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April 28, 2024

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    If central air conditioning isn’t an option or is too costly, a window air conditioner may help keep your home cool. Window air conditioners can be cheaper and more flexible than central air conditioning and help increase a large house’s energy efficiency. Today’s Homeowner researched and tested the best window air conditioners in 2023 to help you choose the best one for your home. Here’s how they ranked.

    Our Top Picks for Window Air Conditioners

    Best Overall: HomeLabs 8000 BTU Window AirConditioner

    Best Runner Up: Midea 6000 BTU Easy Cool

    Best Premium: Koldfront WAC12001W 12,000 BTU

    Best for Large Room: LG 10,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

    Best on a Budget: AmazonBasics Window-Mounted Air Conditioner

    Best SmartWindow A/C: Frigidaire Smart Window Air Conditioner With Wi-Fi

    Best for Energy Efficiency: Midea U 8000 BTU Smart Inverter Window Air Conditioner

    Best Overall: HomeLabs 8000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

    Product Specs

    • Cooling area: Rooms up to 350 square feet
    • BTU: 8,000
    • Weight: 50 pounds
    • Noise Level: 53 to 58 decibels
    • Dimensions: 18.54” W × 15.55” D × 13.40” H
    • Energy Star Certified: Yes
    • Features: 24-Hour Timer, Eco Mode, Sleep and Follow Me
    • Cost: $319.97

    Why We Chose it

    Advanced Wi-Fi capability, energy efficiency, and a low noise level make the best overall window A/C unit the HomeLabs 8000 BTU Window Air Conditioner.

    This model is a smart-control air conditioner that can effectively cool a room up to 350 square feet. Special settings for when you sleep help make the unit more energy efficient and contribute to its Energy Star certification. This air conditioner can be Installed in 15 minutes, and its filters simply slide out to be washed and reused.

    We love the HomeLabs 8000 BTU Window Air Conditioner’s features, including timer settings to turn on the unit before you arrive home in the evening. It also has a relatively low noise level of 53 to 58 dB.

    Connects to included remote or your smartphone
    Energy Star certification
    Fan mode
    Timer options
    TimeQuick and easy installation processr options
    Not the cheapest on the market
    Wi-Fi connectivity can take a few minutes to configure

    Runner Up: Midea 6000 BTU EasyCool

    Product Specs

    • Cooling area: Rooms up to 250 square feet
    • BTU: 6,000
    • Weight: 49 pounds
    • Noise Level: 51.9 to 55.5 decibels
    • Dimensions: 15.98″ W x 13.19″ D x 12.05″ H
    • Energy Star Certified: Yes
    • Features: Dehumidifier mode, Remote Control, Easy Timer Feature
    • Cost: $239

    Why We Chose it

    The Midea EasyCool Window Air Conditioner offers energy-efficient cooling for small rooms, plus a dehumidifier mode that can make a relatively damp room more hospitable. It’s a quiet model that installs with a screwdriver and comes with a one-year warranty. For its price, the Midea checks the boxes of both premium and affordable.

    Homeowners can benefit from an EasyTimer feature to set their room air conditioner to turn on, even when they’re not home. A three-speed fan allows you to circulate the air in your room without needing to turn on the aQuieter than your refrigeratorir conditioner. However, the Midea EasyCool does not have Wi-Fi connectivity, so you won’t be able to control it from your phone.

    Quieter than your refrigerator
    LED display is easy to read and program
    Timer feature
    Remote control included
    Easy to install, with all mounting hardware included
    No voice control or Wi-Fi compatibility
    Not suitable for large spaces

    Best Premium: Koldfront WAC12001W 12,000 BTU

    Product Specs

    • Cooling area: Rooms up to 550 square feet
    • BTU: 12,000
    • Weight: 84 pounds
    • Noise Level: Max of 56 dB
    • Dimensions: 22-5/8″ W x 23” D x 16-1/8” H
    • Energy Star Certified: Yes
    • Features: Heating Functionality, 4 Operation Modes, Remote Control, Washable Filters
    • Cost: $575

    Why We Chose it

    The KoldFront 12,000 BTU window air conditioner is a premium model for homeowners with more square footage to cover. It’s remarkably quiet for its size and also offers heat—so it can stay in your window all year long. Four-way air direction louvers make this A/C unit one of the more flexible on the market, helping you direct the cool air where you need it the most.

    However, you may need to call an electrician: The KoldFront requires a more powerful 230V electrical outlet. With 4-way air direction louvers, the fan settings on the KoldFront can help you direct the cool air where you need it the most.

    Large coverage area
    Simple installation
    Heating mode
    Not Wi-Fi enabled
    Requires a 230V outlet
    Heavier and higher-priced higher than other options on the market

    Best for Large Spaces: LG 10,000 BTU Window A/C

    Product Specs

    • Cooling area: Rooms up to 450 square feet
    • BTU: 10,000
    • Weight: 76 pounds
    • Noise Level: 53 decibels (low mode)
    • Dimensions: 23.6” W x 22.2” D x 15” H
    • Energy Star Certified: Yes
    • Features: Low Noise Performance, 3 Cooling Fan Speeds, Energy Star Program
    • Cost: $419

    Why We Chose It

    The LG brand has a strong reputation in electronics, and the company’s air conditioner units are no exception. Although this 10,000 BTU air conditioner from LG is not the largest on the market, it does a great job with medium- to large-sized rooms.

    The unit’s size does not mean it’s loud: LG’s inverter technology keeps this unit quiet. This air conditioner is also easy to use and adjust, with side panels included.

    User-friendly design
    Easy-to-adjust side panels
    Three cooling and fan speeds
    Fair pricing for its size
    Heavy, making installation more challenging
    Customer service can be hit or miss

    Best on a Budget: AmazonBasics Window Mounted A/C

    Product Specs

    • Cooling area: Rooms up to 150 square feet
    • BTU: 5,000
    • Weight: 35 pounds
    • Noise Level: 52-56 decibels
    • Dimensions: 15.98″ W x 13.19″ D x 12.05″ H
    • Energy Star Certified: No
    • Features: 7 Temperature Settings, Dual Cooling, Reusable Filter
    • Cost: $179

    Why We Chose It

    The AmazonBasics Window Mounted A/C is a great choice if you need a cheap and quick fix for a hot room. This model is small and will cool rooms up to 150 square feet, making it a good option for dorm rooms or even small apartment bedrooms.

    You can easily adjust to one of seven temperature settings with a manual dial. It’s also a relatively easy A/C unit to take care of; pull the filter out, wash it, and put it back in.

    As a budget A/C unit, you won’t find the luxury features of higher-end models, like air purifiers or dual inverters. But for a short-term fix, the Amazon Basics model can be a good choice.

    Low price
    Easy to use
    Built-in filter can be cleaned and reused
    Not Energy Star Certified
    Not suitable for large rooms or windows

    Best Smart A/C: Frigidaire 12,000 BTU Smart Window A/C With Wi-Fi Control

    Product Specs

    • Cooling area: Rooms up to 550 square feet
    • BTU: 12,000
    • Weight: 75 pounds
    • Noise Level: 57.7 decibels
    • Dimensions: 14.5” H x 19” W x 21.5 D”
    • Energy Star Certified: Yes
    • Features: Frigidaire App, Washable Filter, Energy Saver Mode, Remote Control
    • Cost: $459

    Why We Chose It

    The Frigidaire Smart Window A/C makes controlling your air temperature simple and high-tech. You can use this Wi-Fi-connected unit with any smart device, including Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. The Frigidaire app for your smartphone makes tracking information and controlling the unit easy.

    This unit is highly customizable, with three different fan speeds and six-direction airflow. It’s also efficient, with Energy Star certification. The Clean Filter Alert Feature will help you to clean your Frigidaire at exactly the right time, ensuring the best efficiency.

    Multi-directional airflow
    Energy Star certified, with energy saver mode
    Wi-Fi enabled for use with your phone or other smart devices
    Side panel and mounting bracket are sold separately.
    Pricey.

    Best Energy Efficiency: Midea U Shaped Design Inverter Window A/C

    Product Specs

    • Cooling area: Rooms up to 550 square feet
    • BTU: 12,000
    • Weight: 58 pounds
    • Noise Level: As low as 42 decibels
    • Dimensions: 19.17” W x 21.97” D x 13.46” H
    • Energy Star Certified: Yes
    • Features: U Shaped Design, 35% Energy Savings, Anti Theft Mechanism
    • Cost: $499

    Why We Chose It

    The Midea U Smart Inverter AC unit is the best choice for energy savings, earning the Energy Star’s “Most Efficient” certification in 2022. But it could also win the top spot for the quietest window AC on the market, clocking in at just 42 decibels.

    It’s chock-full of unusual but attractive features, such as a U-shaped design that allows you to open your window while using the unit. This allows you to grab some fresh air when the temperatures drop and not have to re-install the window A/C.

    This is also a Wi-Fi-enabled model that you can control with the app, Alexa, or Google Assistant.

    Can open the window while A/C is in place
    Wi-Fi enabled
    Quiet operation
    Relatively high cost

    What To Look For in a Window A/C Unit

    As you look through your window A/C options, you’ll see an assortment of features that promise to improve your unit. Here are a few of the more common ones you’ll find to provide some insight into how window A/C units work. Consider which features are most important to you before starting to shop.

    Cooling Area

    The size of the room can make or break the effectiveness of your air conditioning unit. A window A/C unit is typically rated in BTUs or British thermal units. Small rooms can get away with a unit that has a 5,000 BTU rating, but a larger room will likely need window air conditioners with 10,000 BTUs or more.

    To determine the size of the air conditioner you’ll need, first measure the square footage of the room you’re seeking to cool. Take that number and multiply it by 25. This will give you an estimate of the BTUs you’ll need from your window A/C unit. For example, a 20-foot by 10-foot bedroom has 200 square feet and will need a 5,000 BTU unit to cool it efficiently. To reduce the cost of running an 8000 BTU A/C, make sure the room you place it in is not much bigger than 350 square feet.

    Make sure the unit you choose has enough cooling power. A unit that’s too small won’t be as effective, won’t last as long, and won’t yield the energy savings you’d get from a properly sized unit.

    Energy Star Certification

    In years past, window A/C units had a bad reputation for being energy hogs. But today’s options are full of Energy Star-certified products that promise to lower utility bills.

    Filters

    Window A/C units may have washable filters or replaceable filters. Reusable filters can help keep your costs down but aren’t always available. When researching window air conditioners, consider the type of filter it requires, how much they cost, and how readily available they are. It’s even better when the unit has a feature that tells you when your filter is ready to be cleaned.

    Noise Levels

    Window A/C units will produce varying levels of noise as they work, measured in decibels and included in part of the product’s specification. Most window air conditioners run at about 60 decibels, but some of the quietest on the market are around 40 decibels. Consider how you use the room and determine how much of a factor noise should be in making your decision. It may be worth paying extra for a quieter model for a baby’s room or library.

    Pricing

    A window A/C unit can range anywhere from $150 to more than $500. Pricing is primarily based on the size of the unit, but features like remote control, varying fan speeds, and reduced noise can drive up the price of a particular model.

    Temperature Range Settings

    Most window A/C units can range in temperature between 62 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are particular about the temperature of your room, check the range to ensure your numbers fit within it.

    Weight

    Most windows can hold a window A/C unit of any weight, but heavier units are harder to install. The smallest window air conditioners weigh around 35 pounds, while larger units can clock in at well over 80 pounds. Keep this in mind if you are installing the unit yourself.

    Wi-Fi Capability

    Some more advanced window A/C units can connect to your home Wi-Fi network, allowing you to control the unit from your phone or other smart-home devices.

    Window Size

    Air conditioning units are designed for a particular size of window. Measure the width and height of your window opening, and write these numbers down. Many window air conditioning units come with adjustable pieces to help them fit in a wide range of windows, but you still have to ensure your window is within the range of the model you select.

    While you’re at it, also note the style of window you have. Single-hung and double-hung windows are the most common and will work with most window A/C units. But more unusual window types like awning or jalousie windows may not work.

    Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips

    Here are a few tips to ensure that you keep your window A/C in great condition for years to come.

    • Keep it clean. Clean the filter often. Clogged filters are a common reason why window AC units fail. If your unit has a filter light, pay close attention to see when it needs maintenance. If not, remind yourself to clean the filter monthly. Also, always keep the outside of the unit clean and free of debris.
    • Make sure you have the right size. Always choose the right size air conditioner so you don’t strain the unit and cause more issues in your home.
    • Dim the light. Help the air conditioner by taking other precautions to keep the temperature down. Window shades and blinds can make a tremendous difference.
    • Check your home warranty. Some home warranty plans have coverage for HVAC that will extend to window A/C units. Double-check before buying or renewing your home warranty so you can be confident you’ll have help if it breaks.

    Looking for a lower matenance cheaper option for keep your room cool? Check out our list of best window fans.

    Final Thoughts: What is the Best Window Air Conditioner?

    The best window air conditioner is the HomeLabs 8000 BTU Window Air Conditioner. This unit stands out for its affordability, ease of use, and different size options to match your room precisely. This HomeLabs model gets strong customer reviews, and installation generally takes just a matter of minutes.

    However, this model isn’t the best option for everyone. If you are in the market for more features, check out the Midea U. If budget is a concern, Amazon Basics offers a good model to consider.

    Window Air Conditioner FAQs

    What is a BTU?

    BTU stands for a British thermal unit and refers to the heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree. The BTU describes the overall strength of a window A/C unit.


    Which AC brand is the best?

    The top AC brands in the industry are LG, Frigidaire, Midea, and HomeLabs.


    How many feet will a 10000 BTU A/C unit cool?

    A 10000 BTU A/C unit will cool approximately 300 square feet. However, you can cool a slightly larger room with a very efficient window A/C.


    Which type of window air conditioner is most popular?

    The 8000 BTU unit is the most popular size, fitting most common room sizes.


    What is the difference between a window A/C and a portable A/C?

    A window A/C sits in your window and cools the entire room. Portable air conditioners tend to be smaller and sit on the floor. However, they’re also more expensive and not quite as efficient.


    What is the average cost for a window air conditioner?

    The average cost for a window air conditioner is between $150 to $500, based on the size of the unit and the features it offers.


    Today's Homeowner Windows Ranking Methodology

    Today's Homeowner examined dozens of the most popular and widely available window air conditioning models to determine the best on the market. Ratings are based on price, size, and features like Wi-Fi capability and adjustability.

    Disclosure: Today's Homeowner participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate advertising program is designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

    Editorial Contributors
    avatar for Britt Olizarowicz

    Britt Olizarowicz

    Britt Olizarowicz is a former real estate agent and landscaping business owner. She has a wide range of experience across several industries and was also a professional golfer. With her experience in investing, renovating, and improving properties Britt loves to share in all of the latest and greatest technologies, systems, and strategies to keep your home and garden looking great.

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    photo of Roxanne Downer

    Roxanne Downer

    Editor

    Roxanne Downer is a commerce editor at Today’s Homeowner, where she tackles everything from foundation repair to solar panel installation. She brings more than 15 years of writing and editing experience to bear in her meticulous approach to ensuring accurate, up-to-date, and engaging content. She’s previously edited for outlets including MSN, Architectural Digest, and Better Homes & Gardens. An alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, Roxanne is now an Oklahoma homeowner, DIY enthusiast, and the proud parent of a playful pug.

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