Window air conditioners are one of the easiest and most affordable ways for people to cool a single large room or several small rooms in their house. Thanks to these appliances, the consumer doesn’t have to spend a small fortune buying and installing a central air conditioner, or paying a contractor to create a hole in their wall for a through-the-wall AC unit. All the consumer has to do is buy the window unit, properly install it themselves in the window, plug it in and turn it on.
The window AC unit then does its thing. We like these units so much, we decided to go a mission to find the best window air conditioners that consumers can currently buy. What we’ve discovered are the following models that can be used effectively by just about any consumer to cool down parts of their home. Let’s examine these window AC units.
Quick Summary of the Best Window Air Conditioners
- Best Overall: Koldfront 12,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner (Amazon) – Review
- Best Value: Frigidaire FFRA1222U1 Window-Mounted AC Unit (Amazon) – Review
- Best Affordable: Arctic King White Window AC Unit (Amazon) – Review
Best Overall: Koldfront 12,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
KoldFront isn’t an appliance name that many people will recognize, so they may be apt to disregard this air conditioner straight away. Unfortunately, we feel that would be a complete miscalculation because, in our experience, this model is one of the best window air conditioners we’ve ever reviewed. This unit measures approximately 14.6-inches high, 19-inches wide, and 21.5-inches deep. It can be installed in a window with a minimum height of 15.5-inches, and a minimum width of 23-inches. The maximum width of a window that it can be installed in is approximately 36-inches in size.
Now that we’ve dispensed with the dimensions of these remarkable window air conditioners, we would like to take a few moments to talk about what we liked about them. The best thing about these units is that they provide the user with 12,000 BTUs of cooling that’s expertly delivered to the room through four-way directional louvers. This allows this unit to cool down a room as large as 550 square feet in size easily and effectively. And unlike many of its predecessors, this AC unit is capable of delivering this amount of cooling without being extremely noisy. We found it to be one of the more quieter models available.
This unit is also packed with quite a few interesting features. For example. it comes with a remote control that allows its operation from across the room. It also has three different fan-speeds: low, medium, and high. This unit is also equipped with an auto function, a sleep mode, and an energy saver function. It should be mentioned that this unit also has three separate modes: cool, dry and fan. This AC unit has a temperature range from 62 to 86-degrees Fahrenheit, is Energy-Star compliant, and has an LED check filter light that alerts the consumer to the fact that the air conditioner’s filter needs to be changed.
Best Value: Frigidaire FFRA1222U1 Window-Mounted AC Unit
Unlike the air conditioner in our number one position, Frigidaire is a brand that we dare say most people are familiar with. After all, they’re a company that’s been producing appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioners for quite some time now, so people expect a certain level of quality. They expect a device that’s well-designed and well built, and one that will provide the cooling that they need–even in the hottest of climates. Fortunately, we can tell these people that they don’t have any need to worry because this window air conditioner is a great model that cools down a room and is designed to last a long time.
This machine weighs approximately 70-pounds and is designed to fit into a window with a minimum width of 23-inches and a window height of 15.5-inches. It’s a model that delivers 12,000 BTUs of cooling power, which is enough to cool down a room as big as 550 square feet in size. It’s also capable of dehumidifying a room of up to 3.8-pints of moisture per hour. Of course, in our experience, no air conditioner is without its flaws and this one isn’t an exception to that rule. We didn’t like the fact that the louvers don’t turn downwards, so if it’s placed up high the user might have to use a fan to distribute the cool air. We also didn’t like the noise it produced–up to 59-decibels when it’s set on high.
Other than the two small flaws that we discovered in this unit, we think that this is otherwise a great air conditioner. On low, this product can move 235 cubic-feet of air per minute, on the medium-setting, it can move 265 CFM, and on high it can move 290 cubic-feet of air. It’s a product that’s UL-listed and features a fresh air vent and exhaust control that allows the consumer to remove odors from their home. It also has a cool, fan, and eco-mode, as well as a timer and a sleep mode. We think that we can say with confidence that in the vast configuration of things, this product is a good air conditioner that can be beneficial for any home.
Best Affordable: Arctic King White Window AC Unit
Before we begin this review, we would like to preface it with a disclaimer about this air conditioner. It should be noted that this air conditioner isn’t the biggest, nor the second biggest air conditioner the consumer will be able to find. No, it only has approximately 5,000 BTUs of cooling power, so it’s better classified as a mini air conditioner that’s suitable for areas no larger than 150 square feet in size. It’s also a unit that has very basic controls and doesn’t give the consumer a whole lot of features. All of this might make some of our readers question why it’s landed on the number three position of this review, and our answer to that is quite simple. This is the best affordable compact air conditioner that the consumer is going to buy.
For people living in efficiency apartments or who need an air conditioner for a small room, then this is most definitely the one to buy. It’s very affordable, more than half the price of larger models, and it runs without making a lot of noise. And although it does have basic features, we think that most people will get along with them quite well. These features include two cooling and two fan speed settings, and seven temperature settings. This model also features a 6.23-foot power cord that’s just long enough for it to plug into an outlet near the window that it’s being installed in.
This product is also easy to install. It fits windows 23 to 36-inches wide and windows with a minimum height of 13-inches. It even comes with all of the mounting hardware the person needs to install it, and all they will need is to supply their own screwdriver and a drill for drilling pilot holes for the screws. And because this unit is so compact, it’s also energy-efficient as well, so it makes more sense for people with smaller rooms to install than a full-size model. Taking all of this into consideration during this review, we have no problems recommending this product.
Choosing A Window Air Conditioner
As we’ve seen from our reviews of the best window air conditioners, these units are designed to cool down a single room. The main benefit of buying them is that the consumer doesn’t need to spend money having a central air conditioner unit installed in their home. These units are also good for people who already for a central unit but have rooms in their homes that don’t seem to get cool. However, it should be said that the consumer should take the time and consider the features of the air conditioners their looking at to ensure that they buy the one that’s best for their needs. To help consumers with that goal, we’ve decided to go ahead and write this guide. This guide is designed to give our readers the basic information they need to buy a window air conditioner that will not only fit their needs but also fit their budget.
Step One: Begin With Room Size & Air Conditioner BTUs
The first step to choosing the right window air conditioner for your home is to make sure that you purchase one that’s the right size. Purchase a window unit that’s too small for the room it’s installed in, and the unit won’t be able to cool it down. Get a unit that’s too big, and you’ll end up just wasting energy for no further cooling benefit than you would get from an appropriately sized air conditioner. Therefore, it’s best to find the AC unit that most closely matches the BTU production of the air conditioner. Below are some of the most common room sizes and the air conditioner units appropriate for that size room.
- 150 To 350 Square-Feet Room Size: AC Size Of 5,000-8,000 BTUs.
- 350 To 550 Square-Feet Room Size: AC Size Of 8,000-12,000 BTUs.
- 550 to 1,050 Square-Feet Room Size: AC Size Of 12,000-18,500 BTUs.
Step Two: Make Sure The Unit Will Fit In The Window
The next thing that you’re going to want to do is to make sure that you consider the size of the window before you purchase your air conditioner. Most air conditioners will tell the consumer the minimum height and width that the window needs to be for the air conditioner to be properly installed. Be sure to follow these guidelines to the letter, and never try to install an air conditioner in a window that’s too small or too big for the unit.
Step Three: Consider The Window Air Conditioner’s Features
The next thing that you’re going to want to keep in mind are the features that are found on the air conditioner. Although many great basic models have few of the following features, most people are going to want to buy a unit that has at least some of the following features. Let’s take a look at these features and see how you can benefit from buying an air conditioner that has some or all of them.
Venting options allow you to choose to recirculate the air around the room or to pull in or exhaust outdoor air. Being able to exhaust or pull in the fresh air can allow the air conditioner to deal with cooking odors or smoke more efficiently and allows you to quickly clear out the air in a room.
Although by their very design most air conditioners dehumidify the air, some of them do it better than others. If the air conditioner’s ability to dehumidify the air is important to you, then be sure to choose a model that can pull at least 3-pints of water out of the air every hour.
Remote Control Operation
An air conditioner that has a remote control is one that’s a lot easier to use. It allows you to operate the device from the comfort of your chair or your bed and do it without having to get up and down to make simple fan-speed or temperature adjustments.
Filter Change Alerts
A filter change alert LED can be a great feature for air conditioners to have. This feature alerts you to the fact that the filter needs to be changed or cleaned out because it’s dirty. These features take the guesswork out of air conditioner maintenance and help to extend the life of the unit.
Programmable timers are also quite handy. Some of them allow you to set a timer to turn the unit on or off, and others simply allow you to turn the air conditioner off and not turn it one. Regardless, this feature is quite handy and helps to automate the task of cooling down the room.
Other features To Consider
Before we go, we have a few more features for our readers to consider. Everyone shopping for an air conditioner should take a closer look at them and decide if they’re want to find an air conditioner that’s equipped with one or more of them.
- Electronic Or Mechanical Controls
- LED Temperature Display
- Sleep Settings
- Extra-Long Power Cords
- Electronic Ionizers