Window air conditioners are the most popular type of air conditioners used domestically, offering efficient single room cooling at an affordable price. Gone are the days of the clunky, noisy industrial-looking unit, with modern, sleek, smart climate control being the new order of the day. Modern window air conditioners offer not only efficient cooling but stylish looks, high-tech connective smart features, versatility and, above all else, value for money. All this and much more can be found in our Top Pick in window air conditioners: the Frigidaire FGRC0844S1.
Offering powerful cooling, sleek looks, connective features, and exceptional efficiency and value for money, the Frigidaire FGRC0844S1 is one of Amazon’s best-selling smart window air conditioner with good reason.
A window air conditioner for all season comes in the Friedrich Kohl YS10N10C, offering both cooling and heating while still maintaining excellent energy efficiency. With a price tag to match its build quality and features, this window air conditioner make you wonder how you’ve lived so long without it.
This is also one of the most highly regarded, offering incomparable value for money without compromising on performance. The Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 is a budget priced window air conditioner that offers brilliant cooling for a budget price.
Keeping your cool: window air conditioners
The concept of air conditioning is older than you might think, with the ancient Egyptians and Romans using both passive and active systems of climate control. The first mechanical air conditioners were developed in China in the 2nd century with the first true electrically powered air conditioner coming out of New York in 1902.
Window air conditioners are installed in most single-hung or double-hung windows and typically come with accordion-style panels that make for a secure fit. They are by far the most popular type of air conditioner used residentially, being relatively cost-effective, easy to install and remove and are an excellent option if you want to cool just one room rather than an entire house. Compared to whole-house cooling, window air conditioners are more affordable to operate if you just want to cool one or two rooms.
Helping you choose: Think of England
The most essential part of choosing the right window air conditioner is to select a model that is suited to the size of your room. An undersized unit won’t cool adequately while one that’s too large will not remove enough humidity, leaving the air feeling damp. An air conditioner’s capacity to remove the amount of heat from a room is measured by handy industry standard: the British Thermal Unit (BTU). The higher this number, the more cooling power the unit provides with window air conditioners generally ranging in cooling power from 5000 to 25,000 BTU. To find the most suitable air conditioner for your needs, determine the square footage of the room you want to cool by multiplying the room length by its width. Rooms with areas from 150 to 350 sqft require an air conditioner between 5000 to 8000 BTU. Rooms with areas from 350 to 550 sqft require an air conditioner between 8000 to 12,000 BTU. Rooms with areas from 550 to 1050 sqft require an air conditioner between 12,000 to 18,500 BTU. Finally, rooms with areas from 1050 to 1600 sqft require an air conditioner between 18,500 to 25,000 BTU.
There may also be additional conditions you will need to consider when selecting a window air conditioner. The above-stated estimates are based on dwelling with 8 foot ceilings, so you need to increase desired the cooling output of a desired unit if you have high ceilings. If the room you intend to cool is exposed to significant amounts of sunlight in the afternoon, you will want to increase the cooling output by around 10%. If more than two people regularly occupy the room, increase the BTU count by 600 per additional person, and if the room you need to cool is a kitchen, the heat generated by the appliances will require an increase of cooling power by 4000 BTU.
Energy Efficiency Rating
One of the main benefits of window air conditions is their lower running costs over whole-house systems. You can further enhance your savings while still staying cool by paying mind to any potential air conditioner’s Energy Efficiency Rating (EER). An air conditioner’s EER can be calculated by dividing the unit’s BTU rating by the amount of power it consumes in watts. For example, if a 10,000 BTU air conditioner consumes 1200W, its rating is EER would be 8.3. In short, the higher the rating is, the more efficient the air conditioning unit is. The EER can be found on the Federal Trade Commission’s mandatory Energy Guide Label for air conditioners and sometimes in the manufacturer’s advertising.
Another easy to look for indication of energy efficiency is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Energy Star, which is awarded to air conditioners that are at least 10% more energy efficient than the minimum federal government standards. Most states in the US also offer rebates for customers who purchase an Energy Star model.
How we picked
Even with our helpful guide, the hundreds of different air conditioner options can make choosing one a daunting task. In our selection of the best of the best, there were several considerations that we looked for in each and every device.
Construction, durability and reliability were perhaps first and foremost in our selection process. A well-constructed and well maintained window air conditioner will last for several years and will maintain excellent energy efficiency while doing so.
Versatility and user friendliness were also essential considerations in our selection. We looked for air conditioners that were easy to install and came with the required components to do so. We also looked for features such as remote control operation or easy to use smart controls and automatic thermostats that maintain a constant temperature, saving energy ‘ yours included. Also, programmable timers lets you set the unit to turn on and off at specific times, helping you reduce energy consumption by operating the air conditioner only when it’s needed. And of course, air conditioners with high EERs and Energy Star accreditation were also highly regarded.
Our Top Pick: Frigidaire FGRC0844S1
Offering powerful cooling, sleek looks, smart features and outstanding energy efficiency, the FGRC0844S1 is also remarkable value for money. There’s little wonder this window air conditioner is so admired by its customers, and accordingly is our choice for Top Pick among window air conditioners.
Measuring 16″ x 13.5′ x 18.5′ and weighing 53lbs, the FGRC0844S1 can be mounted using the included pleated quick-mount kit in windows 23′ to 36′ in width with a minimum height of 14′. This air conditioner has a BTU rating of 8000 and is suitable for rooms of up to 350 sqft in size, and drawing just 5.9 amps, can be used with any standard 5-15R 15A-125V power socket. The FGRC0844S1 is extremely energy efficient, boasting an outstanding EER of 12.0, putting towards the upper end of units we looked at.
This window air conditioner features three fan levels with two-way air static control and is able to move up to 224 cubic feet of per minute on its highest setting. Slanted louvers on the top of the unit direct airflow in an upward circular motion, making for a faster, even room cooling. The FGRC0844S1 is also quiet, running a noise levels of between 55dB and 58dB ‘ barely noticeably above ambient urban noise during the day. Featuring an electric thermostat, the FGRC0844S1 can automatically maintain a set temperature, saving on energy consumption. Two features of this unit help to keep the air in your home healthy and clean as well as cool: an antibacterial filter screen that attaches magnetically for easy removal and cleaning and an air ioniser. The FGRC0844S1 also dehumidifies air at the rate of 1.7 pints per hour to not only help keep you comfortable but reduce the chances of mildew and mould build up in humid climates.
One of the FGRC0844S1’s biggest selling points for us was its smart control features. This window air conditioner can be controlled by three different ways: via the unit’s unobtrusive control panel, via the included remote control, or with a smartphone or tablet. Through the FGRC0844S1’s in-built Wi-Fi and a free mobile app you can turn the unit on or off, change the temperature, select modes and fan speeds, and set custom schedules for automatic cooling around the clock. The app can also be set to send notifications and alerts to your smart device, such as when it’s time to clean the filters. The unit also features not only a sleep timer but a specialised sleep mode that gradually backs off the cooling over time so you don’t wake up shivering and also reducing nosie.
All in all, the FGRC0844S1 not only offers powerful cooling with exceptionally efficiency and a host of smart feature but also looks a treat, completely doing away with the clunky industrial look you’d usually associate with these types of air conditioners. Worth every cent of its asking price and more, the FGRC0844S1 is certainly earns its place as our Top Pick.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
With a BTU rating of 8000, the FGRC0844S1 is limited to smaller to medium sized rooms for the most effective cooling. While the designed to evenly cool a room, some users were frustrated with the FGRC0844S1’s non-adjustable vents.
Our Step Up Pick: Friedrich Kohl YS10N10C
A versatility is the name of game when it comes to the Friedrich Kohl YS10N10C, in which you’ll find an air conditioner suitable for both window and in-wall installation that can both cool and heat for year-round comfort. This air conditioner offers premium construction, performance and features.
Measuring 26′ x 16″ x 29′ and weighing 109lbs, the YS10N10C can be mounted in windows 27.5′ to 42′ in width and requires a widow height of at least 16′. This air conditioner has a BTU rating of 10,000 in its cooling capacity and 8800 for heating, and is suitable for rooms of up to 800 sqft in size. Drawing 7.9 amps, it can be used with any standard 5-15R 15A-125V power socket. The YS10N10C rates a 10.9 on the EER scale and can boast Energy Star accreditation. Extremely well built, the YS10N10C is constructed from heavy-gauge galvanized steel, rifled copper tubing and aluminium fins with a fully-enclosed fan motors sealing out dirt and running at a lower temperature to give you years of problem-free service.
This window air conditioner features four cooling settings and four fan levels with adjustable 8-way air flow control, is able to move up to 300 cubic feet of per minute on its highest setting and dehumidifies air at the rate of 2.0 pints per hour. The YS10N10C is also extremely quiet with the unit’s moving parts being braced and insulated to reduce vibration and the airflow path being streamlined through the unit. Featuring an electric thermostat, the YS10N10C can automatically maintain a set temperature and fan speed. This air conditioner keeps the air clean with a washable antimicrobial filter located under an easy-access hinged door and, when combined an optional carbon filter, can filter particles as fine as 3.0 to 10.0 micrometres ‘ that’s cement dust fine.
The YS10N10C doesn’t want for smart features, either. This unit can be controlled via the control panel with auto-dimming LCD, by the included remote control with handy LCD, or through a smartphone or tablet. The YS10N10C’s Wi-Fi connectivity and a free mobile app you can turn the unit on or off, change the temperature, select modes and fan speeds, and set custom schedules for automatic cooling for to seven days, also making it Smart Grid compatible.
The YS10N10C is unquestionably a serious piece machinery when it comes to both beating the heat and the cool for medium to large areas. Offering the sturdiest construction, power, versatility and a range of high tech features, the YS10N10C is a solution for year-round climate control and you can safely consider it worth the not insubstantial asking price.
Our Budget Pick: Frigidaire FFRA0511R1
Measuring 16′ x 12′ x 13.3′ and weighing 36lbs, the FFRA0511R1 can be mounted using the included pleated quick-mount kit in windows 23″ to?36″ in width and requires a widow height of at least 13′. This air conditioner has a BTU rating of 5000 and is suitable for rooms of up to 150 sqft in size, and drawing just 4.0 amps, can be used with any standard 5-15R 15A-125V power socket. The FFRA0511R1 is extremely energy efficient, boasting an admirable EER of 11.1.
This window air conditioner features two fan levels with two-way air directional control and is able to move up to 120 cubic feet of per minute on its highest setting. The FFRA0511R1 is also quiet, running a noise levels of between 50dB and 54dB ‘ barely noticeably above ambient urban noise during the day. It keep the air clean with an antibacterial filter screen that slides out of the unit for easy cleaning and also dehumidifies air at the rate of 1.1 pints per hour. The unit is controlled simply via two dials on the unit’s control panel.
The FFRA0511R1 offers exceptional value for money in air conditioner without the frills designed for smaller spaces.
Our Specialised Picks
Affordable ionisation: Frigidaire FFRE0833S1
Ionisers are used in air purifiers to remove particles from the air using electrodes to which airborne particles are attracted to in an effect similar to static electricity, making them indispensable for allergy sufferers. Not only do ionisers purify air from visible contaminants but there is also compelling evidence to suggest they can also eliminate airborne bacterial infections. Along with our Top Pick, another window air conditioner that features an ioniser is the attractively priced Frigidaire FFRE0833S1.
Measuring 18.5′ x 13.5″ x 17.5′ and weighing 52lbs, the FFRE0833S1 can be mounted in windows 23″ to 36″ in width with a height of at least 14′. This air conditioner has a BTU rating of 8000, making it suitable for rooms of up to 350 sqft in size. Drawing just 5.9 amps, it can be used with any standard 5-15R 15A-125V power socket. The FFRE0833S1 rates an impressive 12.0 on the EER scale.
As well as an ioniser, this window air conditioner features three fan and cooling levels with adjustable 8-way air flow control, is able to move up to 224 cubic feet of per minute on its highest setting and dehumidifies air at the rate of 1.7 pints per hour. Featuring an electric thermostat, LCD display, antibacterial filter, remote control and Frigidaire’s unique sleep mode, the FFRE0833S1 is absolutely something to consider for allergy sufferers looking for a window air conditioner at a bargain price.
Affordable cooling/heating combination: Koldfront WAC12001W
Offering a robust cooling and heating combination is the highly regarded and surprisingly affordable Koldfront WAC12001W.
Measuring 22.6′ x 16.1″ x 23′ and weighing 88.4lbs, the WAC12001W can be mounted with the included hardware and weather seals in windows 27″ to 36″ in width with a height of at least 16.5′. This air conditioner has a BTU rating of 12,000 when cooling and 11,000 when heating, and is suitable for rooms 450 to 550 sqft in size. Drawing between 5.0 and 12.0 amps, this unit requires a dedicated 6-20R 20A-250V power socket.
This window air conditioner features three fan levels with adjustable 4-way air flow control, four operation modes, a digital thermostat for both cooling and heating, push-button controls and a remote control, 24 hour timer, sleep mode, and dehumidifies air at the rate of 2.4 pints per hour. For such a powerful, year-round cooling and heating solution, the WAC12001W is an absolute steal.
Smartest window air conditioner: Quirky + GE Aros
Quirky + GE Aros
If you’re looking for a window air-conditioner that more than thinks for itself, you need look no further than the Quirky + GE Aros. Part of a line of connective appliances coming from a collaboration between Quirky and General Electric, the Aros gathers information about your budget, location, schedule and usage to keep the temperature just how you like it and the savings at a premium.
Measuring 18′ x 14″ x 25′ and weighing 45lbs, the Aros can be mounted with the included hardware and retractable wings in double-hung windows 24.5″ to 40.5″ in width with a height of at least 13.5′. This air conditioner has a BTU rating of 8000 and is suitable for rooms of up to 350 sqft in size. Drawing 6.3 amps, this unit can operate with any standard 5-15R 15A-125V power socket.
The Aros is controlled entirely through Wi-Fi enabled smart devices via the Wink mobile app. The app also tracks your usage, learns your schedule, sends alerts, monitors weather conditions and even knows where you are, making the unit completely automatic so you never have to wait around for a room to cool down ever again. The Aros also features three fan and cooling levels and a digital thermostat with LCD display.
While perhaps not for the technophobe or those worried about digital intrusion into their personal lives, the Aros is undoubtedly the smartest window air conditioner you could want and perhaps offers a glimpse into what we can expect in household appliances in the future. Also, the Aros is an out-and-out bargain.
Best Windw Air Conditioner for Tropical Climates: LG LW1815ER
With a dehumidifier capable of removing moisture from the air at a rate 4.5 pints per hour, the LG LW1815ER is definitely the window air conditioner to look for if you’re looking to beat not just the heat but the humidity as well.
Measuring 26′ x 16.9′ x 27.2′ and weighing 117lbs, the LW1815ER can be mounted with the included kit in windows 29″ to 41″ in width with a minimum height of 18′. This air conditioner has a BTU rating of a massive 18,000 and is suitable for rooms of up to 1000 sqft in size. Drawing 7.8 amps, it requires a dedicated 6-15R 15A-250V power socket.
This window air conditioner features three fan and cooling levels with adjustable 4-way air flow and is able to move up to 520 cubic feet of per minute on its highest setting. Featuring an electric thermostat, push-button and remote control, filter alarm function and 24 hour on/off timer, the LW1815ER is available at an excellent price for such a hefty air conditioner.
The largest window air conditioner: Frigidaire FFRE2533Q2
If you have a cavernous space that need some serious cooling, the Frigidaire FFRE2533Q2 has a 25,000 BTU rating and is ideally suited for spaces up to 1600 sqft.
Measuring 26.5′ x 18.6″ x 26.5′ and weighing 117lbs, the FFRE2533Q2 can mounted with the included pleated quick-mount kit to windows 31″ to 42″ in width with a height of at least 19′. Drawing a hefty 12.4 amps, it requires a dedicated 6-20P 20A-250V power socket.
This window air conditioner features three fan levels with adjustable 4-way air flow control and is able to move up to 523 cubic feet of per minute on its highest setting. Featuring an electric thermostat, push-button control panel with LCD display, remote control, antibacterial filter with clean filter alert, clean air ioniser, 24 hour on/off timer, the FFRE2533Q2 can also dehumidify at the rate of an impressive 8.0 pints per hour. The FFRE2533Q2 is a serious piece of machine.
A close contender for our Budget pick was the RCA RACM5002, measuring 15.3′ x 12′ x 16.8′ and weighing 35lbs, the RACM5002 can mounted to windows 23′ to 37′ with a minimum height of 13′. This air conditioner has a BTU rating of 5000 and is suitable for rooms of up to 100 sqft in size. Drawing 4.0 amps, it can be used with any standard 5-15R 15A-125V power socket. Featuring three fan levels with adjustable 4-way air flow control and easy to use dial control, the RACM5002 is a great budget pick.
One of Amazon’s best-selling mid-sized window air conditioners, the Haier ESAQ408P measures 21.3′ x 12.5′ x 9′ and weighs 35lbs. The ESAQ408P can mounted to windows 26.1′ to 39.3′ wide with a minimum height of 13.3′. This air conditioner has a BTU rating of 8000 and is suitable for rooms of up to 350 sqft in size. Drawing 6.2 amps, it can be used with any standard 5-15R 15A-125V power socket. This air conditioner features three fan and cooling levels with adjustable 4-way air flow control and is able to move up to 240 cubic feet of air per minute on its highest setting. The ESAQ408P also features a digital thermostat, push-button controls with an LCD display, remote control, a 24 hour timer, a sleep mode, and dehumidifies air at the rate of 2.1 pints per hour. A close contender for our Top Pick.
Additional information: maximising the effectiveness of your air conditioner
So you’ve bought an air conditioner! Once the unit is installed, there are a few things you can do to maximise its effectiveness and save on both maintenance and running costs.
Make sure the air can flow freely around the air conditioner. Outside of the home, keep the unit clear of obstructions such as tree or shrubbery. Inside, make sure obstacles such as curtains and furniture don’t obstruct the air conditioner vents, and help keep the cool air in the room by closing doors, other windows, fireplace dampers and floor or wall registers. When possible, reduce the workload of your air conditioner by using appliances such as dishwashers, cooking appliances and dryers during the cool hours of the day.
You can help to increase the passive cooling in your home by covering windows exposed to direct sunlight either with external shutters, or curtains or blinds inside. Do this preferably before the sun has a chance to warm up the room. Windows and doors on the opposite, shaded side of the house can be opened to allow a cooler breeze to flow through. Also, maintain correct insulation and weather-stripping throughout your home and use accessories such as weather-proofing and foam side panels to help you seal and insulate the area around your air conditioner.
Simple maintenance helps keep an air conditioner operating efficiently and can maximize its lifespan. Once you have unplugged the unit, check and clean the air filter regularly as specified by the manufacturer. A dirty filter makes the air conditioner work harder, reducing efficiency. Depending on the model, you may be able to vacuum the filter or wash it with water and a mild detergent, such as dishwashing liquid. Allow it to dry before reinstalling.
Wrapping it up
Hopefully, through our exhaustive explanation section and selection process, we’ve made choosing the right window air conditioner a little less daunting. In our considerations for making our selection of recommended window air conditioners build quality, features, versatility and ease of use were all paramount deliberations. In the Frigidaire FGRC0844S1 you will find all of this in an air conditioner that also offers stylish looks and excellent value for money. In the Friedrich Kohl YS10N10C you will find an air conditioner for all seasons packed with smart features that’s built to last. In the Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 you will find Amazon’s best-selling window air conditioner, offering excellent cooling and unparalleled value for money.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.