Window AC vs PTAC

Window air conditioner vs through the wall air conditioner

The main difference between window and wall air conditioners is their location. Window ACs are placed on a window sill, and wall air conditioning units are placed in an exterior wall. Window air conditioners tend to be less efficient since some of the air is lost through the window and they take up window space, while wall air conditioners can be more time consuming to install but make for a more permanent, cleaner looking solution. Window AC, just A/C 

No matter which type of unit you’re looking at, Applied Comfort has the perfect air conditioning unit for you.

All air conditioners are not created equal

When it comes to choosing the right type of unit for your space, it is important to know the differences between the available options so that you can make sure that you are making the right selection for your space. This is why at Applied Comfort we have a team of experts ready to help guide you through the options. 

While both window and wall mounted air conditioning units achieve the same end goal, there are some aspects of each that can be more beneficial depending on the type of space that you have. Here we will take a look at both types of air conditioners, and discuss some of the characteristics of each as well as some pros and cons so that you can be sure you’re making the best purchase.

What is a window air conditioner?

During the summertime window, air conditioning units can be seen as the preferred option as they are inexpensive, easy to install and require not special tools. All you need is an available window and a power source, and you are off and conditioning.

Usually, window air conditioners have a BTU range from 5,000 to 36,000, meaning they can cover an area from about 100 to 1,650 square feet.

Pros of Window AC Units

  • One of the most affordable air conditioner options
  • Easy to install
  • Flexible (can be moved easily)

Cons of Window AC Units

  • Can be very noisy
  • Visual appearance is poor
  • Takes up window space
  • Short term solution
  • Less effective/efficient (leakage from around the unit)
  • Can be expensive to run
  • Can be a safety hazard
  • Can be dramatically affected by the outside weather conditions

What is a Through the Wall Air Conditioner?

Through the wall air conditioners such as the C26 run similarly to window units, by retrieving air, running it through coils, then sending the cooled air into the room. They are installed in a hole in an exterior wall and require installation of a sleeve due to their weight.

These units have a BTU range between 7,000 to 15,000, with a coverage area between 200 to 800 square feet.

Pros of Through the Wall Air Conditioners

  • Save on space in a room
  • Efficient
  • Less expensive to run
  • Lasts a long time and is a longer-term solution
  • Easy to replace, as most units are industry standard sizes
  • Doesn’t take up window space
  • Less of a safety hazard (Due to the unit being fixed)
  • Better visual appearance

Cons of Through the Wall Air Conditioners

  • Initial installation
  • Harder to move

Similarities & Differences Between Window and Wall Air Conditioners

When deciding between the two, there are some other similarities and differences worth taking note of.


One of the biggest differences between window and wall air conditioners is their location. While one is installed right into an exterior wall, the other is placed on a windowsill. Some people may not like the fact that a window air conditioner takes up precious window space. It’s harder to enjoy a view when an AC is blocking. Through the wall air conditioners are easier to somewhat hide in a room, and don’t take up as much space.


Both types of units can be efficient in that they are often used to cool a specific room or section of a home and can be turned on and off when needed. However, through the wall air conditioners tend to be a bit more efficient since they do not have as much opportunity for air to leak out through the window.


Both window and through the wall units are fairly inexpensive to purchase, but the added necessity of installation for through the wall air conditioners makes them slightly more costly at the outset. However, the added efficiency of the through the wall units could save you money on your electric bill in the long term.

How to decide which to buy

When deciding on which type of air conditioner you’d like to buy, start with the room or space you’d like to cool, whether it’s a basement, attic, sunroom, addition, or the like. Measure the square footage, and use our BTU calculator to figure out how much power you’ll need, which can be an easy way to narrow down your options.

From there, you can see which one makes the most sense for you.

We are here to help YOU

Our experienced team can help you find a low cost and efficient air conditioning system.