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Everything About Wall-Mounted Air Conditioners

Everything About Wall-Mounted Air Conditioners

Interior renovationsEverything About Wall-Mounted Air Conditioners

Are you looking for an aesthetic and efficient way to control the temperature in your apartment during peak season?

Well then, a wall-mounted air conditioning unit will definitely pique your interest! It’s an air conditioner model that’s been on the rise for the last couple of years, especially with homeowners, who often prefer these over other more cumbersome systems. 

In this article, we’ll delve into the most important, must-know factors prior to choosing your through-the-wall air conditioner. 

Wall-Mounted AC Models

wall-mounted ac

Source: Canva

To cool down an interior space, you can choose between various air conditioning units. In terms of air conditioners for wall installation, there are certain types of models that are most often sold by vendors. Here are a few features that set them apart:

From the get-go, one has to note that wall-fitted air conditioning units are installed on a permanent basis, which sets them apart from window ACs, which are stored once summer comes to an end. A lot of wall-mounted units are also used as heaters since they’re fitted with a heat pump system. 

Furthermore, unlike central air conditioning systems, you don’t need to have access to ductwork to channel the air between the unit and outdoors. The wall-mounted AC is fitted with a compressor that sucks in the air inside the dwelling and releases it outside. The compressor is either a part of or linked to a unit mounted high up on a wall and configured to customize room temperatures to your preferences. 

There are four main types of wall-mounted ACs:

The Packaged Terminal Air Unit

This type of through-the-wall unit is a single apparatus that’s embedded into the wall. It can resemble that of a window AC, however, instead of being a temporary installation, it’s embedded into the wall. 

The Mini Split Unit

wall-mounted ac

Source: Canva

The latter is made up of two connected components: the indoor air handler unit and the outdoor compressor unit.

The Multi-Zone Split Unit

The multi-zone split condenser functions according to the same principle as the mini split unit. However, instead of connecting two components, here, we’re talking about more units working together. If you’re looking to install wall-mounted units in several rooms, you should consider this option. 

The Wall-Mounted Heat Pump

wall-mounted ac

Source: Canva

Some heat pumps function according to a central duct system, but since we’re focusing on ductless systems in this article, we’re solely referring to wall-mounted heat pumps. These units are used as air conditioners during summer and heaters during winter. The difference between a wall-mounted heat pump and an air conditioner is that the former releases both warm and cool air, while the latter solely generates cool air. 

Here’s a must-read article to learn more about the subject matter: Choosing Between a Wall-Mounted or Central Heat Pump.

How to Pick the Right Model Based on Your Needs

wall-mounted ac

Source: Canva

When the time comes to shop around for a unit, consider the following questions:

  • What’s the square footage of the area I want to cool?

  • What’s my budget?

  • Do I want to have a permanent installation, or would I rather be able to move the unit?

  • What’s the unit’s energy efficiency?

  • Do I want a unit connected to home automation?

When you have an answer to these queries, you can then present your needs to a specialist that’ll be able to steer you toward the best possible air conditioning unit based on your situation. The expert won’t necessarily pick one out for you, but they could still help you make sense of the various features of every model.  

How many BTUs are needed for an AC unit to work well?

One of the most important features to consider when choosing a cooling unit is knowing whether you have the right amount of BTUs compared to the space where you’re going to set up the device. In North America, and in other regions around the world, the efficiency of the unit is measured according to its BTU (or British Thermal Unit). These thermal energy measurement units will become more familiar to you once you’ve looked over the different air conditioners available on the market. 

To better explain the above-mentioned, here are some examples according to various cooling units:

Size of the room to be cooled

Amount of BTUs required (on average)

100 square feet

5,000 BTU

200 square feet

6,000 BTU

300 square feet

7,000 BTU

500 square feet

12,000 BTU

1,000 square feet

20,000 BTU

To give you an idea as to the average room size in a North American home, we’re talking about 130 square feet for a bedroom, and 350 square feet for a living room. Meaning that, for your living room, you’ll need at least 7,000 to 8,000 BTU, and for the bedroom, between 5,000 and 6,000 BTU.

Here’s a useful tool to help you measure the square footage of the concerned area.

How to Install a Wall-Mounted Air Conditioner: Tips & Steps

wall-mounted ac

Source: Canva

Check out our article Installing a Wall-Mounted Air Conditioner to get an answer to that question.

Overall, here’s what you need to know:

  • It’s always best to entrust such a project to experts.

  • You’ll need to choose the right spot in the room to install the unit and ensure the most suitable conditions. 

  • The wall section on which the unit will be fitted has to be sturdy enough to withstand the weight of the apparatus. 

  • Make sure that the unit is properly fitted and sturdy to prevent it from falling shortly after its installation. 

Who can install a wall-mounted air conditioner?

As previously mentioned, it’s highly recommended to hire a specialized contractor for your air conditioner installation project. Should the work be carried out in Quebec, ensure the company hired has a valid RBQ licence (Régie du bâtiment du Québec) with the appropriate subclasses, according to the type of project. The company should also have valid insurance and be registered with the Registre des entreprises du Québec (Quebec Business Registry).

If you decide to go through the platform for your project, note that the companies referred to you will have been vetted beforehand.  

How much does a wall-mounted AC cost?

wall-mounted ac

Source: Canva

The price of a wall-mounted air conditioner varies from one extreme to another and can change depending on the time of year. However, here’s a general overview of how much you should budget for, as well as how much you should expect on paying for installation. 


Unit price

Average installation cost

Packaged terminal air unit

$600 (low-end) to $1,000 (high-end)

Between $500 and $1,000 for installation

Mini split AC

$700 (low-end) to $1,900(high-end)

Between $500 and $1,000 for installation

Wall-mounted multi-zone split AC

$3,000 to $10,000 depending on the zones to cool, BTUs, and the overall quality of the unit, installation excluded

Between $1,000 and $2,000 for installation (depending on the number of units to connect)

Wall-mounted heat pump

$1,400 to $4,000

About $1,000 for installation

Little tip to ensure you’re making the best out of your money, no matter the model: 

It’s getting progressively more difficult to go without an air conditioner inside a home. As such, a lot of people head straight to the nearest store to purchase a cooling unit, especially at the beginning of summer. Prices may inflate as the available inventory deflates, thus the pitfalls of supply and demand. Later in the article, we’ll delve into the best time of year to purchase your system and when to schedule installation. 

Another aspect to highlight: You may have to alter your electrical system to make room for this new unit. As such, additional fees must be factored in. 

Lastly, you can also inquire as to which air conditioning systems are currently eligible for financial assistance grants. For example, the Rénoclimat program offers funds for certain types of air conditioning units. 

Where can I buy a wall-mounted air conditioner?

Are you ready to buy an air conditioner but aren’t sure exactly where to look? Note that you can head to numerous retailers to purchase such a device. First, you can head to any big-box hardware store or to your go-to hardware store. They should have different models available on display.

If your preferred unit isn’t available, they should be able to order one for you. Otherwise, you can look on the supplier’s website. Some retail via their website too. 

Request quotes from AC-specialized companies

You can also purchase your unit through a specialized company to which you’ve entrusted its installation. Such service companies often have access to marked-down prices courtesy of their suppliers. Compare quotes to get the best price. 

When’s the best time to buy and install an AC unit?

Since we’ve received and processed thousands of air conditioning project requests since 2014, we feel confident in advising you as to what time of year is best to install your AC unit.  

Pro tip: Schedule ahead of time. Most people tend to wait until there’s a heat wave to contact an HCAV contractor. Consequently, most companies tend to get busy fast and book their schedules in little time.

Those who wait too long before scheduling their installation have to wait months, and a few heat waves, before it gets done. This is without factoring in the fact that if you don’t purchase your unit in time, you may not be able to get your hand on the one you truly wanted. As a matter of fact, the most affordable, efficient, and best value-for-money models tend to disappear off the shelves first. Toward to end of spring, the units available on the market aren’t as diverse nor interesting, consumer-wise. 

Try to get the ball rolling as soon as possible, between March and April if possible. If not, don’t wait another day before getting everything underway. If you weren’t able to get it done in time this year, at least you’ll know for next year!

Cleaning Your Wall-Mounted AC: What to Know

wall-mounted ac

Source: Canva

It’s advised to perform regular maintenance on your unit to ensure it works efficiently. In most cases, wall-mounted units can be cleaned without needing to be removed from the wall. Every model is different, therefore the first call to order is to review the instructions manual to see what the manufacturer has detailed. 

The most important tip to live by: switch off the unit. Typically, you’ll simply need to unplug the unit but make sure to read the instructions manual carefully to ascertain if there isn’t something else that should be disconnected. 

Here are a few other must-know tips:

  • Filters must be cleaned a few times over the summer.

  • The unit’s housing grill has to be cleaned.

  • If you have a pet, you’ll need to clean your unit more often to prevent hairballs from obstructing the unit’s proper functioning.

  • Should you detect a mouldy smell, contact a specialist right away. They’ll be able to deep-clean the device. 

  • The condenser needs to be cleaned once a year. 

  • A vacuum could come in handy for certain debris, especially in the part of the unit that’s found outside the home. 

  • You need to have your unit inspected every 3 years or so. 

For more information:

Telltale Signs that Your Wall-Mounted AC Isn’t Working

Once your unit has been installed, make sure that it’s working properly. Be on the lookout for the following: 

  • If the AC is generating warm air. This could be a telltale sign that the compressor is defective. 

  • The unit keeps shutting off and turning back on. 

  • Rooms in your house are very humid even though the device is turned on. 

  • Water is leaking from the unit.

  • A foul odour is coming from the unit. 

  • Your unit becomes very noisy.

  • Air circulation in various parts of the house isn’t great. 

Should you notice one or more of these signs, don’t wait too long before contacting an HVAC specialist. 

Get 3 quotes for your wall-mounted air conditioner installation can help you get quotes for your air conditioning and heating project. If you submit your project, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will get estimates from trusted professionals. 

Dial 1-844 828-1588 to speak with one of our customer service representatives.

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Last modified 2023-11-07

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