The Best Air Conditioner

The Best Air Conditioner

Our pick

LG LW8017ERSM

LG LW8017ERSM

Affordable cooling that’s mostly quiet

This window unit delivers efficient cooling at a decent price, while still being easy on the ears. It also offers smart capabilities through LG’s ThinQ app.

Buying Options

$380* from Amazon
$306 from Home Depot

May be out of stock

*At the time of publishing, the price was $315.

This 8,000 Btu unit cools as efficiently and effectively as any model with an equal Btu rating, and it runs at a lower volume and deeper pitch than others at this price. Little extra features like smart-home compatibility (with Amazon Alexa) and a removable drain plug help set it apart, too. The LG LW8017ERSM is a top choice for an office or a den, and some people will even find it quiet enough to use in a bedroom. Although some users have reported that the LW8017ERSM has failed them over time, we still think it’s the best choice in its price range, and it’s usually easy to find in stock.

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Runner-up

Frigidaire FHWW083WB1

Frigidaire FHWW083WB1

A good, basic air conditioner

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

Buying Options

Buy from Amazon
$320 from Abt
$300 from AJ Madison

*At the time of publishing, the price was $350.

If our main pick is sold out, grab the Frigidaire FHWW083WB1. It has about the same noise level as the LG, but with a less-pleasant mechanical growl that’s more pronounced when you try to run it at lower settings. Otherwise, it’s an equally capable performer that’s usually around the same price, with comparable smart-home features. The Frigidaire is also a little easier to install because it’s smaller and lighter. This Alexa-compatible unit is a slight update to our previous runner-up pick, the Frigidaire FFRE083ZA1, which lacks Wi-Fi connectivity but is otherwise nearly identical.

Also great

Midea MAW08V1QWT

Midea MAW08V1QWT

A unique design that’s quieter than the rest

This U-shaped Midea air conditioner is the quietest model we’ve ever tested, and it’s designed in a way that still lets you open your window. But the installation process isn’t fun.

Buying Options

$340 from Amazon

May be out of stock

If you want the quietest air conditioner available—or you just don’t want to lose the ability to open a window—the Midea MAW08V1QWT is a great new option. This U-shaped AC comes with its own bracket, and it locks firmly into the sliding tracks of your hung window, so you can continue using your window as normal (if you want to get some better circulation going, for example). It also moves most of the louder hardware to the back of the unit so it sits outside the window, with glass serving as an additional buffer layer to help mute the sound. The result is the quietest air conditioner we’ve ever tested. Be warned, however: The setup process is easier than it looks, but you wouldn’t know it by reading any of the four instruction manuals that come with the Midea.

This guide also includes our current thoughts on “smart,” Wi-Fi–controllable air conditioners (and a smart AC accessory), plus recommendations for other kinds of air conditioners, including portable ACs (in a separate guide), through-the-wall units, and casement-window models.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

LG LW8017ERSM

LG LW8017ERSM

Affordable cooling that’s mostly quiet

This window unit delivers efficient cooling at a decent price, while still being easy on the ears. It also offers smart capabilities through LG’s ThinQ app.

Buying Options

$380* from Amazon
$306 from Home Depot

May be out of stock

*At the time of publishing, the price was $315.

Runner-up

Frigidaire FHWW083WB1

Frigidaire FHWW083WB1

A good, basic air conditioner

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

Buying Options

Buy from Amazon
$320 from Abt
$300 from AJ Madison

*At the time of publishing, the price was $350.

Also great

Midea MAW08V1QWT

Midea MAW08V1QWT

A unique design that’s quieter than the rest

This U-shaped Midea air conditioner is the quietest model we’ve ever tested, and it’s designed in a way that still lets you open your window. But the installation process isn’t fun.

Buying Options

$340 from Amazon

May be out of stock

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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