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The 5 best air conditioners: Keep cool in the summer heat

What is the best air conditioner? The Midea U MAW08V1QWT beat the heat the best. We researched and compared pricing, reviews, and features to determine the top air conditioner as well as some other honorable mentions.
lena-borrelli-author.jpg
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer on
Reviewed by Elyse Betters Picaro

When that old A/C finally kicks the bucket during a sweltering summer, it is then that we intimately become reacquainted with the importance of air conditioning. However, if you are not prepared with the best air conditioner to replace it, you could quickly find yourself sticky with sweat and miserable from the summer heat.

As summer approaches, these are the best air conditioners for your home.

close up of an air conditioner window unit installed in a home window
Amazon

Technical specifications:

  • BTU: 8,000
  • CEER: 15
  • Cooling watts: 710 W
  • Wi-Fi: Yes

The Midea U MAW08V1QWT is a nice mid-range unit when it comes to price, plus it is Wi-Fi-capable for your smart home to provide added convenience. This is a machine that is simple to install in just three steps, so you can enjoy that cold air that much faster. Once installed, the machine is powerful enough to pump cold air up to 20 feet away, thanks to Midea's full DC inverter technology. This makes the unit easily able to tackle larger rooms. 

The U-shaped design allows for a much quieter sound that reaches as low as 42dB; in fact, testing shows that nine of these units still fail to beat the sound of some traditional units. The unique shape also makes it possible for you to both open and close your windows, even with the unit installed, so you do not lose precious use of that single window you may have in your home or office. A one-year warranty also comes included.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Smart home compatible
  • Super quiet
  • Simple installation
  • Horizontal airflow only
  • Not compatible with HomeKit
An air conditioner unit in a bedroom window next to a plant
GE

Technical specifications:

  • BTU: 5,000
  • CEER: 11
  • Cooling watts: 455 W
  • Wi-Fi: No

The GE ‎AHEC05AC is an affordable unit suitable for smaller spaces, using its 5,000 BTUs to cool rooms up to 150 square feet. It is a window-mounted unit with a fixed chassis and EZ Mount installation kit for easy installation. It does not take up much of a footprint with its small size and still manages to pack 10 different temperature settings into one unit. 

Dual cooling settings with two fan speeds are managed by the adjustable thermostat, plus the inclusion of 2-way louvers ensures cold air is evenly distributed wherever the unit happens to be mounted. It is quiet, too, so it is appropriate for bedroom or dorm use. When it comes time to clean, the filter is easy to remove and can be washed for repeated use. Even better, a one-year replacement warranty is included.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Multiple settings
  • Removable filter
  • One-year warranty
  • Not suitable for large rooms
  • Limited BTUs
White stylish air conditioner unit in a window by flowers
July

Technical specifications:

  • BTU: 8,000

The July Window Air Conditioner is a sleek unit that makes a chic addition to any room. It is also super easy to install with a special proprietary installation frame that makes installation a simple matter. If you prefer not to fuss with installation at all, you can choose white glove installation service from Handy. Once installed, the system is Wi-Fi-enabled, working with both iOS and Android apps for convenient control. You can also use voice commands via Amazon Alexa or Google Home. 

To add more style and flair, you can choose from multiple customization options for your unit: you have the ability to personalize your July Window Air Conditioner with a number of custom items, like advanced filters and upgraded side panels. To get started, there is a 30-day trial and a one-year warranty with purchase. It's a purchase you can feel good about, too, with two-thirds fewer emissions and 10% less energy used compared to other similarly-sized traditional window air conditioners.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Smart home and WiFi capability 
  • Choice of design
  • White-glove delivery
  • Higher price tag
  • Limited online details
An air conditioner unit next to a white couch with air stream animation coming out of it
LG

Technical specifications:

  • BTU: 14,000
  • Watts: 1,370
  • Wi-Fi: Yes

The LG LP1419IVSM Smart Dual Inverter Portable Air Conditioner has enormous capability, thanks to 14,000 BTUs. Its cooling capacity accommodates up to 500 square feet, effortlessly cooling those larger areas with three different fan settings and an incorporated DUAL inverter compressor. There is a 24-hour timer that is easily programmable to on and off modes. When unneeded, the air conditioner reverts to Sleep Mode, saving you some extra money with its energy-efficient design. It will automatically switch from different settings like auto cool with a built-in auto evaporation system. 

The included LCD remote controls the unit for greater convenience and is Wi-Fi-capable with SmartThinQ technology to work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. This unit comes from a leading and trusted manufacturer of air conditioners, so you have additional peace of mind. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is also included.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Big power
  • Built-in timer
  • Covers large spaces
  • Expensive
  • Extensive set up
An air conditioner window unit installed in a window
Amazon

Technical specifications:

  • BTU: 8,300
  • Wi-Fi: Yes

The Windmill Air Conditioner Smart Home 8300 BTU AC is a popular pick when you want an air conditioner for your smart home. A clean, auto-dimming LED display makes for a streamlined look. You can easily control the unit through the included remote, or you can use your voice via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. When you use the app, you have the ability to control your A/C from anywhere without the need to be right at the unit. 

The unit covers a decent area of 350 square feet, blowing air at a 45-degree angle for better coverage. It is also incredibly energy-efficient, thanks to its use of improved R32 refrigerant. Installation could not be easier; the unit comes pre-assembled, so you simply pluck it from the box and follow the installation guide before positioning it wherever you would like. There is also a 30-day return policy with no questions asked.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Powerful performance
  • Alexa- and Google-enabled
  • Simple to install
  • Limited specs online 
  • Not the cheapest

What is the best air conditioner?

The Midea U MAW08V1QWT is our pick for the best air conditioner, and it is easy to see why. It is an affordable unit that works for larger spaces up to 20 square feet. It does not restrict use of the window, plus it is ultra-quiet to spare those unnecessary headaches.

Here is a side-by-side snapshot of the best air conditioners for your space. 

Air Conditioner

Cost

Type

BTUs

Midea U MAW08V1QWT

$359.00

Window

8,000

GE ‎AHEC05AC

$167.00

Window

5,000

July Window Air Conditioner

$579.00

Window

8,000

LG LP1419IVSM

$654.00

Portable

10,000

Windmill Air Conditioner Smart Home 8300 BTU AC

$415.00

Portable

8,300

Which is the right air conditioner for you?

After a while, air conditioning units can begin to blend together and easily become confusing. To help you find the best air conditioner for your needs, consider these expert suggestions. 

Choose this air conditioner...

If you...

Midea U MAW08V1QWT

Want a reliable pick that tops today's market

GE ‎AHEC05AC

Want quality at an affordable price

July Window Air Conditioner

Want a chic unit that doesn't sacrifice performance

LG LP1419IVSM

Want a high-performing portable unit

Windmill Air Conditioner Smart Home 8300 BTU AC

Want an air conditioner for your smart home

How did we choose the best air conditioners?

There are several ways to find the best air conditioner. We considered these factors and more. 

  • BTU: The amount of British thermal units, or BTUs, indicates how powerful a machine is and how large of a room an air conditioner can cool.
  • Sound level: The number of decibels shows how loud a machine will be, with the lowest possible decibels typically advertised for each air conditioner.
  • Wi-Fi: Smart home capability is becoming increasingly important to homeowners, so Wi-Fi compatibility is a must if you are looking to add to your smart home.
  • Cost: Budget is always important, so we choose a range of products 

When selecting the best air conditioner for you, consider which factors are most important to you, so you can find the right fit.

How much does an air conditioner cost?

An air conditioner can range in cost from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the features you choose. Our picks for the best air conditioner range from over $150 to about $660. 

What type of air conditioner do I need?

There are several types of air conditioners, but the two most popular are window and portable units. Window air conditioners are available in all sizes but are either installed in a window or within the wall, a potentially intrusive addition to your room. A portable unit, on the other hand, is freestanding and, since it does not need to be installed to a single point, it can be moved from place to place.

Are there alternative air conditioners worth considering?

During our search, we found these great options that just almost made our list:

For other home products, consider our picks for the best security systems, best home security cameras, and the best cheap smart home gadgets!  

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