Beat the scorching summer heat with the most efficient air conditioners

·Contributing Writer
·11 min read

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Standing air conditioner
Standing air conditioner

Many people prefer using a ceiling fan or a water cooler for combating the summer season. But, no matter how advanced these appliances are, they won't be able to beat atmospheric heat. This is why you should get an air conditioner to help you relax and sleep comfortably. These machines reduce air temperature until condensation and evaporation reach preset levels. Some ACs also acts as a dehumidifier, or a heater, so that you can use them during summer or winter. Due to accelerating demand, we have handpicked some expert-recommended air conditioners for 2022. This guide should help you with navigating the complex market and the variety of options available.

Top Picks

Top overall: Midea Smart Inverter Air Conditioner

Almost as quiet as a library – so you can get a restful night’s sleep or binge your favorite shows undisturbed
Almost as quiet as a library – so you can get a restful night’s sleep or binge your favorite shows undisturbed

Are you searching for a window air conditioner with smart control features? If yes, then this product will satisfy your needs. For instance, this option offers a 20-foot airflow that can cool down a room within minutes without creating any hotspots. This unit also has obtained the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2021 certification, owing to its advanced DC inverter technology that can save 35% of energy. And, its internal circuit components operate with almost no sound or vibration (< 42dB) helping you relax or sleep comfortably. After installing this U-shaped air conditioning unit, you can open the window, allowing fresh air to enter the room. Additionally, this product comes with an anti-theft mechanism for locking a window in place as well as keeping the appliance safe and secured. Thanks to its smart voice and WiFi control features, it has become one of the top-rated models in the market. Because of all these reasons and more, this beautiful machine made it to the top of our list.

Key Features:

  • Color: white

  • Dimensions: 21.97 x 19.17 x 13.46 inches

  • Weight: 58.86 lbs

Great value: Frigidaire Window-mounted Air Conditioner

Our air conditioners maintain the preset room temperature, so you will remain comfortable at all times
Our air conditioners maintain the preset room temperature, so you will remain comfortable at all times

If you are on a tight budget but still want a great air conditioner, this product might be the perfect solution to your problems. With an airflow rate of 136 cubic feet per minute per watt, this beast can cool down a room evenly without wasting any time. For an enjoyable and fantastic cooling experience, you can use this option in either cooling or fan mode and with seven adjustable temperature levels. This air conditioner is bolstered by expandable side panels that will help you fit it easily in any window, regardless of any size differences. And, this product comes with additional dust filters for purifying air, keeping it clean and safe for breathing. Plus, this machine comes equipped with a three-prong cord, eliminating the need for extensions. On top of everything, this product can resume operations with earlier settings once it’s powered up again.

Key Features:

  • Color: White

  • Dimensions: 15.25 x 16 x 12 inches

  • Weight: 35.27 lbs

Portable design: Black and Decker Portable Air Conditioner

It’s the ideal small air conditioner for dorms, apartments, cabins, campers, offices, bedrooms, or living rooms
It’s the ideal small air conditioner for dorms, apartments, cabins, campers, offices, bedrooms, or living rooms

If you want to use an air conditioner in different places, this product is a great choice. It has a slim structure that can easily fit anywhere and its caster wheels make transportation hassle-free. And, this option includes three main functions – heat, cool, and dehumidify, each mode provides an ideal setting for promoting comfort in different conditions. Plus, this product doesn't consume too much energy, owing to its sleep mode which enables auto-adjustment of the cooling function. The LED panel and included remote will assist you in keeping air temperature at optimal levels. And, since this option features a self-evaporation system, you won't have to use a separate drain pipe. This product operates at 53 dB and 51 dB when you have it set at high cooling or sleep mode. So, it won't produce any sound that will disturb your sleep or distract you when you’re awake.

Key Features:

  • Color: White

  • Dimensions: 17.1 x 13.8 x 28.1 inches

  • Weight: 71 lbs

Outstanding performance: SereneLife Air Conditioner

It features rolling wheels for easy portability
It features rolling wheels for easy portability

Do you want to use an air conditioner throughout the year? If you do, this product will be a great choice as it features four different operation modes for different seasons. Its cool and fan modes are perfect for rapid cooling (10000 BTU) in a dry summer season, while the dehumidifier mode can reduce moisture levels (1.5 liters per hour) during humid summers and the rainy season. Additionally, this option features a heating mode that can warm a room, eliminating the need for a fireplace during the winter season. Its operational noise levels vary between 52 dB and 56 dB, ensuring whisper-silent function and keeping a room quiet and peaceful. And, its automated swing mode will help circulate cold air more efficiently, reducing hotspots. Plus, you’ll get an additional remote for controlling this machine from your couch or bed. This air conditioner also comes equipped with a digital touch panel where you can set up the sleep timer, temperature display unit, mode, temperature levels, and more.

Key Features:

  • Color: White

  • Dimensions: 13.39 x 32.09 x 17.45 inches

  • Weight: 65 lbs

Perfect for smaller apartments: GE Window Air Conditioner

Easy install kit included so you can start cooling right away
Easy install kit included so you can start cooling right away

This option can cool down a 150-square foot room efficiently and with minimal power consumption (5000 BTU). And, this machine doesn't make any noise while operating, so you can continue working or sleeping without being disturbed. And, you can use this appliance in two modes, with different settings, using the control knobs – a high and low fan mode as well as ten cooling, adjustable modes. You can easily switch between any mode to suit the particular season or your particular desire. The washable sliding filter screens will also keep the air free from dust and other impurities while allowing you to change the airflow direction laterally. The extendable side panels will help you use almost any windowpane for installation, regardless of the space.

Key Features:

  • Color: White

  • Dimensions: 15 x 16.44 x 12.56 inches

  • Weight: 36 lbs

A buying guide to the ultimate air conditioners

An air conditioner is not just a cooling appliance that brings down the air temperature in a room. Instead, you can use these products for reducing moisture levels or keeping the air warm easily. Most products come packed with a bunch of enticing features that can easily leave you in a trance, making it difficult for you to make the right choice. Owing to this reason, we have created a complete buying guide for helping you invest in the most appropriate air conditioner for your particular needs.

Types of air conditioners

The two major air conditioners you’ll find on the market are freestanding and window-mounted versions. Even though both these types can cool down a room and make summers more tolerable, there are many differences between them you should keep in mind. In the section below, we’ve explained certain factors for helping you decide on which kind of air conditioner you should go with.

  • Freestanding air conditioners are portable and have compact designs including wheels. You won’t be able to move window-mounted ACs, so you should choose an air conditioner depending on your needs and intended use

  • A window-mounted air conditioner has higher cooling efficiency than freestanding versions, this can become a larger factor depending on where you live

  • While installing a window-mounted air conditioner, appropriate plumbing is needed to connect the exhaust pipe to the main drainage. Conversely, freestanding ACs do not require additional plumbing

Key factors to consider when selecting an air conditioner

Cooling capacity

Even though the main function of an air conditioner is cooling down rooms, cooling capacities will differ from one product to another. This feature depends on how quickly an appliance can lower temperatures, the airflow distance, and the compressor technology. For instance, if product A takes 15 minutes to lower the ambient temperature and product B needs only 12 minutes, you should choose the latter. Since it can cool down a room in less time, it will consume less energy over time, saving you money on utility costs. Similarly, you should check the airflow distance for ensuring the appliance distributes and circulates cold air evenly and to the maximum distance.

Operational modes

All air conditioners come with two common operational modes, cool and fan. In cooling mode, the appliance lowers the temperature by compressing the air flowing through its evaporator coil while the fan distributes cold air at varying speeds. If you switch an air conditioner to fan mode, the cooling function will stop temporarily, and only the fan will operate to maintain the temperature. Some products feature a sleep mode where the cooling unit will read the room temperature and alter compression accordingly.

For example, the cooling unit will work faster to reduce heat if the ambient temperature is high. It will also adjust automatically for lower temperatures. If you want to use an air conditioner during the winter season, make sure it has a dehumidifying or heating mode. When an AC is used as a dehumidifier, it reduces the moisture level while lowering the air temperature to a preset value. On the other hand, when you operate the product in heating mode, it will warm the air, offering you relief from the chilly winter months.

Noise levels

Air conditioners have a motor for circulating air within the cooling coil while the inverter compresses air and reduces the temperature. Both these components make sounds when active. So, if you don’t want an air conditioner to disturb your sleep or distract you from work, choose a product that operates within a noise range of 42-56 dB.

Energy consumption

Different air conditioners have varying energy consumption ratings. If you mistakenly choose a product without an energy-efficient design, you’ll end up with high utility bills. The overall efficiency of a product will also be reduced with greater energy consumption. So, you should check whether the product consumes electricity efficiently. Go for a product with a DC inverter unit, it will operate at varying speeds according to the air temperature and prevent excess energy consumption.

Control

Most air conditioners come with remotes letting you control them from your bed, couch, or anywhere else, provided you are within the sensor’s range. Since a remote won’t function if you are out of the range, you can opt for an air conditioner with a smart control feature. You can connect it with your phone through an app and control its operations over a WiFi network. A smart AC unit will also allow you to use voice control via integration with Alexa, Google Assistant, and more. You can also find models with a LED control panel with buttons and indicators for adjusting different settings easily.

Filters

Most air conditioners are equipped with removable filters so that you can take them out and wash them. This enhances their longevity and releases blocked filtration pores.

Factors determining the price of an air conditioner

The price range of the air conditioners varies from $162.96-$459, depending on a wide range of factors. These include:

  • If your chosen air conditioner has smart controls like WiFi connectivity or an advanced DC inverter, its price will be much higher than with regular products.

  • Window-mounted air conditioners are usually less-pricey than freestanding models.

  • If your chosen air conditioner has multiple operational modes, the cost will increase more than a product featuring only cool and fan modes.

Maintaining an air conditioner for greater efficiency and longevity

Unless you maintain your air conditioner properly, it won't be able to deliver outstanding, or even standard, performance. You can follow the tips mentioned below to learn about AC maintenance.

  • Make sure to remove dust filters twice a month for washing. This will eliminate the accumulated dust and improve the overall functionality of an AC unit

  • It helps if you don’t leave any windows open while using an air conditioner, it forces the unit to consume more energy to lower a room’s temperature.

  • If you suddenly start hearing whirring sounds coming from an air conditioner, switch it off without any delay and get help from a professional

  • Always switch off the appliance when it’s not in use so that no transient currents can flow through the circuit and increase your utility bills

People also asked

Q: Can I keep a freestanding air conditioner near a door?

A: You can keep freestanding air conditioners near a door, but only if you can arrange a drainage system for the water expelled during the cooling process.

Q: Will I be able to operate the air conditioner’s cool and fan modes together?

A: Yes, you can operate an air conditioner in cool and fan mode. But make sure to adjust the fan speed and cooling temperature properly to reduce excess energy consumption.

Q: Can I connect an air conditioner to a battery source?

A: No, you cannot connect an air conditioner to a battery source. Only plug the electrical cord into a DC power outlet.