So I’m proud to say I’m officially “adulting”. Being a new college grad with her own apartment and a decent paying first job, I decided that it’s time to trade in the window box fans used for 4 years in my dorm and invest in a small window air conditioner unit. This summer, no more suffering in the NYC heat, cooling my sheets down in the freezer before bed or attaching ice packs to my forehead (#beattheheatlifehacks.)
Because I am living in a 5th floor walkup apartment, I'm on the hunt for small window units that ideally won't make my summer energy bills too high. In doing my research, here are some of the best window air conditioners for consideration:
1. LG LW8016ER
Wirecutter names this Energy Star-approved air conditioner as the best option for most rooms because it's quiet, efficient and affordable. You can control the multiple cooling and fan speeds, energy-saver settings and sleep mode all from the comfort of your bed or couch because, thank god, this unit comes with a handheld remote. (#lazy)
2. HomeLabs 5000 BTU
This small window air conditioner is ideal for cooling down rooms up to 150 square feet, and was recommended by Digital Trends for its easy installation, multiple speeds, two-way airflow and reusable, washable filter.
3. Frigidaire FFRA0511R1
At less than $200, this small window AC unit is a top seller on Amazon. Good Housekeeping suggests this top pick for the fact that it includes a mounting kit, which only requires a screwdriver for an easy install.
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4. Haier ESAQ406T
This compact model is one of the most energy-efficient window air conditioners available on the market, so you won't have a major increase in monthly bills. Plus, Good Housekeeping tested several window models and found this Serenity Series air conditioner to be the quietest when compared to similar sized units.
5. GE Energy Star Smart Room Air Conditioner
If you're a fan of smart home devices, this could be the window unit for you. It's Wi-Fi enabled and connects to smart devices, meaning you can operate this energy-efficient cooling unit with your smartphone and voice command.
A quick note on air conditioner size
Most apartments are space-challenged, so choosing the right size air conditioner unit is important for achieving the ultimate efficiency. Cooling capacity is measured in British Thermal Units (aka BTUs), which correlate to the square footage of a room. According to the Spruce, these are the sizing guidelines to keep in mind:
- 100 square feet = 5,000 BTU
- 200 square feet = 7,000 BTU
- 300 square feet = 9,000 BTU
- 400 square feet = 10,500 BTU
- 500 square feet = 11,500 BTU
- 800 square feet = 17,000 BTU
- 1,000 square feet = 21,000 BTU
Once you’ve done your research and made your air conditioner purchase, follow these steps to install your small window air conditioner. For when you’re stuck in a non-air conditioned space, try these tips to beat the heat.
For homeowners looking for repair coverage for your appliances or home systems (like a central air conditioning system), check out how plans from TotalHome Warranty by HomeServe can help with the costs of covered appliance and home system repairs.