Need a Window Air Conditioner? Read This First

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Consumer Reports evaluated window air-conditioning units for performance, noise and other factors. Here's what they found.

If you’re looking to buy a new window air-conditioner unit, Consumer Reports has tested and  highlighted some of the best affordable options:

  • To cool less than 300 square feet, the Frigidaire LRA067AT7, priced about $170, keeps things cool very quietly. 
  • For up to 400 square feet, the Sharp AF-S85RX ($200) is a good lightweight choice. The LG LW8010ER ($220) is a bit noisier at higher settings, but has good moisture removal and “impressive power,” CR says.
  • For between 350 and 650 square feet, the Frigidaire FRA106CV1 handles brownouts well and has excellent cooling, but was given a medium noise value by CR.

All of CR‘s top picks “use at least 10 percent less energy than conventional models,” so they’re also a good value in the long run.

It’s important to pick a unit that suits the size of the space you’re cooling — more power is not necessarily better. A unit designed for a bigger room may cool the space quicker than it can remove moisture, leaving the room cold and clammy. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers has a worksheet for determining the right-sized air conditioner.

You can make sure your house is cooling as effectively and cheaply as possible by checking out some quick tips in the video below.

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