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Summers are getting hotter. We’re in the middle of a heat wave affecting over 20 states, not to mention the heat wave in Britain, bringing the hottest temperatures ever recorded. But it’s not all doom and gloom — you can beat the heat this summer. And one of the best ways to stay cool during these record-breaking temperatures is with a window AC unit. The best window air conditioners are small, easy to install and energy efficient.
A window air conditioner can be installed in most average-sized windows without professional help. Depending on your needs, they can also be permanently or temporarily installed, and these devices come in a range of sizes, ensuring an option for every room.
The Benefits of Using a Window Air Conditioner
There’s more than one reason to install one of the best window air conditioners in your home. Here are a few of the most compelling reasons:
- Sweet Relief: It’s 2022, and that means you don’t need to spend all day feeling miserable because of the heat. You’ll be happier and more productive with an air conditioner.
- Budget-Friendly: Not only do these devices boast a low price tag and DIY installation, but you can also choose to run them only when you need them to minimize energy bills.
- Easy Installation: Unlike permanent systems integrated into your home, installing a window air conditioner is simple. And depending on your seasonal needs, one can be installed and removed when the weather turns cooler.
- Supplementary Cooling: Rather than paying a hefty electric bill to cool your whole home, window air conditioners allow you to target bedrooms, offices or any room in your home with a window.
- Portable: While not the most comfortable devices to move from room to room or place to place, window air conditioners are still considered portable compared to centrally installed systems. This makes it possible to change rooms or even homes and take your targeted air cooling with you when you move.
- Floor Space: Compared to portable air conditioners, window air conditioners take up no space. This is pretty handy for hot homes where floor space is at a premium.
How We Chose The Best Window Air Conditioners
There are many window AC units to choose from, so we made it as simple as possible. Before you research, measure the room you want to cool, so you know how much cooling power (BTU) you’ll need from your AC unit. That being said, here’s how we chose the best window AC units:
- Power: BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and offers an insight into how powerful the device is. When it comes to window air conditioners, this number usually falls between 6,000 and 24,500, with each value corresponding to a room size which it’s capable of cooling. We looked at 6,000 and 12,000 BTU units, which can cool between 250 sq ft to over 500 sq ft rooms.
- Installation: We looked for units that won’t be too much of a hassle to install. Unique design features like Midea U shape, and Soleus window sill design help make the installation process a breeze.
- Features: Many of the units you’ll find below have Wi-Fi connectivity and voice AI compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, which make operating the unit convenient.
- Price: We looked for units around or under $550, many of which are around $400 and below. And many of the units are energy efficient, saving you money on your power bill.
Below, you’ll find SPY’s top picks for the best window air conditioners available online.
1. Midea U Inverter Window Air Conditioner
The Midea U Inverter Window Air Conditioner is a modern device. It’s available in an 8,000, 10,000 or 12,000 BTU model and sports a smart, U-shaped design that is easy to place. This shape also allows for easy window opening on days you prefer fresh air. The advanced DC Inverter technology keeps energy costs low, and this Midea model can run at only 42dB (about library quiet), making it one of the quietest units available. Furthermore, the unit includes WiFi connectivity, which means smartphone and voice control is possible. Midea ensured this air conditioner was compatible with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.
2. Frigidaire Window Air Conditioner
At under $170, this Frigidaire Window Air Conditioner is a budget-friendly answer to keeping rooms up to 150 feet cool. Ideal for bedrooms, offices or any other small space in your home, the user-friendly, 5,000 BTU device offers two different fan speeds. It features two individual dials on the front for controlling the mode and the temperature. The air conditioner also includes washable, easy-to-clean filters, an extra-long power cord and SpaceWise adjustable side panels for a snug and secure fit in your window frames.
3. Windmill Air Conditioner: Smart Home AC
EASY TO INSTALL
Windmill does most of the labor for you by preassembling the window AC unit, so all you have to do is take it out of the box and follow the installation guide. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility and the handy app make it equally as easy to operate. Its rounded edges, small size, subtle lighting patterns and quiet operation help the unit go unnoticed, all while keeping your room plenty cool.
4. Soleus Air Exclusive
BEST FOR KEEPING YOUR WINDOW VIEW
One of the biggest gripes with window AC units is you can’t see out of the window anymore. That’s not the case with the Soleus Air Exclusive, as it sits over your window sill with the unit inside the room, leaving the window clear for the view. You can use the “MyTemp” feature to keep your room at a specific temperature, set timers so the unit can stop and go without your assistance, or you can control it with your phone using Wi-Fi connectivity. Not only is it easy to install and doesn’t block your window, but it’s smart, too.
5. GE Profile Ultra Quiet Window Air Conditioner
GREAT FOR SMALL ROOMS
The 6,150 BTU window AC unit operates quietly, ideal for small rooms of about 250 sq ft. The operation is as quiet as 40dB, about as low as people whispering in a library. Beyond being quiet, it’s also rather smart, as it has compatibility with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as a smartphone app. It’s also one of the more affordable window units, sliding in at under $300.
6. Frigidaire Gallery Inverter Quiet Temp Smart Room Air Conditioner
This unit is an excellent combination of a compact design with efficient cooling power. It is labeled as one of the most energy-efficient units by Energy Star in 2022. Not only is it efficient, but it’s also quiet and has a clean, compact design. The LED lights turn off automatically to not disturb you while the fans continue to distribute cool air evenly throughout the room. This is a great choice if you want to keep your house cool during the hot summer months and keep your energy bill down.
7. LG 10,000 BTU 115V Window AC
GREAT FOR COOLING BIGGER ROOMS
With 10,000 BTU of cooling power, the LG 115V Window AC unit can keep up to a 450 sq ft room nice and cool. It can also keep it dry, eliminating up to 2.7 pints per hour using the dehumidification setting. There are three different cooling and fan speeds and timers that you can set to keep the room you want cool when you want it cooled. There are no smart controls or AI on board here, but it does come with a handy remote to control the unit.
8. Friedrich Chill Premier Series 6,000 BTU
The Friedrich Chill Premier has many desirable features you’d want in a wall AC unit — compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, Wi-Fi connectivity, remote control and timers you can set to make cooling your home more efficient. The unit comes in various sizes, from 6,000 BTU to 24,000 (if you happen to live in a factory). It’s an overall reliable unit priced at around $370.
9. MIDEA Window Air Conditioner
MOST USER FRIENDLY
With over 4,000 five-star ratings, the MIDEA MAW05M1BWT Window Air Conditioner is a tried-and-tested way to achieve a cooler room. The device design includes front-mounted temperature and cooling mode dials and easy-to-clean and reusable filters. It also fits in windows between 23 and 26 inches wide. Furthermore, this air conditioner comes supplied with everything you need for in-window fitting, and it’s available in higher BTU models, all the way up to 12,000, should this one not be powerful enough for your needs.
10. TOSOT Window Air Conditioner
The TOSOT Window Air Conditioner boasts an 8,000 BTU rating for cooling rooms up to 350 square feet. It incorporates an advanced, light-touch control panel and houses reusable, easily cleaned filters for a user-friendly experience. The device is supplied with a remote, which lets you control the power, temperature, cooling mode and fan swing from a distance. In addition, you can use this air conditioner in a fan-only or dehumidifying mode, too.
11. hOmeLabs Window Air Conditioner
With a 10,000 BTU rating, the hOmeLabs Window Air Conditioner is ideal for rooms up to 450 square feet in size. It’s Energy Star certified to help keep running costs low, while a designated sleep mode lowers lights and energy output for a quieter, darker sleeping environment. You’ll also find a handy remote control included with the device, which lets you set the timer, adjust the fan speed, change the cooling mode and more. In addition, the air conditioner includes a flexible mount for easier installation and comes in a 12,000 BTU model for rooms up to 550 square feet in size, should you need a larger area cooled.
Read more: The Best Smart Air Conditioners
12. Frigidaire Energy Star Window-Mounted Air Conditioner
The Frigidaire Energy Star FFRE123ZA1 Window-Mounted Air Conditioner makes things simple by allowing you to schedule your air conditioning using the programmable, 24-hour timer. This function is ideal for returning to a pre-cooled home from work or when you wake up. The design includes easy-to-clean filters and offers three different fan speeds for greater comfort during use. The device is also Energy Star certified to indicate that it uses less power, resulting in lower energy bills for users.
Read more: How to Clean Your Window Air Conditioner
13. July AC Unit
If you want to make a statement with your window AC unit (not sure if anybody has ever said that), July AC is the way to do it. This startup company is making a name for itself with an incredibly easy-to-install design that is customizable with different panels, filters and even seven colors you can choose for the front panel. It comes in 6,000 and 8,000 BTU unit sizes and operates via mobile app or with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.