Are you looking to get relief from the heat?
But don’t want to spend a ton of money on air conditioning bills?
If so, you’ve landed on the right page.
Below, you’ll discover everything you need to know about getting the best window air conditioner for your home so you can stay cool—and save money—all summer long.
In this free guide, we’ll show you what the most important things are to look for in the top window air conditioners.
You’ll also find out what the best window AC unit is for every size room.
The truth is that there are many options out there to choose from and if you don’t know how to spot the subtle differences between each unit, you could end up wasting a lot of money buying.
So, keep reading our window air conditioner reviews to find the right model for your individual needs.
Use these links below to jump to a specific section of the page:
- Best Window Air Conditioners (At a Glance)
- Window AC Unit Buying Guide
- How to Choose The Best Window Air Conditioner Size
- Window AC Unit Sizing Chart
- Top Window Air Conditioner Reviews
- Best Window Air Conditioners List
- Additional Features to Look For in the Best Window AC Units
- Best Window Air Conditioners Checklist
Best Window Air Conditioners (At a Glance)
In a hurry? Here’s a glimpse of the two most popular products you can get to cool air.
You’ll find out more about them in the window air conditioner reviews and buying guide below.
Frigidaire FFRE0833S1 8,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
Frigidaire FFRE1233S1 12,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
Buying Guide for the Top Window Air Conditioners
How to Choose the Best Window Air Conditioner Size
Some people think they can just buy the best rated window air conditioner on the market and they’ll be happy.
But that’s often not the case.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when buying new window ACs is getting one that’s not properly sized for the room you want to cool.
It’s fairly common for people to unexpectedly buy window units with cooling power that’s under- or overpowered for the intended use.
- An underpowered window unit may seem like a better deal because of its lower sticker price, but it actually costs you a lot more to operate each month in your home. Not adequately cooling a larger room means that the appliance will run more often which increases your monthly energy costs.
- An overpowered window unit will cost you more to purchase up front than you really need to spend. It will also cycle on and off too much, which also wastes energy, increases electric bills, and strains the unit.
The most cost-effective and efficient thing you can do is to make sure you get a window-mounted air conditioner that’s designed for the size of the room you plan to use it in for cool air.
And you don’t have to be an expert to do that.
It can be done in two simple steps.
Step 1: Measure the Square Footage of the Room
Take a tape measure and measure the length and width of the room you want to put a window AC unit in.
For odd lengths, round up or down to the nearest whole foot number.
Then, multiply these two numbers together to get the square footage room size.
Here’s an example:
For a room that is 12 ft. 6 in. long by 11 ft. 2 in. wide, we would round these two lengths to 13 ft. by 11 ft., and then multiply them together.
13 x 11 = 143 square feet
Step 2: Find the Correct Cooling Capacity for the Window-Mounted Air Conditioner
Once you have the square footage room size, you can easily figure out what the proper cooling power is for the best window air conditioners.
All you need to do is make sure that the square footage of your room lines up with the British Thermal Unit (BTU) measurement of your air conditioner.
BTU is just the international standard for energy and is listed on every unit.
Here’s how it works:
If you take our previous example of a 143 square feet room, the correct air conditioner would be one with a 5,000 BTU units.
(Our #1 recommendation in the window air conditioner reviews section below is the best window unit in this class.)
To make things easy for you, we’ve included a general British Thermal Unit cooling capacity chart below from Energy Star; the expert resource for energy efficiency product information for your home.
Window Air Conditioner Sizing Chart
|Room Area To Be Cooled (square feet)||Capacity Needed (BTUs per hour)|
|100 up to 150 square feet||5,000 BTU|
|150 up to 250 square feet||6,000 BTU|
|250 up to 300 square feet||7,000 BTU|
|300 up to 350 square feet||8,000 BTU|
|350 up to 400 square feet||9,000 BTU|
|400 up to 450 square feet||10,000 BTU|
|450 up to 550 square feet||12,000 BTU|
|550 up to 700 square feet||14,000 BTU|
Note: If a wall divides two adjacent rooms then they’re thermally separated. Buying a more powerful window-mounted air conditioner and expecting it to efficiently cool side-by-side rooms will not work. When cooling multiple rooms like this, you’ll want a separate unit for each room to get the right amount of cool air.
For example, a 14,000 BTU window air conditioner can cover 700 square feet, but it won’t work for a 500 square feet living room size and a 200 square feet bedroom that are next to each other; even though these two rooms combined equal 700 square feet
You would want to buy a 12,000 BTU air conditioner for the living room and a 6,000 BTU unit for the bedroom in order to maximize the cooling power and energy efficiency for the lowest monthly electricity costs.
Top Window Air Conditioner Reviews
So, what is the perfect window AC unit for your own home or apartment?
You’ll find out in our window air conditioner reviews below.
We’ve compared the top models available for each size room: small, medium, large, and even extra large spaces.
That way, you don’t have to spend countless hours trying to become an expert by researching hundreds of different products on your own.
Just choose the one from this list that’s right for you.
Disclosure: At Home Air Quality Guides, we believe in an education-first philosophy. We never make product recommendations until after we educate our readers on what to look for in the top-performing devices and then only suggest items that meet those specific criteria. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases made through the links below. If you buy a qualifying product, you’re not charged a penny more, but we’ll get a small commission that supports our work. We hope you enjoy this free guide and find the best product for your needs through these recommendations.
Best Window Air Conditioners List
Best for Small Rooms
If you’re looking for the best window air conditioners that are very affordable and efficient, then this one tops the chart.
Not only has this popular window unit received more than 2,600 positive reviews, but it’s one of the highest quality devices in its class.
With 5,000 BTU units, it can handle a space up to 150 square feet and is perfect for many home applications.
The rotary dials, two cooling modes, two fan speeds, and 2-way air direction control are standard features at this level.
(If you want digital controls and a remote, check out our next recommendation.)
The most amazing feature, however, is the washable antibacterial filter.
This filter cleans the air by removing harmful bacteria and odor particles while you also enjoy cool air.
It’s also ENERGY STAR Certified for low operating costs.
Best for Small Rooms
If you want a new window air conditioner that includes a full-function remote and digital touch controls, this is a better option for you.
It’s one of the most top window air conditioners available for small rooms and covers the same amount of space as our first recommendation—150 square feet
You also get the luxury of a washable antibacterial filter to help purify the air while also cooling it.
It has three fan speeds: low, high, and automatic, and a sleep mode to keep the noise level down while you’re sleeping.
If you’re looking for window ACs that have the most features at this price point and enough power for a small room, this is your best bet.
It also has the ENERGY STAR Certification.
Best for Medium Size Rooms
If you want to cool down a space like a living room or large bedroom, then these are the best window air conditioners you can get.
It’s rated to handle a space up to 350 square feet and has the most versatile features out of any other 8,000 BTU product on the market.
With this device, you get precise control over the temperature degree setting as well as three fan speeds, automatic mode, 8-way air direction control, and a handy timer function.
It even comes with a remote so you can make adjustments from anywhere in the room.
Similar to our first two recommendations, this window-mounted air conditioner also has powerful air cleaning capabilities in addition to delivering cold air.
However, instead of using a filter to remove impurities from the air, like pollen, dust, and bacteria, it has the upgraded feature of using an air ionizer.
The ionizer makes it a great investment for anyone who suffers from allergies and wants to breathe cleaner, fresher air while also enjoying a cooler room.
That’s a good feature to have in a bedroom in addition to the sleep mode for low noise level.
Finally, this is an ENERGY STAR Certified unit.
Best for Medium Size Rooms
Perhaps you want a new window AC unit that you can control with a smartphone or other mobile device.
If so, this top window air conditioner is the one you want to cool a room.
This unit is one of the only products available that has Wi-Fi control, which is why it’s so popular.
You can use the Wi-Fi app to cool your room from anywhere, at any time, and set up daily schedules.
(A standard remote control is also included if you want to use it.)
You get 350 square feet of cooling capacity, 4-way air direction control, several fan speeds, and a sleep mode.
A mesh antibacterial air filter is also included for air purification while cooling.
And finally, since this is a smart room air conditioner, you can control it with your voice by speaking to it through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant—making the top window air conditioner in its class.
It’s also ENERGY STAR Certified.
Best for Large Rooms
Out of all of the products on the market that are made for large rooms, this is the best rated window air conditioner available without Wi-Fi control.
It has everything you would ever need in a large room air conditioner, including an LCD screen, degree settings, three fan speeds, automatic mode, a timer, sleep mode, remote control, and 8-way air direction control.
Additionally, this window unit has both an air ionizer and washable filter to strip the air of as many harmful particles as possible.
It’s a dream come true for asthma and allergy sufferers who require the freshest, coolest air they can get up to 550 square feet.
You won’t find anything else that can beat this window AC unit in this price class that also holds the ENERGY STAR Certification.
Best for Large Rooms
Now, if you want a smart air conditioner for larger rooms, you’ll want to invest in this window AC unit right here.
It offers all of the same advantages as the previous recommendation but gives you the added benefit of controlling your air conditioning with a Wi-Fi app.
This window-mounted air conditioner also includes an air ionizer and washable filter to clean the air while also chilling it, and can handle big rooms up to 550 square feet.
If you want the best-of-the-best in window AC units at this size that’s also ENERGY STAR Certified, this is your top choice.
Best for Largest Spaces
If you need a new window AC unit for larger rooms in your home, you’re going to want to go with either this product here or our next recommendation.
The cooling capacity of this model is good for areas up to 850 square feet.
It also includes all of the standard features for a window air conditioner, including an LCD screen, temperature control buttons, three fan speeds, automatic mode, a timer, sleep mode, remote control, and 4-way air direction control.
Finally, these window ACs have a washable antibacterial filter to reduce odors, bacteria, and other airborne pollutants while also delivering cold air.
And it carries the ENERGY STAR Certification for low operating costs.
Best for Largest Spaces
Our final recommendation for the top window air conditioner handles larger rooms up to 1,050 square feet.
It’s a true beast of a machine and gives you everything you need to cool an extremely large space.
It also includes a supplemental heat function if you want to warm up an area too.
You get all of the same functions as our previous recommendation except this window unit allows 8-way air direction control.
It would have been nice if this air conditioner included Wi-Fi controls, but unfortunately, no window AC unit of this size has that capability yet.
However, a remote control is included for added convenience.
Why is Every Window Air Conditioner on This List a Frigidaire?
If you made it this far in this post, you may be wondering why all of the top recommended products are Frigidaire models and not a mix of other brands.
Are we biased? Of course not.
The truth is that there are many other brands of popular window AC units available, including Emerson, Friedrich, GE, LG, Kenmore, SPT, Whirlpool, etc.
But, when it comes down to the customer reviews, price, value, cooling capacity, and available features, Frigidaire is the clear winner on every front that we compared.
We’d love to recommend other manufacturers for having the best window air conditioners; however, at this time we can’t.
Other models may have the same exact features as a Frigidaire but come with a higher price tag.
Or the price may be the same, but they lack something that Frigidaire includes, like the air ionizer feature.
You won’t go wrong by getting any of these available Frigidaire models we recommend above for your home.
They truly do make the best window units for every size room.
Feel free to look at the reviews yourself and choose the one that’s best for your needs.
What’s More Energy Efficient: Window Air Conditioners or Central Air Conditioning?
Will a window air conditioner actually reduce your monthly energy bills or is central air conditioning better for the long haul?
Questions about energy efficiency are the most common ones asked people when they’re considering the purchase of a window AC unit.
The short answer is yes, window units do come out on top in terms of energy efficiency when compared to central AC systems.
The Top Window Air Conditioners Use Less Energy
You don’t have to be an expert to understand how window air conditioners are more cost-efficient per cooling degree.
If you were to look at the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) for the top-selling whole-house air conditioners, you’d probably find an EER rating between 14-16, which is really great.
In contrast, the top window air conditioners have an EER range of 11-12.
While a lower EER rating technically means that a product is less energy efficient, you can’t look at this number in isolation when comparing these two types of cooling systems.
In fact, even though window units have lower EER ratings, they actually cost less to operate and use less energy.
On a per cooling degree and per square footage basis it’s a factor of 1.75.
How can this be?
There are several reasons:
- People who use window units often cool down just one or two rooms in a house, while those with central AC must cool down all rooms at once (even the ones that are unoccupied).
- Many central AC systems have ducts in unconditioned attics which can result in a loss of about 20% of the cooling output.
- Central AC often gets left running by mistake because it’s out of sight and out of mind. Window ACs are always visible; therefore, we’re much more conscious to turn them off when they’re not in use.
Cost Savings of Window Air Conditioners
So, how does this all stack up in regards to monthly savings on your energy bills when using window ACs?
A central air conditioner costs between $100-200 per month depending on the amount of use.
You can expect to pay about $20-30 per month when using any one of the best rated window AC units recommended above at a rate of eight hours per day.
As you can see, window air conditioners offer substantial cost savings for homeowners and renters alike because of their energy efficiency.
Additional Features to Look for in Window Air Conditioners
When shopping for the best window air conditioners for your house or apartment, you’ll find a variety of features included with each particular device.
Some of these options will matter a great deal to you, while others won’t.
Obviously, the more features a product has, the more expensive it will cost.
However, just keep in mind that as long as the BTU units are sized correctly for the room you want to use it in, then you’ll achieve maximum efficiency no matter what other perks it may have.
With that being said, here are the top features you’ll find in these types of air conditioners.
Window Air Conditioner Checklist
This is the most basic feature on all air conditioners but different manufacturers choose to include a variety of cooling speeds.
Most commonly, you’ll find products that have either two or three cooling speeds.
These come in high, medium, and low settings.
Some window units may also include an automatic fan speed setting if it has a digital thermostat to regulate the room temperature.
Temperature Control Options
Although we live in the digital age, there are still many window AC units that use a rotary dial for controlling the temperature.
You’ll see these dials labeled with numbers like 1-7, with the highest number being the coldest setting.
With a dial style unit, you won’t be able to choose a specific degree setting; instead, you must rotate the dial until it feels like the right temperature in the room.
(Our #1 best rated window air conditioner above uses this type.)
The more advanced units include electronic push buttons and an LCD screen to gives you precise control over the level of cooling in your home.
Those handy features allow you to set the air conditioner to a specific cooling degree (i.e. 72 degrees Fahrenheit) and have it maintained by the device.
(Recommendations #2 through #8 above come with this option.)
Air Direction Control
When you’re looking at air conditioners, you’ll find a range of options for how much control you have over the direction of the air stream.
The most common setups include:
- 2-way air direction control (left to right with one vent)
- 4-way air direction control (left to right and up to down with one vent)
- 8-way direction control (left to right and up to down with two separate vents)
Although 8-way control may sound like the best version to get, it’s actually one of the last things you should worry about when comparing window air conditioners.
The truth is that once a room is cooled down by the unit, it doesn’t really matter which direction the air is entering into the room.
At that point, it’s already cold and the temperature is just being maintained.
The air direction control feature becomes more important when the air conditioner is blowing air in a certain direction that may become an annoyance, such as toward a dinner table or directly on you while you sleep.
If you want to save the most money while keeping your rooms cool, an automatic timer is a must-have feature for your window air conditioner.
Automatic timers allow you to control when the window AC unit turns on and off without having to manually do it yourself.
For example, you can set the air conditioner to turn off automatically after three hours of continuous use or between specific hours like 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Some timers even let you turn the device on at a certain time of day, such as one hour before you get home from work, so that the room is nice and cool before you arrive.
(#2 through #8 window units above include this feature.)
Air Cleaning Functions
All rooms in your home have impurities floating around in them.
The most common pollutants include dust, mold, bacteria, pollen, smoke, and odor-producing particles.
Since air quality is a concern for many people, some of the top window air conditioners are now being outfitted with air cleaning technologies to remove these contaminants from the room.
Air cleaning features on air conditioners include:
- Washable antibacterial air filter that traps airborne pollutants on the surface
- Air ionizer that sends negatively charged ions into the air to neutralize harmful contaminants.
While the air ionizer is the much better option of the two, you’ll often find that a window air conditioner that includes this feature will also have a washable antibacterial filter as well.
So, if you want cleaner, fresher air in your home while cooling it at the same time, make sure to look for this air purification feature in your new device.
(All of the products recommended above include this benefit.)
If noise is a concern for you then you’ll want to check out the noise level for a particular window-mounted air conditioner.
But, keep in mind that you won’t find an appliance like this that’s super quiet unless it has a sleep mode.
That’s because all of the AC components are located in one compact shell and there are a lot of moving parts needed to cool the air.
On average, these appliances produce between 40 to 60 decibels of noise which is much better than even the best portable air conditioner units.
That noise level is louder than a refrigerator but softer than a vacuum cleaner.
The reason a central air conditioning system has a low noise level is that the compressor unit, which powers the cooling evaporator, is located outside, instead of in the room you’re cooling.
Just know that all of the devices listed in this guide have moderate amounts of noise level, and several include a function to minimize the loudness for you while sleeping.
We Hope These Window Air Conditioner Reviews Helped
We hope this guide on how to find the best window air conditioners for your house or apartment has given you the confidence to go out and purchase the best window AC unit for your needs.
Our goal with our window air conditioner reviews was to give you enough information to make the right decision on your own.
However, you can’t go wrong with any of the top window air conditioners recommended on this page.
So start there.
Then, if you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for, feel free to check out other products and compare them to the top window AC units we outlined above.