While a small window air conditioning unit is suitable for a small bedroom, it simply can’t do the job in a larger living space, especially in a heatwave. For hotter climates and larger spaces, you need a 10000-BTU air conditioner that can cover up to 450 square feet.
These midsize window units can fit into openings as narrow as 24 inches wide and 14 inches high. Modes are available that optimize the air conditioner for sleep, energy savings, and quiet. Smart air conditioners link to a home’s Wi-Fi for operation via smart devices from anywhere with an internet connection.
This guide provides important factors to consider when shopping for the best 10000-BTU air conditioner and reviews some of the top options on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: LG Window-Mounted Air Conditioner with Remote Control
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Frigidaire FFRE103ZA1 Energy Star Window Mounted
- BEST FEATURES: Koldfront WAC10003WCO 115V Window Air Conditioner
- BEST DESIGN: TOSOT Window Air Conditioner – Energy Star
- BEST ENERGY EFFICIENT: GE AHY10LZ Smart Window Air Conditioner
- ALSO CONSIDER: Midea MAW10R1BWT Window Air Conditioner Easycool AC
What to Consider When Choosing the Best 10000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
All 10000-BTU air conditioners cool up to 450 square feet, but that doesn’t mean every model is the same. Many factors set these appliances apart, such as temperature settings, operating modes, and energy efficiency. Ahead, learn about these and the other crucial characteristics of 10000-BTU air conditioners.
Window air conditioners come with analog or digital temperature controls.
- Analog controls use a dial knob with numbered settings, typically ranging from 1 to 9. This knob determines the frequency that the compressor cycles on to cool the air. Unlike a central AC unit with a thermostat, a window AC with analog controls can’t sense the air temperature in the room.
- Digital window units have an internal thermostat that monitors the temperature in the room. Users set the unit to cool to a specific temperature ranging from the low 60s to mid-80s Fahrenheit. The compressor comes on when the temperature rises above the setting and shuts off when it reaches that temperature.
Filter and Vents
Window air conditioners have large vents on the front of the unit that draw in air from the room. Air filters in the vents trap dust, pollen, pet dander, and other impurities, which protects the unit’s machinery and improves the air quality in the room. Filters can get clogged with debris and dust and require periodic replacement.
After the air passes through the filter, the compressor cools it; then the blower and vents send it back into the room. Adjustable vertical and horizontal louvers on the vents can point the airflow in four different directions.
While cooling the air, air conditioners also dehumidify the space. The condenser removes moisture from the air, which collects on its coils. That moisture passes through a drainage system inside the unit that directs the water outside the home.
Some air conditioners also have a dehumidifier mode, which uses the compressor to remove moisture from the air. This setting reduces ambient humidity to 40 to 50 percent without blowing cold air into the room. Since the condenser isn’t required to maintain the temperature in the room, AC units use less energy on dehumidifier mode.
Window air conditioners are one of the bigger energy hogs in a home. A 10000-BTU air conditioner requires between 800 and 1,250 watts of energy, which can cause a noticeable surge in a summertime energy bill.
A 1,250-watt air conditioner that runs 8 hours per day uses about 300 kilowatt hours of energy a month. Since electricity costs an average of 12 cents per kilowatt hour, the air conditioner unit will add about $36 to a monthly electric bill.
Most shoppers look for an energy-efficient window air conditioner. All electric appliances, including air conditioners, have an Energy Efficiency Rating (EER). Any air conditioner with an EER rating of 9 or above has above-average efficiency. The most energy-efficient appliances have an Energy Star certification, which means they have an EER of at least 12.
Many manufacturers list the unit’s efficiency rating on the packaging. To calculate it, simply divide the BTU output by the wattage. For example, a 1,000-watt 10000-BTU air conditioner has an EER of 10.
In addition to standard temperature controls, the best 10000-BTU air conditioner may come with some additional features to optimize operation.
- Timers: Often, window air conditioners are in rooms that see intermittent use, such as bedrooms and bonus rooms. Keeping these rooms cool throughout the day is impractical, so many window units offer timers to help cool the room before bedtime or movie night.
- Remote controls: Some air conditioners have remote controls that allow the user to make adjustments from anywhere in the room. Others include built-in thermostats that communicate with the air conditioner to ensure even cooling throughout the room.
- Smart technology: Smart window air conditioners communicate with phones, virtual assistants, and other smart devices via Wi-Fi that allows control via an app or voice command.
- Operating modes: Higher-end models often have additional operating modes including a sleep setting, which slowly increases the temperature in the room through the night. This allows the room’s air to synchronize with the natural decline in body temperature that occurs during sleep. An energy-saver setting cycles the compressor off and on to save energy, and a quiet mode runs the unit at a lower decibel level.
A window air conditioner uses a built-in air compressor and blower to create and distribute cold air, both of which can be noisy. The average window air conditioner operates at about 60 decibels, about the same noise level as a normal conversation, but loud enough to affect sleep or a binge-watching session.
Many air conditioners have quiet modes, which drop the decibel level to about 50. Although helpful, quiet mode often reduces the fan speed and compressor output, which means the air won’t be as cool.
Installation and Maintenance
Unlike other types of air conditioners, which can require installing copper pipe connections, cutting holes in walls, hardwiring into a home’s electrical system, and even charging compressors with freon, installing a window AC unit is relatively easy.
Mount the window air conditioner on top of the windowsill with part of the unit extending through the window and a portion of the unit remaining inside the room. The lower sash of the window closes to rest on top of the window unit to hold it in place.
Installing weatherstripping creates an airtight seal between the window and air conditioner and brackets to prevent the air conditioner from falling out of the window. The user also must install adjustable panels that extend from the sides of the air conditioner to cover the voids in the window opening on each side of the unit. Most window units plug into a standard 115-volt outlet, and installation typically takes about 30 minutes or less.
Maintenance involves periodically removing the large vent on the interior side of the AC unit and removing and cleaning the reusable filter. Once a year, the owner should remove the air conditioner’s cover and wipe down the coils.
Our Top Picks
All the 10000-BTU air conditioners in the following list include digital thermostats and numerous useful operating modes. Some feature smart capability, Energy Star ratings, and sleek designs. Any of these models can cool up to 450 square feet of space.
Energy efficiency, precise temperature controls, and a low noise output make this LG Window-Mounted Air Conditioner unit a great all-around 10000-BTU window air conditioner. LG’s model features a digital thermostat to set specific temperatures and prevent spikes and drops in room temperature.
A remote control includes an on/off button and temperature, timer, fan speed, and operating controls. An Energy Star-rated device, it operates at just 52 decibels, similar to a running refrigerator.
Frigidaire’s 10000-BTU air conditioner comes at an affordable price without skimping on features. Thanks to its Energy Star rating, the air conditioner also saves money on the back end. The digital thermostat offers precise temperature settings and includes a host of operating modes, including sleep and energy saver, as well as an auto on/off timer.
Use the control panel to set each mode and the remote control for convenience. An indicator light on the control panel lights up when the filter requires cleaning.
One of the most customizable ACs on the market, the Koldfront has numerous operating modes and features. A digital thermostat allows for precise temperature control. Operating modes include sleep, energy saver, and dehumidify. Toggle through each mode via a large control panel that displays the air conditioner’s settings. A remote allows the convenience of making adjustments from across the room.
A 24-hour timer helps save money and keeps rooms cool only when needed. The Koldfront fits a minimum window opening of 15.5 inches.
Window air conditioners get a bad rap for their looks, but this TOSOT model trades the standard louvered grill (the dominant physical feature of most window units) for a mostly smooth front with a smaller, understated air intake and no controls.
But this sleek, minimalist model isn’t all about looks. The remote control with digital display includes a thermostat, temperature control, and access to various operating modes, including fan-only and dehumidifier.
While any Energy Star-rated air conditioner helps keep down costs, this GE model’s smart features help users cut operating costs even further. Its Wi-Fi capability allows the user to turn the unit off or on, change temperature, and modify operating modes via a smart device, digital assistant, or smart-home network.
By accessing the air conditioner remotely, the user can leave the air conditioner off when not at home and turn it on remotely just before arrival.
Midea’s window unit features a digital thermostat that facilitates precise temperature regulation. Multiple operating modes, including timed, energy saver, and sleep mode, give the user more control.
An airflow switch on the front tells the air conditioner whether to draw in air from outdoors or from the room. The included remote control features an LCD display. This model fits windows with a minimum width of 23 inches.
FAQs About 10000-BTU Window Air Conditioners
Read on to find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the best 10000-BTU window air conditioners.
Q. Is a window AC the same as a room AC?
No. A wheel-mounted room AC usually sits inside a room with a tube that extends from the unit to the outside of the home to drain off condensed water. A window AC unit must be mounted inside a window in the room.
Q. How many square feet can a 10000-BTU air conditioner cool?
All 10000-BTU air conditioners can cool a space up to 450 square feet. Since a window unit blows cool air from the unit, it cools a single open space instead of multiple rooms.
Q. How do I make my window air conditioner airtight?
Install weatherstripping between the air conditioner and the window sash and sill to close any gaps that could allow air to pass through. Make sure there are no gaps between the window frame and the panels on either side of the air conditioner.
Q. How do you clean a window air conditioner?
To clean a window air conditioner, follow these steps:
- Unplug the air conditioner.
- Use a screwdriver to remove the air conditioner case.
- With a shop vac or handheld vacuum, remove any dust or debris inside the unit.
- Wipe down the inside with a mixture of water and mild dish detergent.
- Clean the drainpipe pan with soapy water to remove any mold that may have formed.
- Remove the outer case of the air conditioner and wipe down the condenser coils with a damp cloth.
- Reassemble the air conditioner; then remove and clean the filter.