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Best Through-the-wall Air Conditioners

Finding the best through the wall air conditioner for your building and circumstances can be a lot of work, especially on older buildings or ones with bizarre architectural designs. A through the wall AC unit is supposed to fit inside your home’s wall so it has to be as deep as the wall is thick. Add to that the specifications of the AC unit itself, its power, its efficiency, its square feet coverage, its additional features and functions, and so on, and making the right choice can be quite challenging. That’s why we’ve created this quick list of the Best through the wall air conditioners on the market, accompanied by a quick guide on how to choose between them.


Top products reviews

1. Koldfront WTC8001W Review

First on our list is the Koldfront WTC8001W through the wall AC unit. It has 8,000 BTU of power and can comfortably cover a 300 to 350 square feet area. It also includes a heater feature with 3,500 BTU of power – that’s not enough to work as the main source of heating during the winter months but is more than enough to function as an additional heating source to your main heater unit. Thanks to this, the Koldfront model easily maintains temperatures from 62° F (17° C) to 86° F (30° C). Keep in mind, however, that the effective area coverage of the heating function is about 100 square feet.

The WTC8001W also has a sleep function, an energy saver mode, and comes with remote control. It also has a dehumidifying capacity of about 45 pints per day. This unit has 3 fan speeds and auto speed option, as well as 4 operating modes, plus a Dry Mode for dehumidifying. The AC has 4-way directional louvers and an EER (energy efficiency ratio) of 9.6. It has dimensions of 14.5” height x 24.2” width x 20.3” depth, so make sure that these are right for your home before making your purchase.

With all these characteristics, the Koldfront WTC8001W is an excellent product to consider and easily one of the best through the wall air conditioner products on the market right now. It can be a bit louder than some other units and its heating function is only complementary, but the overall quality and longevity of this item makes it more than worth it.

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What we like:

  • This Koldfront AC unit has a coverage area of 300 to 350 square feet
  • This air conditioner also has a 3,500 BTU heater allowing it to maintain temperatures between 62° F (17° C) and 86° F (30° C)
  • The air directional louvers work in 4 directions
  • Koldfront are known for their excellent customer service

What we don’t like:

  • The heat function is designed to be a complementary heat source, not the main means for heating your home
  • There are quieter AC units on the market


2. Frigidaire FFTA1233Q1 Review

For an even more powerful through the wall air conditioner with heat, this is the Frigidaire FFTA1233Q1 model. It is an impressively quiet unit with 12,000 BTU. It’s designed exclusively for through the wall installation and isn’t suitable for window installations. It will fit most standard wall sleeves, however, and comes with a universal interior trim kit. The FFTA1233Q1 also uses the standard 115V electrical outlets and is generally powerful enough to keep areas of up to 550 square feet nice and cool.

The remote control is a great feature on this model as it has a temperature sensing gauge on itself, allowing you much more comfort when controlling the temperature around you. The ready-select temperature controls are very flexible and easy to use. The multi-speed AC fan has 3 different operating speeds and 4-way air-flow control design. The dimensions of this AC unit are as follows – 20.5” height x 24” width x 14.5” depth. Keep these in mind if you’re considering whether to buy it for your home or office building.

All in all, the superb quality of this unit is what qualifies it for this list. You don’t need to read a ton of through the wall air conditioner reviews to figure out that this is a high-quality product.

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What we like:

  • With 12,000 BTU of power, this Frigidaire model is one of the best through wall HVAC units
  • This model has an effective cooling area of about 550 square feet
  • The remote control this Frigidaire AC unit comes with has temperature sensing gauge
  • The dehumidifying feature on this unit has a work rate of about 3.3 pints per hour

What we don’t like:

  • This AC model doesn’t have a heating function so it’s strictly a cooling unit
  • Isn’t suitable for window installation, it’s intended purely as a through the wall AC unit


3. LG LT1016CER Review

This through the wall air conditioner from LG can come in several power variants – an 8,000 BTU unit, a 9,800 BTU one, and 11,500 BTU and 11,800 BTU units as well. All of these models have gotten a 2016 energy star rating for their 10.6 EER (energy efficiency ratio) which is impressive even in a list of the “best through the wall heating and cooling units”. The medium-range 9,800 BTU model has an effective covering range of 450 square feet.

Design-wise this is rather stylish through the wall unit that’s meant exclusively for this type of mounting and not for window installations. It is universally fit for all standard 26-inch wall sleeves and additional wall sleeves are sold separately from it. This model is equipped with an easy to clean mesh filter and it also alerts you when it’s time to clean it with a convenient filter alert. The dry air flow of this unit is 250 acfm (actual cubic feet per minute). The dimensions of this model are 24” height x 20.1” width x 14.4” depth, so keep that in mind before making a purchase. This LG model isn’t suitable for heating but if that’s not something you need from your future AC unit, then the sheer quality of the LT1016CER will be more than satisfying for all your HVAC needs.

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What we like:

  • This LG unit has 3 cooling and 3 fan speeds for more flexible control
  • It can come in several power variants ranging from 8,000 BTU to 11,800 BTU
  • This model has the LG patented gold fin anti-corrosion coating which is designed to provide a protective shield and make sure that the unit lasts much longer

What we don’t like:

  • This AC model doesn’t have a heating function so it’s strictly a cooling unit
  • Isn’t suitable for window installation, it’s intended purely as a through the wall AC unit


Other products to consider

Of course, there are much more than 3 good air conditioners on the market – you can find lots of models from 7,000-8,000 BTU models to even an 18000 BTU through the wall air conditioner of high quality. So, to give you several more examples, here are another 3 AC units that we like quite a bit:

4. Koldfront WTC8002WCO

This Koldfront model is a cooling only through the wall AC unit that also impresses with its excellent 10.6 EER rating. It has 8,000 BTU and can comfortably cover an area of up to 300 or 350 square feet. It easily maintains temperatures between 62° F and 86° F. It has a 24-hour timer, a sleep mode, and an energy saver feature. You can also use its dehumidifier function.

All those control options are easy to manage thanks to the nice digital display and the included remote control. The dimensions of this unit are 14.5” height x 24.2” width x 20.3” depth, and a weight of 64.9 pounds. This AC unit is compatible with the standard Koldfront air conditioner wall sleeve. The model also has a 10,000 BTU variant (the WTC10002WCO115V model) and a 12,000 BTU variant (the WTC12002WCO115V model). We didn’t include this item in our Top 3 list because of its lack of a heating function and scarce speed/power functions.

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5. GARRISON 2498545

Next on our list is this powerful Garrison AC unit. It sports 14,000 BTU and has an effective cooling range of 550 to 700 square feet. It can be used both for cooling and heating but mostly as a secondary heating device. Its Energy Star rating is 9.3 EER which is quite excellent but not as high as the AC units in our Top 3. It comes with a lot of cool features such as an auto restart function, electronic controls, and a LED display. The voltage is 230/208 and the unit is quite lightweight and easy to install. It’s not the most versatile AC unit out there, but its power, quality, and heating option more than making it worth it for this list.

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6. Keystone KSTAT10-1C

Another 2016 energy star recipient, the Keystone KSTAT10-1C has an energy efficiency ratio (EER) of 10.6. With its 10,000 BTU, it’s also quite a powerful AC unit too, so you’ll get more than just an efficient but weak AC model. This unit has 3 cooling speeds and 3 fan speeds, as well as an auto cooling option. It effectively covers an area of up to 450 square feet and it also comes with a dehumidifying feature that can go through 2.3 pints per hour. This AC is designed for through the wall installations only and isn’t suitable for window installations. It also doesn’t have a heating feature.

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About through-the-wall air conditioners

This type of AC unit is one of the best choices for any home or office without a central HVAC system. Through the wall air conditioners are comparable to window air conditions in that they are usually designed to work in a single room or in a small number of rooms, but they are generally viewed as a better and more permanent solution than window AC units.

On principle, through the wall air conditioners work like any other AC unit – they such the warm air from the room, they circle it through their refrigerant coolant ducts to cool it off, and then dump it back into the area they took it from. This process is known as “phase conversion” and it’s based on the fact that when a liquid converts into a gas it absorbs heat. That’s why the refrigerants used in AC units are liquids with a very low temperature of evaporation. There are different types of phase conversion air conditioners can use such as a single phase AC transformer, a three-phase AC transformer, or a five-phase AC transformer.

Because the motor that drives all that also produces heat itself, that secondary heat is dumped outside of your home through the outside end of the AC unit. This process is what has led to the common misconception that AC units dump your home’s hot air outside when that’s not exactly true.

So, what are the benefits of using a through the wall air conditioner compared to a standard window AC unit? Both work in essentially the same way but a through the wall AC model is a much more permanent solution than a window one. Window AC units are much easier to install as you don’t have to open an entire hole in your home’s wall. The tradeoff, however, is that you are going to have a giant HVAC unit blocking your window.

Through the wall air conditioners, on the other hand, are much more complicated to install, however, once they are put into place they essentially become a part of the wall and don’t interfere with your windows or the indoors of your home in any way. A lot of through the wall AC units also don’t stick out too much from the outside wall – they will either be level with the wall or be only slightly hanging. Another major difference between wall and window AC units is that the vents are on the back of the device instead of on its side.

As for some of the key terms you might want to know, here’s a quick list:

  • BTU – British Thermal Unit. This measurement is equal to 1055,05585 joules and is a measurement of energy used in the HVAC industry.
  • HVAC – Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning is the field of mechanical engineering that deals with all air-processing devices that people can use to regulate the temperature or purity of the air in their homes or offices.
  • Refrigerant fluid – the fluid that absorbs the heat from your home’s air as it evaporates.
  • Thermostat – the system that monitors the temperature controls of the cooling/heating system.
  • Dehumidifying – the process of extracting the moisture from the air while cooling it off. A lot of AC units do this naturally but some are designed to but even more effective at it. This is a good feature if you have high relative humidity in your home or office.
  • Condenser – the component of the refrigeration cycle that removes the heat from the system.

Buying guide

As they are near-permanent additions to a home or a commercial building, through the wall air conditioners need to be chosen very carefully. There are lots of considerations that go into making the best choice, some of which are objective and others – subjective. So, let’s go over a list of points you’ll need to keep in mind before you go ahead and buy a through the wall air conditioner:

How thick is your wall? It’s surprising how often people forget about this step until the very last moment. Wall AC units are supposed to fit inside your wall, so making sure that you know your wall’s dimensions and the ideal dimensions of your future AC unit is step one for making the right choice – it will immediately weed out a lot of models and even entire brands.

How big of a space do you need your future AC unit to cover? Typically, wall AC units are meant to cool/heat individual rooms even though they can work in a whole apartment too. Keep in mind, however, that the “square footage of effective work area” that most AC units cite is meant for a single room – the more doors and passageways the air needs to go through to get to additional rooms, the less efficient the whole process is going to be.

Do you need the wall air conditioner to have a heating option? A lot of people view the heating function as a must but the fact of the matter is that even an AC unit with a heating option isn’t usually suitable for acting as the main heating device in a home. Still, they are good as a complementary heating option so that can be useful in the colder months of the year.

What additional design/control features are you going to need? There’s no point in choosing an AC unit with dozens of “features” and pointless functions if you’re not going to use all of them. In that case, they’ll only serve to drive the price up. At the same time, however, as wall AC units are a long-term purchase, it’s good to make sure that your future AC units will have every feature you do need it to have. In other words, research about all the different possible features a through the wall air conditioner can have and make a list of the ones you know or suspect you’ll actually need.

What’s your budget? This type of AC units are relatively cheap but they can still vary quite a bit in their price. If you have budgetary concerns it pays to go through some extra research to find models that are cheaper but are still of a high enough quality. Skipping on the heating function or some unnecessary smaller features is a good idea in this case.

Don’t hesitate to learn as much about the subject as possible. The more informed you are about wall air conditioners and HVAC in general, the better choice you’ll be able to make.

Read as many customer reviews and industry professional reviews as you can. Both of these types of reviews have their pitfalls, of course – customer reviews are often ill-informed, subjective, emotional, and plain wrong. However, there is strength in numbers – products with a really high number of reviews (in the hundreds, for example) can be judged much more reliably.

Professional industry reviews, on the other hand, are often biased and like to point the reader in a certain direction. At the same time, however, they are much more informative and offer accurate information that’s very useful to know even if you are not going to follow their product recommendations.

Last but not least, consider the brands of the models you’re choosing from. Yes, branding isn’t everything, there are famous brands that offer sub-par quality products and unknown brands that offer top-notch quality. However, if you are at a loss as to what you should do, taking the brand of the AC unit into consideration can give you some ground to stand on. Some of the brands we’d recommend include LG, Frigidaire, Koldfront, Keystone, and Garrison.


Through the wall air conditioners are a great thing for any home without a central HVAC system. There are lots of different and good through the wall air conditioner models to choose from, all with different power, settings, and features. A lot are of a sub-par quality too, which is why you should avoid them and do extensive research before making a purchase. If you calculate your home’s requirements well, however, and if you take all your personal preferences into account, you can easily find a great through the wall air conditioner for any situation. Here are our best 3 suggestions once again:

  1. The Koldfront WTC8001W model offers 8,000 BTU of cooling and 3,500 BTU of heating. It easily regulates and maintains temperatures between 62° F (17° C) and 86° F (30° C), and is accompanied with a lot of additional features and functions.
  2. The Frigidaire FFTA1233Q1 model impresses with its 12,000 BTU and effective cooling area of 550 square feet. It doesn’t have a heating feature but it’s of very high quality and offers a lot of value with its many functions.
  3. The LG LT1016CER model is a highly effective and extremely efficient AC cooling unit with a lot of additional features and benefits. It too doesn’t have a heating function but aside from that, it’s one of the best AC units you can get.

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