Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy (like pillows), but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ’em) products and single out the most convincing. While we’ve written before about the best general air conditioners, window fans, and cooling fans, here we’ve rounded up the best window-mounted air conditioners, according to the people. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
Best window air conditioners for up to 150 square feet
“Awesome little machine, saving me from dying of the junglelike humidity and heat at night. Simple and small, still pretty heavy, although I did install it myself. Simple controls. Cools my bedroom no problem; fan setting is nice because I don’t want to jack up my electric bill too much by leaving this thing on AC setting all night long. I sometimes pre-cool the room on AC setting then switch it over to fan just before getting into bed. It doesn’t look sexy, but AC units never do. It’s small and fairly sleek for what it is.”
“Oh my heavenly coolness! This little air conditioner is a lifesaver! I am from California where we don’t have much humidity at all, but now I’m living in the Northeast/mid-Atlantic and humidity is the name of the game. It gets so yucky that I can’t even sleep. Not having centralized air conditioning is also new to me. I’m so thankful for my HomeLabs window AC! First off, this unit is easy to install. It is super light and compact. The dial controls couldn’t be simpler to use. The room gets cool very quickly — less than ten minutes. This is energy efficient, too! I’m super happy to save money any way I can on my electric bills. All in all, I’m thrilled with this AC. Maintenance on the filter is easy, too. This is such a nice AC for smaller rooms. If you usually suffer in heat, this AC will make you a happy camper.”
Best window air conditioners for up to 250 square feet
“This Friedrich 6,000 BTU AC is extremely quiet (hardly know it is running) for my 14-by-15 bedroom with a 10-inch ceiling. I’m very impressed with the solid build quality of this Friedrich unit. I’m a professional mechanical engineer in NYC and specialize in HVAC. With that said, I’m amazed by how this little unit quickly brought the temperature down in my NYC apartment bedroom in just a few minutes. Very easy install. Once I turned the unit on with the swing setting, the cold air was evenly distributed throughout the bedroom. I’m glad I bought this unit. I’m not sure how anybody could rate this unit any less than five stars!”
“We have been using the air-conditioning unit for a few days. We are very impressed. Having owned others, this one is our best purchase. It really is smooth running and not noisy at all. We even had an electrical power outage during the day and we are happy to say that when the electricity came back on, the air conditioner did, too. It’s been our experience that they usually just shut completely off. The remote is very nice and makes it so easy to change the settings from the other side of the room. This unit is lighter than others for its dimensions, which is very nice for the window. We think this unit is a great buy and a very good value.”
Best window air conditioner for up to 450 square feet
“So far, so good! We installed this after suffering for a couple of weeks without any AC after moving into a new house that didn’t have any installed. We had to cut down a couple of shade trees for necessary repairs, and boy did our house get so much hotter right away! It works wonderfully and keeps a house that is way larger than the recommended size quite cool during the hottest hours of the day. We shut the bedroom doors during that day (to help keep the electric bill lower) and this AC unit keeps our main rooms all cool as a cucumber.”
Best window air conditioners for up to 550 square feet
“Who says there is no global warming? Due to the configuration of our home, we couldn’t install central air, and I didn’t want to have an ugly unit hanging out of our bedroom window. But after so many hot, sleepless nights, I gave in and had the LG installed. Last night, I lowered it to 68 and slept under a blanket! So worth it. Air conditioners have come a long way looks-wise, and it’s not overly noisy. It even has a clicker, so I don’t have to get out from under the covers to adjust the settings.”
“Picked this up three years after buying an older model that I also thought was excellent. This unit is a real workhorse, but it does it in relative silence compared to the other window AC units I’ve used (many). It’s been updated since the older models; it’s a little more quiet, but the real improvement is with the controls. The thermostat and energy-saver modes are really outstanding. Overall, I can’t recommend this air conditioner enough, especially considering its price. It’s an outstanding value!”
Best window air conditioner for up to 850 square feet
“Such a great buy! I had two units that this one replaced (12,000 BTU in the living room and an 8,000 BTU in the bedroom) and my electric bill has been cut to one-third of what it was during the summer when I always have it on (I like it cold). It’s installed in the bedroom of my 600-square-foot one-bedroom apartment in NYC and easily cools the whole apartment. My apartment is normally super hot, too, so I’m happy I got it.”
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