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The 10 Best Air Conditioners

results are based on 9,190 reviews scanned

Yellow first place 1 Frigidaire Frigidaire Frigidaire FFRA0511U1 Air Conditioner, 5,000 BTU, White
70 reviews
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2 Honeywell Honeywell Honeywell MO08CESWK MO Series Portable Air Conditioner
75 reviews
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3 Frigidaire Frigidaire Frigidaire FFRE0833S1 8,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air
32 reviews
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Orange best value 4 hOmeLabs hOmeLabs hOmeLabs Cold Window Air Conditioner 5000 BTU
27 reviews
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5 COSTWAY COSTWAY COSTWAY 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner with Remote
43 reviews
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6 Frigidaire Frigidaire Frigidaire FFRA1022R1 10000 BTU 115-volt Window-Mounted Compact Air
14 reviews
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7 COSTWAY COSTWAY COSTWAY 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner Dehumidifier Function
50 reviews
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8 Frigidaire Frigidaire Frigidaire FFRA1011R1 10,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air
78 reviews
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9 Frigidaire Frigidaire Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 5, 000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Mini-Compact
16 reviews
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10 Honeywell Honeywell Honeywell CSO71AE 176 CFM Indoor Evaporative Air Cooler
54 reviews
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Your Guide To Buying an Air Conditioner

By Yehudah Posnick

You want to keep your house comfortable in the summer months. If just using fans isn’t adequate, air conditioners cool off entire rooms for you. If you don’t want to go through the hassle (and expense) of installing central air conditioning in your home, there are a number of styles of air conditioners that require little or no installation. There are still some things to consider, like the size of the area that you’d like to cool off, energy efficiency, and if you’d like the air conditioner to serve as a heater in the winter as well, or to dehumidify. There are air conditioners that you install in a window or wall, or portable units on wheels, that you can take to the room that needs it the most.

We’ve composed this buyer’s guide to help you make the right decision when selecting an air conditioner. It'll help you:

  • Choose the right type of air conditioner,

  • See useful tips about that particular type of air conditioner,

  • Read reviews of different air conditioners, and what customers are saying,

  • Select the right brand of air conditioner, and

  • Compare prices and find the best deals.

Types of Air Conditioners

  • Window-mounted: These air conditioners fit in your window, removing hot air from your room and depositing it to the outside. To properly use it, you will need a large, three prong-outlet nearby for them to get power.  You will also have to consider whether the air conditioner will fit a window that is a slider (where you slide the window to the side to open it), double-hung (where you can raise the lower sash or lower the upper sash), or a casement window (which opens by hinges). You also have to measure the height and width to know if it will fit. They’re best for small rooms, such as a bedroom.

  • Built-in (also known as through-the-wall units): This is good for cooling off several rooms at once. It is similar to a window-mounted air conditioner, just that it is attached to an exterior wall, supported by a wall sleeve to keep it in place. You can also this if you are trying to cool off a room without windows, or where you want to keep the window free for other uses. The wall sleeve keeps the air conditioner in place and prevents drafts when the unit isn’t operating. It’s tricky to install this type of air conditioner since you have to make a hole in the wall where there isn’t any plumbing or wiring.

  • Portable: ThIs type is on wheels, and has a hose that you attach to the room’s window. The hot air exhaust will exit through the hose to the outdoors. You can roll it over to another room that you want to cool or store it away easily when not in use.

  • Mini-split: These are installed on a wall, and require drilling for the exhaust pipe. Their major advantage is that they can be used for both heating and cooling.

What Reviewers Say

  • Energy efficient ratio: This is a measure of the efficiency of an air conditioner, measuring cooling capacity in BTU/hour to the power input in Watts. A higher EER means a more efficient air conditioner. The Frigidaire  5,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner (Model No. FFRE0533S1) has an EER of 12.2, which is considered excellent.

  • Filter: Air conditioners also fulfill a filtering function, such as the Frigidaire window-mounted air conditioners. They can remove dust, mold, pollen, and bacteria from the air. The filter also slides out from the side of the device, so it’s easy to clean.

Important Features

  • Consider the size of room: You’ll see air conditioners rated by the number of BTUs that they use. BTU stands for “British Thermal Units”--the amount of heat to raise 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. When talking about air conditioners (which cool instead of heat a room), it’s really used as a measure of power: how many BTUs are expended per hour. It will give you a hint of the size of the room that the air conditioner will be able to cool efficiently. An air conditioner that expends 5000 BTUs will be able to efficiently cool a room that is 100-150 square feet. Add 1000 BTUs for every successive 100 square feet: so, 6000 BTUs will be sufficient for cooling an area of 150-250 square feet, 7000 BTUs for 250-300 square feet, and so on. However, more people in the room means that the air conditioner has to work harder for the room to be cool. It is recommended to add 600 BTUs to the air conditioner’s power consumption for every additional person in the room.

  • Modes: One advantage of built-in and window air conditioners is that they can also be used to heat a room during the winter. Other modes will include:

    • Sleep mode, where the air conditioner operates quietly,

    • Energy-efficient mode, which turns the air conditioner off at specific times when the room reaches the desired temperature,

    • Fan-only mode, which is useful when you just want to circulate the air in the room, without necessarily making it any cooler. and

    • Dehumidify mode, which removes excess moisture as well.

Some are also programmable, so you can set them to go on at certain times. The  LG LP0817WSR 115V Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control is such a programmable model, allowing you to control the temperature and the dehumidifying 24 hours a day.

  • Quiet mode: An air conditioner with a quiet mode will be convenient if you’re using it in your living room so that it doesn’t interfere with you wanting to hear music or watch TV. That’s also a good choice for a bedroom, so you can run it at night.

Top-Rated Brands

Frigidaire--was founded in 1918 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, after developing the first self-contained refrigerator. Their present headquarters is in Charlotte, North Carolina. Their product line has expanded to home comfort items such as air conditioners, dehumidifiers, refrigerators, dishwashers, sinks, and more.

LG--—is a multinational corporation located in Seoul, South Korea. They have a consumer electronics division, a chemical industries division, and a telecommunications division. They were founded in 1947 by Koo In-hwoi. They also deal in appliances, such as refrigerators, washer/dryer combos, dishwashers, and cooking appliances.

Haier--is a manufacturer of home appliances and consumer electronics, founded in 1984 in Qingdao, China by Zhang Ruimin. They make products for the kitchen, laundry, air quality, and TV. Their refrigeration products include refrigerators, freezers, ice makers, and wine cellars.

Costway--was established in 2008 under the name “GoPlus” as a product retailer, offering home and garden items, hardware, and business products. Their home and garden offerings include air conditioners, camping stoves, humidifiers, fireplaces, and more.

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