The 9 Best Window Air Conditioners

Updated February 06, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

9 Best Window Air Conditioners
Best High-End
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We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Make sure that your home is as comfortable as it can be all year round with one of these window air conditioners. Designed specifically for use in apartments and rooms without central air installed, some of these units can also be used as heaters when the temperature drops. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best window air conditioner on Amazon.

9. Haier HWF05XCL-L

The Haier HWF05XCL-L is an affordable 5,000 BTU model that is designed to cool a room of up to 150 square feet. The included quick install window kit assembles in minutes so you can beat the heat right out of the box with a hassle-free load-in.
  • adjustable fan speed
  • no remote control
  • somewhat noisier than other models
Brand Haier
Model HWF05XCL-L
Weight 41.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Frigidaire FFRL0633Q1

The Frigidaire FFRL0633Q1 includes a pleated window-mounting kit. Its streamlined, low-profile design won't obstruct your view out the window, however, it needs to be angled in order to drain properly, which is an irritating problem.
  • extra long two-meter power cord
  • relatively durable construction
  • the top air vents are inefficient
Brand Frigidaire
Model FFRL0633Q1
Weight 78.2 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

7. LG LW8015HR

In addition to its multi-speed electronic controls for keeping small rooms cool, the LG LW8015HR can act as a supplemental heat source when outdoor temperatures are above 45 degrees. It also features an energy saver mode and a 24-hour on/off timer.
  • window mounting kit is included
  • unit is extremely heavy
  • installation takes a long time
Brand LG
Model LW8015HR
Weight 75 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Koldfront WAC18001W

With its convenient energy saver mode, the Koldfront WAC18001W cycles its fan on for 2 minutes at a time at 10-minute intervals and will turn its compressor back on should the room exceed a preset temperature. It also includes weather seals.
  • up to 16000 btu heating capability
  • four-way directional louvers
  • it's pretty bulky
Brand Koldfront
Model WAC18001W
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Frigidaire FFRA0511R1

For quickly and efficiently cooling small rooms, look no further than the Frigidaire FFRA0511R1. 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.
  • includes kit for window mounting
  • low-power startup
  • antibacterial slide-in mesh filter
Brand Frigidaire
Model FFRA0511R1
Weight 47.2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. LG LW8016ER

The LG LW8016ER has 8,000 BTU to cool large rooms of up to 340 square feet, and is capable of dehumidifying up to 2.2 pints per hour as well. Its Gold Fin anti-corrosion coating provides a protective shield that extends the life of the unit.
  • easy to clean tilt-out filter
  • auto-restarts after power outage
  • remote temperature and fan control
Brand LG
Model LW1815ER
Weight 129 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Frigidaire FFRE2533S2

The Frigidaire FFRE2533S2 is a powerful 25,000 BTU option with a clean air ionizer that removes pollen and impurities while cooling you down on hot summer days. Its temperature-sensing remote control allows you to see, set, and maintain functions without leaving your seat.
  • cools rooms up to 1600 square feet
  • very quiet operation
  • requires a 230-volt outlet
Brand Frigidaire
Model FFRE2533S2
Weight 149 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Friedrich EP12G33B Chill Series

The Friedrich EP12G33B Chill Series can be installed in windows and through walls up to 9 inches deep, and features auto-sweep for increased air circulation. Its EntryGard anti-intrusion protection technology is built to keep your home safe from potential break-ins.
  • washable antimicrobial filters
  • 24-hour on-off timer
  • 3 cooling speed settings
Brand Friedrich
Model EP12G33B
Weight 121.3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Friedrich SQ06N10C Kuhl Series

The Friedrich SQ06N10C Kuhl Series is constructed with heavy-gauge galvanized steel and rifled copper tubing, and has an 8-way airflow system that is designed for precise air distribution in almost any room up to 250 square feet.
  • wi-fi controllable with accessory
  • rubber motor mounts absorb vibration
  • 7-day programmable schedule
Brand Friedrich
Model SQ06N10C
Weight 78 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

A Refrigerator For Your Window

At one point or another, I'm sure we've all stuck our heads in the refrigerator or freezer to get a burst of cool air on a hot day. It wasn't until I learned a few of the basics behind refrigeration that it became clear to me just how bad of an idea this is. If you've ever been silly enough to run a window air conditioner in a closed room, the unit, say, just sitting there on the floor, you might get some idea as to why the above refrigerator scheme doesn't quite play out.

You see, air conditioning is all about an exchange of energy, with the front part of your AC generating cool air and the back part (that's ideally hanging out the window) expelling hot air. If the unit's just sitting there in the room, then all the hot air stays there with you. Open a refrigerator door, and the hot and cold in the room will only balance out, if not lean hotter.

There are two sets of coils in a window AC unit, one in the front and one in the back. The set of coils in the back circulates a heated refrigerant that gets compressed into gas on its way to the coils in the front. That process cools the refrigerant significantly because of Amonton's Law of Pressure Temperature, which states that a decrease in pressure will result in a decrease in temperature. When the liquid refrigerant transforms into gas, its pressure drops, and so, too, does its temperature.

It's the same reason that a can of compressed air starts to feel cold as you spray it; as the liquid you can hear if you shake the can turns to gas, it loses pressure and gets colder. That's also why low pressure weather patterns bring cold air.

Then, it's simply a matter of blowing a fan against the cooling coils and sending that air out into the room. The refrigerant then travels back through the unit's compressor where it's returned to its much warmer, liquid form.

The British Are Coming!

Even though the air conditioner was invented in America (more on that later), the people who sell these things still insist on measuring their efficiency in BTUs, or British Thermal Units. A BTU is the amount of energy in joules (that familiar measure!) needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. It's possible there's supposed to be a cow sacrifice and a rain dance in there somewhere; you never know with the Imperial system.

Whatever the case, before you buy your AC, you ought to figure out just how many BTUs your unit will need to cool the room or rooms in question.

The lowest BTU rating among the air conditioners on our list is 6,000 BTUs. That's good enough to cool about 150-200 square feet of space. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average master bedroom in a 2,000-2,999 square foot home was 271 square feet in 2013. That's a big bedroom: 27 feet long by ten feet wide. Get up from your computer and walk that out. You can cool all that space with only 8,000 BTUs.

The most powerful AC on our list pumps at 25,000 BTUs, more suited to a 900 square foot space. You very well may have a great-room configuration combining your kitchen, foyer, living room, and more into one space, and if you only want to have one AC unit running, that beast may be for you.

In short, measure your space and consult this handy chart and calculator. It'll tell you all you need to know about how many BTUs your room needs to stay cool.

Rebels Are Rarely This Cool

I recall a movie about gorillas and diamonds and lasers set in Africa. It was called Congo, and among all the amazing pillars on which the film was built, one thing stays with me above all else. The scientists had little baby air conditioners for their tents!

But just moments ago, we talked about the air conditioner being invented in America. The inventor himself was a man named Willis Carrier, an engineer specialized in heating. I guess that would make him, like so many iconic Americans before him and to come, a rebel.

In 1902, Carrier got a patent for what would become the first prototype AC, though it would be another 13 years before a commercial unit hit the market. This original unit of 1902 was designed as a humidity reduction device for a printing company in Brooklyn whose inks would not dry efficiently in the muggy air. By forcing the humid air over coils containing a coolant (sound familiar?), Carrier was able to remove the excess moisture from the environment and solve the problem.

Industrial applications abounded, and in a short time, the air conditioner found its way into people's homes, putting an ever-increasing strain on our cities' power grids ever since.

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Last updated on February 06, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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