This air conditioner comes with user-friendly controls and straightforward operation to keep running without any hassle.
Remote control affords users the luxury of operating the machine from faraway distances. Users can choose from three fan speeds based on their personal preferences, spreading cool air in rooms of various sizes. Multiple speed choices reduce unnecessary fan movement, making it a quiet yet powerful option.
May not be compatible with windows that have no outer sill.
This unit from a popular brand hits a sweet spot in terms of price, size, and performance.
Popular 6,000 BTU model can cool rooms up to 250 square feet. Three fan and cooling modes allow for customized comfort levels. Comes with a handy remote. Energy saver mode switches the fan and compressor off at desired comfort level.
Not as quiet as some buyers would like.
A cutting-edge air conditioner with a design that boasts easy installation. The Energy Star rating is stellar.
Flexible U-shaped window design lets you open the window any time. Unit is WiFi-enabled and can be controlled via a companion app in addition to mechanical buttons. Operates at a quiet 42 decibels, making it an excellent choice for the bedroom. Sleek, modern appearance.
Takes longer to cool than expected. Some installation hardware issues.
Affordable unit with seven temperature settings that works well for dorms or small rooms.
Cools rooms up to 150 square feet. Equipped with 7 temperature settings and two cooling speeds. Installation is simple with included mounting accessories. Fits most windows. Mesh filter is easy to remove and wash.
Not powerful enough for mid-size rooms. Remote isn't very intuitive.
While this model doesn't have many bells and whistles, consumers agree it's efficient.
Totally budget-friendly. Power cord is extra long and renders extension cords unnecessary. Filter is accessible and washable. Control panel is incredibly user-friendly, especially when it comes to setting quick cool/warm modes.
Discrepancies with size information, and the unit isn't compatible with certain windows.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
You may have memories of a loud, rumbling window air conditioner that used to sit in your grandparent's kitchen window, combatting the heat generated by the oven during the summer. This beloved home appliance has improved significantly over the years. The window air conditioners, also referred to as room air conditioners, found online and on store shelves offer a host of helpful features that bring them squarely into the 21st century. These include programmable temperature and timer options, remote controls, quiet operation, and overall improved efficiency.
Window air conditioners are portable, easy to set up, inexpensive (especially compared to central air conditioner systems), and energy-efficient. Air conditioners are available 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. Perhaps the most important feature is the cooling efficiency of a unit and how it compares to the amount of space you need to cool.
Window AC cooling power is typically measured in British Thermal Units (BTU). Room size and BTU go hand-in-hand — large rooms require higher BTU ratings for efficient cooling. As a general rule, you should aim for 20 BTU for each square foot of living space in a two-person home, adding 600 BTU for each additional person. Kitchens require about 4,000 extra BTU to compensate for the heat generated from cooking activities. Some manufacturers will do the math for you, providing information about the square footage their products can support.
BTU specs are listed in the product description, and sometimes you can find them in the product’s in-depth specifications.
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. The amount of BTU necessary is dependent on the size of the room you are attempting to cool down.
Consumers tend to appreciate the most efficient setup when it comes to appliances that require a lot of electricity to run. To maximize energy efficiency and your energy savings, look for units with a high energy efficiency ratio, which is determined by considering both the BTU rating and the wattage of a unit. In addition, make note of options that are ENERGY STAR certified. This certification indicates that the appliance meets the EPA’s guidelines for energy efficiency.
Some units have a built-in thermostat to detect the temperature of the room and adjust output according to your settings. This saves energy usage by preventing the unit from running constantly if you forget to adjust the temperature setting. In most cases, the thermostat is located behind the control panel. When you install your unit, take note of whether there are any nearby lights that may warm the front and cause the thermostat to get an inaccurate reading.
Units without thermostats are often less expensive and simply have different cooling settings. They won’t turn on or off when the room reaches a certain temperature. Rather, it’s up to you or the timer to turn the AC off.
Some]]]] units have timers in place of thermostats, which allow consumers with predictable schedules to set the AC to kick in before they return home by programming the timer. For example, you could program the unit to start running half an hour before you arrive home for the evening.
When finding the right unit for your home, you should start by measuring the width and height of the window you plan to use. Then, look for two main dimensions when you compare products: minimum and maximum window width and window height. An improperly sized window air conditioner may mean the window seal doesn’t fit properly or that the unit can’t fit in the window at all.
Also, make note of the weight of the unit and how it is installed in the window to determine whether you will be able to install it on your own.
Fan speed matters because it affects how soon you begin to feel relief on a sweltering summer day. In many cases, you can control the fan speed of a window AC unit with the turn of a dial. The speed of the fan affects how quickly cool air spreads throughout the room. Most manufacturers do not provide specific measurements or figures when it comes to fan speed, but they may indicate the number of different speed settings offered.
Consider turning off the AC mode and leaving the fan on when the outside temperature exceeds the temperature in the room, allowing nature to do the cooling and potentially lowering your energy bill. Evenings, nighttime, and mornings are the best times to run just the fan.
The slats of the swivel vents on an AC unit can be adjusted, allowing you to control the direction of airflow.
This is particularly helpful if you have an oddly placed window and want the air to move to the center of the room instead of one side.
They’re also nice if you want the cold air to flow directly on you — or directly away from you.
Many modern air conditioners come with a remote control. Using the remote, you can adjust the settings on the air conditioner from anywhere in the room. Not all window AC units include a remote control, but if you’re in a busy work environment, have hard-to-access windows, have limited mobility, or just don’t want to get up more than you have to, a remote control can be a godsend.
Other options may have companion apps that let you adjust the temperature with your smartphone. In some cases, you can even turn the AC on or off when you’re away from home.
An AC unit’s air filter helps purify the air that passes through the appliance by removing dirt and debris. Air filters are often replaceable or washable. Washable filters are a more economical choice since they can be used again and again. If you live in an area that is dry or dusty or has reduced air quality, consider an AC unit with a washable filter to save on time and money.
The average window conditioner lasts about 10 years. Like most appliances, the lifespan of your window AC unit depends on how well you care for it.
Follow these maintenance tips for optimal air conditioner efficiency:
Like a lot of appliances, air conditioner prices run the gamut. Cheaper air conditioners can cost as little as $100, whereas high-end air conditioners can cost $700 or more.
In the $130 to $200 range, you'll find less-powerful units that operate at around 5,000 BTU. The machines in this price range are basic and tend to work best in smaller rooms.
From $200 to $350, you’ll find powerful machines that typically range from 8,000 to 12,000 BTU. At the top of the range, you’ll find machines with remote control features.
For $350 and up, you’ll find more machines with remote controls and smart features. These are powerful machines with 15,000 BTU or more. (Machines at the top of the price range can have as much as 23,000 BTU.) Some have heat functionalities, as well.
A. One of the biggest advantages of a window air-conditioning unit is the upfront costs you can save. Whereas central air conditioning systems and HVAC systems can cost several thousand dollars, a window AC unit only costs several hundred dollars.
What’s more, because these units sit in the window, they don’t consume precious floor space. What about portable air conditioners? Although convenient because they can be moved from room to room, portable air conditioners are generally less efficient than window units.
Ductless mini split air conditioners are much more efficient than window units, but like central air systems, they come at a higher price and are more challenging to install.
A. You may need to clean or replace the air filter from time to time, but other than that, window air conditioners require little maintenance. We do advise owners to occasionally clean the evaporator and condenser coils and to straighten bent fins with a fin comb. You shouldn’t ever have to add refrigerant, however.
A. Older models were certainly noisy, and some cheaper air conditioners may put out some noise. But today, manufacturers are far more conscientious about the noise output of their products. You need not purchase a window air conditioner unit without knowing what to expect in terms of noise output. Simply check the decibel output of a unit if sound is a major factor for you.
A. If you live in an area that sees temperatures below 60°F, you should never leave a window unit in place during the winter or even during the fall. Why? Not only can this type of exposure damage or destroy your air conditioner, but it can also let cold air into your home when that’s the last thing you want. Instead, remove your AC unit from the window, and store it in an upright position somewhere that is not susceptible to moisture or temperature changes.