The 5 Best Air Conditioners of 2022

Our choice

Midea U MAW08V1QWT

This U-shaped Midea air conditioner is the quietest model we’ve ever tested, and it’s designed in such a way that you can open your window. But the installation process is no fun.

Purchase options

*At the time of publication, the price was $360.

The Midea U MAW08V1QWT is simply the quietest air conditioner we’ve ever tested, but that’s not the only reason it stands out from the crowd. He also has a inverter compressorwhich means it uses almost half as much energy as AC without an inverter. And unlike traditional air conditioners, which typically lock your entire window in the closed position as long as they’re installed, the Midea U has a unique U-shaped design that lets you continue to open and close your window as usual ( if you want to improve circulation, for example). As part of this design, Midea also moves most of the strongest hardware on the back of this device so that it sits outside the window, using the glass as an additional buffer layer to further cut the his. Plus, it comes with its own bracket, worth around $100, that locks firmly into the sliding tracks of your sash window. The AC is Energy Star certified and Wi-Fi too, with easy and convenient smart home integration. But there is a catch: the installation process. While the process is easier than it looks, it’s still more complex than installing your typical AC, and you won’t get much helpful advice from reading one of the four instruction manuals. supplied with the Midea U.

Also awesome

GE PHC08LY

GE PHC08LY

The quietest non-inverter AC we’ve ever tested, this GE model is an attractive alternative, with capacitive controls, soft LED lights, and easy smart home integration.

Purchase options

*At the time of publication, the price was $400.

If you’re looking for a more traditional window air conditioner, the GE PHC08LY is the quietest available, and it also looks better than most. In its dedicated quiet mode, it’s comparable to the Midea U in volume; even with the compressor running and the fan high, it’s still quieter than the average Talk or any other AC we’ve tested. Touch controls and soft LED lights give it a sleek, futuristic feel, and GE’s recently updated smart home integration allows for seamless, natural voice commands. It’s also one of the few models we’ve seen with Apple HomeKit integration, as well as Location Services, which you can use to automatically turn off AC power when you’re away from home (or on). when you are). This model isn’t as energy efficient as the Midea U (despite being Energy Star certified), it also doesn’t come with its own security mount, but it’s also much, much easier to install than our first choice, and it’s just as pleasant to live with.

Also awesome

Frigidaire FHWW083WBE

Frigidaire FHWW083WBE

This Frigidaire unit is easy to install and cools a room as well as our top pick for a slightly lower price. However, the sound is a little grittier, especially at lower fan speeds.

Purchase options

*At the time of publication, the price was $253.

We like to think of the Frigidaire FHWW083WBE as the old faithful of window air conditioners. We’ve been recommending it (or its nearly identical predecessors) since 2014, and it’s always proven to be a reliable and affordable option. It’s a bit louder than our other picks (although it’s still quieter than most ACs), with a less pleasant mechanical growl that’s more pronounced when you run it at lower settings. But it still cools the room quickly and efficiently, and it generally costs less than our other picks while offering comparable smart home performance and capabilities. If you want to save even more money, the Frigidaire FFRE083WAE is essentially the same device minus the smart home capabilities.

Also awesome

windmill air

windmill air

The Windmill Air is the simplest air conditioner we’ve ever installed, and it has many other nice, thoughtful details that make it great to live in overall.

Purchase options

*At the time of publication, the price was $0.

The Windmill Air might not be as quiet or efficient as our top pick, but it’s much, much simpler to set up, and it offers plenty of other thoughtful features that make it easy to live with. It’s also one of the best-looking ACs we’ve ever tested, with rounded corners and subtle indicator lights that won’t keep you up at night. There’s even a plastic cover on the back of the unit, so you don’t cut your hands on those razor-sharp exhaust fins, and an in-app shortcut that helps you find help installing TaskRabbit. All in all, it’s a great AC if you just want something that blends into the background and gets the job done without a hitch.

Also awesome

Gallery Frigidaire GHWQ083WC1

Gallery Frigidaire GHWQ083WC1

The inverter-style Frigidaire Gallery GHWQ083WC1 is one of the most energy-efficient air conditioners we’ve ever tested, with lights and sounds that essentially fade into the background.

Purchase options

*At the time of publication, the price was $0.

The inverter-style Frigidaire Gallery GHWQ083WC1 is as efficient as our top pick, using nearly 40% less energy than the federal standard for air conditioners, with all the same smart home features. It’s also nearly as quiet as the Midea, with an average volume of around 48 decibels, making it essentially unnoticeable in the room unless the fan is on high. In our tests, the Frigidaire maintained even more impressive cooling consistency throughout the room, keeping the air temperature within half a degree when measured 3 feet in front of the air conditioner and 6 feet away diagonally. The LED display on the control panel also turns off automatically after a few seconds so as not to light up the room (although this can also be annoying at times, like if you want to check the settings). The Smart-Home app can be a little annoying at times, but despite these flaws, it’s among the best ACs available.

This guide also includes our current thoughts on Wi-Fi controllable “smart” air conditioners (and a smart AC accessory), as well as recommendations for other types of air conditioners, namely wall-mounted units and casement window models. . We have our portable air conditioner recommendations in a separate guide.

Karl M. Bailey