Best Smallest Window Air Conditioners – 2021 Review

The summers are getting hotter with each passing year, and if you live in a small apartment with tiny windows, you know how high the temperatures can get.

That small rattling fan in the corner just won't cut it.

The good news is – you can get a small window air conditioner for your home to cool you off.

Comparison of the Best Smallest Window Air Conditioners

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Easy to install in the window space
  • LED Display is very easy to read and use
  • Easy to use remote control included
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  • Up to 260 square feet of cooling area
  • You have 3fan speeds and 3 cooling levels
  • Comes with an energy saving option included
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  • Best for the Money
  • Up to 150 square feet of cooling area
  • LED Display is very easy to read and use
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  • More than just one operating mode
  • Up to 6000 Btu output capacity
  • Very easy to use controls for easy operating option
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  • Anti-bacterial filter for better safety
  • Easy to fit into the window space
  • Strong and durable lightweight construction
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How to Choose a Window Air Conditioner

That being said, there are three main factors you need to consider when choosing an AC.

Window Dimensions

While the type of AC you get for your home depends on several factors, including your space's size, one of the most important things you need to consider is the height and width of your window.

Older homes tend to have smaller windows that won't fit standard air conditioners. You need to find an AC that's designed to fit without having to do a mini-remodel.

Power – What Size Window Air Conditioner Do I Need?

The power of an AC is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). It's a measure of how much (heat) energy is being moved around.

In this case, it tells you what an AC's cooling capacity is.  Most small window air conditioners usually have a BTU rating of 4,000-6,000. That's ideal for cooling spaces between 150 and 300 square feet.

Energy Efficiency

You also need to consider its Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). This will have a direct impact on how much you spend on your electricity bill.

To get the EER, simply divide the unit's cooling capacity (BTUs) by its power input (Watts). The higher the figure, the more energy-efficient the AC is.

Review of the Smallest Window Air Conditioners

We've reviewed the top ACs on the market specifically designed for small windows. Here's what we found.

Best Overall:
Keystone KSTAW05BE

Keystone 5,000 BTU Window Mounted Air Conditioner | Follow Me LCD Remote Control | Sleep Mode | 24H Timer | Auto-Restart | AC for Rooms up to 150 Sq. Ft | KSTAW05BE, 5000, White

PROS

  • Easy to install
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Comes with a remote control
  • Has multiple energy-saving features
  • Cools a room in a relatively short period

CONS

  • Vents only move from side to side
  • Blows "spring-breeze-cool" not "arctic-cold" air

What Recent Buyers Report

Many users indicate that this particular appliance's 5,000 BTU rating is enough to cool a room up to 150 square feet. The vents only move from side to side, so it may not be ideal if you're looking for a unit with vents that move up and down.

Nonetheless, most buyers were pleased with its performance, stating that it cools a small room in less than 1.5 hours.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Keystone window-mounted air conditioner is of the best performing products in the small AC category.

We especially like the temperature-sensing remote control it comes with. It allows you to conveniently see and set your desired room temperature without having to walk across the room to do it. Now, that's something you don't often see with small window ACs in this category.

It also comes with several energy-saving features, including a "sleep mode" and a programmable 24-hour timer that you can set to power off the system when nobody's home. Its quiet operation is a definite bonus.

Bottom Line

The Keystone AC delivers outstanding value for the money. Its multiple energy-saving features and remote control capability make it one of the top small window cooling systems we've encountered. It's worth the buy.

Runner-up:
LG LW6017R

LG 6,000 BTU 115V Window Air Conditioner with Remote Control, 6000, White

PROS

  • Quiet operation
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Compact and lightweight for small windows
  • Comes with a thermostat to power it on/off as required based on a preset temperature
  • Has an anti-corrosion coating to provide a protective shield against the elements

CONS

  • May require Styrofoam to prop it up to minimize vibration
  • The current timer-mode and fan speed settings only display briefly on the LED before blinking off

What Recent Buyers Report

Many users like how quiet it is, which is something you don't often get with small 6,000-BTU ACs. It does a pretty decent job cooling down a small apartment.

Several buyers particularly like the thermostat feature. It lets you set the AC to your desired temperature, and it does all the work for you to maintain the room at that temperature.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The LG LW6017R is a top contender for the number one spot when it comes to small but surprisingly-powerful window cooling systems. It has three cooling settings and an auto cool feature for added convenience.

The fact that this 6,000 BTU AC can cool a room up to 260 square-feet is quite impressive for an appliance its size. We particularly like how energy-efficient it is thanks to its Energy Save feature and the 24-hour on/off timer.

The full-function remote it comes with is a nice touch.

Bottom Line

Overall, the performance of the LG is outstanding when compared to other ACs in its class. The thermostat, in particular, is a brilliant energy-saving feature. It makes cooling a small apartment quite easy. The best part is – it does all this quietly.

Best for the Money:
Amana AMAP050BW

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

PROS

  • 8-way directional vents
  • Great value for the money
  • Comes with remote control
  • Excellent dehumidification capability
  • Has a removable and washable air filter

CONS

  • Looks dated with no digital displays
  • Slightly noisier than higher-end models

What Recent Buyers Report

Most users are pretty happy with the performance of this appliance. It easily fits into the smallest of windows and does a decent job cooling small apartments. While it may not be the quietest of ACs, it's certainly not as noisy as some other units in its price range.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you're looking for a small window cooling system that delivers outstanding value for the money, you can't go wrong with the Amana AMAP050BW. At its price, this AC packs a punch when it comes to all the amazing features it comes with.

Its 5,000 BTU rating allows it to cool a 150 square-foot apartment in about an hour. Another great feature about it is – it also dehumidifies the space. This makes it quite popular among individuals with allergies.

It also has a washable air filter that you can remove and replace for convenient maintenance.

Bottom Line

Overall, the Amana is a total game-changer in the affordable air conditioner market. Its dual-speed mechanical rotary controls, as well as the eight-way directional vent louvers, work like a charm to cool your living space in any direction you want.

The fact that it also comes with a remote is a bonus. For a basic AC, it's certainly worth the money.

Editor's Pick:
MIDEA EasyCool MAW06R1BWT

Midea 6,000 BTU EasyCool Window Air Conditioner, Dehumidifier and Fan - Cool, Circulate and Dehumidify up to 250 Sq. Ft., Reusable Filter, Remote Control

PROS

  • Easy installation process
  • Quick cool-down process
  • Offers 3-in-1 air conditioning functionality
  • Comes with several energy-saving features
  • Unique Sleep Mode feature adjusts the temperature to align with your body's natural sleep cycle

CONS

  • Not ideal for aluminum-framed windows
  • Doesn't have any holes for water to flow out, which can be problematic for users in humid climates

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyer's reports on this particular cooling system have been overwhelmingly positive. They love how easy it is to install and how fast it cools down a 250 square-foot space.

Some users indicate that it achieves the desired temperature in a room in under an hour, which is pretty impressive by small-window-AC standards. The fact that it is also a major energy saver is partly why it's such a hit among users.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The MIDEA EasyCool MAW06R1BWT has to be one of the most feature-rich ACs we've come across in a long time. Every aspect of its design is well-thought-out to deliver optimal performance at every turn.

From its three-in-one technology that combines fan-only, dehumidification, and air conditioning modes to its 6,000 BTU fast-cooling capability, the folks at MIDEA certainly know what they're doing.

It comes with a remote control that allows you to program your unit conveniently from the other side of the room and unique energy saving modes like EcoSave and SleepWell, to reduce your carbon footprint. This will save you loads of cash on your electricity bills.

Bottom Line

All in all, this three-in-one air conditioning system excels in every aspect of its performance. It cools down small to medium-sized spaces fairly quickly while saving a ton of energy in the process. It's a definite winner in our books.

Honorable Mention:
Frigidaire FFRA0511U1

5000 BTU Window Air Conditioner, Mechanical Controls

PROS

  • Quick and easy to install
  • Has a classic appeal to it
  • Air conditioning and dehumidifying capability
  • Ideal for tiny windows and small-medium-sized spaces
  • Comes with a removable and washable air filter for convenient maintenance

CONS

  • Slightly noisy
  • No remote control

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the buyers report being quite pleased with the overall performance of the appliance. It is easy to install and cools small to medium spaces relatively quickly.

A few users reported feeling disappointed that the unit didn't come with remote control, although many didn't seem to mind. It is slightly on the noisier side, but not enough of a nuisance to keep you up at night.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Frigidaire FFRA0511U1 Air Conditioner is an amazing piece of ingenuity. First off, we love how it looks. It renders a sort of classic appeal to a space that we just can't get enough of.

Its beauty isn't skin-deep, though. This 5,000 BTU unit can quickly cool down a 150 square-foot space in a relatively short period. We especially like the fact that it comes with a removable and washable filter that's quite easy to clean, which makes maintenance a breeze. The dehumidifier it comes with is also a nice touch.

Bottom Line

As far as performance goes, the Frigidaire AC is pretty decent. While it may not be the most energy-efficient cooling system we've encountered, its affordable price-point more than makes-up for this fact.

Other than that, it exhibits outstanding cooling and dehumidifying performance. If you're in the market for a basic yet durable air conditioner, this unit is an excellent choice.

How Long Does a Window Air Conditioner Last?

Small window air conditioners are surprisingly sturdy despite their size. It makes sense since they have fewer moving parts and are generally very low-maintenance. With proper care and annual servicing to keep them in good working condition, most units can last up to 25 years.

If your unit isn't cooling your home as it should, first troubleshoot it before replacing it entirely. It could be something as simple as replacing the seal around the unit to prevent warm air from getting in. Even a dirty filter can cause your air conditioner to malfunction.

If there's still warm air coming from your AC, it might point to a compressor problem, in which case, it makes sense to buy a new unit if your existing one is out of warranty.

Keystone KSTAW05BE

Are All Window Air Conditioners the Same?

Different ACs come in different sizes. However, the physical size of a unit is not an indicator of its power and efficiency. The LG LW6017R and the Amana AMAP050BW, for instance, are both designed to fit small windows.

However, LG has a slightly higher BTU rating than the Amana, which means it can cool spaces as big as 250 square feet. In terms of energy-efficiency, the Amana would use up less power to do it. Pick an air conditioner based on the size of the space you want to cool.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

When reading through this review, it's important to do the necessary due diligence before settling on a particular product to buy. Here are some important aspects you need to keep in mind when choosing the best AC for your needs.

Features and Specs

Not all ACs are created equal. Some are just basic cooling systems, while others come with additional capabilities like dehumidification and fan-only modes. Naturally, models with more functionality tend to be priced higher than those with a single purpose.

The same thing applies to energy-saving features. Cheaper ACs don't usually come with programmable timers, Sleep Mode, and other features designed to cut down on your energy costs.

Make sure the specific unit you settle for has all the features you desire in a cooling system.

Noise

Keep in mind that all small window air conditioners will generate some level of noise. That's a given. It's more a question of – how much?

A good measure of how loud an AC is would be whether the noise it generates is enough to keep you up at night. Anything above 35dB would be too loud. More often than not, it's a tradeoff between price and noise.

Consumer Reviews

While we've highlighted what recent buyers had to say about their experience with the product, we encourage you to find as many consumer reviews as possible from individuals who've already tried and tested the ACs in our guide.

Keep in mind that although you'll inevitably come across some negative reviews, you'll need to compare these against the number of positive reviews. If more than 70 percent of the buyers give the product a four-star rating and up, then you know it's a pretty solid choice.

Window AC Safety – Notes to Remember

Installing a small window air conditioner falls within the capability of any DIY-er. Nonetheless, here are some tips to get the job done safely.

Assess Your Windows

Not all windows are suited for air conditioners. Most of them are designed for double-hung windows, meaning they have two operating panes that move up and down to allow ventilation from the top, bottom, or both.

Sliding windows that tilt outwards to open or the sliding ones that move from side to side are not ideal for these types of ACs.

Don't Use an Extension Cord

Use an electrical outlet that's close enough to the window for you to connect your AC plug directly. Using an extension cord could not only void your warranty, but it also presents a potential fire hazard if it's not rated for home appliances.

Get Someone to Help You

If you're installing a window AC in your home for the first time, don't attempt to do it on your own. These appliances typically weigh anywhere between 50 and 100 pounds, so it can be quite difficult to hold them in place while securing them with screws.

Get someone to help you to avoid injuring yourself.

Conclusion

Before you despair that your attic or apartment window is too small for an air conditioner, the good news is, there's an AC for virtually any window size in existence – even the tiniest ones.

Any of the cooling systems we've reviewed in this guide are the very best the market has to offer. Now is as good a time as any to begin your path towards a cooler summer.

People Also Ask

Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by consumers when it comes to all-things window ACs.

What Size Window Air Conditioner Do I Need?

Before you go off and buy the next AC you come across, the first step involves checking for the dimensions of the inner part of the window that you intend to mount the cooling system on. You need to get an air conditioner that fits snuggly into this space.

Moreover, check that the BTU rating of the unit you get can sufficiently cool your living space. Anything in the 5,000-6,000 BTU range is ideal for a 150-250 square-foot space.

How Does a Window Air Conditioner Work?

When you power on the appliance, the blower sucks in the air in the room. The air then passes over cold refrigerant coils before being blown back into the room to bring the temperatures down. This cycle continues until the room reaches the desired temperature.

How Many Amps Does a Window Air Conditioner Use?

It depends on the size of the unit in question. Small window ACs are a lot more energy-efficient than their larger counterparts. Standard window air conditioners with a power rating of between 10,000-18,000 BTUs draw between 11 and 20 Amps.

How Many Amps Does a Small Window AC Unit Use?

Small window cooling systems with a power rating of between 5,000-8,000 BTS draw 5-7 Amps of electrical current. This is about 50 percent of standard-sized units.

How Many Watts Does a Window Air Conditioner Use?

Standard window air conditioners with a power rating of 10,000-18,000 BTUs use 1250W-2250W, respectively.

How Many Watts Does a Small Window AC Use?

Small ACs with a power rating of 5,000-8,000 BTUs, use 417W-1000W respectively.

How Much Is a Window Air Conditioner?

The price of a window AC varies depending on its specifications and features. Multiple functionalities and higher BTUs also tend to drive up the price. Most small window air conditioners run anywhere between $185 and $333.

What Causes a Window Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?

The most common cause of AC units icing up is inadequate airflow. If the air sucked in by the blower doesn't flow over the cold refrigerant coils fast enough, frost and ice begin to form.

To stop this from happening, ensure you clean the air filter regularly to maintain smooth airflow.

How to Quiet a Noisy Window Air Conditioner

Your best bet would be to check the internal components and tighten any loose parts. Also, make sure all panel screws are secure.

If it's the vibration from the AC that's causing rattling against the window, consider using a weather seal to cushion the surface of the air conditioner to minimize the noise. You could also use Styrofoam to prop it up.

If you have an older AC model and none of the techniques we've mentioned work, consider replacing it with a newer, quieter model.