11 Best Window Air Conditioners (Review) In 2021
- The Best Window Air Conditioner
- 1. LG 6000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
- 2. Midea 6000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
- 3. Frigidaire 5000 BTU Window Mounted Compact Air Conditioner
- 4. hOmeLabs 8000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
- 5. LG Dual Inverter Window Air Conditioner
- 6. hOmeLabs 5000 BTU Window Mounted Air Conditioner
- 7. Soleus Air Exclusive Saddle Window Air Conditioner
- 8. Frigidare 5000 BTU Window Mounted Mini Air Conditioner
- 9. Frigidaire 10,000 Slider/Casement Window Air Conditioner
- 10. Koldfront 25000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
- 11. TOSOT 10,000 BTU Temperature Sensing Window Air Conditioner
As the summer temperatures begin to soar it's time to think about how to effectively cool your home. Whilst a central air system is probably the most desirable option, it's also the most expensive. Fortunately, there are plenty of other options and one of the most affordable is to invest in a good window air conditioner. They are not only far cheaper to install than central air or split systems, but they are also far cheaper to run and maintain. Most models are easy to fit and don't require any specialized equipment unlike through wall air conditioners. With the majority of kits providing everything that's needed to both install the unit and close off any gaps.
There is a lot to think about when looking for the best window air conditioner for your home and this guide is designed to help you choose the right model for you. For example, do you need to keep a very small room cool or are you looking for something more powerful? Will the unit be placed where you sleep and will running noise be a consideration? Read on to discover our picks of the best window units, why we like them, and the factors you need to take into account before making your choice!
The Best Window Air Conditioner
6000 BTU, 115 V
Cools up to 260 square feet
3 cooling and fan speeds, plus auto cool
Maximum window width: 36″
Weighs 39.6 pounds
One of the best window air conditioners on the market, the LG 6000 BTU ac unit offers excellent dehumidification at up to 1.8 pints per hour and can cool a room of up to 260 square feet. 3 cooling speeds, 3 fan speeds and auto cooling make the unit flexible enough to perfectly suit your needs, whilst its highly rated energy efficiency makes it economical to run. A 24 hour on/off timer means that your home is always cool when you need it, and the unit comes with a remote control so you can operate it from the comfort of your chair! This model is easy to use and an installation kit is provided, along with instructions. Some air conditioners can suffer from corrosion, but this version has an LG patented gold fin anti-corrosion coating, which forms a protective shield and means it will stay looking good for longer. The unit measures 14.38 x 17.31 x 11.13 inches and is covered by a 1-year warranty, which includes parts and labor.
24 hour on/off timer
2-way air direction
Installation kit provided
Simple to operate
No up or down air direction
Installation directions can be difficult to follow
May need 2 people to install
Needs adaptation for retrofit vinyl windows
6000 BTU, 115 V
Cools up to 250 square feet
Air conditioning, dehumidification, and fan-only modes
EcoSave functionality for energy efficiency
Weighs 49.9 pounds
Fast cool option
The Midea 6000 BTU Window Air Conditioner cools rooms up to 250 sq ft and also offers dehumidification. Measuring 18.5” W x 15.7” D x 13.4” H it can fit windows with a minimum opening width of 23” and a maximum of 36”. Expandable panels are provided to match several different styles and sizes of windows, which make setup easier. The handy ‘sleep’ button makes sure you are comfortable until morning, by automatically adjusting the temperature throughout the night and aligning it with the natural sleep cycle of your body. And you can be confident that your home is always cool when you need it most, thanks to the 24-hour timer that allows you to turn the unit on automatically before you get home. Instead of having to set reminders to maintain the unit, the MIDEA EasyCool Window Air Conditioner has a CleanFilter warning, which is designed to tell you when it needs maintenance.
Easy to install without modifying window frame
Useful sleep mode
Well constructed and sturdy
Cannot be installed on a sliding window
Pilot holes needed for some window frames
Needs 2 people to install
No support bracket included
The display screen uses icons that are not well described in the manual
5 000 BTU
Cools up to 150 square feet
Dehumidification up to 1. 1 pint per hour
Uses standard 115 V electrical outlet
Weighs 41.4 pounds
6 ft power cord
One of the best window air conditioners for small rooms is the Frigidaire 5 000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner, which has 2 fan speeds and can quickly cool a room up to 150 square feet. Despite its compact size, it’s not lacking in features, with full-width, 2-way air direction control and simple rotary controls for easy operation. Maintenance is easy and the washable filter slides out from the side, so it’s easy to get to. This model is energy star certified, with an EER of 11. 0, and has a money-saving low power start up. It measures 15.25 x 16 x 12 inches and comes with expanding panels that pull out from the sides. In the event of a power interruption, this model will restart automatically and at the previous settings – a big advantage if the power goes out at night!
Low power start up
Restarts automatically after a power outage
No mount required
Comes with insulation foam of 3 different sizes
Runs quietly on low setting
Can be noisy on high setting
No remote control
Condensation may gather at the back as there is no drain
Can’t be programmed to turn on or off
Powerful 8 000 BTU unit with multiple cooling functions
Digital thermostat display
115V/60Hz Energy Star Certified
Designed for a standard double-hung window
Temperature range 61°F-88°F
Weighs 47.4 lbs
If you’re looking for a window air conditioner for a larger room, then consider this hOmeLabs 8 000 BTU model which can cool rooms up to 350 square feet. An ideal alternative to installing central air, this window air conditioner offers lots of energy-saving features, including a 24-hour timer, sleep mode, and ECO mode. Multiple cooling options – including Cool, Dry, Fan, and Auto – plus three fan speeds help you easily get your room to your preferred temperature, whilst the 4-way airflow feature means you can direct the cool air just where you want it. The installation kit is comprehensive and includes all the screws, locks, mounting accessories, foams, and gaskets you need for a perfect fit. The unit measures 18.6 x 15.6 x 13.3 inches and is designed to fit a window width between 23” and 36”, with a minimum 14.5” of vertical clearance.
Mounting accessories provided
Full-featured remote control
Washable slide-out air filter
Sleep mode for a comfortable night
Does not include a support bracket
Can be noisy on high setting
ECO setting not ideal for night time use as thermostat turns on and off
9, 500 BTU, 115 V
Cools up to 450 square feet
3 cooling and fan speeds
Energy Star efficiency
Weighs 71.8 pounds
The best window air conditioner for medium-sized rooms is LG’s Energy Star Dual Inverter, which is capable of cooling up to 450 sq. ft. Dual inverter window ACs are very energy efficient and – thanks to their twin rotators – they cool rooms quickly. Another advantage is that they are quiet – this 9,500 BTU unit runs at just 44 dBA on a low setting. This is a smart air conditioner with lots of cool features, including SmartThinQ technology that makes it possible to control the unit from your connected smartphone – ideal if you’re coming home early and want to make sure it’s nice and cool before you arrive. What’s more, it’s also compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, giving you even more options to control it remotely using just your voice. With three fan and cooling speeds – plus an Auto-Restart feature that turns the air conditioner back on in the case of a power outage – you can be confident that your room will always be the precise temperature you prefer. This air conditioner measures 24.5 x 19.6 x 12.5 inches and comes with one-year parts and labor warranty.
Compatible with your smartphone, Alexa or Google Assistant
4-way air direction
Runs very quietly
No stop/start noises associated with traditional ac units
Reliable Smart ThinQ app
Fast, efficient cooling
Support bracket not included
Wifi control can sometimes be a little slow
May not work well with a GFCI Outlet
5 000 BTU, 110 V
Cools up to 150 square feet
2 cool and fan settings
Weighs 36.5 pounds
Perfect for a small room – or even for an RV – is the 5 000 BTU hOmeLabs Window Mounted Air Conditioner, which can cool areas of up to 150 square feet. The rotary dials provide 7 settings for achieving your desired temperature, plus two fan speeds. Designed to provide powerful, super-fast cooling, it’s capable of making a small, hot room feel comfortable in just 15 minutes or less. It comes with everything you need for easy installation, including the support brackets, leaf guards, and the window seal foam. The guide even explains how to use backflow drainage to make sure your installation is totally drip-free! This compact window AC measures 16 inches long x 12 inches high x 15.4 inches deep and is perfect for windows between 23 – 36 inches wide, and at least 13 inches high.
Full-width 2-way airflow
Easy to install
Plugs into regular outlet
Good value for money
No remote control
No fresh air venting option
Fan runs continuously, even after compressor has shut off
No horizontal adjustment to vents
6 000 BTU, 110 V
Cools up to 275 square feet
If you are looking for a window air conditioner that can be installed with no tools – and that you won’t worry will drop out of the window! – then you need to look for a ‘saddle’ design. The best air conditioning unit in this category is the Soleus Air, which will efficiently cool your room without obstructing the view from your window. Rather than needing securing with brackets and tools, this ac unit slides over the window sill (note that the maximum window sill clearance it will fit in is 11 inches). These window units operate very quietly and feature an exclusive ‘MyTemp’ sensor on the remote control, which enables the unit to cool to your precise location. There are also plenty of great features for energy efficiency, including an energy saver mode, a 24-hour timer and sleep mode. This air conditioner fits windows from 24″ to 48″ wide.
30% quieter than average window air conditioners
Easy to fit – no tools required
Doesn’t block your window view
Combines the benefits of a portable AC, window AC and mini-split AC unit
LCD remote control
Handy MyTemp feature to keep your exact location cool
Also works as a stand-alone dehumidifier
Heavy, so may require 2 people to install
The drain needs to be emptied manually
The unit shuts off if the overflow receptacle is full
Installation instructions are vague
5 000 BTU, 115 V
Cools up to 150 square feet
Washable mesh filter
Weighs 42 pounds
These window air conditioners are energy star certified, with an energy efficiency ratio of 12.2. Providing dehumidification of up to 1.1 pints per hour, the Frigidare 5000 BTU Window Mounted unit has a low power start up and operation and can cool a room of up to 150 square feet. It features ready-select controls that help you get the room to just the right temperature, which then appears on the electronic display. You can direct the cool air in four different directions and this air conditioner comes with a full-function remote so you can control it from across the room. Designed for windows from 23″ to 36″ wide and 13″ high, it also comes with 1-year parts and labor warranty, plus an additional 4 years limited sealed system warranty.
Comes with mounting kit, including self-adhesive foam stripping
Temperature can be set as low as 60C
Convenient remote control with multiple functions
Remembers your last used temperature and fan speed
Can be noisy on the high fan setting
Needs to be restarted manually if the power goes out
Always restarts in economy mode, so has to be adjusted back to last temperature
Filter can be difficult to replace after washing
10 000 BTU, 115 V
Cools up to 450 square feet
Slide-out, washable mesh filter
Weighs 72 pounds
1-year warranty for parts and labor plus additional 4 years limited warranty on sealed system
One of the most powerful units in this review, Frigidaire’s 10 000 BTU Air Conditioner is specifically designed for casement-window or sliding horizontal window installations. It is not suitable for standard window installations. With the ability to cool a room of up to 450 sq. ft, this unit also works as a dehumidifier, producing 3.4 pints per hour. It has three fan speeds and 4-way direction for the cool air, plus a full-function remote control. Additional handy features include a 24-hour timer, sleep mode, energy saver mode, and auto cool. This air conditioner measures 23.5 x 14.5 x 20.25 inches.
Easy to clean
Easy to use remote control
Perfect for vertical windows
Can be difficult to see the small LED lights
The energy saver option may be too noisy to use at night
Heavy and requires 2 people to install
Installation instructions not very clear
25000 BTU, 220 V
Suitable for rooms up to 1,500 sq. ft
Dual function – cools and heats
Can operate as a dehumidifier
Weighs 131 pounds
Cooling a big room can be a challenge. Fortunately, Koldfront has the answer, with one of the best window air conditioners for large spaces. This powerful Koldfront 25000 BTU unit can efficiently cool an area of up to 1,500 sq. ft and removes moisture at the rate of 137 pints per day. A 24-hour timer ensures that your room is cool when you need it to be, whilst the energy saver mode helps save you money. Measuring 26.5 x 26.5 x 18.6 inches, it fits windows between 31 and 42” wide, with a minimum window height of 19.5”. This unit isn’t JUST for air conditioning – it also operates like a heater, warming areas up to 700 sq. ft.
Full two-year in-home warranty
Will switch automatically from AC to heat based on the thermostat
Has the option to recirculate air or bring in fresh
Needs a 30 Amp 220 Volt breaker to function properly
The unit is large and heavy so help is needed with installation
Has to be partially dismantled to remove styrofoam packaging
May require larger braces than those supplied
10000 BTU, 220 V
Suitable for rooms up to 450 sq. ft
Can function as an air conditioner, fan or dehumidifier
One year warranty, plus a 6-month warranty extension if your product is registered
Offering the best value for money of all the air conditioners in this review is the 10,000 BTU Temperature Sensing Window Air Conditioner from TOSOT. Energy star certified and with a modern design, this unit can cool a room of up to 450 sq. ft. Its sleek appearance is much more in keeping with modern decor than many older designs, and it offers three distinct functions – an air conditioner, a fan, and a dehumidifier. One of its best features is its Smart Temperature Control, with the thermostat located within the remote itself. This means that the unit will cool the air around the control (which is likely to also be the area closest to you!). The direction of the air can be controlled with 2 horizontal louvers, but you also have the option of setting them to move up and down automatically, ensuring every corner of the room is as cool as possible. This window unit is designed for windows from 26 to 41 inches wide and 19 inches high.
Multiple airflow directions that you can set to change automatically
Thermostat is in the control, not the unit, for precise cooling
Unit is compact and easy to install
Restarts automatically if the power goes out
Supplied with foam board and good insulating foam strips
The remote can’t be used for all operations
The lights can be too bright for comfort at night
Instructions in the manual are vague
Features To Consider With Window Air Conditioners
When choosing window air conditioners, the size of the window you will be placing it in is one of the most important considerations. Within the specifications for any air conditioners, you look at should be the dimensions of the window units themselves, along with the recommended window sizes for that particular model. Make sure that you take your window measurements very precisely, inside the window frame.
The measurement of your window width is probably the most important. You need to make sure that the width of your window lies between the minimum and maximum dimensions listed in the specifications for your chosen window unit. Window ACs do not have to exactly fit the width of your window. Most units come with expandable side panels or curtains. These are designed to close off the gap between the window AC and the wall, making it easier to fit to a wider range of window widths without major modification.
Not all window air conditioners will fit all windows. Most windows in the US are standard, double-hung windows. Most standard, horizontal window air conditioning units are designed to fit this type of window. But if you have a European-style casement window or a sliding window, chances are that standard air conditioners designed for windows won't fit! In most cases, your best option will be a vertical window unit. These are tall air conditioners that are specifically designed for these types of windows. They usually need a window width of around 15 1/2 inches. If your window is wider, then you can simply use the supplied kit to conceal the gap, but if your window is narrower than that it won't be possible to a window unit there.
BTU's are the way that air conditioners are rated and range from 5 000 all the way up to a chilly 25 000 BTU's. The letters BTU actually stands for British Thermal Units, which are the measurements used to show how much energy is needed to heat one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Although the term 'British Thermal Units' is more commonly used in the UK, it's often used throughout the world to refer to the power of air conditioners. Determining which is the best window air conditioner for your room relies largely on choosing one with the right BTU. If you choose one that's too large, you will waste money unnecessarily - but if it's too small then it won't cool your room effectively.
Window air conditioners tend to be a better investment than central air because they are cheaper to buy and cheaper to run. But it is important to ensure that the model you buy is energy efficient, or you could end up spending more than you planned! When looking at the specifications for window units, be sure to check the Energy Star rating and the EER number. Look for air conditioners with an EER number of at least 10 - but the higher the number, the better.
Filters on air conditioners tend to accumulate a lot of dust, dirt, and debris, so they need to be cleaned or replaced often. The best option is to look for window ACs with removable, washable filters which will save you money in the long run. It's also a good idea to look for units with filters that are easy to take out. Be sure to check them often - at least once a month - as your unit will run much less efficiently with a clogged filter.
This is really a matter of personal preference and you need to look for units that have the type of controls that work best for you. These can range from traditional and simple rotary dials to more complicated electronic systems. You also need to decide whether or not you need a remote control. Whilst it may save money to buy a unit without one, it could be a decision you end up regretting when you're lying in bed and wishing you could adjust the temperature of your room without getting up!
Whereas central air systems need lots of vents, things are a little more simple with window units, which simply vent out of the window and thus outside the property. They sometimes also feature vents that can be opened to bring in fresh air for circulation, so you need to check the specifications if this is something you require of your chosen model.
Some of the best air conditioning units for windows include Smart features that enable you to operate them from an app on your phone, or by using a voice assistant like Alexa. This can be useful for setting the unit to come on as you are on your way home from work, for example. The specifications should state whether or not the unit provides this option, along with compatibility details.
The weight of air conditioning units can vary considerably. It is important to check the weight listed in the specifications carefully, taking into account the type of window into which it will be fitted and whether or not you have help to install the unit. Some units are heavy enough to require two people to install them successfully.
Almost all window air conditioners make some sort of noise when they operate, but whereas some hum along gently, others can be distinctly louder! It's a good idea to check on the decibel rating before deciding on the best model, particularly if the unit is to be installed in the bedroom. You should also check if the fan runs continuously or turns on and off because even that small noise can be enough to awaken a light sleeper!
How to install a window air conditioner
Prior to installation, make sure that you choose a window that is close enough to a power outlet; the majority of window air conditioners have power cords that are between 5-6 feet long. Make sure that you check which side the power cord comes out of the unit too, you don’t want any unexpected surprises after you have installed it! Always read the instruction manual provided and follow it along, but most can be installed with the following steps:
- Remove the unit from the box but be mindful as the rear part of the unit can be sharp. Unpackage all components of the box to ensure you have everything that was meant to be delivered – your manual will illustrate what should have been included.
- Measure the width of the window you will be placing it into and find the center, making a mark with a pencil for easy installation. Make sure that the sides of the panels on the unit will evenly reach both sides of the window.
- Open the window and, if provided, install the weather strip. Weather strips help prevent any air from entering through cracks that may be left around the unit during installation. They also protect the window during installation and if you ever need to remove it. Not every window unit is provided with window strips, but your AC will work perfectly fine without them.
- Fit the panels into the appropriate slots on your window AC, ensuring they are slid all the way in and secured using the screws provided. Always connect the screws to avoid any spaces, which could allow warm air into your home.
- You may need a second pair of hands for this step! Lift the AC and position it centrally (use the mark you made to guide you) into the window. Then close the window tightly onto the unit; there is usually a lot located at the top of the unit in which the window can sit, making a tight, secure connection.
- Installation after the unit is actually in place can vary, but generally, there is at least one 'L' bracket that is included with most models that can be screwed in to hold the window in place; this is to prevent the window from being lifted or pushed up with the AC unit in place. If you were not provided with one, you should use one to make sure your unit is safely in place.
- If window padding was included, you can now add this to the sides of your panel and screw them into place; some units have expandable panels instead.
- Some units will provide further brackets and screws to help stabilize your window AC as an added safety measure. Read your instruction manual to see if these have been included.
Window Air Conditioner FAQ
Q: Can you use a window air conditioner without a window?
Unfortunately not. A window unit works by transferring the heat inside the room to the outside of your property, via the window. If you run a window unit inside a room, it won't have anywhere to send the heat and the room will become even warmer! You need to consider buying a portable air conditioner instead.
Q: Do window ac units use a lot of electricity?
The amount of electricity used can vary from 500 to 1440 watts depending on the type of unit you choose and how energy efficient it is. This is maybe a little more than mini split air conditioners, but still considerably less than central air systems, which have many running parts and can use more than twice this amount.
Q: How many BTUs do I need?
From an environmentally friendly point of view, window ACs should have a BTU size of the square footage of your room, multiplied by 20. That means the best air conditioner for a 500 sq ft room would be a 10,000 BTU model. But to be on the safe side, some people prefer to multiply the square footage by 30 instead.
Q: Can a window unit cool a whole house?
It's possible but it depends on the size of your house and the power of your air conditioning unit. But given the fact that it would involve extremely good insulation - and that the air circulation would be poor - it's not the best option. A whole-home cooling system would be better, ensuring even temperatures throughout.
Q: Do window air conditioners drip water?
Most window AC units will drip water if there is enough humidity in the air, and this will usually run from the cooling coil into channels that divert it to the back of the unit. Some of it will drip out, whilst some will be used to cool the machine's heating coils.