglass by cutting out the material to fit as the frame of your air conditioning unit.

Step 7: Insert the Wall Air Conditioner

After securing the frames in the wall opening, insert the wall air conditioner into the slot. It may be easier to install the metal sleeve of wall AC units first before the internal parts so you can secure the brackets in place with screws or nails, particularly for larger, packaged terminal air conditioner (PTAC) wall units.

Step 8: Seal the Gaps

Seal any remaining gaps with drywall, and let it dry completely. Paint over the drywall to match the existing color of your walls, then line the AC unit with caulking on both the indoor and outdoor size to create an airtight seal around your unit. You're almost done with installing your air conditioning unit!

Step 9: Plug In Your Unit

Plug your unit into the wall socket, and make your way to the circuit breaker. Flip the switch back on, then let your AC unit rest for 30 minutes to let the refrigerant settle into its appropriate position, particularly after you've tossed and turned the air conditioner during installation. Always let air conditioners rest for 30 minutes to an hour after installation.

Step 10: Test Your AC Unit

The last step is to test out your unit! Wall air conditioners are more challenging to install compared to window air conditioners as they require some level of renovation and construction know-how. To test if you've installed your unit properly, run the air conditioner.

If you've installed the air conditioner properly, then your wall AC should work without displaying an error code, or malfunctioning. It should not leak condensate indoors, and it should not make any loud noises. Once you've successfully installed your AC unit, you can then set the temperature and humidity settings to your preference, and enjoy!

Video References


#1 Can I put window air conditioners through the wall?

Generally, no. Window air conditioners and wall air conditioners are different. For one, they have fundamentally different designs, and while some window air conditioner units can be retrofitted to be similar to wall air conditioners, they are not interchangeable.

#2 Do through the wall air conditioners really need a metal sleeve?

Yes, wall air conditioners will require a metal sleeve for support and structure. Without this sleeve, you may end up warping or damaging your wall over time as the wall cannot fully support the weight of the air conditioner installed in it. While a supporting frame can be made of different materials, metal provides the most durable wall sleeve material.

#3 How much are the professional installation costs for through the wall air conditioners?

Wall air conditioners can be installed the DIY way, but if you're looking for a more professional finish, we recommend leaving the installation to our licensed HVAC professionals at Luce Aircon. Installation may cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 on average, depending on the type of unit, and complexity of the project.

Luce Aircon - Your Air Conditioning Partner

Luce Aircon is your air conditioning partner that will guide you through purchasing, installing, and maintaining your unit to ensure you make the most out of your air conditioners! Our technicians will be able to suggest suitable units for your home, and do proper installation as well as cleaning and maintenance!

Give us a call today to inquire how we can help you optimize your cooling system! 

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