Window air conditioners are common in residential buildings, particularly in apartments and condominium units where installing a mounted unit can be tricky. Window air conditioners are plug-and-play units that require little installation to operate. Factors to consider when buying a window AC include:
Factors to Consider When Buying a Window Air Conditioner
A standard window air conditioner can cost anywhere from $75 to $1,000 per unit, with an average price of $300 per unit. This type of air conditioner is affordable and accessible compared to other types of AC units.
Window air conditioners come in standard models and inverter models, with the latter being more energy efficient than the other. Standard models tend to use more energy than inverter models, which can have between 30%-50% increase in efficiency over standard units.
Window air conditioners are easy to install, needing only a window space. Support brackets will need to be drilled into the wall, which requires minimal work. The air conditioners are plug-and-play, and require no additional installation to function. Smart window AC units are easily connected to any smart device using an app or through bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
However, window air conditioning units are large, bulky appliances. They are not as sleek as ductless mini split units, or portable air conditioners. Most window air conditioners sit by the window sill near an electric socket, making the window unusable as it supports the air conditioner.
Window air conditioners have a wide range of BTU (British Thermal Units) to cool any sized space. From 5,000 BTU to over 24,000 BTU, a window air conditioner can efficiently cool spaces without overworking its compressor.
The window air conditioner was designed for vertical sliding windows, which makes them unsuitable for homes with awning windows and horizontally-sliding windows common in modern spaces. In these cases, installation will require homeowners to drill a hole through their walls, or cover excess window space around the air conditioner with plywood.
Best Window Air Conditioner Models - A Complete Guide
Midea U MAW08V1QWT
Our rating: ★★★★★
The Midea U-shaped window air conditioner is one of the quietest window air conditioners on the market. Its unique design acts like a split system, providing cool air to large spaces with increased cooling power and energy efficiency. The smart window unit features Wi-Fi capabilities, and is also energy star certified.
LG LW6019ER Window Air Conditioner with Remote Control
Our rating: ★★★★☆
The LG window air conditioning unit with remote control comes in various sizes with a range of 6,000 BTU to 12,000 BTU, catering to different space requirements and cooling power. The energy efficient system is well-insulated, ensuring the cool air stays indoors, and the heat stays outdoors!
Frigidaire FFRS0822S1 8,000 BTU Slider/Casement Window Air Conditioner
Our rating: ★★★★☆
The Frigidaire Slider/Casement unit is more versatile than other window air conditioners as it can fit into sliding and casement windows. The air conditioner includes energy efficiency features such as low-power startup, fan only settings, and dehumidifier.
LG 12,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner with Heating
Our rating: ★★★☆☆
For a window air conditioning unit that cools during the summer and warms up during winter, the LG Air Conditioner with Heating System is your best bet. A cooling system and space heater in one, this AC unit is Wi-Fi enabled, and includes smart features such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant connectivity. However, the unit is not energy efficient.
GE Energy Star Window Smart Room Air Conditioner
Our rating: ★★★★☆
The GE Energy Star Window AC delivers cold air into rooms up to 400 square feet in space with its 8,000 BTU cooling capacity. It has an energy efficiency rating higher than most window AC units, and features three cooling speeds and temperature settings for every comfort level. The unit, however, may be pricier than many window air conditioners.
Window Air Conditioner Installation Process
Installing a window unit is relatively simpler than installing split systems as window units only require support brackets to install. These mounting brackets are drilled into the exterior wall of the space, and provide support for the large appliance. Installing window air conditioner units can be done without the assistance of a professional HVAC technician.
Simply drill the mounting brackets to the exterior wall, and align the window AC unit to the window panes. There should be pilot holes where you can secure the AC unit using a screw, and accordion side panels adjust to create an airtight seal around the unit.
Read our full Window Air Conditioner Installation Guide for the full, step by step process.