Best Window Air Conditioners 2024

Best Window Air Conditioners 2024

Though summer doesn’t officially start for a few more months, it’s never a bad idea to get a head start on preparing for warmer days ahead. If you’re thinking about your plan to keep cool, the best window air conditioners can efficiently chill down spaces without making too much noise (or being disruptive in any major way). For most households, our top pick is the Midea U Inverter Window Air Conditioner, an ultra-quiet, Wi-Fi–enabled model that comes in three sizes.

The best window air conditioners are powerful, quiet and (relatively) sleek.

Illustration: Forbes / Image: Retailer

While you can’t move around window-mounted units as easily as tower fans or portable air conditioners, they’re relatively convenient machines that don’t require permanent installation, making them best cooling device for most people. If you’re in the market for a new unit, start by considering the size of your space. If you’re seeking a model that can efficiently cool off a large room, look for one with a higher BTU rating, which measures the amount of heat a unit can remove from a room. (A model with a lower BTU, which stands for British Thermal Units, is a better fit for smaller spaces.) Some models also come with special features like Wi-Fi connectivity so you can operate the device using your smartphone; more commonly, models are paired with remote controls. Ahead, here are the best window AC units currently on the market.


Midea U Inverter Window Air Conditioner

BTUs: 8,000 | Coverage area: 350 square feet | Energy Star certified: Yes | Noise level: 42 dB

The Midea U Inverter Window Air Conditioner is, hands down, the best option for most people. It comes in several versions, ranging from 8,000 to 12,000 BTUs. This model—the 8,000 BTU version—cools up to about 350 square feet. Enhancing its overall appeal, the unit is Wi-Fi equipped and can be controlled with the included remote, a mobile app or by voice with Alexa or Google Assistant.

And that’s not all the Midea has going for it. For one, it’s nine times quieter than the average air conditioner. The unit’s novel U-shape blocks noise from the compressor and allows it to be no more than about 42 decibels—that’s about the same sound level as a library and significantly quieter than typical conversations at homes. The U-design has another advantage as well; you can actually open your window without any risk that the air conditioner will come loose or be unstable.


TCL 5WR1-A Window Air Conditioner

BTUs: 5,000 | Coverage area: 150 square feet | Energy Star certified: Yes | Noise level: 50 dB

You might not associate TCL with air conditioners—the brand is better known for televisions these days—but TCL has a successful AC product line as well. This 5,000 BTU model is modest in both physical dimensions and cooling power.

It works in windows from 23-36 inches wide with the included mounting kit and stands 14.5 inches high in the window, allowing it to cool rooms up to 150 square feet. That’s not a lot, but comes with a great sub-$200 price tag if your cooling needs are relatively small. The unit is controlled with a pair of mechanical dials on the front panel—there’s no digital display or remote control—but you do get two fan speeds and a pair of four-way steerable cooling vents.


Koldfront WAC25001W Window Air Conditioner

BTUs: 25,000 | Coverage area: 1,000 square feet | Energy Star certified: Yes | Noise level: Not specified

The Koldfront WAC18001 is a formidable choice for cooling your home; its 25,000 BTU rating means it can cool down a space of up to 1,000 square feet with ease. That makes it one of the most powerful window-mounted air conditioners you can buy. In addition to cooling, the device also features a three-speed fan and the ability to warm a room with 16,000 BTUs of heating power, making it a solid choice for year-round temperature control. The device features weather seals in the box, so you can keep the outdoor air out, and works with window sizes from 31 to 42 inches—pretty much the gamut of anything you’ll encounter in most homes. It also has a remote control for operation across a large room and a six-hour auto-off sleep timer. Just note that this model has a 6-30P plug and requires a 30 amp 230 volt breaker to run safely and properly.


Whirlpool Energy Star Air Conditioner

BTUs: 12,000 | Coverage area: 550 square feet | Energy Star certified: Yes | Noise level: Not specified

Whirlpool’s Energy Star Air Conditioner prioritizes cooling down your room while making a concerted effort to limit its impact on the environment. The air conditioner features a 12.1 EER (energy efficiency ratio), making it an exceptionally highly energy efficient choice. The unit’s 12,000 BTU compressor can cool rooms up to 550 square feet, and the built-in dehumidifier can extract up to 2.6 pints of moisture per hour.

One thing to watch out for, though, is that the somewhat smaller footprint of this unit means it might not fit in larger windows—it has a width of 26 inches to 36 inches and a maximum window height of 16 inches. Otherwise, the air conditioner is well-equipped with three cooling speeds, an eco mode and sleep mode, plus a 24-hour timer to automatically shut the ACV unit off for you unattended.



July Window Air Conditioner

BTUs: 6,000 or 8,000 | Coverage area: 250 square feet and up | Energy Star certified: Yes | Noise level: Not specified

Aesthetics are always a matter of opinion to be sure, but there’s no denying that most AC manufacturers just don’t try very hard. Virtually all window air conditioners present an ugly industrial grille of vents. Not the July Window Air Conditioner, a genuinely pretty unit that comes in multiple muted colors.

Of course, it’s not just good looks. The July comes in two sizes, a 6,000 BTU model and an 8,000 BTU version, and offers the option of an air-purifying filter. The AC can also be controlled via a mobile app on your phone thanks to Wi-Fi support, so you can turn it on and off remotely and schedule it from anywhere. (If you’d rather use a remote, the unit comes with one of those, too.) Adding to the draw, the unit is whisper quiet and easy to install.


Frigidaire FFRS1022R1 Casement Air Conditioner

BTUs: 10,000 | Coverage area: 450 square feet | Energy Star certified: Yes | Noise level: Not specified

If you’re looking for a unit designed for casement windows (which slide left to right), consider this top-rated vertical model from Frigidaire. With 10,000 BTUs of cooling power, this unit—which comes with a handy remote control—can tackle spaces up to 450 square feet, plus it doubles as a dehumidifier. It’s also Energy Star–certified and features a handful of energy-efficient features like a check filter alert, as well as energy-saving and sleep modes. It can fit in windows between 21.5 and 40 inches tall and more than 15.5 inches wide.


Midea MAW05M1BWT Window Air Conditioner

BTUs: 5,000 | Coverage area: 150 square feet | Energy Star certified: Yes | Noise level: 54 dB

Not all air conditioners need to have Wi-Fi or be packed with enough BTUs to cool half your home. The Midea MAW05M1BWT checks all the important boxes and is an excellent performer for the price, which is among the least expensive true air conditioners you can buy. (You can find less expensive evaporative coolers—also known as swamp coolers—but they won’t perform nearly as well, especially in more humid climates.)

This model can cool about 150 square feet with seven temperature settings and a pair of fan settings, and you can keep it clean and efficient with a washable filter. It fits windows from 23 to 36 inches and sits a mere 13 inches high, with all mounting hardware included. You don’t get a remote control, but that’s probably not really needed if you’re planning to use it in a smaller space.

Why Trust Forbes Vetted

If your house is too hot or too cold, it makes it difficult to sleep, work, kick back and watch TV—pretty much anything. That’s why we take heating and cooling so seriously at Forbes Vetted. To help you (and ourselves) maintain the ideal temperature in your home year-round, we’ve tested and reviewed everything form portable air conditioners to tower fans to space heaters. Additionally, we regularly refresh this story to ensure we continue to stand by our picks; it was last updated April 2024.

How We Chose The Best Window Air Conditioners

To determine the best window air conditioners in 2024, we started by identifying the most popular models from trusted brands in the space, such as Midea, Whirlpool and Koldfront. Then, we analyzed the quality of each of those units, taking a closer look at the models’ BTU ratings, energy efficiency, ease of installation, noise level and additional features. Lastly, we pored over customer reviews to get a better sense of how these units perform in the real world. If multiple customers complained about a window unit’s installation, for example, we then investigated further, as only models that meet our high standards make this list.

How To Pick A Window Air Conditioner

Keep these factors in mind when shopping for your perfect model.


Window air conditioners come in a variety of sizes, from small-room models with as few as 4,000 British Thermal Units (BTU) to monster coolers with 18,000 BTUs or more. The higher the BTU rating, the more square footage your AC unit can cool. Just remember that more BTUs cost more upfront, as well as more to operate, so you want to match the air conditioner to the room size for the best deal.

Coverage Area

Figure out in advance where you plan to use your AC unit and how much space you want it to cool. Then, measure the size of the area. This will help determine the BTU rating you should look for in a unit.


If you find the process of installing a window unit to be daunting, you’re not alone—but that doesn’t mean you have to do without. Some air conditioners are easier to install than others, including units designed to sit conveniently atop your windowsill. Figuring out the installation process and knowing your comfort level in advance will go a long way.

Energy Star Rating

ACs that are Energy Star-certified (or otherwise identified as energy-efficient) are less expensive to operate. Most units will display this information on the label, so check there if you’re looking for an energy-saving model, which can save you several dollars a month.

Dehumidifier Function

Mold and mildew thrive in warm, damp environments, so if you live in a particularly humid environment, look into AC units with a dehumidifier function. That way, your machine can simultaneously cool your space and suck excess moisture out of your air. (Or you can always invest in a separate dehumidifier.)

Noise level

While all window air conditioning units make some amount of noise, some are louder than others. If you’re bothered by excess noise, look for models on the lower end of the decibel spectrum—around 40 or so decibels, which is what you can expect at your local library. The higher the decibels, the more noise the unit makes.

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