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The Top 5 Best Window Air Conditioner Models for 2021

Posted by Jeff Allaire on Mar 2, 2021 8:15 AM
Jeff Allaire

Best Window Air Conditioner - Friedrich Chill Lifestyle Image


Looking for relief from summer heat and humidity? The window air conditioner is almost as common of an appliance as the toaster, and there are a lot of options to choose from. But if you're tired of buying "mystery brand" units that rattle and roar, guzzle electricity, and tend to die pretty quickly, then you might be interested in choosing a name brand for your next window AC. We've chosen products from Frigidaire, GE, LG, and specialty brand Friedrich to help you choose the best brand and model for your needs!

If you want to learn more about ACs, check out our air conditioner buying guide for more info!


Table of Contents

  1. Frigidaire FFRE053ZA1 (5,200 BTU)

  2. LG LW8017ERSM (8,000 BTU)

  3. GE AHY12LZ (12,000 BTU)

  4. Friedrich Chill Premier CCF06A10A (6,000 BTU)

  5. Friedrich Chill Premier CCF10A10A (10,000 BTU)


4 Quick Tips When Buying a New Window AC

  1. Pay attention to energy usage. The Energy Guide you'll find attached to any AC model shows how much the unit will cost you assuming you run it daily for 8 hours a day, 3 months of the year, at the national average cost per kWh of $0.13. Energy Star rated models are easy to find and will help reduce your electricity bill. You can also consider the CEER - the Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio. This differs depending on the type of AC, but for window models, it typically ranges from 9-12.4. Higher is better! Read more about AC energy efficiency here.

  2. Consider the settings and controls. The most basic models have mechanical dial controls, while more advanced models come with remote controls and include features like fan louvers that swivel automatically to sweep cool air across the room. If you plan to run your unit often or through the night, consider Energy Saver modes or a Sleep mode. 

  3. Look for decibel ratings to determine operation noise. Is your AC going into a bedroom? This tip is for you! Decibel ratings are objective measures of how loud something is. For example, 60 decibels is about how loud a conversation is, while rustling leaves is about 20 decibels. A 10-decibel increase means "double" the noise, so 60 decibels sounds twice as loud as 50 decibels. Window air conditioners can range from 40-70 decibels, but most are around 55-60. If you want something even quieter, consider a ductless mini split unit, since this design places the noisiest parts of the air conditioner further away from you!

  4. Know the BTU rating you need. BTUs, or British Thermal Units, describe how much heat your air conditioner can remove from the air in an hour. The room's square footage is the main consideration, but don't be afraid to go a little bigger if you have high ceilings, or the room is on an upper floor or gets a lot of sun. More info on choosing BTU ratings here!

Room Size (Square Feet)

BTUs Required











Learn more about buying a new air conditioner!






1. Frigidaire FFRE053ZA1 - 5,200 BTU - $229

Frigidaire is a top seller in window air conditioners, mainly because they're a well-established brand and offer low prices. When it comes to cooling a bedroom or small rooms up to 150 square feet, a 5,000 BTU air conditioner is perfect for this application. The Frigidaire FFRE053ZA1 has relatively modern styling and operates pretty quietly as well, ranging from 51 to 55 decibels depending on fan speed. 

This model comes with a remote control, an antibacterial mesh filter, an auto fan setting, and several other useful features. The 24-hour timer lets you program when you want the AC to run throughout the day, and Effortless temperature control allows the unit to maintain a set temperature in the room. Use Sleep Mode to save a little energy - the air conditioner will gradually increase the temperature over a few degrees in the evening. A clean filter alert lets you know when its time to wash the filter, and the automatic restart allows the unit to start up again after a power failure with the same settings it was running on previously.

If you're looking for an inexpensive air conditioner, Frigidaire meets this need while also providing a great warranty - one year on the full unit and five years on the sealed system (see manufacturer's warranty for details). Not sure if this is the right model for you? Check out our 6,000 BTU air conditioner reviews.


Basic Specs

  • Noise Rating: 51-55 dB

  • CEER: 12.1

  • Window Opening: 13.25" H x 22-36" W

  • Weight: 51 lbs

  • Energy Star rated: Yes

  • Estimated Yearly Energy Cost: $42

  • Dehumidify Rate: 1.4 pints/hr

  • Warranty: 1 year full, 5 years sealed system


Click here to read over 90 real customer reviews of this product!


Frigidaire FFRE053ZA1 - $229

Frigidaire FFRE053ZA1 Window Air Conditioner



2. LG LW8017ERSM - 8,000 BTU - $309

Next up is a larger BTU model ideal for rooms around 250-350 square feet, the LG LW8017ERSM. This Energy Star rated model is a popular one among the best window air conditioners. It comes with a remote control with a thermostat so the AC can maintain a set temperature in the room. It has three cooling levels and fan speeds with adjustable louvers, plus a 24 hour timer and Auto Restart in the event of a power outage.

If you're looking for smart technology, you should definitely consider this model. This Wi-Fi-enabled model lets you control your AC with your phone, thanks to LG's Smart ThinQ technology. Forget using a remote - you can control your AC from anywhere!

LG covers their ACs with a one year parts and labor warranty, so it's not quite as good as warranties from Frigidaire or Friedrich. If you want a non-smart model, you have options from LG! The brand is still rolling out their new air conditioner models for the summer. The LW8016ER was a popular non smart model that was discontinued for 2020. Compare more options in our 8,000 BTU air conditioner reviews.


Basic Specs

  • Noise Rating: 52-58 dB

  • CEER: 12

  • Window Opening: 14" H x 23-36" W

  • Weight: 58 lbs

  • Energy Star rated: Yes

  • Estimated Yearly Energy Cost: $65

  • Dehumidify Rate: 2.2 pints/hr

  • Warranty: 1 year full


Click here to read over 105 real customer reviews of this product!


LG LW8017ERSM - $309

LG LW8016ER Window Air Conditioner



3. GE AHY12LZ - 12,000 BTU - $449

Need something more powerful for 450-550 square feet? When it comes to air conditioners 12,000 BTU and up, something to watch out for is that more powerful models often require a 230V outlet, such as what you plug an electric stove into, rather than the normal 115V household outlet. Luckily, the GE AHY12LZ uses a 115V outlet while offering 12,000 BTUs of cooling power! It's also Energy Star rated and comes with an electronic digital thermostat and a remote.

The control panel displays the current room temperature or the time remaining on the Delay timer. You can choose from three cooling speeds and three fan speeds, and it has a 24 hour timer and adjustable louvers. Set the temperature and let the AC take care of the rest! There's also a clean filter indicator light as well. GE includes an EZ Mount window installation kit to help installation go smoothly. As air conditioners get more powerful, they also get heavier - this model is almost 70 pounds! The kit includes rails, gaskets, seals, side curtain foam, brackets, and screws.

This is an upgraded model for 2020 with a sleek new look compared to its predecessor, the AHM12AY (pictured below).

GE AHM12AY Window Air Conditioner

This new model has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, so you can control it with your phone using the GE SmartHQ app (available for iOS and Android). If you forgot to turn your AC off before leaving the house, never fear! You can use the app to shut it off remotely. So far, the app has 50,000+ installs, so although the 200-odd reviews are mostly negative, the vast majority of people who use the app likely don't have issues with it.

If you want to compare 12,000 BTU units with smart features, one top seller in this BTU range is the Friedrich CCF12A10A if you're looking for a premium model with a great warranty. 


Basic Specs

  • Noise Rating: Not Listed

  • CEER: 11.4

  • Window Opening: 14.56" H x 25-36.625" W

  • Weight: 66 lbs

  • Energy Star rated: Yes

  • Estimated Yearly Energy Cost: $102

  • Dehumidify Rate: 3.2 pints/hr

  • Warranty: 1 year full


Click here to read over 240 real customer reviews of this product!

GE AHY12LZ - $449

GE AHY12LZ Window Air Conditioner



4. Friedrich Chill Premier CCF06A10A - 6,000 BTU - $319

If you want to spend a little more for great quality, features, and quiet operation, you should consider specialty brand Friedrich. Check out our article to compare Friedrich vs Frigidaire air conditioners. The Friedrich CFF06A10A comes with a nice warranty, with one year full coverage and five years on the sealed system (see manufacturer's warranty for details). Plus, this model is Wi-Fi connected! Use the FriedrichGo app to control your AC from anywhere - you can even use voice commands!

If you need a small air conditioner for a space up to 250 square feet, but still want great features, you should consider this model. Auto Air Sweep swings the louvers to distribute cool air evenly throughout the room. The antimicrobial filter and change filter indicator are helpful features if you have allergies. Stale air exhaust lets you freshen up a room with fresh air from the outside, too, if needed. Other Friedrich models use a slide out chassis that makes installation easier and can handle permanent installations as well. This model has a fixed chassis.

Other features include a 24-hour timer, a 3-speed fan for cooling or a fan-only setting, and auto restart after a power interruption. Although they don't list a decibel rating, they use heavy-duty insulation and more to reduce noise. Friedrich air conditioners are known for their quiet operation and build quality! The modern design will look great in your home, too. 


Basic Specs

  • Noise Rating: Not Listed - Likely Quiet

  • CEER: 12.1

  • Window Opening: 13.875" H x 20.1-36" W

  • Weight: 62 lbs

  • Energy Star rated: Yes

  • Estimated Yearly Energy Cost: $48

  • Dehumidify Rate: 1.8 pints/hr

  • Warranty: 1 year full, 5 years sealed system


Friedrich Chill Premier CCF06A10A - $319

Friedrich Chill Premier Window Air Conditioner



5. Friedrich Chill Premier CCF10A10A - 10,000 BTU - $479

If you need to cool down around 350-450 square feet, you'll want around 10,000 BTUs. The Friedrich Chill Premier CCF10A10A is a premium option among powerful window air conditioners! Friedrichs are usually a few hundred dollars more expensive than other brands like Frigidaire, but that doesn't mean they aren't a worthwhile investment. Compare more options in our 10,000 BTU air conditioner reviews.

This model offers smart Wi-Fi integration plus voice commands so you can start and stop your air conditioner even if you're miles from home. Eight-way airflow control - double what you'll typically find on other units - plus a Sleep setting to help save energy if you want to run your air conditioner overnight. QuietMaster technology helps this air conditioner operate without disturbing the peace, with features like heavy-duty insulation on the inner wall to absorb sound, stiffened sheet metal casing to block noise from the outside, and counterweights to dampen vibration and decrease sound.

When it comes to the best air conditioners for bedrooms, Friedrich's quiet operation is hard to beat. This model comes with a fixed chassis and a great manufacturer's warranty of one year on the full unit plus five years on the sealed system.

Another great air conditioner in the 10,000 BTU range to consider is the LG LW1019IVSM, an inverter air conditioner that's ultra quiet, has a CEER of 13.8 - and will cost you just $50 per year to run (based on the Energy Star estimated cost). 


Basic Specs

  • Noise Rating: Not Listed - Likely Quiet

  • CEER: 12

  • Window Opening: 14.625" H x 23-36" W

  • Weight: 64 lbs

  • Energy Star rated: Yes

  • Estimated Yearly Energy Cost: $75

  • Dehumidify Rate: 1.2 pints/hr

  • Warranty: 1 year full, 5 years sealed system


Friedrich Chill Premier CCF10A10A - $479

Friedrich Chill Premier Window Air Conditioner



RECOMMENDED ARTICLE: Air Conditioner Buying Guide - 7 Steps


We hope one of these options among the best window air conditioners will help you stay cool this summer! Pay attention to those decibel ratings and consider models with energy saving modes if you plan to run your unit most of the day to beat the heat. If you want a sleek-looking, quiet premium model, Friedrich might be your best bet. GE and Frigidaire offer a lot of value-priced options. LG is known for their smart tech. When it comes to the warranty, Frigidaire and Friedrich stand out by offering warranty coverage on the sealed system, the "heart" of your AC. 

Which model do you prefer? Have you tried a less well-known brand like Friedrich before? Leave us a comment below - We'd love to hear from you!


Editor's Note: This blog was originally written in May of 2020 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy as of the publication date noted above.

Topics: Air Conditioners


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