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Frigidaire FHWC124WB1 Review

A loud but powerful 12k BTU A/C unit that is sure to provide relief from the heat
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Frigidaire FHWC124WB1 Review (A very capable model that is sure to keep you cool if you can handle a few caveats.)
A very capable model that is sure to keep you cool if you can handle a few caveats.
Credit: Brian Walker
Price:  $439 List
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Manufacturer:   Frigidaire
By Austin Palmer and Benjamin Hickok  ⋅  Oct 25, 2023
64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 10
  • Cooling - 30% 8.7
  • Energy Consumption - 25% 4.0
  • Installation - 10% 6.8
  • Noise - 20% 4.5
  • Convenience - 15% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Frigidaire FHWC124WB1 is the most effective window air conditioner unit our team tested for cooling large spaces. However, its impressive cooling ability comes at the trade-off of excessive noise and high energy consumption relative to the other units we tested. If noise and energy efficiency are important to you, consider other options in our best window air conditioner review. Nevertheless, this model stands out as a top choice for cooling large spaces such as workshops or garages where sound doesn't matter as much, or for those who may not care about noise or energy efficiency.
REASONS TO BUY
Great cooling power
Adjustable louvres
Good mode selections
Child lock
REASONS TO AVOID
Consumes a lot of energy
Noisy
Heavy

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Price $439 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Bottom Line This model may be loud, but you'll be cool and comfy in no time!Quiet and WiFi connected, this is a great unit, even if its a pain to installEfficient, quiet, and tech forward, but can be painful to installA typical window A/C unit that gets the job done for a relatively modest priceSimple, affordable, and it gets the job done
Rating Categories Frigidaire FHWC124WB1 Midea U-Shaped MAW1... Midea U-Shaped MAW0... LG LW6017R GE AHEC05AC
Cooling (30%)
8.7
7.8
5.6
6.1
5.7
Energy Consumption (25%)
4.0
7.6
9.3
8.7
8.9
Installation (10%)
6.8
6.0
6.0
7.0
8.2
Noise (20%)
4.5
8.5
9.5
5.0
6.0
Convenience (15%)
8.0
9.5
9.5
8.2
3.8
Specs Frigidaire FHWC124WB1 Midea U-Shaped MAW1... Midea U-Shaped MAW0... LG LW6017R GE AHEC05AC
Modes (fan speeds) Fan (1-3)
Cool (1-3 + auto)
Dry (low only)
Eco (1-3 + auto)
Fan (1-3 + auto)
Cool (1-3 + auto)
Dry (auto Only)
Auto (auto Only)

Eco button can be activated: Cool, Dry, Auto
Fan (1-3 + auto)
Cool (1-3 + auto)
Dry (auto Only)
Auto (auto Only)

Eco button can be activated: Cool, Dry, Auto
Fan (1-3)
Cool (1-3 + auto)
Dry (high only)
Energy Saver [Eco] (1-3)
Fan (high/low)
Cool (high/low)
Energy Star Certified Yes Yes Yes No No
Manufacturer Listed BTU Rating 12000 BTU 12000 BTU 8000 BTU 6000 BTU 5050 BTU
Manufacturer Air CFM Low: 252 CFM
Med: 285 CFM
High: 321 CFM
Low: 177 CFM
High: 277 CFM
Low: 150 CFM
High: 215 CFM
Dry Air Flow: 134 Low: 122 CFM
High: 143 CFM
24-Hour On/Off Timer Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Energy Saver Mode Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Low Voltage Start-up Yes N/A N/A N/A N/A
Sleep Mode Yes Yes Yes No No
Manufacturer Recommended Cooling Area 550 sq ft 550 sq ft 350 sq ft 260 sq ft 100 - 150 sq ft
Wi-Fi / App Enabled No Yes Yes No No
Control Type Electronic Electronic Electronic Electronic Mechanical
Remote Control Yes Yes, Large Yes, Large Yes No
Washable Dust Filter Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Manufacturer Window Width Minimum 25" 22" 21" 21" 21-7/8"
Manufacturer Window Width Maximum 36" 36" 36" 35" 36"
Manufacturer Window Height Minimum 15-1/2" 13-3/4" 13-3/4" 12" 13-3/8"
Refrigerant Type R32 R32 R32 R32 R32
Child Lock Yes No No No No
Manufacturer Dehumidify/Moisture removal 3.8 pt/hr N/A N/A 1.8 pt/hr 1.0 pt/hr
Measured Weight 69 lb 55.8 lb 52.5 lb 40.5 lb 37.8 lb
CEER 12 15 15 11.3 11
Estimated Summer Cost $139.45 $102.84 $78.44 $73.21 $69.72
Average dBa Reading on High 62 dBa 56.6 dBa 49 dBa 57.4 dBa 56.1 dBa
Measured average kWh usage in 1 hour 0.8 kWh 0.59 kWh 0.45 kWh 0.42 kWh 0.4 kWh
Average Temperature After 1 Hour 68.675 72.95 73.625 73.175 73.625

Our Analysis and Test Results

Our team was impressed by the cooling power of this model but less impressed by its energy consumption and noise generation. It also lacks WiFi connectivity but includes many of the other convenience features we've come to expect from a window air conditioning unit. The Frigidaire FHWC124WB1 is also a heavy unit, making an otherwise simple installation just a little more difficult. Aside from some obvious considerations regarding noise and energy use, we really liked this model.

Performance Comparison


Get fast relief with the very powerful Frigidaire FHWC124WB1.
Credit: Brian Walker

Cooling


Our cooling test metric assesses the effectiveness of each model in cooling a space from a specific temperature within an hour. The test metric accounts for 30 percent of each window unit's overall score, and the Frigidaire FHWC124WB1 stood out for having the most cooling power of all the models in our product lineup.


The 12K BTU Frigidaire FHWC124WB1 dropped the temperature of our control room by 14 degrees in the one-hour test, while the next most capable unit, a 12K BTU model, lowered the temperature of the room 12.4 degrees.

frigidaire fhwc124wb1 - a powerful model that is relatively easy to use, but also not the...
A powerful model that is relatively easy to use, but also not the quietest or most efficient.
Credit: Brian Walker

Runner-ups, the 8K and 6K BTU units lowered the temperature to a very respectable 11 and 9 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. From a pure cooling performance perspective, the Frigidaire FHWC124WB1 is a top choice, but before you pull the trigger on that purchase, there are a couple of caveats to that performance to be aware of.

frigidaire fhwc124wb1 - measuring the air temperature at different locations and distances...
Measuring the air temperature at different locations and distances from the unit.
Credit: Brian Walker

Energy Consumption


Our energy consumption test metric contributes to 25 percent of each window air conditioner's overall score, because of its importance to operating a unit for 12 hours or more per day during the hot summer months. It measures the kilowatt-hours consumed by each model when running at the highest available power and fan speed for 60 minutes. Our test team used a watt meter to obtain precise data rather than relying on manufacturer specifications for scoring.


As we mentioned earlier, the incredible cooling power of the Frigidaire FHWC124WB1 comes with a couple of caveats, the first one being the incredible amount of power needed to achieve that high level of performance. In our one-hour test, the unit consumed .8 kilowatts of energy, making it the most expensive model to operate and one you may notice when you get your energy bill for those hot summer months. The average for the entire test group was .49 kilowatts, with other 12K and 8K units pulling about .59 kilowatts of energy per hour.

The Frigidaire FHWC124WB1's power consumption is about double of the most energy-efficient units tested.

frigidaire fhwc124wb1 - our test team using a watt meter to record the energy consumed by...
Our test team using a watt meter to record the energy consumed by the 12000 BTU Frigidaire.
Credit: Brian Walker

Noise


Our noise metric measures the loudness of models and contributes to 20 percent of each model's overall score, and this is where we run into our second caveat to incredible cooling performance.


The Frigidaire FHWC124WB1 is the loudest model we tested and one of the trade-offs to its incredible performance. At 4 feet away, on a high fan speed setting, this unit measured 62 decibels on our sound pressure level meter.

This model has incredible cooling powers.
Credit: Brian Walker

While sound measurements are based on perception and use a logarithmic scale and not a linear scale, it's still worth referencing for comparison that a vacuum cleaner is about 70 to 75 decibels and a blender is about 90 decibels. The unit is quieter than a vacuum cleaner, but not by a whole lot, and it should be a serious consideration before you buy.

frigidaire fhwc124wb1 - measuring the noise in decibels produced by the 12k btu frigidaire.
Measuring the noise in decibels produced by the 12K BTU Frigidaire.
Credit: Brian Walker

Convenience


The Frigidaire FHWC124WB1 covers the basics but really does not offer the more advanced features and functions of more premium models. Convenience, accounting for 15 percent of each model's overall score, assesses a wide range of specific features and functions. This includes air direction adjustments, temperature settings, display settings, available cooling and fan modes, the remote control, any WiFi connectivity and apps, timers, and child locks.


The Frigidaire FHWC124WB1 offers a good range of air adjustments horizontally, but the vertical adjustments are a little limited in their range of motion. Multiple cooling modes and fan speed settings are easy to adjust, and the display is readable but utilizes a frosted white LED that can be a little difficult to see in bright light. The remote is relatively robust and offers the majority of controls for the unit. Timers and child locks need to be set on the unit itself.

This model ticks all the basic boxes for convenience, but the white LED display can be a bit difficult to read.
Credit: Brian Walker

The unit does not have WiFi connectivity or an app and is more of a classic play on a window air conditioner that covers the basics very well. So if you are interested in more convenience than a remote, like home automation via Alexa Home or Google Assistant, then you'll have to take a look at other models.

frigidaire fhwc124wb1 - a compact remote adds to the overall convenience of this model.
A compact remote adds to the overall convenience of this model.
Credit: Brian Walker

Installation


Our final test metric evaluated the ease and simplicity of the installation of the Frigidaire FHWC124WB1. This metric makes up 10 percent of this product's total score.


This model offers one of the more straightforward installations of all the units we tested, and the fit in the window is very good. The steps are easy to follow, and the unit can be securely placed in a window in as little as 20 to 30 minutes.

However, the unit is exceptionally heavy compared to smaller, less capable units, weighing in at 69 pounds, so you will likely want someone to help you lift the unit into place.

frigidaire fhwc124wb1 - this model weighs in at a whopping 69 pounds, and will require most...
This model weighs in at a whopping 69 pounds, and will require most people get some help lifting into place.
Credit: Brian Walker

Should You Buy the Frigidaire FHWC124WB1?


The Frigidaire FHWC124WB1 may be a noisy energy hog, but it is hands down the most effective window AC unit we tested for large spaces. Its ability to cool spaces comes at a trade-off of lots of noise and considerably high energy consumption when compared to the other models we tested. So, if noise and energy consumption rank high on your priority list, look elsewhere. Otherwise, this is an impressive model and a great option for cooling large spaces where sound matters very little, like a workshop or a garage.

What Other Window Air Conditioner Should You Consider?


The Frigidaire FHWC124WB1 is not necessarily the most environmentally conscious choice when it comes to an air conditioner. It also doesn't have modern inverter technology or a smart app that is more suited to the modern home. For similar performance but with significantly quieter operation, more responsible energy usage, and more convenience features, you'll want to consider the 12K BTU Midea U-Shaped MAW12V1QWT, or for smaller spaces, an all-around top performer in our lineup, the Midea U-Shaped MAW08V1QWT. However, if these models are too much for your current budget, the LG LW6017R is also a capable and energy-efficient option with some value-adding convenience features, but it is also noisier than the models mentioned above.

Austin Palmer and Benjamin Hickok