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10 Most Energy Efficient Window Air Conditioners For Reduced Bills

Josh Mitchell

Written By

Josh Mitchell

Expert Reviewed By

Holly Curell

Last Updated On

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AC units can be expensive to run, and with electricity costs spiraling, more and more homeowners are asking me for help finding economical options. 

The perfect window air conditioner balances powerful cooling and energy efficiency - keeping you comfortable without breaking the bank on electricity bills.

Below, I’ll introduce my favorite efficient window ACs that I guarantee will keep you cool and save you money.

Quick Glance - My Recommendations

GE Profile Inverter Window Air Conditioner...

GE AHTR10AC

  • Most energy-efficient window AC
  • 15.7 EER rated
  • Ultra quiet operation

Midea 8,000 BTU U-Shaped Smart Inverter Air...

Midea MAW08V1QWT

  • Most popular u-shaped AC
  • 15 EER rated
  • Big energy bill savings

LG 10,000 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner,...

LG LW1022IVSM

  • High efficiency: 15 EER
  • Low running costs: under $35 a year
  • Dual inverter technology: up to 25% energy savings

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10 Money-Saving Window ACs That Are Energy Efficient

I often find that many advertised "efficient" window ACs fail to deliver.

There are a few models I have worked with stand out for their exceptional cooling capability and efficiency. 

1. GE AHTR10AC

4.8

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

5

Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.5

Current Progress
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Value For Money

4.75

Current Progress
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BTU

10000

Inverter

Yes

EER

15.7

Noise (dB)

40-54

Pros
  • Most energy-efficient window AC -
  • 15.7 EER rated
  • Industry leading energy savings
  • Ultra-quiet at 40 dB
  • Energy Star certification
CONS
  • Initial investment 
  • Occasionally drops WiFi connection

Until very recently, I was telling my customers that the best they could do for energy efficiency with a window AC was a 15 EER. 

This fits the bill for many of the products on my list, including the Midea U-Shaped Smart Inverter and LG LW1022IVSM

Enter the GE AHTR10AC, which blows every "most energy efficient" window AC out of the water with it's industry leading 15.7 EER.

When I saw the impressive specs of this GE window air conditioner, I just knew I had to install one myself to see if it lives up to the hype. Spoiler alert: it does. 

GE's cutting-edge technology packs all the bells and whistles into one window AC, with an impressive inverter compressor that makes it not only the most energy efficient model on my list, but also the quietest. 

On sleep mode, the GE AHTR10AC registers at just 40 dB making it one of the quietest Window ACs.

I tested this noise rating against my refrigerator, and this GE model was actually quieter, overall!

It does get louder on some of the higher fan speeds, up to 57 dB. However, I feel that this is to be expected of 10000 BTU models, and is almost identical to that of the Frigidaire GHWQ103WC1 below. 

The GE AHTR10AC is Energy Star certified, which isn't a requirement for window ACs, but I do feel offers some peace of mind for my expectations on performance. 

It's estimated to cost about $49 to run annually (when considering about 8 hours a day for three months). 

Typically, I equate such energy efficiency and premium features with a high price tag, but I am impressed that GE offers this model below $500. It's worth every penny, in my opinion.

Who is it best for?

I recommend the GE AHTR10AC for homeowners seeking top-of-the-line energy efficiency from a trusted brand. 

Feature

Details

BTU (ASHRAE)

10000

Cooling Area

450 sq. ft.

EER

15.7

Noise Level

40 - 54 dBa

Dimension (D x W x H)

19.89 x 20.52 x 13.91 inches


2. MIDEA U-Shaped Smart Inverter (MAW08V1QWT)

4.7

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.75

Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.25

Current Progress
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Value For Money

5.0

Current Progress
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BTU

8000

Inverter

Yes

EER

15

Noise (dB)

42-47

Pros
  • Allows window use with installation
  • 15 EER rated
  • Big energy bill savings
  • Modern U-shaped design for easy fitting
CONS
  • Higher initial cost
  • No water drain
  • Hard to find during peak seasons.

When I started working with window ACs, most were bulky, noisy power hogs. The Midea U-shaped window AC shows just how far this technology has come. 

This bestseller has overwhelmingly positive reviews, and I couldn't fault it during testing. 

Midea's standout feature is its 15 EER rating. I haven't found many models that match this, not even from premium brands like LG or Frigidaire.

The energy efficiency comes from the unit's next-gen inverter technology, which uses 35% less power than conventional window ACs.

By my calculations, it costs under $52 a year to run which is $30-$50 less than similar powered ACs.

It's no surprise it was named ENERGY STAR's most efficient window AC in 2023. 

The Midea's cutting-edge technology goes beyond efficiency. It's smart Wi-Fi enabled AC, so you can control it remotely via smartphone and even integrate it with voice assistants like Alexa or Google Home. 

Plus, the built-in M-Shield air ionizer technology helps purify the air as it cools - I use it in my garage to keep the air clean.  

The design also impressed me, with a seamless U-shaped window fitting. You can open/close the window while blocking out hot air and exterior noise. This helps the unit run whisper quiet - and I tracked it as low as 42 decibels. 

Midea U MAW08V1QWT

I found the installation simple, but it can be trickier on non-standard window sizes and shapes - so allow more time. 

Unlike some older Midea models with fluctuating wattage/power draw, I find this window unit delivers consistently, making it easier to predict energy use.

It is pricier than the Dreo DR-HAC002 or Danby DAC060EB6WDB, but the long-term savings make it an outstanding choice. 

Who is it best for?

I recommend the Midea MAW08V1QWT for homeowners seeking a modern, efficient window AC with low running costs. It’s particularly well suited to tech-savvy users who appreciate smart home integration.

Feature

Details

BTU (ASHRAE)

8000

Cooling Area

350 sq. ft.

EER

15

Noise Level

42 - 47 dBa

Dimension (D x W x H)

19.17 x 21.97 x 13.46 inches


3. LG LW1022IVSM

4.7

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.75

Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.5

Current Progress
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Value For Money

4.75

Current Progress
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BTU

10000

Inverter

Yes

EER

15

Noise (dB)

44-58

Pros
  • High efficiency: 15 EER
  • Low running costs: under $35 a year
  • Dual inverter technology: up to 25% energy savings
  • Large coverage
  • Under 45 decibels
  • Smart features: Wi-Fi enabled with user-friendly LG ThinQ app.
CONS
  • Higher upfront cost
  • Short power cord
  • Heavier than other models

I recently installed the LG LW1022IVSM in a larger home and was blown away by the performance. It's the ideal window AC for larger spaces that need powerful and low-cost cooling.

Three aspects of this window AC stand out for me:

  1. 1
    The 400-450 square foot coverage. I've used this AC across whole apartments and seen a noticeable temperature difference in under 20 minutes. It offers more coverage than small window air conditioner models, like the Danby DAC060EB6WDB or Frigidaire FFRE063WAE.
  2. 2
    The 15 EER. The LG matches the Midea’s efficiency. By my calculations, you can run it annually for under $35-$50.
  3. 3
    The quiet-running. This AC makes barely any noise and can get as low as 41 dB. It's so quiet I had to double-check it was running.
The LG LW1022IVSM performs so well because of the dual inverter technology.

These inverters adjust the AC cooling power more precisely and limit energy wastage, making it super efficient - over 25% more efficient than standard Window ACs.

This AC unit is also surprisingly easy to set up and use. It has clear instructions (LG always gives simple guidance), and I'm confident anyone can install it- although it is slightly heavier than other units so may take two people.

The LG LW1022IVSM is also Wi-Fi enabled smart AC with smartphone control from anywhere using the ThinQ app.

This app interface is one of the most intuitive I’ve used and ideal for less tech-savvy users. It also integrates with smart home devices like Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control.

Like the Midea, the LG LW1022IVSM does carry a premium price tag - but I think it's worth every penny.

The Midea is a better choice for pure efficiency, but I recommend the LG for low-cost cooling across larger areas.

Who is it best for?

I recommend the LG LW1022IVSM for medium-to-large areas that need fast cooling that won’t cost a fortune. Like the Midea, it’s best for tech-savvy homeowners, but the simple interface and straightforward installation also make it a good choice for those with less experience.

Feature

Details

BTU (ASHRAE)

10000

Cooling Area

450 sq. ft.

EER

15

Noise Level

44 - 58 dBa

Dimension (D x W x H)

24.5 x 19.6 x 12.5 inches


4. Frigidaire GHWQ103WC1

4.6

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.75

Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.5

Current Progress
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Value For Money

4.5

Current Progress
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BTU

10000

Inverter

Yes

EER

15

Noise (dB)

42-53

Pros
  • High-efficiency: up to 15 EER and ENERGY STAR certified
  • Low-cost to run: 47% cheaper than standard ACs
  • Powerful cooling: coverage up to 450 square feet
  • Smart energy-saving features and Wi-Fi enabled
  • Good value for money
CONS
  • Noisier than advertised
  • The Frigidaire app can take time to set up

Frigidaire is one of my go-to AC brands, and this window AC is one of my top picks for homes in hot areas that need year-round temperature control.

At 10,000 BTU, this powerful model can cool up to 450 square feet, providing more coverage than the Midea.

While it does draw more power, 810 watts, it remains highly efficient with a 15 EER rating - in the top 1% of window ACs.

It uses up to 47% less than a standard AC and has even won an ENERGY STAR award for efficiency. 

By my calculations, it can run for under $48 a year, with one of the most impressive output-to-running cost ratios I've seen.

I value the efficiency, but I also really like the performance-enhancing features and design choices in the Frigidaire:

  • It uses an auto-swing louver to improve air circulation and cooling
  • It features three different fan speed settings
  • There's an ECO mode (energy saver mode) to lower the energy draw further
  • It's Wi-Fi enabled for integration and smart device control.
I find the Frigidaire app more challenging and less intuitive to set up than the LG ThinQ, but it does offer remote control from anywhere - ideal for pre-setting the temperature before you arrive.

My only real criticism of the AC is the noise levels - not because it's loud, but because it's not as quiet as advertised.

While it can run around 45 dB on the lowest settings, it's typically more like 55-65 dB.

It's not disruptive but less well-suited for bedrooms than the LG LW1022IVSM or Dreo units.

However, while I don't think the Frigidaire GHWQ103WC1 is as cutting-edge as the Midea or LG LW1022IVSM, I still think it's high-performing, energy-efficient, and competitively priced.

I recommend it for homes in hot areas that need powerful and economical cooling.

Who is it best for?

I recommend this Frigidaire GHWQ103WC1 window air conditioner for those living in hot climates that need powerful and economical cooling, 24/7. It’s ideal for integration with smart home systems and works well alongside other HVAC equipment.

Feature

Details

BTU (ASHRAE)

10000

Cooling Area

450 sq. ft.

EER

15

Noise Level

42 - 53 dBa

Dimension (D x W x H)

19.45 x 23 x 13.9 inches


5. Windmill AC (10000 BTU)

Stylish Option For Energy Efficiency

4.6

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.75

Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.5

Current Progress
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Value For Money

4.5

Current Progress
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BTU

10000

Inverter

Yes

EER

15

Noise (dB)

42-50

Pros
  • High-efficiency: up to 15 EER and ENERGY STAR certified
  • Double-sided insulation 
  • Very stylish modern design
  • Smart energy-saving features and Wi-Fi enabled
  • Amazing customer service
CONS
  • Noisier than advertised

Windmill is a newer company in the realm of window ACs, but they have put energy efficiency at the forefront and are quickly making waves as having the most stylish units on the market. 

I initially came across the Windmill AC when it made Time Magazine's Best Inventions of 2023 list.

I'll admit that the aesthetically pleasing design drew me in, but I was equally impressed with its specs. I had to get one for my own home bedroom to test it out. 

Like the GE AHTR10AC and Frigidaire GHWQ103WC1, this 10000 BTU Windmill model is rated for cooling up to 450 square feet. 

My bedroom is only 380 square feet, but it has vaulted ceilings to account for, so this size is perfect for me. 

However, the company also offers the same model in 8000 and 12000 BTUs if you need to size up or down. 

Using the national average for price per kWh, I estimate that this Windmill AC will cost me about 66 cents per day if I run it all night while I sleep.

I have used cheaper, less efficient models in the past that have cost me more than twice that daily, making those power hogs more expensive in the long run.

On top of its efficiency, the Windmill AC is one of the easiest to install ACs out on the market.

It's dual insulation and double filtration featuring activated carbon (which helps with odors) are the icing on the cake for this beautiful AC. 

Who is it best for?

I recommend the Windmill AC 10000 BTU model for those seeking an aesthetically pleasing AC from a small company that puts the environment at the forefront. 

Feature

Details

BTU (ASHRAE)

10000

Cooling Area

450 sq. ft.

EER

15

Noise Level

42 - 50 dBa

Dimension (D x W x H)

22.5 x 19.3 x 13.3  inches


6. LG LW1517IVSM

4.6

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.5

Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.75

Current Progress
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Value For Money

4.75

Current Progress
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BTU

14000

Inverter

Yes

EER

14.7

Noise (dB)

44-58

Pros
  • Highly efficient: 14.7 SEER rating
  • High output and low running costs
  • Broad coverage: up to 700 square feet
  • Smart features: Wi-Fi enabled, works with intuitive LG ThinQ app and smart devices
  • Precise cooling: Dual inverter technology allows for adaptable cooling
CONS
  • Higher upfront cost
  • Low-quality installation kit
  • Temperature sensor may be 1-2°F off

The LG LW1517IVSM window air conditioner is one of my top picks for cooling studio apartments or large spaces.

This powerful yet efficient unit is ideal for hot areas that need serious cooling.  

At 1,240 watts, it's not the lowest energy draw but the 14.7 SEER rating ensures every watt is used effectively to deliver 14,000 BTUs of cooling.

It can cover up to 700 square feet - even more than the Frigidaire GHWQ103WC1.

Like the LG LW1022IVSM, the dual inverter technology sets this AC apart from others I've worked with.

It supports a variable speed compressor system that increases the efficiency by 25-35% compared to a conventional AC unit.

Based on my calculations, you can run this window air conditioner for around $68 annually, $30-$80 cheaper than similar 14,000 BTU units.

But efficiency isn't the only thing I appreciate about this window air conditioner because the features make it low-maintenance and convenient:

  • It's Wi-Fi enabled and connects to the ThinQ app for remote control from anywhere.
  • It has 4 fan speed settings, dry mode, and ECO mode for customized comfort.
  • It's whisper quiet, 44 - 58 dB, depending on the fan speed.
  • It has an auto-restart function that restores previous settings after a power outage - an absolute life-saver in my area!
LG LW1517IVSM

I did find the installation trickier than the Midea and Frigidaire models because the kit wasn't the best quality. It's a minor issue, but I would allow more time for fitting.

The real downside is the price tag - as it's noticeably pricier upfront than my other top picks.

However, I think the cooling output, features, and long-term energy savings make it a clear value for money, especially in open-plan areas and hotter climates where reliable cooling is essential.

ACLab Note:

For large and bulky ACs such as this, make sure you invest in a good quality Window AC bracket.

Who is it best for?

The LG LW1517IVSM window air conditioner is best for larger areas that need regular, adjustable cooling. I recommend it for homeowners with flexible budgets who want a low-effort, efficient, and high-performing AC they can set and forget.

Feature

Details

BTU (ASHRAE)

14000

Cooling Area

800 sq. ft.

EER

14.7

Noise Level

44 - 58 dBa

Dimension (D x W x H)

23.62 x 24.8 x 14.96 inches


7. Dreo DR-HAC002

4.5

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.75

Current Progress
Current Progress
Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.25

Current Progress
Current Progress
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Value For Money

4.5

Current Progress
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BTU

8000

Inverter

Yes

EER

15

Noise (dB)

42

Pros
  • High efficiency: 15 EER rating and uses 35% less energy
  • ENERGY STAR certified
  • Low running costs: under $45 annually
  • Fast cooling: coverage up to 350 square feet
  • Simple to install
CONS
  • Lack of smart features
  • Less aesthetic design than most air conditioners
  • Performance can dip over time

The Dreo DR-HAC002 was my go-to window AC in 2022 before I started working with the Midea and LG models, and I still rate it highly.

While it lacks some of the cutting-edge tech of those systems, it remains highly efficient with high-quality components, making it ideal for cooling larger spaces. 

What I like most about this AC is the high-efficiency compressor and advanced inverter technology that precisely adapts to match the conditions.

It uses around 35% less energy than a conventional compressor and can achieve a 15 EER rating.

The running costs of this unit are just $40-$45 annually (compared to an average of $60 for this size), allowing you to realize decent savings.

While the Dreo doesn't quite have the coverage of the LG LW1022IVSM, it can still cool 300-350 square feet effectively.

Dreo Arctic One DR-HAC002

Plus, it reduces the temperature faster thanks to a moving louver feature on the front that pushes air around the room evenly.

This adds to the efficiency, and I noticed a temperature drop almost immediately.

I appreciate the simplicity of the installation with the Dreo. It has panel seals, foam, and a putty material to seal the gaps.

It should take less than half the time of a standard installation, and I had it up in under 10 minutes.

The noise levels of the Dreo surprised me the most when I first used it because I was expecting a noisier machine - but it’s as quiet as the Midea at 42 decibels. Considering it doesn't have a U-shaped design, that's impressive.

My only real criticism of the Dreo is the lack of smart features. The LCD remote is good, but the AC would benefit from Wi-Fi and integrations.

Overall, the design and performance of this machine are impressive. I recommend it for those who want a simpler model that's easy to install and low-cost to run.

Who is it best for?

I recommend the Dreo DR-HAC002 for those who don’t need smart features but want a reliable unit that's easy to install and use. The quiet, energy-efficient operation makes it ideal for low-cost cooling in bedrooms, home offices, and living spaces.

Feature

Details

BTU (ASHRAE)

8000

Cooling Area

350 sq. ft.

EER

15

Noise Level

42 dBa

Dimension (D x W x H)

18.81 x 22.99 x 13.97 inches


8. MIDEA MAW12HV1CWT

4.4

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.25

Current Progress
Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.5

Current Progress
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Value For Money

4.5

Current Progress
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BTU

12000

Inverter

Yes

EER

13.3

Noise (dB)

45-58

Pros
  • Versatile cooling and heating capabilities
  • 12,000 BTU cooling capacity for larger rooms up to 550 square feet
  • 13.3 SEER rating with low running costs
  • Easy installation and sleek design
CONS
  • Higher upfront cost
  • Noisier than advertised
  • Auxiliary heating mode can't operate below 41°F outside temperature

The Midea MAW12HV1CWT is one of my top recommendations for exposed rooms or apartments needing year-round temperature control.

This powerful 12,000 BTU window air conditioner offers cooling and heating, making it one of the most versatile and efficient all-in-one options.

In terms of raw power output, it trails only the LG LW1517IVSM. However, unlike other high BTU options, Midea's inverter system keeps operating costs impressively low.

The 13.3 SEER rating makes it 35% more efficient than standard air conditioners.

Based on typical use, I estimate yearly running costs of just $60-$90- very low considering the output.

What I like most about this AC is its versatility. It has 5 operating modes, 3 fan speeds, an ECO setting for maximum efficiency, and even a dry mode.

The auxiliary heating function provides a boost when the temperature dips slightly. Although, I advise against relying on it because it can't operate below 41°F.

I also appreciate the user-friendly smart features. The Wi-Fi connectivity allows remote control and monitoring through Midea's intuitive MSmartHome app - one of the best I've used - and you can also configure voice commands through Alexa or Google Home.

I found the installation straightforward, with good-quality fittings for the window sill.

The unit fits practically any double-hung windows (24-38.5 inches), and at 51 lbs, most people can lift it solo.

I did find the noise output slightly higher than the advertised 45 dB - around 50-55dB on low fan and 60-65dB on high.

However, while it may not be as quiet as the Dreo DR-HAC002, as powerful as the LG LW1517IVSM, or as efficient as the Midea MAW08V1QWT, it's a great all-rounder for moderate climates. 

It is pricey, but an excellent long-term investment, and I recommend it for those seeking year-round comfort.

Who is it best for?

The Midea MAW12HV1CWT offers versatility that makes it effective in shifting climates. I recommend it for homes that experience seasonal changes and need regular, cost-effective temperature control.

Feature

Details

BTU (ASHRAE)

12000

Cooling Area

550 sq. ft.

EER

13.3

Noise Level

45 - 58 dBa

Dimension (D x W x H)

22.17 x 19.41 x 13.9 inches


9. Frigidaire FFRE053WAE

4.0

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

3.75

Current Progress
Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

3.75

Current Progress
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Value For Money

4.5

Current Progress
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BTU

5000

Inverter

No

EER

12.2

Noise (dB)

51-55

Pros
  • Super-efficient small window AC at 12.2 SEER
  • Miniscule power draw
  • Cools small spaces fast
  • Programmable timer and multiple fan speed settings
  • Extra-long power cord for easy placement
CONS
  • Limited coverage - only 5,000 BTU
  • No Wi-Fi or smart integration
  • Noisy compared to other small units

The Frigidaire FFRE053WAE is on the opposite end of the spectrum to the LG LW1517IVSM as this is a small unit with 5000 BTU cooling capacity.

It has the lowest power consumption on the list and is my top pick for a small efficient window AC.

There are 3 big reasons why I recommend this AC for compact spaces:

  1. 1
    It runs below 330 watts. That's an impressively low power draw, even for a smaller unit.
  2. 2
    It can cool 150-200 square feet. Despite the tiny power draw, it still produces 5,000 BTU (it was more than enough to keep my office cool over the summer).
  3. 3
    It has a 12.2 EER rating (extremely impressive for a small unit). By my calculations, it will cost under $40 a year to run.

The efficient cooling isn't the only reason I recommend the FFRE053WAE.

It's also one of the easiest installations I've done, weighing just 41lbs and with easy-fit removable side panels.

The extra-long power cord also saved me from tripping over extension cords.

Plus, it has a small footprint (far smaller than even the Midea U-shaped unit) and doesn't take up a whole room.

It's also surprisingly accessible, with front-facing access panels to easily access the washable filters.

One downside of this unit is the noise levels - I clocked it at 62 decibels on the higher fan speeds. I would still fit it in bedrooms but only run it on lower settings at night.

Frigidaire FFRE053WAE controls

It also lacks Wi-Fi controls and integration. I like the electronic remote control and programmable timer, but it's less advanced than the LG LW1022IVSM or DREO DRHAC02.

However, I think the FFRE053WAE hits the sweet spot for simple, efficient, and affordable cooling in small areas with a SEER rating, making it one of the most energy-efficient small window ACs on the market.

Who is it best for?

The FFRE053WAE is best for small spaces under 200 square feet, particularly bedrooms, home offices, dorms, or small living areas. I recommend it for homeowners who need economical cooling on a budget.

Feature

Details

BTU (ASHRAE)

5000

Cooling Area

150 sq. ft.

EER

12.2

Noise Level

51 - 55 dBa

Dimension (D x W x H)

15.5 x 18.5 x 13 inches


10. Danby DAC060EB6WDB

4.0

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

3.5

Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.0

Current Progress
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Value For Money

4.5

Current Progress
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BTU

6000

Inverter

No

EER

12.1

Noise (dB)

52-55

Pros
  • Low upfront cost
  • Efficient at 12.1 EER
  • Multiple fan speeds and settings - including comfort sleep mode
  • Follow-me thermostat function
  • Compact dimensions & space-saving design
CONS
  • No Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Noisier model 

The Danby DAC060EB6WDB is one of my recommendations for cooling small rooms on a budget.

At 6,000 BTUs, it may not be the most powerful, but I find this compact profile window unit punches well above its weight class, similar to the Frigidaire FFRE053WAE.

What stands out for me with the Danby window AC is the value. The upfront cost is far below premium brands like Midea or LG, yet it still has an efficient 12.1 SEER rating.

I estimate annual operating costs of only $50-$60 - making it an ultra-affordable way to cool rooms up to 250 square feet.

I also find the Danby DAC060EB6WDB far more versatile than most small window units. It has 3 different fan speeds, 4-way air direction control, a programmable timer, and a remote control option.

Danby DAC060EB6WDB controls

It also has a Comfort Sleep Mode to maintain a steady temperature through the night - a feature I don't often see at this price point.

The 'follow-me' function is also very effective, using the electronic remote as a thermostat to match the desired temperature.

It offers more adaptable cooling and lets you turn off the bright LCD screen at night.

Installation was also straightforward. This compact unit fits any 23-36-inch window (it’s best in casement windows), and I had it securely mounted in under 10 minutes - far quicker than some premium models I've worked with.

My only real criticisms are the lack of Wi-Fi controls and that the unit's housing can get a bit rattly over time if you don't keep the screws tight (I found this pushed the noise levels above 70dB).

However, I think these are minor issues, and it's a solid window AC for the price.

If you need an affordable, economical window AC to cool a small area without breaking the bank, I recommend the Danby DAC060EB6WDB.

Who is it best for?

The Danby DAC060EB6WDB can't cool large open areas but is ideal for small rooms, bedrooms, nurseries, garages, or basements that need dedicated cooling. I recommend it for homeowners on a tight budget who want a high-quality, economical window AC.

Feature

Details

BTU (ASHRAE)

6000

Cooling Area

250 sq. ft.

EER

12.1

Noise Level

51.9 - 55.5 dBa

Dimension (D x W x H)

15.75 x 18.54 x13.39 inches

Comparing Energy Efficient AC Units

Preview

Name

Rating

BTU

EER

Price

GE Profile Inverter Window Air Conditioner...

GE AHTR10AC

4.8

10000

15.7

Midea 8,000 BTU U-Shaped Smart Inverter Air...

Midea MAW08V1QWT

4.7

8000

15

LG 10,000 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner,...

LG LW1022IVSM

4.7

10000

15

Frigidaire GHWQ103WC1 Inverter Quiet Temp...

Frigidaire GHWQ103WC1

4.6

10000

15

Windmill - The Windmill AC Modern Air...

Windmill AC
(10000 BTU)

4.6

10000

15

LG 14,000 BTU Dual Inverter Smart Window Unit...

LG LW1517IVSM

4.6

14000

14.7

Dreo Inverter Air Conditioner Window Unit...

Dreo DR-HAC002

4.5

8000

15

Midea 12000 BTU Smart Inverter Air...

MIDEA MAW12HV1CWT

4.4

12000

13.3

Frigidaire FFRE063WAE Window Air Conditioner...

Frigidaire FFRE053WAE

4.0

5000

12.2

Danby DAC060EB6WDB 6,000 BTU Window Air...

Danby DAC060EB6WDB

4.0

6000

12.1

How To Buy a Window AC That Will Save You money

For a very detailed approach to purchasing a window AC, read my comprehensive guide to buying a Window AC.

EER Rating Makes All The Difference

Energy Guide of $40 with 12.1 EER

The Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) shows how efficiently an air conditioner will operate [1].

It represents the ratio of the cooling capacity (BTUs) to the power input (Watts) - essentially, the EER shows how much cooling you get for your money.

The higher the EER, the more efficient the AC and the lower the running costs.

EER is my number one consideration when choosing or recommending a window AC because it massively impacts the running costs and long-term value. 

High-efficiency models, like the industry-leading GE AHTR10AC and Midea MAW08V1QWT, can save you hundreds of dollars in operating costs over their lifespan by using electrical energy more effectively than standard units. 

The table below shows the potential cost savings by picking more efficient window ACs:

Unit

BTUs (cooling capacity)

SEER / EER

Hourly cost

Yearly cost (based on 750 hours)

Potential savings

Large Efficient Window AC (The LG LW1517IVSM)

14,000

14.7

$0.12

$93

$43 a year

Average Large Window AC

14,000

10.0

$0.18

$137

$43 a year

Medium-Sized Efficient Window AC (The Midea U-shaped MAW08V1QWT)

8000

15.0

$0.07

$52

$26 a year

Average Medium-Sized Window AC

8000

10.0

$0.10

$78

$26 a year

Small Efficient Window AC (The Frigidaire FFRE053WAE)

5000

12.1

$0.05

$40

$8 a year

Average Small Portable AC

5000

10.0

$0.07

$48

$8 a year

Energy-efficient window air conditioners can cost 50-60% more upfront (the LG and Midea models are particularly pricey), which could mean paying $200-$500 more for large window ACs.

However, you usually save more in the long run.

Window air conditioners can last 7-12 years on average, which means you could save $60-$500 in operating costs over their lifespan.

The more you use the AC, the more you will save with a high EER model, and in my experience, you usually recoup the extra cost in about 3-5 years.

I recommend a good quality, high EER window AC for those looking for a long-term cooling solution.

10 EER Rating

ACLab Note:

Casement Window ACs and Through-the-Wall Window ACs are generally less efficient as compared to window ACs. 

More Powerful Isn’t Always Better (BTU Rating)

The cooling output of ACs is shown in BTU (British Thermal Units).[2]

One of the most common mistakes I see homeowners make when choosing a window air conditioner is assuming that higher BTU cooling capacity always means better performance.

A higher BTU rating does indicate more cooling power but also higher wattage requirements and running costs - so it’s not necessarily the best choice for your space. 

Even energy-efficient units will cost more to operate if the BTU is higher.

For example, the 14,000 BTU LG LW1517IVSM will cost me $20-$40 more to run annually than the 5,000 BTU Danby DAC060EB6WDB.

These are both high SEER models, but the difference in operating costs can be even more significant with less efficient window ACs.

An oversized unit will also cool the room too quickly, causing it to cycle on and off frequently, leading to electricity spikes and uneven cooling.

The key is to match the BTU rating to the room size.

For instance, use the LG LW1517IVSM in rooms around 700 square feet and the Danby DAC060EB6WDB in rooms below 250 square feet.

I recommend carefully considering the size of the size of the space and the BTU requirements to select a window AC that matches (I cover this in the next section).

Match Your AC To Your Room Size

The window air conditioner BTU should always match the dimensions and conditions of the room.

Match capacity with room size
An undersized unit won’t cool the room properly, while an oversized unit will waste energy.  

These are the rules I follow to size window air conditioners:

  • Start with 20 BTU per square foot of living space.
  • Add 600 BTU for each additional person over two people regularly using the space.
  • Add 1000 BTU for every foot the ceiling exceeds 8 feet in height. 
  • Add 10% more BTU if the room is in direct sunlight.
  • Add 20% for poorly insulated rooms (I find garages are the least insulated).
  • Add 3000-4000 BTU for kitchens to account for heat from appliances.
  • Subtract 10% for basements or heavily shaded rooms.

There is a lot to consider, so I created a quick guide for different-sized rooms:

Room Size (square footage)

BTUs Required

Recommended Energy-Efficient Window AC

150-250
(small bedrooms, nurseries, or home offices)

5,000

Frigidaire FFRE053WAE or Danby DAC060EB6WDB

250-400
(large bedrooms, living rooms)

6,000-8,000

Frigidaire GHWQ103WC1 or Dreo DR-HAC002

500-700
(open plan areas, large living areas)

8,000-10,000

MIDEA MAW08V1QWT or LG LW1022IVSM

700+
(studio apartments, open plan areas, large garages)

10,000-14,000

MIDEA MAW12HV1CWT or LG LW1517IVSM

ACLab Note:

Most window air conditioners can’t cool areas over 700 square feet economically, so I recommend a mini-split or central air conditioner instead.

Energy Star Savings Table Air Conditioners

Source: ENERGY STAR

Consider An Inverter Compressor

Window air conditioners equipped with inverter compressors are more energy-efficient, but they also tend to cost more.

Modern inverter compressors spin continuously instead of powering on and off as standard rotary compressors, which makes them more energy-efficient.

It may seem illogical, but the spin-up and slow-down sequences are very power-consuming, so inverter compressors end up saving energy in the long run.

However, inverter window AC units tend to cost more, so consider your purchasing priorities.

ACLab Note:

ACs with inverters are expensive, but most modern, stylish, quiet and efficient ACs are inverter based.

Choose A Window AC Unit With Multiple Fan Speeds

I highly recommend a window air conditioner with multiple fan speeds for three key reasons:

  1. 1
    You can customize the cooling output to improve the comfort of your home.
  2. 2
    You can run the air conditioner more efficiently and save money.
  3. 3
    You can circulate cold air more effectively to improve the air quality and get greater humidity control.[3]

I typically recommend units with at least 3 (low, medium, high) although some, like the Midea MAW08V1QWT and LG LW1022IVSM, have 5 fan speeds - ideal for homes with variable weather conditioners.

Go For A Low-Noise Air Conditioner (dB)

A window AC can make more noise than you realize because it’s often very close to you. I recommend buying window air conditioners under 50 dB to keep it from bothering you.

This sound level is lower than an average conversation and most people won't find it too bothersome.[4]

Silent window air conditioners don't exist, but some are slightly louder and others quieter.

Low noise levels won't save energy, but they will save your nerves. If you want a truly whisper-quiet window air conditioner, I recommend the MIDEA MAW08V1QWT.

Noise Level Window

Improve AC Performance With Tight Installation

Look for lightweight window air conditioners with good mounting kits to ensure the AC covers the entire window opening.

Light window AC units with complete window kits, like the Frigidaire FFRE053WAE, are easier to mount to the window.

With simple mounting, you can then focus on ensuring the AC is secured as tightly as possible to the window.

This eliminates gaps that could lead to air leakage and reduced air conditioner efficiency.

ACLab Note:

If you room is not well insulated and also exposed to the sun with multiple windows, then you may need a higher BTU AC.

Keep Your AC Energy-Efficient With Simple Maintenance

Proper maintenance keeps your window AC running efficiently, which keeps your energy bills low.

The maintenance requirements vary between window units, but I prefer models that need less upkeep.

I found the Midea and LG models the simplest to maintain because of their user-friendly design and intuitive app - but all the models listed above are low effort.

Establishing a good routine is key, and here are my four essentials for minimal maintenance:

  1. 1
    Clean and replace the air filters monthly.
    Dirty filters restrict the cool air flowing and make the window air conditioner work harder, wasting energy. 
  2. 2
    Keep the exterior clean.
    Remove any dirt, debris, or leaves that may block the window air conditioner and stop proper heat exchange. 
  3. 3
    Seal gaps around the AC unit.
    With foam insulation to prevent hot air from seeping in and causing unnecessary window air conditioner strain.
  4. 4
    Schedule annual professional maintenance.
    I inspect, clean, and tune up my client's window air conditioners at least once a year for peak cooling performance.

Extra Features To Consider

  • Warranty:
    The best window air conditioner brands typically have 1-3 year warranties and I recommend a 12-month warranty as a minimum. 
  • Remote:
    I prefer a window air conditioner with an app-based remote control, like the LG LW1022IVSM, but all the best window air conditioners listed above have an electronic remote. 
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity:
    For the best smart features, I recommend the Midea MAW08V1QWT or LG LW1022IVSM window units.

Understanding EER & SEER In Window AC Units

EER and SEER are measurements of how efficient a window air conditioner is.[5] It can be confusing, but there is one key difference:

  • The EER rating shows an AC unit's performance at 95°F.
  • The SEER rating takes into account the entire season.
SEER Label

EER is a standardized efficiency measurement always calculated for an outdoor temperature of 95°F to put all ACs on the same line.

This is useful to see roughly how the window AC unit will perform, but there’s no place on Earth where it’s 95°F year-round.

SEER (or seasonal energy efficiency ratio) calculates the efficiency at a temperature range from 64°F to 104°F.

This measurement gives you a more accurate idea of the unit’s efficiency, but it may not be available for all air conditioners.

EER and SEER are not interchangeable (and there’s no combined energy efficiency ratio, unfortunately).

I prefer SEER because it’s more accurate, but EER is more commonly used in AC unit specs.

ACLab Note:

You can figure out the EER of any AC using a simple formula:

EER = Cooling Capacity (BTU) / Cooling Watts (W)

Looking at the EER rating gives you a better idea of an AC's efficiency in hot climates, while the SEER may be more accurate in varying or milder climates.

Just remember, always match the ratings when comparing window air conditioner units.


FAQs

Does Outside Temperature Affect Wndow AC Efficiency?

Yes, outdoor temperature can have a significant effect on AC efficiency. The hotter it is outside, the harder your air conditioner has to work, which will consume more power.

Are Inverter Window Air Conditioners More Efficient?

Inverter ACs can be more efficient since they avoid the power-heavy spin-up sequence of rotary ACs. However, these ACs often cost more up-front.

How Can I Reduce My Window AC’s Power Consumption?

You can reduce your AC’s power consumption by, for example, keeping it clean and well-maintained, lowering fan speeds once your room has cooled down, ensuring proper room insulation, and by using programmable timers or thermostats.

Is It Cheaper to Run a Window AC All the Time?

It can be cheaper to run an AC continuously as maintaining temperatures is easier on the machine than cooling a hot room. However, you should use an auto mode if possible to ensure the AC lowers its fan speeds when the room is cooled down.

How Much Electricity Does a Window AC Use Per Hour?

A window AC may consume anywhere from around 400W to 1,750W of power — or even more. The electricity consumption depends entirely on the unit’s power and efficiency.

So Which Window AC Is The Cheapest To Run?

The GE AHTR10AC window air conditioner is my top recommendation for reducing running costs.

Its 10,000 BTUs provide impressive cooling power, and the industry-leading 15.7 SEER keeps annual operating costs below $50.

This, combined with the advanced features, high-quality components, and user-friendly design, makes one of the best window air conditioners on the market.

However, the best window air conditioner for you depends on your specific needs.

I’ve included options for every situation, and hopefully, this guide will help you find an AC unit that keeps you cool and freezes your electricity bills.

My #1 Recommendation

  • Most energy-efficient window AC - 15.7 EER rated
  • Big energy bill savings
  • Smart features and voice enabled
  • Ultra-quiet - 40 decibels
    Consistently low power draw

References: 

  1. https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/room-air-conditioners
  2. https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/units-and-calculators/british-thermal-units.php
  3. https://www.envirovent.com/blog/meeting-air-flow-requirements-for-residential-indoor-air-quality/
  4. https://hearinghealthfoundation.org/decibel-levels
  5. https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/guide_to_home_heating_cooling.pdf 
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Josh Mitchell

Founder

Josh Mitchell
My name is Josh and I am obsessed with home appliances. From portable AC units to heaters and air purifiers, I enjoy testing, learning and using these devices to improve the air quality inside my family home.

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Midea U Shaped Window Air Conditioner

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