Hours of Research
You don’t need a super-powered AC to cool small rooms. Compact 5000 BTU window air conditioners are perfect for bringing the temperatures down in smaller spaces.
Still, with AC units this small, little things can result in big differences. How can you avoid wasting cash on an AC that doesn't suit your tiny room?
I tested and reviewed the top units in this category to help you find the best 5000 BTU air conditioner for your home. Let’s keep your small rooms cool!
Quick Guide – Our Top Picks
Value For Money
Value For Money
Value For Money
7 Awesome 5000 BTU Air Conditioners
1 - Frigidaire FFRA051WAE
Value For Money
Whenever I have to recommend a 5000 BTU air conditioner, I mention the Frigidaire FFRA051WAE first. There's very little not to like about this small window AC unit — it's affordable, dependable, and powerful for its size.
For a 5000 BTU air conditioner, the Frigidaire has a surprising amount of power to it.
The air it blows comes out ice cold and cools a sweltering 150-square-foot room in less than an hour. You’ll start feeling the difference in a few minutes.
The air temperature was actually so cool that I decided to put the Frigidaire to the challenge in a 300-square-foot space. The room didn’t get cold but was perfectly livable (at least for my heat tolerance).
This little beast definitely punches above its BTU rating.
Usability is straightforward with two twist knobs, one choosing one of the 7 temperature settings and another for swapping between high and low AC or fan speed.
Get used to this control scheme; you'll see it on most other ACs on my list, such as Midea, GE, and Homelabs.
There's no digital thermostat on this unit, so you'll need a separate thermometer to check the temperature.
Frigidaire is a barebones unit, but that contributes to long-lasting reliability. With no fancy sensors, there are few parts that can break prematurely.
The sole bell and/or whistle on the Frigidaire is the handy auto-restart function. If you lose power, this air conditioner will kick back in at the previous settings as soon as it's supplied with juice again.
Speaking of juice, this window AC doesn’t drink much of it. With an 11 EER rating, Frigidaire has good energy efficiency that won’t rack up your electricity bill.
Installing the AC to your windows is easy, as the unit is the lightest on my list at only 35 pounds. I like the 6.5-foot power cord, which gives a bit more flexibility in placing the AC.
Frigidaire says the unit doesn’t include an installation kit or adjustable side panels, yet my box had them. You may or may not get them with yours.
Frankly, I was a bit stumped reviewing this Frigidaire air conditioner. Dig as I might, I didn't find anything significant to complain about — it just works!
2 - Midea MAW05M1BWT
Value For Money
You shouldn’t have to sweat in the heat just because you’re on a budget. Midea MAW05M1BWT is an affordable machine that can effectively cool small rooms.
Indeed, you won’t have to compromise cooling capacity for the low price. Midea’s 5000 BTU air conditioner resembles the Frigidaire air conditioning unit in many ways.
It has similar cooling chops as my #1 choice and produces very cold air. During my testing, I had to bundle up a bit while sitting in front of this unit.
Get used to the cold air, though. Although Midea features the same kind of manual control panel (no remote control here) as Frigidaire — with options for AC and fan with two fan speeds for each mode — the temperature control dial didn’t seem to have much effect.
That’s not the end of the world since cold air is what you want, after all. Just turn the whole unit off if you get chilly and save electricity while you’re at it.
On the topic of electricity, Midea has similarly high energy efficiency as Frigidaire, being rated EER 11. It costs you roughly $44/year to run this unit, which makes it even more budget-friendly.
The Midea is the second noisiest on my list after the GE machine, with the highest fan speed settings producing about 57 dB. It’s not the loudest window unit I’ve encountered, but I’d keep it out of bedrooms.
This window air conditioner is generally dependable, but the low price point shows in a couple of places.
The included side panels can block the side-sliding washable filter on small windows, which doesn’t exactly make for easy maintenance.
A bigger design oversight is the compressor housing, which has vents on the top — but not on the bottom. Rainwater can collect into the unit and may require manual draining.
At least the unit itself produces very little condensation, which makes flooding less likely. I’d still consider rigging some kind of a cover for this machine.
Overall, though, Midea shines among cheaper, smaller air conditioning units. It doesn't offer anything fancy, but it does its job well — which is exactly what you want from a budget AC.
3 - GE AHEC05AC
Value For Money
Who doesn’t love getting a lot of bang for your buck? GE AHEC05AC is a value-packed 5000 BTU air conditioner that can take some punishment and still keep going.
Being rated for 5,100 BTU, this air conditioner technically has the highest cooling output on my list. I reckon GE has creatively rounded some numbers up to score that rating, though.
In reality, the cooling power is on par with Frigidaire, Keystone, and other units I've reviewed.
I’m not saying this unit lacks power, though. My tests showed this quick and efficient machine can cool rooms up to 200 square feet by a dozen degrees within an hour.
In fact, I found myself avoiding the high setting. Things got a bit too breezy to my liking.
GE hasn’t included electronic or remote controls, and the machine has the familiar manual two-knob front panel.
Unlike the other similar units, though, GE has 10 temperature setting choices. I suspect it’s the same sliding scale numbered differently, but it does make fine-tuning the output easier.
The second dial has the same two fan speeds for cooling and AC modes. Simple and straightforward.
GE has the same EER 11 energy-efficiency rating as the comparable manual units, but the marginally higher cooling chops make it slightly more power-hungry.
In reality, though, the extra energy drain raises the expected annual energy costs by a whopping $1.
The included EZ Mount mounting kit does what it promises — installation is quick and simple. The side panels (which don’t block the slide-out filter like on Midea) leave some gaps, but it’s nothing a bit of duct tape won’t fix.
Despite this fixed-chassis AC’s low 36-pound weight, my butter fingers managed to drop it during installation.
The tumble might’ve broken a lesser machine, but the GE didn’t give a hoot or a holler about a little dent. Kudos to GE for the sturdy and rugged construction.
I also have to commend GE for not hiding the fact that this is a loud AC at 59 dB on max power. I recommend not using it in bedrooms.
The value of this unit comes from its simple installation and long-lasting quality. If you’re looking for a dependable workhorse, you’ve found it.
4 - Keystone KSTAW05CE
Value For Money
Powerful cooling may not be worth it if the air conditioner quadruples your energy bill. Keystone KSTAW05CE is a capable 5000 BTU air conditioner that consumes less energy than most — and offers some almost-smart features.
This eco-friendly window AC unit has lower energy consumption than any other air conditioners on my list, with an EER rating of 12.1. In addition, it's an Energy Star-certified machine. You can rely on your bills to stay in check.
Not only that, together with Emerson, this is one of the only two ACs I reviewed with electronic controls. You get a lot of control options, both through the front panel with an LED display and the included remote control.
Keystone offers 3-in-1 functionality with AC, fan, and dehumidifier modes, each with three fan speeds. You also get a 24-hour timer and a sleep mode — plus an energy-saver mode to make the AC even more affordable to run.
The box promises four-way adjustable louvers, but at least on my machine, you could only turn them horizontally, which was a bummer.
Like Frigidaire, Keystone also has an auto-restart function, which is actually more useful with this level of control. The AC comes back alive with the previous settings in case of a power outage.
This unit includes a precise thermostat that allows you to set the temperature exactly where you want. The remote control has a second Follow Me thermostat that can adjust the AC based on the remote’s location.
You won’t have to worry about these bells and whistles giving up easily, either. Keystone has built a sturdy unit that I can see working for a long time without issues.
The robust construction makes Keystone the heaviest unit on my list, though, at 42 pounds. It can be challenging to install, but at least it has a long 6.5-foot cord like Frigidaire, so you can pick your window fairly freely.
I should also mention that Keystone products are somewhat notorious for shipping issues. I don’t know if that’s because of poor packaging or ham-fisted delivery staff, but your box may have some dings on it.
Fortunately, the sturdy unit rarely cares about that. Keystone has built a quality machine that won’t take your power bill to the stratosphere.
5 - HomeLabs HME020003N
Value For Money
You know when you grab a well-made product, and it just feels like it's high quality? That's what you can expect from HomeLabs' 5000 BTU air conditioner.
Granted, this unit is a bit pricier than other comparable manually-operated 5000 BTU air conditioners on my list, like Frigidaire, Midea, or TCL. However, you get a solidly built unit for those few dozen extra bucks.
As I said, the good build quality is obvious as soon as you lift the HomeLabs AC out of its box. It doesn't feel flimsy or plastic-y, for the lack of a better word, despite the relatively low 36-pound weight.
Handling this unit just feels good.
The installation process is easy, too, partially thanks to the unit being so light.
Another factor contributing to the ease of mounting the machine to your double-hung windows is the good installation kit, which is as well-made as the AC itself.
The side curtains, for example, are thicker and more durable than those of most other AC kits I’ve seen. Considering how easy it is to break some side panels, these ones are worth the extra cost just on their own.
If you somehow manage to break this air conditioner or it’s rattling straight out of the box, just give HomeLabs a call. Their customer service representatives are a delight to talk to and will quickly resolve any issues.
Now that’s not something I get to say often.
Performance-wise, HomeLabs is comparable to the other manual 5000 BTU air conditioners. It provides good cooling performance in small rooms and has a reasonably good 11 EER rating (energy efficiency ratio).
You have the good ol’ twist knobs for control — one for selecting one of the seven temperature settings and another for swapping between high and low fan speeds and AC and fan modes.
This is a louder unit, though, roughly on par with the Midea. Users looking for a low noise level may want to consider other options.
This HomeLabs AC reminds me of the good-hearted meathead character archetype in Saturday morning cartoons. It doesn't think much, but you can always rely on it to get the job done.
6 - TCL 5WR1-A
Value For Money
Most 5000 BTU air conditioners on my list let you adjust the direction of the airflow, but only horizontally.
That can be an issue in small rooms with lots of furniture — a couch in front of the window frame, for example, might block most of the cooling effect.
TCL 5WR1-A comes to your rescue in this situation. This unit offers you more control over which way the wind blows than most others on my list.
Unlike the other manual 5000 BTU air conditioners I’ve reviewed (save for Emerson), TCL has equipped this unit with two air vents. Each vent can be turned four ways, allowing users to set the air blowing in eight directions.
Granted, the cooling performance will always be the best if you angle the vents upward since that helps the cool air circulate better. Yet, in crowded rooms, angling the vents differently can be a lifesaver during hot weather.
Fortunately, TCL can offset some of that cooling fallout by blowing nicely cold air. It’s not quite as freezing as the Frigidaire, but you will feel the chill when you crank the temperature settings up.
In other departments, TCL provides much of the same as its Midea, GE, and HomeLabs competitors. Rated at EER 11, it doesn’t guzzle up energy and has roughly $44 annual running costs.
For controls, you have the same two no-frills twist dials as with most other models on my list — one for temperature settings and one for fan speeds and selecting AC or fan mode.
The relatively low noise levels surprised me positively. This unit isn’t as quiet as the Emerson, but it’s a good runner-up.
TCL has a reputation for reliability issues, though, and this unit seems no different, based on what I've heard from other users. My unit worked fine, but that's just the thing — it will run great until it doesn't, and then it's game over.
As an upside, this AC unit is very reasonably priced. If you need decent cooling for a small, furniture-packed room, don’t sleep on this one.
7 - Emerson Quiet Kool EARC5RD1
Value For Money
There are no such things as silent window air conditioners. Yet, Emerson Quiet Kool EARC5RD1 won't assault your ears with a roaring compressor while also offering nice control options.
Let’s talk about the low noise level right off the bat. Emerson promises its 5000 BTU window unit produces around 50 dB of noise. Unlike most other units, this one actually achieves that.
I registered around 52 dB of noise during normal operation — nowhere near as loud as, say, GE’s nearly 60 dB. If there’s one 5000 BTU air conditioner I’d put in my bedroom, it’s Emerson.
Curiously, the device got quieter the higher I turned up the fan speed settings. Keep the thing at full blast to enjoy efficient and quiet cooling.
You may hear rattling that stops when you touch the unit. The plastic front panel holding the washable filter can be a bit loose, so you can either try tightening the screws or secure it with a piece of tape.
Controls-wise, Emerson resembles Keystone with its electronic controls with an LED display. You get the same three fan speeds with AC, fan, and dehumidifier functionality, alongside sleep and eco modes and a timer.
Like TCL, Emerson’s AC has two vents with four-way adjustable louvers for flexible eight-direction flow control.
There’s also a remote control, but I found it temperamental and overly picky about angles. It’s a pity, but at least the front control panel works fine.
Emerson Quiet Kool consumes very little energy. It has an EER 11.1, to begin with, but it also draws surprisingly little power.
On compressor startup, I registered about 5 amps, but that settled to around 3 in normal operation — lower than most other units I reviewed.
Finally, I have to mention Emerson’s excellent warranty. This air conditioner comes with a 1-year warranty for labor, 2 years for parts, and 5 years for the compressor.
If your unit happens to give up the ghost prematurely, you can likely get it replaced.
Reducing noise often isn’t manufacturers’ priority with small units. Emerson Quiet Kool is the best quiet 5000 BTU air conditioner and a breath of fresh air among this AC cohort (pun intended).
5000 BTU AC Units Compared
What to Consider When Buying a 5000 BTU AC Unit
Not all windows can take just any air conditioner. When looking for the best-rated 5000 BTU window air conditioner for your small room, you must keep a few key factors in mind to find the right machine.
Here’s my breakdown of the main considerations for choosing your 5000 BTU air conditioner.
Match It to Your Room Size (BTU/Coverage Area)
Avoid placing a 5000 BTU air conditioner in rooms that are bigger than 150 square feet in area.
The cooling capacity of an air conditioner is measured in British thermal units (BTU). Without going into the technical details, the higher the BTU rating, the larger the area an air conditioner can cool.
5000 BTU air conditioners are designed to cool rooms up to 150 square feet.
Although some models (like the Frigidaire on my list) can do a decent job in larger rooms, their effectiveness starts to drop quickly with every extra square foot.
Save Money with Energy Efficiency (EER)
I recommend choosing ACs with an EER rating of at least 11 to keep them from racking up your electricity bill.
The energy efficiency ratio (EER) rating describes how much energy a 5000 BTU air conditioner consumes. Disregarding all the math behind it, the EER rating is simple to understand — a higher number signifies better efficiency.
All the window air conditioners on my list have an EER rating of at least 11, and none of them should be obnoxiously power-hungry.
If you’re thrifty or environmentally-minded, though, keep an eye out for units like the Keystone air conditioner that have both a high EER score and are Energy Star-certified.
The Quieter, the Better (dBA)
Look for a 5000 BTU air conditioner with a noise level below 55 dB to ensure you can still hear yourself while cooling your small rooms.
All air conditioners, both smaller and larger units, produce noise, but a low-ish noise level is particularly important in small rooms.
I recommend choosing a 5000 BTU air conditioner that keeps the noise level below 55 dB at all fan speed settings.
This noise level is quieter than a normal conversation, so most people can still watch TV or talk on the phone with the AC running.
Still, quieter is always better — especially when using ACs in bedrooms at night — so noise-sensitive people might want to go for an extra-quiet unit, such as the Emerson Quiet Kool.
Easy Installation Avoids Frustration
To make installing your 5000 BTU air conditioner as easy as possible, try to find a lightweight unit that comes with a complete installation kit.
Even small 5000 BTU air conditioners can be difficult to hoist up to double-hung windows, so the lighter the unit, the fewer problems you'll have fixing it to your window frame.
You can make the job even easier by picking a unit with a complete installation kit (like the GE or HomeLabs), so you'll have all the parts you'll need straight out of the box.
Set Your Budget Before Buying
I advise determining how much you’re willing to pay for your air conditioner before you look at even a single unit.
Although 5000 BTU air conditioners are affordable compared to more powerful units, their prices can still vary. The models on my list, for example, range from about $160 to $230.
Set your budget in advance, and you won't waste time browsing units that are beyond your means. Still, all of these air conditioning units are reliable and should work with a tight budget.
Aim for a 1-Year Warranty at Minimum
I recommend ensuring your AC comes with at least a 1-year warranty in case of unforeseen manufacturing mishaps.
Everybody makes mistakes, even the most well-established AC manufacturers. Make sure your 5000 BTU AC has at least a 1-year warranty to protect your investment.
If you like to play it safe, go for models that offer multi-year warranties, like Emerson or Keystone.
Check the Extra Features
In addition to the above considerations, there are plenty of less significant air conditioner features that can nonetheless make your life easier and more comfortable.
Here are a few features you might want to keep in mind:
When Is a 5000 BTU AC the Right Choice?
Frankly, 5000 BTU ACs don’t have very much power, which limits how useful they can be in the summer heat. In general, there are two main use cases for these ACs — cooling small spaces and assisting larger AC units.
5000 BTU ACs are designed to effectively cool spaces up to 150 square feet. They’re ideal for lowering temperatures in a small room, like an office, nursery, bedroom, garage, or storage space on hot days.
Even if your unit doesn’t have a specific dehumidifier function, it will still remove some humidity to make the small room more comfortable.
These AC models can also be efficient, low-cost choices for supplementing bigger struggling units.
For example, if your old and ailing central AC can’t quite cool down your huge living room, a small 5000 BTU window unit can bring you that extra breeze you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Room Size is the Best for a 5000 BTU Air Conditioner?
5000 BTU ACs perform best in rooms with an area of 150 square feet or smaller. Some models can deal with rooms up to 250 square feet, but they won’t be as efficient in larger spaces.
How Much Power Does a 5000 BTU Air Conditioner Use?
A 5000 BTU air conditioner uses around 500 watts of power on average. The power usage can vary between 400-600 watts, depending on the specific AC model and its features.
How Many Amps Does a 5000 BTU Air Conditioner Draw?
An average 5000 BTU AC will draw around 5 amps of power during regular use. The amp draw may momentarily rise higher than this when the compressor turns on.
How Long Can I Expect a 5000 BTU AC Unit to Last?
A 5000 BTU AC will last around 5-8 years on average. However, with regular maintenance and cleaning, you can get 10 or more years of faithful service from your AC.
What Are Some Common Problems with 5000 BTU Air Conditioners?
The most common problem with 5000 BTU air conditioners is water leaks, which are often caused by the unit not being tilted backward for drainage. Other common issues include foul odors (dirty or moldy filter), unusual or loud noises (loose or worn parts), and poor cooling performance (dirty coils or refrigerant leak).
How Much Does It Cost to Run a 5000 BTU Air Conditioner for an Hour?
Is There a Big Difference Between 5000 and 6000 BTU Air Conditioners?
There is a small but noticeable difference between 5000 and 6000 BTU AC units. A 6000 BTU AC can cool spaces up to 250 square feet against a 5000 BTU unit’s 150 square feet, so the former blows colder air.
So, Which Should You Buy?
With ACs as small as 5000 BTU, little things can make or break the deal.
With my buying guide, you can now compare AC units like a professional and pick a machine that fits your home to a tee.
Many of these models are quite similar at this sized unit. My personal top recommendation for small sized cooling is the Frigidaire below.
My Top Pick For
5000 BTU AC Units
Value For Money