Best Air Conditioner
Summer is right around the corner, and you know what that means… warm, sleepless, sweaty nights.
That is, unless you have an air conditioner to keep things from getting uncomfortable.
Summer doesn’t have to be uncomfortable but searching for the right air conditioner for you can be. Many people complain that air conditioners can be difficult to install, costly to run, and many don’t even know what ‘BTU’ means!
An air conditioner doesn’t have to be a difficult purchase. A BTU is simply a measure of how much energy is needed to raise one pound of water by one-degree Fahrenheit and is most-commonly used as a unit of measurement in heating and cooling systems.
But those numbers can be confusing and only make a decision more difficult… so we’ve tried to make that easier for you.
Keep reading for an in-depth look at some of the best air conditioners on the market!
Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 5000 BTU Window-Mounted
About the Frigidaire 5000 BTU Window-Mounted
We’re starting off this list with one of the most well-known air conditioner brands out there.
Frigidaire makes appliances and electronics for homes and apartments of all sizes and budgets, and the 5000 BTU Window-Mounted is a perfect first entry on this list.
For a smaller room or apartment, the Frigidaire delivers 5000 BTU that will comfortably cool a room up to 150 sqft.
The air conditioner also works as a useful dehumidifier delivering up to 1.1 pints per hour.
One of the largest concerns when it comes to air conditioners is the energy cost of continued use, and the Frigidaire delivers with an 11.1 energy efficiency ratio and an estimated yearly cost of $41.
Operation of the machine is incredibly easy thanks to simple and intuitive mechanical controls that offer two cool speeds, two fan speeds, and 7 temperature settings.
Installation is relatively simple and the extendable side panels allow it to fit any window with a minimum height of 13 inches and width of 23 inches to 36 inches.
One nice feature is the antibacterial filter that filters the air that pumps into your room. We also liked the length of the power cord, which eliminated the need for an extension cord in most cases.
The Frigidaire operates flawlessly, and delivers exactly what it promises, although don’t expect it to cool a large space.
This machine is a reliable, high-performing option at a great price point.
There are no major issues to note with this machine, and Frigidaire is a very reliable company in the air conditioning industry.
It is definitely not a flashy or fancy unit, and it cannot be relied upon to cool a larger room or space, but it is advertised as a smaller unit for a smaller area.
If you’re looking for a unit for a slightly bigger room, take a look at the higher BTU Frigidaire model seen here.
It is only 5000 BTU and is intended for a smaller room, and it does that job very well. If you are looking for a simple unit for a smaller space, this is our “Best Value Air Conditioner”.
LG LW8016ER 8000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted
About the LG 8000 BTU Window-Mounted
The next air conditioner on this list is a very similar make and model to the Frigidaire but offers a little bit more power and total square footage of cooling.
LG is a very well-known brand that offers many different electronic appliances and devices, and their 8000 BTU window-mounted air conditioner is a decent air conditioning option at a relatively affordable price.
The LG LW8016ER is a 115V unit that offers more than twice the square footage of the prior Frigidaire unit, up to 340 sqft.
The air conditioner also offers double the dehumidification of the Frigidaire, up to 2.2 pints per hour.
The LG also has a higher energy efficiency rating than the Frigidaire, coming in at an EER of 12.1, and an estimated yearly cost of $60.
The LG air conditioner also comes with a remote control which can be very handy when the manual controls are out of reach, or for those warm summer days when even standing up can break a sweat!
In addition, compared to the Frigidaire, the LG’s controls offer much more customization with 3 cooling speeds, an energy saver, different modes, flexible temperature settings, as well as an indicator when your filter needs to be cleaned.
Additionally, through Amazon services you can have the unit mounted in your window for you. Although, we should note that installation of this unit isn’t too difficult on your own!
The features that the LG device offers definitely surpass that of the Frigidaire, and performance is about the same, but keep reading for a look at some of the negatives of the device.
Overall, the LG 8000 BTU is a passable window-mounted air conditioner. It offers a few more features than the Frigidaire, though we’re hesitant to say it is the superior air conditioner.
There are a few concerns with this device, namely inconsistency in quality from device to device.
A common complaint is for devices to arrive with a loose fan or component that can come loose and ultimately break the unit.
In that case, LG can be difficult to deal with once the unit has been opened and installed.
A loose fan is something that the average person won’t notice until it is too late, so we would advise caution when buying this device, even though when it works it is a good air conditioner.
If the 8000 BTU model isn’t what you’re looking for, LG also offers the same unit model at different BTU levels, ranging from 6000 BTU all the way up to 18000 BTU.
There’s even a model with wi-fi capabilities, though that might seem a little excessive for an air conditioner!
The LG LW8016ER is an average air conditioner, and while it may offer a few more features and a larger area of air condition than the 6000 BTU Frigidaire, it ultimately suffers from inconsistent build quality.
If you need a unit that cools a larger area than the Frigidaire, we would suggest you keep reading.
Honeywell MN10CESWW 10000 BTU Portable
About the Honeywell 10000 BTU Portable
The Honeywell brand has been around for a very long time (over 100 years), and in that time they have consistently delivered useful devices and appliances.
It also seems like they make everything (and they pretty much do), so it is no surprise that a Honeywell air conditioner features on this list.
The Honeywell MN10CESWW 10000 BTU air conditioner is also the first portable unit this list.
There are pros and cons to a portable air conditioner, for one the installation is always easier, but it does also mean that your air conditioner will take up floor space in your room or apartment.
Another positive of a portable unit is that it works on vertical and horizontal windows.
The Honeywell 10000 BTU portable air conditioner is intended for rooms up to 450 sqft and offers up to 66 pints of dehumidifying every 24 hours.
In addition, the unit has a front facing display that makes adjusting the thermostat, 3 fan speeds, different modes, and 24-hour energy saving timer very simple.
And in case you don’t feel like walking over to the actual unit, there is also a remote control included!
A few nice features that we liked are the self-evaporation system (no water bucket to empty), the easy-roll wheels (simple storage in the winter), and best of all, the thermal overload protection which means no more overheating fears!
Overall, the Honeywell 10000 BTU portable is a reliable and useful air conditioner, and its performance is actually among the best on this list!
Once again, Honeywell has proved to be a useful brand.
Honeywell may still be a useful brand, but if you take the time to read reviews for this device you will quickly realize that their customer service can leave something to be desired.
When it comes to air conditioners and other appliances, you ideally don’t want to deal with broken or problem units, but the reality is that with these complex devices sometimes things will break.
And when things break, you want a warranty that will be honored, and a customer service system that makes solving your issue simple.
Honeywell has a reputation of not honoring warranties with regards to this specific unit (due to it being an older model), and that is enough of a red flag that we would caution potential buyers against purchasing.
It’s a shame because this is a good unit, but the potential for a dud unit and a headache replacement can be daunting.
Keep reading for a look at some more reliable options.
About the BLACK+DECKER 14000 BTU Portable
Black+Decker is a brand that features extensively in many reviews on the site. They’re a reliable producer of appliances for your home, and they usually offer reliable quality at a moderate price.
The Black+Decker 14000 BTU portable model is the highest BTU air conditioner we’ll look at on this list, though many of these air conditioners have higher BTU variations of the same model available on Amazon.
Surprisingly, for a 14,000 BTU unit it is only intended for 350 sqft, however, the trade-off for this unit in total cooling area is high performance, and a small unit size when compared to most 10000+ BTU portable air conditioners.
The filter slides out and is water washable, and the unit has wheels for simple storage and set up.
The unit has an LED display that allows switching between cooling, dehumidifying, and fan mode.
There is also a remote control included, as well as 24-hour on and off timer and sleep mode.
Noise level is noticeably low, even when cycling to the higher fan speeds (of which there are 3).
The unit is easily installed in any double hung or sliding window, and the exhaust hose is just under 5 feet.
When it comes to performance, the Black+Decker is truly among the best on this list, delivering freezing cold air, and comfortably dehumidifying the intended space.
The Black+Decker 14000 BTU Portable air conditioner is a high-performing unit at a moderate price.
The fan is exceptionally strong, and the unit runs surprisingly quiet. Additionally, the unit is quite small for a 14000 BTU air conditioner.
There are definitely some negative reviews out there with this unit, however, the biggest issue seems to be declining performance over time.
What some users have reported is that this unit has decreased performance if the fans are obstructed, however, if you clean your filter and rear air vent somewhat regularly you shouldn’t see declining performance.
Of course, what that means is that this is not a great choice in air conditioner for anyone not willing to constantly monitor and maintain the unit.
That doesn’t mean it is not a great air conditioner, but it does mean it requires some effort to be one.
Friedrich ZoneAire PH14B Portable
About the Friedrich ZoneAire PH14B Portable
The next entry on this list is the most unique yet, as it can function as an air conditioner and heater!
Friedrich is a technology brand that specializes in residential and commercial heating and cooling systems, and the ZoneAire PH14B Portable is their best residential offering yet.
The versatility of the unit being capable of both cooling and heating means that the unit doesn’t have to be stored over the summer, which is especially great because sometimes moving these portable air conditioning units.
This unit has 13500 BTU of cooling and 10700 BTU of heating, meaning it will comfortably heat or cool rooms up to (and sometimes even surpassing) 700 sqft.
The heat pump has an EER of 9.5, which is respectable, but can be expensive to run consistently.
The unit also comes with dual exhaust hoses which mean your room will get cooler (or warmer) much faster than single hose alternatives.
Additional features include 3 different fan speeds, a remote control, dehumidifying capabilities, and an auto restart if your power goes out.
Thanks to the dual hose system, the Friedrich ZoneAire PH14B Portable really is a high-performance air-conditioning unit as well as a passable heating unit.
The Friedrich ZoneAire is one of the very best air conditioning units we have looked at so far.
Its ability to function as a heater, cooler, dehumidifier, and a fan offers some of the most utility of any air conditioner we will look at, and it does a good job with each separate function.
There are very few cons when it comes to the Friedrich ZoneAire, however, some of the concerns we do have relate back to inconsistent build quality.
Some buyers have warned that the unit arrived in poor condition or stopped working shortly after installation.
However, thanks to Amazon and Friedrich’s strong customer service, and their willingness to correct any issues, this is hardly a big negative.
One point that can be raised as a serious negative is the rather high price of Friedrich’s unit.
Overall though, we can strongly recommend the Friedrich ZoneAire PH14B Portable, especially if you are in need of both a heating and air conditioning unit.
While it isn’t our best overall air conditioner, it is a strong second best!
Take a look at the video below for a more in-depth explanation of the dual-hose system and other features:
Honeywell makes a return on this list with a chance at retribution.
The earlier 10000 BTU Honeywell unit fell flat, mostly due to the poor customer service on the older unit, and the inconsistent build quality.
That is not the case with the Honeywell HL line 10000 BTU portable.
The Honeywell HL10CESWK is a top of the line air conditioning unit, at a slightly more affordable price than the dual heater/cooler Friedrich model seen prior.
This unit cools room up to 450 sqft and distributes the air evenly due to automatic vertical wind motion.
The air that it pumps out is cleaned through dual filters that are both washable under a faucet for simple maintenance.
The dehumidifier is bucket-free, coming with two separate drainage options, and the Honeywell comes with a full window installation kit that allows for a simple install on any vertical or horizontal window.
The Honeywell HL line also has thermal overload protection for added peace of mind when leaving your unit running extensively.
One of the things we like most about this unit was the appealing look, and ease of use, meaning the unit won’t look out of place or ugly tucked up against a window in any room.
The controls and indicators of the machine are the most intuitive, and best looking, of any machine we’ve looked at so far.
And the ability to switch into sleep mode or timer mode is incredibly useful.
Overall, performance for this unit was the very best of any we looked at, as it consistently and powerfully cools the intended area, and the air it pumps out is incredibly fresh and clean.
The HL10CESWK Honeywell is such a stark contrast from the prior Honeywell air conditioner on this list.
This is a fantastic air conditioner, at an affordable price.
The machine is efficient at cooling, and the operation of the machine is also especially quiet, averaging about 50 decibels.
There are no serious cons to note with this unit, and it easily redeems Honeywell’s poor prior performance on this list.
This air conditioner has all the features and performance we look for in any home appliance and we can comfortably call it our “Best Overall Pick”.
There is nothing worse than a sweltering summer’s night with no air conditioning.
Tossing and turning, sweating, and not sleeping.
Luckily, an air conditioning unit can solve all these issues, and most modern air conditioners are easy to order and setup in any bedroom, garage, living room, basically any room that has a window.
We narrowed the dozens of options out there to make choosing the right air conditioner a much simpler task.
We looked at offerings from some of the biggest brands in home appliances and electronics, and almost all of the air conditioners we reviewed are very reliable and useful air conditioners.
You can’t really go wrong with any of the units we listed, however, there are 2 absolute standouts.
For those looking for a small value or budget option, then there is only one air conditioner for you.
The Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 5000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted air conditioner is by far the best value proposition of any air conditioner we looked at.
If you need an air conditioner for a small bedroom to make those sweltering nights more bearable, then this is the perfect air conditioner.
Additionally, Frigidaire’s 10000 BTU version of the same model is an exceptional machine for those that want a bit more cooling power and area cooling.
For those that want a beefier air conditioner, or for those that prefer a portable non-window-mounted machine, the Honeywell HL10CESWK 10000 BTU Portable is definitely the machine for you.
This machine offers incredible cooling performance at a great price.
But in addition, this unit functions as a spectacular dehumidifier and fan, especially thanks to the dual, washable filters that disperse cold, clean air throughout the room.
Whether you choose the Frigidaire 5000 BTU Window-Mounted or the Honeywell HL10CESWK 10000 BTU Portable you will be choosing a fantastic machine, and we hope this list leads to a comfortable, cool summer!