Large rooms in the home are usually the hardest to keep cool in the summer. They tend to have the doors, hold the most windows, and lead to more rooms than others.
This large open space creates airflow nightmares letting the warm air sit and linger. A good window air conditioner can fix that.
This article will take a look at the best window air conditioners for large rooms and teach you everything you need to know to select the right one.
Determining the Right Size AC for a Large Room
When selecting a window air conditioner for your room, you will need to understand how ACs are rated and what the right size for your space is. Many things go into determining the best size air conditioner for a specific room.
First, you need to know the square footage of the room you want to cool. Multiplying the room’s length (in feet) by the width will give you the square footage. However, proper and efficient cooling breaks down to a lot more than the square foot.
- Consider the number of items in the room, including furniture, closets, wall hangings, window dressings, etc. The more things, the larger your air conditioner needs to be.
- Know the ceiling height. High ceilings require more powerful air conditioners. Knowing the height will help determine additional BTUs needed from the chosen AC.
- Room use and occupancy. Is the room used often by many people, or is the space a pass-through with few lingering persons? How the room is used and by who will also factor into the size requirements.
- Note the number of doors and windows. More windows let in more sunlight and add to the heat in the room. Likewise, multiple doors (and windows) can lead to drafts, which let the colder air out faster.
- Wall type and insulation. Drywall interior with insulated middles will be more efficiently cooled than wooden or brick walls or walls without insulation. If you know what type of walls and insulation the room has, you can get a clearer picture of cooling needs.
The BTU rating of the air conditioner is a direct correlation to the room size. The square foot measurement should be the minimum BTU rating you need. The formula is to use 20 BTUs for every square foot. Meaning if you have a 1000 square foot room, you need a 20,000 BTU air conditioner.
This should be your minimum. After factoring in the items and considerations mentioned above, you will then have a range. Assuming the room has a lot of furniture, is occupied often, and has no insulation with high ceilings, we can adjust our BTU needs to a range of 20,000 to 35,000 BTUs for that 1000 square foot space.
Large Room Window ACs Compared
Considerations When Buying a Window AC
Cooling Power Vs. Area Coverage
The cooling power, as mentioned above, is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). The higher the BTU rating, the more powerful the cooling ability of the air conditioner will be. The average rule states that you should require 20 BTUs to cool a 1 square foot space.
This simple formula gives you the minimum BTU rating for the area of coverage that you need. Larger spaces will need quite a bit of BTUs to lower the temperature and maintain the cooling.
Energy Efficiency Rating (EER)
The EER is another math formula designed to determine how efficient the air conditioner is. The EER is a ratio of the BTU output of the device and the input, in watts, of the device. Basically, how much power does it draw to function properly? The higher the rating, the more efficient the air conditioner.
Noise Levels (dBA)
Noise is measured in decibels (dB) or decibels – weighted (dBA). The weighted measurement measures noise levels that the human ear can detect, while the straight decibel rating (most commonly used) encapsulates all noise level ranges.
The lower the dBA, the quieter the machine is. A standard guide will have city traffic at 20 feet or a hairdryer at 5 feet around 63 to 65dB. A typical volume conversation in a quiet room, however, is about 50dB. Anything below about 37dB is usually not detected by the adult human ear.
Size & Weight of Unit
Window ACs are installed in a window, as the name suggests. Therefore it is critical you know the dimensions and weight of the machine to see if it will fit inside your window or not. Window units come in all sizes, widths, and weights.
Measuring your open window’s dimensions will give you an idea of what the maximum size AC you can fit will be.
When installing a window unit, you will need to use a brace to keep the appliance from falling out. Many models use the pressure of gravity and the top half of the window to secure the unit. Larger models, though, will need a bracket or brace to mount correctly.
If you are using a portable AC, the only section installed in the window is the vent hoses. A single hose unit is lighter and easier to fit in horizontal or vertical windows, while a dual hose system is much more efficient but can be more challenging to set up.
Most window ACs don’t need drain hoses as they use an evaporation pan. Any overflow is directed to the rear of the pan where it drains outside. Portable units may or may not have a drain hose that will need routing to a drain or out the window with the exhaust hoses.
Standard ACs will use a dedicated circuit and a special plug and outlet. If you do not have this outlet, you may need to hire an HVAC technician or electrician to install one for you. These circuits are usually 240 volts and 20 amps.
However, some units run on 120 volts and 15 amps that use a standard outlet with a grounded three-prong plug.
Rooms that need to be cooled in the summer will most likely need to be heated in the winter. Finding a dual-purpose air conditioner with a heat mode will solve both problems. These units are generally more expensive, but it is two systems in one used to cool and heat your room as needed.
Sleep mode on an AC isn’t like putting your computer to sleep. Instead, this is a timed mode that runs on low speeds and low power, gradually lowering (or raising) the temperature so you can fall asleep. As the hours go by, the AC slowly returns to normal operating speeds and temperatures by the time you wake up in the morning.
Multiple Fan Speeds
Most air conditioners will come with multiple fan speeds. Higher speeds are louder but produce more cold air at a higher rate. They also draw more energy but are useful for getting a room to temperature and then changing speeds to maintain that temperature throughout the day.
Auto settings allow you to choose a speed and temperature that is efficient and economical. Auto settings save time and money but may take longer to get a room to temp than manual setting controls.
Remote Control Operation
Large rooms with window ACs would do well to spend a few extra dollars to invest in a model with remote control. Infrared remotes will allow you to set temperatures, change speeds or modes, and maintain your desired atmosphere without having to get up.
All air conditioners dehumidify a room by nature. It is part of the condensing process. However, in high humidity areas, you may need extra help. Window units with built-in dehumidifiers will allow you to run one or the other (rarely both together).
Maintaining a humidity level between 40 and 60% will make the air conditioner more efficient as it won’t have to work so hard to cool the air.
Using a timer is great when you want to keep the room cool while you relax before going to bed. You can set the timer and enjoy your evening, and the air conditioner will turn off when the timer reaches 0.
This is also helpful for use in the mornings when you are getting ready for work and don’t want the air conditioner to run all day when no one is home.
Smart air conditioners will connect to your home’s wireless networks and allow you to control them through a mobile app. This opens up many possibilities, such as remembering to turn the AC off after you already left the house or turning it on when you leave the office, so the room is cool when you get home.
Warranties are as varied as the brands and features of the air conditioners they cover. Before you buy, you need to know what the warranty coverage is, how long it lasts and what it takes to get the coverage (registration online, holding proof of purchase, etc.).
The industry average is between 3 and 5 years. However, many models will have 1 or 2-year warranties, while others will hold 10+ years.
You want to ensure you pay enough to get a high-end, high-quality air conditioner that is going to last. Skimping upfront will only cost you more down the road when you need to pay for repairs or replacement too soon.
You also want to stay within your allotted budget, and finding the best window AC for the price is always a goal and a challenge. Using the consideration factors above, you will know where you can save money by eliminating things you don’t need and where you need to spend more to get features you must have.
8 Window Air Conditioners for Large Rooms Reviewed
Below are our list and reviews for the best large room window AC units. Each has several unique features that may appeal to different consumers so be sure to research them thoroughly.
Not a reader? Then check out our youtube video below that highlights the top models and briefly explains why they are our favorite choices in this category of air conditioners.
1. Frigidaire FFRE2533U2
Our Top Pick for Large Rooms
|Coverage Area||1600 sq. ft.|
|Dimensions||26.5 x 26.5 x 18.6 inches|
|Max Noise Levels||57 dba|
|Installation Type||Window only|
Our top pick for large rooms just happens to be the best 230v window AC around. The Frigidaire Window AC has a lot of power in a small size and can push cold air pretty far. Installation is a breeze, and set up is even easier.
With this model, you can effectively and efficiently cool rooms up to 1600 square feet. It is also Energy Star rated for efficiency. It features a low-watt start-up, diminished power draw, and maintains power and performance regardless.
There are three cooling modes, four fan speeds, and a timer function (24 hours on or off). Automatic mode defaults to energy savings mode, which will run on lower speeds and cut off when the temperature is reached.
You can set the temperature and get an LED indication when the filter needs to be cleaned. A simple rinse under the tap and let dry to clean the filter. Except for the LED indicator, all of these features can be controlled by the infrared remote that will work from up to 30 feet away.
Window only installation is simple, and the unit comes with extendable wing fillers to close the gaps on the side (if any). Unfortunately, there isn’t a through-the-wall box for this model, so you can only put it in a window. It does take a perpendicular outlet (NEMA 6-20P) and a dedicated 230v circuit.
The 1-year parts and labor warranty extends to 5 years for the sealed system (compressor, motor) but could still be better. Frigidaire has produced a beast of an AC that runs quiet, installs quickly, and cools rapidly. You’re going to enjoy this one.
- Simple installation takes minutes
- Remote or local control options
- 24-hour timer
- Energy Star rated
- Washable filter
- 1-year parts, 5-year sealed system warranty
- Requires dedicated 240v circuit (20 amp)
2. Emerson Quiet Kool EARC15RE1
Best 115v Large Room Window AC
|Coverage Area||700 sq. ft.|
|BTU Rating||15000 + 6000, 8000, 10000, 12000|
|Dimensions||23.6 x 35.4 x 17.9 inches|
|Max Noise Levels||52 dba|
|Installation Type||Window only|
Emerson is a name that has been in the home climate control game for decades. They know a thing or two about air conditioners, and their Quiet Cool series may be their best one yet. These air conditioners are simple, stylish, and simple to install, set up, and use.
If you are looking for effortless, the 15,000 BTU Quiet Cool window air conditioner is just about as effortless as it gets. The hardest part of this entire system is getting it out of the box after getting it home.
Once you place it in the window, close the window pane and install the gap sealer, you just need to plug it into a standard outlet, turn it on and select a temperature. That’s it. This AC will take care of the rest.
You can, of course, get more in-depth with the controls and settings. Choosing from the 4 fan speeds (low, medium, high, and auto) will have the air circulate faster or slower. The cooling modes will adjust how cool the air gets, and if you need to run the fan only, you can do just that. Easily the best 115v large room window AC, Quiet Cool stays true to its name.
With a relatively silent 52dB, you won’t have to turn up the TV or talk louder when it comes on.
If the 700 sq ft coverage is too much, you can opt for one of the smaller BTU rated models in the series. They come in 6, 8, 10, or 12,000 BTUs ranging in capacities from 250 to 700 square feet.
All models follow the Emerson 1/2/5-year warranty for labor, parts, and compressor (respectively), which should be better, but it isn’t the worst warranty in the industry.
- Simple installation with plug and go set up.
- Quiet operation
- Remote control operation
- 8-way airflow
- 1 year labor, 2 years parts and 5 years compressor warranty
3. Frigidaire FFRH1822R2
Best Slide-Out Chassis AC for Large Rooms
|Coverage Area||1050 sq ft.|
|BTU Rating||18000 + 8000, 11000, 25000|
|Dimensions||25.38 x 23.63 x 17.88 inches|
|Max Noise Levels||–|
|Installation Type||Window or Wall|
Frigidaire is back on our list with another incredible unit. This model features a slide-out chassis, supplemental heating function, and infrared remote control operation. Everything you need for your large room in one unit. Can it get better?
It can! This unit comes inside a slide-out chassis that works as a mounting box for through-the-wall installations. Simply cut to the rough-in dimensions, screw the chassis in place, then slide the AC into the box. Four screws secure the AC to the chassis.
Don’t want to cut a hole in your wall? Simply remove the chassis and install the AC directly in the window. It comes with fold-out gap filler wings to prevent drafts and air leaks.
This 18,000 BTU unit is a 230v system, so you need a dedicated circuit to plug into. Once install is complete, you only need to turn it on and enjoy the cold, crisp air. You can choose between three cooling modes (low, high, auto) or change over to heating mode.
The heating mode is not designed to heat your room to a higher temperature, but it will act as supplemental heat and take the edge off while your primary heating source kicks on and warms up. Running both will also cause each one to run less often, saving you money on your energy bills.
With 8-direction airflow control, remote operation, and multiple BTU sizes available, it’s a miracle you don’t already have this unit ordered and on its way to your home right now.
- Wall or window mounting
- Heat function
- Energy saving modes
- Remote operation
- 1-year parts, 5-year sealed system warranty
- Install will take two people
4. LG LW1817IVSM
Best Dual Inverter Window Mounted AC
|Coverage Area||1000 sq ft.|
|Dimensions||25.98 x 17.68 x 28.11 inches|
|Max Noise Levels||44 dba|
|Installation Type||Window Only|
LG quickly and quietly made a name for themselves, and after years of being near the top, there are several categories where they are the default leader. If you want a dual inverter window mounted AC, then you want to look to LG.
A dual inverter AC is one with a compressor that doesn’t turn on or off. Instead, it quietly adjusts speed based on need. This not only saves energy by virtually eliminating high draw start-ups, but it saves by not running at full speed at all times.
The stand out feature with this model, though, is the smart functionality. You can control the AC from the local digital control panel, of course.
However, with the LG SmartThinQ mobile app, you can use your phone to control the AC from anywhere in the world. Need to turn it on before you get home? Use the app. Forget to turn the air conditioner off on your way to the airport? Use the app.
The mobile app will scan your home for eligible devices and take you through the step-by-step set up to connect your air conditioner. It only takes a few minutes, and you can then take complete control over the system.
This model does have one of the industry’s worst warranties, with a simple 1-year warranty covering the entire machine. However, the saving grace is that it is an LG and will outlive most other products of similar size and capabilities.
- Mobile app control through LG SmartThinQ
- 24-hour timer
- WiFi and Filter indicator lights
- Extremely quiet operation
- Dual inverter compressor saves energy
- 1-year warranty
- Heavy unit (over 110 pounds)
5. Frigidaire FFRS1022R1
Best Sliding Window AC Unit for Large Rooms
|Coverage Area||450 sq ft.|
|Dimensions||23.5 x 14.5 x 20.25 inches|
|Max Noise Levels||58 dba|
|Installation Type||Casement/Slider window only|
Once again we see Frigidaire on our list, and you will soon see why. Not only is the climate control giant fully capable of making a top list by themselves, but they also offer one of the best sliding window AC units for large rooms and multiple rooms.
This model is 10,000 BTUs of cooling power that fits exclusivity in horizontal sliding or casement windows. If you have the standard double-hung windows, this will not work for you (though any other Frigidaire model on this list will).
While it isn’t the quietest machine on the market, it isn’t the noisiest either, and with a dehumidifier inside, you can remove up to 82 pints per day (PPD) of excess moisture in your air. Lower humidity will help prevent mold growth, make it easier to breathe, and allow the air conditioner to be more efficient.
The full-function remote will allow you to control every aspect of the AC, including fan speed, dehumidify, mode selection, temperature selection, and more. You can also use the ready-select mode buttons on the control panel to use auto mode, timer mode, or sleep mode, which are all preprogrammed modes for everyday uses.
The 1/5-year warranty from Frigidaire is present on this model, too. And while we wish it were longer, it will suffice to find any defects, problems, or issues with any mode before it’s too late.
- Dehumidification up to 82 PPD
- Ready-select controls
- Specifically made for horizontal sliding windows
- 4-war airflow direction
- Fully functional remote
- 1-year parts, 5-year sealed system warranty
- Not as efficient as other models on this list (10.3 EER)
6. AMANA AMAP222BW
Best 22000 BTU Window AC for a Large Room
|Coverage Area||1400 sq ft|
|BTU Rating||22000 + 5000, 6000, 8000, 12000, 18000, 24000|
|Dimensions||26.42 x 26.85 x 18.74 inches|
|Max Noise Levels||59 dba|
|Installation Type||Window only|
AMANA may not be the powerhouse company they once were, but they still know how to produce quality air conditioners and other appliances. However, if you are looking for the best 22,000 BTU window AC, the AMAP222BW model is one of only a handful on the market worth looking at.
Not many companies produce 22,000 BTU models in window units, and AMANA has almost cornered the market there. Of course, if you need more or less power, they also have a range of window units in this series that range from 5,000 to 24,000 BTUs.
For large spaces and big rooms, though, the 1400 sq ft capable 22,000 BTU model is perfect. The remote operation makes controls simple and straight forward. They also included large, easy to read push buttons on the display panel.
You will know when it is time to wash the mesh filter by its indicator. This model also features a dehumidifier for moisture removal when needed.
The 1-year warranty is abysmal, and unlike LG, the AMANA model isn’t quite as high of quality to get away with it. However, if something does go wrong with your air conditioner in that 12-months, AMANA is excellent at making it right.
- Remote operation for all modes
- Dehumidification up to 70 PPD
- ECO mode saves energy well
- 1-year warranty
- Loudest model on the list
7. Frigidaire Energy Star FFRE183WAE
Best Energy Efficient Window AC for Large Rooms
|Coverage Area||1020 sq ft.|
|BTU Rating||18000 + 5000, 6000, 8000, 10000, 12000|
|Dimensions||25.4 x 23.7 x 17.9 inches|
|Max Noise Levels||58 dba|
|Installation Type||Window only|
If energy efficiency is your goal, you know where we are going to turn. The Frigidaire Energy Star rated model will have you cool as a cucumber and saving money to boot. You will find it hard to beat the cost savings, lower monthly bills, and cool air all combined from one machine. This is it.
With an EER rating of 11.1, the 1500 watt draw is minimized compared to the output. This also features Frigidaire’s low power start-up capabilities, reducing the jolt needed to start the compressor.
While it isn’t the quietest when on high (58dB), the low setting is barely noticeable (51dB), and you can cool off in comfort without having to alter your routine, change volume or talk louder. The all-digital remote allows you up to 30 feet of control space and will display all settings, including set temperature.
The washable filter, low maintenance, and easy set up all work to making this one of the best large room air conditioners on the market. However, if you need to cool a smaller space, you can save even more money by purchasing a more size-appropriate model.
This series comes in 5,000 to 18,000 BTUs and will work in rooms from 150 square feet up to this model’s impressive 1020 square feet. You still get the 1/5-year Frigidaire warranty, of course, but for the energy savings of this model, we forgive them, again.
- Energy Star Rated (11.1)
- Washable filter
- Digital remote control
- 1-year parts, 5-year sealed system
- May require professional for outlet install
8. Friedrich Kuhl Commercial Window Air Conditioner
For the Very Largest of Rooms
|Coverage Area||2500 sq ft.|
|Dimensions||20 x 28 x 35 inches|
|Max Noise Levels||51 dba|
|Installation Type||Window, Through-the-Wall|
Do you need to cool off an office, an over-sized room, or a small city? The Friedrich Kuhl commercial window AC can probably handle it. This beast boasts 36,000 BTUs of power to cool up to 2500 square feet (and probably more if you let it).
It is not Energy Star rated (EER of 9), but when you need to push cold air at this volume, it takes energy. The quiet technology fan pushes over 750 CFM or air through the vents and every ounce of cold and refreshing.
Even when on high, this monster of an AC only produces 51dB of noise. This is thanks to the double insulated and rubber grommet compressor. Limiting metal on metal contact and vibration, this machine won’t interrupt phone calls or Saturday night Netflix binge sessions.
You also get 8 airflow options, 4 mode selections, a three-speed fan, and a washable filter. The remote operation isn’t limited, and if the control panel can control it, so can the remote. You will need two people to install this behemoth in the window, but only a single finger to cool the entire room.
With a 5-year warranty you have little to worry about. Repair, replacement, or refund all from Friedrich Kuhl if anything goes wrong. One of the most popular commercial window air conditioners can now be yours.
- 5-year warranty
- Large coverage area
- Super quiet
- Requires 2 person installation
Determining the Right Size AC for Your Window Space
The most important thing is to measure the open window. You want to start with the height. However, be careful not to measure from the windowsill. The window will have a lip above the sill that you need to start your measurement from. Measure from the top of this lip to the bottom of the window frame when it is open to the highest point.
Next, you want to measure the window’s width. Again, make sure you measure the window lip inside to inside and not the window framing. Once you have these two measurements, you will know the maximum width and height the AC can be.
Window or Wall
While there are small differences in through-the-wall air conditioners and window units, window units can also be installed through the wall.
Window installations are much easier but not always viable. If a window isn’t an option, you will need to cut a hole through to the outside big enough to hold the AC mounting box.
Most window units are designed to fit in the window with nothing more than the window sill and windowpane holding it in place. Heavier units will need mounting brackets, braces, or even mounting boxes. Before you buy the AC and bring it home, make sure you know how you will mount it and have the required equipment ready to go.
Electrical and Drainage
If you have an outlet near the window and the AC unit you purchase is a 110/1120 volt model with a standard plug, you don’t need to worry too much about the electrical side. However, larger models require more amps and have higher wattage draws. These models tend to use different plug styles.
The most common are Perpendicular 5-20P style plugs. You can recognize these because they are a tiny bit larger, and one of the prongs is turned sideways or perpendicular to the other. If you don’t have an outlet that fits this plug type, you will need to install one or have one installed for you.
You also need to consider the drainage. All air conditioners will form condensation from the coils. Most window units drain outside to the ground through a small hole in the back of the drainage tray. This is generally an overflow as most of the condensation will evaporate.
However, some people don’t like the water dripping straight down to the ground. You can install a drain hose and route it to your garden or fence line if you wish to move the water away from the house.
People Also Ask (FAQ)
Do I need 25000+ BTUs or is 15000 BTUs sufficient for most homes?
The BTU rating will determine the size of the space the unit can cool efficiently. With rare exceptions, this is for a single room only, so 15,000 BTUs may be enough. As an average of 20 BTUs per square foot, a 15,000 BTU air conditioner can cool a single room of up to 750 square feet. If your room is larger than this, though, you will need a higher BTU rated AC.
Is the window AC unit installed from the outside or inside?
Window ACs are installed from the inside. The lip of the window will hold the mounting brace on the bottom of the AC, and it should always be on the inside of the window’s lip. This prevents the air conditioner from falling out backward through the window. Window ACs are designed rear-end heavy, so gravity pulls on the backside, keeping the unit in the window as long as it is installed inside the home.
How can I fill in the gap left between the unit and the upper window frame?
Most AC units will come with wings that extend to fill the space leftover on the sides of the AC. However, the bottom and top of the AC may still have gaps. Teflon tape, weather stripping, or spray foam will fill the gaps and keep the drafts to a minimum.
Do I need a professional HVAC technician to install a window air conditioner?
No. Window ACs don’t require much of an installation. As long as you can lift the unit into the window (use two people, they are heavy!) and plug it into a nearby outlet, there isn’t much else to install. However, if you need an outlet installed, it is best to call a professional for that.
What type of maintenance is needed for window ACs?
Regular cleaning of the vents and body of the air conditioner is advised. You also need to regularly clean or replace the filters that come with the AC. Most filters will be a simple mesh screen that can be removed, washed off, and reinserted. Paper or fiber filters will need to be discarded and replaced.
Where can I buy large window ACs at the best price?
The best places to buy a window AC are Amazon and Sylvane. These two online retailers will offer you the biggest selection, widest range of styles, colors, features, dimensions, and install types. You will also get the biggest savings, fastest shipping, and better customer support through them.
Using a window AC in a large room is a great idea. It can cut down on energy costs if the unit is efficient enough, and you can have a comfortable room all year long. Finding the best window ac for your large room, though, can be a challenge.
This article covered everything you need to know to make an informed decision. However, If you are still undecided on which model to buy, take another look at our top pick. The Frigidaire FFRE2533U2 is an all-digital controlled AC with multiple fan speeds, temperature control settings, and energy saving mode. It works well and produces cold air without any issues.
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