The 10 Best Window Air Conditioners of 2022

The LG 6,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner is our top pick

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Commerce Photo Composite

The Spruce / Sabrina Jiang

Air conditioning is a must-have on hot days, and window-mounted units are among the most popular—and cheapest—ways to cool a room, provided you choose the correct size for the space. "The size of your room is the first thing you should consider when purchasing a window AC unit," says Bailey Carson, Home Care Expert at Angi.

We researched dozens of models to find the best window air conditioners, evaluating them on cooling power, ease of installation, noise level, and energy efficiency. Our top pick is the LG LW6019ER Window Air Conditioner, which is available in a wide range of sizes and is Energy Star certified to save money on electricity. 

Here are the best window air conditioners.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: LG LW6019ER 6,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner with Remote Control

4.7
LG 6,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

Walmart

What We Like
  • Available in multiple sizes

  • Well-priced

  • Digital controls with remote

  • Energy Star certified

  • Quiet during operation

What We Don't Like
  • Poor installation instructions

  • Larger models require 230-volt outlets

Whether you’re cooling a single bedroom or a whole level of your home, you’ll be hardpressed to find a better window air conditioner than this model from LG. It comes in seven different sizes, with BTU ratings ranging from 6,000 up to 24,500—and the latter can cool a space up to 1,300 square feet. Plus, unlike most window air conditioners, this unit is Energy Star certified, which means that it’s made with better sealing and insulation materials to keep operation costs as low as possible. 

This air conditioner comes with a comprehensive installation kit that fits window widths between 22 and 36 inches. Still, the instructions are a bit sparse, so you may need to research how to install an air conditioner properly if you’ve never done it before. Once you have it set up, the unit has three cooling speeds and three fan speeds, and the 6,000-BTU model can remove up to 1.8 pints of moisture from the air each hour. There’s also a 24-hour timer that you can set using the digital LED control panel and an energy saver function to help save energy. 

The LG Air Conditioner operates between 48 and 52 decibels, depending on the fan setting, which is on the quieter side for a window unit. It has a full-function remote, a washable slide-out filter for easy maintenance, and a filter check indicator light. Overall, the air conditioner is a great value, but keep in mind that the 18,000 and 24,500-BTU models require a 230-volt plug.

Cooling Area: 260 square feet | BTU: 6,000 | Filter Type: Washable | Noise Level: 48–52 decibels | Window Size: 22–36 inches | Energy Star Certified: Yes

Best Budget: Hisense AW0521CK1W Window Air Conditioner

Hisense AW0521CK1W Window Air Conditioner

Courtesy of Lowe's

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Lightweight design

  • Easy to install

  • Simple to operate

What We Don't Like
  • Limited adjustability

  • Only good for small rooms

If you have a small space to cool and a small budget to work with, this window AC from Hisense is your best bet. It offers 5,000 BTU of cooling power, and it’s effective in rooms up to 150 square feet—roughly 15 x 10 feet. However, the design provides just the basics, so you won’t find the more advanced bells and whistles that you see on pricier models. 

This budget-friendly AC does have two cooling settings and two fan speeds that you can select using mechanical switches on the control panel. It has four-way air direction functionality that focuses the output of cooled air, and it operates at an average noise level of around 50 to 54 decibels. The whole thing weighs 35 pounds, which makes installation easy. There’s no timer, and the unit isn’t Energy Star certified, but it’s a great no-frills model at an unbeatable price.

Cooling Area: 150 square feet | BTU: 5,000 | Filter Type: Washable | Noise Level: 50–54 decibels | Window Size: 22–37.8 inches | Energy Star Certified: No

Best Design: Windmill 8,300 BTU Window Air Conditioner

8,300 BTU 115-Volt Quiet/ECO/Smart Window Air Conditioner

Home Depot

What We Like
  • Sleek, modern design with side panels

  • Quiet operation

  • Dual filters

  • Easy to install

What We Don't Like
  • Smart features can be challenging to set up

  • Pricey for its size

Unlike traditional window air conditioners that are bulky eyesores, the Windmill AC is a sleek model that blends into the background. This chic unit comes equipped with the latest smart features, including adjusting temperature and settings from your phone or via voice commands to Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. The crisp LED display automatically dims so that it won't keep you up at night. 

The Windmill comes in a kit that includes scissors, two types of insulation foam, a window lock, and side panels. In addition to the washable, antimicrobial-protected mesh filter, the unit uses activated carbon filters to remove impurities and odors from the air. It's currently available in an 8,300-BTU size that's good for spaces up to 350, and the brand just launched a smaller 6,000-BTU model as well. The one thing we don't love about the Windmill AC is that the smart features are a bit difficult to set up. Our tester noted that it took several tries to connect the unit to her phone.

Cooling Area: 350 square feet | BTU: 8,300 | Filter Type: Washable mesh and activated carbon | Noise Level: 50 decibels | Window Size: 23–37 inches | Energy Star Certified: No

Best Smart: July Window Air Conditioner

July Window Air Conditioner

July

What We Like
  • Variety of finishes and front panels

  • Extremely easy to install

  • User-friendly app

  • White-glove installation in select locations

What We Don't Like
  • Waiting list for purchase

  • Expensive for its size

The July Air Conditioner is the trendy choice if you like controlling your household appliances from your phone. (It's so popular that there's often a waitlist to purchase one.) This AC stands out from the crowd thanks to its minimalistic modern design, which comes in various finishes and cover colors like pink and green. There are two model sizes available: a smaller 6,000-BTU option and a medium 8,000-BTU option.

The installation process is a breeze—place the frame into your window and slide the unit into the frame until you hear a click. (July offers free white-glove installation in select locations.) This AC has every smart feature you could imagine. It syncs up to a user-friendly app, where you can remotely control the temperature, create a schedule, or set up voice commands using Amazon Alexa or Google Home. You pay a premium for these advanced features, so the July AC is significantly more expensive than similarly-sized models. Still, if you love the look and will make use of the advanced functions, we think it's worth the splurge.

Cooling Area: 350 square feet | BTU: 8,000 | Filter Type: Washable or air-purifying | Noise Level: 50–54 decibels | Window Size: 20.4–39 inches | Energy Star Certified: No

Best for Small Rooms: Toshiba 5,000 BTU Mechanical Window Air Conditioner

Toshiba 5,000 BTU Mechanical Window Air Conditioner

Courtesy of Home Depot

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Ideal for small spaces

  • Easy-to-use controls

  • Compact and lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Slightly noisy

  • Dials can be hard to turn

Toshiba's inexpensive window air conditioner will do the job in any small space. (Just don't expect any extra functionality.) The mechanical design has 5,000 BTU of cooling power, making it an ideal choice to cool a room under 150 square feet. You can choose from either cooling or fan settings, and there are two fan speeds and seven temperature settings that you can adjust using manual dials on the front of the machine. 

One of the benefits of having a compact and lightweight air conditioner is that it's easier to install, especially if you're doing it by yourself. The unit comes with an installation kit and detailed instructions. Keep in mind that the AC operates at 56 decibels, which is slightly louder than the average window unit, and the dials can be somewhat hard to manipulate at first.

Cooling Area: 150 square feet | BTU: 5,000 | Filter Type: Washable | Noise Level: 56 decibels | Window Size: 23–36 inches | Energy Star Certified: No

Best for Large Rooms: Frigidaire FHWE252WA2 25,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

Frigidaire FHWE252WA2 25,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

Courtesy of Lowe's

What We Like
  • Cools up to 1,600 square feet

  • Provides supplemental heat

  • Wide range of settings

  • Energy Star certified

What We Don't Like
  • Loud operation

  • Requires 230-volt outlet

You can cool spaces up to 1,600 square feet with this large Frigidaire Window Air Conditioner, making it an ideal choice for a home with a large open floorplan. The AC offers 25,000 BTU of cooling power and can even provide supplemental heat in the winter, allowing for year-round use. The oversized unit has numerous settings, including a programmable timer and eco and sleep mode, so that you can tailor its operation to your needs. 

The Frigidaire has a slide-out chassis that evenly distributes its weight during installation, which is beneficial since the unit weighs 128 pounds. It comes with a remote to adjust temperature and fan speed, and, despite its impressive cooling power, it is Energy Star certified. When figuring out where to install this air conditioner, keep in mind that it requires a 230-volt outlet.

Cooling Area: 1,600 square feet | BTU: 25,000 | Filter Type: Washable | Noise Level: 58–62 decibels | Window Size: 31–42 inches | Energy Star Certified: Yes

Best for Quiet Operation: Midea MAW08V1QWT 8,000 BTU U-Shaped Inverter Window Air Conditioner

Window Air Conditioner

Amazon

What We Like
  • Several sizes available

  • Unique U-shaped design limits noise

  • Energy Star certified

  • Wi-Fi enabled

What We Don't Like
  • Tricky to install

If you're looking for a whisper-quiet window AC, the Midea U-Shaped Window Air Conditioner is your best option. The U-shaped notch in the center of the unit provides added stability and lets you open the window on days when you'd prefer a natural breeze. It also blocks a lot of the noise from the exterior portion of the unit and operates at a quiet 42 decibels on low settings, making it ideal for a bedroom or nursery. We've tested this air conditioner unit in our own homes and can confirm its quiet operation—despite being placed directly next to a television in our tester's home, the unit was so quiet that the tester didn't need to adjust the volume of her TV while the AC is on.

The Midea comes in three sizes, ranging from 8,000 to 12,000 BTU, and it's Energy Star-certified, providing up to 35 percent more energy savings thanks to its inverter technology. It's even Wi-Fi enabled, allowing you to control your smartphone's temperature and settings through your home's smart hub. The major drawback of this unit is the installation—it's not exactly the same as other window AC units, but the company supplies videos and instructions to help explain the process. Our tester also appreciated that, unlike most window ACs, this model comes with its own exterior bracket to support the machine on the outside of your window.

Cooling Area: 350 square feet | BTU: 8,000 | Filter Type: Washable | Noise Level: 42–47 decibels | Window Size: 22–36 inches | Energy Star Certified: Yes

Best for Easy Installation: Soleus WS3-06E-201 6,000 BTU Saddle Window Air Conditioner

Soleus WS3-06E-201 6,000 BTU Saddle Window Air Conditioner

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Saddle shape is easy to install

  • Doesn’t block window

  • Extremely quiet

  • Available with or without Wi-Fi

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn’t fit all windows

  • Pricey for its size

If you need to cool down fast, the Soleus Saddle Window Air Conditioner has a unique design that's incredibly easy to install. Simply slide it over your window sill (note that the maximum sill clearance is 11 inches, so be sure to measure before you buy) and turn it on. The other bonus of this design is that it barely blocks your view.

This AC comes in 6,000 or 8,000-BTU sizes and is available with or without Wi-Fi connectivity. Because the compressor is on the window's exterior, the unit is 30 percent quieter than a traditional AC, operating between 38 and 49 decibels. It has a sleep mode that keeps noise to a minimum, a dry mode that acts as an evaporative dehumidifier, and a remote that lets you adjust the various settings without getting off the couch.

Cooling Area: 275 square feet | BTU: 6,000 | Filter Type: Not listed | Noise Level: 38–49 decibels | Window Size: 24–48 inches | Energy Star Certified: No

Best for Sliding Window: Frigidaire FFRS0822S1 8,000 BTU Slider/Casement Window Air Conditioner

Frigidaire FFRS0822S1 8,000 BTU Slider/Casement Window Air Conditioner

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Compatible with sliding and casement windows

  • Low-power startup

  • Full-function remote

What We Don't Like
  • Complex installation process

While most window air conditioners aren’t compatible with horizontal sliding windows, this model from Frigidaire fits the bill. The tall, narrow unit is designed specifically for sliding and casement windows. (Just be aware that the installation process is more complex than a standard window AC.) This 8,000-BTU air conditioner can cool rooms up to 350 square feet and offers three fan speeds and energy-saving and fan-only operation modes. 

The air conditioner has four-way air direction control that lets you focus air where you want it, and it comes with a full-function remote that can adjust all its settings. While it’s not Energy Star certified, it has a low-power startup that helps to reduce its energy consumption and can dehumidify up to three pints of moisture per hour.

Cooling Area: 350 square feet | BTU: 8,000 | Filter Type: Washable | Noise Level: 48–55 decibels | Window Size: At least 15.5 inches wide and 22.5 inches high | Energy Star Certified: No

Best With Heat: LG LW1221HRSM 12,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner with Heat

LG LW1221HRSM 12,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Powerful heating ability

  • Dehumidify setting

  • Smart features

  • 24-hour timer

What We Don't Like
  • Requires 230-volt plug

This LG air conditioner does more than cool your home; it has four different settings, including options for heating and dehumidifying. It delivers 12,000 BTU of cooling power for spaces up to 550 square feet, and it packs a punch on cold days, offering 11,200-BTU heating power. There are two cooling and fan speeds, four-way air direction, and you can set the 24-hour timer to operate according to your schedule. 

In addition to a digital control panel and remote control, this air conditioner is Wi-Fi enabled and can be controlled through the LG ThinQ app, Alexa, and Google Assistant. It has a washable filter and a filter light reminder, and its slide-out chassis makes installation a bit easier. Since it uses so much electricity, this unit requires a 230-volt plug, so make sure it is compatible with the outlet you plan to use.

Cooling Area: 550 square feet | BTU: 12,000 cooling/11,200 heating | Filter Type: Washable | Noise Level: 54–58 decibels | Window Size: 27–39 inches | Energy Star Certified: No

Final Verdict

The LG LW6019ER 6,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner is a well-priced unit that comes in various sizes, making it ideal for a wide range of applications. It's Energy Star certified and quiet during operation, and it has a 24-hour timer and handy remote control. Consider the Hisense AW0521CK1W Window Air Conditioner if you're looking for a more affordable unit. It's only powerful enough to cool rooms up to 150 square feet, but the compact and lightweight design makes it easy to install and remove.

Friedrich Chill CP06G10B 6,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

The Spruce / Sarah Vanbuskirk 

What to Look for in a Window Air Conditioner

Room Size

"Getting the right unit is essential to keeping your room cool without breaking the bank," says Carson. "If you get a unit that is too small for the room, it won’t be strong enough to keep the space cool. If your unit is too large, you’ll end up paying for size and power you can’t use."

The cooling power of air conditioners is measured in British Thermal Units, or BTU, and larger spaces require a higher-BTU air conditioner. "For rooms that are 150 to 500 square feet, look for an AC unit with 5,000 to 14,000 BTUs," says Carson. "For rooms larger than 500 square feet, opt for something with 18,000+ BTUs."

Window Size

Before you buy an air conditioner, measure the opening of your window to ensure a proper fit. Most window air conditioners' specifications usually include a maximum and minimum window width and a minimum window opening height. If you're planning to install your air conditioner in a horizontal sliding or casement window, you'll need a unit that's specially designed for this style of window.

Noise Level

Window air conditioners can be pretty loud, especially on high settings. The noise level of an AC is measured in decibels—the quietest units operate around 40 decibels, while models with an output of 60 decibels or higher will make more of a racket. Consider a unit's average noise output before buying, especially if you're using it to cool a bedroom, nursery, or other space where peace and quiet are essential.

Installation Process 

It can be challenging to install a window air conditioner, especially if you’re never done it before. Units that use a saddle-style design or pre-assembled frame are easier to set up. Heavy or oversized window air conditioners can be challenging to mount in your window and may require extra hands or even professional assistance.

When installing yours, Jonathan Brewer, The Spruce's Home Improvement Review Board member, says to remember: "Proper sealing around the window AC unit will increase the units efficiency. Don't forget to also secure the window for safety."

Settings

Air conditioners often have different settings that allow you to tailor their operation to your needs. Basic mechanical models often have a dial that makes the temperature warmer or cooler, while digital models can be used to set precise temperatures. Many ACs have different fan speeds, and some even offer a variety of operations, including dehumidifying and heating.

Standout Features

Filters

Most window air conditioners use either a washable or replaceable mesh filter. If you suffer from allergies, you may want to look for a model that offers an additional level of air purification. Some modern ACs use activated carbon or other air-purifying filters to remove even more dust particles and other irritants from the air, helping to improve the overall air quality in the room.

Remote Control

Basic air conditioners are usually operated using mechanical dials or digital control pads, which means you have to go over to the unit to change the temperature or fan speed. More advanced models come with a remote, offering the convenience of adjusting the unit’s settings from anywhere in the room. If a product description says the remote is “full function,” all settings are operated via the remote. 

Smart Design

For a high-tech window AC, you may want to look for a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth-enabled model, which will allow you to control the appliance from your phone. Smart air conditioners often allow you to create custom schedules, and many can even be given voice commands through a digital assistant like Amazon Alexa. 

Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 Air Conditioner

The Spruce / Sarah Vanbuskirk

FAQ
  • How do you install a window air conditioner?

    Installing a window air conditioner can seem intimidating, but as long as you have the right tools and take your time, it’s a project that a beginner can handle. Start by attaching the top rail and side filler panels to the AC unit, if they aren’t already.

    From here, carefully set the air conditioner on the window frame, and close the window’s bottom sash, so it’s behind the top rail. The AC should slope backward a few degrees for proper drainage.

    From here, secure the filler panels and attach the sash lock to keep the air conditioner firmly in place. Finally, fill in any gaps with foam insulation before plugging in the unit and turning it on. 

  • How do you clean a window air conditioner?

    It's essential to clean your air conditioner at least once a year, usually before you install it for the season. Remove and clean the face panel using soapy water or hydrogen peroxide, then clean (or replace) the unit's filter according to the manufacturer's instructions. Vacuum out the appliance's interior and straighten out any fins that might be bent.

  • How long do window air conditioners last?

    "Most window AC units last between 10 and 15 years with regular cleaning and maintenance," says Carson. "However, the exact lifespan of your AC unit will depend on several factors, including how often you use the unit and where it’s located."

  • Do window air conditioners use a lot of electricity?

    "Window AC units use between 12 and 17 kilowatt-hours per day. For reference, refrigerators use between 1 and 1.5 kilowatt-hours per day," says Carson. "To make sure you're not using more electricity than necessary, do your research on the best size unit for your space, and look for units with timers or the ability to set schedules, so they're only running when you need them."

    Energy Star certified units can also help save money, as they use about 15 percent less energy than conventional models.

Why Trust The Spruce? 

This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer and product tester for The Spruce. While researching window air conditioners, she spoke with Bailey Carson, Home Care expert at Angi, for insights on selecting the best model for your home.

She vetted each model for its cooling power, noise level, settings, and energy efficiency, and she scoured dozens of user reviews for insights on the installation and operation of different window units. She personally owns and loves the Windmill air conditioner, which she uses in her bedroom during the summer thanks to its quiet operation. We also tested the Midea 8,000 BTU U-Shaped Inverter Window Air Conditioner in a tester's home to get additional insights on that particular model.

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