There's something about summer that awakens all the senses. It may be the smell of fresh cut grass or the taste of fresh-squeezed lemonade, but if it's blistering heat then you probably need an air conditioning solution. What's more, if your house is small or doesn't have a ducted central air conditioning system, a portable or window air conditioner is usually your only option.
We've put together a list of reviews and handy buying guide to help you find the best window air conditioner for your needs. Whether you're looking for smart home technology, quiet operation, or a small unit that packs a punch, we've hopefully got you covered in your quest to beat the heat. So let's get started!
Window Air Conditioners Reviews
LG 6,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
If efficiency, digital and remote control, and affordability are what you are looking for, then then this unit, with an Energy Efficiency ratio of 11.5, is a perfect fit.
Featuring Energy Star technology, this 6000 BTU window air conditioner makes for a quiet and affordable AC unit for cooling an area up to 260 square feet. This size LG air conditioner makes a perfect fit for a dorm room, bedroom, or small living area.
This unit will restart in energy saving mode when the power is restored, should the power go out. When energy saver mode is enabled, the fan and compressor will stop running once the desired temperature is achieved. Every three minutes, the fan will turn back on to confirm the temperature of the room does not need cooling. If the room needs cooling, the compressor will turn on and cool as needed and return to energy saver mode.
This window air conditioner also features dehumidification of 1.8 pints of condensed water per hour. Other additional features include the three cooling speeds and three fan speeds. These cooling and fan speeds assist in quickly cooling your space to the desired temperature.
The size of this window air conditioner is 17.3 inches wide, 11.1 inches tall, 14.4 inches deep and weighs 39.6 pounds, making for easy installation. The window requirements for this size air conditioner are between 22 and 36 inches, with a minimum height requirement of 16 inches. The power cord is a standard 3-prong plug with 115 volt outlet required.
Read full review: LG Energy Star window air conditioner
● Small 6000 BTU makes for cooling small areas around 260 square feet or less.
● Dehumidification of 1.8 pints of condensed water per hour.
● 3 cooling speeds and 3 fan speeds for quick cooling.
● Energy efficiency rating of 11.5.
● Indoor A-weighted decibel measurement of 55 dBA.
● One-year limited in-home warranty on parts and labor from manufacturer.
● Standard 3-prong plug with 115 volt outlet required.
Frigidaire 5,000 BTU Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
With the exact same look and feel of its 10,000 BTU sister-version, this 5000 BTU window air conditioner is optimal for cooling a 150 square foot room. When it comes to value for money, this model is one of the best window air conditioners out there.
Featuring its straightforward design and manual turn dial controls, you can adjust the fan speeds and temperature. Fan speeds include low cool, high cool, low fan and high fan. The temperature range is 1 – 7, with one being the warmest and seven being the coldest. In addition, there is a full-width air direction vent with a rotary control for you to manage the air outflow direction. Even as a manually controlled air conditioner, this efficient unit effectively cool without overworking.
This window mounted air conditioner fits windows between 23 and 36 inches wide with a minimum height of 15 ½ inches. The unit dimensions are 12 inches tall, 16 inches wide and 15 ¼ inches deep. With its compact size and weight of approximately 41 pounds, this unit includes a window mounting kit with side panels for quick and easy installation. With a 115 volt electrical plug-in required, location and placement of this 3-prong plug-in small window air conditioner are endless.
Additional features include dehumidification of 1.1 pints per hour and antibacterial mesh filter. To lengthen the lifespan of your window air conditioner, clean the drain system and filter frequently to prevent your window unit from overworking. With an Energy Efficiency ratio (EER) of 11.1, this small window air conditioner has an approximate yearly cost of $41, making this unit a practical and efficient choice for your small cooling needs.
Read full review: Frigidaire 5000 BTU Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
● 5000 BTU output for cooling rooms up to 150 square feet.
● Manual turn dial controls featuring two fan speeds, two cool speeds, and temperature range.
● Small size with window mounting kit included makes for quick and easy installation.
● Efficiency ratio of 11.1.
● Approximate yearly cost of $41.
● Standard 115 volt plug-in electrical outlet required.
Ideal for 1500 Square Feet Area
Koldfront Heat/Cool Window Air Conditioner
Do you need a top rated window mounted air conditioner for cooling a large space? If your central AC system has gone out in your 1500 square foot house, or your 1500 square foot upstairs/downstairs, this Koldfront 25,000 BTU Heat/Cool Window Air Conditioner 25,000 BTU unit from Koldfront can cool a space up to 1500 square feet. Equipped with a remote, you can control your window air conditioner from across the room!
Equipped with both an energy saver mode and a sleep mode, this window air conditioner saves energy in more ways than one. While in energy saver mode, the fan will cycle for two minutes every ten minutes. This activates the compressor to cool the room if the room temperature exceeds the set temperature. This window air conditioner also includes an energy efficient sleep mode. Sleep mode conserves energy by adjusting the temperature periodically for six hours, before returning to the original set temperature after six hours. The energy efficiency ratio of this large BTU output window air conditioner is 9.4. The higher BTU output, the more energy is consumed for sufficient cooling. However, this 9.4 efficiency ratio estimates the yearly energy cost to operate this window air conditioner is $259 per year.
Along with saving energy, this window air conditioner is equipped with a dehumidifier. This unit removes 137 pints of moisture per day! Remember to properly clean the drain system to extend the life of your window air conditioner. There is also an alert to notify you when the filter needs to be checked. Proper maintenance of the filter as well as frequently cleaning the drainage system will preserve and extend the longevity of your air conditioner.
● 25,000 BTU cooling output is ideal for large spaces, such as 1,500 square foot homes, downstairs/upstairs living areas, garages or workshops.
● Energy saving options, such as energy saver mode, sleep mode, and 24-hour programmable timer assists in less energy usage and more cost savings.
● Included remote control can control fan setting, mode, temperature, and air conditioner settings.
● Easy installation directions with minimal equipment required; two people recommended for installation due to the weight of the unit.
● Two year in-home warranty included from manufacturer.
● Affordable purchase price.
● Efficiency ratio of 9.4.
● Estimated $259 per year in energy cost.
Read the Full Review: Koldfront 25,000 BTU Heat/Cool Window Air Conditioner
Ideal for 450 Square Feet Area
Frigidaire Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
When it comes to small window AC units, look no further than the Frigidaire 10,000 BTU air conditioner. Ideal for spot-cooling small areas up to 450 square feet, this Frigidaire window air conditioner at 10,000 BTU is most favorable in living rooms, bedrooms, or a small garage or workspace.
Dimensions for this Frigidaire window air conditioner are 21.5 inches deep, 14.5 inches high, and 19 inches wide, and weighs approximately 60 pounds. This size and weight helps for easy installation. Additionally, the window requirements for this window unit are 23 – 36 inches wide and a minimum of 15 ½ inches tall.
This small window air conditioner by Frigidaire includes a selection of desirable features. These features include three fan speeds, 8-direction air vents, quiet A-weighted decibel rating at 55.7, a dehumidifier to reduce 2.7 pints of water per hour, and an energy efficiency rating of 10.9. The estimated yearly energy cost for this window air conditioner is $83 per year.
For the simplicity and affordability, this Frigidaire model is one of the best window air conditioners out there for the power. Users agree across the board that this simple window mounted air conditioner provides exemplary cooling to the space they need.
Read full review: Frigidaire window air conditioner
● Low decibel rating of 55.7 makes for one of the quietest window mount air conditioners available.
● Relatively light-weight at 60 pounds makes for easy one-man installation.
● Efficiency ratio of 10.9 helps assist in energy reduction and cost savings.
● Estimated $83 per year in energy cost.
● Affordable purchase price.
● Simple, basic controls.
● 8-direction air vents help distribute cool air evenly and adequately.
● Dehumidifier to reduce air moisture and cool space appropriately.
Ideal for 350 Square Feet Area
Friedrich Air Conditioning Company Air Conditioner
One of the top rated air conditioners for the size, money, and efficiency is the Friedrich 8,000 BTU Air Conditioner. The 8000 BTU output is used for cooling a room up to 350 square feet. This conditioner also comes with the option for wall mount installation, making it a viable option for a windowless garage or basement. In addition, the power cord for this unit can be moved to the bottom-left or bottom-right of the unit, allowing for optimal placement and installation.
The unit dimensions are 20.7 inches deep, 18.6 inches wide and 13.9 inches high. With a lightweight size of around 64 pounds, installation is quick and painless. The power cord of this air conditioner is a standard three-prong cord with a 110 – 120 volt electrical outlet plug in required.
This air conditioner is Energy Star certified with an efficiency ratio of 11.2. This ratio estimates a yearly cost of $62 to operate. For extra efficiency, this air conditioner features automatically oscillating louvers. These louvers oscillate from left and right during cooling. This small air conditioner is ultra quietly designed to reduce noise to a minimum.
Read full review: Friedrich 8000 BTU Air Conditioner
● Energy Star certified with an efficiency ratio of 11.2, resulting in energy reduction and cost savings.
● Approximately $62 per year to operate according to efficiency ratio.
● Wall installation optional giving you more options for placement of this window air conditioner.
● Ultra quiet design to reduce noise to a minimum. This makes bedroom placement an option for this small air conditioner.
● Power cord placement can be moved from either the bottom left or the bottom right.
● Power cord is three-prong and requires a 110 – 120 volt electrical outlet.
Ideal for 150 Square Feet Area
Homelabs Window Mounted Air Conditioner
Sometimes smaller is better. If you are looking for the best small window air conditioner, then this 5000 BTU window mounted model by Homelabs is what you are looking for. With cooling capabilities of up to 150 square feet, this unit is perfect for smaller cooling needs, such as an attic room or annex.
Regardless of your reason, this 5000 BTU conditioner is ideal for those rooms that need to be cooled. The manufacturer suggests tilting the air conditioner a slight 3 degrees to produce optimal cooling. The unit comes with support brackets, leaf guards, window seal foam, filter, and drip-free installation guide to make installation quick and painless.
The exact size of this window unit is 16 inches long, 12 inches high and 15.4 inches deep. Additionally, the window requirements are between 23 – 36 inches in width a minimum of 13 inches high with a lightweight size of 36.5 pounds. This window air conditioner features a standard three-prong plug in with a required 110 – 120 volt electrical outlet.
Featuring mechanical controls, you can choose between seven temperature settings, as well as low or high fan speeds. This gives the user basic, straightforward control for easy adjusting. This seven temperature setting guarantees that your room will be cooled in 15 minutes or less. With an efficiency ratio of 11.1, this unit costs an estimated $41 per year in energy usage.
Included with this model is a reusable eco-filter. With this reusable eco-filter, you are able to extend the lifespan of your unit by frequently cleaning. For best results, choose from one of these two recommended cleaning methods: warm water and dish soap or vacuum cleaned with vacuum hand attachment. If washing, allow the filter to air dry before reinstalling.
There's no denying that this small model is one of the best window air conditioners on the market for small spaces. Its lightweight size and included installation equipment means you'll be able to install this air conditioner in no time, taking your indoor summer space from hot to not.
Read full review: Homelabs 5000 BTU Window Mounted air conditioner
● Small BTU output of 5000 makes for ideal cooling of 150-square foot areas, such as dorm rooms, bedrooms, attic rooms or garages.
● Affordable purchase price.
● Temperature settings make for quick cooling in 15 minutes or less.
● Washable and reusable eco-filter for frequent cleaning to extend the air conditioner’s longevity.
● Required equipment for installation is included, resulting in quick and painless installation.
● Efficiency ratio of 11.1.
● Estimated energy usage cost of $41 per year.
● Standard three-prong plug-in and 110 – 120 volt electrical outlet required.
Another Great Option
Frigidaire 5000 BTU Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
Another Energy Star certified small window air conditioner is the 5000 BTU window air conditioner by Frigidaire. This model features digital functions and remote control for your convenient cooling needs!
The 5000 BTU output is ideal for small rooms up to 150 square feet. This size BTU makes for an ideal cooling unit in a bedroom, living room, garage or attic. In addition to the BTU size, the physical size of this unit is 12 inches high and 15 ¼ inches deep. With a weight of 42 pounds, installation is quick and painless. For the remote control, 2 AAA batteries are included.
The efficiency ratio for this unit is 12.2. This guarantees that your air conditioner will save energy when in use, resulting in lower energy cost. The estimated yearly energy cost from the manufacturer is approximately $37 per year.
This unit features an energy saver mode. When in energy saver mode, the unit will shut off once the desired temperature is reached. When needing to cool again, the unit will turn on and run accordingly. In addition to energy saver mode, this unit is also equipped with a 24-hour programmable timer. If you like going to bed with a cool room and waking up to a warmer room, this programmable timer will let you adjust the air conditioner to turn on or off at the programmed time.
In addition to energy saver mode, this unit also features Effortless Restart. This feature means if the power goes out, the unit will restart with the previously programmed settings when power is restored. This prevents you from having to repeatedly reprogram all your preferred settings every time the power goes out.
This digital small 5000 BTU window air conditioner by Frigidaire with remote control is perfect for small rooms less than 150 square feet. With high efficiency and an extremely affordable purchase price, this is one of the best window mounted air conditioners if you're on a tight budget.
Read full review: Frigidaire 5000 BTU Air Conditioner
● 5,000 BTU size is perfect for small rooms up to 150 square feet, such as dorm rooms, bedrooms or small living spaces.
● Energy Star certified with efficiency ratio of 12.2.
● Approximately $37 per year estimated energy cost per efficiency ratio.
● 24-hour programmable timer.
● Modes include cooling, fan only, or energy saver.
● Effortless Restart included to restart the window unit to its previously programmed settings in the event of a power outage and restart.
● Remote control included to control air conditioner, fan, temperature and modes from across the room.
Smart Home Operated Conditioner
Frigidaire 8000 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner
This window air conditioner is 13 7/16 inches high, 18 ½ inches wide and 16 inches deep. With a total weight of 54 pounds, one-man installation of this unit is feasible.
So far, so good, but as its name suggests, this unit has an added feature compared to the others on our list: the option to control over wi fi from your smartphone or via Alexa. You simply download the Frigidaire app, and then have control of power, temperature, and fan speeds through your device: great if you want to switch your unit on (or off) while you're out, check your room temperature remotely, or adjust an upstairs system from downstairs.
This unit has Energy Star technology, with an efficiency ratio of 12.0. The estimated energy cost of this unit is $60. For optimal circulation and cooling, this energy efficient air conditioner features two-way slanted louvers on the top of the unit to control air direction and airflow.
In addition to efficiency, this smart window unit removes 1.7 pints of condensed water per hour during dehumidification.
This unit includes a remote with 1 lithium ion battery included with the remote. This battery will have to be replaced after excessive use.
Read full review: Frigidaire 8000 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner
● Smart technology gives you the option to control from your smartphone from both near and far.
● Energy Star certified with an energy efficiency ratio of 12.0.
● Dehumidification of 1.7 pints of condensed water per hour.
● Smart technology integrated with Amazon Alexa for voice assistant controls.
● Top directional louvers to control and assist air circulation and airflow.
● Yearly energy cost estimated at $60/year.
● Remote control included.
Window Air Conditioners Comparison Chart
|Koldfront WAC25001W||25,000 BTU||1,500 sq. ft.||26.5 x 26.5 x 18.6 in||131 pounds|
|Frigidaire FFRA1011R1||10,000 BTU||450 sq. ft.||21.5 x 19 x 14.5 in||60 pounds|
|hOmeLabs HME020003N||5000 BTU||150-sq. ft.||16 x 15.4 x 12 in||36.5 pounds|
|Friedrich CP08G10B||8000 BTU||350 sq. ft.||20.9 x 18.4 x 14 in||64 pounds|
|Frigidaire FFRA0511R1E||5000 BTU||150 sq. ft.||15 x 16 x 12 in||41 pounds|
|LG LW6017R||6,000 BTU||260 sq. ft.||14.4 x 17.3 x 11.1 in||39.6 pounds|
|Frigidaire FFRE0533S1||5,000 BTU||150 sq. Ft||15.2 x 16 x 12 in||42 pounds|
|Frigidaire FGRC0844S1||8, 000 BTU||350 square feet||16 x 18.5 x 13.4 in||54 pounds|
Window Air Conditioners Buying Guide
Now that you have a shortlist of the best window air conditioners to choose from, you may still have questions, and understandably so! Whether the model for you is on this list or not, it's important to know what to look for when shopping for window air conditioners.
Things to Consider
Is it important for you to be able to control your air conditioner with a remote, or is a simple turn dial manual control sufficient? Just this simple feature can determine the price tag of your air conditioner. There are even some cheap window mounted air conditioners under $100, depending on the features you require or desire!
At the top end of the market, a growing number of air conditioners are now equipped with smart technology, which allows you to view and control your unit settings while you're out and about or simply out of range of the remote. This is particularly useful if you need to check on a unit for an elderly family member, or if you're at work and need to start up or shut down your conditioning. If you're tech savvy and need these benefits, you'll definitely want to consider a smart window air conditioner.
BTU and Room Size
The cooling or heating power of any device with heating or cooling capabilities is measured using BTU. BTU stands for British thermal unit. A BTU is used for measuring how much energy is needed to raise a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
With a range of window air conditioners to choose from, it is imperative to buy the right size BTU output for the space you need. The most important piece of information you need to calculate your target BTU is the square footage of the room you are cooling. A smaller area with smaller total square footage can be cooled by a smaller BTU output, whereas a larger room with a higher total square footage will benefit from a higher BTU.
Here is a reference chart to get an idea of what size BTU your room may need based on its total calculated square footage.
Room size (square feet)
Room size (square feet)
If you do not know how to measure square footage, it's simple.
Measure the length of the two adjacent walls. For example, if you have a rectangular shaped room, then one wall should be shorter than the other. Measure the length of the shorter wall in feet. Then measure the length of the longer adjacent wall in feet. Multiply those two numbers together and you will get the total square footage of the room you need to cool.
For example, let’s calculate the square footage of a rectangular shaped bedroom with measurements of 10 feet by 20 feet. Multiply 10 x 20, which gives you 200. Therefore, the total square footage of your bedroom is 200. According to the BTU recommendation above, a 200 square foot room should use a unit with a BTU output of at least 6000 BTU.
Bear in mind that an AC unit with too high of a BTU output for the space you have will result in the unit quickly cooling your area. While this sounds like a good thing, a quickly cooled space can also be quickly heated again by ambient air temperature when the unit is not running. Therefore, the unit will power back on again to quickly achieve the lower temperature. This cycle will repeat, which can overwork your AC unit and potentially reduce its total lifespan. This is especially important if you're cooling a small space, when you'll need to look at small room conditioners at around 5000 BTU.
A window unit with a BTU output too low for the space you have will cause the unit to potentially run continuously in an attempt to cool the space to the desired set temperature. This can result in your unit overworking nonstop. Overworked air conditioners will also last less than the typical 10-year lifespan.
Is the room you need to cool located upstairs? If your room or area is upstairs, you will want to add roughly 10% to the BTU to account and compensate for the additional rising warm air. Therefore, using the example above, if you add an additional 10% to the 6000 BTU air conditioner, you are now at 6,600 BTU. As you generally want to be over the recommended BTU size rather than under, you would want to select a model for 7,000 BTU.
Number of People
Do you plan to cool a room that will have two or more people within it at all times? If so, it is recommended to add an extra 600 BTU per additional person. Using the example above, adding 600 BTU per person to the original 6,000 BTU gives you a total BTU recommendation of 6,600. Again, you would want to select a model above the recommended 6,600 rather than lower. This means you would want to look at air conditioners with 7,000 BTU output to adequately cool your space.
In addition to room size, you also need to know appropriate electrical requirements.
Some larger BTU window mounted air conditioners require a 30-amp, 230 volt breaker as the plug type is LCDI 6-30P. These are all specific, necessary electrical requirements when operating a higher BTU appliance. Not only must they be installed appropriately, but adequate electrical access is required, depending on the voltage. Smaller BTU air conditioners can be powered with a simple three-prong electrical 110 – 120 volt plug-in outlet. Making sure you have appropriate electrical requirements will help determine the best window AC unit for your space. The last thing you want to do is purchase a unit that you cannot successfully install due to inaccessible or unavailable electrical requirements.
If energy saving is important to you, look for air conditioners with adjustable fan speeds. Variable adjustable fan speeds help circulate ambient cooler air to help lower the temperature of the space without using the unit. This means less energy consumption and less cost.
You can also look for Energy Star certified air conditioners. If a unit is not certified, then look for window models with a high efficiency ratio. Keep in mind that the higher the number the better efficiency and cost saving it will be.
Does your space stay cool during the morning hours but heat up later in the day? Window air conditioners with a programmable timer allow you to run your AC during those imperative times you need. By programming your unit to run the air conditioner during those late hours in the day will not only lower cost, but it will also extend the lifespan of your air conditioner! Window air conditioners that aren't run as often or for long periods of time can last longer.
How Do Window Air Conditioners Work?
If you were to dissect a window air conditioner, you would find two important pieces of equipment: the compressor and the cooling coil. These two devices are essential in window AC units to correctly regulate and control the desired air temperature within your designated area.
As soon as the unit is powered on to cool, the condenser starts. When the condenser starts, the cooling coil drops in temperature, cooling the air that is being pulled through it. This produces cooled air to be distributed into your space. Depending on the BTU output of the window air conditioner determines the approximate total area the air conditioner will cool.
Air Conditioner Maintenance
Do you use your AC year-round, rather than just during those hot summer months? Do you sometimes forget to change or clean the air filter? Do you have an inadequately sized air conditioner for the space you need cooled? These are all factors that go into determining how long your window air conditioner will last.
Change the Filters
While the typical lifespan of a window AC unit is approximately 10 years, this can be extended with proper care of your air conditioner. All air conditioners will benefit from regular filter cleaning and changes. A dirty air filter may cause the air conditioner to work harder to pull in clean air for recirculation, resulting in a dirty, overworked cooling coil. Therefore, it is important to change the air filter frequently.
Try to find a model with an alert to notify you when the air filter needs to be checked. With this reminder, you can successfully clean or change the air filter during the recommended times, resulting in a properly maintained window AC unit. In addition to changing or cleaning the air filter, wipe down the condenser and cooling coil. These two mechanisms collect dust and dirt during the air circulation process. The buildup of dust and dirt can result in an overworked system. This overworked system can lower the lifespan of your window air conditioning unit as well.
Clean the Drain System
Proper maintenance is not just limited to how often you clean your window AC unit and its respective components. There are other factors that go into extending the longevity of your window air conditioner. Some air conditioners have a drainage system where condensed water is released, and it is important to clean this mechanism as well. A blocked drain system can result in an overworked air conditioning unit as well, shortening its lifespan. Clean this drain system frequently, including the tubes and drain pan, to ensure sufficient draining. Sufficient draining allows the system to work sufficiently, rather than difficultly. A system having a difficult time operating creates additional obsolescence on the unit. And, you guessed it, shortening the lifespan of your air conditioner.
And there you have it! You may not have realized how many things you need to consider when looking for the best window air conditioners, and we hope we've managed to make things clearer. Whether you're looking for efficiency, quiet use, remote controls, simple manual controls, smart-home equipped, or affordability, our reviews should have you covered.
If you're still on the fence about whether a window conditioner is for you, you can also check out our list of the top rated portable air conditioners for alternative options. Whatever your final decision, we wish you happy shopping!