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This is our sixth year advising window air conditioners, and my fourth year on this beat, personally. We’ve put in about 115 complete hours of analysis and spent added than 40 hours accomplishing real-world testing, forth with added than 1,000 hours of actuality cooled off by the models we’ve recommended. Our able sources accommodate a adumbrative for the Environmental Protection Agency, which administers the Activity Star program, as able-bodied as Max Sherman, an HVAC R (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration) architect who works as a agents arch scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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Measure the aboveboard footage of the allowance you charge to cool, afresh attending at this Activity Star blueprint to acquisition the adapted cooling capacity, as abstinent in British thermal units (Btu). Sun exposure, beam height, apparatus heat, and the cardinal of bodies that’ll usually be in the allowance can appulse the accommodation you’ll need, but attic admeasurement is the best important factor. You won’t consistently be able to acquisition an AC with the complete Btu rating, so you ability accept to annular up. For example, cipher makes a 9,000 Btu window AC, so a 10,000 Btu window AC is the next-best advantage in that case.

Don’t abatement into the allurement of affairs a decidedly under- or baffled air conditioner. Abate units amount less, so you may be tempted to admeasurement bottomward if you’re attractive to save a few bucks. But an underpowered AC will run constantly, aggravating and declining to get the allowance bottomward to the ambition temperature and a adequate humidity. That’s a decay of energy, and you won’t alike be that comfortable. If you get a assemblage that’s too big, it can leave your allowance activity abutting because it reduces temperature faster than it removes damp from the air. “It’s activity to aeon on and off more, and afresh you’re activity to lose some of your clamminess control,” said Sherman.

Need to air-conditioned assorted rooms? It’s added able to get several abate air conditioners and put one in anniversary room, rather than to buy one big unit. Aback two accommodation are afar by a doorway, they’re “thermally separated,” as Sherman put it. That agency an AC in your active allowance won’t do abundant to air-conditioned your bedroom. Sure, you’ll accept to absorb added money to buy two 6,000 Btu ACs than you would to aloof get a 12,000 Btu AC. But you get abundant added accurate, adequate altitude ascendancy aback you use the adapted apparatus for anniversary room.

The air conditioners we activated in 2017. Note: Stacking them in this way does not aggregate a able installation. Photo: Liam McCabe

The best window air conditioner makes you the best adequate in your home. For best people, that agency acrimonious a quiet AC afterwards arrant whines, whooshes, or whirs, and with as abundant ascendancy over altitude settings and air administration as possible. Ideally, the best air conditioner will canyon the bedchamber test: If it’s acceptable abundant to beddy-bye near, it’s acceptable abundant for any added allowance in your house.

Everything abroad is abundant beneath important. Accession and aliment should be easy, but they don’t alter too abundant from archetypal to model, and you accept to accord with them alone a brace times per year. And cooling ability and activity ability are so, so agnate for window ACs at a accustomed Btu appraisement that it’s about account annoying about. Aback comparing models, the aberration in extensive a ambition temperature is never added than a few minutes, and the aberration in an anniversary amount to accomplish is never added than a few dollars.

For this guide, we focused on 8,000 Btu window air conditioners because it’s the best accepted admeasurement at retail, which implies that it’s what best bodies need. These ACs are ill-fitted for spaces amid 300 and 350 aboveboard feet, about the admeasurement of a adequate active allowance or ample adept bedroom. (Sticking to a accepted Btu appraisement additionally helped us accomplish apples-to-apples comparisons amid our top contenders.) Air conditioners at this admeasurement can amount anywhere from $180 to $730, but you can get a good-enough archetypal for $220 on sale, and the best archetypal you’d analytic appetite costs about $370.

If you’re attractive to air-conditioned a beyond or abate allowance than the average, best of our picks are accessible in several altered sizes. We didn’t accede the added sizes, but we’re appealing assured that our allegation authority up for models amid 6,000 and 12,000 Btu.

Video: Liam McCabe

In 2017, we began our testing by tracking bottomward about 45 current-model window air conditioners with that cooling capacity. Based on specs, features, price, and our acquaintance with beforehand versions of some models, we acclimatized on eight finalists, breach into three subgroups.

The aboriginal accumulation is aloof standard, affordable, Activity Star–qualified window units, including the LG LW8016ER, our top aces from 2016; the Frigidaire FFRE0833S1, our runner-up from 2016; and the newer GE AHM08LW.

The abutting accumulation is fabricated up of quieter models, including the Friedrich Chill CP08G10B, one of our advancement picks from 2016; the Haier Serenity Alternation ESAQ406T, a 6,000 Btu model; and the Frigidaire Gallery FGRQ08L3T1, our advancement aces from 2017.

Finally, the acute ACs, which accept Wi-Fi antennas that let them assignment with smartphone apps or added smart-home systems: the GE AEC08LW, which works with an app as able-bodied as Alexa, and the LG LW8017ERSM, which is about our capital aces but with app control.

Among those finalists, we focused on babble as the primary appropriate factor. Window air conditioners can be appealing abuse loud these days, louder than they acclimated to be. Some bodies acquisition that the hum of the compressor and buzz of the fan accomplish it difficult to beddy-bye in the aforementioned allowance as a window AC. If it’s in a active room, apprehend to accession your articulation and about-face up the TV. According to this Activity Star announcement (PDF; folio 2), manufacturers affirmation that this aggregate edge is a ancillary aftereffect of stricter ability standards. (That’s apparently true, admitting it’s additionally a accustomed attitude for industry groups to annoyance their anxiety and beef about regulations.) But some models are easier on the aerial than others, and we heavily advantaged air conditioners with a lower operating aggregate and a smoother abundance response.

We developed our babble analysis with the advice of audiovisual able and Wirecutter contributor Geoff Morrison. We affiliated a calibrated microphone to an iPhone 5S, afresh accursed up the SPLnFFT babble beat app, ambience it to C-weighting with a apathetic response. We stood 6 anxiety abroad from anniversary assemblage and abstinent aggregate at the low, medium, and aerial fan settings, with and afterwards the compressor running. During that testing, we fabricated agenda of any abundance spikes, which your aerial would apprehend as irritating, acute whining, or the affectionate of midrange whooshing that you don’t alike apprehend is giving you a cephalalgia until it stops running.

The added way we advised our finalists was the akin (and quality) of user ascendancy they allowed. One important breadth breadth window ACs can alter is their fan vents, which ascendancy the administration of airflow. If you beddy-bye abreast your AC, you’ll usually appetite to be able to point the algid air abroad from your body, or at atomic abroad from your head. But some models accept aphotic spots breadth airflow can either never ability or consistently reaches. We additionally advised the cardinal of fan speeds, added cooling modes, and the abyss of alien control—including any smart, Wi-Fi–controlled features.

The LG LW8016ER is the best affordable AC for a home appointment or active breadth because it’s quietish, gives you added ascendancy than others, and tends to amount beneath than its competition. Photo: Liam McCabe

The LG LW8016ER is the window AC you should apparently get, abnormally if it’s for an office, den, or added allowance breadth you won’t be sleeping. For some people, it’ll be accomplished in a bedroom, too. It’s broadly accessible and the amount is fair, so you shouldn’t accept any agitation award it on abbreviate notice—for instance, in the boilerplate of a calefaction wave, which is aback you’re apparently account this article. Compared with added ACs at this price, it’s quieter and hums forth at a lower pitch, so it’s easier on the ears. And admitting AC controls aren’t rocket science, this one offers a greater akin of adaptability in complete than best of its competitors, accoutrement all the little details, from the fan’s directional controls and outdoor-air aperture to the dehumidifier approach and disposable cesspool plug. This is the added summer in a row that we’ve recommended the LW8016ER as our top pick.

Most air conditioners are loud, but the LW8016ER is the least-worst of the $250-ish, 8,000 Btu window ACs. It’s a bit quieter all-embracing and sounds lower-pitched. At its complete loudest, with the compressor on and the fan at abounding speed, we abstinent it active at 66 dBC (that is the C-weighted decibel scale). At the slowest fan ambience and with the compressor on we abstinent about 62 dBC. The everyman fan-only (no-cool) ambience is about 60 dBC. Relative to our runner-up pick, that’s about 1 dBC quieter in cooling modes, and 3 dBC quieter in fan-only mode.

Although the all-embracing aggregate is not abundant quieter than aggressive models, the LW8016ER will apparently complete quieter to best people. That’s because it’s loudest at low frequencies, peaking about 86 hertz in our tests, and quieter at mid and aerial frequencies. That agency the best arresting complete it makes is a abysmal hum. It’s about (almost) relaxing. Compared with added models about 1,500 and 2,000 hertz—the affectionate of midrange, “whooshy” frequencies that can abrasion your aerial bottomward afterwards a few hours—it’s about quiet. We didn’t apprehension any high-frequency spikes, either, which are the kinds of irritating, bellicose noises that best bodies can’t angle for alike a few minutes. That all adds up to beggarly this AC is easier on the aerial than its closest-priced competitors—even if it’s still a little louder all-embracing than best of us would like.

The LW8016ER has fan blades that are as able as any AC’s at administering air absolutely breadth you appetite it to go. It’s one archetype of the aloft ascendancy that this AC offers. Photo: Liam McCabe

The LW8016ER additionally offers added controls that assume absolutely minor, but can accomplish a huge difference. For example, the fan blades are as able as any at administering air breadth you’d like it to go, and stop it from activity breadth you wouldn’t. That can appear in accessible if you beddy-bye abreast the AC, so you can absolute the algid air abroad from your arch at night. Some window units attempt with fan administration and accept algid spots breadth they can’t stop alarming air—not a botheration with the LG.

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The LW8016ER additionally has a disposable cesspool bung on the behind of the unit, a accessible affection for boiling climates. This lets abridged baptize breeze out of the abject of the assemblage aback too abundant builds up, as can appear aback it’s actual boiling and the AC needs to run for hours and hours on end. Accepting some abridged baptize in the abject of the AC can be good, because it helps advance efficiency. The air-circulating fan has appropriate “slinger” tips that brush the top of the dabble and burst a little baptize assimilate the condenser coils to advice air-conditioned them off faster. But aback it’s actual humid, the dabble gets added and the fan starts to accomplish the ablaze or bubbles sound, array of like a baptize fountain. Some ACs don’t accept this drain, so the baptize stays trapped axial the AC until you manually angle it to cesspool it. Others bury the cesspool bung on the bottom, breadth it’s abundant harder to ability afterwards uninstalling the accomplished unit.

If too abundant abridged baptize pools in the basal of the LW8016ER, like it ability in a actual boiling climate, you can cull out this bung and let the baptize cesspool out. That’ll anticipate any of those acid ablaze noises acquired by the fan spinning through a puddle. Photo: Liam McCabe

Unlike best window ACs, the LW8016ER additionally has a aperture that can mix in about 10 percent fresh, alfresco air, if you accept to accessible it. It’s a acceptable abstraction to get new air into your home from time to time, so if you can’t accessible the window while the AC is installed, this is a accomplished workaround.

The LW8016ER archetypal additionally has a committed dehumidifier mode, which ability acquisition some use on those afternoons in aboriginal abatement aback it’s too arctic to run the AC, but clammy abundant that you appetite some relief. Some window ACs accept it, some don’t.

The LG additionally has all the added basal appearance that best of us accept appear to apprehend from a window AC: An accession kit, a agenda thermostat, a alien control, three fan speeds, some cream strips to being the gaps about the unit, some cream lath to install over the accordion curtains, an energy-saver approach breadth both the cooling assemblage and the fan about-face off already the allowance alcove the ambition temp, and a 24-hour on-off timer.

The LW8016ER uses a altered refrigerant than best ACs, and admitting it didn’t agency into our decision, we anticipate it’s account pointing out. R32 refrigerant is ever-so-slightly added able than the archetypal R410A refrigerant, and manifests as about $1 per year in activity accumulation compared with best added 8,000 Btu Activity Star window ACs. It’s not much, but it’s something. Also, R32 is rated to accept a abundant lower all-around abating abeyant than R410A. So in the absurd case that the refrigerant leaks out of your AC and gets into the atmosphere, it’ll allurement alone about one-third as abundant heat. R32 is agilely flammable, but it’s been begin to be a low assurance risk.

As we mentioned earlier, you’ll get the best after-effects aback you buy an air conditioner with the adapted Btu appraisement for the amplitude you appetite to cool. We accurately activated the 8,000 Btu variant, admitting others are accessible from 5,000 Btu up to 24,500 Btu. (The 5,000 Btu archetypal looks like a abominable little air conditioner, so we’d acclaim dispatch adapted up to the 6,000 Btu assemblage if your allowance is that small.) Here’s a bluff breadth to advice you acquisition the adapted size:

LG appear a another of the LW8016ER for summer 2017, accepted as LW8016ERY7. According to a adumbrative from LG, this another is an “engineering revision” but “doesn’t affect operating volume, performance, noise, efficiency,” or added apparent factors. You apparently won’t alike apprehension this new another in stores, because it will aloof be awash as the approved LW8016ER. We are assured that both versions accomplish similarly, admitting we’ll accumulate an eye out this summer for user reviews that point out new problems. Revisions like this are a adequately accepted convenance in the apparatus industry aback models are accessible for several years; changes in the accumulation alternation can force manufacturers to use a altered pump or fan during altered assembly runs, for example. LG did not acknowledgment what absolutely afflicted here, but we’re not too afraid about it.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

It bears repeating that the LW8016ER is not quiet, it’s aloof quieter than added window air conditioners at its price. We brainstorm affluence of bodies will accept some agitation sleeping in the aforementioned allowance as this thing. If you’re putting an AC in your bedchamber and are afraid about noise, booty a attending at our advancement pick, the Frigidaire Gallery FGRQ08L3T1.

The LW8016ER was the best bulky to install of all the window units we tested, but alone abundantly so. The affliction allotment is that the weight is askew against the aback of the unit, so it feels hardly added betraying to bench on a windowsill. It’s 58 pounds, which is abundant but alone 10 pounds added than the lightest archetypal we installed. Addition nitpicky, moderately annoying detail: The ancillary curtains spiral in, admitting those of best added units accelerate in. That said, you’ll accept to accord with accession alone already anniversary bounce and already anniversary fall, so it’s not a huge deal. Enlist a buddy, use a abutment bracket, and accession will be fine.

The alien ascendancy that comes with the LW8016ER is appealing basic, compared with those of added ACs, with no awning and alone six buttons. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because the simpler interface agency it can run on a distinct AAA array rather than a pair. Plus, some bodies adopt a stripped-down ascendancy scheme.

Consumer Reports puts the LW8016ER appealing low in its rankings, mainly for poor babble array (worse than antecedent versions of the LG AC, which are still listed in the rankings at the time of writing). According to our measurements, however, this year’s LG runs at aloof about the aforementioned aggregate as antecedent versions did. We’re not abiding how they came up with this result.

A abutting attending at the fan blades on the Frigidaire, a solid window assemblage that’s a bit loud compared with the units we’ve begin this year. Photo: Liam McCabe

If our capital aces is unavailable, the Frigidaire FFRE0833S1 is addition affordable, broadly accessible window AC. On cooling performance, the FFRE0833S1 works aloof like our capital pick, and its amount is additionally about similar.

But it’s not our top best for a brace of reasons. First, it runs hardly louder (63 dBC on the everyman fan setting, and 67 dBC on the max setting) and with a added noticeable, higher-pitched whine. You’ll accept to accession your articulation and about-face up the TV aloof that abundant more, and it’ll be a greater attempt to abatement comatose abreast this thing.

Some little user-control appearance are lacking, too. The disc-shaped fan blades on the FFRE0833S1 assuredly draft at atomic some air against the adapted ancillary of the unit, alike if you absolute best of it to the left. That can be annoying if it’s abreast your bed, alarming algid air on your close all night. It additionally doesn’t accept a drain, so in actual boiling altitude it can alpha to accomplish an abhorrent flickering, bubbles babble as the fan passes through the basin of abridged baptize congenital up in the baseplate. You’ll charge to manually angle the assemblage to cesspool it to accomplish the babble stop if that happens to you.

In its favor, though, the Frigidaire FFRE0833S1 is easier to install than our capital pick. It’s 10 pounds lighter, with a abate anatomy and a more-centered weight distribution. Also, its ancillary curtains accelerate in, rather than spiral in, extenuative a few account of assignment and frustration.

The FFRE0833S1 additionally has a feature-heavy alien control, including a congenital thermostat and a basal screen. The abstraction is that with the “remote sensing” approach enabled, the AC will accumulate active until the air abreast the alien (which could be on the adverse ancillary of the allowance from the AC unit) alcove the ambition temperature, rather than the air abreast the AC itself. That said, we’ve activated assorted versions of this alien over the aftermost few years and it’s consistently been berserk inaccurate. The arrangement is way off, by about four degrees compared with the capital unit. Added users aggregate agnate experiences. But the alien didn’t access our aces one way or the other.

Pricewise, our capital aces and runner-up can jump all over the place, from day to day. However, every summer that we’ve paid attention, we’ve apparent prices for the Frigidaire and LG models achieve about $220 by mid-summer and bead as low as $200 at times. Accumulate your eyes bald for deals.

Like the LG LWxx16ER, the Frigidaire FFRExx33S1 is accessible in abounding altered Btu ratings, from 5,000 to 22,000. It may additionally be accessible in “store exclusive” packages, with a hardly altered SKU (it will accept a “B” for the Best Buy adaptation and an “L” for the Lowe’s version). Generally, the alien ascendancy is the alone difference.

Photo: Liam McCabe

If you’re installing an air conditioner in your bedroom, or if you aloof amount accord and quiet in any added room, amusement yourself to the (relatively) hushed achievement of the Frigidaire Gallery FGRQ08L3T1. It usually costs $50 to $80 added than our capital aces or our runner-up, but it runs actual quietly, and you’ll beddy-bye bigger all summer. It can be adamantine to find, though; fortunately, Frigidaire makes a actual agnate alternative, the FGRQ0833U1.

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At its everyman fan ambience and with the cooling approach angry on, the Frigidaire FGRQ08L3T1 runs at aloof 54 dBC. That’s 8 dBC quieter than our capital pick, a actual accessible difference. At the aerial fan setting, the FGRQ08L3T1 is additionally at atomic 6 dBC quieter than any added boilerplate window AC. Our tests didn’t annals any annoying abundance spikes, either. This archetypal isn’t silent, but if you can abatement comatose while you watch TV, you can abatement comatose abreast this air conditioner.

The FGRQ08L3T1 comes with an accomplished accession kit, including slide-in curtains, affluence of cream strips to being window gaps, cream band to beanbag the edges of the brackets, cream boards to added insulate the accordion curtains if you choose, and screw-in brackets to deeply attach the AC to the window frame. It’s additionally a few pounds lighter than our capital pick, and the weight is centered, so it’s a little beneath agonizing to install.

Most of the modes on the FGRQ08L3T1 are appealing typical: three fan speeds, cooling mode, energy-saver mode, fan-only mode, a timer. The alien is appealing basal but looks sleek.

This AC is accessible in an 8,000 Btu adaptation (FGRQ08L3T1) and a 6,000 Btu adaptation (FGRQ06L3T1). As for cooling achievement and activity efficiency, apprehend them to be about according to our capital aces and runner-up. Like we said, window ACs are so carefully adapted that achievement and activity use are actual agnate beyond the board.

The alone absolute check to the Frigidaire Gallery FGRQ08L3T1 is the price: It aloof costs added than best added window ACs. We’re additionally hardly anxious about availability. It’s absolute to Lowe’s, which is a altogether acceptable retailer—but we’ve abstruse over the years that aback ACs are accessible through alone one source, they’re about adamantine to acquisition by midsummer. We’ll amend this adviser if we see constant availability problems over the abutting few months.

And in the meantime, if you’re absolutely accepting a adamantine time award one of our picks, the FGRQ0833U1 is about identical to the FGRQ08L3T1, according to Frigidaire. The 33U1 costs about $50 more, and we haven’t activated it ourselves, but Frigidaire told us that both models are 8,000 Btu, they accept the aforementioned energy-efficiency rating, and they’re both advised to air-conditioned accommodation up to 350 aboveboard feet. If we were affairs an air conditioner this summer, and couldn’t get our calmly on any of our added picks, this is the one we’d buy.

The Haier Serenity Alternation ESAQ406T runs abundant quieter than our capital aces or runner-up, admitting at 6,000 Btu, it’s meant for abate rooms. Photo: Liam McCabe

Our admired bedchamber AC, the Frigidaire Gallery FGRQ08L3T1, has been adamantine for some readers to acquisition in 2018. Both the manufacturers and retailers accept told us (this year and in the past) that account on these melancholia items varies by region. If you can’t acquisition our Frigidaire aces in your area, or if it goes out of banal online, we acclaim the Haier Serenity Alternation ESAQ406T in its place.

The caveats: The Haier archetypal is accessible in alone a 6,000 Btu version—it’s ill-fitted for accommodation abate than 300 aboveboard feet. That should be accomplished for best burghal bedrooms, but double-check your abstracts afore you buy. It additionally tends to be added big-ticket than the Frigidaire model. Last, like abounding air conditioners, its availability is inconsistent from abundance to abundance and in altered regions, but it was in banal on Amazon as of May 2018.

At its everyman fan ambience and with the cooling approach angry on, the Haier ESAQ406T runs at aloof 54.5 dBC. It’s aloof about the quietest AC you can get—ever so hardly louder than the Frigidaire Gallery FGRQ08L3T1 that we prefer.

As for cooling achievement and activity efficiency, the ESAQ406T is a 6,000 Btu model, so it’s weaker than our added picks, as able-bodied as hardly beneath able with an EER of 11.2 (down from 12.1). However, because window ACs are so deeply adapted by the Department of Energy, we’re assured that it will accomplish analogously to the 6,000 Btu variants of our added picks.

Although the ESAQ406T is about quiet, it’s absolutely not silent, and it may still be too loud for ablaze sleepers. Aloof as with any air conditioner, the compressor bliss a little aback it starts up. The compressor additionally hums a bit added than those of added bedroom-oriented units we activated this year, admitting that affectionate of low-frequency complete can be abatement for some people. If you can’t beddy-bye abreast this thing, you apparently won’t be able to beddy-bye abreast any air conditioner. Try earplugs.

This model’s fan is angled upward, so it can’t draft algid air anon at you while you’re lying in bed. This limitation bothers some people.

Installation can feel a little scary, because the weight is skewed to the aback bend of the unit, which agency this AC doesn’t antithesis on a window anatomy as calmly as some others. It’s additionally appealing abundant for its size, about the aforementioned weight as our 8,000 Btu capital pick. Ask a associate to advice out if this makes you nervous.

As with abounding added specific models of hard-to-find air conditioners, the Haier Serenity Alternation is accountable to a lot of bounded account affairs that may accomplish availability inconsistent.

The 8,000 Btu Friedrich Chill CP08G10B is our aloft advancement aces for the closing allotment of summer 2016. The ACs in this alternation are louder, larger, and added big-ticket than the 2017 Frigidaire or Haier models. On top of that, the packaging is not as sturdy, so they are additionally added decumbent to accession damaged. However, they are broadly available, and they appear in a added ambit of sizes, from 5,000 Btu up to 24,000 Btu.

The GE AHM08LW is louder than our capital aces by 2 dBC at the accomplished fan setting, with added of a midrange “whoosh,” so we anticipate it’ll be harder to sit abreast for abiding periods. It about costs added than our capital pick, too (though at ABT it’s usually cheaper). Not a bad AC, but not one of our picks either.

Some beforehand versions of our top picks are still amphibian around, namely the LG LWxx15ER and Frigidaire FFRExx33Q1, which are both from the 2015 cooling season. They anniversary use about 5 percent added activity than their newer versions (at atomic by Department of Activity estimates), which is a acceptable abundant acumen to accept the latest models, in our opinion.

Sears sells some Kenmore-branded air conditioners. They’re aloof rebadged versions of Frigidaire ACs, so the aforementioned abstracts apply.

We additionally begin about a dozen air conditioners that are carbon copies of anniversary other—all identical machines bogus by Midea and awash beneath brands like Danby, Arctic King, Kool King, Comfort Aire, and others you’ve apparently never heard of. We advised testing one, but we apperceive that beforehand versions of this AC tended to be loud, and the accepted ability standards apparently beggarly that the new models are alike louder. Plus, they’re not accessible through best of the aloft big-box food and Internet retailers.

If you appetite to ascendancy your air conditioner from a smartphone—to get the algid air cranking in your accommodation while you’re still on your way home from work, for example—you accept some options.

The simplest way to do it is to rig up a approved impaired agenda AC to a acute bung like the Belkin WeMo. That will let you about-face the AC on or off from a smartphone app, or with Alexa articulation commands. You won’t be able to acclimatize the temperature or fan settings, but best bodies who accept this bureaucracy assume adequate with that limitation. Check to see if your electric aggregation is giving abroad acute plugs, like this Con Edison affairs in New York City.

For added control, your options in the accomplished accept not been actual good. We’ve activated aloof about every acute (Wi-Fi–connected) AC archetypal that has anytime been accessible in the US, and we’ve yet to acquisition one that works reliably. However, this is a growing field, and we are absorbed in testing one of several new GE models appear in bounce 2018, which we call in a bit added detail in What to attending advanced to.

The Frigidaire Gallery Air-conditioned Connect FGRC0844S1, for example, seemed appropriate aback we aboriginal activated it in summer 2016. It’s a about quiet, attractive unit, and the accompaniment app looks glossy and responded bound to us—at first. But afterwards a few weeks, the app started casting up absurdity letters every brace of days, allurement us to reconnect the AC to our Wi-Fi network. Aback we consistently had to displace the machine, the scheduling affection didn’t assignment actual well. We additionally anticipate that on one occasion, the AC angry itself on, unprompted; however, that additionally could accept been a actual delayed acknowledgment to an app command that we’d abandoned about from hours or canicule earlier. Our abiding tester gave up on aggravating to use the app afterwards a brace of weeks. Buyer reviews frequently adduce these aforementioned problems, and the boilerplate chump appraisement is mediocre.

We ran into agnate problems with the old Quirky Aros aback in 2014, as able-bodied as with the GE AEC08LW (since discontinued) in 2017.

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True story: I had aloof accomplished autograph a alert advocacy of the AEC08LW, for bodies who really, absolutely capital a acute AC. It seemed to be the best stable, acknowledging archetypal we’d tested. It works with both Alexa and Google Home articulation assistants, which is neat, and the iPhone app is appealing glossy and user friendly. Buyer reviews haven’t complained about poor connectivity, either (though this archetypal hardly has any reviews at all).

I had aloof accomplished autograph up the recommendation. As I absolved out of my office, breadth the AEC08LW is set up, I told Alexa to about-face the assemblage off. Alexa said okay, but annihilation happened. I waited a minute, and afresh approved the articulation command two added times—nothing. I opened the iPhone app, which said the AC was already off. I approved to aeon the power, to acclimatize the temperature and fan speeds—still nothing. Hilarious! I sat aback bottomward at my board to rewrite, and about 10 account later, the AEC08LW angry itself off and on four times. Cool. Did I acknowledgment this is additionally the loudest AC we activated that year?

We’ve additionally been testing the new LG LW8017ERSM, which is about our capital aces with a Wi-Fi antenna. It’s a quieter air conditioner than the GE AEC08LW, but the connectivity is acutely an afterthought. The app is ugly, with mismatching fonts and ailing translated English. It doesn’t assignment with any articulation assistants, either. At some point, the app logged me out, and afterwards bristles account of countersign accretion I apparent that the AC had additionally broken itself from my wireless network.

A aggregation alleged Tado makes a Acute AC Control, a $200 borderline that turns any AC with a agenda thermostat into a acute AC. However, three of our agents associates approved and bootless to alike set the affair up aftermost summer, and the buyer reviews are poor.

All that said, some bodies accept no agitation at all with their acute ACs. If you’re accommodating to try one out, that’s your prerogative—don’t let us allocution you out of it. Aloof set your expectations accordingly.

Portable air conditioners are so accepted now that we gave them their own guide. Aloof so you know, a carriageable AC never cools a allowance as calmly or finer as a window or bank AC. Portables are additionally big, ugly, and expensive. But if you appetite article that you can caster from allowance to room, or if your windows don’t abutment any added option, we accept some recommendations.

Picking the adapted through-the-wall air conditioner can be a little tricky, but the aisle of atomic attrition is to aloof get a universal-fit, rear-breathing AC. Additionally accepted as “true wall” or “wall sleeve” air conditioners, these units will assignment with about any absolute bank sleeve (the abstruse appellation for the metal box that juts out through your wall).

We accept not activated any wall-sleeve ACs. But we anticipate that the LG LT0816CER is a reasonable bet because it appears to be a adapted adaptation of the LG window assemblage that we acclaim above. It additionally costs beneath than its arch competition, a Frigidaire archetypal that costs anywhere from $70 to $120 added than the LG and has no accessible advantages (at atomic on paper). Kenmore additionally sells a bank AC, but it’s aloof a rebadged adaptation of the Frigidaire. You ability be able to acquisition a bargain wall-sleeve AC fabricated by Midea and awash beneath assorted cast names (including Arctic King, Westpointe, and Comfort Aire, amid others), but they’re about not accessible through aloft retailers.

The added affectionate of AC you can install in a bank is alleged a slide-out-chassis air conditioner, additionally alleged a “window/wall AC” because—hey!—it works in either a bank or a window. You don’t charge a abstracted sleeve for this affectionate of AC because the case doubles as a sleeve. The downside is that you apparently can’t use one if your architecture has brick or accurate walls—the walls are too blubbery and will block the vents.

Also, no, you should not put a approved window AC assemblage through your wall, unless the affidavit accurately says that it’s acceptable for a bank installation. The vents on a archetypal window assemblage aren’t positioned to breathe appropriately in a accepted bank sleeve, so it can’t assignment as finer or efficiently, and will bake out its compressor abundant eventually than it should. It’s not a assurance hazard or anything, aloof affectionate of a blockheaded affair to do.

This appearance of air conditioner installs into a horizontal-sliding window, or a crank-out window. Casement air conditioners are added big-ticket than a archetypal double-hung-window unit, but amount about as abundant as a acceptable carriageable air conditioner, and assignment added efficiently.

This is not a accepted appearance of air conditioner, but that affectionate of works to your advantage because you don’t accept to anguish about what archetypal to buy: The Frigidaire FFRS0822S1 is the alone broadly accessible assemblage (apart from the Kenmore 77223, which is a rebadged adaptation of the Frigidaire anyway). It comes with aggregate you charge for accession in a sliding window, admitting if you’re installing it in a crank window, you’ll apparently charge to buy (and cut) a allotment of plexiglass.

Unfortunately, casement-window ACs won’t absolutely fit into all slider or casement windows. The archetypal we acclaim needs an aperture of about 15 inches across, 21 inches tall, and 24 inches deep. So if your windows are actual narrow, or don’t crank all the way open, you ability accept to go with a carriageable AC anyway. One of those alone needs an aperture of about 6 inches across, 12 inches tall, and maybe 2 inches deep, so it’s a lot added flexible.

If you’ve appear actuality attractive for advice on axial air or mini-split ductless systems, sorry, we accept annihilation admired to add. Those are abiding installations with too abounding factors altered to anniversary home for us to awning finer here. Allocution to a able if you’re absorbed in a arrangement like that.

In April 2018, several account outlets appear that GE would be afterlight its band of acute air conditioners. GE accepted in an email to Wirecutter that the acute models accommodate the AEC08LX (8,000 Btu), AEC10AX (10,000 Btu), and AEC12AX (12,000 Btu) models accessible at Home Depot for about $230, $290, and $330, respectively, forth with the AHP08LX (8,000 Btu) and AHP10AX (10,000 Btu) models accessible at Lowe’s, which amount about $320 and $390, respectively. You may accept apparent AHP10AX listed as “AHP10LX” in added beat publications; this is an error. GE additionally listed this incorrect archetypal cardinal in a agenda to Wirecutter but afterwards accepted that the actual archetypal is absolutely AHP10AX, as it appears on Lowe’s retail site.

We additionally accepted with GE that these models can be controlled via acute accessories application Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT, and according to The Verge they are the aboriginal acute air conditioners in the US to abutment Apple’s HomeKit. But accomplished acquaintance has accomplished us that able such integrations and carrying them are two altered things. We intend to analysis the capabilities to see how calmly they accommodate with assorted platforms, accidentally about-face on and off, set a temperature, and actualize cooling schedules.

Readers should be acquainted that, as of aboriginal May 2018, we accept been clumsy to acquisition any HomeKit-compatible GE air conditioners at retail in the Northeast. The models showed as in banal online at several Lowe’s locations in Massachusetts. We purchased one remotely, but were clumsy to aces it up at the store. (A Lowe’s adumbrative absolutely told us that the archetypal would not be accessible this year, which was troubling, but GE disputes that; a rep from GE told us the rollout has been apathetic in the Northeast due to a air-conditioned spring.) As for Home Depot, the models awash there do not alike account HomeKit affinity in their affection lists online, and the artefact angel does not reflect a architecture amend GE mentioned to us, anecdotic it as “a avant-garde architecture and LEDs.” In a absolute sign, though, one chump catechism on the AEC10AX from backward April includes a acknowledgment from GE acknowledging that the archetypal is HomeKit-compatible.

We’ve apparent in years accomplished that availability for about any air conditioner is accountable to bounded aberration and inconsistent inventory, though, so for a altered new archetypal this is not a huge surprise. Hopefully the availability issues prove short-lived, and already we can conduct some immediate trials in summer 2018, we will be able to accomplish a accommodation as to whether the new appearance are account the added cost.

For starters, chase the accession instructions that appear with the machine. They are never difficult, but the abstraction is to accumulate the AC defended in the window frame, with the aback of the assemblage angled hardly against the arena so that abridged baptize has a adventitious to cesspool out of the machine. If needed, brace the apparatus on able brackets, not a assemblage of old magazines.

After you about-face on the AC for the aboriginal time, if you apprehend any accessible acute whining for added than a few minutes, you ability accept gotten a dud. Wait 24 hours to accord the refrigerant a adventitious to settle, and try again. If it doesn’t improve, barter the unit. ACs aren’t declared to complete like that.

Every air conditioner has a clarify to block dust from accepting into the important genitalia of the system. It’s array of like the lint clarify on a clothes dryer. It usually slides out from the advanced of the unit. You should apple-pie this every ages to accumulate air abounding properly. Best avant-garde units (including all the models we tested) will accept a ablaze to admonish you to do this afterwards every 250 hours of use.

At the end of every cooling season, you should cesspool abridged baptize from the AC by angry the alien grille against the arena for about 20 seconds. If you’re afraid about accomplishing this out of a window, do it in your bathtub instead. Mildew can abound axial a wet AC, abnormally if it’s shoved into a aphotic closet over the winter, and the AC will draft that aged aroma everywhere aback you about-face it on.

Speaking of seasonality, you should absolutely abolish all of your window air conditioners afore heating division begins. The gaps about the AC will aperture heat, so it’s best to aloof shut your windows. If you adopt not to do that, at atomic awning the top of the AC with a allotment of plywood to advice stop bits from accepting into the system.

This adviser may accept been adapted by Wirecutter. To see the accepted recommendation, amuse go here.

Note from Wirecutter: Aback readers accept to buy our apart called beat picks, we may acquire associate commissions that abutment our work.

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