Buyers Guide & Information

Best 5000 BTU Air Conditioners Reviewed

Find your next mini AC unit as we compare the top brands for home cooling at this small size.

Value for Money

Arctic King WWK05CM91N
Arctic King WWK05CM91N

Our Top Pick

Frigidaire FFRA0511R1E
Frigidaire FFRA0511R1E

Includes Remote

Keystone
 

Cooling your home efficiently can be an issue, especially in smaller spaces, add-on rooms, or areas with above-average temperatures. These spaces do well with smaller, more efficient air conditioners, such as a 5,000 BTU air conditioner.

This article will rate, review, and compare the best 5,000 BTU ACs for you to scroll through and decide on. We also offer you a consideration guide to help you realize all the features and aspects of a new air conditioner before you buy. By the end of this article, you will know what to look for, how to install, and which 5,000 BTU air conditioner is right for you.

5000 BTU Air Conditioners Compared

ModelEERNoisePrice
Frigidaire
FFRA0511R1E
11.157 dbaCheck Price
Arctic King WWK05CM91N11.058 dbaCheck Price
Keystone11.262 dbaCheck Price
Frigidaire
FFRA051ZA1
11.251-55 dbaCheck Price
Friedrich
CCF05A10A
11.162 dba

Check Sylvane

Check Amazon

Emerson Quiet Kool EARC5RD111.052 dbaCheck Price
LG
LW5016
11.252-56 dba

Check Sylvane

Check Amazon

When Is a 5000 BTU AC the Correct Choice?

5,000 BTUs is not a whole lot of power. These little machines are designed for smaller spaces, rooms without a lot of airflow or as a supplement to your central AC.

How do you know if a 5,000 BTU window AC is right for you? When the space you want to cool is less than 300 square feet, a 5,000 BTU air conditioner is a good fit. It won’t work too hard or longer than needed, and it isn’t so powerful that it will cause a strain on your monthly energy bill.

When you make an addition onto your home, a 5,0000 BTU window unit can be more cost-effective than running or extending the central air ducting to the new space. They are also helpful when you live in a high-heat, high-humidity climate and need the extra dehumidifying power to assist your central unit.

Small offices, nurseries, and even longer hallways can benefit from an air conditioner in the 5,000 BTU range.

Need something bigger? We have reviewed larger options at these levels below:

Considerations when Buying a 5000 BTU AC Unit

Before you head out to buy your new AC, several factors are worthy of your consideration. In case you haven’t thought of everything, here is a list of such things to think about.

Room Size

The size of the room is the most crucial factor when selecting an air conditioner size. On average, a 5,000 BTU AC will be effective between 100 and 250 square feet. To measure the square footage of your room, you need to multiply the length (in feet) by the width.

However, there is more to the efficiency of the AC in the space than just the square feet. You also need to account for the ceiling height, amount of furniture, sunlight and other heat-producing items in the room (appliances, computers, etc.)

An average room with average ceiling height with 100 to 250 square feet will find the best use for an air conditioner in the 5,000 BTU range.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)

The Energy Efficiency Ratio, or EER, is the ratio between the BTU of the machine and the kilowatt-hours (kWh) needed per BTU. The higher the EER value, the more energy-efficient the air conditioner is.

On average, window units in the 5,000 BTU size will have an EER rating between 9.0 and 14.1. While some models are higher, some are lower. What this means to you, though, is how much it will cost you, per year, to operate the air conditioner.

Of course, this is only an estimate. Other factors like the cost per kWh you are charged, how often you run the AC, and for how long, as well as how clean and maintained you keep the unit. For example, a 5,000 BTU window AC with an EER rating of 9.4 will still cost less, per year, to operate when run three times a week for two hours per day than a unit with an EER of 14.0 run daily for 5 hours.

Noise Levels (dBA)

Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB). The newer scales include adjusted values for various alignments and attenuation. Air conditioners are generally grouped in the “A” level of adjustments (dBA).

The higher the dB value, the louder the unit is when running. There are usually two noise level ratings given to an air conditioner, the start-up noise level, and the running noise level. The start-up is measured as the unit turns on, primes the pumps, cranks the motors and fans, etc. It is usually louder than the machine is when running in normal mode.

If there is only a single rating on the packaging, this will refer to the running mode noise level. An optimal rating will be between 52 and 56 dB. This is quieter than a normal conversation in a quiet room. Anything much over 65 dB will require you to talk much louder or turn the volume up on the television to hear properly.

Performance Features

When shopping for the best air conditioner model for you, you will want to look at additional features, options, or add-ons. Little things that can make using the appliance easier or faster.

Remote controls, for example, assist you in controlling the AC without having to go to the unit itself. You can also find models with optional heat mode, so you only need to buy one appliance for year-round comfort.

Other features may include auto-shutoff or sleeping modes, various fan speeds, programming, and scheduling, or even wireless connectivity for mobile app controls. Most performance features will raise the price somewhat, compared to bare-bones models of the same size. However, these creature comforts can make the extra cost worth it.

Installation Requirements

Before you buy a new unit and bring it home, you need to ensure it will fit in the space, and that installation won’t have any special requirements. Some models will plug directly into a standard 3-prong 110-115v outlet. Others may require a dedicated 30 amp circuit or a special plug to work properly.

You want to ensure that the window will be large enough for the AC as well. You also want to double check that any mounting equipment, bracers, sleeves, etc. will install without issue. Knowing the cord length and distance to the outlet from the window will save a lot of frustration as well.

Finally, make sure that the outlet supplies the correct amount of voltage for the unit. Some will run just fine on a 20 amp breaker, while others may require 30 amps or more.

Price & Warranty

Finally, you will want to pay attention to price and warranty. The overall cost should be one that fits well in your budget. Over-spending can cause buyers remorse, and you don’t want to spend so much the air conditioner loses value for you. How often you will actually use it can be a significant factor in the final price.

Pay attention to the warranty details as well. While it may seem like a good warranty based on the term length, you may have extra hoops to jump through to maintain the warranty. A lot of companies will require you to register your purchase or retain the proof of purchase and receipts.

Others may need you to have a professional install the device, or to maintain a regular maintenance regimen, with proof. On rare occasions, you might even be required to return the unit in the original packaging for the warranty to be valid. Knowing all of these things prior to purchase will help you in the long run.

7 Best 5000 BTU Air Conditioners Reviewed

Without further ado, we offer you the 7 best 5,000 BTU air conditioners, reviewed and compared. In the following list, you will find the “best of” for various scenarios and situations. We are confident that your next air conditioner is somewhere on this list.

1. Frigidaire FFRA0511R1E

Our Top Pick
Dimensions15 x 16 x 12 inches
EER11.1 EER
Room Size (Cooling Area)150 sq. ft.
Estimated Yearly Cost$41
Noise Level57 db
Warranty1-year full warranty, 5-year compressor warranty

Our top pick goes to the Frigidaire FFRA0511R1E. This model is affordable, easy to install, and comes with a great warranty. What it lacks in features, it makes up for in efficiency and simplicity.

One of the best things about this unit is the EER rating. At 11.1, it isn’t the highest rated model on our list, but it is one of the most efficient overall. The average yearly cost estimations have the Frigidaire unit requiring only $41 per year to operate.

There are a lot of features that aren’t included, such as heating or digital controls. The system is simple, and that makes it quite attractive to most owners. There are only two dials to use, one for power and speed settings and the other for temperature selection.

You won’t be able to program the unit, set a sleep timer, or even have remote operation. What you get instead is a compact and powerful 5,000 BTU air conditioner that works every time you turn it on.

This model is also backed by a 2-year warranty on the parts and labor, including the fans and filter. The compressor is warrantied for 5-years from the date of purchase, which is about average for the market.

Pros

  • Simplistic operation
  • Turn-dial mode and temperature selections
  • Fits any standard 110-115v outlet

Cons

  • Not the quietest model on the list
  • Not suitable for moderate-sized rooms

2. Arctic King WWK05CM91N

Value for the Money
Dimensions16 x 13.2 x 12.1 inches
EER11.0
Room Size (Cooling Area)150 sq. ft.
Estimated Yearly Cost$44
Noise Level58 db
Warranty1-year parts and labor warranty

If you are looking for a temporary fix, or have a small room to keep cool, you don’t need to empty your wallet. The Arctic King air conditioner is the best value for the money. Along with the lowest price tag for any 5,000 BTU air conditioner worth owning, you also get a 1-year warranty to protect your investment.

This compact design will fit any window with a minimum height of 13 inches. With the accordion side panels, it will also extend to fit widths 23 and 36 inches. Ideal for nurseries or home offices, the Arctic King brings you the best bang for the buck when it comes to performance and cost-effectiveness.

Installation is made even more comfortable thanks to the small 38-pound unit. One person can install the air conditioner in a window in as little as 10 minutes. The standard plug will reach over 6-feet to get to the outlet making it versatile to fit in almost any window of the room.

The one downside is that this unit doesn’t have an automatic shut off and the compressor can overheat if used too often. When this happens, the air conditioner will shut off. You need to wait at least three minutes before you turn it back on to ensure the compressor doesn’t burn out.

Learn more about the Arctic King AC range here.

Pros

  • Compact design for small rooms or offices
  • Long power cord for use in most installations
  • Uses 7 different temperature settings
  • Affordable on any budget

Cons

  • Not extra warranty period for compressor
  • Has a lower EER than most other models of the same size.

3. Keystone

Comes With Remote Control
Dimensions15.5 x 17.5 x 18.2 inches
EER11.2
Room Size (Cooling Area)150 sq. ft.
Estimated Yearly Cost$40
Noise Level62 db
Warranty1-year warranty on parts and labor, 5-year warranty on compressor

If you want a small room air conditioner that has a little bit more in the features department, look no further than the Keystone KSTAW05B. Not only do you get a great warranty and efficient cooling, but it comes with a digital control panel and remote control.

The warranty is a 2-part warranty that covers the entire unit, parts, and labor for 12 months. You then get an additional 4 years to cover the sealed components, including the compressor. There area few details with the warranty such as who pays shipping based on the term) that you need to pay attention too.

The controls are easy to use, with LED lights to indicate your choices. The options are also reflected on the remote control, so no matter which method you use, you will always have the current information available.

There are four modes of operation, including dehumidifying, and three fan speeds to choose from. If that isn’t enough, the sleep mode works over a 9-hour period to slowly increase the temperature over the first 2 hours (to save energy) and revert back to the lower setting after an additional 7 hours.

The filter is washable and will easily last you a few years. As long as you maintain the screen and keep the intake vents cleaned, the entire unit will last you several years with worry-free operation.

Pros

  • Sleep mode works automatically over a 9-hour period.
  • Extended warranty gives you flexibility in case of problems
  • Remote operation automatically coordinates with the AC to stay updated.

Cons

  • May require two people for a proper, level installation.
  • Louder than most other models on our list.

4. Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1

Top Rated
Dimensions16.2 x 16.1 x 11.9 inches
EER11.2
Room Size (Cooling Area)150 sq. ft.
Estimated Yearly Cost$41
Noise Level51-55 db
Warranty1-year full warranty, 5-year compressor warranty

Frigidaire makes another entry on our list with the FFRA051ZA1. This top rated model is whisper-quiet, comes with a full warranty, and will cool small rooms up to 150 square feet. This worry free model is designated as “effortless.”

It has an effortless filter. The mesh screen is antimicrobial to reduce bacteria and some odors in the air. It has an easy to use temperature control, which means once the temps are set, the unit will maintain that temperature. If you lose power, the system will retain settings (up to 6 hours) and restart automatically once power is restored.

The 6.5-foot plug fits all standard 10-115v outlets, though it is not rated to use extension cords or power strips. There is only a 4 amp draw, and the highest noise level is a mere 55 dB. When running on low cool with the lowest fan speed, the noise level drops to 51 dB, which is lower than an average conversation tone.

You get a full 1-year warranty on the entire air conditioner along with a 5-year warranty to cover the compressor and sealed components. However, there isn’t much else you get. The machine isn’t capable of remote control operation, doesn’t have a sleep mode or timer, and is without an energy saver mode.

Pros

  • Top rated on all factors across multiple vendors and sites.
  • Simple installation for one or two people.
  • Self-levels when installed properly.
  • Antimicrobial mesh filter lasts a few years before replacement.

Cons

  • No external settings or timers
  • Doesn’t offer an energy-saving mode

5. Friedrich CCF05A10A

Energy Efficient & Wifi Enabled
Dimensions16 x 19 x 13 inches
EER11.1
Room Size (Cooling Area)200 sq. ft.
Estimated Yearly Cost$42
Noise Level62 db
Warranty1-year full warranty

The Friedrich “Chill” is a 5,000 BTU energy efficient and WiFi-enabled air conditioner that will cool your room quickly. The all-digital control panel allows you to easily access the controls without the guesswork of where the dial is pointing.

One of the best features is the intuitive control labels. If you ever wondered what energy saver mode is used for, Friedrich helps you out by labeling it as “money saver.” That should clear things up.

The unit is all digital and wireless. With the wireless controls, you can use the Friedrich Go app and take control of your cooling from anywhere. This is handy if you like to come home from the office to a nice cool room, but don’t want to leave the machine on all day while you are gone. Use the app and turn the machine on to coll while you drive and arrive at your set temperature.

The 1-yer warranty protects you should anything go wrong with materials, operation, or manufacturer’s defects. With proper care and maintenance, though, you can expect at least 5 years of worry-free operation from this model. There is even an LED indicator to remind you when it is time to clean the filter. However, you should clean it more often than the indicator tells you; it is there as a last resort, not as a timer.

Pros

  • Wireless mobile app controls the AC from anywhere
  • Full digital display makes operation simple
  • Clearly labeled buttons let you know the exact settings

Cons

  • Even with “QuietMaster” technology, the unit can still be loud
  • Weight can be a problem for 1-person installation

6. Emerson Quiet Kool EARC5RD1

Best Quiet 5000 BTU Air Conditioner
Dimensions15.2 x 16 x 12.5 inches
EER11.0
Room Size (Cooling Area)150 sq. ft.
Estimated Yearly Cost$44
Noise Level52 db
Warranty1-year warranty labor, 2-year parts, 5-year compressor

The Emerson brand is the best quiet 5,000 BTU AC on the market with the Quiet Kool series. This unit will effectively cool up to 150 square feet with remote operation and directional airflow louvers.

This model doesn’t have the 4-louver system commonly found in most window units. However, the two louvers that are there can be positioned vertically and horizontally for maximum distribution. The digital control panel features a high-visibility blue LED screen, which can be seen in most lighting, even from across the room.

While it may not be the highest EER system on the list, at 11.0 EER, it isn’t the worst. You can expect your energy bill to stand around an extra $40 per year with daily use (5 hours per day), and the 5 amp power draw can cause some brownouts when the compressor kicks on if the unit isn’t on a dedicated 30 amp circuit.

When running, it is among the quietest models on the market and will perform as advertised or better. The Emerson air conditioner is ideal for nurseries as it won’t make any sudden loud noises, even when the compressor and fans kick on. Sleeping babies stay asleep and cool with this model in the room.

Pros

  • Mesh filter reduces allergens, bacteria, and odors.
  • Installation kit provides everything needed, including weather stripping.
  • Blue LED display easily read from across the room.

Cons

  • Only has two louvers for directional airflow.
  • Remote may not register from more than 15 feet.

7. LG LW5016

Best Lightweight 5000 BTU AC
Dimensions19.6 x 16.8 x 13.7 inches
EER11.2
Room Size (Cooling Area)
Estimated Yearly Cost$42
Noise Level52-56 db
Warranty1-year parts and labor

Rounding out our best 5,000 BTU AC list is the LG LW5016. The controls are over-simplified, and the entire unit is a no-fuss, easy to operate window installed air conditioner. Able to effectively cool up to 150 square feet, this single louver system as multi-directional airflow and comes with an installation kit.

The lightweight AC can easily be installed by a single person and doesn’t require a support brace. Once installed, the accordion wings will fill any open window space and keep out bugs, wind, debris, or hot air.

The unit can get a little noisy during start-up, and the compressor has been known to vibrate when operating for extended periods, adding to the overall noise level. However, with proper mounting and regular maintenance, this is kept to a minimum.

The single dial control turns the unit on or off, selecting between two cooling modes and two fan speeds. Unfortunately, you cannot set or dial in a specific temperature; the unit will run until you shut it off. For the price and simplicity, though, your room will stay cool when you need it to be, and with the full 12-month warranty, you have little else to worry about.

Read more about the LG range of products here.

Pros

  • Simple install with everything needed included in the box
  • Easy, no-fuss operation
  • Dehumidifies 1.3 pints per day

Cons

  • No remote, wireless or digital control options

Types of AC Units with a 5000 BTU Rating

Finding an AC unit in the 5,000 BTU range will limit your searches drastically. Only Window units are rated this low for smaller spaces. There is a simple reason for this: economics.

Window units have more room (like through-the-wall models) to hold the compressor, refrigerant lines, fans, and other parts. Because of this space, the smaller the BTU rating, the more efficient the units typically are. For other styles of ACs to run on 5,000 BTUs, they would either barely be able to move any air or consume so much electricity that they would be pointless to operate.

When it comes to the smaller spaces, single rooms, room additions, etc., a window unit is ideal, and a 5,000 BTU AC can cool a small space efficiently without consuming too much electricity.

Types of AC Units without a 5000 BTU Rating

For all the other primary styles, they have different BTU values for various reasons. Here are some examples.

Portable

Unfortunately, because of their build and size, portable ACs usually need a lot more BTUs to cool and move the air enough to be effective. The lowest you will find is 6,000 BTU portable ACs; however, it is more common to see them in the 12,000 BTU or 14,000 BTU range.

RV Air Conditioner

RV air conditioners have an extensive range of sizes and capabilities. However, you won’t find one as small as 5,000 BTUs. In general, RV ACs are designed to cool, dehumidify, and heat entire RVs. To do so, they are more common in sizes such as 13,500, 15,000, 18,000, and 22,000 BTUs.

Through The Wall

Through the wall style air conditioners are similar to window units. However, they are mostly designed to cool off larger spaces or even entire homes. Because of this fact, and their overall costs, the average BTU range will fall between 8,000 BTUs and 16,000 BTUs.

Central/Mini Split

Central ACs, as well as ductless mini split systems, are made more for whole-home operation than small spaces. Central air conditioners are large enough to be measured in ton capacity, where 1.5 and 2 tons are the residential averages.

Mini split systems can be used in a single room, so they are still measured in BTUs, but have a range between 10,000 and 18,000 BTUs, with 12,000 and 14,000 BTU models being the most popular.

Installing 5000 BTU Air Conditioning Units

through the wall air conditionerInstalling most 5,000 BTU air conditioners isn’t a difficult task.

Most of them are only 16-18 inches wide and light enough that a single person can lift and place in the window.

However, it is always safer to have two people do the install.

Once you have measured the window and verified the unit will fit, you need to open the window and remove the screen.

The window unit will have a lip or track along the bottom and top edges. These stay on the inside of the window.

The bottom lip will rest along the base of the pane track, and the window itself should close on top of the window just behind the top lip.

There are also side panels that will accordion out to fill in the space on either side of the air conditioner to prevent air, bugs, and other items from entering the home. These accordion panels will screw into the AC frame and again to the window frame. You may need to use some weather stripping to ensure a proper fit and seal.

Your window unit will come with an owner’s manual that will properly outline the installation process. If you don’t receive one or have lost it, you can find the manual online (usually in PDF format) from the manufacture’s website.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much power does a 5000 BTU air conditioner use?

Power is measured in watts, and all air conditioners will vary in their power draw, or watt usage. For a 5,000 BTU window unit, the average wattage draw falls between 440 and 580 watts, hourly.

How many amps does a 5000 BTU air conditioner draw?

The average amp draw for a 5,000 BTU air conditioner is 5 amps. The actual amperage draw can fluctuate and will generally be higher when the compressor kicks on, where it then levels out during usage and drops when the compressor shuts off.

How long can I expect a 5000 BTU AC unit to last?

The average lifespan of a 5,000 BTU window AC is between 3 and 7 years. You can increase the life by performing regular maintenance and cleaning regimens. However, it is generally less expensive to recycle and replace the older unit than it is to repair it to like-new status.

What are some common problems that may arise with this sized unit?

Some of the most common problems with these sized units have to do with the refrigeration, evaporator and condenser coils. The most noted problem with 5,000 BTU air conditioners on Reddit is water leaking from the front.

This is usually due to an improper installation resulting in a unit not mounted level. It can also be a clogged drip pan that is overflowing to the front. The other most common problem you will see is a unit that cycles on and off too frequently.

This is generally caused by bad maintenance resulting in a dirty air filter or a clogged filter not allowing proper airflow to cool the compressor. It can also be the result of a compressor burning out or overheating.

What can be done to extend the life of a portable AC?

Ensuring the filter is always clean is the most important step. Regular weekly or monthly cleaning of the filter screen will ensure there is enough airflow to keep the compressor from working too hard. Allowing the unit to properly cool when not in use and refraining from electrical power surges will also help.

Which models on our list offer heating as well as cooling?

None of the top 5,000 BTU air conditioners on our list offer heating options. However, many of the top rated models will have a setting for dehumidifying, fan only modes, and sleep timers.

Where is the best place to buy this size air conditioner?

The best place to purchase an air conditioner of this size is through Amazon. Not only will you find the best deals, have the easiest shipping and return policies, but the availability is higher for most brands, models, and even older models. Brick and mortar stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s, and local hardware stores will carry these units, but only in limited quantities, and they won’t have last year’s models.

Conclusion

Finding the perfect 5,000 BTU air conditioner doesn’t have to be a challenge. Depending on your specific needs, wants, and desires, the right model is there waiting for you. The features and optional aspects will be the deciding factors for most of you, though, so you should pay special attention to those.

The Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 is our top pick for good reason. This no-frills unit is inexpensive, effective, and quiet when running. The antibacterial filter also provides easy-to-maintain cleaning and clear, pure air.

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