The best window air conditioners you can buy

The best window air conditionersLG/Business Insider

  • A good air conditioner can help make those hot summers much more bearable.
  • The LG LW8016ER Air Conditioner is the best window AC you can buy, with its three cooling speeds and built-in dehumidifier.

When it's hot outside, sometimes you need a little help cooling your home down. As such, it might be time to start looking for a new window-mounted air conditioner to keep your home nice and cool, so that you don't roast over the summer months.

Of course, there are a ton of window air conditioners to choose from, and they're not all worth buying. Some are simply lower quality and won't last as long as others that are better-built and more energy-efficient.

There are a number of things to consider when you're buying a window air conditioner, and you'll want to think about them before you buy to ensure that you get the best quality. For starters, you'll want to consider the air conditioner's BTU - or "British Thermal Unit." The higher the number here, the better the unit will be able to remove heat from the room. But a higher BTU also means it will likely consume a little more energy.

How big of a BTU rating do you need for your room?

Check out the list below to figure out the BTU rating you'll need depending on how large your room is. Figures are courtesy of Lowes.

  • 150 to 350 sq ft: 5,000 to 8,000 BTU
  • 350 to 550 sq ft: 8,000 to 12,000 BTU
  • 550 to 1,050 sq ft: 12,000 to 18,500 BTU
  • 1,050 to 1,600 sq ft: 18,500 to 25,000 BTU

You'll also want to think about the air conditioner's energy efficiency rating, noise level, and how large it is. After all, if it's too big, it may not fit in the space you have designated for it.

These are the best window air conditioners you can buy:

Updated on 07/03/2019 by Les Shu: Updated selections, prices, links, and formatting. Added additional smart plug options that we've successfully tested with air conditioners.

Keep scrolling to read more about our top picks and a foolproof way to make your AC smart.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Find all the best offers at our Coupons page.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at insiderpicks@businessinsider.com.

{{}}

View As: One Page Slides

The best window air conditioner overall

The best window air conditioner overall
The LG LW8016ER window AC can cool a 340-square-foot room, has energy-saving features, and offers plenty of settings for those who want control.

LG is a bit of a powerhouse in the window air conditioner space. Our previous top pick was an LG air conditioner, and so is our new one — the LG LW8016ER AC.

This air conditioner has an 8,000 BTU rating, and LG says it'll cool a room up to 340 square feet in size, which should be more than enough for most people. LG says that the AC can dehumidify a room by up to 2.2 pints per hour. In other words, not only does this AC make the room cooler, but it takes some of the stickiness out of it, too.

Some air conditioners only have two settings — on and off. Thankfully, you have a little more control with the LG window AC. You'll get three cooling speeds and three fan speeds, so you don't have to go from 0-60 right away. On top of that, there's an energy-saving setting, so if you don't mind the AC taking a bit longer to cool the room, you'll save some energy.

According to reviews, the air conditioner is even quieter than most window ACs, so while it's probably not the quietest appliance you'll use, it's better than your average AC. The main downside is still the noise. If you want a truly quiet air conditioner, you'll want to keep looking, and perhaps be willing to spend a little more cash. Still, the experts at Wirecutter also recommend this AC. — Christian de Looper

Note: There is now a model with Wi-Fi capability, which lets you remotely control the AC from your phone. However, we have not yet tested this feature.

Pros: Inexpensive, rated for large rooms, energy-saving (Energy Star rating)

Cons: Still loud, despite being quieter than some

Buy the 8,000-BTU LG LW8016ER on Amazon for $273.01 (originally $309.99)

The best window AC in multiple sizes

The best window AC in multiple sizes
The Friedrich Chill Series Window Air Conditioner comes in several different sizes with BTU ratings that run from 5,200 to 24,000 BTU.

The Friedrich Chill Series CP08G10B Window Air Conditioner ranges in BTU rating from 5,200 to 24,000 BTU, so you can find the perfect one for your room size, whether it's 150 square feet or 1,400 square feet.

In terms of control, you get a 24-hour timer so you can program run times and four-way air-flow control. The unit comes with a remote control so you don't have to get up every time you want to change the temperature or fan setting.

Like many window ACs today, Friedrich's is Energy Star compliant. It's a relatively quiet AC, though not as quiet as some of our other picks. You won't get smart features or a ton of settings, either, but the price is great at nearly every BTU rating, so it's worth it. — Malarie Gokey

Pros: Many different BTU ratings, affordable, Energy Star rating, 24-hour timer, remote control

Cons: Not as quiet as some

Buy the Friedrich Chill Series CP08G10B Window Air Conditioner on Amazon for $347.25 to $929 (price varies by BTU rating)

The best window air conditioner with quiet(er) operation

The best window air conditioner with quiet(er) operation
The Frigidaire Gallery Quiet Temp 115V 8,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner runs slightly quieter than others, making it great for your bedroom.

If you want a slightly quieter AC for your bedroom, Frigidaire's Gallery Quiet Temp AC is a great option. It's an 8,000-BTU AC, so it can cool rooms up to 350-sq. ft., which should be more than enough for most bedrooms.

Frigidaire says it runs at 44 decibels, though the Wirecutter pegged it at 54 decibels during its tests. The reviewers were fast to point out that it's still 6 to 8 decibels quieter than every other AC they tested. Frigidaire's AC also has a Sleep Mode that's meant to minimize sound while keeping you at a comfortable temperature for sleep.

The AC is also an Energy Star product, so it should help you save electricity and money in the long run if you use the Energy Saver mode. The included remote control makes it easy to adjust the temperature, change the fan speed, and set timers. — Malarie Gokey

Pros: Quieter operation, 8,000 BTU is good for a large room, effective cooling, remote control

Cons: On the pricey side

Buy the Frigidaire Gallery Quiet Temp 115V 8,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner at Walmart for $379.99

The best window air conditioner with 15,000 BTUs

The best window air conditioner with 15,000 BTUs
The LG LW1516ER Air Conditioner doesn't just offer great cooling modes and a high-quality dehumidifier, it's also able to cool big rooms with up to 15,000 BTU.

If you're looking for something better suited to large rooms, the LG LW1516ER might be the better option for you (think of it as the big brother to our overall pick). The LG LW1516ER a 15,000-BTU AC that can theoretically cool rooms up to 800 sq. ft., which is larger than many city apartments. But it's well-suited for large living rooms or even a studio apartment.

This unit offers three cooling settings, a remote control, an energy-saving mode, and a 24-hour timer so you should be able to set it to perfectly suit your needs. It's also able to dehumidify a room up to 4 pints per hour, which is ideal for larger rooms. It even offers an auto-restart feature in the event of a power failure.

Of course, being capable of cooling large rooms means the unit itself is also larger. It'll sit in at 26-inches wide, almost 27-inches deep, and almost 17-inches high. It might seem expensive, but for a 15,000-BTU AC, it's actually reasonable. — Christian de Looper

Pros: Able to cool large rooms, not too expensive, high-capacity dehumidifier

Cons: A little bulky

Buy the LG LW1516ER Air Conditioner from the Home Depot for $469.00

The best smart window AC for large rooms

The best smart window AC for large rooms
The LG 115V Dual Inverter Smart Window Air Conditioner is quiet, energy-efficient, easy to set up, and connects to your Wi-Fi for smart features like app and voice control.

The LG 115V Dual Inverter Smart Window Air Conditioner comes in sizes ranging from 14,000 BTU to 22,000 BTU, so it's powerful enough to cool rooms ranging in size from 800 square feet to about 1,200 square feet. If you live in a one-bedroom apartment or a studio, it can cool your entire living space.

LG's AC has an Energy Star rating for efficiency, so it should help lower your electricity bill by about 25%, too. The unit has four cooling and fan speeds, as well as an Auto Cool function that optimizes cooling in your space. It has a 24-hour timer, so you can have a set schedule for when you want your AC to turn on and off.

Even though it's a big, high-powered AC, the LG is shockingly quiet, thanks to Lo-Decibel Operation, which brings the noise level down to 43 dB.

In addition to coming in large capacities, this AC can connect to your Wi-Fi to enable smart features like remote app control and voice commands if you use the Google Assistant or Amazon's Alexa. There's also a normal remote control and buttons on the interface if you don't want to get into the techy features.

As a tech geek, I really liked being able to turn my AC on with a simple voice command or with a tap in the app. It worked consistently and was easy to set up on my home Wi-Fi network in the app in a matter of minutes. We used it on some of the hottest summer days and it worked perfectly, cooling our entire apartment.

The 14,000 BTU unit that we tested measures 23.62 by 20.67 by 24.80 inches, so it is a very large AC. It barely fit inside our window, so be sure to measure before you buy. The 18,000 and 22,000 BTU units are even larger. — Malarie Gokey

Pros: Smart features, remote app control, Wi-Fi connected, quiet, sleek-looking, comes in three BTU levels for large rooms

Cons: Expensive, large, only suitable for large rooms

Buy the 14,000 BTU unit at Home Depot for $489 Buy the 18,000 BTU unit at Home Depot for $609 Buy the 22,000 BTU unit at Home Depot for $659

The best window air conditioner for less than $150

The best window air conditioner for less than $150
The 5,000 BTU hOmeLabs Window Air Conditioner is easy to use and great for smaller rooms, but the best thing about it is that it costs only $170.

Looking for a great air conditioner on a budget? Don't worry – there are still some great options out there, and the 5,000-BTU hOmelabs Window Air Conditioner will only set you back $170, which is much cheaper than any of the other units on this list.

Not only is it affordable, but it will still offer some excellent features. For example, the hOmeLabs AC offers two cooling settings, seven fan speeds, and two-way airflow. It's best for small rooms of about 150 square feet in size, since it is a 5,000 BTU unit.

While it may have fewer settings and features than some others, the features it does have are easier to control – on the front you'll find two mechanical rotary controls, which means you won't have to learn any complicated user interface or different button combinations.

Of course, there are downsides to going for a cheaper unit – the air conditioner isn't really capable of handling larger rooms, and it doesn't have as many cooling settings as others. Still, when it comes to value-for-money, this is one of the best out there. — Malarie Gokey

Pros: Affordable, easy to use

Cons: Won't suit larger rooms, fewer cooling settings than some others

Buy the hOmeLabs 5,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner on Amazon for $169.99

Want a smart AC? Buy this smart plug and turn any of our picks into a smart AC

Want a smart AC? Buy this smart plug and turn any of our picks into a smart AC
Just plug any AC into a Wi-Fi smart plug, and you can turn it on or off with your voice or a timer.

If you want a smart AC, don't spend the extra money to buy one. Just get a smart plug like Belkin's WeMo Mini. It costs less than $25 and makes any device you plug into (not just your AC) smart. It does require that you have a home Wi-Fi network set up.

Once you have your AC plugged into it, you can control it remotely with the app and set schedules for when you want your AC to turn on and off. The smart plug also supports Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit, so if you have one or two of those digital assistants at home, you can control your AC with your voice.

Even if you don't have a schedule set up, it's nice to be able to turn on the AC an hour before you get home, for example.

Best of all, when AC season is over, you can use the plug with anything else — lights, a curling iron, a toaster, what have you. Some of these plugs can even monitor energy usage.

Belkin isn't the only manufacturer that makes smart plugs. We've had success connecting an AC to various smart plug brands, including the iHome ISP6, PureGear PureSwitch, and the new (as of June 2019) SmartThings Wi-Fi Smart Plug from Samsung, which costs less than $20. We tested all of these with great success, although it may require two attempts during the set-up process. Otherwise, all of these plugs were easy to set up and able to turn our AC on and off. However, you should make sure the smart plug you buy is capable of supporting an AC's voltage. — Malarie Gokey and Les Shu

Pros: Voice control, supports Alexa, Google Assistant, and/or HomeKit (most smart plugs support Alexa and Google Assistant), app control, makes anything smart, schedule turn on and off

Cons: Some apps are more modern than others, set-up may require two or more attempts

Buy the Belkin WeMo Mini Smart Plug on Amazon for $23.62 (originally $34.99) Buy the iHome ISP6 from Best Buy for $29.99 Buy the PureGear PureSwitch on Amazon for $43.98 Buy the Samsung SmartThings Wi-Fi Smart Plug from Best Buy for $17.99

Check out our guide to the best portable ACs

Check out our guide to the best portable ACs
The best portable air conditioners you can buy

Portable air conditioners are sometimes the only option to get the cool air you need, but they tend to be expensive. The Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner stands out from the crowd because it's powerful, relatively quiet, and doubles as a fan or dehumidifier. Here are our top picks for the best portable air conditioners:

Subscribe to whatsappSubscribe to whatsapp
Add Comment()
Comments ()
X
Sort By:
Be the first one to comment.
We have sent you a verification email. This comment will be published once verification is done.