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.
If you live somewhere with hot summer months, then a window air conditioner can be essential to address your cooling needs. They’re effective, modern, and easy to install solutions to cool a room quickly but there are a variety of different options that may be better suited for you and your space. In this review, we’ve collected different options to find the best window air conditioner for you.
After hours of researching the best air conditioners, we’ve decided the Frigidaire 15,000 BTU Window-Mounted Median Air Conditioner is our pick for the Editor’s Choice. It’s a midsize unit capable of cooling up to 850 square feet, perfect for larger rooms or smaller spaces. The filter is washable, and the unit itself is Energy Star efficient with a 6-way comfort control design to allow you to customize its operation.
Top 8 Window Air Conditioners Review 2020
We spent many hours going over the specifications of various air conditioners, comparing their product features, and reading every customer review to help you pick the one which will best fit your needs. We looked at BTUs for power level, coverage area for rooms they can service, fan speeds for the different settings, and dimensions for whether they will fit in your window. We broke down our findings in a table with quick-to-find details as well as more detailed product reviews for those who are looking for the particulars, followed by a buying guide for anyone ready to purchase their own best window air conditioner.
The Frigidaire 15,000 BTU Window-Mounted Median Air Conditioner is our Editor’s Choice because it can cover up to an 850 square foot area, and its Energy Star certified efficiency can help save you money on your electric bill. It’s also our choice for the best 15,000 BTU window air conditioner, which is not too big and not small. The dehumidification option that comes with this unit can dehumidify a room up to 3.8 pints of water an hour, making it a great choice for a more humid space. It’s also a quieter unit, which makes it an excellent pick for anyone looking for a window air conditioner unit for their bedroom or spaces that require less noise, though some people stated it tended to vibrate. It has an automatic restart, which means if there’s a power outage, the unit will resume operating at the previous settings once power comes back on. It comes with a temperature sensing remote control so you can adjust the settings and temperature from anywhere in your room, and its 6-way comfort control design lets you control and direct the airflow with the fan that comes with three different settings. The filter is washable, allowing you to keep your room clean and allergen-free, and it has a lower power start-up, conserving even more energy. It weighs 117 pounds, however, so you may need help to install it, and it does require some assembly and interior unpacking.
The Koldfront WAC12001W is a window air conditioning unit that is also a heater making it our choice for best window air conditioner with heat. It covers up to a 500 square feet area and has 4-way directional levers, allowing you to adjust the direction of the air flow, whether heating or cooling. It ships with installation hardware and weather seals, so you don’t have to worry about making a trip to the hardware store or window gaps letting in warm air or insects. The included remote works to set four different operation modes, including a 24-hour timer and a dehumidifier mode, though it’s important to note that this unit will not work with a standard 115V outlet, as it needs a 230V outlet to function because of the heater. It has three fan speeds and an energy efficiency rating of 10.9.
This unit is made to be installed in a window, so would not be a good choice for someone looking for a wall installation unit. And some customers complained that it was dented during the shipping process, so the one-year limited warranty is a good thing to have. It does, however, come with a light that will alert you when the filter needs to be changed or replaced. Finally, it comes with a sleep mode to save energy and allow you comfortable nights.
The Friedrich Chill CP06G10B is a small space window air conditioner unit designed for rooms up to 250 square feet, making it a good choice for bedrooms or offices. It’s our pick the for best quiet window air conditioner as well as the best 6,000 BTU window air conditioner. The filter is washable and antimicrobial, making it a great choice for users who don’t want to have to regularly buy new filters and who are health conscious or worried about allergens or particulates in the air. It circulates up to 200 cubic feet of air per minute, and the 24-hour timer lets you choose the times you want it to power on and power off.
This unit can be installed in window spaces or through walls, making it a good choice for rooms lacking windows. And the power cord can run either left or right out of the unit, giving you more installation choices. It has three cooling and fan-only speeds, and it comes with Auto Air Sweep louvers for more air distribution. The digital remote control lets you operate this ultra-quiet machine. And in fact, many users stated it was extremely quiet on all three settings, though some complained that the fans arrived misaligned. It only weighs 60 pounds, making it one of the more light-weight choices, though some users stated it was a little difficult to install, mostly due to unclear instructions.
The Koldfront WAC25001W is the unit to look at if you’re searching for a window air conditioner for a large space, making it our choice for the best window air conditioner for large rooms. With a coverage area of up to 1,500 square feet, it’s a great pick for a larger living space or a spacious living room in a home. It functions as a fan, a dehumidifier, and even a heater as well, making it a unit you can use all year round. It has four operation modes, and three fan speeds, including a 24-hour timer and four directional louvers to let you direct the airflow. But it’s important to note that to get all of these options the unit requires to be plugged into a 230V outlet, not the standard 115V one, so if you don’t have the special outlet installed in your house, this unit will not function.
It comes with an impressive full two-year warranty making it a great choice for those who are looking for an air conditioner that will have a long lifespan. Sleep mode can be controlled from the included remote, so you can adjust the temperature from across the room where you’re napping which is especially useful for a unit made for larger spaces, and it has a 6-hour Energy Saver mode as well, for those looking to save money on their electric bills and have a smaller impact on the environment. But because this unit is designed to cool such a large space, it’s a very large unit, weighing over 130 pounds, so you will need help to install it.
This window air conditioner is designed to cool small spaces, up to 350 square feet, making it a great choice for a small bedroom, or even a tiny house. It comes with cleanable, reusable filter, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing new filters every couple of months, and it can also function as a dehumidifier, making it an excellent choice for anyone with more humid rooms. The control panel is a light touch, so you don’t have to worry about jabbing buttons or turning dials. The design is sleek and minimalistic, and the thermostat is located on the included remote, which means the unit will adjust the temperature according to where the remote is, doing a better job of whole room cooling, and the remote can start a “sleep mode” option as well.
It’s Energy Star rated, saving you money on your electric bill, and the user manual comes with step-by-step installation instructions, which is great for users who’ve never installed a window air conditioner before. It weighs under 60 pounds so it could possibly be installed by a single person. Finally, it has two separate horizontal louvers, allowing you to direct the airflow in different directions, and has an automatic option as well, which will have the TOSOT 8,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner change the direction on its own, though it’s important to note that some users found this unit to be too loud.
This window-air conditioner unit has an energy efficiency rating 13.8, making it a great choice for those who are looking to save money on their electric bills and have a better impact on the environment. It’s a mid-size unit meant to cool areas up to 450 square feet in size. And it’s a smart air conditioner, meaning with the installed SmartThinQ technology, you can control it with your smartphone and Wi-Fi connection. It’s also compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can control it with the sound of your voice, making it an excellent choice for the technologically minded consumer, though some users stated the App would occasionally have problems. But for those who don’t have smartphones, it comes with a digital remote so you can control up to four fan speeds from across the room. There’s an auto-restart option, so it will turn back on after a power outage saving you time and effort. It weighs 72 pounds, which isn’t exactly light but definitely not one of the heaviest units on our list, though you may need someone to help you install it in the window. Many users stated that it’s a quiet unit, comparable to central air conditioning, making it a great choice for a bedroom.
The MIDEA MAW08R1BWT is designed to be a 3-in-1 appliance: it works as an air conditioner, a dehumidifier, and a fan only, saving you the headache of having to purchase separate appliances. Because of this it’s our pick for best 8000 BTU window air conditioner. It’s made to cover up to 350 square feet, making it a good choice for a smaller or more midsize enclosed room such as a bedroom or office, though some users thought it was on the noisier side. This may not be an issue for anyone who’s looking for an air conditioner to provide them with white noise while sleeping. It has three different modes: energy-saving mode, timer mode, and sleep mode, accessible by the LED control panel on the front of the unit or the include remote control.
It’s designed to be easily installed, and while some windows may require pilot holes to be drilled, most people will be able to install it using only a screwdriver as all mounting accessories are included. It also only weighs 54 pounds, making it one of the more lightweight window air conditioners on this list, so it could be a great choice for the consumer looking for a smaller unit they can install themselves. Though it’s important to note that some people stated their units shipped damaged and that customer support wasn’t always very helpful. Finally, the MIDEA MAW08R1BWT comes with a one-year limited warranty, which is good as a few customers stated their unit stopped working after a few months.
The Frigidaire FFRA0511R1E is our Budget Pick because it’s a Mini-Compact window air conditioner made for a coverage area up to 150 square feet. Frigidaire is also our pick for the best window air conditioner brand because it’s a brand that’s well known and trusted by consumers. This would be a good choice for someone looking to cool a small room or even a tiny house, though some users thought it was too noisy. It also functions as a dehumidifier, removing up to 1.1 pints of water from the air per hour. It comes with a standard window mounting kit, so you don’t have to worry about owning any special tools.
It has mechanical rotary controls that allow you to adjust two cooling settings, two fan speeds, and a two-way airflow direction, though because of the mechanical controls, it does not come with a remote. This may not be an issue, though, as its specifically made to cool small spaces, so there’s no real need to control it from across a larger room. This is our choice for best small window air conditioner. The included filter has antibacterial mesh, keeping your air cool and clean by removing harmful bacteria, and its quiet operation won’t keep you awake at night while you sleep. The power cord has an extra-long length of 6.5 feet, and it does not need special electrical outlets to function. And because it’s a mini-unit it only weighs 41 pounds, making this the most lightweight unit on the list.
For small spaces only
Too noisy for some users
If you live anywhere where the summer temperatures can reach an uncomfortable level, then you know how important owning an air conditioner can be. But not all residences have central air. Luckily, there are window air conditioner units that can easily be installed right in a window frame, or sometimes even through a wall, to help provide your home with the comfort you’re searching for.
Benefits of installing a window air conditioner
Window air conditioner units are an excellent choice for any home, no matter how big or small. These models are versatile because they’re removable, which means you can install them at the beginning of summer, and then remove them once the hot temperatures are over. If you’re looking for some extra cooling in a specific room, such as a bedroom, there are small units that would work great! And if you need cooling for a much bigger space, there are window air conditioners that can help you there, as well.
Features to consider while choosing a window air conditioner
There are many things to consider when purchasing a window air conditioner, which can make the decision even more difficult. But below, we’ll break down some of the more important features to weigh when looking at the different options available. Features such as BTUs, coverage area, fan/cool speeds, if it can also function as a heater, dimensions, warranty, and even extra features can all make a difference when you’re looking for the right model to fit your needs.
BTUs, or British Thermal Unit, is the standard measurement when it comes to temperature, especially for heating and cooling appliances like space heaters or window air conditioners. Specifically, BTUs are the amount of energy needed to raise one pound of water by one degree. Generally, the more BTUs, the more powerful the appliance.
But more BTUs aren’t necessarily better. If you’ve got an air conditioner that has a lot of BTUs, but you’re working on cooling a small space, well, the machine will cool your space quickly, then cycle off to maintain the temperature, and then have to cycle on again shortly after. Too much cycling on and off can overwork the compressor of your air conditioner and shorten the lifespan of your air conditioner.
One of the most important features to consider, if not the most important one, when purchasing a window air conditioner is the coverage area. This will tell you how big or how small a space the air conditioner can handle. Too much space for your air conditioner, and it won’t be effective. Too much machine for your space, and you’ll be stuck in the cycling on and off circle that could shorten the life of your machine.
For the air conditioner designed to tackle the largest space, check out the Koldfront WAC25001W, which can handle up to 1,500 square feet, making it an excellent choice for a living room. And for the smallest unit, our Budget Pick, the Frigidaire FFRA0511R1E, is miniature and compact to handle 150 square feet.
Most window air conditioners have multiple fan and cooling speeds. This is great for when you’re stuck in a particular heatwave and need to crank up the cooling effects, or if you want to lower the cooling rate when you’re sleeping, perhaps, to limit the noise factor. Some air conditioners even have energy-saving modes and sleep modes, giving you greater choices in your perfect comfort level. For a window air conditioner with the most robust options of fan and cool speeds, check out the LG LW1019IVSM, which has four different fan speeds, letting you customize the temperatures to fit your needs.
If there’s a heat function
Some window air conditioners also come with a heating function, making it a dual appliance. This can be really handy in a window unit, because it means you don’t have to worry about removing the air conditioner from your window at the end of each season. Instead, you can leave it in place and use it to heat your rooms once the colder weather sets in. Though it is important to note that sometimes air conditioners with included heaters require more electricity to function and, therefore, often require a 230V outlet to plug it in. For a midsize window air conditioner with an optional heater, check out the Koldfront WAC12001W.
Dimensions are an important consideration to check out when shopping for a window AC unit. Many windows in homes are a standard size, but not all of them, especially in older homes. If you purchase an appliance that can’t fit in your window, then it’s functionally useless.
So, make sure you measure your windows more than once and then pick a window air conditioner that will fit in your allowed space. Many smaller units will come with spacers, too, meaning they can stretch to fit in larger spaces. But if a unit is too big, there’s no way to make it smaller.
We all hope that we never have to use a warranty for any of our appliances or machines. But sometimes accidents happen and it’s no one’s fault. Or sometimes there’s an issue during the shipping of your air conditioner, and it arrives too banged up to function. That’s why many companies offer warranties, to specifically cover things that are not the owner’s fault, or to fix any problems that may occur. If you’re someone who’s looking for a window air conditioner with the best warranty, then check out the 2-year limited warranties of the tiny Frigidaire FFRA0511R1E and the large Koldfront WAC25001W.
And finally, many window air conditioners come with additional features, to really let you customize your cooling and heating efforts. Most units nowadays come with remote controls so you can control the temperature from anywhere in the room, though the manual dial-controlled Frigidaire FFRA0511R1E does not have a remote control available.
And almost all of the units can function as a dehumidifier as well, working to help you remove humidity and moisture from the air. Take a look at what the variety of machines offer in regard to additional features and figure out which ones are most important to you and your home. If you’re looking for a lot of bells and whistles, then look no further than the LG LW1019IVSM which has Wi-Fi capabilities and is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.
How to maintain your window air conditioner
Maintaining your window air conditioner is an important step in making sure your unit has a long lifespan. Regularly cleaning the machine can go a long way to keeping it running at peak performance. If it has a reusable filter, make sure you regularly remove it and clean it according to the instructions, and if it requires you to empty water from a storage location due to dehumidifying regularly empty that as well. And when removing your window air conditioner and storing it for the winter months make sure that you keep it safe and dry, so it will be ready to use again once the warm weather returns.
Not necessarily! High BTUs means more power, yes, but if you’re using too much power for your required space, it will keep your room cool, of course, but will shorten the lifespan of your unit. It’s better to pick the right number of BTUs for your space.
It varies. Most window air conditioners put out some noise, and this can be a plus or minus for you depending on where you’re going to be using it. Some users actually prefer some white noise in their bedroom at night, and window air conditioner can help with that. But there are also models that are built to be very quiet, so take a look at those if sound level is important to you.
Yes and no. Some units are smaller and weigh under 50 pounds, and so in those cases, you may be able to install it yourself, though sometimes you may need an additional set of hands to help steady it. But other units are too large or heavy for a single person to handle and then you will need help. And, of course, you could always contact a local HVAC technician or handyman to install it for you.
Window air conditioners are a great, convenient way to quickly cool a space or room in your home during warmer weather, and if you’re shopping for a window air conditioner, chances are there’s a model that fits your needs.
Our Editor’s Choice is the Frigidaire 15,000 BTU Window-Mounted Median Air Conditioner, which has a 6-way comfort control for greater customization as well as washable filter, making cleaning and maintaining your machine a breeze. With a coverage area of 850 square feet it’s a great choice for almost any space.
If you’re looking for the Best Midsize Air Conditioner that can also double as a heater in the winter, then check out the Koldfront WAC12001W. This model has a coverage area of up to 550 square feet, making it a great choice for a smaller space, and though it requires a 230V outlet to function, it can stay in your window all year round, keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Finally, our choice for the Quietest Air Conditioner is the Friedrich Chill CP06G10B. It is ideal for small spaces of up to 250 square feet, is energy-efficient, and features a reusable filter to save you even more money in the long run.