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: June 14, 2021
An AC unit is an invaluable purchase, especially in the brutal summer months. However, many homeowners worry about the huge costs that are associated with running such machines. However, an energy-efficient AC unit can not only provide your room with sufficient cooling rest but also save a good deal of money on your energy bill!
We reviewed 44 of the most popular products on the market to narrow it down to the 10 best energy-efficient air conditioners. At the top of our list, we have the ARCTIC Wind 2016 Energy Star Window Air Conditioner. We love that it is smaller in size, making it a great option for smaller rooms. We also loved that it comes with a 1-year warranty as well as has an EER rating of 12.1. If you are looking for an AC unit with slightly different parameters, we have 9 other excellent choices for you to consider.
To find the top energy-efficient AC units available on the market, we spent more than 50 hours and researched each product description as well as referenced verified customer reviews. Some of the features we took into consideration include the AC unit’s type as well as the dimensions as you want to make sure that the product will fit into your room. We also checked the BTU’s and warranty offered by each model. We included an overview table, detailed reviews of each product, and a comprehensive buying guide below so we can assist you in finding the best energy-efficient air conditioner for you.
Top 10 Best Energy-Efficient Air Conditioners Review 2021
ARCTIC Wind 2016 Energy Star Window Air Conditioner – Editor's Choice
Coverage area: up to 260 sq. ft.
Dimensions: 18.6 x 15.5 x 12.7 in.
More features: 12.1 EER, Energy Star (2016), digital control panel with LED display, auto-restart, comes with window mounting kit, remote control, energy-saving mode
At the top of our list as our Editor’s Choice, we have the ARCTIC Wind 2016 Energy Star Window Air Conditioner. An excellent smaller-sized energy-efficient AC unit, this product is a window-mounted type, meaning it will save precious space in the room.
With 6,000 BTU rating, this model has a smaller coverage area, cooling up to 260 square feet. While this is not the model for a large room, this is an excellent choice to reduce your electricity bill.
The ARCTIC Wind 2016 Energy Star Window Air Conditioner has dimensions of 18.6 x 15.5 x 12.7 inches. This model also comes with a 1-year warranty.
The ARCTIC Wind 2016 Energy Star Window Air Conditioner boasts 12.1 EER rating, as well as its Energy Star certification. This AC unit also comes with a digital control panel with LED lights, remote control as well as an energy-saving mode. However, some people noticed that it could be loud at max settings.
What do we love it for?
12.1 EER rating
What were we disappointed with?
Can be loud at max settings
LG LW6017R – Best Value
Coverage area: 260 sq. ft.
Dimensions: 14.4 x 17.3 x 11.1 in.
More features: dehumidifies up to 1.8 pints per hour, 3 cooling speeds/3 fan speeds plus auto cool, energy-saving mode, 24-hour on/off timer, remote, anti-corrosion coating, installation kit included
Here, we have another 6,000 BTU model, the LG LW6017R Window Air Conditioner, which also happens to be our Best Value pick. Another excellent window-mounted option, this AC model also covers up to 260 square feet, making this a great choice for a smaller room.
The dimensions of the LG LW6017R Window Air Conditioner are 14.4 x 17.3 x 11.1 inches, so this model can fit the most window sills easily.
This energy-efficient air conditioner unit also comes with a one-year warranty, which will ensure that your unit will last longer.
Moreover, the LG LW6017R Window Air Conditioner can dehumidify the air in your room. In fact, this model can remove up to 1.8 pints of moisture per hour! This AC unit also comes with 3 cooling settings as well as 3 fan speeds, giving the user endless options when operating this model.
In addition to these features, this energy-saving air conditioner unit also comes with an energy-saving mode, as well as a 24-hour on and off timer and remote control to make the adjustments simpler. Unfortunately, the installation instruction is not that clear, and you might want to find the information from other sources.
Senville SENA-12HF/Z Energy Star Mini Split Air Conditioner – Premium Pick
Type: ductless (mini-split)
Coverage area: 450 to 700 sq. ft.
Dimensions: 32.87 x 7.8 x 11.02 in. (indoor unit) 31.50 x 13.1 x 21.81 in. (outdoor unit)
Warranty: 2-year on parts, 7-year on compressor
More features: ETL Intertek approved, Energy Star certified, AHRI certified, comes with installation kit with 16 ft. copper line set, quiet operation, remote control, Wi-Fi Smart Control
As our Premium Pick, we have the Senville SENA-12HF/Z Energy Star Mini Split Air Conditioner. One of the few ductless or mini-split AC unit models featured on our list, this is an excellent option for anyone who is looking for a more permanent AC unit fixture.
This AC unit model has the highest BTU rating featured on our list, tied with the Frigidaire FFRA122WAE Window-Mounted Air Conditioner, coming in with 12,000 BTU’s. This is a massive rating that makes this AC unit a force to be reckoned with. This AC unit can cover rooms of various sizes, anywhere from 450 to 700 square feet.
The Senville SENA-12HF/Z Energy Star Mini Split Air Conditioner indoor piece comes with the dimensions of 32.87 x 7.8 x 11.02 inches, while the outdoor unit has the dimensions of 31.50 x 13.1 x 21.81 inches. This model also has a warranty of 2 years plus 7 years on the compressor.
Some additional features that come with the Senville SENA-12HF/Z Energy Star Mini Split Air Conditioner are its Energy Star Certification, remote control, quiet operation as well as an installation kit included with purchase. As for the drawbacks, people say that Customer Service is not very responsive.
What stands out?
High BTU rating
Covers up to 700 square feet
Includes installation kit
What cons did we manage to find?
Poor Customer Service
Frigidaire 12,000 BTU Window-Mounted Air Conditioner – Best BTU Rating
Coverage area: up to 550 sq. ft.
Dimensions: 21.5 x 19 x 14.5 in.
Warranty: 1-year on unit, 5-year on sealed system
More features: three different fan speeds, 6-way airflow, washable mesh filter, tilt-out access, low-power start-up, reduces bacteria and odors
As another excellent window-mounted AC unit model, we have the Frigidaire FFRA122WAE. The unit with the highest BTU rating, tied with our Premium Pick the Senville SENA-12HF/Z, this AC unit has 12,000 BTUs!
This heavy-hitting energy-efficient AC unit can cover up to 550 square feet, making it an excellent choice for larger rooms. This model also comes with dimensions of 21.5 x 19 x 14.5 inches, which is still not that big for that type.
The Frigidaire FFRA122WAE Window-Mounted Air Conditioner comes with a 1-year warranty on the entire unit and a 5-year warranty on all of the sealed systems. This is an excellent feature to have since it ensures that your unit will be fixed in a timely and efficient manner no matter what the issue is.
Additionally, the Frigidaire FFRA122WAE has three fan speeds as well as it’s 6-way airflow system, which provides even air distribution. On top of that, this AC unit model comes with a washable mesh filter with tilt-out access, a low-power start, and it does a great job at reducing bacteria and odor in the house. Sounds like a win-win to us! Just make sure to check the product when it arrives because a few customers found some damages, which occurred during shipping.
Warranty: 1-year on any part, 2-5 years on sealed system
More features: Energy Star certified, 24-hour timer, auto air sweep function, 3 cooling and fan-only speeds, washable, antimicrobial filter, remote control, timer
Here, we have another window-mounted energy-efficient air conditioner for you to consider, the Friedrich Chill CP06G10B. This AC unit has a smaller BTU rating, only 6,000, as seen with many of the units featured on our list. However, that does not mean that this AC unit won’t get the job done. In fact, it’s quite the opposite!
While this model may have a coverage area of 250 square feet, it is sure to cool the room fast and effectively. With the dimensions of 20.9 x 18.4 x 14 inches, this is an excellent AC unit that doesn’t need much space.
The Friedrich Chill CP06G10B Window Air Conditioner comes with a one-year warranty on any part with an extended warranty of 2 to 5 years on any sealed system.
You will also find the Energy Star certification here as well as its 24-hour timer, auto air sweep function, and 3 cooling speeds as well as adjustable fan speed. In addition to this, this AC unit comes with a washable, antimicrobial filter, which makes for the easiest maintenance procedure. To add to the ease of use, this AC unit model also comes with remote control. However, a few owners mentioned that the fan was quite noisy.
Haier ESAQ406T 22" Window Air Conditioner – Best Adjustability
Coverage area: 250 sq. ft.
Dimensions: 18.1 x 21.2 x 12.4 in.
Warranty: 1-year on parts, 5-year on sealed system
More features: 12.2 EER rating, 4 functions, LED display, 24-hour timer, washable mesh filter, remote control, 4-way air directions
Next up, we have the Haier ESAQ406T 22″ Window Air Conditioner. This AC unit is a window-mounted model that also has a BTU rating of 6,000 like some of the other models featured on our list.
Much like those other models, the Haier ESAQ406T 22″ Window Air Conditioner also has a coverage area of 250 square feet but does have slightly smaller dimensions than some units, measuring 18.1 x 21.2 x 12.4 inches.
The warranty offered by the AC unit model is 1 year on the entire product with 5 years on the sealed systems. This AC unit comes with an excellent EER rating of 12.2, which ensures that this product will be saving a lot of electricity.
Some additional features that come with this air conditioner are its 4 modes, LED display as well as its 24-hour timer. Moreover, the Haier ESAQ406T 22″ Window Air Conditioner also comes with a washable mesh filter, remote control, as well as the ability to adjust the airflow into 4 different directions. Unfortunately, some people said that that it was not powerful enough for their rooms.
What stands out?
5-year warranty on sealed systems
12.2 EER rating
4 modes and 24-hour timer
What cons did we manage to find?
Some user’s claim it doesn't have enough power for their room
PIONEER Mini Split Air Conditioner – Best SEER Rating
Type: ductless (mini-split)
Coverage area: 300 – 450 sq. ft.
Dimensions: 31.5 x 7.5 x 11.5 in. (indoor unit), 31.5 x 13 x 22 in. (outdoor unit)
Warranty: 2-year on parts, 5-year on compressor
More features: 17.5 SEER efficiency, comes with 16′ installation kit, remote control, cooling and heating modes, wireless Internet remote access
Another ductless or mini-split AC unit, the PIONEER Mini Split Air Conditioner is one you won’t want to miss. Similar to the Frigidaire FFRA122WAE or the Senville SENA-12HF/Z, this AC unit also has a BTU rating of 12,000!
With a coverage area that ranges from 300 to 450 square feet, this is a high-powered unit that shows great performance in rooms of various sizes. The indoor unit has dimensions of 31.5 x 7.5 x 11.5 inches, while the outdoor unit has a size of 31.5 x 13 x 22 inches.
The warranty offered on the PIONEER Mini Split Air Conditioner is 2 years on parts and 5 years on the compressor. This AC unit model has an excellent SEER rating of 17.5, which helps you reduce energy bills drastically.
Moreover, the PIONEER Mini Split Air Conditioner comes with the installation kit as well as the remote control for simple use. In addition to this, this AC unit also has cooling and heating modes as well as the wireless internet remote access. These are the reasons why this model costs quite a lot.
Why is it special?
12,000 BTU rating
Great coverage area
17.5 SEER rating
What are the flaws?
BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT – Best Portable
Coverage area: up to 150 sq. ft.
Dimensions: 16.5 x 11.5 x 26 in.
More features: digital display, 24-hour timer, sleep mode, dehumidification mode, remote control, noiseless operation, 4 caster wheels
One of the few portable units to be featured on our list is the BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner. This is a model that you will not want to miss out on.
With the BTU rating of 8,000, this model is an excellent example of the unit for smaller-sized rooms. Next, this AC unit has a coverage area of up to 150 square feet.
The dimensions of the BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner are 16.5 x 11.5 x 26 inches, which makes it relatively large in comparison to its power, which is to be expected with portable AC units.
This AC model comes with a 2-year warranty, which is ideal for anyone who wants to ensure that their air conditioner will last for many years to come.
The BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT has a digital display as well as a 24-hour timer, which can be used to program the machine for an entire day. Furthermore, this energy-efficient AC unit comes with a dehumidification mode, can be operated with remote control and is noiseless when in use. However, some customers mentioned that they found broken wheels on the unit upon delivery.
COSTWAY Portable Air Conditioner – Best Medium-Powered
Coverage area: up to 161 sq. ft.
Dimensions: 12 x 13 x 30 in.
More features: 2 fan speeds, remote control, 24-hour timer, temperature sensor, water indicator, caster wheels, washable dust filter, continuous drainage system
Next up, we have the COSTWAY Portable Air Conditioner. Another excellent portable air conditioner model, this unit has a slightly larger BTU rating of 10,000, making this the only AC unit model on our list to have this rating.
The coverage area of this portable AC unit model is up to 161 feet, which makes this air conditioner also best suited for smaller rooms. The size of this model is 12 x 13 x 30 inches.
The warranty offered by Costway for this portable air conditioner is 1 year, which will ensure that the product works properly and will not be permanently damaged during shipping.
On top of that, the COSTWAY Portable Air Conditioner features 2 different fan speeds as well as the ability to be operated by remote control. This air conditioner also comes with a 24-hour timer and a temperature sensor, which is crucial in achieving perfect room temperature. Moreover, this AC unit also comes with a water indicator, caster wheels, a washable dust filter, and a continuous draining system. As for the drawbacks, a few users reported occasional leaks from the water collecting reservoir.
Warranty: 2-year on parts, 3-5-year on sealed system
More features: 12.2 EER rating, low-power start-up, remote control, LED display, 4-way air direction, washable mesh filter, reduces bacteria and odors
Last but not least, we have the Frigidaire FFRE0533S1. Another excellent window-mounted air conditioner model option, this AC unit has the smallest BTU rating on our list, which is only 5,000! That being said, this air conditioner model still can effectively cover up to 150 square feet.
The dimensions of this AC unit measure to be 12 x 15.25 x 13 inches, making it an excellent smaller-sized air conditioner model that is sure to fit into most windows.
The warranty offered by the Frigidaire FFRE0533S1 Window-Mounted Air Conditioner is 2 years on parts and 3 to 5 years on all sealed systems. This is an extended warranty that will ensure that your AC unit will work longer. This AC unit also comes with an EER rating of 12.2, which gives the homeowner a general idea of just how much energy will be saved through using this model.
The Frigidaire FFRE0533S1 Window-Mounted Air Conditioner also presents a low-power start-up for even better energy efficiency. This AC unit also comes with remote control as well as an LED display, 4-way air direction, and a washable mesh filter to make the cleaning process as easy as possible. Still, not everyone like this model because it was too loud for them.
When looking to purchase an air conditioner, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with all the different types and features offered by each manufacturer. Thankfully by doing a little research and pinpointing what features you should be specifically looking for, finding the best energy-efficient air conditioner model for you will be no sweat! As you go through the buying guide below, you will get a better idea of what to look for when shopping for your own AC unit. Are you ready to find the right model for you? Let’s get started!
Do energy-efficient AC units help to reduce electricity bills?
One of the biggest draws to purchasing an energy-efficient AC unit is that it promises to reduce electricity bills. However, is this actually true? In short, yes! An energy-efficient AC unit will help reduce the cost of monthly electricity bills. Here is how!
When looking at an AC unit’s product description, you will come across the term SEER, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This ratio reflects how efficiently an AC unit operates. The larger the SEER rating, the more efficient the unit will be. In fact, it is estimated that an air conditioner unit with a SEER rating between 13-16 can save anywhere between 49%-70% of energy when compared to older and less effective models. This saved energy is sure to be reflected in your energy bill, resulting in a much lower monthly cost! It is also worth noting that there is a large number of rebates available when you choose to purchase a more energy-efficient AC unit, which will save you even more money!
How to pick the best energy-efficient air conditioner?
There are quite a few things that should be taken into consideration when looking to purchase an energy-efficient air conditioner. The two most obvious features to take into account are the type of air conditioner as well as its dimensions. These are important as you will want to ensure that you have the required space that is needed to install your new air conditioner. The coverage area, as well as BTU’s and SEER rating, are other factors that are crucial to check.
There are three main types of energy-efficient air conditioners that are heavily featured on the market. These types are the window-mounted AC unit, the portable AC unit, and the ductless unit.
As one would imagine, the window-mounted AC unit, such as the ARCTIC Wind 2016 Energy Star Window Air Conditioner, is installed through a window and is a slightly more permanent fixture. The portable AC unit is only based inside the house and can be moved from room to room. Finally, the ductless unit has the indoor portion that is typically mounted on the wall but also has an outside compressor.
Out of the three options, the portable and the widow-mounted units are the most flexible ones as they can be moved to whatever room or window you have available.
Another phrase that you will commonly come across when shopping for air conditioners is the BTU rating. The British Thermal Unit or the BTU represents how much heat it can take away from the room. With this in mind, the higher the BTU rating, the more cooling power an air conditioner model will have.
Another important factor to consider when looking at the BTU rating is the size of your room. For example, the smaller room will need a unit with a smaller BTU rating. For a room that is 150 to 350 square feet, you will need to install an energy-saving AC unit with a 5,000 to 8,000 BTU rating, such as seen with the LG LW6017R Window Air Conditioner.
SEER and EER ratings
Aside from BTU, which we covered above, there are two more commonly used terms that are used in energy-efficient AC unit’s product descriptions. These terms are SEER and EER ratings.
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and EER stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio. Both of these phrases refer to the energy efficiency rating of each AC unit and measure fairly similar things, while there are a few key differences. The main difference between the two is that SEER is used for central AC units, while EER is used for window AC units. Because the SEER is used for central air conditioners, the rating will cover a variety of temperatures as well as account for the unit turning on and off. On the other side, the EER rating is measured at only one temperature as well as accounts for the AC unit running the entire time. The Haier ESAQ406T 22″ Window Air Conditioner is a product with the highest EER rating included in this list.
The coverage area that is offered by an air conditioner is another crucial feature to check. This is especially important as you will want to make sure that your AC unit can effectively cool the entire room! To best determine how much area will be cooled, you need to find out the AC unit’s BTU rating, which we discussed above.
It is commonly said that the average home takes about one ton of cooling power to cool about 1,000 square feet, which is equal to about 12,000 BTUs. That being said, for a smaller house or apartment, you don’t need such a powerful machine as you don’t have as much area to cool. In these instances, an air conditioner unit with a smaller BTU rating will be a better choice!
For smaller rooms, we recommend less powerful units, such as the Frigidaire FFRE0533S1 Window-Mounted Air Conditioner. On the other hand, if you are looking for better performance in a larger area, it’s hard to look past the Senville SENA-12HF/Z, which covers up to 700 square feet.
As one would assume, the dimensions of an AC unit are an important factor to consider. After all, you will want to make sure that the dimensions of the ac unit will fit into the space you have available! The size and the type of room you have will also affect your choice. For example, a room with no windows should consider a portable AC unit, like the BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT, or a ductless AC unit. Regardless of the amount of space you have available, it is always a good idea to measure the available space in a room before looking for the potential AC models.
Settings and controls
The control panel, as well as the setting offered by an AC unit, is important to take into consideration. Any setting that enhances the ability to control an AC unit, such as a digital display, will add to the ease of use, which is a huge plus for many buyers. Some air conditioner models, like the Senville SENA-12HF/Z, also offer Wi-Fi remote access that will let you turn the machine on and off from a distance! Some AC units also have an eco-mode, which is another great option that can be used to increase efficiency.
When purchasing an AC unit, many potential buyers are concerned about its noise level. When using the AC throughout the day, it can be extremely aggravating to have a machine loudly humming in the background. Thankfully, many manufacturers took this concern into consideration when designing their product. Many energy-efficient AC units have a silent operation feature that makes them practically undetectable.
If you would like to get more information about the noise levels of a specific machine, check several verified customer reviews as well as the product description to get some more insight.
It is especially important to look at the specifics of the warranty offered by each AC unit’s manufacturer. When doing your research, be sure to make a note of how long each warranty lasts for.
A warranty is important for any AC unit to have as it guarantees that each unit is durable and that it will be repaired should something go wrong. The Friedrich Chill CP06G10B is a great choice as it comes with a 1-year warranty on any part and 2-5-year warranty on the sealed system.
Brands and prices
There are quite a variety of air conditioners on the market, even energy-efficient models, so it is wise to see what brands are the most popular. However, because there are so many choices available, everyone is sure to find an AC unit that fits their budget.
The LG LW6017R Window Air Conditioner is on the most inexpensive models on our list running at about $220. On the flip side, the most expensive AC unit on our list is the Senville SENA-12HF/Z, which currently runs at about $970. If you are looking for an energy-efficient AC unit that is somewhere in the middle of those two choices, we have eight other highly-rated models for you to consider.
It is not difficult to install an energy-efficient AC unit, but it is wise to make sure you have done the proper research before starting the installation. Generally speaking, a portable AC unit is the easiest type of air conditioner to set-up as it requires no installation! The window-mounted type takes the second place here, and often, these models come with the mounting accessories included. Finally, the ductless AC unit models tend to be more difficult to mount, and it is recommended that a homeowner calls a professional to ensure proper installation.
It is fairly easy to clean an AC unit. Just follow these steps to make this process even easier! Before beginning, be sure that the unit is unplugged from its power source. The best way to wash the AC unit’s filter is by running the filter under warm water, and then you must gently dry it using a towel. It is also important to do a deeper clean once a year. To do so, you can use a soft bristle brush to get rid of any debris or dust that has been collected in the AC unit.
It is possible for some AC units to remove any debris or unhealthy elements as well as moisture from your room, but there are a few general rules that the user will need to follow. First of all, due to the AC unit’s function, any mold and humidity will be sucked out of the room while the unit is in use. However, for the machine to be effective, it is important that the unit is being used for at least 30 minutes. While an AC unit can make a room less humid, it is not the machine’s main function. If your room is exceptionally humid, it is wise to use a dehumidifier as opposed to just relying on your AC unit.
At the top of our list, we have the ARCTIC Wind 2016 Energy Star Window Air Conditioner. We love that it is quite compact in size, making it a great option for smaller rooms. It comes with a 1-year warranty as well as its EER rating of 12.1.
Next on our list, we have the affordable LG LW6017R Window Air Conditioner. It can function as a dehumidifier, has 3 fan speeds and 3 cooling speeds, so you can find your favorite settings effortlessly.
Last but not least, the Senville SENA-12HF/Z Energy Star Mini Split Air Conditioner is a premium model that has a high BTU rating and comes with a 2-year warranty. On top of that, you can control it remotely, and there is an installation kit included. With these features, it is no wonder that this model made it on our list of the best energy-efficient air conditioners.