Window or Wall Air Conditioning Unit: Which One is Right for You?

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When the sweltering Perth summer swings by and you start pondering how to cool down your house or office without having to go the central air conditioning route, the first question you will tackle is: should I opt for a window or wall air con unit? We delve into the differences between a wall and window air conditioner, the pros, cons, and any tips you might need when deciding which one’s right for you.

Some factors to consider include energy and cost efficiency, ease as well as cost of installation, flexibility, and how much noise it will make.

We break it down for you to make your choice easier.                       

What is a wall air conditioning unit?

A wall air con unit is a more permanent solution you might consider. It is similar to a window air con unit as it operates by retrieving air that passes through coils and then blasts cool air into the room it is installed in.

The difference, as the name suggests, is where it is placed. The wall air con unit requires someone to come in and install it in your home or office as they need to make a hole in the outer wall of the room you want to cool. Because these units are rather heavy, they require a sleeve to be installed as well.

There are many benefits to a wall air con unit, including but not limited to the fact that it saves you space and does not block your window’s view.



  • Ideal if you are looking for a more permanent and effective solution
  • It is more aesthetically pleasing and subtle than a window or portable unit
  • Does not take up as much space as a window unit does and keeps window unobstructed
  • Fairly easy to replace as most wall air con unit use the same standard-sized sleeve


  • It’s a pretty permanent installation so you might want to be sure about your choice
  • It can be costly to install as you need someone to come in to do the installation


What is a window aircon unit?

A window air con is similar to a wall air con but, you guessed it, it is placed on the windowsill. The window air con simply rests on the windowsill as opposed to being installed into the wall itself.

It can be a saving grace if you are looking for a quick, simple solution that is fairly easy to install. They are installed in three simple steps and perfect for a DIY aficionado. The first step is to mark the measurements. The second is to place and bolt down the unit, and finally to caulk around the air con unit as the final step.

They are also more portable and less permanent so ideal if you are renting, might move eventually or if you might consider moving it to another room or office at a different stage.  


  • They are more affordable as there are no installation fees involved
  • Easy to install yourself
  • Flexible as it’s easy to move around


  • They don’t work as well as a wall air con unit and typically only cools one room
  • They can be quite the eyesore as they are bulky and obstructs the view from your window
  • They can be quite noisy
  • It is not always effective as some of the air is lost through the window

Can you put a window air con in the wall?

Not, unfortunately not. Window air conditioners are vented through the side, whereas wall air conditioners are vented through the back of the air conditioning unit. 

Can I use a window air conditioner without a window?

Window air conditioners are designed specifically to fit in a windowsill and to expel the warm air and water utilised for the cooling process through the window. You can, however, use a portable air conditioner without a window if you can find a way to redirect the air to the outside.

Is a portable air conditioner as good as a window unit?

It might not seem like there could be a big difference between a window and portable air conditioner. However, after some consideration, it makes sense that the window air conditioner is more energy-efficient than the portable unit. This, in turn, gives you more cooling power.

Portable air conditioners can be a lot noisier than installed units and they are generally less energy efficient. They also need an exhaust duct to go out of a window in order to operate.

How do I choose the right cooling power for my needs?

In Western Australia, most air conditioners’ capacity is indicated by the number of kilowatts (kW) that it can generate.

Whenever you are looking to buy an air conditioner, first and foremost take a look at this kilowatt rating. This will effectively tell you how powerful the unit is. In other words, the higher the rating is, the more powerful it is as a cooling system and it can, therefore, cool a bigger room. Another factor you should consider is the Zoned Energy Rating Label that gives you information of the climate. This rating is divided into three distinct climate zones across New Zealand and Australia and provides you with the framework of the product’s performance as well as energy efficiency.

You can find out more about air conditioner labels in Australia here.

Is it cheaper to run a window air conditioner or central air conditioning?

When considering how much electricity your air conditioner uses, it all boils down to the watts of electricity that your air-con uses to run.

Window air conditioners generally use around 500-1,440 watts to run, whereas a central air con unit, like a split-system central air conditioner, can use around 3,500 watts. Central air-cons therefore generally use more electricity as they’ve got more elements and require more energy to operate these elements.

Although the central air conditioning units use more watts, you also have to consider how many rooms you would like to cool as you would have to install a window air con unit into each and every room – and the costs sure can add up because of this.

You can find out more about energy-efficient solutions here.

 Let’s Cool Things Down for You

If you have any questions about what’s the right air conditioning for you, contact us so that we can assist you with all your air conditioning installation, repairs, and servicing needs right here in Perth.

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