We’re still a few days away from the solstice, but if you ask us, summer’s already here. Of course, you’re free to delineate seasons the old-fashioned way, but in our view, there are a few telltale signs that summer has sprung. For one –– it’s getting humid and hot

In fact, if it hasn’t felt like it yet, just buckle up. New York and the entire Northeast are about to be hit with the season’s first heat wave.

Have you spent the past few weeks sweating through your sheets, relying on your fan alone to get you through the night? Have you been frying while trying to wind down with some TV on the couch? Have you resorted to only making gazpacho in the kitchen to avoid turning on the burners (or, God forbid, the oven)? 

If so, it might be time to consider investing in the best air conditioner for your home — or better yet, two or three.

Stuck on where to start on your new air conditioner journey? Worry not! 

We asked the experts at P.C. Richard & Son about what to look for when purchasing an AC for your home and a walk-through of some of its favorite brands and models, all to help you land the best window or portable air conditioner to suit your specific needs.

Consider your room size

You wouldn’t try to heat your living room with a single candle, right? By the same token, you wouldn’t put a fireplace in your walk-in closet.

This is to say, the size of your space matters when it comes to heating and cooling. Before you start shopping, it’s pivotal to bust out your tape measure and calculate your room’s square footage (by multiplying the length by the width if it’s been a little while since geometry class).

There are myriad other factors to consider when you’re purchasing an air conditioner (more on these shortly). Chief among them is room size, which can help accurately determine the scale of power necessary to cool your room, measured in BTU.

What’s BTU?

We’re not scientists, so we’ll let P.C. Richard & Son take the explanation from here:

“A BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is the amount of energy needed to raise 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit while at sea level. When it comes to air conditioners, the BTU rating tells you how many BTUs per hour the machine can remove from the air.”

In simpler terms: “The higher the rating, the more high-intensity the cooling.”

Therefore, a larger space requires a higher BTU count, while smaller spaces can be adequately cooled with less.

Striking the correct balance, however, is important. Too high a BTU count, even for a larger space, can result in wasted energy and increased humidity. Bigger isn’t always better. Finding the right size is paramount. 

Luckily, P.C. Richard & Son’s site contains a helpful tool for BTU calculation, allowing you to select the approximate size of your space, in addition to a few other factors – perfect for helping you determine the power level that works best for your home. 

But BTU level is far from the only factor to consider when you’re buying an air conditioning unit for your home.

What are features shoppers should look for in an AC unit?

Look around you, to your left and right. At least one thing you laid eyes on can be counted amongst the multitude of factors to consider when you’re looking for ACs.

Per our expert at P.C. Richard and Son, these include:

  • Type of installation: Ranging from most to least mobile, these include window, through-the-wall, and central air conditioning. For those near a location, P.C. Richard & Son offers these types of installations for most windows and can further support new or existing wall sleeves.
  • Occupant density: The number of people who will typically occupy the room for which the AC unit is intended. 
  • Type of room: A kitchen, for example, generates more heat. But you likely don’t keep an oven in your bedroom. 
  • Exposure to sunlight: Is your living room light or dark? Are you facing north or south? How hot does your room get naturally, based on the path of the sun. 
  • Smart functionality: Are you willing to pay a premium for a WiFi-enabled air conditioner? What about when you realize that means you can turn on your AC from your commute, and walk into a cool home?
  • Noise level: Is silence important to you? Or are you okay with a little hum emitting from your AC unit? 
  • Energy efficiency: Not all air conditioners are created equal. Some are designed with energy efficiency in mind (and, therefore, a smaller eclectic bill), and others don’t take that into account. 

Additionally, it’s important to consider how many units you’re looking for.

Our expert notes that purchasing an AC for the living room, for example, and expecting it to cool your entire home is a fool’s errand. 

“Air doesn’t like to bend, and you can’t use a fan to ‘blow cold air’ into the room. An AC is designed to do three things: cool, dehumidify, and filter air and dust. Therefore, there should be one unit per room, and the units should be the right size for each room.”

Portable Air Conditioners

Don’t love the look of a traditional window air conditioner? Maybe your super doesn’t allow window installation? Not looking to go to the trouble of hiring a contractor to help install a through-the-wall AC?

Then what you’re looking for is a portable air conditioner designed to sit upright and cool, regardless of which room you place it in, as long as there is still a small window for output.

If portability is a plus for you, a portable air conditioner is going to be a perfect companion among the AC options. Downsides, however, include limited energy efficiency compared to other types of AC units. Additionally, they’re known to make a little more noise.

LG 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner with Dual Inverter

The LG 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner is designed with Dual Inverter, an energy-saving technology that provides powerful and efficient cooling. Its portable design and dual inverter technology ensure versatile comfort anywhere.

“LG is our only brand that has an Inverter Portable unit, making it one of the most energy-efficient portable units on the market.”

Frigidaire 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Frigidaire 8,000 BTU (5,500 BTU DOE) Portable Air Conditioner

Frigidaire’s portable AC delivers cool comfort wherever you need it. With 8,000 BTUs, it’s perfect for rooms around 300 to 350 square feet. Enjoy the flexibility of rolling casters and an easy-to-install window kit.

Friedrich ZoneAire Series 8,500 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Friedrich ZoneAire Series 8,500 BTU (5,000 BTU DOE) Portable Air Conditioner

The Friedrich ZoneAire Series offers portable cooling with powerful performance. With 8,500 BTUs, it efficiently cools rooms 350 to 400 square feet in size. Enjoy the convenience of three functions in one unit: air conditioning, dehumidification, and fan.

Window Air Conditioners

There are three main types of air conditioners. Window air conditioners, the most common of the bunch, are likely the type you’re most familiar with, slotting easily right into your bedroom, living room, or kitchen window. 

Many consumers prefer a traditional window air conditioner because it is easy to install and an efficient use of space. However, it has downsides, including a restricted view out of the window and aesthetic considerations (can you live with an air conditioner you think is ugly?).

Windmill 6,000 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner

Windmill 6,000 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner

The Windmill 6,000 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner combines efficiency with convenience, offering powerful cooling for small spaces. Its smart features ensure comfort while minimizing energy consumption.

Our P.C. Richard & Son’s expert has this to say: “[Windmill is] the newest brand to the AC category –– a family-owned business based out of Brooklyn NY. They have created a modern, smart air conditioner that has been completely redesigned — easy installation and beautiful fit, feel, and finish.”

Frigidaire Gallery 12,000 BTU Smart Energy Star U-Shape Window Air Conditioner

Frigidaire Gallery 12,000 BTU Smart Energy Star U-Shape Window Air Conditioner

The Frigidaire Gallery 12,000 BTU Smart Energy Star U-Shape Window Air Conditioner provides powerful cooling with energy efficiency. Its innovative U-shape design enhances airflow, ensuring consistent comfort in your space.

Our expert says, “[Frigidaire’s] new Gallery U-shaped ACs allow more sunlight into the room than ever before. Now, you can keep your space cool, bright and clean with this new design and function.”

Friedrich Chill Premier Series 12,000 BTU Smart Energy Star Window Air Conditioner

Friedrich Chill Premier Series 12,000 BTU Smart Energy Star Window Air Conditioner

The Friedrich Chill Premier Series 12,000 BTU Smart Energy Star Window Air Conditioner offers efficient cooling with smart technology, including built-in Wi-Fi control. Its Energy Star rating ensures cost-saving operation while providing reliable comfort.

“Friedrich has always been known for quality built products, and this year, they have a full line-up of inverter air conditioners that have been redesigned. New look, same great technology.”

GE Profile Clearview 6,100 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner

GE Profile Clearview 6,100 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner

The GE Profile Clearview 6,100 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner offers precise cooling control through Wifi-enabled temperature control. Its ClearView window ensures better visibility, while energy-saving features promote efficient operation.

“With the Clearview, GE has created a ‘saddle’ type AC which drapes over the window sill and leaves a majority of the view of the window unused. Due to this innovative design, the window can still be operational with the AC unit installed. Meaning, on cool nights, you can open your window for fresh air, and even when you’re using the window, it allows for the majority of sunlight to still enter the room.”

Through-the-Wall Air Conditioners

Unlike window air conditioners, through-the-wall ACs are, as their name suggests, installed in a hole in your wall and supported by a sleeve. As you’ll note below, many through-the-wall air conditioners can also function as standard window air conditioners.

If you’re looking for a permanent solution to your air conditioning needs, a through-the-wall air conditioner is for you. Once it’s installed, it’s installed; no further work needed! The downsides? The initial cost of installation is significantly more expensive, compared to other types of air conditioning units.

Friedrich Kuhl Series 6,000 BTU Smart Window/Wall Air Conditioner

Friedrich Kuhl Series 6,000 BTU Smart Window/Wall Air Conditioner

The Friedrich Kuhl Series 6,000 BTU Smart Window/Wall Air Conditioner delivers versatile cooling for any space. With Wifi-enabled temperature control, it ensures efficient performance and customizable comfort.

“Friedrich has also created an optional enhanced MERV-rated filter for their top-of-the-line Kuhl series. So now you get a premium product that also filters the air in the room.”

[Editor’s note: MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, a standard conceived of by the American Society of Heating, signifying an air filter’s effectiveness at trapping airborne particles and pollutants. As filters become better at improving indoor air quality, their MERV rating goes up, per the EPA].

LG 12,000 BTU Smart Energy Star Window/Wall Air Conditioner

LG 12,000 BTU Smart Energy Star Window/Wall Air Conditioner

Efficiently cool your space with LG’s Smart Energy Star AC. With a sleek design, it fits into window or wall spaces seamlessly. Enjoy the convenience of remote control and Wi-Fi connectivity for easy adjustments from anywhere.

Friedrich Chill Premier Series 15,000 BTU Smart Energy Star Window/Wall Air Conditioner

Friedrich Chill Premier Series 15,000 BTU Smart Energy Star Window/Wall Air Conditioner

The Friedrich Chill Premier Series offers powerful cooling with smart energy efficiency. With 15,000 BTUs, it’s ideal for larger spaces. Enjoy convenient features like Wi-Fi connectivity and a washable antimicrobial air filter.

This article was written by P.J. McCormick, New York Post Commerce Deals Writer/Reporter. P.J. is an expert deal-finder, sifting through endless brands and retailers to deliver only the best savings opportunities on truly worthwhile products. P.J. finds Prime Day-worthy deals all year long on some of our favorite products we’ve tested and our readers’ beloved best-sellers, from Wayfair furniture sales to the lowest prices on Apple AirPods. P.J. has been scouring sales for Post Wanted shoppers since 2022 and previously held positions at Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and Hyperallergic. Please note that deals can expire, and all prices are subject to change.

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