How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

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heybro
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How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by heybro » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:04 pm

My Air Conditioner sits in a sleeve below my window. It is a through-the-wall Air Conditioner (as opposed to a Window Air Conditioner).

What kind of person would replace this for me? I was looking under Appliance Repair and then I was looking under HVAC Repair. Any recommendations as to what kind of professional I should look for?

I am trying to re-use the sleeve but have someone replace the unit and the grille (screen that faces to the outside).

Thank you.
Last edited by heybro on Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dottie57
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Re: How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:20 pm

My condo association has a recommended vendor for through the wall AC. I went with the recommendation.

I have GE a/c. It works well. I get it steam cleaned every other year.

wilked
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Re: How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by wilked » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:58 pm

I replaced mine over the summer, including reframing the wall for the new smaller unit.

When you say grill, you mean the piece on the face of the outside portion? Which model are you talking about?

Are you reusing the sleeve?

gtd98765
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Re: How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by gtd98765 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:24 am

What kind of person would replace this for me?
handyman? small contractor/remodeler? ask an A/C retailer for suggestions?

michaelingp
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Re: How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by michaelingp » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:27 am

If the current A/C is not too old, you might be able to find a new unit that fits the sleeve. Most of the manufacturers use the same sleeve for many model years. In that case, I don't see why you couldn't do it yourself, it's actually easier than a window A/C. You just slide the new A/C into the sleeve. If it's too heavy, maybe you could find a friend or relative to help. If you can't find an A/C to fit the old sleeve, the chances are the new sleeve will be smaller, so a pretty easy job for a carpenter or handyman (maybe 1/2 a day's work). I don't see the need for an HVAC guy. In the units I've replaced, the "grill" is part of the A/C, not part of the sleeve.

corysold
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Re: How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by corysold » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:45 am

You'll need an HVAC contractor.

A through the wall AC unit allows the condenser to sit in the sleeve. That condenser is then tied into the Air Handler/Furnace to provide A/C to the whole unit. It isn't just for one room like a window AC.

The big thing is to make sure the company measures properly and gets the same size unit. Depending on how your building is laid out, this can be a very simple swap, or it might involve taking off door frames, etc depending on the access to the unit.

andypanda
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Re: How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by andypanda » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:58 am

" It isn't just for one room like a window AC."

Yes it is, except with a sleeve/case. Google it.

I've used them for 25 years. My current unit is 25,000 btus and takes two healthy tall individuals to move. Two individuals and two stepladders because the bottom of the case is 6.5 feet off the floor.

corysold
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Re: How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by corysold » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:09 pm

andypanda wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:58 am
" It isn't just for one room like a window AC."

Yes it is, except with a sleeve/case. Google it.

I've used them for 25 years. My current unit is 25,000 btus and takes two healthy tall individuals to move. Two individuals and two stepladders because the bottom of the case is 6.5 feet off the floor.
Thanks. I'm in HVAC. Not all of them are that way. Some are tied back into the air handler just like an outdoor condenser on a single family home would be. If he can just slide it in and out and plug in, he can do it himself.

If it's tied into the air handler, he'll need an HVAC technician to reclaim the old refrigerant, braze in the new lines and charge the system.

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heybro
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Re: How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by heybro » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:07 am

This thing is turning in to a bad thing. haha.

Can I just put a board over the empty sleeve and never think about it again?

Can I just shove in a new AC and forget if the grill matches or not.

What's my best "kick the can down the road" move here.

I can't get anyone to come and put this in for me. Everyone is out of my service area. It's Christmas. No one wants to do this now. I'm sitting on an empty hole and just want it to be over.

I may just buy a cheap AC and stick it in and never use it.

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heybro
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Re: How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by heybro » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:09 am

wilked wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:58 pm
I replaced mine over the summer, including reframing the wall for the new smaller unit.

When you say grill, you mean the piece on the face of the outside portion? Which model are you talking about?

Are you reusing the sleeve?
Yes, the grill is what you see when standing outside looking at the building. I had a Frigidaire. The sleeve is not going anywhere, that is for sure.

Topic Author
heybro
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Re: How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by heybro » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:11 am

michaelingp wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:27 am
If the current A/C is not too old, you might be able to find a new unit that fits the sleeve. Most of the manufacturers use the same sleeve for many model years. In that case, I don't see why you couldn't do it yourself, it's actually easier than a window A/C. You just slide the new A/C into the sleeve. If it's too heavy, maybe you could find a friend or relative to help. If you can't find an A/C to fit the old sleeve, the chances are the new sleeve will be smaller, so a pretty easy job for a carpenter or handyman (maybe 1/2 a day's work). I don't see the need for an HVAC guy. In the units I've replaced, the "grill" is part of the A/C, not part of the sleeve.
This grill is stuck to the sleeve. The AC slid out and is gone now. I want to just put the same brand in but the instructions say the grill is different and needs to be replaced. The new models are dual intake and require the fins to point a different direction than the old fins on the old grill.

wilked
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Re: How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by wilked » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:23 am

Can you post some photos and link to the new model?

wilked
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Re: How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by wilked » Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:20 am

Couple of things to note:

If the new A/C fits in the sleeve you are probably 90% of the way there. In my case my old one was ancient and all the new ones were smaller, so I had to reframe / reseal/ new siding outside / redo house wrap for a portion / etc. you’re in good shape

The sleeve probably has 4-8 screws holding it in. Look inside the sleeve, they are likely on the left and right side. Remove those screws and the sleeve likely comes right out.

Once the sleeve is out there are likely 4-8 screws which hold the grill on. Old grill off, new grill on. Then reinstall the sleeve. When reinstalling the sleeve, make sure you have some floor toward the back, at least 1/8” per foot. Just get a short level and see how much you have to raise it to make level. If the level is 12” level and you have to raise it 1/8” - 1/2” to make level you’re good.

Now slide in new one. Follow instructions. Reinstall trim if you have it. And crack a cold one to celebrate

wilked
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Re: How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by wilked » Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:28 am

All that said...ideally you can leave sleeve alone. So post photos and maybe it’s fine

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tyrion
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Re: How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by tyrion » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:30 am

I installed one of these on my last house. Bought the sleeve and through-the-wall AC from AJMadison. I figured it would be easy enough to slide out the AC and replace it if necessary, although thankfully we never needed to.

I think I understand what you're saying about the grill and fins. Mine had half the fins slanted one way and the other half the other way. So both fins slanted away from the middle of the unit, so air exhausted on one side would be pushed a little further away from where it's sucked in on the other side.

If I were you I would buy a replacement unit that fits the sleeve. And if you can't do the grill (I think it's secured from inside the sleeve for security reasons) then either leave it or bend half the fins yourself. If you do nothing you will have slightly less efficient operation since the intake air will be a tad warmer than it would be with the correct grill.

Make sure you get the right size and it works on the right power - 120V / 220V

Topic Author
heybro
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Re: How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by heybro » Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:21 am

wilked wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:23 am
Can you post some photos and link to the new model?
https://www.frigidaire.com/Owner-Center ... FFTA1233U2

Topic Author
heybro
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Re: How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by heybro » Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:25 am

tyrion wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:30 am
I installed one of these on my last house. Bought the sleeve and through-the-wall AC from AJMadison. I figured it would be easy enough to slide out the AC and replace it if necessary, although thankfully we never needed to.

I think I understand what you're saying about the grill and fins. Mine had half the fins slanted one way and the other half the other way. So both fins slanted away from the middle of the unit, so air exhausted on one side would be pushed a little further away from where it's sucked in on the other side.

If I were you I would buy a replacement unit that fits the sleeve. And if you can't do the grill (I think it's secured from inside the sleeve for security reasons) then either leave it or bend half the fins yourself. If you do nothing you will have slightly less efficient operation since the intake air will be a tad warmer than it would be with the correct grill.

Make sure you get the right size and it works on the right power - 120V / 220V
Awesome awesome. Thank you.
Yup, I'm getting the same power, thank you.

Should I toss out the old grill then? I should not slide it in loose there be two right against each other? That would probably hinder flow. Or would it help?

How would you bend the fins? Pliers?

I will most likely just slid the new one in and forget about it. It can't be that much "energy inefficient" to not have the fins shaped right?

3feetpete
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Re: How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by 3feetpete » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:29 am

You can replace yourself if you’re strong enough or your appliance company will do it for you when they deliver. I’ve done it both ways. Sleeves are usually a standard size so it’s a simple fit. Make sure you get a through the wall unit and not a window unit. Window units will not work in a sleeve. When complete the unit should slope slightly (1/4”) to the rear.

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tyrion
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Re: How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by tyrion » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:24 am

heybro wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:25 am
tyrion wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:30 am
I installed one of these on my last house. Bought the sleeve and through-the-wall AC from AJMadison. I figured it would be easy enough to slide out the AC and replace it if necessary, although thankfully we never needed to.

I think I understand what you're saying about the grill and fins. Mine had half the fins slanted one way and the other half the other way. So both fins slanted away from the middle of the unit, so air exhausted on one side would be pushed a little further away from where it's sucked in on the other side.

If I were you I would buy a replacement unit that fits the sleeve. And if you can't do the grill (I think it's secured from inside the sleeve for security reasons) then either leave it or bend half the fins yourself. If you do nothing you will have slightly less efficient operation since the intake air will be a tad warmer than it would be with the correct grill.

Make sure you get the right size and it works on the right power - 120V / 220V
Awesome awesome. Thank you.
Yup, I'm getting the same power, thank you.

Should I toss out the old grill then? I should not slide it in loose there be two right against each other? That would probably hinder flow. Or would it help?

How would you bend the fins? Pliers?

I will most likely just slid the new one in and forget about it. It can't be that much "energy inefficient" to not have the fins shaped right?
I would not use both grills. If you can remove the old one and install the new one that would be best. I'm pretty sure mine had a few screws that you could access from inside the sleeve. The grill is attached from the inside to prevent someone from pushing the AC unit into the house from the outside then crawling through.

If you can't remove it, just use the old one. It's not likely to make much of a difference which way the fins face. If you want to bend them with pliers I'm sure it would be pretty easy work. But it might not look very pretty when you're done, so depending on where the unit is.... well, you can be the judge of that.

Topic Author
heybro
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Re: How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by heybro » Sat Dec 07, 2019 5:42 am

tyrion wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:24 am
heybro wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:25 am
tyrion wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:30 am
I installed one of these on my last house. Bought the sleeve and through-the-wall AC from AJMadison. I figured it would be easy enough to slide out the AC and replace it if necessary, although thankfully we never needed to.

I think I understand what you're saying about the grill and fins. Mine had half the fins slanted one way and the other half the other way. So both fins slanted away from the middle of the unit, so air exhausted on one side would be pushed a little further away from where it's sucked in on the other side.

If I were you I would buy a replacement unit that fits the sleeve. And if you can't do the grill (I think it's secured from inside the sleeve for security reasons) then either leave it or bend half the fins yourself. If you do nothing you will have slightly less efficient operation since the intake air will be a tad warmer than it would be with the correct grill.

Make sure you get the right size and it works on the right power - 120V / 220V
Awesome awesome. Thank you.
Yup, I'm getting the same power, thank you.

Should I toss out the old grill then? I should not slide it in loose there be two right against each other? That would probably hinder flow. Or would it help?

How would you bend the fins? Pliers?

I will most likely just slid the new one in and forget about it. It can't be that much "energy inefficient" to not have the fins shaped right?
I would not use both grills. If you can remove the old one and install the new one that would be best. I'm pretty sure mine had a few screws that you could access from inside the sleeve. The grill is attached from the inside to prevent someone from pushing the AC unit into the house from the outside then crawling through.

If you can't remove it, just use the old one. It's not likely to make much of a difference which way the fins face. If you want to bend them with pliers I'm sure it would be pretty easy work. But it might not look very pretty when you're done, so depending on where the unit is.... well, you can be the judge of that.
Thank you extremely much!!!!
Last edited by heybro on Sat Dec 07, 2019 5:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
heybro
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Re: How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by heybro » Sat Dec 07, 2019 5:43 am

3feetpete wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:29 am
You can replace yourself if you’re strong enough or your appliance company will do it for you when they deliver. I’ve done it both ways. Sleeves are usually a standard size so it’s a simple fit. Make sure you get a through the wall unit and not a window unit. Window units will not work in a sleeve. When complete the unit should slope slightly (1/4”) to the rear.
How do you get it to slope? My old unit didn't seem to slope at all. Something you put in underneath it?

wilked
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Re: How to Replace Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner?

Post by wilked » Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:01 am

heybro wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 5:43 am
3feetpete wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:29 am
You can replace yourself if you’re strong enough or your appliance company will do it for you when they deliver. I’ve done it both ways. Sleeves are usually a standard size so it’s a simple fit. Make sure you get a through the wall unit and not a window unit. Window units will not work in a sleeve. When complete the unit should slope slightly (1/4”) to the rear.
How do you get it to slope? My old unit didn't seem to slope at all. Something you put in underneath it?
Glue some furring strips, or some high density foam strips

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