Reviews You Can Rely On

The 5 Best Window Air Conditioners

We bought then tested the best models from GE, LG, Midea, Frigidaire, and others to find the best window AC unit on the market today.
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Best Window Air Conditioner Review
Credit: Brian Walker
By Austin Palmer and Benjamin Hickok  ⋅  Oct 25, 2023

The Best Window Air Conditioners


Looking to beat the heat? We meticulously researched dozens of window air conditioning units before selecting the top 10 for rigorous side-by-side testing. Using a lab-grade thermometer and high-quality instruments, we monitored their cooling efficiency and speed with our test room. We also assessed their energy consumption and noise levels. In addition to the testing of base functions and energy consumption, our team evaluated convenience features and even the ease of installation to create the most comprehensive data set possible.

We've tested a wide range of home and countertop best appliances, including the top-ranked humidifiers, best fans, and the best air purifiers to condition, circulate, moisten, and purify dry or low-quality air in your home. We've done all the research, testing, and product comparisons for you to determine the best overall window air conditioner unit for every application.

Editors Note: We tested and reviewed ten brand new AC units in this window air conditioner review, published on October 24th, 2023.

Top 10 Window Air Conditioners - Test Results

Displaying 1 - 5 of 10
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Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $480 List
$429.99 at Amazon
$399 List
$379.99 at Amazon
$429 List
$416.13 at Amazon
$239 List
$204.97 at Amazon
$269 List
$194.08 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
80
79
75
69
67
Star Rating
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Pros Inverter technology, great cooling, app includedVery quiet, energy efficient, comes with smart-appClear view out of the window, quiet, app, display auto dims/offLower energy consumption, digital display, remote, good cooling for a 6K BTUEasy to install, smaller energy consumption, good digital display
Cons Pain to install, poor child lock, large remoteTougher to installCan be difficult to install, heavy, vertical air flow adjustment only, hard to read textOn the louder side, current fan speed setting not apparentOn the louder side, marginal cooling for a 6000 BTU unit
Bottom Line A tech forward inverter A/C unit with a great app, and quiet operation but can be a pain to installA super quiet and energy efficient A/C unit with a great app, but can be a bit of a pain to installA quiet AC that still allows you to see out your windowThe quintessential window A/C — this model is a bit loud, but it cools and is relatively energy efficientA generic AC unit with a nice digital readout
Rating Categories Midea U-Shaped MAW1... Midea U-Shaped MAW0... GE Profile ClearVie... LG LW6017R GE AHEE06AC
Cooling (30%)
7.8
5.6
5.7
6.1
5.8
Energy Consumption (25%)
7.6
9.3
8.2
8.7
8.2
Installation (10%)
6.0
6.0
6.5
7.0
8.2
Noise (20%)
8.5
9.5
9.0
5.0
5.0
Convenience (15%)
9.5
9.5
8.7
8.2
7.5
Specs Midea U-Shaped MAW1... Midea U-Shaped MAW0... GE Profile ClearVie... LG LW6017R GE AHEE06AC
Modes (fan speeds) 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)
Eco (1-3 + auto)
Fan (1-3)
Cool (1-3 + auto)
Dry (high only)
Energy Saver [Eco] (1-3)
Fan (1-3)
Cool (1-3 + auto)
Eco (1-3 + auto)
Energy Star Certified Yes Yes Yes No No
Manufacturer Listed BTU Rating 12000 BTU 8000 BTU 6100 BTU 6000 BTU 6000 BTU
Manufacturer Air CFM Low: 177 CFM
High: 277 CFM
Low: 150 CFM
High: 215 CFM
Low: 110 CFM
Med; N/A
High: 145 CFM
Dry Air Flow: 134 Low: 109 CFM
High: 139 CFM
24-Hour On/Off Timer Yes Yes Yes, remote only Yes Yes
Energy Saver Mode Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Low Voltage Start-up N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Sleep Mode Yes Yes No No No
Manufacturer Recommended Cooling Area 550 sq ft 350 sq ft 150 - 250 sq ft 260 sq ft 150 - 250 sq ft
Wi-Fi / App Enabled Yes Yes Yes No No
Control Type Electronic Electronic Electronic Electronic Electronic
Remote Control Yes, Large Yes, Large Yes Yes Yes
Washable Dust Filter Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Manufacturer Window Width Minimum 22" 21" 20" 21" 21-7/8"
Manufacturer Window Width Maximum 36" 36" 40" 35" 36"
Manufacturer Window Height Minimum 13-3/4" 13-3/4" 13" 12" 13-3/8"
Refrigerant Type R32 R32 R32 R32 R32
Child Lock No No No No No
Manufacturer Dehumidify/Moisture removal N/A N/A 1.3 pt/hr 1.8 pt/hr 1.4 pt/hr
Measured Weight 55.8 lb 52.5 lb 74.4 lb 40.5 lb 40.7 lb
CEER 15 15 11.5 11.3 11.1
Estimated Summer Cost $102.84 $78.44 $80.18 $73.21 $80.18
Average dBa Reading on High 56.6 dBa 49 dBa 52.5 dBa 57.4 dBa 62 dBa
Measured average kWh usage in 1 hour 0.59 kWh 0.45 kWh 0.46 kWh 0.42 kWh 0.46 kWh
Average Temperature After 1 Hour 72.95 73.625 75.65 73.175 73.4


Best Overall Window Air Conditioner


Midea U-Shaped MAW08V1QWT


79
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Cooling 5.6
  • Energy Consumption 9.3
  • Installation 6.0
  • Noise 9.5
  • Convenience 9.5
BTU: 8,000 | Remote: Yes | App: Yes
REASONS TO BUY
Very quiet
More energy efficient
Awesome app
Doesn't take up too much window space
REASONS TO AVOID
Less powerful than other 8K BTU units
Tough install
No child lock
Large Remote

The Midea U-Shaped MAW08V1QWT is a top choice in air conditioner units, fitting right into a sweet spot with 8000 BTU of cooling power. Not only does it offer good cooling performance, but it does so while consuming very little energy and producing very little noise. It is also one of the most tech-forward offerings we tested, with WiFi connectivity, a great app, and compatibility with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for those who have embraced IoT and home automation.

While our team was full of accolades for the unit, we did have a few criticisms that deserve a mention. Firstly, other 12K BTU models offer, as one might expect, greater cooling abilities, and second, this unit is a pain to install. Although many of our top AC units have very similar cooling performance, if you still want all the bells and whistles of a Midea with one of the top cooling scores, you may be interested in the Midea U-Shaped MAW12V1QWT. We even almost named it our best overall AC unit, but its premium price got in the way. However, if you can find it on sale, we would recommend it over its lower-BTU sister model.

Read more: Midea U-Shaped 8K BTU review

The Midea uses a mounting bracket for installation.
Credit: Brian Walker

Best on a Budget


LG LW6017R


69
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Cooling 6.1
  • Energy Consumption 8.7
  • Installation 7.0
  • Noise 5.0
  • Convenience 8.2
BTU:6 ,000 | Remote: Yes | App: No
REASONS TO BUY
Doesn't consume as much energy
Approachable price
Remote
Good cooling for a 6000 BTU
REASONS TO AVOID
On the louder side
Difficulty seeing fan speed setting

The LG LW6017R is a 6,000 BTU air conditioner unit that is easy to install, energy-efficient, and a great option for cooling average sized spaces. It also offers similar convenience features to more expensive models, like a variety of fan settings and modes that include an 'eco' mode, as well as an easy to use remote. Most importantly, it has an approachable price tag and low operational costs, making it a great value among window air conditioner units up front and in the long term.

Unfortunately, the LG LW6017R isn't without shortcomings. It is a little noisier than more premium and expensive models tested, and the unit does not offer WiFi compatibility or a smart app. Aside from a few aforementioned grips and a couple of other minor criticisms, we feel that the balance of performance and features are hard to beat at this price point. However, if the LG LW6017R is still prohibitively expensive, take a look at the completely mechanical but very capable and even more affordable GE AHEC05AC.

Read more: LG LW6017R review

The LG comes with a washable dust filter.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Best on a Tight Budget


GE AHEC05AC


65
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Cooling 5.7
  • Energy Consumption 8.9
  • Installation 8.2
  • Noise 6.0
  • Convenience 3.8
BTU: 5,050 | Remote: No | App: No
REASONS TO BUY
Affordable
Good performance for 5K BTU
Energy efficient
REASONS TO AVOID
Loud
No added convenience features
No cooling measurements on dials

The GE AHEC05AC is an economically priced but capable 5,000 BTU unit that offers efficient cooling with low energy consumption and an easy installation. Those factors help to make this unit our most budget-friendly option for those trying to beat the heat on the tightest of budgets.

You won't get the convenience features like a WiFi app or even a remote at such an economical price point. Instead, the unit has easy-to-operate knobs, which are also clearly marked. This unit also falls in the middle of the pack with regard to noise and produces as much sound as you would expect from a window AC unit. Unless you absolutely need a remote, you can't beat this fantastic unit for the price. However, if no remote is a deal breaker, you may want to consider the slightly more expensive but still very affordable LG LW6017R.

Read more: GE AHEC05AC review

The GE AHEC05AC uses nobs as a simple and effective means of control.
Credit: Brian Walker

Great for Large Rooms


Midea U-Shaped MAW12V1QWT


80
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Cooling 7.8
  • Energy Consumption 7.6
  • Installation 6.0
  • Noise 8.5
  • Convenience 9.5
BTU: 12,000 | Remote: Yes | App: Yes
REASONS TO BUY
Fairly quiet
High energy efficiency
Useful smartphone app
Maintains window function
REASONS TO AVOID
A pain to install
No child lock
Large remote

If you are in search of a high-performing 12,000 BTU window unit for cooling a larger space and prefer a quieter operation, then look no further than the Midea U-Shaped MAW12V1QWT, which proved to be a great pick in our comprehensive testing. This model offers exceptional cooling performance while remaining very quiet and efficient with inverter technology. It also offers some of the best convenience features we tested, like quick access options and settings, as well as scheduling and compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

The Midea U-Shaped MAW12V1QWT isn't without a couple of drawbacks. Specifically, it wasn't the 12,000 BTU model that offered the most cooling performance; it was the very close runner-up, and the installation can be a little finicky, compounded by its 56-pound weight. However, you won't find better cooling performance at this level of energy efficiency, quietness, and convenience anywhere else. Our testing showed the Frigidaire FHWC124WB1 offered the greatest cooling performance of all the models we tested, but in a rather stark contrast to the Midea, it is very loud and an energy hog. If neither of those qualities matter to you, it may be worthwhile.

Read more: Midea U-Shaped 12K BTU review

The Midea models come with a smart app so you can control your room temperature before you even walk through the door.
Credit: Brian Walker

Great for Garages


Frigidaire FHWC124WB1


64
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Cooling 8.7
  • Energy Consumption 4.0
  • Installation 6.8
  • Noise 4.5
  • Convenience 8.0
BTU: 12,000 | Remote: Yes | App: No
REASONS TO BUY
Top-notch cooling
Included child lock
Remote controlled option
REASONS TO AVOID
Huge energy consumption
Super loud
Heavy for installation

The Frigidaire FHWC124WB1 stands out as the most effective window air conditioner unit we tested and is a great choice for cooling larger spaces like garages or workshops quickly. It also features great convenience features, such as good air direction adjustments and above-average temperature and display settings, as well as above-average remote features and a child lock.

Unfortunately, the Frigidaire FHWC124WB1's exceptional cooling capabilities are accompanied by significant noise and high energy consumption, and unlike many other top offerings, it has no WiFi app or controls. So if noise and energy efficiency or WiFi controls are your top concerns, consider another option, like the nearly as capable but much quieter, more energy efficient, and 12,000 BTU Midea U-Shaped MAW12V1QWT. However, this model remains an impressive and top choice for cooling large spaces such as workshops or garages.

Read more: Frigidaire 12K BTU review

We recommend the Frigidaire FHWC124WB1 to those who spend lots of time in a hot garage.
Credit: Brian Walker

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
80
Midea U-Shaped MAW12V1QWT
Great for Large Rooms
$480
Top Pick Award
79
Midea U-Shaped MAW08V1QWT
Best Overall Window Air Conditioner
$399
Editors' Choice Award
75
GE Profile ClearView AHTT06BC
$429
69
LG LW6017R
Best on a Budget
$239
Best Buy Award
67
GE AHEE06AC
$269
67
Frigidaire FHWC084WB1
$309
65
GE AHEC05AC
Best on a Tight Budget
$199
Best Buy Award
64
Frigidaire FHWC124WB1
Great for Garages
$439
Top Pick Award
63
Frigidaire FFRA051WAE
$179
63
Midea EasyCool MAW05M1BWT
$179

Why Trust GearLab


Since 2018, our test team at GearLab has tested a variety of air conditioner units, such as portable air conditioners, in addition to spending even more years testing the best appliances. That list includes the best humidifiers, best fans, and best air purifiers, and we have more recently added window air conditioner units to our long list of products we test.

Our testing of window air conditioners is divided into five metrics:
  • Cooling (30% weight of overall score)
  • Energy Consumption (25% weight)
  • Noise (20% weight)
  • Convenience (15% weight)
  • Installation (10% weight)

Our window air conditioner test team is led by Austin Palmer who has spent many months collecting data on both window and portable AC's, which is then put into words by our GearLab reviewer and tech-guru Ben Hickok. The two bring together a vast amount of knowledge and experience from testing dozens of home and kitchen appliances, tools, furniture, and other consumer electronics. They've captured hard data in this window air conditioner review and made clear sense of the important factors in buying a window AC.

We spent many hours installing and uninstalling all of our window ACs.
Credit: Brian Walker

Analysis and Test Results


To identify the best window air conditioner units on the market today. Our team did extensive research into the top models currently available. We then purchased the models that looked to be the most promising and conducted extensive side-by-side performance comparisons and feature evaluations before scoring them across five major metrics. The performances of top models, organized into sections from the most heavily weighted metric (cooling) to the most lightly weighted metric (installation), are highlighted in our review below.


Value


Many window units can be quite expensive to purchase and operate, even for just a few hot summer months of the year. Some exceptions include the LG LW6017R and the GE AHEC05AC, which also offer good levels of performance when compared to the most premium models. Both models scored well in our energy consumption tests, which could help lower your electricity bills, making them an even greater value in the long term.

Both units were on the noisier end of the spectrum, and the GE, at its incredibly approachable price point, doesn't offer much in the way of convenience features, while the more expensive but still budget-friendly LG offers quite a few. Both are quite compelling options that offer great value for their levels of performance and are great options for those on tight budgets in need of a window cooling option.

Cooling


Our cooling evaluation measured each model's ability to reduce the temperature in a controlled space within an hour. This metric holds substantial weight, accounting for 30 percent of the overall score for each window unit, and identifies the most capable models. While BTU ratings for the units tested ranged from 5,000 to 12,000, and the same environment was used for testing all models, a couple of lower BTU-rated models performed exceptionally well.


With a leg up on pure capability, it isn't too surprising that two 12,000 BTU models tested offered the greatest cooling performance. The Frigidaire FHWC124WB1 led the way with its ability to cool our test room significantly in one hour, followed by the Midea U-Shaped MAW12V1QWT which had fairly similar performance while producing far less noise.

window air conditioner - taking temperature measurements for the cooling power dataset of the...
Taking temperature measurements for the cooling power dataset of the most capable model we tested.
Credit: Brian Walker

An 8,000 BTU model was the final podium finisher for cooling performance — the Frigidaire FHWC084WB1. Although this model ranked high when it came down to cooling power, it comes at a tradeoff of noise generation and higher energy consumption. So it won't get high praise in our other metrics and didn't earn our recommendation as the best overall window AC.

window air conditioner
Credit: Austin Palmer


While the average cooling power was based on a range of units from 5K to 12K BTU and the average temperature our test room dropped in one hour was 9.93 degrees Fahrenheit, a couple of 6K BTU-rated units stood out for their very respectable performance — the GE AHEE06AC and LG LW6017R.

When cooling power matters above all else, you can't beat the Frigidaire FHWC124WB1.
Credit: Brian Walker

Energy Consumption


Our test team measured the energy usage of each model in our evaluation of energy consumption, which contributed to 25 percent of the total score for each model. Our team used a watt meter to measure kilowatt-hours of energy consumed while running each unit at the highest power and fan speed settings for one hour. Our energy consumption data identified some really energy-efficient models as well as some energy hogs.


The 8,000 BTU Midea U-Shaped MAW08V1QWT with its inverter technology outperformed all other models with regard to energy consumption. Its inverter technology allows the machine to run much more efficiently than units that simply cycle the compressor motors on and off and consume less energy than most similarly rated BTU models.

window air conditioner - measuring the energy consumption of one of the top models tested.
Measuring the energy consumption of one of the top models tested.
Credit: Brian Walker

Three 5K BTU units, the Frigidaire FFRA051WAE, GE AHEC05AC8, and the Midea EasyCool MAW05M1BWT, earned the same final scores, putting them in a three-way tie for second, with the LG LW6017R hot on their heels. All three second-place units consumed .4 kilowatts of energy in our hour-long duration test on the highest possible settings, while the slightly higher 6K BTU LG consumed .42 kilowatts.



While not the top finishers, two other units finished with above-average scores for the test group, the GE AHEE06AC (6K BTU) and the GE Profile ClearView AHTT06BC (6.1K BTU), by consuming only .46 kilowatts. If energy efficiency is a priority for you, there are a number of really exceptional models to choose from without breaking the bank or compromising on features.

window air conditioner - reading the energy consumption of units with a watt meter was our...
Reading the energy consumption of units with a watt meter was our standard test procedure for every model.
Credit: Brian Walker

Noise


Adding a window air unit is supposed to make a space feel more pleasant, and a noisy fan or the loud cycling of a compressor motor can seriously detract from that newfound comfort. Our noise metric measured and evaluated the loudness of each model and identified the quietest models. It also identified some really loud models that may not be the best choice, even if their respective cooling performance is great.


Some of the most energy-efficient ACs were also the quietest units we tested. The Midea U-Shaped MAW08V1QWT, GE Profile ClearView AHTT06BC, and the Midea U-Shaped MAW12V1QWT secured their spots in that respective order by offering quiet operation.


The majority of models produced sounds registering low to mid 60 decibels, but some also had more subjective types of sound, like a fan blade or compressor, that were more disruptive to the human ear than others.

Registering over 66 decibels, Frigidaire FHWC124WB1 is loud!
Credit: Brian Walker

Convenience


Our convenience metric evaluated a number of important convenience features and functions, from air direction adjustments to smart apps. We also weigh in on whether or not each unit includes an effective child lock for those with little ones.


Our testing identified three exceptional models with regard to convenience. The Midea U-Shaped MAW08V1QWT and the Midea U-Shaped MAW12V1QWT really outshined the rest of the ACs in the test lineup, tying for the top spot with the same features and functions between the two models as it is one of the few brands that includes smart capabilities with its units, allowing them to be controlled remotely.

window air conditioner - controlling the midea u shape with a well refined app.
Controlling the Midea U Shape with a well refined app.
Credit: Brian Walker

The GE Profile ClearView AHTT06BC was also notably above average when it came to convenience features. It features WiFi connectivity and an app, much like the top Midea models, although its app isn't quite as intuitive as the Midea's and includes annoying in-app ads. Like the Midea, GE also supports integration with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, making it a good choice for the tech-integrated homeowner or renter.

window air conditioner - the smart app control of the interestingly designed ge clearview.
The smart app control of the interestingly designed GE Clearview.
Credit: Brian Walker

The design of the GE Profile ClearView AHTT06BC also allows one to maintain more of their view, and while not a convenience feature per se, it is a valuable feature. Beyond apps, another distinguishing convenience factor is that the GE Profile ClearView AHTT06BC lacks vertical air direction adjustments (ADD), whereas both Midea models have very robust ADDs.

window air conditioner - adjustable air direction on the midea u-shaped 8k btu.
Adjustable air direction on the Midea U-Shaped 8K BTU.

While we don't often point out the worst performers for a test metric, it is worth noting that most models offered a good number of convenience features and functions, like a remote and decent air direction adjustments, with the top models offering WiFi connectivity, smart apps, and compatibility with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, but the Frigidaire FFRA051WAE, GE AHEC05AC, and the Midea EasyCool MAW05M1BWT are the most simple and feature lacking models we tested. They utilize simple knobs for changing fan speeds and temperatures, which may be great for older or less tech-savvy people seeking relief from the heat but not great across the rest of the convenience metric.

These models aside, you can expect an average balance of features and functions, including a remote but excluding a smart app, from any other models not mentioned.

window air conditioner - adjustable louvers are convenient for directing cool air to specific...
Adjustable louvers are convenient for directing cool air to specific areas of a room.
Credit: Brian Walker

Installation


While it is unlikely you'll install a window unit more than once, or at most once a year, and plan to store it during cooler months, the ease of installation should still be a serious consideration. Some units are too heavy or cumbersome for a single person or the less mechanically inclined person to install alone. Many will require some additional help from a friend.


For this metric, we spend hours upon hours installing each unit individually. Sometimes we were able to do it on our own, but oftentimes we needed assistance. The easiest to install were the Midea EasyCool MAW05M1BWT, GE AHEC05AC, and the GE AHEE06AC. The Midea installs with less than 10 steps and isn't too much more difficult than removing the unit from the box, installing the top bar, inserting the accordion style curtains through the tabs, inserting the rails of the frame for both sides, and then placing onto the window before securing the unit with some screw locks and brackets. The whole process takes between 20 and 30 minutes, and while the manufacturer may recommend help lifting the unit, we found it to be a task that many can achieve without assistance. Both GE units have nearly identical installation steps and were nearly as easy to install as the Midea EasyCool MAW05M1BWT.


Outside of the top models, you can plan to carve out 30 minutes of your life to install most models we tested, and installation will probably go smoother if you recruit a friend to lift the unit out of a box and into place.

On the bottom end of the spectrum are two models that are otherwise exceptional but also the most cumbersome models to install, the two Midea 'U-Shaped' models we tested. While we tend not to highlight the worst performers for a metric, these models were worth mentioning due to their great performances in most other regards so that a person who values ease of installation can weigh the trade-off for top-tier performance.

window air conditioner - as home appliances become more and more advanced, like this smart ge...
As home appliances become more and more advanced, like this smart GE window AC, we buy and test all of the latest products to help you find the best.
Credit: Brian Walker

Conclusion


We hope our extensive research, product selection, testing and evaluations of the top window air conditioner units available today, as well as our process for identifying award-winning models, will help you find the perfect unit for your needs. If you are interested in a guide on how to select a unit, then please take a look at our Buying Advice article. Or perhaps you aren't sold on a window unit and are looking at other cooling options. In that case, you may be interested in our comprehensive review of the best portable air conditioner units on the market today.

Austin Palmer and Benjamin Hickok