Holds a Master’s degree in Engineering and is keen on her own home’s climate. Sometimes we think that Carolina owns every single product she writes about – that’s how profound and insightful her reviews always are.
For 8 years, Richard had been working as an HVAC specialist and AC unit installer since his student years. Now, he’s our main consultant on every technical aspect that may arise during our tests and research.
Last updated: January 08, 2021
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When it comes to cooling your house, most people think that the only way you can cool more than one room at a time is if you have a central air conditioning system. While central units do work well, they are not your only option. If you get the best 12,000 BTU air conditioner available, you will be able to save space, money, and cool more than one room at a time with ease.
We have reviewed 20 different window AC units to choose the six best 12,000 BTU air conditioners on the market today. While all of the models on our list are excellent options, our Editor’s Choice has got to be the Koldfront WAC12001W. This amazingly powerful machine is designed to fit almost any window and uses eco-friendly coolant. It is also very easy to adjust and can even provide heat if you need it. Needless to say, while we would recommend any of the air conditioners we reviewed, we think this is definitely the model you should check out first.
During our research, we took everything into account. This includes the type of each model so that you can find the right conditioner to suit your needs. We also looked at the number of BTUs and voltage for every unit. That way, you will be able to determine if you have the proper energy system in place to run the model of your choice. Finally, we also looked at the overall dimensions of each conditioner, since you need to know that to determine if it will work in your windows or not. This careful research allowed us to put together comprehensive reviews of each model and an in-depth buying guide, which will allow you to find the right 12,000 BTU air conditioner for your home.
Top 6 12,000 BTU Window Air Conditioners Review 2021
If you are looking for the best overall 12,000 BTU air conditioner, then you just might want to check this model out. For starters, it is extremely powerful. While this does increase its energy consumption when compared to other models, it is all worth it. No matter how large a room you plan to use this model in, it should cool it down quickly and keep it that way.
The controls on this machine are some of the easiest to use out of all of the different conditioners we looked at. With these controls, you can change the temperature, fan speed, and even whether or not the unit is cooling or heating the air in your room.
The louvers on this conditioner can be positioned in four different directions. These customizable blowing directions will help to keep you nice and cool while you at home. Since these louvers can be independently adjusted, it also makes it much easier to make sure you are getting just the right amount of air.
Something that really helps to make this model such a good buy is the fact that it isn’t just an air conditioner. With this model, you also have the option of switching it over to heat. This heating option will allow you to keep this conditioner installed year-round. This, in turn, will help to keep you from straining your back, installing it each spring.
One thing that is a bit of concern is that this model is on the noisy side. Thankfully, since this conditioner is so powerful, you won’t need to have it right next to you while you are sleeping in order for it to cool you down properly.
While many of the different air conditioners out there are very straightforward, this one is a bit different. For starters, it can be hooked up to your home’s Wi-Fi network. Though this doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, it can be a big game changer, especially at night. With this function, you will be able to fully adjust the temperature in your room without having to get up, which can be a big advantage that will allow you to sleep better.
This machine also has one of the sleekest designs for a window air conditioner. The overall design is meant to be very modern, which will help it to fit in better with your décor. This model also has a very low profile and a very wide window width range, making it a perfect fit for pretty much any size of window that you might have.
As you would assume from such an advanced air conditioner, this model is very energy-efficient. While it might take it a bit longer to cool an area than some other models, it still does an admirable job while only consuming 110 volts.
The one thing that you will want to keep in mind with this model is its overall weight. While no window style air conditioners are lightweight, this one is a bit heavier than most. This can make it tricky to install with just one person, so make sure you have a friend or family member available to help you when you are ready to use it.
One of the best things about window units is their value in comparison to centralized air conditioning systems. While central air is better in the long run, the up-front cost and overall price to run a larger system can be daunting for some folks to utilize. Plus, depending on the age of your home, you might not be able to have it installed at all. Window units, on the other hand, are very easy to install wherever you need them and don’t use up a ton of energy. This model, for instance, will provide a lot of bang for your very limited buck, making it a great value.
This is a very efficient model. Even if you are using it in its normal operating modes, this conditioner is an excellent choice. It also comes equipped with an energy saver mode. This mode will keep the unit from working continuously. Instead, it will only kick on when absolutely necessary to keep your space at the correct temperature.
Another key detail that helps to make this such an attractive option is that, unlike many other window air conditioners, this model is relatively lightweight. While it is still probably a good idea to have someone to help you install it, moving it into position shouldn’t be quite as challenging.
The only real drawback to this particular model is that it can be a bit on the noisy side. This shouldn’t be too surprising considering its lower profile design and lighter than average weight. This unit will also take a bit more time than others to cool a space. Thankfully, once it has your room or area down to the right temperature, it should do a good job of maintaining that temperature.
One of the biggest added bonuses of using an air conditioner during the summer months is that they also operate as a dehumidifier. While high temperatures are usually a factor in how warm your home feels, removing excessive amounts of humidity can play just a big a role in making your home more comfortable. Which is why, of course, that that this is such an intriguing choice when it comes to a window unit.
In order to save electricity and still cool your home considerably, this model is able to work as just a dehumidifier. While in this mode, the unit will remove 3.8 pints of water every hour from the air. This will cause the temperature to go down, all while saving you money on your electric bill. The big advantage here over getting a stand-alone dehumidifier, of course, is that, if the temperature gets too high, you can still use the air conditioner as well.
Another great feature of this model is that it is highly adjustable. The louvers can be moved in six different directions at once. This makes it very easy to get the airflow exactly where you need it. This is a big help in large spaces since it will allow you to determine exactly where and how the cooling effects will travel.
One thing that you need to keep in mind with this unit is that the instructions are not all that clear. While this shouldn’t be too big of an issue, it will make using the unit to its fullest potential a bit tricky in the first few days of use, so bear that in mind before you make your final decision.
While most folks only think about window air conditioners as a summertime appliance that is meant to be removed in the colder months, that doesn’t always need to be the case. This is especially true if you get this model from LG. This unit is perfect for a permanent installation, thanks to the fact that it can be used as a heater or an air conditioner. These different modes make it a perfect candidate for use year-round to help keep your home as comfortable as possible.
To go along with its heating and cooling capabilities, this model can also be used as just a fan as well. This mode is a great option on days where it isn’t too hot or too cold, but you just need a bit of ventilation. This is also a good way to save on electricity and still cool your home a bit since the fan mode won’t use nearly as much power as the air conditioner will utilize.
Something that you will need to keep in mind with this unit is that it does need a bit more power than other window units. It would probably be a good idea to have an independent plug installed for this unit if you don’t already have on in place. That way, you will be able to guarantee that it has the number of volts it needs to run properly. Of course, this will add a bit to the overall cost but will help to ensure that the unit works as quickly as it should keep your home a comfortable temperature.
Perhaps the best thing about this model is its overall simplicity. While some of the units we reviewed are made with lots of different modes and tricky to understand controls, this unit is as uncomplicated as they come. The controls will feel familiar the second you start using them. This high level of familiarity will help you to get this unit up and running quickly and easily once you have it installed.
This unit is also quite efficient. This is mostly due to the fact that you have the option to use it as a dehumidifier or an air conditioner. When it is being used as a dehumidifier, it will only use a fraction of the energy as it will in its air conditioning mode. This is especially impressive since it should still be able to lower your overall temperature quite a bit since you can remove up to 3.8 pints of water every hour in this mode.
One thing that you will need to keep in mind with this model, however, is that it can be a bit tricky to install. While getting it into the window is not all that difficult, it will be tougher than normal to get it to seal properly along the sides. The side curtains are not quite tall enough to completely seal, especially if you have older windows. Thankfully, this can be rectified with foam sealing tape, which shouldn’t add too much to the overall cost, but needs to be kept in mind.
What we liked:
Highly adjustable louvers
Wide window width range
What could be better:
Tricky to install
Things to Сonsider
In this section, we will go through everything you need to know to find the best 12,000 BTU air conditioner for your home. We have also taken the time to answer several frequently asked questions, so be sure to read through these as well if you need any additional information.
Features to consider when choosing a 12,000 BTU air conditioner
As you can imagine, there are several different factors that you need to keep in mind before you select a new air conditioner. In this section, we will guide you through every important factor you should consider so that you can make an informed decision when buying your new air conditioner.
The first thing that you need to take into account is just how large of an area you need to cover with your air conditioner. Since we are talking about the best rated 12,000 BTU air conditioners, you will be able to cool a space up to an including 500 square feet with ease. Before you buy your new air conditioner, you should carefully measure the space you intend to use it to make sure it will cover it effectively.
While each of the conditioners we reviewed worked well, the Koldfront WAC12001W had the best cooling power. The adjustable blower speeds and louvers help to make it a bit more efficient than other models, so keep that in mind before you make your final decision.
Something else that you need to carefully consider is just how much power your new air conditioner requires. Some models will take a bit more energy than others, due to their powerful motors and keep cooling features. On the other hand, models like the Midea MAW12R1BWT are a great option if you are looking to get a more energy-efficient model. This conditioner only needs 115 volts to operate, which makes it a very cost-effective unit to run. Of course, this does mean that it won’t cool quite as quickly as a model that uses more energy, like the LG LW1216HR.
Cooling and fan speeds
Another key factor that you will want to keep in mind when you are shopping for your new air conditioner is how may cooling and fan speeds you desire. Many energy-efficient models will only utilize one cooling speed with two different fan speeds. Other models that use more energy will have more fan speeds. Of course, there are some models, like the Friedrich CP12G10B, that will allow you to choose from faster speeds or energy-efficient modes, which gives you the best of both worlds.
Window minimum height
One of the more important details that you want to make sure you figure out beforehand has to do with the height of your window openings. Some of these conditioners are relatively large, which is not surprising considering how powerful they are. As such, it makes sense that you should measure to find how wide you can open your windows before you pick an air conditioner.
The last thing that you want to do is find out that you can’t get your window open wide enough to actually use your new unit after all.
Window maximum and minimum width
Once you have determined whether or not you have the correct height required to fit the conditioner of your choice, you next have to look at the width. Most models can fit windows between 27-36 inches, while some larger units can fit between 29-39 inches. You want to make sure you get a unit that will fit in your windows. Otherwise, the air conditioner will not cool your space effectively and will cost too much to operate.
Each unit will also weigh a slightly different amount. While this might not seem like all that big of a deal, since they are all 12,000 BTU air conditioners, a few pounds more or less could make all the difference. This is especially true if you are going to be storing your air conditioner upstairs when it is not in use and then have to install it downstairs in the warmer months. In this instance, you would want to go for a slimmer and lighter model, like the Frigidaire Cool Connect Air Conditioner with Wi-Fi Control or the Midea MAW12R1BWT.
When you are buying a new appliance, no matter if it is a fridge, stove, or an air conditioner, it is always a good idea to look for one that comes with a good warranty. That way, you will be able to get it replaced or repaired if anything should fail through normal use. Of course, even if a company claims that they offer a good warranty, it is always in your best interest to read through the information carefully.
Lots of companies, even high-quality ones like those in our list, have a tendency to overstate how much is covered in their warranties. That is precisely why you need to read through the fine print of the warranty agreement. That way, you will have a better understanding of what is and what isn’t covered under the agreement.
When an air conditioner is running, it is also acting as a dehumidifier. It pulls moisture from the air during the cooling process, which helps to dehumidify the space that it is running in. That is not to say, however, that all of the air conditioners are dehumidifiers. While dehumidification is a byproduct of air conditioning, it can also be a process on its own.
Dehumidification will not cool the air but will make it feel cooler since moisture is responsible for making the air feel warmer than it is. This process also doesn’t use nearly as much energy as air conditioning, making it a money-saving alternative to running your conditioner at full blast all of the time. The Frigidaire 12,000 BTU Window-Mounted Air Conditioner and the Friedrich CP12G10B are two great options if you are looking for a dehumidifying function in your new air conditioner.
The air filter should be cleaned at least once a month while you are using your conditioner. Of course, if you are consistently running your model on high for long periods of time, then you should probably clean the filter more regularly every 2 weeks. This process is very simple, thankfully. All you have to do is rinse the filter to remove any dust and allow it to dry thoroughly, which should only take about an hour or so.
Window units are not terribly difficult to install, even if you are on your own. If you are going to be doing it by yourself, however, you might want to get a mounting bracket. This will help to hold your conditioner in place while you close up the window and finish setting up the unit. These brackets will also help to keep the conditioner in place safely while it is in operation.
If you are in the market for the best overall 12,000 BTU air conditioner, then we highly recommend you check out the Koldfront WAC12001W. This unit can be used as either a heater or an air conditioner, is easy to install, and is very simple to use. This model is also easy to adjust, making it a great air conditioner to cool or heat any space in your home.
The Midea MAW12R1BWT is the best 12,000 BTU window air conditioner when it comes to providing overall value. It is smaller in size than some other models but is very efficient and easy to use, which helps to make it an attractive option as well.