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I have always wondered how people lived when air conditioning technology had not arrived. Although it is difficult to imagine how life was then, we are sure that people still went to work and did their businesses before 1902. Even in cities like San Antonio, Texas, and Gallargues-le-Montueux in France. Not that they faced the wrath of the heat head-on; they just had different solutions from what we have today. For instance, they built houses with higher ceilings and spent most of the time outdoors. My reading about this subject made me find all manner of interesting creative solutions used by people to beat the heat in those eras. Today, having an air conditioning system is a necessity, the reason we have all manner of units. Climate control is such an important need for people living in hot climates that the per capita consumption of energy globally is on a record high. In the US alone, this consumption was 310 million British thermal units (Btu) in 2018.
If your home does not have a central air conditioner, you still need to find a way of sucking the hot humid air out of the rooms. You may already have an attic fan, but you probably have already realized that it will not be enough to keep you and your household comfortable. For fast cooling of the room, you need to try this one option: the best through the wall air conditioner.
We present our top choices for 2019, which are a result of extensive research that included customer testimonials.
Best Overall – Friedrich Air Conditioning Co. CP08G10B Air Conditioner, 8000 Btu, White
Best for Energy Efficiency– GE AJCQ10ACG 26″ Energy Star Built-in Air Conditioner with 10400 Cooling BTU, Digital Thermostat, 24 Hour Timer and Remote Control, Soft Gray, White
Best for Small Rooms– Friedrich Air Conditioning Co. CP08G10B Air Conditioner, 8000 Btu, White
Best for Medium Rooms – GE AJCQ10ACG 26″ Energy Star Built-in Air Conditioner with 10400 Cooling BTU, Digital Thermostat, 24 Hour Timer and Remote Control, Soft Gray, White
Best for Large Rooms – Frigidaire FFRH2522R2 25,000 BTU Window-Mounted Room Air Conditioner
Budget Pick– Koldfront WTC12001W 12,000 BTU 208/230V through the Wall Heat/Cool Air Conditioner
REVIEW OF THE TOP EIGHT THROUGH THE WALL AIR CONDITIONERS
Our article covers some of the leading air conditioners available to help you in the search for the perfect product. The reviews focus on renowned brands such as Frigidaire, Friedrich and LG, and cover some of the intricacies such as efficiency, capacity, features and so forth.
For Small Rooms (8,000 Btu and below)
Friedrich Uni-Fit Series US08D10C In Wall Air Conditioner, 8,000 BTU, 115v, ENERGY STAR
If you are worried about the chances of your sleeve fitting, the Friedrich Uni-Fit Series US08D10C in Wall Air Conditioner is an ideal option. The Friedrich Uni-Fit Series comprises of extremely efficient products that are most suitable for replacements. This series covers a wide range of capacities and sizes, including 8,000 Btu. Other cooling capacities in the series are 9,800 Btu, 9,800/9,500 Btu, 11,800 Btu and 11,800/ 11,500 Btu.
Pick the US08D10C for replacement in 27″, 26″ or 24½” sleeve, even in those of competitors. That’s the one characteristic we love the most about this product. Once installed, you would not even realize it was a replacement, as it provides a sleek appearance. Please note that this unit does need a sleeve if it is a new installation, so make sure you acquire an USC sleeve, which is available separately.
If you are environmentally perceptive, the ENERGY STAR rating will be interesting, an indication of top energy efficiency. Furthermore, the unit is safe for use both for the environment and for users because it relies on R-410A refrigerant.
The manufacturer has streamlined operation of this product via a remote control that handles the 6-way airflow, a feature that improves comfort through enhanced air circulation.
Pros: Versatile, Energy Star, quiet
Cons: High-end price
Perfect Aire 4PATW8000 8,000 BTU Thru-the-Wall Air Conditioner with Remote Control, EER 10.6, 300-350 Sq. Ft. Coverage
The second on our list is a product from PerfectAire; 8,000 BTU and EER 10.6-rated. This brand boasts of versatility and incredible electronic control. The Perfect Aire 4PATW8000 8,000-BTU Thru-the-Wall Air Conditioner is versatile because it has a cooling range of between 300 and 350 square feet. Usage and optimization of this capability come from the modern controls, which specifically helps use the energy saving mode amongst others.
We noted more – this compact unit will honor you with auto, cool, dry and sleep functions alongside a fan mode. The idea of adding the capability of cooling rooms of up to 350 square feet with the application of a fully functioning, follow me remote control with thermostat feature for total room coverage is amazing too.
Take a closer look at the features it offers. There is a 24-Hour programmable timer, so you can set the air conditioner to switch on and off automatically. For energy savings, this is an excellent feature, as you can cool the home a few minutes before you arrive.
Are you worrying about installation or planning to hire a technician for this exercise? Maybe that is not necessary. The inclusion of a user guide and installation kits has been helpful to many buyers if you look at many online reviews. Depending on your knowingness for these types of tasks, you can have the equipment running in a matter of minutes.
Pros: Energy star rated, convenient performance
Con: Can be a bit loud
Friedrich Air Conditioning Co. CP08G10B Air Conditioner, 8000 Btu, White – Best Overall
Conventionally, homeowners have associated room air conditioners with noise. Components- the compressor, electric motor, fan, etc. – and design of these units are the source of this noise. It is difficult to switch on the a/c without triggering some noise as the parts get into action. For this Friedrich product, this trouble is expertly minimized, resulting in one of the quietest units and the best through the wall air conditioner under $500 in the market today.
With its 8,000 Btu rating, the unit is ideal for small rooms of 350 square feet maximum. Everyone knows that this brand for cost-effective products, so you can expect energy savings.
Product dimensions for this white unit are 20.9 x 18.4 x 14 inches and its weight is a mere 64 pounds. This suggests that installation should be smooth, and the reviews from previous buyers have proven that. You do not have to call an expert to place the compact product into the wall, as a slide-out chassis is available. You have to get hold of this equipment that we consider the best overall. It is from the Friedrich Chill series, which also comprises of the Friedrich Chill Series CP18G30B (reviewed later) and other capacities such as 5200 Btu, 6000 Btu, 12,000 Btu, and 24,000 Btu.
Pros: Energy efficient, compact, sleek design, easy operation, relatively affordable
Cons: Some faulty units on arrival
For Mid-sized rooms (9,000 to 14,000 Btu)
LG LT1037HNR 10000 230V Through-The-Wall with 11,200 BTU Supplemental Function Air Conditioner with Heat, 10,000, White
To promote the ultimate user comfort, LG produces a large number of air conditioning units that serve a wide spectrum of users. With products that have capacities for areas between 250 and 1000 square feet, it is safe to say that everyone has a solution at LG.
The LG LT1037HNR carries the elementary components, but it has more. For instance, it comes with a fan, which is an important component for energy savings at peak. A fan generally consumes less power than the other air conditioning modes. Note that the unit also features an energy saver mode, which automatically selects the most appropriate settings for energy savings. It is also one of the best through the wall AC with heat.
In my encounter with units from LG, the gold fin coating has always been a standout. This coating protects the components from rust or any other form of degradation, so the user is guaranteed for many years of cooling. The universal fit for this product is suitable for existing standard 26-Inch wall sleeves, but you can get a new wall sleeve at an extra cost. You also need to create a special 230-volt/20-amp electrical outlet because this unit will not operate on a standard 115V household electrical outlet.
Other than that, we like the simplicity on this unit that would serve in the category of the best 10,000 btu through the wall air conditioner, especially the remote control that helps adjust speed settings and use the 24-hour on/off timer amongst other capabilities. The flexibility of the unit is good thanks to the two cooling speeds, two heating speeds, and two fan speeds.
Pros: Simple to use, versatile
Cons: Not to use on standard 115V household electrical outlet
Koldfront WTC12001W 12,000 BTU 208/230V Through The Wall Heat/Cool Air Conditioner
A capacity of 12,000 Btu is quite some power, exactly what you need to cool your medium spaces where you aspire to use the best through the wall AC heater 9000 BTU. The Koldfront WTC12001W is so good at it that it will create the atmosphere you are looking for even before you settle in your seat. That is fine because the unit comes with a remote control to help you manipulate fan speed and temperature from any corner of the room.
Although the manufacturer suggests application of this unit for a maximum area of 550 square feet, we are convinced that it could do perfectly well for even larger spaces such as a conjoined dining area. It would not be long before everyone in the space grabs his or her mug of hot chocolate. Behind the fantastic performance of this unit are four operation modes, three fan speeds and 4-way air directional louvers.
An air conditioner with so many controls can be a turnoff to potential buyers because this suggests operational difficulty. Yet, while the Koldfront WTC12001W 12,000 BTU 208/230V Through the Wall Heat/Cool Air Conditioner does contain some buttons, they are just enough to elicit excitement and have things under control. Most users need a day or two to master less than ten buttons.
Pros: Includes heating, easy to use, easy to maintain
Cons: Needs to buy sleeve, a bit loud
GE AJCQ10ACG 26″ Energy Star Built-in Air Conditioner with 10400 Cooling BTU, Digital Thermostat, 24 Hour Timer and Remote Control, Soft Gray, White – Best for energy efficiency
As a powerful and efficient unit, the GE AJCQ10ACG 26″ Energy Star Built-in Air Conditioner is a favorite for many users in both large and medium-sized spaces. The 10.6 CEER makes this product one of the most energy efficient through the wall air conditioners in the market today.
The comparatively small airflow should not confuse you; this product can cool a room as big as 450 square feet, which is enough for the average room. Considering that the unit can also remove moisture at the rate of 2.7 pints per hour, you have one more reason to take it. Its energy-saving mode will not only enhance comfort by incorporating the fan, but also accumulate substantial savings by the end of the year.
This is where convenience meets the power and efficiency: the unit features three fan speeds, three cooling speeds, 24 Hour Timer Electronic Controls and Remote Electronic Digital Thermostat Control. In case of a power blackout, you will not have to set the product again because it offers power interruption restart.
Low maintenance with a Washable Filter and environmentally friendly thanks to the R-410A Refrigerant and energy efficiency, the GE AJCQ10ACG 26″ Energy Star Built-in Air Conditioner with 10400 for Cooling is easily one of our favorites. We are convinced you will place it on your shopping list.
Pros: Energy efficient, attractive warranty, reliable cooling
Cons: Low airflow
For Large Rooms (14,000 Btu and above)
Friedrich Chill Series CP18G30B Room Air Conditioner, 19,000/18,600 BTU, 230/208v, ENERGY STAR
By now, we believe you have noticed the premium quality of Friedrich units. It is not a surprise to see another one from the brand make this list. With over 600 customer reviews and a near perfect average, this 19,000 Btu product from the Chill Series is clearly one of the most popular from this brand.
When we refer to value in a through the wall air conditioner, we are dwelling on more than just the visual appeal. The greatest factors for real value are power, comfort, and user-friendliness. Even with this high capacity, this product is ultra-quiet in operation. Unlike many other powerful models, the machine will not compete with your conversations, even when at full force. It produces no more than smooth sound even when the compressor comes on, thus it is perfect even for large bedrooms.
This series is also recognized for its energy efficiency. The product comes with an outstanding rating that places it on top. Although it weighs in at 136 pounds, we found its installation of this chill model quite easy. This also applies to the other models that have capacities between 5200 and 23000 Btu/h.
Take full advantage of the Continuous Auto Air Sweep Louvers and have an evenly cooled room as you rest after a long day’s work. The power cord may be flexible to run either right or left, but using the equipment for the first time might be complicated. Nevertheless, once you have mastered the operation, you will enjoy the fast cooling time and power savings in the end.
Pros: Energy efficient, easy to install
Cons: Relatively expensive, usage a bit confusing to some users
Frigidaire FFRH2522R2 25,000 BTU Window-Mounted Room Air Conditioner
The Frigidaire FFRH2522R2 25,000 BTU air conditioner is another great option for your larger rooms, for instance, a studio or one-bedroomed apartment. This model has many certifications and approvals, including ENERGY STAR certification. This means that the product can help you reduce power bills by as much as 25%.
The equipment features Auto Cool, Energy Saver Mode, and Sleep Mode, as well as three fan speeds to add to three heat speeds and three cooling speeds. For customized comfort, take advantage of the programmable 24-hour on/off timer which guarantees a cool room without unnecessary energy bills.
Even with its huge size, this unit operates quietly so you can have it in the bedroom without harm. We are not surprised because Frigidaire has always had one of the best technologies for smooth performance.
Large capacity is nothing if you cannot control it. We were honestly excited at the handy controls that the manufacturer has put in the air conditioner, starting with the automated ones. The most notable one is the 8-way comfort control design, which allows the user to control air direction effortlessly.
Measuring 26.5 x 26.5 x 18.6 in, this through the wall air conditioner is obviously relatively sizeable, so you can excuse it for the 136 pounds weight. They provide a slide-out chassis so you are assured of simpler installation and easier access to the unit for maintenance purposes.
Pros: Energy Star rated, environmentally friendly, quiet performance
Cons: Some customers complain of units that die within days, and noise
BUYING GUIDE FOR A TOP QUALITY THROUGH THE WALL AIR CONDITIONER
Basics of a Through the Wall Air Conditioner
A through the wall air conditioner is exactly what you need for convenient, effective and energy efficient cooling for any type of room. It is largely similar to a window air conditioner, only that it is installed through the wall rather than being placed on the window. This makes it an ideal option if your window is inadequate. A closer look shows that this unit is usually more energy efficient than the window version. An airtight seal ensures that no air escapes from the room or enters from outside.
Fig 1: LG 11,800 BTU through the Wall Air Conditioner
The functionality of the Unit
During installation, one face of the equipment goes to the outside of the room while the other one remains inside. A hole in the wall accommodates the unit so that it can control the climate of one room. Within the equipment are coils, which work hand in hand with a compressor to cool the air before it is spread in the room.
As you shop for the best through the wall AC, we highly suggest that you start by looking at products from the following brands.
Located in Miami, Florida, Frigidaire is one of the most recognized American and indeed global manufacturers of commercial and consumer appliances. Since 1916 when it was established, the firm has claimed many firsts including the room air conditioner, electric self-contained refrigerator and home food freezer. They offer a wide range of room air conditioning solutions, among them being highly rated through wall units. Their application of R410A refrigerant for all their units is a big plus in terms of environmental conservation. Some of their models have Wi-Fi, electronic air cleaning and timers among other exciting features. Our guide would have been incomplete without a few products from this reliable manufacturer.
Friedrich through the wall air conditioners are equally impressive, especially because of their technologically advanced components. They are renowned for making some of the most powerful units in the market, as the reviews will show. In the commercial arena, their products are touted as durable and reliable, even though this comes at a high cost.
South Korea is astute in technology, a fact that is well captured in the best through the wall air conditioners from one of their most recognizable global brands. You can expect to find smart components in LG products such as on/off timer and auto restart. They are also user-friendly and good for the environment.
This American brand has lived to its promise to clients by offering excellent home appliances. Their through the wall units are built to be as less disruptive to users as possible, by incorporating user-friendly designs and being simple to install. They are also highly energy efficient and carry many features that enhance user convenience. We also loved the way these products suit different space requirements.
Reasons to Consider This Type of Air Conditioner
While through the wall air conditioners do not represent the latest marvels of technology in the industry, they have been time tested and come out impressive. Our interaction with users and experience with the solutions have revealed a number of benefits:
- Availability in different sizes, designs and styles has enabled users to get the most personalized service, one reason these units are still very popular across the board
- Cost-effectiveness is also one of the hallmarks of these units. Most people can afford them, unlike the generally high-end air conditioners
- Operation and handling is simple, thanks to features such as remote control and filters
- Energy efficiency has increased markedly nowadays because of inverter technology
- Windows are left to do their conventional work, that is, to deliver naturally fresh air when the air conditioning unit is off
Categories Of Through the Wall Air Conditioner
Through-the-wall air conditioners belong to one of the four major classes of room air conditioners, the other options being window air conditioners, ductless mini-split a/c units and portable units. For the purpose of this discussion, we have small, medium and large sized units depending on their Btu capacities/room size, but you could come across different categorizations elsewhere, for instance, based on pricing.
For a small space of up to 350 square feet, look for an air conditioner with a capacity of up to 8,000 Btu. Such a unit would be ideal for a small office, guest room or bedroom.
Mid-sized or medium rooms such as bigger home living rooms measure between 350 and 700 square feet, so check out the best through the wall air conditioner heater 9000 Btu here.
Larger rooms of 700 square feet and above, such as the living room, will use a powerful unit with a capacity of at least 14,000 Btu. Because of the increased power, there is a tendency for noise, but some manufacturers are able to minimize that.
Installation Tips for the Best Experience
The location and the installation method of a through the wall air conditioner determine the effectiveness of the unit. To be certain that the installation is right, we suggest you apply the following factors.
1. Choose the location of the unit carefully
- The unit should be located as far as possible from heat sources such as bulbs to avoid false messages to the thermostat
- Place the unit away from airflow interruptions
- The unit should be at an appropriate height such that it doesn’t interfere with human traffic
- We also recommend consideration of the room layout, so that uniform airflow is ensured for the usable space
2. Create The Correct Hole
You may decide to drill the hole yourself or hire a professional for it. However, the basics remain the same in terms of creating the perfect opening for the unit. The most important thing during the process is to avoid damage to crucial components such as electrical cables and water pipes.
3. Use the correct sleeve
A through the wall air conditioner comes with a cover that helps in not only keeping the unit in place, but also keeping debris at bay. Debris could be anything from bedbugs to dust. I have also noted that this component has a way of securing the unit in place by carrying the weight. That makes the sleeve a crucial part of this system. What you need is to get the right fit of the sleeve in terms of both dimensions and sturdiness to carry the weight.
4. Proper insulation
One of the biggest challenges in through the wall air conditioners is insulation. This is expected because there are minimal chances of getting a perfect match for an air conditioner and a sleeve. Any space will allow free flow of air, thus rendering the equipment inconsequential. A professional best installs sleeves because there are must-follow procedures that an inexperienced individual may overlook.
Here is a simple description of the installation process of this unit.
- Identify a spot on the wall where you want to put the equipment. Remove any furniture, pictures, wall murals etc. as a way of preparing this area. Before cutting the wall, switch off power from the mains for safety sake.
- In this next step, a stud finder comes in handy. A stud finder is a device that can locate metal or wood studs. Use a pencil to mark these studs so you can create the necessary space for the air conditioner. While only one stud is recommended for cutting, sometimes you need to cut two or more to accommodate the unit, especially in conventional buildings.
- Determine the dimensions of the unit and indicate them on the wall using a quality pencil
- Cut the interior and outer walls using a power drill/ circular saw/ hand saw, but not before rerouting any wiring or other crucial components
- Mount the unit brackets using the hardware that came with it from the manufacturer.
- Install caulk all over the exterior of the bracket to create a tight air seal
- Install the unit as recommended by the manufacturer and add caulk
- Secure the unit using molding
- It is now ready for use; you can power it now
Sizing Your Through the Wall Air Conditioner
Since you already have the room, the sizing process is essentially identification of the best through the wall air conditioner to correspond it. Of all the steps of buying a unit, this is the most important. Any mistake done here can have costly ramifications. Get a unit that is too big and you will end up with a clammy room because of excess humidity. A small unit is not good either, as it will not sustain comfortable temperatures. The correct size is also good for the pocket, as energy savings are possible.
The first step in the sizing process is to determine the size of the room in square feet or square meters. If you are looking to cool several spaces with one unit, remember to add the different areas.
In the second step, you need to compute the required cooling capacity. The US Department of Energy provides a typical chart for cooling loads. You can use it to determine the cooling capacity that the best through the wall air conditioner must possess. Here is the chart:
Table 1: Capacity Needed to Cool Rooms (courtesy of https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=roomac.pr_properly_sized.)
Nb: For cooling capacity requirement beyond 12,000Btu/h, it is advisable to install two or more units instead of one
Before you pinpoint an equipment capacity of your choice, you need to make a few more sizing considerations that may either increase or reduce the cooling capacity:
- For a heavily shaded room or one that faces northeast/due north, multiply the cooling capacity by 90%
- For an extremely sunny space, multiply the cooling capacity by 110%
- If poor insulation is evident, multiply the capacity by 115%
- Where there is a functional kitchen, add 4000 Btu/h. to the cooling capacity
- If the room is routinely occupied by at least three people, add some 600 Btu/h cooling capacity for each individual
- Reduce the capacity by 30% if the through the wall air conditioner will only operate at night
That should give an exact cooling capacity requirement. You are now ready to shop for the best products with this capacity.
Consider These Factors Too
Cooling capacity is just one of the initial factors to consider when selecting a suitable through the wall air conditioners; there is a host of others. We will briefly look at a few below:
- Energy Efficiency
The efficiency of a through the wall air conditioner is indicated by the EER value, with higher values being preferable. To give you an estimate, a 5EER energy efficient product takes double the power of a 10EER product. It is perfect if the equipment is energy rated, as this is an indication of strong compliance to performance standards. An energy rated device will consume more or less 10% less power compared to other options, thus saving costs. Some of the features that promote energy efficiency in modern air conditioners are variable speed fans, timer, sleep setting, digital temperature control, and programmable thermostat.
The US Department of Energy recommends an air conditioner of at least 10.0EER for the best savings. In our analysis, we identified the Friedrich units as the most energy efficient in general.
1. Electrical Requirements
Before buying a through the wall air conditioner, remember to countercheck the electrical requirements because these gadgets consume more power than most other household electrical items. Amperage is usually between 15 amps and 20 amps, while voltage is either a low of 115V or a maximum of 220 V. There are also some air conditioners with 125V rating.
While a small unit with 15 amps and 115 V requirements can work from a common outlet, you might need to install a dedicated socket for a more powerful unit. If you already have such an outlet, the only thing required is to select a product with relevant ratings. This way, you would not need to hire a professional install to get things rolling.
There are different types of plug types out there, so watch out for them as well. Common options are perpendicular, parallel and tandem. Since they are usually displayed in picture form, we do not expect you to encounter difficulties choosing the appropriate one.
You cannot afford to overlook this factor, considering that user preferences vary a lot. A unit may interest one person but not another. Whichever product has the most essential functions for you will be the most appropriate. For me, energy efficiency and auto controls are favorites. Many buyers are looking for a dehumidifier, and we bet it will interest you too. The fact is that more and more features are being added to these products, but you need to focus on the essentials.
3. Noise Intensity
For optimum peace, choose an air conditioner that has the lowest decibel rating possible. This is crucial for not only your household but also neighbors.
With the points covered in this article, you should be in a position to puzzle over your air conditioning needs and select the best through the wall air conditioner for your budget and room. If your views are similar to ours, the BTU capacity of the unit will be critical.
The white 8,000 BTU Friedrich Air Conditioning Co. CP08G10B Air Conditioner impressed us the most and we seriously think you should look at it. While it cools a room easily and efficiently, and it has a number of nice features, it comes at an attractive price.
Whatever unit functions you like, make sure that you have the room dimensions layout correct and get your choice approved by a professional. Despite the basic impression of this process, the number of people trying to return units that did not fit their needs is astounding.