The Best Window Air Conditioners of 2022

Today’s top window air conditioners are efficient and Wi-Fi ready.

By Tony Carrick | Updated Sep 21, 2022 8:47 AM

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The Best Window Air Conditioners

Photo: homedepot.com

A window air conditioner is the only way to beat the heat for those who lack the comforts of central air conditioning, especially during a mid-summer heatwave. Advancements in technology have made window air-conditioning units more efficient and versatile than ever. Many window AC units feature Energy Star ratings and are Wi-Fi ready, allowing one to change temperature settings from virtually anywhere. Some even have technology that makes them quieter than the average refrigerator.

Window air-conditioning units range in size from 5,000-BTU models designed to cool small rooms up to 18,000-BTU monsters capable of cooling up to 900 square feet.

With so many sizes and options available, choosing the right model can be more than a little overwhelming. Ahead, learn about what features are crucial to consider when shopping for a window air-conditioning unit and don’t miss our list of some of the top models on the market.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Midea U Inverter Window Air Conditioner
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Hisense 350 Sq. Window Air Conditioner
  3. RUNNER-UP: hOmeLabs 6,000 BTU Air Conditioner with Smart Control
  4. BEST-LOOKING: Frigidaire Energy Star Window Mount Air Conditioner
  5. MOST ENERGY-EFFICIENT: LG 14,000 BTU Dual Inverter Window Air Conditioner
  6. BEST SMART: LG 14,000 BTU 115V Air Conditioner with Wi-Fi Control
  7. BEST QUIET: GE Profile 8,100 BTU Smart Window Room Air Conditioner
  8. BEST FOR SMALL ROOMS: Friedrich Chill 6,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
  9. BEST FOR LARGE ROOMS: TOSOT 12,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
The Best Window Air Conditioners

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Window Air Conditioners

While selecting the right size air conditioner to meet the room size is crucial, other factors are also vital to consider, including energy efficiency, noise level, and smart-home compatibility.

Window and Room Size 

Selecting the right size of AC unit for an area is vital when shopping for a window air-conditioner unit. Choose a unit that’s too small and it will struggle to cool the space. If it’s too large, the air conditioner will waste electricity and strain the motor with frequent short cycles. An air conditioner’s cooling capacity is listed in BTUs—British Thermal Units. Window air conditioners range from small models that produce 5,000 BTUs up to large units that can produce 18,000 BTUs or more.

Determining the right size window AC unit for a room involves making a simple calculation. Multiply the length times the width of the room and multiply that number by 25. For example, a 12-foot by 20-foot room would require a 6,000 BTU air conditioner while a large 20-foot by 20-foot room would require an 10,000-BTU AC unit.

In addition to room size, it’s also important to take into account the window size to ensure the air conditioning unit will fit. A window must be wider than the air conditioning unit and also must open wider than the height of the air conditioner.

Energy Efficiency

The condenser that creates the cool air that air conditioners pump out uses a considerable amount of power. In fact, depending on the size of the AC unit and the outdoor temperature, a window AC unit adds between $15 and $47 per month to the electric bill.

One way of bringing that number down is by purchasing an energy-efficient air conditioner. The efficiency of a window unit is determined by its Energy Efficiency Rating (EER), which is determined by dividing the air conditioning unit’s BTU output by its wattage. For example, a 10,000 BTU air conditioner that uses 1,000 watts would have an EER of 10. The higher the EER, the more efficient the air conditioning unit. An Energy Star-rated air conditioner, which has been designated by the Environmental Protection Agency as energy-efficient, must have an EER rating of at least 9 or above.

Noise Level

Since a window AC unit has both its blower and compressor in the window of the room, it can produce a significant amount of noise. In fact, the average window AC unit produces about 60 decibels, which is similar to an electric shaver. Some AC units are quieter than others, with decibel levels in the 40s, which is the equivalent to the sound of light traffic.

An air conditioner is loudest when it’s working at maximum capacity. Some units have quiet sleep modes that operate the air conditioner at lower speeds to reduce noise levels. Keep in mind that the condenser won’t produce as much cool air on sleep mode, forcing it to run longer to maintain the internal air temperature.

Smart-Home Compatibility

As with most household electronics these days, many window air-conditioning units can connect to a home’s Wi-iFi network. Once connected, a smart air conditioner can be controlled on a smart device via an app or even by voice when paired with a virtual assistant such as Alexa or Google Assistant. These smart capabilities allow the user to adjust temperature and turn the air conditioner on and off from virtually any location.

Other Features

Air conditioning units come with other features that make them easier to operate and maintain. Check-filter lights let the operator know when it’s time to clean or change the filter. Many AC units also come with remote controls that allow the user to operate the air conditioner from the comfort of their bed or sofa. Some remotes also double as remote thermostats, helping to ensure more even cooling throughout the room.

Installation

Per their name, all window air conditioner units mount inside a window between the sash and the sill. Most air conditioners include plastic slides that extend from either side of the AC unit to cover the gaps in the width of the window. An air conditioner should also include the brackets and hardware necessary to attach the window unit to the window, ensuring it doesn’t shift or fall out during operation.

Our Top Picks

The following list narrows the field to some of the best AC units on the market. All of the air conditioners on our list are Energy Star certified and most are Wi-Fi ready, allowing them to be controlled from virtually anywhere via a smart device.

Best Overall

The Best Window Air Conditioners Option: Midea U Inverter Window Air Conditioner
Photo: amazon.com

Midea’s price tag may be a little steep for an 8,000-BTU model, but rest assured this air conditioner unit more than makes up for that savings on the back end. That’s because its dual inverter technology gives it an impressive 13.3 energy-efficiency rating, which translates to about 35 percent savings over a standard window air conditioner. In addition to making it energy efficient, the dual inverter is also quiet, producing just 42 decibels of noise at lower speeds.

The Midea AC model also features a U-shaped design that allows the window to close significantly farther than most window AC units, adding to its energy-efficiency by limiting drafts. This design also has the added benefit of allowing the window to open and close, a feature that isn’t possible with most window air conditioners. Since the Midea is Wi-Fi ready, the user can control the air conditioner via an app or even voice when paired with a digital assistant.

Product Specs

  • Energy efficiency: 13.3 EER
  • BTUs: 8,000
  • Dimensions: 22 inches wide by 19 inches deep by 13.5 inches high

Pros

  • Excellent energy-efficiency rating of 13.3
  • Quiet 42-decibel operation
  • WiFi-enabled model
  • Allows window to open and close

Cons

  • More expensive than other 8,000-BTU models

Get the Midea U Inverter window air conditioner on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Window Air Conditioners Option: Hisense 350 Sq. Window Air Conditioner
Photo: lowes. com

Those looking to affordably cool down a small- to medium-size room that measures up to 350 square feet should consider this 8,000-BTU model from Hisense. It features a built-in Wi-Fi radio that allows the user to control all of its settings via the compatible app or a digital assistant. It also has controls on its front panel and comes with a remote control.

The Hisense is also one of the sleeker models on the market, thanks to a touch control panel on the front. Though not as quiet as some of the pricer air conditioners, it’s not noisy either, producing 57 decibels when operating at top speed.

Product Specs

  • Energy efficiency: 12 EER
  • BTUs: 8,000
  • Dimensions: 18.5 inches wide by 17.5 inches deep by 13 inches high.

Pros

  • Affordably-priced Energy Star-rated air conditioner
  • Wi-Fi ready
  • Includes remote control

Cons

  • Noisier than some AC units.

Get the Hisense window air conditioner at Lowe’s.

Runner-Up

The Best Window Air Conditioners Option: hOmeLabs 6,000 BTU Air Conditioner with Smart Control
Photo: amazon.com

Though the digital controls may give it a more antiquated look than some of its peers, the features and functionality of this Energy Star-rated window air conditioner makes it one of the top AC units on the market. Its 8,000-BTU output is enough to cool up to 350 square feet, and it comes with an integrated Wi-Fi radio that makes its controls accessible from a smart device or a digital assistant.

Dry, eco, and sleep modes and an on/off timer are useful additional features. And though not the quietest AC unit, it operates at a tolerable level of between 53 and 58 decibels, depending on the fan setting.

Product Specs

  • Energy efficiency: 12 EER
  • BTUs: 8,000
  • Dimensions: 18.5 inches wide by 15.6 inches deep by 13.4 inches high

Pros

  • Wi-Fi capable
  • Energy Star rated
  • Dry, eco, and sleep operating modes

Cons

  • Older digital control panel

Get the hOmeLabs air conditioner on Amazon.

Best-Looking

The Best Window Air Conditioners Option: Frigidaire Energy Star Window Mount Air Conditioner
Photo: walmart.com

With their utilitarian-looking louvered filter covers and prominent place in the window, most AC units detract from a room’s aesthetics. While this model from Frigidaire may be just as visible as any other window air conditioner, it’s much more pleasant to look at, thanks to its sleek design.

Rather than the traditional louvers that most air conditioner units use to cover their filters, Frigidaire goes with a tight mesh screen that creates a cleaner look. It also eschews a traditional control panel for a sleek minimalist display. The air conditioner’s touch buttons and air louvers are located on a panel that angles downward from the top, making them less visible from across the room.

In addition to its good looks, this AC unit also has other attractive features, including an Energy Star rating and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Product Specs

  • Energy efficiency: 12 EER
  • BTUs: 8,000
  • Dimensions: 18.5 inches wide by 15.6 inches deep by 13.4 inches high

Pros

  • Sleek, attractive look
  • Energy Star rating
  • Wi-Fi ready

Cons

  • Expensive for an 8,000-BTU air conditioner.

Get the Frigidaire Energy Star air conditioner at Walmart.

Most Energy Efficient

The Best Air Window Conditioners Option: LG 14,000 BTU Dual Inverter Window Air Conditioner
Photo: walmart.com

Despite its large 14,000-BTU output, which is enough to cool an 800-square foot room, this window AC unit is efficient enough to earn an Energy Star rating. In fact, with its dual-inverter technology, this air conditioner is 25 percent more efficient than minimum Energy Star standards. And, since dual-inverter compressors operate more quietly than standard compressors, the LG is one of the quietest window air conditioning units on the market, producing just 44 decibels when set to sleep mode.

With its smooth front, LG’s 14,000 BTU AC unit is also one of the sleeker-looking air conditioners on the market. This LG air conditioner is Wi-Fi ready and uses LGThinQ technology, which allows the user to control the air conditioner from virtually anywhere via the compatible app.

Product Specs

  • Energy efficiency: 11 EER
  • BTUs: 14,000
  • Dimensions: 25 inches wide by 24 inches deep by 15 inches high

Pros

  • Energy Star rating
  • Wi-Fi ready
  • Produces just 44 decibels of noise on sleep setting

Cons

  • Large size may not fit some windows

Get the LG dual fuel inverter air conditioner at Walmart.

Best Smart

The Best Air Window Conditioners Option: LG 14,000 BTU 115V Air Conditioner with Wi-Fi Control
Photo: walmart.com

While many window air conditioners come with built-in smart technology, few integrate Wi-Fi technology as well as LG does. This 10,000-BTU window air conditioner uses LGThinQ technology, which allows one to manage all of their LG appliances via a single app. LGThinQ uses artificial intelligence to monitor activity in the household, then suggests schedules to automate its operation and improve efficiency.

Aside from its smart capability, this air conditioner is efficient, with an Energy Star rating and noise levels as low as 52 decibels when running in low mode. In addition to the LGThinQ, the AC unit can also be controlled via its front panel or remote control.

Product Specs

  • Energy efficiency: 11 EER
  • BTUs: 10,000
  • Dimensions: 22 inches wide by 23.5 inches deep by 15 inches high

Pros

  • Wi-Fi compatible through LGThinQ app
  • Energy Star rating
  • Low 52-decibel noise level
  • Multiple control options

Cons

  • Not as sleek as similarly-priced window air conditioners

Get the LG mounted smart window air conditioner on Amazon.

Best Quiet

The Best Window Air Conditioners Options: GE Profile 8,100 BTU Smart Window Room Air Conditioner
Photo: homedepot.com

The GE Profile room air conditioner is one of the quietest on the market, producing just 43 decibels, which is less than the noise most refrigerators make. This makes it an ideal choice for places in which a noisy air conditioner can be a problem, such as in bedrooms or nurseries. The touch controls on the front of the unit give it a modern look and feature LED lights that automatically dim to prevent glare at night.

This air conditioner is also energy efficient and Wi-Fi ready. It’s compatible with both the GE Comfort App and theSmartHQ app, allowing the user to adjust temperatures while away. The GE Profile model can even be set to turn down the thermostat when it senses the owner’s smart device is not nearby and then turn back on when it’s in close proximity.

Product Specs

  • Energy efficiency: 11 EER
  • BTUs: 8,100
  • Dimensions: 21 inches wide by 18.3 inches inches deep by 13.4 inches high

Pros

  • One of the quietest window air conditioners on the market
  • Wi-Fi ready
  • Energy Star rating

Cons

  • More expensive than other similarly sized air conditioners

Get the GE Profile smart window air conditioner at The Home Depot.

Best For Small Rooms

The Best Window Air Conditioners Option: Friedrich Chill 6,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
Photo: P.C. RIchard & Son

Built-in Wi-Fi and an Energy Star rating make this small, 6,000-BTU air conditioner ideal for bedrooms and other small rooms. The air conditioner works with the Friedrich app, allowing the user to operate it via a smart device or by voice when paired with a digital assistant. There is also a digital control panel on the front of the unit.

The Friedrich Chill is one of the more energy-efficient small models on the market with a 12.1 energy efficiency rating. It’s quiet too, thanks to its QuietMaster Technology, which includes insulation on the unit’s inner wall to dampen noise.

Product Specs

  • Energy efficiency: 12.1 EER
  • BTUs: 6,000
  • Dimensions: 18.6 inches wide by 13.3 inches high by 15.8 inches deep

Pros

  • High energy-efficiency rating.
  • QuietMaster technology reduces noise
  • Wi-Fi ready

Cons

  • Sometimes produces condensation on the unit’s top

Get the Friedrich Chill window air conditioner at Amazon or P.C. Richard & Son.

Best For Large Rooms

The Best Window Air Conditioners Option: TOSOT 12,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
Photo: amazon.com

With its 12,000-BTU output and Energy Star rating, this air conditioner is capable of cooling large rooms up to 550 square feet without spiking the electric bill. Cooling a larger room evenly can be a challenge for a window air conditioner. The TOSOT uses a remote with a built-in thermostat that allows it to take temperature readings from the far reaches of a larger room, helping it to cool more evenly.

In addition to its high output, the TOSOT air conditioner has a sleek design that features an all-metal front with a smaller air intake than other models. A control panel that consists of a simple LED temperature readout and small touch controls add to its modern look.

Product Specs

  • Energy efficiency: 11 EER
  • BTUs: 12,000
  • Dimensions: 21.4 inches wide by 22.8 inches deep by 15.8 inches high

Pros

  • Energy Star rating
  • Capable of cooling up to 550 square feet
  • Sleek design
  • Remote control includes integrated thermostat

Cons

  • Not Wi-Fi capable

Get the TOSOT window air conditioner on Amazon.

Our Verdict

With its 13.3 energy-efficiency rating, an innovative mounting design that keeps the window operable, and Wi-Fi connectivity, the Midea U Inverter Window Air Conditioner is one of the top window air conditioners on the market. Those looking for an affordable way to keep cool in summer should consider the hOmeLabs 8,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner, which offers an Energy Star rating and Wi-Fi connectivity at an affordable price.

How We Chose the Best Window Air Conditioners

We used several important criteria to narrow the more than 20 window air conditioners we reviewed down to our top nine. Energy-efficient window air conditioners are more common and affordable than ever, so we limited our search to only those that carried the renowned Energy Star rating. In addition to efficiency, we also chose mainly WiFi-ready window air conditioners that can be controlled via a smart device or a digital assistant. Where possible, we chose models with attractive designs that would detract less from a room’s aesthetics than other window air conditioners. Finally, we leaned toward models that offered quiet modes that would make them less audibly noticeable in a room.

FAQs

Ahead, learn why window air conditioners are almost always a better choice than portable units and why it’s okay to leave a window air conditioner running all day.

Q. Is a window air conditioner or a portable AC unit better?

In general, a window air conditioning unit is more efficient, more effective, and more affordable than a portable air conditioner. The primary reason one might consider a portable air conditioner is because they don’t have windows that are compatible with a window air conditioner.

Q. Can I leave a window air conditioner unit on all day?

It is safe to keep an air conditioner running all day. There are no parts that will overheat, and the AC unit has a thermostat that will turn it on and off based on the set temperature. In fact, keeping a window air conditioning unit on all day at a slightly higher temperature is often more efficient than shutting it off and later forcing it to cool a hot and humid space.

Q. Do I have to add water to a window air conditioner?

Modern window air conditioners do not use water. Instead, they compress air, which creates condensation that drains out of the AC unit to the home’s exterior.

Q. Should I cover my window AC unit after summer?

While it’s dangerous to cover an AC unit while it’s in use, you should cover the exterior portion when summer ends to prevent snow, ice, and leaves from collecting on it, which could damage the coils or restrict the airflow out of the unit.

Q. How cold can a window air conditioner get?

Window air conditioners are not designed to create temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Most window air conditioners work best when the thermostat is set no lower than 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

Q. How long do window air conditioners last on average?

The average window air conditioning unit lasts about 10 years. Signs that you need to replace the window AC unit are odd noises and higher utility bills.