Keep Your Cool With Our Top 5 Picks for Window AC Units
Top 5 Window AC Units at a Glance
- Best for smart homes: Frigidaire 10,000 BTU Connected Window-Mounted AC
- Best for small rooms: Midea 5,000 BTU AC with Mechanical Control
- Best value: LG 10,000 Window AC
- Best year-round model: LG 12,000 BTU Window AC, Cooling & Heating
- Most stylish: Frigidaire Gallery 10,000 BTU Cool Connect Smart Room AC
Anyone who has lived in a home without central air conditioning knows just how uncomfortable hot summer days can be. Window AC units are designed to make rooms more comfortable and safer for vulnerable people, such as young children and seniors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Air conditioning is the No. 1 protective factor against heat-related illness and death.”
This May Also Interest You: What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
If you’re in the market for a window unit, you’re probably wondering what’s the best model for your space, needs and budget. Here, we’ve determined the best window air conditioners for every home.
What Every Buyer Should Know About Window Units
There's a lot to consider when buying a window air conditioning unit, so here are some of the basics to think about before splashing out your hard-earned cash.
Cost doesn't always equal quality. Some cheap window AC units can go toe-to-toe with their more expensive rivals, so it's worth reading air conditioner reviews of the same units from multiple websites. Look for patterns, such as a majority of reviewers pointing to the same pros and cons.
Potential buyers also need to consider British Thermal Units. BTUs are a measure of a window AC unit's cooling capacity. Basically, the higher the BTU, the more square footage the unit can cool. Another consideration when scouting for the best window air conditioner is its size. Will it fit the space available?
Many people can fit window units themselves. However, it’s usually wiser to have the job done by a professional, especially if the AC unit’s warranty may be affected. According to Howmuch.net, the average cost of having a window AC unit professionally installed is $440. If you want a unit that will also heat a room, expect to pay about $1,190.
Portable air conditioners are an alternative to window-mounted units. They’re easier to install and can be easily moved around. However, they are often less economical, take up valuable floor space and can be louder.
So, What’s the Best AC Unit to Buy?
There isn't a single window AC unit that's perfect for everyone because every buyer has their own checklist of features they want or need. The general rule of thumb is that the unit should be powerful enough to cool the whole room and not be so noisy that it draws attention.
Is a Bigger AC Unit Better?
Yes and no. If a unit is too small, it will struggle to cool the whole room. If it's too big, it will remove heat before it can remove humidity. People in the room will soon start to feel cold and clammy.
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- Smart AC Not a Dumb Idea If You’re Looking to Cut Climate-Control Costs
- No AC? No Sweat. Here’s How to Keep Cool
The 5 Best Window AC Units
Best for Smart Homes: Frigidaire 10,000 BTU Connected Window-Mounted AC
Homeowners looking for the best window AC unit with Wi-Fi connectivity should check out the Frigidaire model FHWW103WBE. It's on the expensive end of the price range for window units, but its features can justify the cost for those who want a smartphone-operated window-mounted unit. Owners with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant can access its features by voice command, too. These include six-way directional airflow and three different speeds, ensuring that every corner of the room is covered.
Best for Small Rooms: Midea 5,000 BTU AC with Mechanical Control
For rooms of up to 150 square feet, this Midea AC unit is a competent and cost-effective unit that will keep living spaces comfortable on hot days. It's a no-frills model that concentrates on doing one job well. It efficiently cools and dehumidifies rooms during the day, while its sleep-mode function quietly does the same at night. Airstream direction, the fan and temperature control can be precisely managed with the mechanical thermostat, while the 24-hour built-in timer ensures the room is comfortable every hour of the day.
Best Value: LG 10,000 Window AC
LG window air conditioners deserve their good reputation, and this unit is no exception. It's an affordable solution for buyers who don't need smart home features but do want an efficient unit that has a great cooling capacity. The Energy Star-certified unit has three fan speeds, the loudest of which is 55dB — quieter than the typical conversation in an office. It also has an auto-restart feature, 24-hour timer and four-way air deflection.
Best Year-Round Model: LG 12,000 BTU Window AC, Cooling & Heating
LG has designed and built the best window unit that can serve you year-round with both heating and cooling modes. Operated by remote control, its four-way directional airflow and choice of two fan speeds can cool and heat every part of a room of up to 550 square feet, while its loudest indoor noise of 58dB won't intrude on conversations or cause you to turn up the volume on the TV. The unit is also fitted with a 24-hour timer and an energy-saving function that can help you manage energy costs.
Most Stylish: Frigidaire Gallery 10,000 BTU Cool Connect Smart Room AC
No one is going to accuse air conditioning designers of being stylish, but at least Frigidaire has made a good attempt. This window air conditioner looks good in any room. The low-profile vents evenly distribute its 10,000 BTU cooling capacity throughout rooms smaller than 450 square feet. Centered just above the vents is a digital display with a hazy effect that gives the unit a futuristic look. But it isn't all style. The Energy Star-certified unit can also be controlled by Wi-Fi, making it very easy to operate from Alexa, iOS and Android devices.
These models didn’t quite make our top-five list, but they do offer unique features some buyers may be looking for:
The TaoTronics model TT-AC003 has maximum noise levels between 38 and 43 decibels. That's quiet enough for a library. This model also has dehumidifier and fan modes.
Most Efficient: Frigidaire 5,000 BTU Window-Mounted Room AC
The Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio is the standard used to measure the energy consumption of window AC units. This Frigidaire model has an excellent CEER rating of 12.1, which equates to electricity costs of approximately $40 per year.