What We Like
Simple, intuitive controls
Offers all the basics
What We Don't Like
No remote control or timer function
Less precise temperature control
Not Energy Star-certified
Like clockwork, right around the beginning of May, the bedrooms of my old, Colonial-style home in Portland, Oregon, start to get stuffy at night. You’d think we could just crack a window, and sometimes we do, but the uptick in temperature aways dovetails with a yearly explosion in pollen, which makes opting for a fresh air solution tantamount to asking for a sneezing attack.
This year, my husband and I went on the hunt for an air conditioner for each bedroom, settling on the Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 Window-Mounted Air Conditioner for our daughter’s. The unit is the optimal size for the small space, which is less than 150 square feet—the maximum size for this model. See if the AC had enough oomph to cool the full length of the long, narrow room, which gets tons of sun and is poorly insulated.
Setup Process: A snap
The ease of setup for this product is a huge selling point. It took just minutes to get it set up and operational. At 47 pounds, it isn’t light, but I had no trouble lifting it or carrying it upstairs by myself. The unit’s compact size made maneuvering the unit and getting it in the window trouble-free as well. It fits inside windows measuring 13 inches high and 23 to 36 inches wide; adjustable side panels help ensure a perfect fit.
The ease of setup for this product definitely is a huge selling point.
This AC comes with a mounting kit, and the instructions are straightforward and easy to follow. My husband and I installed the unit together (well, he actually did most of it) but the job could definitely be done solo. Essentially, all that is required is to adjust the curtain pieces to the size of the window, screw in place, insert the unit, and plug it in. All told, it took us about 15 minutes.
Design: All about the basics
The design of the Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 Air Conditioner is simplicity at its finest. The 6.5-foot, three-prong power cord plugs into standard 115-volt electrical outlets, and a low-voltage start-up conserves energy, saving money on energy bills.
The unit has a simple, classic air conditioner style, featuring a vented front panel with dial controls on the left side. It’s not obtrusive like some models. The top of the unit offers the bonus of adjustable air vents, giving users the opportunity to direct some of the blasting cool air where it’s most desired. The top dial lets you select the “temperature” or how cool you want the room on a scale of one (lowest setting) to seven (the maximum cool).
The bottom dial has five options: off, low fan, low cool, high cool, and high fan. The options are easy to decipher, and while they don’t give you the control of exact temperature settings, they certainly accomplish the task at hand. It has a sleek, striped look that isn’t fancy but also isn’t an eyesore.
Finally, the model includes slide-out access to the washable, antibacterial mesh filter, which helps clear the air of odors, bacteria, and other airborne particles.
Performance: Small but mighty
All around, this model exceeded our expectations. In mere minutes, it was able to transform our daughter’s bedroom from an oven to a fridge. The unit doesn’t have any bells and whistles, but it doesn’t need them. It does exactly what it’s supposed to do, without requiring any excess time or thought, cooling the room quickly and without too much excess noise.
The blast of cool air feels quite powerful for the small size of the unit. It has an energy efficiency ratio (EER) of 11.1 and a certification from the Associate of Home Appliance, but it is not Energy Star-certified.
This unit doesn’t have any bells and whistles, but it doesn’t need them. It cools quickly and without too much excess noise.
We found the controls simple to understand and easy to operate, though we wished it included a remote control and timer function. The temperature is controlled via a knob with settings from one to seven, which is designated as “Max Cool.” I like that there is a wider distance between the higher number settings, offering more gradations of cooling options when it’s most needed. The low fan and low cool setting are very quiet. The higher levels of fan and cool both bump up the airflow and cooler power substantially, and with that comes a bit more noise.
This AC also offers dehumidification up to 1.1 pints per hour to help rid the room of excess humidity. And in case it loses power, Frigidaire’s “Effortless Restart” feature enables it to automatically restore previous settings.
Price: A good buy
The manufacturer’s price on this AC is $250, but it can usually be found for around $160. There are many other similar models on the market, and the majority of them also retail around the same price.
More expensive models tend to offer a few more extras, such as a remote control or more exact temperature controls. All in all, this unit’s price is on par with the majority of models in its class.
Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 Air Conditioner vs. Emerson Quiet Kool EARC5MD1 5,000 BTU 115-Volt Window Air Conditioner
These two models are very similar and both retail around the same price. They share all the same specifications, except that the Emerson model is about 10 pounds lighter. Both feature efficient cooling without tons of noise. We prefer the look of the Frigidaire machine, but either one will get you what you’re looking for.
- Product Name FFRA0511R1 Air Conditioner
- Product Brand Frigidaire
- MPN FFRA0511R1
- Price $249
- Weight 47 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 12 x 16 x 15.25 in.
- Window Requirements 13 x 23-36 in.
- Dehumidification 1.1 pints/hr
- What’s Included AC unit, window mounting kit
- Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio (CEER) 11.0
- BTU 5,000
- Cool Area 150 sq. ft
- Warranty 2 years, limited (appliance), 3-5 years limited (sealed system)