As temperatures heat up around the country, most of us will find ourselves in need of a little relief. If you don’t have central air and heating in your home, you’ll want a window air conditioner to keep you cool through the long summer season.
Even if you do have central air, but you want to cool down a small room upstairs, or maybe you have a large room that your central air conditioning doesn't have the cooling power for a large room size in the back of the house. Window ac units are a great option that won't spike up your energy bill.
For those who didn’t attend HVAC school, though, shopping for a window air conditioner can be like trying to read a foreign language. It just doesn’t make any sense.
What’s the difference between all your options?
How Do I Pick the Right Window Air Conditioner?
When it comes to picking the right best window air conditioner for your home, there are a few factors you’ll want to consider:
- Size (Not only of the air conditioning unit but of the overall space you want to cool)
- Sound (appliance background noise can get annoying!)
- BTU (British Thermal Unit)
- Energy Efficiency
- Digital or Smart Home Features
A lot of factors in your space will impact how well a window air conditioner will work for you, so take into consideration your window placement, ceiling height and anything adding heat to the room (such as appliances or sun exposure). Before shopping for a window unit, you’ll want to measure your space, if you don’t already know the size.
Buying an ac unit that’s ill-equipped to cool your space will only end in disappointment and money wasted. Make sure to check out how many fan speeds the ac unit has as well as its cooling capacity.
Also, the BTU of your new portable air conditioner unit might matter to you. In general the smaller square footage the smaller BTU's needed. But, a BTU window air conditioner with a lot of cooling power tends to be a top pick for larger rooms
Not all air conditioners will tick all the right boxes for you, but they may be a better price. However, you might be fine with paying more in order to get the best window air conditioner for your needs.
Whatever your preferences, here are six best window air conditioners to consider.
Best Quiet Window Air Conditioner - Haier Serenity Series
The Haier ESAQ406 is one of the quietest air conditioners you can buy. To give you an idea of just how quiet it is — it only runs about three decibels louder than the average fridge. Additionally, it’s relatively energy-efficient, too, with an Energy Star Qualified Energy Efficiency Rating and 6,000 BTU.
In terms of smart features, this Haier window air conditioner is pretty basic, with a 24-hour timer, sleep mode, clean filter reminder and remote control.
Best Smart Window Air Conditioner - GE Energy Star Window Smart Room Air Conditioner
If smart home features are important to you, though, try the GE Energy Star Window Smart Room Air Conditioner. The WiFi-enabled unit can be controlled in a range of ways — via your voice, smartphone, Amazon Alexa, Apple Home or Google Assistant.
GE was the first brand to come out with a voice-activated window air conditioner, and the unit is available at both Home Depot and Lowe’s. This Energy Star portable ac unit has 8,000 BTU and comes with an easy mount window kit making it super simple for you to install by yourself.
Most Stylish Window Air Conditioner - Frigidaire Cool Connect
Let’s face it. A lot of window air conditioner units are just plain ugly. That’s not, though, the case with this unit from Frigidaire.
The Frigidaire FGRC1044T1 is sleek, stylish and modern. It honestly looks more like a speaker than a window air conditioner. The smart unit is controllable via an app where you can control the fan speeds, modes, temperature and more.
This ac unit is pretty energy-efficient, too, with 10,000 BTU and it’s energy star certification.
Best Window Air Conditioner for Large Spaces - LG LW8016ER Window-Mounted Remote Control Air Conditioner
But what if you don’t live in a dorm room or studio apartment and you need to cool a large space? Well, then, you’ll want to go with a window air conditioner unit that’s up to the task. The LG LW8016ER is designed to cool large spaces as quickly as possible. It can cool 340 square feet efficiently while removing indoor air humidity with its 8,000 BTU and 115 V power.
While definitely not the smartest air conditioner on this list, it does come with a few handy features, such as remote controls, a timer and an energy-saving mode. It also has three different cooling speeds and three fan speeds for maximum efficiency and cooling capacity.
Easiest Window Air Conditioner to Install - Frigidaire Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
If you have the handiness skills of a gnat and don’t know your nuts from your bolts, you may want to buy a window air conditioner that’s easy to install.
One of the easiest? The FFRA0511R1 Air Conditioner from Frigidaire. All you’ll need is a screwdriver; the air conditioner already comes with a mounting kit. Better yet, it’s available on Amazon, so everything you need (sans screwdriver) is delivered straight to your door.
This portable ac unit also comes with a window mounting kit, two fan speeds, two cool speeds and 5,000 BTU making it small but mighty.
Best Budget-Friendly Window Air Conditioner - Kenmore Window-Mounted Room Air Conditioner
Though, to be real, sometimes you just don’t have the cash to drop upwards of $500 on a new window air conditioner unit. If that’s the situation you find yourself in, then go for a window air conditioner unit that’s on the budget-friendly side.
The 87050 Window Mini-Compact Air Conditioner from Kenmore is just $150. The unit is a smaller size, which means it’s best for cooling small spaces, and it works perfectly for those in small apartments or studios. There aren’t any smart features and the style is pretty retro, but it gets the job done with its 5,000 BTU power.
How Do I Care for My Window Air Conditioner?
That’s right. This is no “set it and forget it” project. Once you install your window air conditioner unit, you’ll want to give it a little TLC from time to time, too. That way, you don’t end up with an ac unit that goes on the fritz on the hottest day of the year. In general, the higher the BTU measurement, the better when you are buying a new portable air conditioning unit.
To start with, make sure you install your window air conditioner properly right from the beginning. Use all the correct and recommended hardware and don’t succumb to the temptation to improvise. You’ll regret it later.
Ensure the air conditioner is working correctly as soon as you install it, by listening for any odd noises. If you hear anything suspicious, look into it and consider exchanging your ac unit as quickly as possible.
In the long-term, you’ll want to clean your portable air conditioner unit’s filter once a month, or after (approximately) 250 hours of use of cool air. At the end of each summer, or once you feel you’ll no longer need your unit for the fall and winter, clean your air conditioner thoroughly to prevent any mold or mildew build-up.
You might also be interested in: The 6 Quietest Refrigerators On The Market In 2020
The 6 best window air conditioning units:
- Best Quiet Window Air Conditioner - Haier Serenity Series
- Best Smart Window Air Conditioner - GE Energy Star Window Smart Room Air Conditioner
- Most Stylish Window Air Conditioner - Frigidaire Cool Connect
- Best Window Air Conditioner for Large Spaces - LG LW8016ER Window-Mounted Remote Control Air Conditioner
- Easiest Window Air Conditioner to Install - Frigidaire Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
- Best Budget-Friendly Window Air Conditioner - Kenmore Window-Mounted Room Air Conditioner