Best Window Air Conditioners – 2020 Report

Summer is usually fun, but not when it feels like you’re having a steam bath right in your living room. A window air conditioner can provide the comfort you need throughout the hot weather.

This comprehensive guide will help you to choose the best window AC for your cooling needs.

Comparison of the Best Window Air Conditioners

  • Very low operating noise of around 50 dB
  • Louvers automatically oscillate for better air distribution
  • Easy front access filter for low maintenance
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  • Easily cool a large 550 square feet floor area
  • As high as 12000 Btu maximum cooling power
  • Made with a strong construction for improved durability
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  • Best for the Money
  • Made from durable materials to last longer
  • Easily direct the air in 8 different ways
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  • Quietest Window Air Conditioner
  • Up to 4 modes to use with this unit
  • Energy saver compliant to be safe to use
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  • Best Window Air Conditioner With Heat
  • Filters are washable and very easy to keep clean
  • Simple selection controls and LED display for easy reading
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  • Best 10000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
  • Will cool down a large room in only a few minutes
  • Easy to vent air with adjustable vents
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  • Best Window Air Conditioner For Large Room
  • Very high maximum cooling capacity of 25000 Btu
  • Energy Star complaints to safe on energy and your money
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What Size Window Air Conditioner Do I Need? 

Window AC units come in different sizes, and choosing the right one for your space is crucial.  A unit that’s too small won’t adequately cool your room, and one that’s too large will alternate between running at full speed and tripping off too often. This consumes more energy and also makes the room damp.

Choosing the most suitable window AC size starts by figuring out how many BTUs you need.

How Many BTUs Do I Need?

First, you need to determine the room’s square footage by multiplying its length by the width. Now, use the chart below to find how many BTUs suit your cooling needs.

Window AC BTU Chart

Most air conditioners have a cooling capacity ranging from 5,000 to 12,500 British Thermal Units. Most air conditioner units need 20 BTUs per square foot of living space. To help find the right air conditioner size for your needs, please refer to the Window AC BTU chart below.

How to Choose a Window Air Conditioner

Window air conditioners come with a wide range of features, including fancy and basic options. Consider choosing a model with some or all of these useful options.

Energy Saver Mode

The energy saver or econ mode automatically turns off the fan when the AC reaches certain temperatures, and the compressor goes off.

Using your air conditioner in this mode reduces power consumption.


A timer lets you program the duration for the air conditioner and when it should power on or off.

The timer option offers the benefit of conserving energy in fairly warm weather. Instead of letting the unit run all day when you are in, you can set the AC to power on shortly before you get home using the timer.

Sleep Mode

The sleep mode automatically increases the user-set temperature slightly at intervals until it gets to a certain degree.

This feature prevents the room from getting too cold, even when the outside temperature dips at night.


You can control your AC using an app if the unit comes with Wi-Fi connectivity.

Wi-Fi makes it easy to avoid wasting energy when you are not at home by turning the unit on or off remotely through the app.

Frigidaire FFRA1011R1

Review of the Best Window Air Conditioners 

Having many options to choose from is a good thing, except it might be a bit overwhelming. This part of the guide will present you with some of the best window air conditioners currently on the market.

Best Overall:
Frigidaire FFRA1011R1

Frigidaire FFRA1011R1 10,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner with Mechanical Controls


  • Operates quietly at 58.8 dBA
  • 3 different fan speeds with two knob controls
  • Small-sized window air conditioner, weighing only 67 lbs
  • 10,000 BTU capacity, suitable for cooling medium to slightly larger rooms
  • Efficient airflow for cooling and heating, plus an hourly decrease in indoor humidity


  • Poor handling and packaging
  • No specific temperature setting

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers say it works great even for rooms of up to 1,200 square feet.  However, some customers point out poor packaging or handling, as many of the units arrive with physical defects. Overall, more users agree that the product meets their cooling needs, and its lightweight makes for easy installation.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Frigidaire FFRA1011R1 comes with an eight-way air direction, a useful feature for circulating cool or warm air evenly around the room, depending on users’ preference.

It takes the lead as the overall best window AC on our list because of its overall simple design. There is no steep learning curve to operate this AC.

The product’s dehumidification capability is equally impressive. It does a great job of getting rid of 2.27 pint of water from the room’s atmosphere every hour. That’s a huge plus, especially during the hot seasons.

Cleaning is hassle-free, thanks to the tilt-out filter access.

Bottom Line

This AC has the advantage of size and weight. It’s a great fit for those with a small space of around 400 to 450 square feet. Although it has multiple fan speeds, it lacks digital controls for setting precise temperatures.

Friedrich Chill Series CP12G10B

Friedrich Chill Series Window Air Conditioner | 12,000 BTU | CP12G10B model


  • Operates quietly even on the highest fan setting
  • Digital control allows for accurate temperature setting
  • Evenly distributes cool air across a 550-square-foot room
  • Quick and easy temperature adjustments with remote control
  • Has Energy Star rating, plus can run on “money saver” mode for energy efficiency


  • Slightly heavier model
  • Control panel cover is flimsy

What Recent Buyers Report

Many customers are happy with their purchase, but a good number say the installation instructions are poor, and the control panel’s cover comes off easily.

Others like that the unit operates quietly, but it is difficult to figure out the noise level before purchasing without a dB listing.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This 12,000 BTU 115v window AC from Friedrich comes with quite some useful features, including a 24-hour timer that lets you program when the unit turns on and off.

It runs on four different modes, including cool, fan, dehumidifies, and money saver. This model operates quietly even when the compressor kicks in at full blast. 

The AutoAir Sweep louvers, together with the three cooling speeds and four-way airflow control, ensure adequate air distribution to cover areas of up to 550 square feet.

The power cord can run from both sides, eliminating worries about where to install the unit.

Bottom Line

This option looks great on windows and can fit in thru-wall installations. At 87 lbs, the unit is quite heavy. If you don’t mind the weight, though, the CP12G10B is energy efficient and has great features for ease of use.

Best for the Money:
Amana AMAP050BW

Amana 5,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Air Conditioner with Mechanical Controls, White


  • 5,000 BTU suitable for rooms up to 150 square feet
  • Easy to mount and comes with complete window mounting kit
  • Relatively small and incredibly lightweight weighs only 39.70 lbs
  • Simple and cute design makes for stress-free routine maintenance
  • Significantly low-cost cooling option with an effective dehumidifier


  • Louder than other models
  • Doesn’t have remote control

What Recent Buyers Report

More people seem to like the AMAP050BW’s cooling capability considering its relatively small size and low price tag. Even those who don’t consider themselves handy say the unit is easy to install.

There are a few concerns about high noise levels. This is true, especially for people who sleep light.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Amana AMAP050BW is not only a highly affordable window air conditioner, but it is also a superb option when it comes to cutting down energy bills, earning it the best window AC for the money on this list.

 But don’t mistake affordability for being cheap. The window-mount AC performs exceptionally well for a unit its size. It comes with two cooling modes, 1.06-pint dehumidification per hour, and eight-way directional louvers blow air where you need it.

We like that it has a “clean filter” light that lets you know when it’s time to wash the removable air filter.

Bottom Line

Consider this product if you want to cool a small apartment or home. It easily wins when it comes to affordability, giving you the most bang for your buck. Keep the weaknesses in mind, too, if you choose this model.

Quietest Window Air Conditioner:
Haier ESAQ406P Serenity Series

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  • 6,000 BTU for cooling areas up to 250 square feet
  • Feature-rich model with four different operating modes
  • Lightweight window air conditioner with a compact design
  • Highly-effective cross-flow fan provides smoother and stronger airflow
  • Third-party confirms model is quieter than similar products with the same BTU


  • Possible issues with durability
  • Auto-cool mode slightly noisy

What Recent Buyers Report

Many customers report that the decibel level of the ESAQ406P model is simply awesome, letting them sleep soundly or study without distracting noises.

However, some buyers report that the auto-cool mode is not very quiet. Also, some notice rattling noise when the unit comes on, but it goes away eventually.

Why it Stands Out to Us

From Haier comes this amazing lightweight cooling machine that works well for rooms of up to 250 square feet. It comes with a highly-effective compressor blanket to reduce noise.

The AC’s sound level is so low that you will hardly notice it is on, making it an excellent choice for the bedroom. Even when the fans and motor kicks in, you can carry on normal conversations without noticing that the unit is on.

It combines fan, energy saver, cool, and dehumidify modes to offer more comfort. The full-function LED remote control makes for convenient temperature adjustment from across the room.

Bottom Line

Not all air conditioners are suitable for light sleepers, but the ESAQ406P from Haier’s serenity line is worth a shot. Plus, it won’t burn a hole in the pocket for the initial purchase and the recurring energy bills.

Best Window Air Conditioner With Heat:
Frigidaire FFRH0822R1

FRIGIDAIRE 8,000 BTU Window-Mounted Room Air Conditioner with Supplemental Heat


  • Easy-to-clean washable air filter
  • Fits window sizes ranging from 26 to 36 inches
  • Impressive overall performance, better than major competitors
  • Relatively quiet operation during cooling and heating, ideal for bedrooms
  • 8,000 BTU cooling capacity with supplemental 3,500 BTU heating capacity, and 7,000 BTU heat pump


  • Significantly heavy unit
  • Energy saver mode not effective

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers seem to enjoy the dual function of Frigidaire’s reliable window AC and heater. They especially like that the unit doesn’t make loud sounds both during heating or cooling, making it a great choice for the bedroom.

However, some customers report that the energy saver mode performs below expectations.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Entry number five on our list is a dual-purpose, brilliant machine suitable for rooms of up to 350 square feet. It cools, dehumidifies, and provides heating during colder months.

You can control airflow in eight different directions, schedule up to 24-hours on/off timer, and enjoy three cooling speeds with one heat speed.

A check-filter indicator light flashes to let you know when the air filter is due for a cleaning or requires replacement.

The full-function remote control of this model is exceptional. It is stylish and has a long-range that lets the user adjust settings from anywhere in the room.

Bottom Line

Frigidaire’s window AC with heat pump is worth checking out, especially for people living in four-season areas. It might not perform exceptionally when running on the energy saver mode, but overall, it does an excellent job of cooling and heating.

Best 10000 BTU Window Air Conditioner:

Midea 10,000 BTU EasyCool Window Air Conditioner, Dehumidifier and Fan - Cool, Circulate and Dehumidify up to 450 Sq. Ft., Reusable Filter, Remote Control


  • Removes moisture from indoor air
  • Adjustable switch near the vent for fresh air
  • 10,000 BTU provides fast cooling for rooms up to 450 square feet
  • Easy to install without major modifications to the existing window frame
  • Remote control for adjusting all settings on the LED digital display panel


  • A bit noisy
  • Not suitable for aluminum-framed windows

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers report that the unit installs easily and comes with the complete hardware set for the job. Many customers say the model cools down their fairly-sized apartments rather quickly and are generally happy with its overall performance.

A few buyers report that the instruction manual leaves out very useful information.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This model is exceptional when it comes to eco-friendly construction. It automatically shuts down once it attains a set temperature, thanks to the EcoSave functionality. This is beneficial to the environment and saves you money on energy bills.

The sleep mode function auto-adjusts the temperature to match your body’s natural sleep cycle. With the 24-hour timer, you can sync the unit with your schedule to turn on when you are at home and switch off when you leave for work.

The price tag is surprisingly affordable, considering its capacity. But to make things even better, Midea offers great deals periodically.

Bottom Line

If you have a fairly large room that needs cooling down with a 3-in1 window AC, the MIDEA EasyCool MAW10R1BWT is worth considering. You get a fan, air conditioner, and a dehumidifier all for the price of one unit.

Best Window Air Conditioner for Large Room:
Frigidaire FFRE253WAE

FRIGIDAIRE Energy Star 25,000 BTU 230V Window-Mounted Heavy-Duty Air Conditioner with Full-Function Remote Control, White


  • Runs quietly at 58.2 dBA
  • Allows for fresh airflow with washable filter
  • Capable of maintaining preset temperature
  • Consumes far less energy than standard ACs, significantly cutting down electric bills
  • 25,000 BTU rating provides exceptionally fast cooling for large areas of up to 1,600 square feet


  • A bit expensive
  • Only works with 230v outlet

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers seem to mostly agree that this is one of the best window AC units for cooling down larger rooms, and it does so within a few minutes.

The price tag might be slightly high, but customers are happy with its cost-effectiveness as it significantly lowers their power bill.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are too many reasons for adding this model to our list. Besides its apparent large capacity, it comes with a clean air ionizer that removes contaminants from indoor air, leaving you with cool, clean air.

But that’s not all. It can dehumidify up to 8 pints per hour, eliminating dampness from your room.

The AC offers three fan speeds and can operate in energy saver mode and sleep mode with a 24-hour programmable on/off timer.

Its full-functional remote control lets you precisely adjust fan speed and temperature settings on the unit’s digital control panel from across the room.

Bottom Line

It is usually best to install one efficient AC unit to cool large areas than several smaller units. The FFRE253WAE air conditioner, with its many useful features, easily ranks as one of the best heavy-duty window air-cons for large rooms.

Best Small Window Air Conditioner:
LG LW6017R

LG 6,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner, 115V, Cools 250 Sq.Ft. for Bedroom, Den, Living Room, Quiet Operation, with Remote, 2 Cooling & Fan Speeds, 2-Way Air Deflection, Auto Restart, White


  • Adequately cools areas of up to 260 square feet
  • Compact build, extremely lightweight (only 39.6 lbs)
  • 2-way air direction for moving cool air to right or left
  • Comes complete with installation kit for quick and painless set up
  • Full-function remote control for convenient temperature adjustment


  • Louder than similar units
  • Vent not quite satisfactory

What Recent Buyers Report

This 6,000 BTU window AC unit is popular with buyers and for good reasons. First, it comes at an affordable price, and many people find its small size and cooling power satisfactory.

Apart from recommending the product, some customers are so happy with their purchase they’re willing to buy another unit.

Why it Stands Out to Us

While there are numerous small window AC units, the LW6017R is in a class of its own. It comes with anti-corrosion LG patented gold fins to keep the air conditioner in good shape for a long time.

It removes up to 1.8 pints of moisture from your room’s air every hour, providing you with a cool, dry breeze. Energy saver function with three fan speeds and a 24-hour timer provide varying levels of flexibility.

Many ACs of this size do not have a remote control, but this one does. You can adjust all the settings from the device across the room.

Bottom Line

You might want to take a look at this amazing little unit if you are in the market for a small window AC to keep your room cool all day. Its multiple modes offer flexible cooling while saving you money.

Best 15000 BTU Window Air Conditioner:
TCL 15W3E1-A

TCL 15W3E1-A Home Series Window Air Conditioner, 15,000 BTU, White


  • Long power cord provides a better plug option
  • Plugs into an affordable and standard 115v outlet
  • Significantly quick to set up and a breeze to install
  • Remote control includes all functions for superior convenience
  • Eco mode and sleep mode keeps energy cost low without compromising efficiency


  • Might be slightly noisy
  • Possible issues with condensation

What Recent Buyers Report

The TCL 15W3E1-A enjoys plenty of praises from customers for its excellent build, cooling efficiency, and great value. Most buyers find TLC’s customer service very helpful.

Some buyers note the long range of the remote control. However, a handful of people seem to experience problems with the unit’s internal condensation.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This TCL AC unit adequately covers every nook and cranny in areas of up to 700 square feet. Its multi-directional louvers ensure that indoor air moves in eight different directions, so users don’t have to be directly in front of the air conditioner to enjoy the cool breeze.

The eco mode automatically turns off the compressor when the room attains your ideal temperature. In case of power failure, the air conditioner will auto-restart with all previous settings intact.

Like some other great models, it features a filter-cleaning light that lets users know when it is time to clean the air filter.

Bottom Line

You might want to consider this option from TLC if you want an exceptional window AC to cool a fairly large space. Although it has a 15,000 BTU rating, it won’t break the bank even if you’re on a budget.

Best 12000 BTU Window Air Conditioner:

LG 12,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner, 115V, Cools 550 Sq.Ft. for Bedroom, Living Room, Apartment, Quiet Operation, Electronic Control with Remote, 3 Cooling & Fan Speeds, Auto Restart, White


  • Slide-out filter for quick routine cleaning
  • Operates quietly at 52 dBA even at full blast
  • Solid build quality, stylish and modern with feature-rich design
  • Energy Star rating with energy saver mode for moderate cooling
  • Cools down room temperature incredibly fast (up to 550 square feet)


  • Significantly heavy unit
  • Requires a professional to install

What Recent Buyers Report

The pulse from many customers shows a general satisfaction with the product’s efficiency and ease of use. Many people also think it is a good bargain considering its size and capacity.

The major complaint about the LG LW1216ER is the installation difficulty. Assembling the parts takes quite an effort.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Out of many 12,000 BTU window AC units, this model offers one of the quietest operations. But we didn’t choose it only for its low noise levels. It does a superb job of dehumidifying indoor air, too.

Other noteworthy functions include a 24-hour programmable timer for setting up on/off times, three fan speeds to adjust airflow, and a four-way air deflection for directing air up, down, right, and left.

The digital control panel with remote control makes for convenient temperature adjustments. The product comes with a 1-year warranty covering the parts and labor, just in case something goes wrong.

Bottom Line

This LG window AC unit is an excellent choice with lots of useful features for efficient cooling of medium-sized areas. It is dependable, operates quietly, cools very quickly, and comes at an unbeatable price for similar models in its category.

Pros and Cons of Window Air Conditioners

Here are the main pros of the window air conditioners:


1. Finding a window AC is not difficult because they are popular options. Their popularity also means the prices are highly competitive. It is not uncommon to find deals if you take some time to look around.

2. There is no need to empty or monitor the water coming from the unit. It drains to the exterior on its own.

3. Window air conditioners are usually highly efficient because of their mode of operation. They push interior warm or hot air outside to cool inside the room. Plus, the units tend to have relatively low noise output.

4. They are generally easy to install and can fit into windows or holes in the wall. They work excellently for small to medium-sized spaces.

It has some drawbacks too:


1. Perhaps one of the biggest concerns of these options is the security risk. The units are easy to rip out, and that could potentially give thieves access to your home.

2. They are not the best option for larger homes when it comes to energy-efficient models. You need to install several units if you have plenty of rooms or a bigger space. Multiple units will also increase energy consumption and bill besides higher upfront costs.

Portable AC vs Window AC - Comparison Overview 


Window air conditioners are more difficult to move around and only suitable for standard wall openings or windows. On the flip side, portable options are highly mobile and a breeze to install in just about any location in the home.


The portable options are generally more expensive than window units of the same cooling capacity.


Energy-efficient window air conditioners (with Energy Star ratings) are more common to find than their portable AC counterparts.


Water drains from a window unit without intervention. Portable air conditioners have trays that collect water, which the user needs to empty regularly.

Venting Method

The exhaust vent in portable AC units attaches to windows, doors, or some other exterior opening in the home to vent hot air.

On the other hand, window units already have their vents out the window, so there is no need to rig a hose for hot air to find its way out.

Noise Level

Both options tend to generate varying noise levels, depending on the model. However, window units are generally noisier, especially when they rumble against shaky window sills. That’s not to say you won’t find portable air conditioners that are louder than the window types.

Frigidaire FFRE253WAE

How to Install a Window Air Conditioner 

Installing a window AC unit is not difficult if you know what to do. Start by choosing a window with a nearby outlet where the cord will plug into. Next, get a measuring tape, a pencil, and a screwdriver, and follow these steps:

1. Remove the unit from the box. Note that some units have sharp edges at the back, so be careful when you take them out.

2. Measure your window’s width. Mark the center using a pencil to ensure the unit properly aligns during installation.

3. Install a weatherstrip in your window if the unit comes with one.

4. Fit in the side panels and secure them with screws.

5. Lift and insert the unit into the window, making sure it is in the center. Even if you can do this yourself, this step works best if you have someone else to help you.

6. Screw in one or more L brackets that come with the unit to securely keep the window in place.

7. Attach the panels.

8. Plug in the cord and turn on the air conditioner.

Each product comes with specific instructions in the manual. Be sure to consult it before you start the installation.

How to Clean a Window Air Conditioner 

Window air conditioners require routine cleaning to perform optimally, especially if you live in a dirt-prone environment. Thankfully, the process is quite simple and easy, and you don’t even need to remove the unit from the wall.

First, you need to fill a spray bottle with warm water, add two to three drops of detergent, and you’re all set.

How to Clean a Window Air Conditioner Without Removing it

1. Turn off the air conditioner and disconnect it from the wall.

2. Remove the grill to access the air filter.

3. Slightly tap the air filter to remove heavy dust.

4. Spray the grill and air filter with soap water and lightly scrub with a brush before rinsing. Set them aside to dry.

5. Spray the unit with soap water, paying particular attention to the fins and coils. Gently scrub down the entire unit.

6. Wipe down with a paper towel or small cloth.

7. Go outside and repeat the same thing with the back of the unit.

8. Allow the air conditioner and all components to completely dry before reassembling.

Ensure good ventilation during routine cleaning. Remember to refer to your user’s manual for specific safety precautions.

Check out this video for a full overview of the steps above.


Choosing the best window air conditioner is not just about price tags and stylish designs. It requires careful consideration of features that meet your specific cooling needs.

The crucial factors to remember when you shop for a window-mounted air conditioner are your room’s dimension and the most suitable BTU ratings.

People Also Ask

Window air conditioners might not cost an arm and a leg, but they are not cheap. Like other investments, it is crucial to know what to expect before exchanging your hard-earned money for one. Here are some of the common questions and answers that can make your buying decision easier.

How Long Can You Leave a Window Air Conditioner Running?

A window air conditioner can run 24/7 without causing any damage to the components. However, an AC unit that keeps running all day will consume more energy and do a poor job of dehumidifying indoor air. Besides, nonstop operation contributes to excessive carbon emission, which is bad for the environment.

How Does a Window AC Work?

Typically, a window air conditioner draws in the room’s warm air and runs it over the internal evaporator coil or refrigerant. The process cools down the air by absorbing the heat. The cool air now flows into the room while the heat finds its way out through the unit’s back.

How Many Watts Does a Window AC Use?

The specific watts for air conditioners depend on several factors, including the unit’s model, age, size, and more. However, the general estimate for large models is 1440 watts, while the smallest types use about 500 watts. If you are considering a medium-sized unit, expect it to use roughly 900 watts.

How Many Amps Does a Window AC Use?

Typically, the amperage ratings for AC units range between 15 and 20 amps, with voltage ratings set at 115v, 125v, and 220v. 20 amps on a 220v circuit is the ideal electrical requirement to run larger air conditioners. Smaller units will work fine with a lower voltage on 15 amps.

How Much Does it Cost to Run a Window Air Conditioner?

As you would expect, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this. 


Wattage, usage, and the unit’s power and efficiency are some factors that can affect the overall running cost of a window air conditioner. Generally, you will likely spend an average of $40 to $100 yearly to run your AC.

How Long Does a Window Air Conditioner Last?

The average lifespan of a window AC is approximately 10 to 25 years. This number can change significantly depending on its maintenance. Other factors that can affect the unit’s life expectancy include the workload on the air conditioner and the location (install it away from direct sunlight for long-lasting performance).

Why Does My Window AC Freeze Up?

The most common reason for AC freezing up is insufficient airflow through the air filter. The evaporator coils can get too cold and collect ice when there’s a restriction of air circulation in the unit. Other possible causes include low refrigerant due to leakage and setting the temperature too low.

How to Measure a Window For Air Conditioner

A simple way to do this is to measure the length and width of the room you want to cool. Round the figures to whole numbers and multiply both numbers together to get the square footage. Divide the answer by 0.05 to get the number of BTUs for the room.

Why Does My Window AC Smell?

Usually, a combination of heat, dust, and water over a long time can result in musty smells. Drip trays can collect these elements and cause the unit to stink if there is no regular maintenance. A drainage problem can also lead to mildew growth on one or more internal components.

How to Vent a Portable Air Conditioner Without a Window

An easy way to do this is to vent the AC through a sliding door. A less common method is to rig the exhaust into a drop ceiling. You can also use a pet door if you have one. In any case, it is crucial to seal the entrance tightly.