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Three white air conditioning units are displayed on a wooden countertop Credit: Reviewed.com / Kevin Oliver

The Best Window Air Conditioners of 2022

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Three white air conditioning units are displayed on a wooden countertop Credit: Reviewed.com / Kevin Oliver

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Editor's Choice Product image of GE Profile PHC08LY
Best Overall

GE Profile PHC08LY

You'll barely hear this AC unit as it quickly and efficiently cools your room. It also features smartphone and smart speaker compatibility. Read More

Pros

  • Powerful cooling
  • Very quiet
  • Smartphone and smart speaker compatible

Cons

  • None that we could find
2
Editor's Choice Product image of GE Profile ClearView AHTT06BC
Best for Small Rooms

GE Profile ClearView AHTT06BC

A unique, N-shaped design allows this smart A/C to sit more deeply along a window’s sill. It performs well and works best for small spaces. Read More

Pros

  • Doesn’t block the window
  • Smart Features

Cons

  • Not for all windows
3
Editor's Choice Product image of July Air Conditioner

July Air Conditioner

This design focus of this air conditioner doesn't detract from its incredible performance which beats out many of its competitors with higher BTUs. Read More

Pros

  • Design centric
  • Powerful performance
  • Easy to install
  • Variety of styles and options when ordering

Cons

  • None that we could find
4
Product image of Midea MAW08S1YWT

Midea MAW08S1YWT

Midea's AC unit can cool a room quickly. It also has features the big names offer at a higher price, like smartphone and smart speaker compatibility. Read More

Pros

  • Cools a room quickly
  • Smartphone and smart speaker compatible
  • Easy to install and weather-proof

Cons

  • None that we could find
5
Product image of GE AHEK08AC

GE AHEK08AC

The GE AHEK08AC is a solid all-around air conditioner. It offered decent cooling power and a high air flow that should chill down any room quickly. Read More

Pros

  • Smart features
  • Uncluttered design

Cons

  • Noisier than average

Surviving the summer heat can be difficult without an air conditioner. On a sweltering hot day, a fan is certainly not enough to cool your home, but it's no surprise that air conditioners can solve all of your temperature-related misery. No HVAC system at home? No worries. You can still keep cool without a central air conditioning system. Enter window air conditioners. While they all pretty much look the same, they're not. Any air conditioner is rated to be effective in spaces of varying size and can require drastically different energy consumption, per hour, to use. This can make finding the right one to install in your specific home difficult.

We've done the hand's-on lab testing and research for you. After testing air conditioning units in every setting, from the scorching heat of a North Carolina summer to our climate-controlled testing labs, we honored the GE Profile Series PHC08LY (available at Amazon) with our Best Overall badge for a window air conditioner. It offers an agreeable balance of cooling performance, energy efficiency, modern tech integration, and stylish design.

The GE Profile PHC08LY window air conditioner is the best we tested.
Credit: Reviewed / Kevin Oliver

This reliable, feature-packed air conditioner from GE earned our top honors during testing.


Best Overall
GE Profile PHC08LY

The GE Profile Series PHC08LY is a window-mounted unit that blends top-notch cooling capacity with a variety of unique features, with a bit of style and elegance.

During testing, this 8,000 BTU (British Thermal Units) AC unit reduced our 340 square foot test area’s temperature by 10°F in only 43 minutes and lowered the room’s humidity by 14 percent in the same amount of time. On top of this, it's a quiet air conditioner. While using the GE Profile Series’ Quiet Mode it only put out 49.3 dBA of sound -- that’s less noise than an average household refrigerator makes. On its maximum cool setting, the decibel level ramped up to 59.7 dBA (about as loud as a normal conversation), making it the second quietest model we’ve ever tested.

With the GE appliances app (iTunes and Google Play), users can remotely control and schedule the GE Profile Series while monitoring its power usage and temperature settings. It can also be controlled and monitored via voice through Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and IFTTT. Finally, the GE Profile Series has an Energy Star energy efficiency rating and offers a number of energy-saving features such as power consumption reports and an automatically dimming LED display.

Pros

  • Powerful cooling

  • Very quiet

  • Smartphone and smart speaker compatible

Cons

  • None that we could find


A window AC unit in a laboratory environment.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The A/C in our testing setup. More than half of its height hangs below the window’s sill.

Best for Small Rooms
GE Profile ClearView AHTT06BC

The first thing you’ll notice about the GE Clearview AHTT06BC is its unique design, which has a lowercase N-shaped trench along its underside, allowing it to sit more deeply along your window’s sill.

This design provides more stability during installation, and allows you to close the window more, reducing the noise from outside and the unit’s obstruction of your view. With the unit placed below the sill level, we found you can barely hear the compressor as it kicks on.

Of course, this design also means the GE Clearview AHTT06BC won’t work for all home setups, either because your walls are thicker than 13.75 inches or because there’s furniture or structures below the window.

While installation is straightforward, its heavy build means it will likely be a two-person job. The trickiest part of the install are the adjustable spacers that prop the outside part of the unit away from the wall. If you’re installing purely from inside the window, they’re a little hard to reach.

In terms of controls, we found both the on-unit panel and its smart companion app to be intuitive and easy to use.

Read our full review on the GE Clearview AHTT06BC.

Pros

  • Doesn’t block the window

  • Smart Features

Cons

  • Not for all windows


Other Window Air Conditioners We Tested

Product image of July Air Conditioner
July Air Conditioner

The July Air Conditioner is one of the best all-around air conditioners we’ve tested. We tested the 8,000 BTU version, and its rate of cooling was better than its peers with a similar BTU rating and able to compete with a 15,000 BTU model. In addition to its ability to quickly cool down a room, it has an attractive design, straightforward controls, and its installation process was much easier than a lot of other window units.

Where the July Air Conditioner really stands out is how many customization options it has available. For starters, July has versions compatible with standard windows, sliding windows, or a through-the-wall installation. It has several matte color options for its front panel, as well as a wide array of limited-edition premium panels such as wood or living moss. You can even upgrade its vinyl roller curtains for a solid panel, either matte or translucent to allow more light in.

If you’re looking for something specific, like the highest overall cooling power, or smart features, there are slightly better choices to fit specific needs, but if you’re looking for one of the best all-around ACs, the July Air Conditioner is an excellent choice.

Pros

  • Design centric

  • Powerful performance

  • Easy to install

  • Variety of styles and options when ordering

Cons

  • None that we could find

Product image of Midea MAW08S1YWT
Midea MAW08S1YWT

While the Midea brand may not be as well-known as Frigidaire, LG, or GE, in the United States, the Midea SmartCool MAW08S1YWT was one of the best AC units we tested.

It comes loaded with tons of features, some of which are typically only found on more expensive air conditioners, including a dedicated app for controlling and monitoring your AC unit and voice control through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

When it came down to performance, the Midea SmartCool more than hold its own against the competition, registering a 10°F and 15-percent humidity drop in only an hour on a day that was nearly 100°F outside and 82°F in the 340 square foot test room.

Installation and removal of the unit was a breeze, with Midea including clear instructions for installation and weather-proof sealing. All in all, this was easily one of the best units we tested and one that is certainly worth considering for your room.

Pros

  • Cools a room quickly

  • Smartphone and smart speaker compatible

  • Easy to install and weather-proof

Cons

  • None that we could find

Product image of GE AHEK08AC
GE AHEK08AC

The GE AHEK08AC is just a solid all-around air conditioner. It has the standard box shape, with no fancy chassis or design variations, and installation is relatively straightforward.

Its performance was nothing to write home about, but it offered decent cooling power and a high air flow that should chill down any room quickly.

The GE AHEK08AC is a smart device that can use your Wi-Fi connection to connect to the GE app on your phone. This allows full control of the device and for integration with Alexa and Google Assistant.

Pros

  • Smart features

  • Uncluttered design

Cons

  • Noisier than average

Product image of Friedrich CCF06A10A
Friedrich CCF06A10A

Many of the units on this list are 8000 BTU A/Cs, so as a 6000 BTU unit the Friedrich Chill Premier CCF06A10A doesn’t have as much raw power. However, during testing, we found that it can still excel in small spaces.

On the upside, these factors, combined with its smaller size and increased isolation, mean this is one of the quietest units we tested.

If you’re looking to keep a smaller room cool quietly, the CCF06A10A is a great option.

It’s a smart device with Wi-Fi connection to the Friedrich app. This allows full control of the unit and allows you to set it up with Alexa and Google Assistant.

Pros

  • Quiet

  • Easy to install

  • Smart Features

Cons

  • Not the most attractive design

Product image of LG LW8017ERSM
LG LW8017ERSM

The LG LW8017ERSM is the updated version of our previous top pick, the LW8016ER. This unit looks virtually indistinguishable from its predecessor and put up a strong performance during testing, dropping the temperature by 10°F in only 40 minutes.

One major addition to this updated AC unit is the integrated LG SmartThinQ technology that allows you to connect to and control your LW8017ERSM from anywhere using LG’s app (iTunes and Google Play), ensuring that you never have to return to a hot, muggy house again. It’s also compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

The LG LW8017ERSM required more elbow grease on the assembly side of things than much of the competition. At 62.7 dBA, it also in the middle of the pack in terms of noise level on maximum settings. While it couldn’t grab our top spot, the LG LW8017ERSM carries the legacy of its predecessor as a simple yet powerful workhorse of an air conditioner, while also adding handy WiFi integration. For the price, it’s one of the best window air conditioners on the market.

Pros

  • Powerful cooling

  • Smartphone and smart speaker compatible

Cons

  • More complicated to assemble and set up

  • Moderately noisy

Product image of Frigidaire FHWH082WA1
Frigidaire FHWH082WA1

Note that this is a dual function unit with heating, as well as cooling.

The Frigidaire FHWH082WA1 has an external chassis that encloses the unit: Once the chassis is installed, you slide the unit in. The sealing around the chassis was typical: Accordion style extensions on either side will fill in the gap between the window and its sill.

The advantage of this chassis design is that all the hardware installation/anchorage takes place with the relatively lightweight chassis rather than while balancing a heavy AC unit in place.

The downside of the chassis is that it makes installation and removal a multi-step process, but on the whole we like this design.

A highlight: This device is a dual-function unit that offers heating in addition to the cooling, meaning you could potentially leave it installed the whole year round.

Pros

  • Also has heating

  • Intuitive controls

Cons

  • Easy installation

Product image of Midea MAW10V1QWT
Midea MAW10V1QWT

In a universe of nearly identical window air conditioning unit designs, the Midea U Inverter MAW10V1QWT has a unique aesthetic. Its rounded corners, mesh-style air intake, and an air outlet cover that sits smoothly in place when it’s not in use all make for a good look.

Additionally, its U-shaped design allows your window to remain much more closed than with a typical box-shaped window air conditioner, which makes the installation significantly more secure and helps reduce noise from the back half of the unit.

In terms of cooling performance, the MAW10V1QWT is solid: It doesn’t blow us away, but it is no slouch either.

The MAW10V1QWT is another smart A/C with app control and integration with Alexa and Google Assistant. The app is easy to set up and allows full, intuitive control of the unit.

Pros

  • Sleek design

  • Quiet

  • Effective cooling

Cons

  • Difficult installation

Product image of LG LW1517IVSM
LG LW1517IVSM

The LG Dual Inverter LW1517IVSM is the only 14,000 BTU unit we tested, making it impossible to compare to the other units we tested. This unit was designed to cool a much larger room (up to 800 square feet) and we’re looking at this air conditioner on its own merits.

With a shipping weight of 102 pounds, this LG was much more challenging to install than the other, smaller units that we called in for testing. While two people are always recommended for installing something as heavy as an air conditioner, this unit makes it an absolute requirement.

Once installed, it performed as well as one would expect -- outpacing its much smaller competition in cooling our 340 square foot test space. In only half an hour, the LG Dual Inverter 14,000 BTU completed the 10-degree test and actually dropped the center of the room by 11°F. It also lowered the room’s humidity by 14 percent in that time.

This unit offers LG's SmartThinQ technology, allowing its user to control the unit via LG’s smartphone app, as well as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The Dual Inverter is designed for energy efficiency to reduce consumption by 25 percent. It also features a more updated and sleeker design than the LG8017ERM near the top of our list.

If you’re in need of cooling a larger room, the LG Dual Inverter LW1517IVSM holds much of the best that LG has to offer with cooling power that truly packs a punch.

Pros

  • Cools rooms quickly

  • Smartphone and smart speaker compatible

  • Energy efficient

Cons

  • Heavy and cumbersome

  • Requires two people for installation

Product image of Frigidaire FHWW083WB1
Frigidaire FHWW083WB1

The Frigidaire FHWW083WB1 wasn’t as effective at cooling as our top picks. It took 40 minutes to bring the room temperature from 80°F to 74°F. But 35 minutes later, the temperature had only gone down a fraction of a degree—still hanging just above 74°F. (We were aiming for 70°F.) The unit was more consistent when it came to lowering humidity.

Installation was fairly straightforward. The Frigidaire instructions were clear and useful, and the manual provided visuals that made it easy to identify parts and how to attach them.

However, fastening the vinyl side panels to the unit was tedious. The panels had to be slid into small brackets in the metal casing of the AC unit, a process that took multiple tries on each side. Once installed, the side panels seemed to form a good seal, but the seal around the AC as a whole was a different story. There was a visible gap, from certain angles, between the bottom of the unit and the window frame. This could be addressed with insulation, but isn’t optimal.

Pros

  • Easy to install

  • Decreased humidity

  • Comes with remote

Cons

  • Poor seal

  • Cooling stalled at 74°F

Product image of LG LW8016ER

The LG LW8016ER was our top pick when we first tested window AC units in 2016, but has since been usurped. In recent testing, the unit seemed promising given its size and heft, but it wasn’t very efficient at cooling. It took just over an hour-and-a-half for the unit to drop the room temperature from 79°F to just below 74°F, far slower than most of the other models we tested. The unit did well at decreasing humidity, bringing the room from 57% humidity to 48%.

The instruction manual was decent, but not great. The images in the manual weren’t super clear, in the text or illustrations, of different parts and how to assemble the unit. Figuring out which bolts to use to attach the side panels, based on the manual’s diagrams, for example, was more difficult than necessary. Installation and removal was also a challenge due to the sheer size and weight of the unit.

The unit itself was loud to run, but the initial rattle it exhibited when it was first turned on wore off over time. The seal in the window seemed good—there weren’t visible gaps, and the unit’s size meant the side panels had little space to fill in my 24” wide window opening.

Pros

  • Budget friendly

  • Decreased humidity

  • Comes with remote

Cons

  • Oversized and heavy

  • Slow at cooling a room

  • Makes a lot of noise

How We Tested Window Air Conditioners

A thermometer registers 57 percent humidity and 73 degrees during testing.
Credit: Reviewed / Séamus Bellamy

We used a variety of temperature, humidity, and electrical usage sensors to test the air conditioners in this guide.

The Testers

I’m Dave Ellerby, the Chief Scientist at Reviewed, and I've personally tested the most recent batch of window air conditioners. In the New England climate, summers can get especially hot, so I have a lot of experience using them. Our other testers include Kevin Oliver, a reviewer for sites like Reviewed, BGR, Freshome, and TechRadar, and Lindsey Vickers, a former sleep writer at Reviewed.

The Tests

To make sure we were fair in our evaluation, we put the A/C units (ranging from 5,000 to 14,500 BTU) through their paces in the same testing chamber—a custom-built, airtight room with its own window brace. We also took into account the expected rate of cooling for each unit. After all, comparing a 5,000 BTU product to an 8,000 BTU to a 12,000 BTU appliance is truly a case of apples and oranges.

We installed each air conditioner in the same room, each time making sure the temperature was as close to 80°F as possible, before turning the A/C unit on at full max. We hung temperature and humidity sensors throughout the room, which we used to see how long it took for the room to cool down to 70°F—both while it was empty and when there was someone in the room. A noisy unit can be a deal-breaker for bedroom use, so we measured the noise level at the center of the room using a decibel meter while the window units were running. The decibel meter was set to the dBA weighting: a corrected form of decibel measurement in which low, often imperceivable frequencies are reduced, making it a more accurate measurement of what the human ear perceives as loudness.

In addition to collecting hard data, we also evaluated the air conditioners based on a subjective basis, including how easy it was to install, replace its air filters, understand its manual, and use each unit. We took the weight, general awkwardness, ease of storage, and portability of each unit into account. And since no one wants an A/C unit that excessively ratchets up their power bill, we measured the power consumption of each unit using an electricity usage monitor.

How to Choose the Best Air Conditioner

Look at the BTUs

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, which is the amount of heat necessary to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. It's essentially a measure of an air conditoner's cooling strength: The higher its BTU rating, the more heat it's capable of removing from the air.

Consider the Size

As the name implies, window air conditioners are designed to fit most windows. However, it never hurts to measure the size of your window opening to ensure the AC unit you purchase will fit seamlessly into the window sill. Additionally, you may want to consider the weight of the unit since these heavy, boxy appliances have to be installed by hand.

Check the Noise Output

Based on the units we tested, the average window AC unit puts out around 52 decibels. At this level, most air conditioners emit a low hum similar to that of a running refrigerator, which isn’t too noticeable. However, some louder units may be a distraction, or you may prefer something even quieter if you are sensitive to sound or will be sitting close to the AC unit when it’s in use.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Install a Window Air Conditioner

You can install a window AC unit by first opening the window, resting the unit on the window sill, and lowering the window down to trap the unit in place. You can then lock the window in place to secure the unit with an included kit or a spare L-bracket.

Since window units tend to be heavy and bulky, installing one is a two person job, especially when it comes to holding the unit in place while securing it in the window sill.

How to Clean a Window AC Unit

You should aim to clean your air conditioner at the start of the warm season before securing it in your window sill. You’ll need a few cleaning products like baking soda, vinegar, and some washcloths, as well as a screwdriver to remove the casing of the AC unit.

Then, you can clean the filter and casing, as well as any other parts of the AC unit that have collected dust, mold, or mildew. For more information, check out our in-depth guide on how to clean your air conditioner.

Are Window Air Conditioners Better Than Portable AC Units?

The GE Profile PHC08LY window air conditioner is the best we tested.
Credit: Reviewed / Kevin Oliver

Window units can be heavy to lug to a window and difficult to install, but they are efficient at cooling down a room.

This really depends on the space you’re trying to cool off and your personal preference.

Window air conditioners are more difficult to install, while portable air conditioners are easy to store and can be relocated from room to room. Plus, they often cost less than a regular window unit. However, window AC units are more efficient than portable AC units when it comes to cooling off a space, and they don’t take as much space as a portable unit.

Meet the testers

Kevin Oliver

Kevin Oliver

Contributor

@kevintheoliver

Kevin Oliver is a valued contributor to the Reviewed.com family of sites.

See all of Kevin Oliver's reviews
Lindsey Vickers

Lindsey Vickers

Senior Staff Writer, Sleep

@lindseyvix

Lindsey writes about sleep, lifestyle, and more for Reviewed. In her waking hours, she likes to spend time outside, read, cook, and bake. She holds a master’s in journalism from Boston University and bachelors' degrees in English Literature and Anthropology from the University of Utah.

See all of Lindsey Vickers's reviews
David Ellerby

David Ellerby

Chief Scientist

Dave Ellerby is Reviewed's Chief Scientist, and has a Ph.D. from the University of Leeds and a B.Sc. from the University of Manchester.

See all of David Ellerby's reviews

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