If you’ve got a room that takes punishing late-afternoon abuse from the sun, these window air conditioner reviews are going to help you find the coldest and most reliable window AC on the market. Say goodbye to the days where hotter indoor temperatures trump those from outside!
For whatever reason – no central AC, room facing the sun – your room collects that sweltering heat like it’s going out of style. Luckily, there are several options to cool you down. Your options include getting a window fan to help circulate and exhaust that hot, stagnant air, or you can invest in a window AC or portable air conditioning unit. For the record, the highest consumer reviews tend to gravitate towards window air conditioners being the more valuable of the two. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why.
BENEFITS OF A WINDOW AIR CONDITIONER
Cheaper Than A Portable AC
Window air conditioners are typically going to be less expensive than a portable unit by about $100, more or less. For the price savings, you can still expect the same amount of air flow based on the BTUs – although, you can’t place them exactly where you want them as you can with a portable air conditioner.
Lower Electric Bills
Instead of heating every room in your house, you only pay for the area you are actually cooling. Obviously this will result in better savings by way of less energy use. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy suggests that, when buying a new room air conditioner, look for units with an EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) of 10 or above.
Supplement To Your Central AC System
Though you should never run a window AC and a central cooling system at the same time, it could be beneficial to have a window AC on hand. Today’s best air conditioners use 30% to 50% less energy than air conditioners made in the 70s. If you can’t afford a newer central cooling system, you’re throwing money away just by using your old one!
Today’s best air conditioners use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as air conditioners made in the mid 1970s.
In fact, many people use window air conditioners as a backup to their central AC system. “Spot” cooling a room instead of controlling an entire house makes sense economically as well as keeps you comfortable in that brutal summer heat.
Utility companies in cities all over the country often offer rebates on units based on Energy Star and other certifications. Ranges of rebates can vary between $15 and $50. Check EnergyStar.gov for rebate qualifications in your area.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A WINDOW AIR CONDITIONER
There are multiple options to look at when you decide to get a window air conditioner. To make the best decision for your needs, you should familiarize yourself with some of the more important features of these window units – according to not only what you require, but what other people find essential as well.
Energy Efficiency Ratio
Before you make a purchasing decision, you’ll want to determine how large of a room you’re going to control. For this reason, you’ll want to look at the BTU chart below. Larger BTU ratings equal greater cooling capacity.
As mentioned previously, the Energy Efficiency Ratio is something you’ll want to take into consideration. Look for 10 or higher to maximize on energy efficiency and minimize operation costs.
Many of these units also provide other control options – Dehumidification for high humidity areas and Clean Air Ionizers for those that suffer from allergies. Not to mention you’ll have a choice of Digital Displays, Remote Controls, Speed Settings and more.
Let’s face reality, products with intricate parts come with their fair share of problems. Even the best window air conditioner has a lemon here and there… not to mention a few other potential problems. Below you’ll find some of the most commonly reported consumer complaints on window AC units in general.
- Noisy! Being moderately quiet is one thing, but window AC units often rattle, compressors make noise, water sloshes around. On higher settings, you might need to crank up the volume on your TV.
- Some units, especially the larger BTUs, are pretty heavy. Installation is normally quite easy, but lifting these things up may require some assistance.
- Problems with shipping. It’s not only heavy for you, but for the guy delivering it too. Sometimes they get dinged on arrival.
- May not come with the sufficient insulation for proper window installation.
- Many units don’t actually display the ambient temp. Only the setting.
SAFETY AND OTHER INFORMATION
ENERGY STAR is a program run by the Environmental Protection Agency designed to help curb energy consumption and save the consumer money in the process. Appliances with the ENERGY STAR mark typically use less energy than those set by federal standards.
Obviously there is a lot to know about air conditioning and how all these figures and ratings tie together. How Stuff Works provides an overview of how BTU (British thermal units) and EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) are calculated and, subsequently how to determine the AC unit that saves you the most money.
Getting a Window air conditioner is a fantastic way to cool down a stuffy room. Of course, just setting it and letting it run is going to cost you. Check out these tips to optimize your energy usage while staying cool at the same time.
WINDOW AIR CONDITIONER REVIEWS
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|Keystone 5000 BTU||10.7||$165||5/5|
|Frigidaire 6000 BTU||11.2||$240||4.5/5|
|Frigidaire 5000 BTU||9.7||$135||4.5/5|
|Sharp 6000 BTU||10.7||$200||4/5|
While Keystone isn’t a name that pops out as a leader in this particular industry, their product testimonials speak for themselves and make this the best window air conditioner in the 5000 to 6000 BTU range. This unit comes with an LED Display with fully functional LCD Remote Control, 3 Speeds, Energy Saver feature, Sleep mode, Timer, Auto Restart and Adjustable Air Flow vents. This is a highly rated model with lots of positive ratings – but for those that prefer, there is a newer model available KSTAW05B.
Pros: Remote Control with LCD screen for temp/time settings – LED Display with electronic controls – 3 speeds for cooling and fan – Energy saving mode – Sleep mode – Auto restart – 24 hour timer – Easy clean filter with alert notification – Easy install – Lots of positive recommendations – Quiet operation – Cools small rooms quickly – Has a “dry” setting
Cons: Louvers only move side to side, not up and down – May not come with enough adhesive insulation – Infrared Remote signal, have to point it almost directly at unit
For those of you who prefer name brand products, Frigidaire has you covered with their ENERGY STAR 6,000. At a slightly higher price point, Frigidaire “fan”atics can enjoy similar features of the Keystone as well as receive the benefits of having a Dehumidifier and a Clean Air Ionizer for those allergy sufferers. On top of that it offers 3 Fan and 3 Cooling Speeds, a fully functional Remote Control, LED Display, Sleep Mode and 24 Hour Timer.
Pros: Dehumidifier function up to 1.3 Pints/hr – Clean air ionizer – Auto cool function – Energy saver feature – Programmable digital controls to select comfort level – Multi functional remote control – 3 different fan speeds – Multi-directional vents – Quiet operation – Easy install – Cools small room quickly
Cons: Loud beeps when changing settings – May not be the quietest on the market
Another highly rated Frigidaire unit on this list comes in a low-frills yet impressive and highly rated 5,000 BTU window AC unit. Though not as “option packed” as the Energy Saver 6,000, it comes with 2 Fan and 2 Cooling speeds, easy control Dial Knobs, Antibacterial Mesh Filter, Auto Restart, and a Low Power Start-up function to reduce energy consumption. While not meant to rival these other brands in features, it provides excellent value for the functionality that it delivers.
Pros: Dehumidifier function up to 0.8 Pints/hr – 2 speeds for cooling and fan – Easy install – Quiet operation – Easy filter access for cleaning – Cools small room quickly – Good value AC – Lots of positive reviews
Cons: No remote control – No energy saver feature (i.e. program to stop at certain temp) – Few complaints about bad customer support
Sharp Electronics is another highly recognizable brand that produces consumer electronic products. Their 6,000 BTU unit is one of the top rated air conditioners on the market with all of its many features. It comes with 3 Cooling and Fan speeds, Digital push-button Display, Dehumidification feature, Remote Control, 24 Hour Timer, Washable Mesh Filter and an Auto Cool feature to regulate air demand.
Pros: Dehumidifier function up to 1.3 Pints/hr – Remote Control to adjust temp, set timer, change fan speeds – 3 cooling and fan speeds – Auto cool – Energy Saver mode – 24 hour timer – Easy installation
Cons: Multiple complaints about fan scraping noise during operation – Loud button beeps – Some customer service complaints
WINDOW AIR CONDITIONER REVIEWS
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|SPT 12000 BTU||10.8||$330||4.5/5|
|Frigidaire 12000 BTU||10.8||$350||4.5/5|
|LG 8000 BTU||11.3||$300||4/5|
|GE Aros 8000 BTU||10.9||$250||3/5|
Sunpentown again shows up on the list, this time it’s representing the best window air conditioners in the 8000 and up range. While not the most well known Air Conditioning brand, the testimonials speak for themselves as this unit has many satisfied customers. This window unit comes with a Digital push-button Display, 3 Fan Speeds, Energy Saver option, Sleep mode, Auto restart, 24 Hour Timer and Remote Control. UL Listed.
Pros: Dehumidifier function up to 3.2 Pints/hr – 3 fan speeds – Easily removable and washable filter, with cleaning light reminder – Easy install – Remote control – Sleep Mode – 24 hour timer – Lots of positive testimonials on the Energy Saving mode – Cools room quickly and blows very cold air – Controls large area, several rooms – Directional louvers, up-down/left-right
Cons: Large and Heavy unit – May not be the quietest versus competing units – Might be better with OTC window mounting unit
The Frigidaire 12000 BTU window unit is a multi-functional air conditioner that is able to put out a large amount of cold air. Although it comes with a higher price tag, you get the Frigidaire name and a few of the extras. This unit comes with a Clean Air Ionizer to help allergy sufferers, Antibacterial Mesh Filter, Digital Display, 3 Fan and 3 Cooling Speeds, Sleep mode, 24 Hour Timer and a Remote Control with sensor that adjusts room temperature based on where you are. UL Listed
Pros: Dehumidifier function up to 3.8 Pints/hr – 8 way directional control – Clean air ionizer for allergies – Easy filter removal – Temperature sensing remote to adjust room temp to where you are specifically – Digital controls – Energy Star efficiency – 3 speeds for fan and cool – 24 hour timer – Restart power feature – Cools quickly – Controls several rooms – Easy install
Cons: May not be the quietest versus competing units – Heavy unit
The LG Electronics 8000 BTU is another highly favorable unit as per many satisfied customers. It’s ENERGY STAR Certified so you know its efficiency is on par or better than the previous 2 high-powered units. In addition to that, it comes with 3 Cooling and Fan Speeds, a Digital Display, Energy Saver mode, 24 Hour Timer and multi-functional Remote Control.
Pros: Dehumidifier function up to 2.2 Pints/hr – Energy Star efficiency – 3 cooling and fan speeds – 4 way directional air control – 24 hour timer – full function Remote control – Anti corrosion coating – Perhaps one of the quieter units in its class – Blows cold air – Energy saver mode – Cools quickly
Cons: Installation instructions could be better – Remote looks and feals cheap – Several complaints about filter rattling during operation – No sleep mode feature
For those who are into smart technology and home automation, you might be interested in the Quirky + GE Aros Smart Window AC. Quirky urges you to “ditch your dumb window AC for Aros,” because like Smart Thermostats, this AC unit adapts to your habits and budget to manage the perfect environment for you. It can also be programmed from anywhere via your smart phone, tablet or laptop. As far as specifications go, this unit has a unique LED Display with push-button controls, 3 Cooling and Fan speeds, Window Kit Setup and a Washable Filter.
Pros: Learns your habits – Tracks usage to adjust for savings – Monitor, Program and Control from anywhere – Smart phone compatible – Beautiful modern design – 3 cooling modes – 3 fan speeds – Washable filter
Cons: Perhaps the loudest window AC in its class – Display too bright – Filter hard to access – The Wink app can be hit and miss – Panels don’t create a good enough seal – May not be 100% ready for mainstream use
Hopefully these window air conditioner reviews have limited your options down to a solid few. And now that you have determined your room’s BTU demands and your own personal efficiency requirements, you can make the final choice. They all blow cold air capable of taming those blistering summer days and, of course, are rated higher than all other window ACs on the market.
Also noteworthy is that there are a few top brands that didn’t quite qualify for best window air conditioner – like Haier and Friedrich – but we felt the need to mention it for those brand enthusiasts. Keep in mind that while the consumer reviews will be less favorable for them, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t efficient and or sufficient.