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Anyone have a "Through the wall" Air Conditioner? Need advice

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Anyone have a "Through the wall" Air Conditioner? Need advice

Old 05-20-08, 11:04 AM
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Anyone have a "Through the wall" Air Conditioner? Need advice

Hi guys

I am currently using a portable AC unit in my garage, which I converted into a home theater room. Square footage is approx. 175 Sq ft. I am not too happy with the performance on this unit and was thinking about getting a through the wall AC unit from Frigidaire. Problem is, there are no windows in this room, so I need to find a way to re-route the heat flow from back of the AC to the external exhaust hose that I'm currently using with my portable AC.

*THIS* is the unit I currently own. It's rated at 14,000 BTUs

and *THIS* is the one I'm thinking of replacing it with. Also rated at 14,000 BTUs.

So....what would be a good way to re-route the hot air to the exhaust hose? What kind of enclosure type material can I use to seal off the back of the unit that will allow me to connect the exhaust hose to it? Can I use plastic material or should it be made of wood? And does a through the wall unit need ventilation from the sides or just the back?
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Old 05-20-08, 01:51 PM
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I don't think there's an easy way to do what you want. There not only ventilation issues getting rid of the hot air, but drainage issues. My window unit drops alot of water on the ground near the back.

If it were possible, cutting a hole for the unit and mounting it would be the easiest.
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Old 05-20-08, 02:12 PM
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Im confused. By definition 'through the wall' air conditioners blow hot air outside and cold air inside. They are exposed to the outside air and drip water and hot exhaust outside.
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Old 05-20-08, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by furd View Post
You didn't mention ceiling insulation. My own home has an attached garage and while the living quarters have (barely) adequate ceiling insulation the garage has little to no ceiling insulation. It gets pretty darn hot in there.

Yes, the two-hose models have much better performance. To improve that even more you can get some flexible insulated ducting from the home center and slip over the plastic duct and thereby keep the heat in those ducts from transferring back into the room.

You also want to seal off the air infiltration as much as possible. One caveat is that if you have a furnace or fuel-fired water heater in the garage it MUST have combustion air. This may require some special venting and/or ductwork.

If you have already pretty much sealed off air infiltration then this could be a major reason why your portable A/C isn't doing much cooling. It needs to have air flowing into the unit and out the exhaust duct in addition to the air that passes from the room over the cooling coil and back into the room. If no air can get into the room then the A/C cannot exhaust properly and won't work.
Thanks furd. Ah I see what you're saying.

Yes, the room is pretty sealed off. Like I mentioned earlier, the only "opening" is a small hole a made for the exhaust hose to go through. It's a perfect size hole and the hose fits snugly through it and vents the hot air through the rear of the room. Other than that, no air whatsoever coming in other than the small side cracks between the garage door sides and the frame, but even then, I have rubber molding to seal up those cracks as well.

So maybe you're right, maybe a dual hose unit could do me some good. I am particuarly looking for one that blows air forward instead of up in the air. This way the air can blow directly on me, instead of towards the ceiling. Which model do you own?

Let me ask you about the through the wall AC units. Do they typically generate colder air than the portable stand alone units? You mentioned it isn't practical to seal off the back of a TTW unit and route the hot air through the exhaust hose....why is that?
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Old 05-20-08, 02:21 PM
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I have the same situation, but I installed a window....then put tinfoil over it to keep out the light and the CIA from reading my mind.
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Old 05-20-08, 02:28 PM
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TTW units use a BIG hole (perhaps 12"x24") and do a great job of blowing cold air. I had a portable unit but the wall unit is much better. All exhaust is routed outside the building--very efficient, no exhaust hoses needed.



Do not attempt to put a window unit through the wall however. They rely on side ventillation.
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Old 05-20-08, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Save Ferris
Do not attempt to put a window unit through the wall however. They rely on side ventillation.
And do not attempt to use a TTW unit without actually mounting it through a wall.It will not work properly through any exhaust hose.
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Old 05-25-08, 12:40 AM
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Thanks guys. Man....I want to try the TTW unit, but I'm not sure how practical it would be to cut a hole that big through the back of my garage. Do you think the landlord would mind? I mean, I have been living there for many years after all.

Plus, is it easy for a guy with construction experience to cut a hole that big through concrete? What kind of tools are required?
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Old 05-25-08, 02:22 AM
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Concrete ??? Your situation just got more complicated ! Think everyone assumed wood for the wall. You will have to call a professional to cut a hole in concrete. And yeah, you might want to get clearance from the landlord first !
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Old 05-25-08, 01:03 PM
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I just assumed it was a wooden wall. Depending on how thick the wall, you could probably do the job with a circular saw fit with a cement cutting blade. Most home centers rent the correct saw to do something like that, but I'd make sure the landlord is cool before you go much further.
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Old 05-25-08, 05:48 PM
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And a related story.... we were having new A/C's (10/15 ton units) installed in our shelters... they had to cut through the concrete walls. Guy cut a ~ 1.5 X 4 ft section up about 5 ft high then started cutting a lower section... until the upper section fell out on top of his head (without hard hat of course). Lucky he only got a concussion !!
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Old 05-25-08, 09:53 PM
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I had one of these at my old apartment. It was great and all until it decided to let rain pour in. My landlord "fixed" it and then after the winter thaw I had a waterfall in my living room. It was great...
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Old 05-25-08, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by OutRun2
Do you think the landlord would mind?
I would think that, at the very least, the landlord would want the work done by someone who knows what they're doing. The easiest way to find out would be to call your landlord.
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Old 05-25-08, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Dragon Fly
I had one of these at my old apartment. It was great and all until it decided to let rain pour in. My landlord "fixed" it and then after the winter thaw I had a waterfall in my living room. It was great...
lesson being you have to make sure the unit tilts OUT of the hole and not IN towards your home. See diagram above.
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