How To Install Through the Wall AC (Guide for Wall Sleeves)

There are several ways to install a through the wall AC, but not all methods work for every situation. The most effective way to install through the wall air conditioner is to use a sleeve.

Not only does a through-the-wall AC sleeve make installation easy, but it also allows for connection to an existing wall AC.

However, not all installation sleeves are alike. This article will describe how to install an in-wall air conditioner and offer tips for using it.

What Exactly Are ‘Through The Wall’ Air Conditioners?

Through-the-wall air conditioners are designed to fit through an exterior wall of a building – they are also known as ‘T-W’ ACs.

‘Through’ simply means you need to be able to fit it between the other side of the wall. Therefore, the AC unit will need to go through an exterior wall and still work effectively.

Furthermore, they can be used in various applications: They can be installed in a mobile home or in locations where window AC units aren’t practical.

Also, a through-the-wall air conditioner is excellent at cooling areas that have high ceilings.

What is Through the Wall AC

Main Considerations When Installing a Through The Wall AC

A through the wall AC can be used in various applications. However, there are several important factors to consider when installing a through-the-wall AC unit:

Exterior Wall Needed

A significant factor to consider when installing a through-the-wall AC is whether or not an exterior wall is needed.

If an exterior wall is not present, installing the AC on a simple interior wall may be necessary. And this will require using a through-the-wall sleeve.

With this sleeve, cold air is pulled into the unit and pushed out the other end to be directed out of an exterior window.

Wall Requirements

As with any AC installation, it is crucial to consider these factors and the wall requirements of the AC unit itself.

Firstly, if the through-the-wall AC unit is to be installed outside, it may need to be secured to a metal frame for stability.

It is necessary to secure the unit so that the AC can withstand weather elements as well as high winds.

Electrical Requirements

The electrical power needs of the through the wall AC unit must also be considered. Each unit has its own electrical requirements, which must be met for it to function correctly.

Remember, the electrical system must be able to provide enough power for the AC unit to function. If the electrical requirements of a through-the-wall AC unit are not met, it may lose power and cease to function.

Installation Requirements for Through the Wall AC

Can You Install Through The Wall Air Conditioners Yourself?

Do you live in an area where temperatures can get extremely hot? If so, installing a through the wall air conditioner yourself may be something you want to consider.

And if you are uncomfortable with installing the unit on your own, you can find professionals who can do it for you. However, you may be able to save money by doing it yourself.

While it’s not too difficult, you would need to invest in a few tools. Furthermore, you will also have to drill holes in your wall, which is very time-consuming.

How To Install a Through The Wall Air Conditioner (Basic Steps)

So if you have the confidence to do it yourself, read these tips:

Tools & Materials Required

To complete the installation, you may need some crucial tools:

  • Socket set
  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • Drywall saw/knife
  • Screwdrivers (flathead and Philips)
  • Rubber mallet or woodblock
  • Ladder
  • Drill
  • Stud finder (if not installed into an existing wall)
  • Outlet tester
  • Voltage tester (for power supply lines)
  • Utility knife

Step By Step Guide

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to install a through-the-wall AC:

  1. Shut off power before installation.
  2. Carefully remove the old unit from the frame or wall, making sure not to damage sheetrock.
  3. Measure the dimensions of the new in-wall unit and cut a large enough hole in the exterior wall.
  4. Ensure that the size of the new hole is equal to the size of the new unit, but do not try to force a larger unit into a too-small opening.
  5. Remove the pre-installed front grille from the old unit and attach it to the new unit, being careful not to break any of the fins on the grate due to excessive pressure.
  6. The “C” clamp may be necessary in some cases to hold the front cover in place.
  7. Drill self-tapping screws through old holes of the grate and into the new unit, be careful not to overtighten.
  8. Once the screws are secure, attach the entire unit to the wall.
  9. Securely connect wires according to manufacturers specifications (usually black wire is ground, so it should be attached to the green screw on the unit, and the white wire goes with the silver or grey screw).
  10. Once all wires are securely attached, use a low voltage bracket and secure wiring to exterior wall studs.
  11. Install new foam insulation around the opening and attach new framing to install sheetrock.
  12. Use the new sheetrock to form an opening for the new in-wall air conditioner. Securely attach grille into place.
  13. Drill holes for screws and secure the unit to the studs with the self-tapping screws.
  14. Remove the foam from around the exterior of the wall and connect the power supply according to manufactures specifications.
  15. Use foam to secure new sheetrock opening.
  16. Apply primer and paint over screws that are visible from the exterior of the home.
  17. Enjoy your air conditioner!
Through the Wall AC Installation Diagram

Professional Cost Of Installing A Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner

Installing a new through-the-wall air conditioner is estimated to cost around $300-$500. However, some factors that affect the total price of an installation are:

  • The model of the air conditioner
  • How easy it is to install
  • Whether or not there are any existing holes in the wall that will need to be repaired
  • The general labor costs in your geographical area

Most people will have to hire a professional for this kind of installation, so you can expect to pay a labor fee for this project.

Furthermore, installation supplies are estimated to cost around $200. These prices vary depending on the type of installation you require and whether or not you need to replace any existing materials or fix any existing holes.

Installation Tips For Popular Brands

The chances are that you will choose between one of the following brands; therefore, here are installation tips specific to them:

Friedrich Through-The-Wall AC

The Friedrich PTAC units are great for residential and light commercial applications. Moreover, installing them is also very simple.

This is because most Friedrich ACs come with a T-stat, making them very easy to use and operate. However, always read the instruction manual before installing it because it might vary according to the model.

Click here for the manual.

Frigidaire Through-The-Wall AC

Frigidaire is a trendy AC brand in the USA. The installation process of these units is similar to other available brands in the market.

Even if you get confused during the installation process, the manual has a troubleshooting section that guides you to solve your AC problem. Also, this system is excellent because it has a programmable clock.

Click here for the manual.

KeyStone Through-The-Wall AC

The KeyStone units are great for residential applications. Their installation process is straightforward; you can install them yourself because they’re not very heavy.

The KeyStone units are easy to install and use because the installation manual, operation manual, and controller are all in one booklet, so you do not have to search for separate manuals. In addition, you can set the temperature and turn it on or off quickly.

Click here for the manual.

LG Through-The-Wall AC

The LG units are great because they are energy-efficient, long-lasting, and very powerful. Unfortunately, these units are not readily available in the USA, but they are top class for commercial applications.

Some complain that LG units are too expensive, and it is not easy to install them because of their build quality. You cannot put this unit in a small room, and it can only be installed on a wall.

Click here for the manual.

LG Through the Wall AC

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Are all through the wall air conditioners the same size?

No, they are not. First, you have to pick what size you need. The wall AC like the window AC sizes range from 5,000 BTUs to 36,500 BTUs. This depends on how big or small your room is. The higher the BTUs, the more cooling power you’ll get. Be sure to consult an expert before choosing.

How long does the installation of through the wall ac takes place?

The installation typically takes about eight hours to complete. If you hire an expert, expect them to start around 8:00 and finish the process by 5:00 PM. If you do it yourself, then you can probably finish the job by yourself in eight hours.

Can you put a regular air conditioner through the wall?

You need a special air conditioner to put through the wall. You can’t just put in a regular AC unit. Standard units will not fit in through the wall. There are some units, though, that allow you to fit standard units in window air conditioners. We talk about this in another post where we discuss if window AC can be installed without a window.

Can you put a through-the-wall air conditioner in the window?

No, these units are specifically made for through the wall installations. So you can’t just put them into a window. If you need to get proper cooling in the room, though, then get yourself one of these units and have it installed through the wall.


Have you ever wished for a more convenient way to cool your home? A through-the-wall air conditioner is a perfect solution.

Additionally, these units are installed outside the house, so there’s no need to worry about them impeding your living space or blocking windows.

The installation process can be complicated and time-consuming if not done correctly, but we have an easy step-by-step guide that will help make this project as painless as possible.

Follow these simple steps to install your own AC unit with ease!

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with DIY and improving my family home. HVAC topics can be tricky for homeowners so I decided to share my knowledge on the subject. When I am not working on DIY projects, you can find me at the beach or my local coffee shop.