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Best For Your Buck Product
Best bang for the buck
Frigidaire
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Best Of The Best Product
Best of the best
SPT
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How We Decided
  • 51 Models Considered
  • 31 Hours Spent
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 151 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Shopping Guide for Best Air Conditioners

    There are hundreds of choices available on the consumer market when it comes to window air conditioners, so how do you tell which is the right one?

    With so many kinds of options, it can be tough to sort the wheat from the chaff.

    That's where we come in! At BestReviews, we want to help you pick the perfect window air conditioner for your home.

    We're dedicated to writing the most honest and unbiased reviews out there.

    We never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Instead, we buy products off of store shelves, test them in our labs, consult experts, and examine feedback from product owners.

    Our ultimate goal: to become your go-to source for trustworthy product recommendations whenever you’re faced with a buying decision.

    At the top of this page, you'll find our five favorite dryers on the market. These highly rated products all qualify for our top-contender list.

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    Some new air conditioners have built in thermostats that will shut the AC off when the room is at the proper temperature. Others will run continuously until manually shut off.

    Considerations

    Considerations

    Price

    With prices ranging anywhere from a little over $100 up to $500, you should expect to pay up for the more powerful air conditioners. While it’s always nice to save money, when it comes to something as important as the temperature of the room, it may be worth the extra cost.

    Considerations

    Capacity

    Air conditioners come in various sizes to fit all windows, so it’s important to purchase one that is the size that you’re looking for. Additionally, the size of the unit can determine the difficulty of the installation and whether another person will be needed to help.

    Considerations

    Features

    While every air conditioner will cool down a room to some extent, some units come along with extra bells and whistles that can offer you more options. These include timers, filtration systems, and remotes. We'll tell you which features are important and which are not worth the extra money.

    Considerations

    Performance

    The main purpose of an air conditioner is to cool down a room. One of the most important things to look for is the BTU number, which determines the amount of energy exerted by the device. BTU is the amount of energy needed to change the temperature by one degree — so the higher the BTU, the cooler and more powerful the air conditioner. That being said, the amount of BTU necessary is dependent on the size of the room you are attempting to cool down.

    Products we Considered

    • SPT
      12,000 BTU Window
    • Frigidaire
      115 V Window-Mounted, Mini-Compact
    • Keystone
      5,000 BTU w/ "Follow Me" LCD Remote
    • LG
      12,000 BTU Air Conditioner

    Performance

    Performance

    Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 Window-Mounted Air Conditioner

    As you can see from the name, this Frigidaire’s BTU count is 5,000, which is meant for a room roughly 150-200 square feet. This Frigidaire isn’t the best choice to try and cool down a whole apartment or house, but for closed off rooms, it gets the job done quickly and efficiently. Also, this unit is relatively quiet, so it shouldn’t affect sleeping or force you to yell when trying to talk to others in the room.

    Performance

    SPT WA-1211S Window Air Conditioner

    This SPT air conditioner is the right purchase for cooling down large rooms quickly. At 12,000 BTU, this unit cools air faster than most in its field. While it can be used for larger rooms, don’t let the high BTU count scare you away from putting in a small room—it will simply cool it down much faster and quicker.

    Richard
    EXPERT CONSULTANT

    Richard is a seasoned small business owner in the hardware industry. He also owns a pool maintenance business and serves as an advisor on groundskeeping committees for a number of prominent organizations. He’s a regionally renowned safe cracker/locksmith expert, and in his spare time, he renovates and repairs vaults, safes, appliances, and a number of other products.


    Richard  |  Hardware Store Owner, Do-It-Yourself Guru
    Performance

    Keystone KSTAW05B Window Air Conditioner

    This Keystone model, at 5,000 BTU, is a solid choice for a room. The main upside of this unit is it the fact that it is very quiet. It is strongly recommended for bedrooms because it will not disturb noise-conscious sleepers. A few owners we talked to said that this was the only model that allowed them to sleep in the same room as an air conditioner.

    Performance

    LG 12,000 BTU Air Conditioner

    The LG, also at 12,000 BTU, is another powerhouse in the field. The general consensus amongst buyers is that this product does its job. The difference is noticeable from a 5,000 BTU unit, and it can be used to help cool down larger areas.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    BTUs are the amount of energy required to change the temperatures by one degree. The higher the BTU rating of the air conditioner, the more powerful it is.

    Features

    Features

    Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 Window-Mounted Air Conditioner

    This unit isn’t overly flashy. It has two notches—one for temperature and one for mode. It is very simple and easy to navigate, but it’s not the right choice for those looking for an air conditioner with a timer.

    Features

    SPT WA-1211S Window Air Conditioner

    With a fancier appearance, this air cooler offers an energy saver mode, a sleep mode, and even a timer. These amenities can be beneficial for people who don’t want to have to keep turning their air conditioner on and off — it basically has a mind of its own.

    EXPERT TIP

    If your air conditioner has a built in filter, be sure to clean it regularly to make sure it works effectively and doesn’t clog.


    Richard  | Hardware Store Owner, Do-It-Yourself Guru
    Features

    Keystone KSTAW05B Window Air Conditioner

    The Keystone’s main feature is the fact it comes with a remote control, so you don’t even have to move to get the airflow going. This product, too, has energy saver, sleep, and timer modes that can be easily navigated. Also, the Keystone has an easy–to–clean tilt out mesh filtration system.

    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    When installing a window air conditioner unit, always use proper tools to make sure it sits stably in the window. Otherwise, you risk it falling out and injuring someone below.

    Capacity

    Capacity

    Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 Window-Mounted Air Conditioner

    Made for smaller rooms, the Frigidaire FRA052XT7 is on the lower side in terms of capacity. The nice thing is that it is extremely portable and easy to set up. It doesn't require more than one person to carry it up a flight of stairs or install it, and it is extremely easy to move around from room to room based on your needs.

    Capacity

    SPT WA-1211S Window Air Conditioner

    Although this air conditioner may not be the easiest to carry by yourself, it is only around 20 inches wide, so it can fit in a variety of different windows. For such a strong and powerful unit, we were pleasantly surprised by how little space it takes up.

    EXPERT TIP

    Take into consideration that your air conditioner will also take up space inside your home. Although it may stick in only a few inches, it can still be a nuisance.


    Richard  | Hardware Store Owner, Do-It-Yourself Guru
    Capacity

    Keystone KSTAW05B Window Air Conditioner

    The majority of owners that we surveyed were in agreement that the Keystone KSTAW05B is incredibly easy to transport and install into your window. If you are planning on carrying and setting up the unit by yourself, this is a good choice.

    Capacity

    LG 12,000 BTU Air Conditioner

    Though durable, the LG is definitely on the larger side when it comes to window units. Expect the Whirlpool to take up a large portion of your window — therefore, make sure you measure your window before purchasing this air conditioner.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Don’t place window air conditioner units inside your home. They need to filter warm air outside, and will be ineffective indoors.

    Price

    Price

    Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 Window-Mounted Air Conditioner

    At $129, this air conditioner is the least expensive of the bunch, making it a solid purchase for a smaller room. If you are on a tight budget, this may be the best option for you.

    Price

    SPT WA-1211S Window Air Conditioner

    For $399, the SPT is on the more expensive side but for good reason. Its power and efficiency make it a solid purchase, and owners find it to be well worth the extra hundred dollar price tag. Many customers we surveyed told us that they actually ended up saving money with this purchase given's the unit's durability and longevity.

    EXPERT TIP

    In order to conserve energy, turn your air conditioner down at night. While inactive, you don’t require the same cool degree to stay comfortable.


    Richard  | Hardware Store Owner, Do-It-Yourself Guru
    Price

    Keystone KSTAW05B Window Air Conditioner

    The Keystone goes for $148, which is an incredibly solid bargain for the quality and performance that this air conditioner offers. While it may be tempting to pay slightly more and take a step up to a higher BTU rating, we don't recommend it unless you are looking to cool down an exceptionally large room or office space.

    Price

    LG 12,000 BTU Air Conditioner

    The LG is one of the most expensive of the bunch. However, while some 12,000 BTU units can get up to $500, this model is priced much more reasonably among its peer group. If you’re looking to cool down a large space, you may end up having to pay more money.

    To take full advantage of your AC unit, turn down lights while it’s in use. Lights create more heat than you would expect!
    SPT WA-1211S Window Air Conditioner

    BEST OF THE BEST

    The purpose of an air conditioner is to cool down a room, and the SPT 12,000 BTU accomplishes the task as well as any of its peers. Although it is certainly a bit more expensive than many of the other models, the unit will do its job year in and year out and may end up saving you money in the long run. With features such as a remote control, a timer to set the unit to turn off after a certain amount of time, and a variety of modes for your convenience — including SLEEP mode, ENERGY SAVER mode, and DRY mode — this air conditioner will end up being well worth the purchase, especially on those sticky summer days. While the unit can be a bit on the noisier side, its high-powered motor makes it possible to place it far away from common areas while still being extremely effective. All in all, given its combination of performance, power and its feature set, this air conditioner beats out the rest of its competitors.

    Although it is certainly a bit more expensive than many of the other models, the SPT 12,000 BTU will do its job year in and year out and may end up saving you money in the long run.

    Staff
    BestReviews
    Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 Window-Mounted Air Conditioner

    BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK

    If you’re looking to save some cash to put towards other appliances, the Frigidaire may be the right choice for you. While it may not cool a room as quickly as a 12,000 BTU, this unit will get the job done in bedrooms and closed areas. As an added bonus, the timer adds a unique function that many other 5,000 BTU air coolers don’t offer. This feature, along with its easily installation and its relative quietness, makes the Frigidaire a solid purchase. While some people have noted that the vents don’t adjust vertically as easily as on those of other competitors, we found this to be a very small price to pay given the its outstanding qualities and relatively inexpensive price. Overall, it is the best value for your money among a crowded field of air conditioners on the market.

    • Michael
      Michael
      Creative Lead
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      Melissa
      Senior Editor
    • Jimi
      Jimi
      Product Analyst
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      Eliza
      Digital Content Strategist
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      Devangana
      Web Producer
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