How To Install Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner Sleeve?

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7 mins read
through the wall air conditioner

As with most typical heating and cooling setups, you have one gas-powered and one air-cooled. Air conditioners and sleeves are a great combination of both options through the wall because you can install them within your home’s walls.

This guide will outline what you’ll want to consider if you’re looking to set up one of these units, including all aspects from prepping your hole to mounting, then testing your new unit.

Installing a sleeve for a through-the-wall air conditioner unit is not different from installing a standard window-style A/C unit. Still, it does follow the same guidelines as most installations do.

You can install a Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner Sleeve by securing a hole in the wall that will need to be cut and installing the sleeve.

Ensure the unit and sleeve measurements are accurate to get a good fit. The air conditioner will require electricity and be placed near a socket, or a new socket must be installed near the device.

Why Should You Get a Through The Wall Air Conditioner?

According to ENERGY STAR, wall-mounted air conditioners can save up to 30% in cooling costs compared to window air conditioners, saving energy and money.

Air conditioners that are installed through the wall save a lot of room. They perform admirably in cooling spaces up to 700 square feet, even in the hottest summer months.

Through-the-Wall Air Conditioner

It is a classification of air conditioner that is installed through the wall. They can be found in almost any setting, from small apartments to condominiums. 

 Benefits of Wall Air Conditioners

  • Airtight Seal – Because they create an airtight seal in the room and do not allow the cooled/warm air to escape, through-the-wall air conditioners are more efficient than window air conditioners.
  • No Vents Needed -These air conditioners don’t require ductwork, unlike many other air conditioners. The air conditioner’s outdoor and indoor functions are served by a single unit.
  • Exhaust Humidity – Unlike window units, wall air conditioners exhaust heat and humidity through a wall vent rather than through the window. The best part is that a Through-the-wall ACs does not obstruct your view.
  • Prevents Air Leaks – This adds extra support and creates an airtight seal around the unit, preventing air leaks that reduce efficiency. 
  • Energy Efficiency — A typical through-the-wall air conditioner consumes very little energy. Your electric bill will decrease, and more money will be in your pocket. 
  • Long-Term Solution — These appliances are built into a wall; they provide a long-term solution to your air conditioning needs. For some people, this can be inconvenient.
  • Double as a Heater – In addition to air conditioning, some wall air conditioners provide supplemental heat. This provides you with year-round comfort at a low cost.

Does a Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner Need a Sleeve?

Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner Need a Sleeve

You’ll need one installing a through-the-wall air conditioner because the wall alone won’t support the unit’s weight. A through-the-wall air conditioner can have a slide-out chassis or a through-the-wall sleeve.

Air Conditioner Sleeve

PerfectAire Air Conditioner Wall Sleeve


Through The Wall Air Conditioner Sleeve

An air conditioner sleeve is a metal device that holds the HVAC unit in the wall. You’ll need one installing a through-the-wall air conditioner because the wall alone won’t support the unit’s weight. 

Many brands, fortunately, produce standard AC sizes that will fit sleeves from other brands. This simplifies installation; remove the old model and install the new one.

Your air conditioner should have instructions on which wall sleeves it is compatible. Trim or other material can sometimes help seal the area around the unit so that it can fit different sleeve sizes.

How To Install A Through The Wall Air Conditioner?

Through-the-wall air conditioners are self-contained units that remove humidity and heat from rooms and exhaust it to the outside.

Air conditioners built into the wall of a room work the same way window air conditioners do. Louvers, usually found on the back, sides, and back allow fresh air to enter.

This air passes through some coils, is cooled by a refrigerant compressor, and is pushed back into the room by a fan.

These air conditioners are usually installed through a hole in an exterior wall and are only used to cool a single room. A sleeve in the wall should support the unit’s weight.

Now that you know a bit about through-the-wall air conditioners, let’s discuss installing a wall air conditioner. You’ll require the below items to complete your wall air conditioner installation:

  • A Bracket Or A Mounting Sleeve
  • A Caulking Gun is Used To Seal Joints (Including The Silicone Caulking)
  • A Device For Measuring
  • Finder Of Studs
  • A Can Of Paint (For Retouching Your Wall After You Cut The Hole)
  • A Circular Saw Is A Tool That Cuts In A Circle
  • Nails And Hammer
  • Level
  • Set The Drill
  • Knife For Drywall
  • Lumber Is Used To Make Furniture (For Framing The Hole In Your Wall)

Step 1: Locate an Appropriate Location

You’ll need to find an unobstructed location between 1 and 5 feet above your current flooring. Choosing an outward-facing wall close to an electrical outlet would be best.

Step 2: Find the Wall Studs

Using your stud finder, locate 3-4 studs. Studs are 2 x 4 pieces of wood used to support your wall. They are typically 16 inches apart. When you find a stud, please note it with a pencil and move on to the next one. 

Most through-the-wall air conditioners come with a guide to hang on the wall to get an idea of the AC unit’s dimensions. Place the focus in such a way that it passes through.

Step 3: Turn Off The Power At The Breaker

You’ll need to take a few precautions because you’ve chosen a wall with an electrical outlet. First, locate the switch that controls the electricity in the room where the air conditioner will be installed. Then, please turn it off to avoid being electrocuted when cutting into your wall.

Step 4: Make A Hole In The Wall

Trace a line that passes through as few studs as possible. Use your level to ensure that whatever you use as a guide is perfectly flat as you draw.

After completing the first outline, pull a second one about 2.5 inches larger. That outline will be used to create a supporting frame.

With your drywall knife, score along the piece’s outline, hammer it out or make a clean cut with your saw.

Cut those studs as needed to ensure their edges are flush with your outlines. At this point, the exterior portion of the wall should still be visible.

Step 6: Construct the Frame for Your Air Conditioner

Cut your 2 x 4s lengthwise to fit into your wall opening. You’ll have four pieces of lumber in the end. Fit the resulting rectangle into your hole by nailing the pieces together.

Use screws to secure it to your studs as much as possible.

installing thtough-the-wall air conditioner

Step 7: Create A Cutout For Your Exterior Wall

Drill a hole through the opening’s corners from the inside. Then, when you go outside to make the cuts, you’ll use these holes as a guide.

After drilling, take your level outside and draw perfectly straight lines connecting the holes.

When you use your circular saw to cut through this outline, you’ll get a spot that matches the one on the inside.

Step 8: Attach The Metal Sleeve To The AC Unit

After that, slide your metal sleeve or bracket into the hole you’ve just made in your wall.

According to your wall AC unit installation manual instructions, the frame should be secured with screws or some other method. Insert the air conditioner after the sleeve is in place.

Step 9: Ensure That The Opening Is Properly Sealed

Make sure all gaps in the opening are adequately sealed. Using drywall, fill in any vast gaps. After filling in the gaps, use caulking to seal the entire perimeter.

Touch up any surrounding areas that have been damaged with paint if desired.

Step 10: Re-Energize Your AC By Plugging It In

You can turn on the air conditioner by plugging it in and turning on the power switch.

At this point, you should strongly consider contacting a professional to have them look over your work.

How Much Do Through-The-Wall Air Conditioners Cost?

The total cost of purchasing and operating the unit each month is determined by the room size you need to cool.

What you can expect from the most energy-efficient wall air conditioners is as follows:

Total Cost Chart

Room Coverage Capacity (BTU) Price Monthly Cost    

300 – 350 sqft. 8,000 BTU $430 $20.88

350 – 400 sqft. 9,000 BTU $450 $25.31

400 – 450 sqft. 10,000 BTU $470 $28.57

450 – 550 sqft. 12,000 BTU $500 $31.80

550 – 700 sqft. 14,000 BTU $600 $41.13

700 – 1,000 sqft. 18,000 BTU $800 $47.46

The average cost of installing a wall air conditioner is $2,400. If you’re contracting the workout, this includes parts and labor. By doing the installation yourself, you can save $50 to $100.

How Do You Remove the Sleeves From a Wall Air Conditioner?

This DIY will show you how to remove an unwanted air conditioner and reclaim wall space by repairing the wall’s surface with drywall.

Step 1: Remove The Face Cover And The AC Unit 

After removing the air conditioning unit’s facing, carefully slide its body out of its mounting. Because air conditioners are heavy, it’s best to ask for help.

Step 2: Disassemble the Air Unit Housing Frame

Detach the screws that hold the frame in place on the walls. Again, the frame should be simple to remove.

Step 3: Put Up The Drywall Backing

Cut four pieces of 1″x 1″ wood to the measurements of the four sides of the space vacated by the frame. Use drywall screws to fasten the wood backing to the wall studs.

Step 4: Cut A Piece Of Drywall

Cut a piece of drywall to the same thickness as your existing wall. Next, you run your hand across the drywall piece and the wall to see if they are flush when you place it in the opening. It should be one continuous wall with a small gap in the middle.

Step 5: Attach the Drywall Piece

All the way around, screw the drywall piece’s edges to the backing you installed earlier. These screws should be spaced between 2-4 inches apart and 6-8 inches apart for an entire 8-inch piece for a small detail like this.

Step 6: Mud Drywall Joints and Screws 

To ensure consistency, apply the compound to all drywall, but focus on the gap. Then, apply 2-3 coats, sanding in between, until the wall is entirely smooth to the touch.

Step 7: Compound Sanding 

After the dried compound, sand the surface to make it even. This section can now be painted over.

Are Through-the-Wall Air Conditioners a Standard Size?

According to the EPA, each square foot of space should have a minimum of 20 BTU sleeve air conditioner output. So to cool a 400-square-foot room, you’ll need an 8,000 BTU through-the-wall air conditioner.

The first step in sorting out an air conditioner is determining how much power you need to cool your space before deciding which through-the-wall air conditioner brand you prefer.

The smallest in-wall air conditioners have an 8,000 BTU cooling capacity. The Koldfront WTC8001W BTU air conditioner is an example.

The most extensive through-the-wall air conditioners can cool up to 14,000 BTU. Keystone KSTAT14-2C, for example, has a capacity of 14,000 BTU.

Through-the-wall air conditioners have a coverage area of up to 700 square feet. 

Why Are Wall Air Conditioners More Expensive?

The initial installation cost of a through-the-wall air conditioner is slightly higher than a window air conditioner due to more vital parts.

These are made of a thicker metal gauge. Unfortunately, constructing the case requires more metal because it lacks vent openings.

A wall air conditioner needs more substantial parts to withstand the pressure from the concrete. 

As a result, these factors increase the cost of manufacturing a wall air conditioner, making it more expensive than other types.

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