What Is Wall Sleeve Air?

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The phrase "wall sleeve air" likely makes no sense to the average homeowner. Understanding what this phrase means begins with a look at through-the-wall air conditioners. These air conditioners work much like the standard air conditioning units you place in your window, but they are installed differently. Through-the-wall air conditioner installation requires a part known as a wall sleeve. This part gives rise to the phrase "wall sleeve air."

Through The Wall Air Conditioners

  • Through-the-wall air conditioners are air conditioner units that fit into a wall rather than a window. You install through-the-wall air conditioners by cutting a hole in your wall and fitting the unit into the hole. In most cases, only the face of the air conditioner shows through the wall. These units save you the trouble of removing your air conditioner from your window at the end of the summer and reinstalling it the next year.

Wall Sleeve

  • A wall sleeve constitutes a metal frame that fits around a through-the-wall air conditioner. These frames exist because most walls cannot support the weight of an air conditioner without breaking. Wall sleeves provide an anchor for the air conditioner, while protecting the wall from the weight of the unit. Two types of through the wall air conditioners exist, though with attached sleeves and those for which you must purchase sleeves separately. The former type sometimes goes by the name “chassis air conditioners.”

Wall Sleeve Air

  • Through-the-wall air conditioners are sometimes referred to as wall sleeve air conditioners because they fit into sleeves. Therefore, the term “wall sleeve air” refers to conditioned air provided by through the wall air conditioner. An apartment, hotel or condo might advertise “wall sleeve air,” just as it would central air, as an amenity. This means that the space provides air conditioning from a through-the-wall air conditioning unit.

More Information

  • You can find through-the-wall air conditioners at almost every major appliance retailer, or look for them at appliance retailers. If you buy a chassis unit, the sleeve comes as part of the package. Some through-the-wall air conditioners, however, only provide you with the air conditioning unit. Never install an air conditioner in your wall without first installing a sleeve because the weight of the unit can break through your wall. This causes more problems than just a broken wall. A falling air conditioner can smash through electrical and plumbing systems.

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