Skip to main content

The best window air conditioners for 2021

For those of us without central air, a window air conditioner is the next best thing for keeping cool during the scorching hot summer months. There are hundreds of models to choose from though, which can make purchasing your next window AC a bit of a pain. 

When shopping, you’ll want to be mindful of specifications like BTU level, how big of a room the AC can cover, and the unit’s energy efficiency rating. It’s also a good idea to examine any extra features, and think about whether or not those bells and whistles are worth their additional cost. To help lighten your load, we’ve selected a number of great models to get you started.

Friedrich Chill 6,000 BTU

Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you have a large owner’s bedroom, this Friedrich Chill window air conditioner can handle it — the 8,000 BTU model can cool down rooms up to 350 square feet. Light sleepers will enjoy how quietly this air conditioner operates, with minimal noise so you won’t be kept awake all night by a whirring sound. The unit also oscillates left and right as it cools the space, so your entire room will get an even cool.

Trying to save on your electricity bill? You’ll be happy to hear that this model is Energy Star rated, so you won’t have to keep cool at the expense of sky-high energy costs. The Friedrich Chill unit can be installed easily in a window, or in a wall up to 7.5 inches deep, and the power cord can run to the left or right, depending on where the outlet is located in your space, giving you added flexibility.

LG LW8016ER 8,000 BTU

Image used with permission by copyright holder

This powerful LG model has a 12.1 efficiency ratio according to the Energy Star guidelines, a rating that should guarantee you some energy savings if you are switching from an older model. This window unit is rated for up to 340 square feet, and includes three cooling modes and three fan speeds. It can also provide two-directional air currents and allows you to set a time or use a remote control — not exactly smart tech, but still nice when it comes to programming.

Frigidaire 5,000 BTU Mini Compact Air Conditioner

Image used with permission by copyright holder

This extremely affordable air conditioner hits a sweet spot when it comes to price and usability. It’s rated for a 150-square-foot space, and it has built-in rotary grills, letting you adjust the angle at which your cool air will attack your hot room. We also love the Effortless Restart option. If you lose power during a summer storm or brownout, the AC automatically re-powers once electricity is restored. There’s even a low-power start-up mode, meaning you won’t draw as much juice from whatever circuit you’ve plugged the AC into.

While there aren’t quite as many customization features as some of our other models, you still get from this Frigidaire model two cooling speeds, two fan speeds, and slide-out filter for quick and easy cleaning. It’s a solid set of features in a compact package that can work great in many “I need to get this room cooler now” situations.

Haier ESAQ406P Serenity 6,050 BTU

Haier ESAQ406P Serenity
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This is one of the more expensive AC units on our list, and not just because it can cool an area up to 250 square feet. It also includes more modes than most units — four different settings for 1) cooling, 2) using only the fan, 3) saving as much energy as possible, and 4) dehumidifying.

There is a dual motor and cross-flow design for more accurate air control, and a timer for schedules throughout the day. If noise bothers you a lot when trying to sleep, consider this Haier model; it has been rated as one of the quietest AC units around.

LG Energy Star Window Air Conditioner with Wi-Fi 8,000 BTU

This unit can handle a decent-sized room — up to 340 square feet of space, making it ideal if you want to cool down the main area in an apartment or a large bedroom. It has a 12.1 Energy Efficiency Ratio and features Wi-Fi connectivity. You can connect it to the LG ThinQ app (available for iOs or Android) to adjust the settings remotely. Alternatively, you can set up voice-control over the unit with your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant device.

There are three fan speeds and several modes to choose from, as well as an auto-cool setting. Four-way air deflection helps direct the air where you want it. Digital touch controls are a nice touch that makes the unit feel more modern. The LG Energy Star’s built-in automatic restart – which kicks the unit back on after a power failure – makes this air conditioner even more user-friendly. Plus, there’s a washable and reusable filter, which can save you money on filter replacements without sacrificing air quality.

GE 8,000 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner

Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you’re interested in linking your air conditioner to your smart home ecosystem, GE offers an excellent product. You can link your smart hub with your GE AC to access different fan speeds, cooling settings, and two-way airflow by using Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. Use these apps to control temperatures and manage the AC unit by issuing voice commands or through the app on your smartphone

This AC unit has an Energy Star certification, and it uses an efficiency setting to cool spaces as large as 350 square feet. You’ll have to change out the filter every so often, but that’s just about all it asks for in terms of maintenance, and the filter is easy to access and clean. The GE Smart AC is one of the more expensive options on our list, but its robust cooling system, energy efficiency, and Wi-Fi connection make it worthwhile. 

Make sure you research your living space and what size AC you will need to properly cool your house. You may not need any fancy features for your home, but your unit’s size will always be an essential factor. We’re confident that one of the choices on this list will certainly accommodate your lifestyle and living space. 

Editors' Recommendations

Michael Bizzaco
Michael Bizzaco has been writing about and working with consumer tech for well over a decade, writing about everything from…
How to choose a portable air conditioner in 2021
how to choose a portable air conditioner friedrich zoneaire series zcp08sa single hose smart

Are the summer heat and humidity wearing you down? Portable air conditioners are versatile appliances that are fast and easy to install and nearly as easily move from room to room as the need arises. You can buy small, personal A/C devices for your desktop or side table, but we're focusing on portable air conditioners that can cool an entire room. When the thermometer rises and humidity builds, a portable AC unit you can roll to different areas in your home or office can mean the difference between usable and unusable spaces. All you need to use a portable air conditioner is an ordinary AC power outlet and a window to vent the unwanted hot air.

Portable air conditioners are often handy to have even in homes with central A/C. For example, most homes don't cool the air in garages, which limits use in the summer. If you want to use your garage to work on your car, for hobbies, or to work out, plug in a portable air conditioner and put the venting hose in a window or an exterior door (using appropriate-sized vent brackets). For garages in most areas, if you start an appropriately-sized portable air conditioner 15 to 30 minutes before you start using the area you should be totally comfortable. Moving a portable air conditioner to a normally uncooled guest room is a common use in homes with window units installed in just a few rooms.

Read more
The best Google Home commands in 2021
Man in kitchen talking to Google Home.

If you have Google Home or a similar smart Nest device in your house, then Google Assistant is just a quick voice command away. And while some voice commands are obvious, like asking about the weather or creating a reminder for later in the day, there are other excellent, useful commands that many users don’t know about. We’re working to change that with this updated list of the best commands for a Google Home or Nest device, and why they’re great to keep in rotation!

Note: Google Assistant can also control a host of various compatible smart devices. Take a look at our list for some examples when you feel like building out your smart home a bit more.

Read more
Which Ninja Foodi should you buy? All the cookers and air fryers compared
Countertop image of the Ninja Air Fryer.

While some of us may find an evening standing at the stovetop therapeutic, or even inspiring, there are just as many folks who would willingly ditch the hours of prep, stirring, and constant pan and oven checks in exchange for the time spent. That's where high-performance small kitchen appliances come into play. Let's look at two types: Multicookers and air fryers.

A multicooker is a compact kitchen appliance that's easy enough to stow away but just as simple to break out and quickly set up when it's needed. Built for speed and convenience, the average cooker allows you to boil, simmer, sauté, grill, and roast a myriad of breakfast, dinner, and dessert recipes using significantly fewer ingredients, with finished meals ready for eating in record time.

Read more