If there’s anything we don’t like, it’s being subject to sticky, sweltering temps in the summer. So, we turn to (and quite literally, turn on) a trusty air conditioner.
It’s one of those practical luxuries you can’t seem to neglect as your weather app is circulating with sun emojis, right? They’re a worthwhile investment and one worth picking up ASAP (along with the best humidifiers and dehumidifiers we rounded up — yep, there’s a difference).
After all, now’s the perfect time to snatch one for yourself for all-day, cool comfort. (Related: Best cooling fans).
“Air conditioners help maintain a comfortable indoor temperature during the warmer months by keeping the heat out and the cool air in,” Brian Shaunfield, store manager at Charlotte area Lowe’s, told the New York Post. “Shoppers should consider other features important to them, ranging from aesthetics, smart capabilities, price and more.”
Not to mention, now’s also the ideal time to pick up new outdoor patio furniture, a less-than-$35 swimsuit on Amazon and a convenient outdoor cooler for your future beach days.
Shaunfield hand-picked the 10 best air conditioners of 2032 to make life easy-breezy for you, while we listed 8 other top-rated options for you to choose from. Plus, Shaunfield details his expertise in our in-depth FAQ section to provide an overview of every type of air conditioner.
Click to jump to a specific type of air conditioner:
Best Wall-Mounted Air Conditioners
1. Frigidaire White Through-the-Wall Air Conditioner, $469 to $699
- Helps reduce airborne particles with built-in air ionizer
- Energy Star-certified
- The sleeve (the metal device that holds the air conditioner in the wall) is sold separately
“This Frigidaire air conditioner enables more cooling flexibility with three different fan speeds,” Shaunfield says. “Plus, the easy-to-clean washable filter captures dust from the air and keeps the air conditioner working efficiently.”
Notably, it’s Energy Star-certified, meaning it helps save money and protect the environment due to its particular criteria.
2. LG White Through-the-Wall Air Conditioner, $530 to $667
- Control the temperature from across the room with a full-function remote
- Energy saver function conserves energy and saves money
- Some reviewers say the sleeve should have been constructed with holes for the trim frame so it sits flush on the wall
“This LG air conditioner is ideal for cooling medium-size rooms up to 550 sq. ft. and has 3 cooling and fan speeds to customize comfort,” Shaunfield describes. “The 4-way air deflection directs the flow of air where it’s needed most whether cooling, dehumidifying or just circulating air.”
What’s more, it’s a No. 1 Amazon best-seller, mostly for its functional remote control-compatibility and easy-to-use design.
Best Window Air Conditioners
1. GE 150-sq. ft. Window Air Conditioner, $169
- Comes with fixed chassis and installs easily in a double hung window with included EZ Mount installation kit
- Slide-out filter is easy to remove and clean, keeping your unit running its best when cleaned every 30 days
- No bells and whistles like some other air conditioners listed, though still effective at cooling
“This GE air conditioner delivers 5,000 BTU of cooling capacity for small rooms up to 150 square feet,” Shaunfield says. “It’s energy efficient with two cooling and fan speeds to provide flexible and optimal home comfort.”
Plus, it’s one of the easiest to install and clean, thanks to its fixed chassis design.
2. LG 260-sq. ft. Window Air Conditioner, $206 to $264
- Full-function remote controls unit from across the room
- Thermistor thermostat maintains the selected temperature
“This LG air conditioner is ideal for cooling a room up to 260 square feet in size,” Shaunfield highlights. “It includes three cooling speeds, three fan speeds, a 24-hour on/off timer and an Energy Saver function.”
Even better, it boasts more than 16,000 rave reviews on Amazon for its ergonomic and energy-efficient design.
Best Portable Air Conditioners
1. Evapolar evaSMART Personal Portable Air Cooler & Humidifier, $229 to $279
- The device is equipped with a removable water tank and a full-spectrum LED light
- Consumes 12W (up to 100x less than an AC unit) and saves on bills
- Some reviewers say the app features aren’t as impressive as its cooling abilities
“Evapolar evaSMART cools & humidifies the air using evaporative technology while also catching large dust particles,” Shaunfield notes. “It efficiently cools the immediate area by 9-25 degrees and provides a nice breeze.”
Even better, it’s compatible with our BFF, Alexa.
2. Frigidaire Vented Portable Air Conditioner, $332 to $500
- Control using smart device with app or voice control
- Reduce airborne particles with built-in air ionize
- A bit heavier than other air conditioners listed
“This Frigidaire portable air conditioner is easily moved from room-to-room,” Shaunfield says. “It features two different fan speeds in addition to a dehumidifying ‘dry mode’ to keep a room cool and comfortable while also removing excess moisture from the air.”
There’s also a built-in air ionizer and comes with an easy-to-clean washable filter.
Best Ductless Mini Splits
1. MRCOOL Advantage 3rd Gen Split Air Conditioner & Heater, $982
- Warranty when registered and installed by a professional
- Compatible with new SmartHVAC app for apple and android smart devices
- Some reviewers say this air conditioner comes with a slight learning curve
“The newly designed 3rd generation Advantage Series, with improved efficiency ratings of 19 SEER, delivers high performance comfort from the moment it’s activated.” Shaunfield explains. “It’s designed to heat and cool a single 500-ft room.”
It even comes with a one-year warranty on the compressor an two-year warranty on parts, should anything go awry.
2. AUX Single Zone Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner & Heater, $657 to $770
- This ductless split can cool or heat a room up to ~600 square feet
- Sleep mode offers energy savings and keeps you cool or heated all day and night
- Some reviewers say the directions aren’t as clear as they should be
“The AUX mini split is the air comfort system designed to ensure your home stays comfortable, cool and cost effective,” Shaunfield says. “This high-quality ductless heat pump is energy efficient, packed with great features and priced to meet most household budgets.”
Even better, it comes with everything you’ll need to install like a pro at home.
Best Central AC Systems
1. MRCOOL Pro Direct Residential Central Air Conditioner, $1,297
- Pressure and temperature protection sensors help prevent damage
- Features gold fin condenser and is corrosion resistant
“The scroll compressor in this residential unit compresses the R-410A refrigerant and releases the absorbed heat so it’s ready to remove more heat from your home,” Shaunfield explains. “This efficient unit is even more cost-effective with the inclusion of a piston flow control device.”
What’s especially impressive? It even comes with pressure and temperature protection sensors to help prevent damage.
2. MRCOOL Signature Residential Upflow Central Air Conditioner, $2,388
- Features total corrosion protection technology
- Corner-mounted controls for easy service
- More expensive than other air conditioners listed
“Included in this bundle is a split system A/C condenser, 80% AFUE gas furnace and an evaporator coil,” Shaunfield lists. “This combination unit has a seasonal energy efficiency rating of 15.50 SEER, providing maximum comfort cooling.”
Though a splurge, this all-you-can-ask-for-bundle features foil-faced insulation to make cleaning a snap.
Best Air Conditioners, per reviews
1. Black+Decker Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control, $350, original price: $420
- Easy to assemble and install
- Comes with a remote control and top-mounted control panel with an LED display
- Some reviewers say it’s not completely quiet, but not a dealbreaker
With the most overall reviews on Amazon, we’re not at all surprised Black+Decker’s Portable Air Conditioner is the star of the show. With a remote control, an adjustable fan and its win-win situation for being easy to clean and easy to install, we’re just about ready to pick this one up.
2. Whynter Portable Air Conditioner, $499, original price: $600
- Operates as an air conditioner, a fan and a dehumidifier
- Exhaust hose extends to an impressive 60 inches
Sleek and clad with an activated carbon filter, Whynter’s Portable Air Conditioner is perfect for those who want to be cool yet also crave a modern aesthetic. This model cools up to 500 square feet of space and comes with advance auto drain technology to use and recylce your room’s moisture for producing cool air (pretty amazing, huh)?
3. Midea Smart Inverter Window Air Conditioner, $379, original price: $399
- Essentially noiseless
- Great energy efficiency and value for the money
If you’re on the market for a wall-mounted air conditioner, Midea’s Smart Inverter model deserves all of the acclaim. It’s designed to be nine times quieter than traditional units (hallelujah) and is Energy Star-certified to conserve 35% more energy.
Not to mention, its U-shaped design allows your window to open, allowing you to bring fresh air into your home. It’s also Wi-Fi-enabled and can be controlled with the paired MideaAir app on iOS or Android.
4. SereneLife Compact Portable Air Conditioner, $295 to $330
- Comes with a remote control for on-the-go use
- Boasts a sleek, freestanding design
If we’re being honest, some of us want to be cool as a cucumber but don’t have the space for a monstrosity of a unit (we get it, which is why SereneLife’s is one of our favorites). The highly rated machine has a lightweight body, comes with three operating modes — cooling, dehumidifier and a fan — and has a remote control for easy-to-use handling.
5. Midea Duo Smart Ultra-Quiet Portable Air Conditioner, $699
- Features a dual-hose design to intake an exhaust air outdoors
- Boasts a relatively noiseless design
- Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Some reviewers say the attachments that make up the window kit snap together, leaving slight gaps around all the connections
Midea’s fan-favorite window air conditioner is available in a portable option: the Duo Smart Ultra-Quiet model. With a concrete emphasis on ultra-quiet, we swear by this one for its innovative duo-house design, which enables the unit to intake air inside and exhaust it outdoors.
6. Ontel Arctic Air Pure Chill 2.0 Evaporative Air Cooler, $33, original price: $40
- Features a space-saving and portable design that’s simple to use
- Operates on a max of 10 watts of power, so it’s energy-efficient
- Includes easy-touch controls for ergonomic use
- Some reviewers say the power cord could be better quality
If you’re on a budget and are desperate for anything to keep you cool, Ontel’s Arctic Air Pure Chill 2.0 is a pretty nifty buy. It has nearly more than 2,000 pleasant reviews and is fit for your nightstand, dorm room or small space that needs a bit more breeze.
7. Sensibo Sky Smart Home Air Conditioner System, $99, original price: $159
- Settings can be controlled via smartphone
- Wall-mounted and comes boxed in eco-friendly packaging
- Its Climate React smart feature scans both temperature and humidity to offer that ‘real feel’ temperature
- Some reviewers say it doesn’t support all features from Google Home
The Sensibo Sky Home Air Conditioner System checks off all our our boxes as far as these units go: it’s voice-activated (of course), scans temperature and humidity levels to maintain that comfortable ‘real feel’ temperature and is virtually invisible. Plus, you can automatically turn it off or on from your mobile device.
8. Shinco Portable Air Conditioner with Built-In Dehumidifier, $354, original price: $500
- Quick and easy installation thanks to the included exhaust hose and window sealing kit
- Comes with three different settings — cool, fan and dry modes — to personalize your temperature
- Some reviewers say the vent cover could be better quality
Stellar for cooling up to 400 square-foot spaces, Shinco’s Portable Air Conditioner is a durable option that’s easy to install and easy to maneuver. Its lowest speed is ultra-quiet, too, and great for sleeping.
An FAQ on Air Conditioners
Ahead, Shaunfield gives us the 411 on what you need to know about air conditioners before purchasing one for the season — including an overview of different types.
What to look for in an air conditioner, according to an expert
Before shopping for a newly minted air conditioners, there are a few considerations to keep in mind before adding one to your cart. Above all else, shoppers need to consider what size room or house the air conditioner will be used for.
“An easy way you can determine this is to check the square footage recommended for each appliance,” Shaunfield tells The Post. “A ‘small’ square footage will be less than 250 sq ft., while rooms considered medium or large will range from 250-1,000 sq ft.”
Another way to measure appropriate size, per Shaunfield, is considering the BTU of each unit – or British Thermal Unit – which measures how much energy your air conditioner is using to cool your room or home within an hour. “As the square footage of your room or home increases, so will the BTU needed to cool,” he adds.
The different types of air conditioners, explained by an expert
Below, Shaunfield explains each type of air conditioner you’ll find on the market so you can find the one that best suits your space. The main types of air conditioners you will find include wall-mounted and window conditioners, portable conditioners, ductless mini-splits and central air conditioners.
- Wall-mounted air conditioners & window air conditioners: These are permanent cooling solutions, in addition to central air. These are great options if you have areas of your home that aren’t connected to the central A/C system.
- Portable air conditioners: These work best in small spaces and provide you with the mobility to bring cool air where you need it most.
- Ductless mini splits: These are a good choice for apartments or older buildings that require a retrofitted heating or cooling system, or any building whose construction doesn’t have room for more traditional duct work.
- Central air conditioning systems: These work to cool, heat and ventilate your entire home, while central air units merely cool your home. It’s important to know that distinction and your preference may vary depending on where you live in the U.S.
Check out the New York Post Shopping section for more content.