The Sweethome narrowed their list of air conditioners units from thirty down to four 8,000 BTU units and three 12,000 BTU units, from LG, Frigidaire, Sunpentown, Friedrich, and Kenmore. Each was rated by the following features:
- Ease of Installation
- Ease of Use
- Airflow Control
- Ease of Maintenance
- Cooling Power
- Power Usage
- Noise Level
A very interesting note discovered during their testing: there was very little difference in the speed at which 8,000 BTU and 12,000 BTU air conditioners cooled down a room. So don't overspend on a larger unit in the hopes it will cool down a smaller room faster, you're just wasting energy. If you need help determining the size, direct yourself over to Haier's AC SmartSelector page:
Their final recommendations: for spaces up to 450 square feet in size, the modestly priced $239.00 Frigidaire FRA086AT7 hits all the marks for price, power, efficiency, ease of use, and features. The 8,000 BTU unit also comes with a remote, always a plus when it comes to controlling cooling or heating from the comforts of a bed or couch.
Those with larger spaces around 550 square feet are recommended the step-up 12,000 BTU model, the Frigidaire FRA126CT1, available for just a little bit more, at $298.00 online.
Pages of more information about what to look for when shopping for a window air conditioner, including additional notes about specific models, over at The Sweethome.