Stay cool this summer with one of the best window AC units. Our roundup of window air conditioners includes models for small and large spaces, energy-efficient units, and designs for specific windows, so you can find the right AC unit for your room.

By Stephanie Perry and Ariel Klein
Updated February 23, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Don't spend another day in a sticky, humid house during a hot summer day. Whether you live somewhere warm all year round or you're at the height of summer heat, having a cool and comfortable home is a top priority. And because many older homes and apartments don't have central air, finding the best air conditioner for your space is essential.

LG window air conditioner
Credit: Courtesy of The Home Depot

While not having central air might seem like a disadvantage, there are many benefits to using other forms of home air cooling. Window AC units and portable air conditioners are both great options, but what's the difference? We'll explain portable air conditioners versus window air conditioners so you can pick a design that suits your home and lifestyle.

Should I Buy a Portable Air Conditioner or Window Air Conditioner?

Portable air conditioners tend to be bulkier and more limited in range than window air conditioners. While less expensive portable models can be smaller, their size usually suggests how large of a space they can cool down. The best part about investing in a window AC unit is that they tend to be more energy-efficient and not as costly. 

Today's window air conditioners offer many notable features, including multiple fan settings, heat functionality, and even WiFi compatibility. And because most window air conditioners come with an installation kit, they’re easy for anyone to set up.

With hundreds of different window air conditioner models on the market, finding the perfect one for your home can take some time and research. In an effort to make AC unit shopping easier, we put together a list of the top 11 window air conditioners based on specific requirements and needs. 

Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Small-Window Air Conditioner

For those living in an apartment or who just need to cool down a small room, the Frigidaire White Energy Star 5,000 BTU air conditioner is a great compact option. With the ability to cool up to 150 square feet, this window air conditioner has several notable features, including two fan speeds, two cooling speeds, an eco mode, a sleep mode, and an automatic on/off timer that can last up to 24 hours. Plus, the “check filter” alert reminds you when it’s to clean the mesh filter so you’ll always have fresh, cold air streaming into your room.

Buy It: Frigidaire White Energy Star 5,000 BTU, $199 (originally $220), Amazon

Cool-Living 5,000 BTU
Credit: Courtesy of Walmart

Best Cheap Window Air Conditioner

Air conditioners can be costly, and if you have to install multiple units, cooling your house can become quite the expense. If you’re looking for a good-quality AC unit that’s also budget-friendly, try the Cool-Living 5,000 BTU window air conditioner. This model has a multi-directional vent and filters that are simple to remove for cleaning. It also uses an eco-friendly refrigerant, which causes less harm to the environment while also saving power.

Frigidaire 8,000 BTU 115V Slider
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Air Conditioner for Sliding Windows

On the hunt for an AC unit designed for sliding windows? The Frigidaire 8,000 BTU 115V Slider is the perfect solution for casement windows. Not only can the vertical window air conditioner cool down a large room, but it also comes with a remote so you can control the temperature and fan speed from where you're sitting. Additional features include three different fan speeds and four-way air direction control, which helps to set the perfect temperature and air flow. The best part? This window unit comes with a washable mesh filter for low-fuss cleaning.

Buy It: Frigidaire 8,000 BTU 115V Slider, $470 (was $540), Amazon

Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Quietest Window Air Conditioner

There’s nothing more disruptive than a noisy AC unit, especially when you’re trying to watch TV or get a good night's rest. The Midea U Inverter 8,000 BTU air conditioner is powerful yet energy-efficient and can cool down areas up to 20 feet away with nine times less noise than a traditional AC unit. It’s so quiet at 42 decibels, in fact, that it will feel like you’re sitting in a library even when the fan is at full blast. Find the perfect temperature by using the digital touch controls on the AC unit, with the remote, through the app, or with voice control through your Alexa or Google Assistant device. One of the best features of this air conditioner is that you can open your window and enjoy fresh air while the device is in use.

Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Low-Profile Window Air Conditioner

Window AC units are a great source for home cooling, but certain models can be bulky and obstruct your view. If you’re trying to find an air conditioner with a low profile, consider the LG Smart Window Air Conditioner 8,000 BTU window-mounted air conditioner. At just 12.4-inches tall, it has a sleek modern design and efficiently cools medium-size rooms. It also comes with a timer, so you can set it to turn off or on while you're away—or try its easy-to-use app.

Buy It: LG Smart Window Air Conditioner 8,000 BTU, $300 (originally $360), Amazon

LG 7,500 115V Window-Mounted 3,850 BTU
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Window Air Conditioner with Heat

In certain areas of the country, you might need air conditioning one day and heat the next. That’s why the Koldfront WAC8001W 8,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner with heat is a great choice for both. This energy-saving AC unit provides a “cool only” function for balmier days and a supplementary heat function for cooler nights. Keep in mind that you will want to use the heat function as a secondary source during cold days.

Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Mini Window Air Conditioner

Perfect for an apartment, dorm room, or RV, the Midea Window 5,000 BTU air conditioner is a small but mighty option. The air conditioner is just 13 inches wide and 12 inches tall, but it can cool down a room up to 150 square feet. Some of its noteworthy features include a washable filter, seven temperature settings, high and low fan speeds, and two-way air direction.

Frigidaire 10000 BTU Cool Connect
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Smart Window Air Conditioner

You can control pretty much anything from your smartphone today—and that, of course, includes window air conditioners. The Frigidaire 10000 BTU Cool Connect smart window air conditioner not only has a contemporary look, but it also has some pretty impressive features. The window AC unit connects to WiFi and can be controlled by an app on your phone. Because it's easier to control when you're not home, the AC unit is more energy-efficient, thus saving you some money on your monthly electric bill. Other notable features include a customizable schedule and up-to-date alerts, including a notification when it’s time to clean the filter. The Frigidaire app works with iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, and Android devices.

Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Energy-Efficient Air Conditioner

Energy-efficient air conditioners are beneficial for a few reasons. Not only will these models save you a bit of money on your electric bill, but they’re also safer for the environment. Energy-efficient AC units are also known to cool a room quicker than others. The GE Smart Window Air Conditioner, which is Energy Star-certified, can help reduce your carbon footprint without you having to sacrifice a cool and comfortable room. It comes with three fan speeds and three cooling speeds, plus it can quickly cool and dehumidify a room up to 450 square feet.

Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Lightweight Air Conditioner

A bigger size doesn't always indicate a better AC unit. If you’re looking for a basic lightweight air conditioner, the Frigidaire Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner weighs only 42 pounds. The small AC unit is easy to install, plus it can cool down a room in just a few minutes. Basic dials let you easily choose your preferred temperature settings.

Haier 18,000 BTU
Credit: Courtesy of The Home Depot

Best Large-Space Window Air Conditioner

Most window AC units are built to cool down a room between 100 and 600 square feet, but what if you need air conditioning for a larger, more open space, like a basement or den? The Haier 18,000 BTU High-Efficiency window air conditioner works in rooms up to 1,000 square feet and has an air deflection feature to help distribute cool air evenly throughout the room. Other features include a sleep mode with timer, three fan speeds, an energy-saving mode, and a dehumidifier.


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