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Best Window Air Conditioners Updated November 2018
FFRE1833S2 18,000 BTU Air Conditioner with Temperature Sensing Remote Control
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One of the best window air conditioners on the market, this unit will cool your home quickly and effectively.
This air conditioner can cool a room up to 1,020 square feet and comes with an energy-saving feature and sleep mode.
A special 230V electrical outlet is required. The unit will not work with a standard 115V outlet.
RACE8002E, 8,000 BTU
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Perfect for smaller areas or individual rooms as it can cool spaces only up to 350 square feet.
This unit is portable, quiet, and incredibly easy to set up, according to many window air conditioner reviews from verified customers.
Because of its one roller-button mechanism, it can be difficult to direct airflow.
Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
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This small window air conditioner is great for cooling individual rooms and is one of the most affordable on the market.
With 2 cool speeds, 2 fan speeds, and 2-way air direction, this air conditioner will cool a room to your liking. It’s easy to install and comes with a low power start-up.
The unit can get loud on the highest settings, so we don’t recommend purchasing it for a bedroom or home office.
LW1016ER 10,000 BTU Window-Mounted Air Conditioner
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Relatively inexpensive, this window unit can cool large rooms and save energy with its energy-efficiency function.
One of the quietest machines available, this window unit is also incredibly powerful and can cool large rooms with its chilling air.
Though this machine has an energy-saving function, it still uses a lot of energy. Installation is also slightly difficult and may require 2 people.
Window Air Conditioner
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This heavy-duty, window-mounted air conditioner has 5,000 BTUs of cooling power to chill indoor spaces up to 150 square feet. Perfect for a bedroom or small apartment.
It comes with an air conditioner mounting kit and features 7 temperature settings. Another bonus: it includes a reusable, washable, antibacterial filter.
This unit has to be manually turned on and off. It also doesn’t give you the option to recirculate air throughout the home.
There’s nothing better than enjoying the cool breeze from a window air conditioner on a hot, summer day. But what happens if that unit malfunctions or starts to break down? Simply picking a random window may not give you the best cooling experience. That’s where the House Method team can help. Our Reviews team compared a variety of window units, read through countless window air conditioner reviews, and answered important questions regarding how to purchase a window air conditioning unit. We did the research for you, so you can choose the best window air conditioner for your home.
Window Air Conditioner Reviews Guide
A common misconception about window air conditioners is that they’re extremely loud and aren’t as powerful as central AC. However, they’ve improved significantly over the years and now include built-in energy efficiency features, programmable timers, and powerful fan speeds. As one of the more affordable options on the market, window air conditioners can save you money in the long run and keep your home cooler for longer.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a window air conditioner unit, you’ve come to the right place. With an onslaught of products available to consumers, we want to provide you with the very best options (and information) to help make your purchase decision simple and easy. Check out our top recommendations above or keep reading to learn what should be considered before you buy.
8 Major factors to consider
Small window air conditioners range from 5,000 to 6,500 BTUs and cool roughly 100–300 square feet. Though these units are the lightest and least expensive, they can’t adequately cool a room more than 300 square feet. Mid-sized machines range from 7,000 to 8,200 BTUs and can cool slightly larger rooms than smaller units. Large window air conditioners have some of the best cooling power and range from 9,800 to 12,500 BTUs. Though they can cool larger rooms, they’re a little heavier and are more difficult to install.
Most window air conditioner fan speeds can be controlled with the manual turn of a dial or a remote control. The higher the fan speed, the faster your room or house will cool down. Look for a window air conditioning unit with multiple fan speeds.
If you’re buying a window air conditioner for your bedroom and know that you’re a light sleeper, or if you get distracted easily while completing work, opt for a machine that errs on the quieter side. You don’t want to be disturbed when trying to get a good night’s sleep or have trouble focusing in the midst of a big work project.
When purchasing a window air conditioner, aim for 20 BTUs per square foot of living space and add 600 BTU for each additional person in your household. For example, if you want to cool a 150-square-foot room and live alone, opt for a 3,000 BTU unit. BTU specs are typically listed under the product description of each machine.
Directional airflow vents
Some window air conditioners have swivel vents that allow you to control the direction of airflow. These can be helpful if you have an oddly placed window and want the air to flow to the center of the room or if you want the air centered directly on you. Consider room layout and look for a model that can direct airflow where you need it most.
Most modern window air conditioners come with a remote control to help you adjust the cooling settings from anywhere in the room. If you have less accessible windows or just don’t want to get up every time you need to change the air temperature, find an air conditioner that comes with a remote control.
Some window units come with a timer that allows you to program when you want your unit to turn on. There may be some machines that even allow you to connect your smartphone, allowing you to control exactly when you want the cooldown process to begin. This feature also helps you save energy and cut down on cooling costs.
Most window air conditioners come with replaceable or washable filters. If you don’t want to constantly buy new filters for your unit, find a unit that contains washable filters. Some units will come with a HEPA filter, which can remove 99.9% of dust particles and allergens from the air. If you suffer from allergies, look for an appliance with a HEPA filter.
Best window air conditioner for quick cooldownsSPT 12,000 BTU WINDOW
This unit comes with a three-speed fan, a timer, and an automatic mode that allows you to set a temperature and stick to it. It also comes with a high-powered motor and energy-saving mode that stops cooling once your desired temperature is reached.
Window AC cooling power is measured in British Thermal Units, or BTUs. The more cool air you desire (and the larger the room), the more BTUs you want.”
How to achieve optimal AC efficiency
Typically, a window air conditioner will last for roughly 10 years as long as you properly take care of it. Here are a few things you can periodically do to ensure it lasts for as long as possible.
Inspect the machine’s coils—Vacuum the coils with a brush attachment to remove dirt and debris. If one doesn’t come with the unit, you can purchase one at your local hardware store.
Clean the filter regularly—A dirty filter can make the machine work harder, reducing efficiency and leading to a possible breakdown. Check the filter every few months by popping out the front grille of the machine. If the unit uses a reusable filter, wash it with warm water and let it dry before inserting it back into the unit. If it contains a replaceable filter, make sure you have one on hand to replace it with. Look at your product manual to determine what type of replacement filters are necessary.
Look for bent coil fins—Coil fins are the narrow metal pieces that form grooves in the air conditioner. Use a fin comb (this can be purchased from your local home improvement store) to straighten any bent coil fins.
Best window air conditioner for your moneyFRIGIDAIRE 115V WINDOW-MOUNTED, MINI-COMPACT
This is the best window air conditioner for those who are looking for a small window unit that gets the job done. Costing between $100–$200, this unit has an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of 11.1 and has 5,000 BTUs. It can cool off bedrooms and other small spaces, it’s relatively quiet, and it has an easy installation process, making it a top contender.
How much does a window air conditioner cost?
Window air conditioners typically range from $100–$700. The less powerful units (those that sit around 5,000 BTU) will fall on the cheaper side and work best in smaller spaces. In the $200–$350 price range, you’ll find units that typically range from 8,000 to 12,000 BTU. The more expensive models with be some of the more powerful machines, ranging from 15,000 BTU and up. Some of the more expensive units will also come with more features like heat functionality, timers, and remote controls.
Quietest window air conditionerKEYSTONE 5,000 BTU WITH “FOLLOW-ME” LCD REMOTE
This is one of the quietest window air conditioners on the market. It cools a space incredibly fast and makes minimal noise when running. As another bonus, this unit has an auto-restart feature that saves your settings for when power is restored to the unit.
If possible, install your window air conditioner out of direct sunlight. This will make it work less, increase energy efficiency, and extend its lifespan.”
Frequently asked questions
Which brand of window air conditioner is the best?
Out of all the window air conditioner brands available, we particularly love ones that are ENERGY STAR certified. Frigidaire is a brand that sells affordable units that range in price from $100–$800. Frigidaire units range from 5,000 to 28,000 BTUs.
Can you use a window air conditioner without a window?
You can’t use a window air conditioner without a window, but you can buy a portable air conditioner if you have only a small window to work with or you can install central AC as an alternative.
How much maintenance does a window air conditioner require?
Expect to clean or replace the air conditioner filter every few months—we recommend once a season. Other than that, we suggest cleaning the evaporator and condenser coils with a dust brush and straightening bent fins with a fin comb at least once a year.