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The Best Window AC Unit

Last updated on August 26, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Window AC Units and dug through the reviews from 66 of the most popular review sites including Top Ten Reviews, Consumer Reports, Best Reviews Guide, New York Times Wirecutter, Jen Reviews, Engadget and more. The result is a ranking of the best Window AC Units.

Best Window AC Unit

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Our Picks For The Top Window AC Units

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Whirlpool

115V / 15,000 BTU (with remote)

Overall Take

Easy to UseAn easy-to-install and adjustable air conditioner with a long power cord.

Experts Included
DWYM Home Experts plus BestReviews, Top Ten Review Pro. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Energy Star compliant. Easy to install in a window. Capable of cooling down rooms up to 700 sq ft. We love the convenient remote control and easy to read LCD display, and that you can program it to turn on..."
Cons
"Comparatively expensive than other brands."

LG

115V / 12,000 BTU (with remote)

Overall Take

Quiet ACA quiet air conditioner with a four-way air direction and slide-out washable filter.

Experts Included
DWYM Home Experts plus BestReviews, Consumer Reports, Pick HVAC, HVAC Training 101, Relevant Rankings, Air Conditioner Lab and 4 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Home Depot and Walmart.
Pros
" If you need a powerful unit to cool down a large room or small apartment,the LG will have no issue doing the job."
Cons
"This unit is quite heavy, so it will be helpful to have an extra person to help install it. Some prefer to have it professionally installed by a handyman."

Frigidaire

115V / 8,000 BTU (with temp sensing remote)

Overall Take

Air IonizerAn air conditioner equipped with a clean air ionizer.

Experts Included
DWYM Home Experts plus New York Times Wirecutter, Consumer Reports, Jen Reviews, Engadget, Much Needed, Best Reviews Guide and 6 more. Along with user reviews from Best Buy and Walmart.
Pros
" It’s a little bit louder and higher-pitched than our new pick but it’s an equally capable performer that’s usually around the same price. The Frigidaire is also a little bit easier to install because it’s smaller and lighter."
Cons
"Easy to set up. Too loud. Bought this to replace an older AC unit. I ended up using the old one instead of the new one. Just too loud."
  The Best Value

Frigidaire

115V Air Conditioner (no remote)

Overall Take

Affordable and EffectiveAn affordable air conditioner that also helps remove humidity.

Experts Included
DWYM Home Experts plus Consumer Reports, Much Needed, Wiki EZ Vid, Top Reviews, V Best Reviews, Best Viva and 9 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart.
Pros
" The FFRA0511R1 offers two different cool speeds and two different fan speeds, for when you simply want to circulate air without running the AC."
Cons
"Designed for just vertically sliding windows but if you can get enough duct tape and cardboard, it will function perfectly"
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the window ac units available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

66

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Top Ten Reviews, Consumer Reports, Best Reviews Guide, New York Times Wirecutter, Jen Reviews.

43,065

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Home Depot, Walmart, Best Buy, Target.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Window AC Units and also dug through the reviews from 66 of the most popular review sites including Top Ten Reviews, Consumer Reports, Best Reviews Guide, New York Times Wirecutter, Jen Reviews, Engadget and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Window AC Units.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Whirlpool 115V / 15,000 BTU (with remote)

Our Expert Score
10.0
2 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
7.4
113 user reviews
Our Take

When it comes to quality construction and energy efficiency, this Energy Star certified unit is No. 1 in its product category. Not only will you find the Whirlpool 115V/15,000 BTU (with remote) easy to install, but you'll also love the remote with LCD display that allows you to adjust the air settings from the comfort of your sofa. As an added bonus, the long power cord is perfect for outlets that aren't located close to the window.

What other experts liked
Energy Star compliant. Easy to install in a window. Capable of cooling down rooms up to 700 sq ft. We love the convenient remote control and easy to read LCD display, and that you can program it to turn on...
- BestReviews
Remote control with LCD display allows you to control the Unit from across the room. Cools a room up to 700 sq. Ft. With up to 3.52 pints per hour dehumidification. Energy star compliant: 11.9 EER.
- Top Ten Review Pro
April 18, 2019 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
Rare reports of instructions not being correct (revieved wrong manual). Expensive.
- BestReviews
Comparatively expensive than other brands.
- Top Ten Review Pro
April 18, 2019 | Full review

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Frigidaire 115V Air Conditioner

Expert Summarized Score
8.5
15 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.4
5,214 user reviews
Our Take

One of the more affordable AC units on the market, the Frigidaire 115V Air Conditioner has many attractive features. It not only does an excellent job of cooling your room, but it also works to remove some of the humidity from the air. The quiet motor is another welcome perk, as is the convenient restart system for unexpected power outages.

What other experts liked
The FFRA0511R1 offers two different cool speeds and two different fan speeds, for when you simply want to circulate air without running the AC.
- Much Needed
It features mechanical rotary controls with dual fan and cooling speeds, as well as full-width two-way air direction and a whisper-quiet operation.
- Wiki EZ Vid
August 9, 2018 | Full review
Its mesh filter is easy to clean as it slides out easily to allow full access. The air conditioning unit is easy to install with a window mounting kit included.
- V Best Reviews
It features an effortless restart system so, in case of power interruptions, you won’t have to go back and rest it, and rather, it will pick up from where it was.
- Best Viva
The cheapest window air conditioner on our list is the $139 Frigidaire FFRA0511R1. That affordable price makes it extremely attractive to many people and thus it is also the best selling window AC unit on Amazon.
- Relevant Rankings
February 28, 2017 | Full review
The most convenient part about this product is that the kit comes with all needed parts to successfully set up the device.
- HVAC Training 101
The FFRA0511R1 offers exceptional value for money in air conditioner without the frills designed for smaller spaces.
- Jen Reviews
The air filter on this product is easy to remove and clean. All you have to do is open the front panel and remove the filter. It is important to remember that the air filter is reusable and may be cleaned using soap and warm water.
- Refrigerant HQ
January 14, 2018 | Full review
You can easily install it even in large air conditioner slots. Simply cover the remaining space with cardboard, cloth or anything. This way, the warm air from outside will not come in.
- Gaagylr
Installation is easy thanks to a compact design and easy-to-follow instructions for setting up the unit.
- Climatastic
Consumers were impressed by this 5,000 BTU AC’s power compared to its size. Even though this Frigidaire is small, many noted that it was able to cool a medium-sized room.
- Bool Pool
July 2, 2018 | Full review
Unlike most air conditioners, this one is fairly silent and has a quiet operation, meaning it doesn’t produce too much noise which is one of its top selling points. Another good thing about this unit is how easy it is to set up in around 2 minutes!
- Fresh and Breezy
March 2, 2019 | Full review
The most amazing feature is the washable antibacterial filter. This filter cleans the air by removing harmful bacteria and odor particles while you enjoy cooling comfort.
- Home Air Guides
What other experts didn't like
Nice and quiet, and cools well - but major design flaws make window install difficult at best. Sliding side panels don't fill window opening from top to bottom so gaps need to be filled using fillers from the outside of the window.
- Consumer Reports
Limited customization options.
- Much Needed
Designed for just vertically sliding windows but if you can get enough duct tape and cardboard, it will function perfectly
- Best Viva
The FFRA0511R1 costs less because it has less controls. It does not let you specify a desired temperature and instead uses mechanical rotary controls to set the temperature (7 settings) and mode (4 settings). There is no timer or remote control.
- Relevant Rankings
February 28, 2017 | Full review
Takes longer to cool than other products.
- HVAC Training 101
The Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 is NOT Energy Star certified from the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Refrigerant HQ
January 14, 2018 | Full review
Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 unfortunately does not have a timer. Timers are used to control the number of hours that the product is operating. Since it does not have this feature, consumers have to manually turn off the air conditioner. This can be problematic for people who sleep like a log.
- Gaagylr
The only drawbacks mentioned were the lack of options in temperature control. A certain temperature cannot be set. This Frigidaire unit only has cooling power options and fan speed options through manual dials. In this digital age, some find manual options as a turn-off.
- Bool Pool
July 2, 2018 | Full review
The air conditioner does not come with a thermostat with specific Fahrenheit degree readings, and instead is a dial with a range of 1 to 7.
- Fresh and Breezy
March 2, 2019 | Full review

Overall Product Rankings

1. Whirlpool 115V / 15,000 BTU (with remote)

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 3

2. LG 115V / 12,000 BTU (with remote) Air Conditioner

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 14

3. Frigidaire 115V Compact With Temperature Sensing

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 15

4. Frigidaire 115V Air Conditioner

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 20

5. Amana 115V Window Air Conditioner

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 4

6. LG 115V / 8,000 BTU (with remote) Air Conditioner

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 21

7. RCA 115V Window Air Conditioner

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 7

8. Frigidaire 230V Air Conditioner

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 5

9. Frigidaire 115V Window Air Conditioner

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 5

10. SPT Window Air Conditioner

Overall Score: 7.7
Reviews Included: 5

Our Findings

Whirlpool 115V / 15,000 BTU (with remote)

Best Overall

Whirlpool Energy Star 15,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Air Conditioner with Remote Control, White (Kitchen)


List Price: $479.99 USD
New From: $458.99 USD In Stock
Used from: $458.99 USD In Stock

What We Liked: When it comes to quality construction and energy efficiency, this Energy Star certified unit is No. 1 in its product category. Not only will you find the Whirlpool 115V/15,000 BTU (with remote) easy to install, but you’ll also love the remote with LCD display that allows you to adjust the air settings from the comfort of your sofa. As an added bonus, the long power cord is perfect for outlets that aren’t located close to the window.

Frigidaire 115V Air Conditioner

What We Liked: One of the more affordable AC units on the market, the Frigidaire 115V Air Conditioner has many attractive features. It not only does an excellent job of cooling your room, but it also works to remove some of the humidity from the air. The quiet motor is another welcome perk, as is the convenient restart system for unexpected power outages.

LG 115V / 12,000 BTU (with remote) Air Conditioner

Also Consider

LG Energy Star Window Air Conditioner (Kitchen)


List Price: $399.99 USD
New From: $343.60 USD In Stock
Used from: $343.60 USD In Stock

What We Liked: With its LG-patented gold fin anti-corrosion coating for added durability, you can’t go wrong with the LG 115V/12,000 BTU (with remote) Air Conditioner. The unit runs quietly compared to its competitors, which means you’ll enjoy a peaceful night’s rest every evening. Additional features that make this model stand out include the four-way air direction and the slide-out washable air filter.

Our Window AC Unit Buying Guide

While a central air conditioning system is ideal, not all homes come equipped with one, especially if you don’t live in the south where summer temperatures are felt year-round. Installing central air is also expensive, so it makes more sense to purchase an AC unit that you can install in your window (if you don’t already have central air).

Air conditioning is especially important for the elderly and those suffering from various medical conditions. When shopping for a new window unit, there are a few important things to consider.

Begin by measuring the room in which you plan to install the window AC unit. The total square footage will reveal how many BTUs the unit must have to adequately cool the room. If your room is under 350 square feet, then a 5,000 BTU unit will suffice. Use an 8,000 BTU unit for rooms measuring 350 to 550 square feet, a 12,000 BTU unit for 550 to 1,050 square feet, an 18,500 BTU unit for 1,050 to 1,600 square feet and a 25,000 BTU unit for anything over 1,600 square feet.

Next, you need to make sure the air conditioner has a long enough cord to reach the nearest outlet and that the voltage isn’t too high for the outlet. For example, the Whirlpool 115V/15,000 BTU (with remote) has a Lcdi power cord that is 4.9 ft. in length. At the end of the cord is a 3-prong grounded plug designed for a 115V electrical outlet. That means if your outlet is more than 5 feet away or you only have a two-prong outlet, this model wouldn’t work.

Since you can’t move your window, it’s also essential that you select a window AC unit that will move the airflow in your direction. If you need to install the unit higher up, make sure the vent can be aimed downward. If your window is to the left, make sure the vent can be set toward the right. The Frigidaire 115V Air Conditioner (no remote) has 2-way air direction to better cool you down no matter where you are sitting.

Once you’ve picked the perfect air conditioner and installed it in your window, you’ll need to know when to use each of the settings. The fan-only mode is perfect for days without high heat and humidity that still require a nice breeze. This setting won’t cool the air though, as it just circulates the air that’s already in the room. The cooling mode is what you want to use to bring down the temperature. You’ll need to press the up or down buttons to set your desired temperature. There’s also a fan setting that allows you to program whether you want the air to flow slowly or at a medium or fast pace.

DWYM Fun Fact

You may be surprised to learn that air conditioners weren’t originally invented to keep people cool on a hot summer day. In 1902, a New York publishing company was having trouble keeping their paper from expanding and their ink from running due to the seasonal increase in humidity. That led Willis Carrier to create an air conditioner that could be used in the office to bring down the humidity levels.

Since most households used big blocks of ice to stay cool before air conditioners were invented, the first AC models didn’t measure their output in today’s units. Instead, they used ice blocks. When purchasing an air conditioner, you’d do so by how many blocks of ice it would take to produce the amount of cold air that would be emitted from the machine.

A year after Carrier made his first air conditioner for the publishing company, The New York Stock Exchange Building started using them. In 1917, movie theaters began using air conditioners to increase summer movie attendance. By 1929, President Herbert Hoover had them installed in the Oval Office. According to Energy.gov, approximately three-quarters of homes today are now equipped with air conditioning.

The Window AC Unit Tips and Advice

  • Always check for an Energy Star certification, as these models are said to be 30 percent more efficient than models that don’t have the certification. The Frigidaire 115V/8,000 BTU (with temp sensing remote) is an example of a window AC unit that has this important distinction.
  • Consider a few extra features that may not be essential, but might meet a specific need you may have. For example, some units have a timer and a sleep function. That benefit will reduce the electricity you use, as the unit will run long enough to get you comfortable so that you can fall asleep, but then shut off while you remain in dreamland.
  • If mobility is an issue for anyone in your home, look for a model that has a remote control. The remote gives you the ability to lower the temperature or turn the unit off without having to get up from your seat.
  • Users that are sensitive to loud noises will need to look for models that run quietly. Allergy suffers should look for models that have a clean air ionizer to take the pollen and impurities out of the air.
  • Window AC units are heavy. It’s best to recruit help when installing your newly purchased unit.
  • It is important to regularly clean the air conditioner’s filter. How often you need to clean the filter depends on how much you use the unit, but generally, once a month is a good goal. The filter will either slide out the side, or you’ll have to pop the front of the unit and pull the filter up and out. Simply use a little dish soap and water to release the trapped dust and allergens and then let the filter air dry before putting it back in the air conditioner.
  • Look for a warranty before purchasing an extended product protection plan. Most units have at least a 1- or 2-year warranty that covers the entire unit. Some companies add a limited warranty for years three and four that only covers the specific repairs and replacements parts listed in the agreement.
  • When comparing prices for window AC units, it is important to remember that price varies based on BTUs and other features.

About The Author

Alicia Bodine
Alicia Bodine 

Alicia Bodine is a New Jersey-based writer specializing in gardening. She enjoys spending time learning about the latest gadgets that make designing, planting and maintaining a garden a breeze. With more than 15 years of experience, her work has appeared in sites like GardenGuides and eHow Garden.