The 7 Best Window Air Conditioners for Cooling Every Room in Your House

Shop the best air conditioners for small and large spaces, energy efficiency, and WiFi connectivity to keep your home cool even on the hottest days of the year. 

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LG window air conditioner
Photo: Courtesy of The Home Depot

Whether you live somewhere warm year round or you're at the height of summer heat, living in a sticky, humid house can be quite uncomfortable for people and pets alike. And because many older homes and apartments don't have central air, finding the best window air conditioner for your space is essential.

While not having central air might seem like a disadvantage, there are many benefits to using other forms of home air cooling. Window air conditioner units are easy to install yourself, they're less expensive than purchasing a central air conditioner, and they're highly energy efficient, allowing you to save money on your energy bill every month. However, not all window air conditioners are built the same. Depending on your home's square footage, window dimensions, and your own noise or aesthetic preferences, certain window AC units may be a better choice for you than others.

We've gathered some of the best window air conditioners of 2022 based on their size, cooling capability, noise level, energy efficiency, and more. Our top pick for the best overall window air conditioner was the Midea U Inverter for its noise-blocking design, energy efficiency, and convenient WiFi connection to your phone.

What We Recommend

Best Overall: Midea U Inverter Window Air Conditioner

ac unit
Courtesy of Amazon

Why You Should Get It: After testing this unit for over a month, we think this unit's a great pick if you want something powerful that won't disrupt your daily activities with loud operation noises.

Keep in Mind: Installation is not exactly the same as other window AC units, due to this machine's U-shaped design, so you may need to do some extra research if you're installing it yourself.

If your biggest concern with buying a new window air conditioner is the disruptive noise or the spike in your energy bill, then the Midea U Inverter Window Air Conditioner just might be the breath of fresh air you're looking for. This AC unit is designed to work best in rooms 450 square feet or smaller, and its three-speed fan can blast cold air up to 20 feet away, meaning even the far side of your room will stay comfortable on hot summer days.

With WiFi-enabled smart controls that connect to your phone, Google Home, or Alexa device, you can easily change your AC settings from anywhere. This is especially convenient if you plan to shut off your air conditioner when you're not at home or you dislike messing with a confusing thermostat. The window air conditioner's display is also extremely easy to use, and you'll be able to connect to a device, change the fan speed, turn on night mode, and more in just the press of a button.

When it comes to energy efficiency, the Midea window air conditioner is one of the best available: It was named one of Energy Star's most efficient air conditioners of 2022, using almost 38% less energy than competing models. In other words, your energy bill won't spike nearly as much when temperatures start to rise. This AC unit also has a special U-shaped design that lets you open and close your windows, even while the unit is installed, allowing you to get fresh air on cooler days. According to the manufacturer, this Midea unit emits noises no louder than 42 decibels, making it one of the least-disruptive models on the market.

Like most window air conditioner units, this one is advertised as something you can install yourself—and it certainly comes with all of the necessary tools to do so. However, the directions can be hard to follow if you're not familiar with AC unit installations, so plan to spend some dedicated time completing this task. This machine also beeps loudly when pressing any of the buttons on the display, and there's no way to turn off this feature. However, you can avoid this annoyance by simply managing the unit's settings from your phone.

Product Details:

  • BTUs: 10,000
  • Square Footage: 450
  • Weight: 57 pounds
  • Noise Level: 42 decibels
  • Dimensions: 21.97 x 19.17 x 13.46 inches
  • Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio: 15.0

Best for Small Rooms: LG Electronics 8,000-BTU Window Air Conditioner

ac unit
Courtesy of The Home Depot

Why You Should Get It: This window AC unit has three fan speeds, a user-friendly control panel, and three different operating modes for cooling, air circulation, and dehumidifying.

Keep in Mind: At 52 decibels on its lowest fan setting and 54 on its highest, this unit may disturb light sleepers during the night if their bed is close to the window.

Keeping small rooms in your home comfortable on hot days can be just as difficult as larger rooms due to stagnant air that gets trapped in enclosed spaces. While you don't want to invest in an AC unit that'll use lots of power for such a small area, it can be tough to find a unit that evenly balances low BTUs with powerful air circulation without having to upgrade to a 10,000-BTU unit. However, this window air conditioner unit from LG Electronics does just that. You can adjust the unit's vent to point up, down, and to either side, encouraging airflow to reach multiple points of the room instead of blasting cold air that never reaches the opposite wall. It also has three different fan speeds to accommodate hotter or more comfortable days when just a light breeze will do. Plus, the LG Electronics window AC unit has three operating modes: cool mode for hot and humid days, a fan mode for circulating fresh air, and a dehumidifying mode for damp weather.

If you're looking to minimize your energy bill every month, the LG window air conditioner has a high efficiency rating of 12.0 and is certified by Energy Star, so you'll feel less guilty about turning up the AC on particularly sticky days. We also like that this model is compatible with a standard 115-volt outlet and fits in most standard-size windows, meaning you won't need any special accommodations to make the unit work in your home. Instructions and mounting tools are provided with your purchase, making it easy to set up on your own. And once it's installed, the LG window air conditioner's control panel is super user-friendly. It has clearly marked buttons for changing the temperature, switching between modes, setting a timer, and powering off or on. You can even use the included remote to change settings from across the room.

One thing to keep in mind with this machine is that it's designed for windows that open vertically (aka single-hung and double-hung windows), not horizontally.

Product Details:

  • BTUs: 8,000
  • Square Footage: 340
  • Weight: 57 pounds
  • Noise Level: 54 db
  • Dimensions: 19.56 x 19.38 x 12.38 inches
  • Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio: 12.0

Best Quiet: Dreo Inverter Window Air Conditioner

ac unit
Courtesy of Amazon

Why You Should Get It: After testing this in a bedroom for over a month, we think this model's quiet operation makes it stand out from other options.

Keep in Mind: The buttons on the unit are sensitive to touch, so children and pets brushing against the AC can change settings fairly easily.

One of the biggest problems with many window air conditioners is the noise level—which can be especially disruptive if you want to run the AC while you're asleep. Since window air conditioners only cool the room they're installed in, there's no way to distance yourself from the noise and still cool off if you accidentally end up purchasing a loud unit. Our tester used this pick in a bedroom for over a month, and can confirm that for most people, the gentle humming of this unit is less disruptive than other units she's tried.

When running, this unit makes around 42 decibels of sound—which is just slightly louder than typical noise levels in a library—so you won't have to worry about it disturbing your sleep schedule or video call. During testing, we did notice a small increase in the volume when the unit is powering on or off during a cycle, but it didn't bother our tester.

You can set the temperature anywhere from 61 degrees to 88 degrees and switch between four different modes (cooling, dehumidifying, auto, and fan mode) to keep your room comfortable and humidity-free. You can even adjust the direction of the fan for more concentrated cooling in a specific area, although results are limited unless you're very close to the AC.

The Dreo Inverter air conditioner also stands out for its energy efficiency. Named one of Energy Star's Most Efficient air conditioners of 2022 and given a combined energy efficiency rating (CEER) of 15.0, this AC unit uses less power to keep your home cool than a majority of competing units on the market. Though you won't notice any difference in the cooling performance of this device compared to more energy-sucking units, you'll likely notice a decrease in costs on your next energy bill.

Just keep in mind that this air conditioner is designed for rooms 300 square feet or smaller; it won't be as effective (or cost-efficient) in larger areas of your house.

One issue our tester did have with the unit is the buttons on the machine itself. Although you can control the operation from a remote control, the buttons on the machine are sensitive to touch and can be accidentally changed by brushing against the front panel. It's definitely something to consider if this pick is in a high-traffic area, though our tester only ran into the issue a couple of times during testing.

Product Details:

  • BTUs: 7,500
  • Square Footage: 300
  • Weight: 61.7 pounds
  • Noise Level: 42 decibels
  • Dimensions: 20.67 x 19.25 x 13.39 inches
  • Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio: 15.0

Best Energy Efficient: GE Profile Inverter Window Air Conditioner

ac unit
Courtesy of Wayfair

Why You Should Get It: This easy-to-use air conditioner unit works great in small- to medium-size rooms, seamlessly connects to your phone or smart home device, and boasts a best-in-class rating of 15.7 for energy efficiency from Energy Star.

Keep in Mind: The instructions recommend having basic mechanical knowledge to install this unit, so be prepared to spend some time mounting it in your window or plan to have a professional install it for you.

Keeping your home temperate throughout the entire year can be challenging, whether you're living in a warm climate or you reside in a state that gets all four seasons. The GE Inverter window air conditioner makes it super easy to control the temperature in your room no matter where you are through the use of an app on your phone. You'll be able to set the temperature, check your energy usage, switch into eco mode, and schedule a time for your air conditioner to turn on or off, whether you're across the room or away from home. If you want to use the unit's control panel, it's also extremely easy to navigate, with LED buttons that clearly denote different settings. Similar to other air conditioners on this list, you can set the machine to cool mode, fan mode, and eco mode, but this unit also has a quiet setting that runs at around 40 decibels—making it the quietest air conditioner on this list. However, on particularly hot days, you'll likely need to run this air conditioner on a higher (and therefore louder) setting.

The biggest selling point of this AC unit is its energy efficiency. While several other window air conditioners on our list have stellar energy efficiency ratings, the GE Inverter model boasts a Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio of 15.7 and ties for first place in Energy Star's top air conditioners of 2022. In terms of actual savings, this means the GE Inverter air conditioner costs around 44% less to run compared to other models, so you can blast the air on hot days without worrying what your energy bill is going to look like. And with 10,000 BTUs of cooling power, it's strong enough to keep rooms up to 450 feet comfortable.

According to the instructions, installing this air conditioner requires basic mechanical knowledge, so be prepared to spend some time putting things together. Since improper installation can affect both how the machine works and the safety of use, it may be wise to hire an expert to install this air conditioner for you.

Product Details:

  • BTUs: 10,000
  • Square Footage: 450
  • Weight: 63.1 pounds
  • Noise Level: 40 db
  • Dimensions: ‎19.89 x 20.52 x 13.91 inches
  • Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio: 15.7

Best for Large Rooms: Frigidaire Compact 12,000-BTU Window Air Conditioner

ac unit
Courtesy of Wayfair

Why You Should Get It: Powerful enough to cool rooms up to 550 square feet, this unit has multiple fan speeds, cooling settings, and a convenient remote control so you can change settings from across the room.

Keep in Mind: This unit shouldn't be installed by someone without experience, so you'll need to pay a professional to install it in your home.

Keeping large or open-concept rooms in your home bearable on hot days requires an especially powerful air conditioner. If you don't have central AC or your home needs an added boost, a window air conditioner can help provide cooling relief. The Frigidaire Compact window air conditioner offers three fan speeds and multiple cooling options to adapt to changing weather environments. You'll be able to set your fan speed to low, medium, or high to increase airflow throughout the room while picking the right settings depending on the heat and humidity in the room. Many of these modes are standard across recent air conditioner models (such as fan mode, auto, cooling, and dry mode), but the Frigidaire AC unit also offers a sleep mode, which can help save money by increasing the temperature by a few degrees while you're asleep.

You'll be able to set the room temperature directly on the control panel, or you can change settings using the included remote without having to get out of bed. Given its larger size and more powerful cooling capabilities, this unit is slightly less energy efficient than other air conditioners on our list, with a CEER rating of 10.9. It's also important to note that the manufacturer recommends having a professional install this unit for you, as it can be dangerous if set up incorrectly, so plan to pay an additional fee for expert installation.

Product Details:

  • BTUs: 12,000
  • Square Footage: 550
  • Weight: 77 pounds
  • Noise Level: 59 decibels
  • Dimensions: ‎19 x 21.5 x 14.5 inches
  • Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio: 10.9

Best Budget: GE 5,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

ac unit
Courtesy of Wayfair

Why You Should Get It: This window AC unit is very lightweight and easy to install. Plus, it offers two fan speeds to keep small rooms in your home cool.

Keep in Mind: When running, this unit is a bit loud compared to others on this list, and it only cools rooms up to 150 square feet.

If you're looking for a less expensive window air conditioner without sacrificing cooling power, the GE small room air conditioner is a great place to start. Designed for rooms 150 square feet and smaller, this AC unit uses two different fan speeds to regulate the temperature in bedrooms or other areas of your home. The control panel features two dials you can twist to change fan speeds and to set the temperature (ranging from 1 to 10). And although it's hundreds of dollars cheaper than many other window air conditioners on the market, the GE window air conditioner still has an energy efficiency rating of 11, allowing you to keep your energy costs low even during the hottest months.

To install, follow the directions included with the unit, which walk you through the basic steps of mounting your air conditioner in the window and sealing it into place. It also includes a few handy troubleshooting tips in case you run into problems. This air conditioner was designed to fit in standard double-hung windows, so if you have a different type of window in your home, you may need to consult an expert to see if this unit is compatible.

One downside to the GE window air conditioner is its noise levels, which range between 52 and 59 decibels, depending on the fan speed you set it to. While 52 decibels is comparable to other models on the market, on warmer nights when a higher fan setting is needed, light sleepers may find it difficult to sleep.

Product Details:

  • BTUs: 5,050
  • Square Footage: 150 square feet
  • Weight: 36 pounds
  • Noise Level: 59 decibels
  • Dimensions: ‎16.44 x 15 x 12.56 inches
  • Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio: 11

Best Vertical: Koldfront 8,000-BTU 115V Casement Air Conditioner

ac unit
Courtesy of Lowe's

Why You Should Get It: This vertical window air conditioner is designed to work in sliding windows, but it still offers all the same features and quiet noise levels you can find in the best horizontal window AC units.

Keep in Mind: This unit is not Energy Star certified, meaning it's less energy efficient (and more expensive) to run in your home.

If your home has casement or sliding windows instead of double- or single-hung windows, finding an air conditioner unit that's compatible can be a challenge. While normal window air conditioners are short and wide, a vertical AC unit is tall and thin to accommodate sliding or casement windows. The Koldfront casement window air conditioner offers similar high-tech features as a horizontal AC unit, including three different fan speeds, energy saving modes, and a convenient remote control. The LED display has several easy-to-read buttons that make changing modes or powering on the machine super easy. You can set the thermostat, save energy by using sleep mode, or try out the energy saving mode, which cycles the fan for two minutes at a time over 10-minute intervals.

On its lowest setting, the Koldfront air conditioner makes 51 decibels of noise—quieter than a refrigerator—while its highest setting is around 59 decibels. While the high fan speed might be disruptive to light sleepers, others may have no trouble sleeping through the night at this level. And since it cools rooms up to 500 square feet, you won't need to sleep right next to the unit to stay comfortable.

Although the Koldfront air conditioner has several energy-saving features and a CEER rating of 11, it doesn't meet the requirements for an Energy Star certification. This means you may end up paying more on your monthly energy bill than you would with an Energy Star-certified model.

Product Details:

  • BTUs: 8,000
  • Square Footage: 500
  • Weight: 75 pounds
  • Noise Level: 59 decibels
  • Dimensions: 14.5 x 23.5 x 20.875 inches
  • Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio: 11

The Bottom Line

Our top pick for the best window air conditioner is the Midea Inverter U Window Air Conditioner due to its innovative design that minimizes noise and its high energy efficiency rating, which can save you as much as 38% on your energy bill compared to other models. We also liked that the Midea air conditioner connects to an app on your phone, allowing you to change modes, set a temperature, and even monitor your energy usage in one convenient place.

What to Know About Window Air Conditioners Before Shopping

When beginning the process of selecting the best window air conditioner unit for your home, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind.

Room Size: Since different window AC units have varying cooling capabilities, you'll want to keep your room's square footage in mind. Window air conditioners are measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units), and the higher the BTU, the more cooling power—and square footage—the air conditioner offers. Most air conditioner units list the specific room sizes they're capable of handling in the product description, but generally your air conditioner will need 20 BTUs for every square foot of space. According to Energy Star, you should increase the BTUs by 10 percent if the room gets a lot of natural sunlight, and by 4,000 BTUs if it's installed in a kitchen.

Window Type: Most window air conditioner units are designed to be compatible with standard-size single- or double-hung windows. If you have a casement window or a sliding window, you'll need to look for a vertical AC unit that's designed to work with your specific window type.

Noise Level: If you're a light sleeper or you simply don't want to be distracted by the loud hum of your air conditioner throughout the day, pay attention to the decibel number listed on each window AC unit. While air conditioner units that make less than 60 decibels are considered to be quiet, some models can run at as little as 40, which is as quiet as a typical library.

Energy Efficiency: Running your air conditioner can cause a huge spike in your energy bills every month. However, there are plenty of models on the market that seek to minimize their energy usage by running more efficiently, allowing you to run your AC unit on hot days without a drastic change to your bills. Energy Star-certified window air conditioners are the most efficient models available.

Your Questions, Answered

What is the highest BTU for a window air conditioner?

Window air conditioners can range in capability from as little as 5,000 BTUs to more than 25,000 BTUs. However, most rooms in your home won't need such a high-powered unit; rooms that are between 150 to 500 square feet will need somewhere between 5,000 to 12,000 BTUs of power to keep them cool.

Do window air conditioners come with dehumidifiers?

Some of the best window air conditioners offer multiple fan speeds and cooling modes to accommodate your home's needs. The dehumidifying mode helps decrease the moisture in a room by cycling the air through the machine and removing excess water droplets.

Can I install a window AC unit myself?

Installing a window AC unit is usually a very simple process, as long as you can lift the air conditioner into place (some weigh as much as 70 pounds). The installation process typically requires attaching the accordion panels to your air conditioner, placing the air conditioner inside your open window, adding weather stripping, then securing the unit in place with screws. However, some window air conditioner units may need professional installation.

Do window AC units use a lot of electricity?

Depending on the air conditioner unit you buy, yes, they can eat up a lot of electricity. However, actual cost increases on your energy bill will vary depending on how high your AC unit's fan setting is, what mode you frequently use it on, and how energy efficient the model is. Window air conditioners with an Energy Star certification will use less electricity than an air conditioner that doesn't meet Energy Star's standards.

Who We Are

Samantha Jones is a commerce home editor at Better Homes and Gardens, writing about a variety of topics including vacuums, patio furniture, and meal delivery services. She spent several hours researching window air conditioner units, specifications, and energy efficiency requirements, then compared those units to customer reviews in order to determine the best window air conditioners on the market.

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