Installing energy efficient window ACs is not just a financial prudent decision. It also contributes greatly towards lowering your carbon footprint, as well as effectively cooling your living space. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, annual household energy costs total up to approximately $11 Billion which translates to 6% of the total energy use for every home. These figures are considerably high and a lot more needs to be done so as to reduce energy costs emanating from cooling appliances. It is as easy as using the correct appliances, among them being window air conditioners.

Ever since their advent, window ACs have been known to have issues with their energy efficiency levels. It is a well-known fact that they tend to consume a considerably high amount of electrical energy, which leads to increased costs. To remedy this issue, modern manufacturers have devised smarter and more energy efficient window ACs. This article will highlight some of the high-efficiency options available in the market so as to help you make smarter buying decisions.

Recent studies by the Department of Energy show that switching to energy efficient window ACs can help you save up to 50% of your energy costs. As a matter of fact, if all homesteads within the United States were to switch to ENERGY STAR window air conditioners, cost savings would rise to over $345 million per year, stopping gas emissions from greenhouses which currently total up to 6 billion pounds. Shockingly, this is equivalent to gas emissions from approximately 571,000 automobiles.

Moreover, basic maintenance routines such as replacing and cleaning your AC filters can help you save much more. ACs that are compliant with ENERGY STAR and meet the required standards tend to save slightly below 10% energy on average. The majority of shoppers shy away from these ACs because of the fact that they are quite expensive. However, the extra costs are worth every penny given that these energy efficient appliances ultimately help you save considerable amounts with regards to your home energy costs.

Window ACs with the Highest Energy Efficiency

An analysis of over 40 different window ACs from manufacturers such as GE, LG, Kenmore, Danby, Friedrich, Haier, and Frigidaire was conducted to ascertain their efficiency levels. From the analysis, certain products stood out on the basis of performance, client satisfaction, and energy efficiency.

The analysis was thorough as it took into consideration EER ratings, user feedback, and the manufacturing industry. In the long run, this piece provides a list of reliable window AC alternatives primarily based on their performance in relation to the room size. Basically, this implies that the ACs are categorized for small rooms [6,000 BTUs], big spaces [10,000+ BTUs], and medium-sized rooms [8,000 BTUs].

In general, the most energy-efficient window ACs on the basis of their performance, feedback, reviews and energy efficiency ratios include:

#1 Pick #2 Pick #3 Pick
Friedrich Chill CP06G10B - 6,000 BTU GE AHM12AW - 11,600 BTU LG LW8016ER - 8,000 BTU
Friedrich Chill CP06G10B 6000 BTU Window Air Conditioner GE AHM12AW 20 LG LW8016ER 8,000 BTU
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#4 Pick #5 Pick #6 Pick
Frigidaire Cool Connect WiFi - 12,000 BTU Haier Serenity Series - 6,000 BTU Danby DAC060EUB5GDB - 6,000 BTU
Frigidaire 12000 Cool Connect Smart Window Air Conditioner with WiFi Control, 12,000 BTU Haier Serenity Series 6,000 Btu 115V Window Air Conditioner with Ultra Quiet Sound Package Danby 6,000 BTU Energy Star-Compliant Window Air Conditioner DAC060EUB5GDB
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Of the six AC units above, the Danby DAC060EUB5GDB is the most budget friendly option for those looking to make a cost-effective purchase as it is efficient and not as costly as the others. On the other hand, the GE AHM05LW is ranked highest based on its energy efficiency and overall performance.

Why Choose Energy Efficiency?

Cooling is a necessity in many homes in the US. So using energy efficient appliances for this purpose goes a long way in reducing energy costs in the long run while still maintaining a hospitable internal environment.

Some of the primary benefits of using such cooling units include:

Improved Quality

Models with higher energy efficiency are manufactured using high quality components. This leads to lower noise emission and they are required to run for a lesser period of time so as to produce a proper cooling effect.

Decreased Energy Bills

With better quality parts, these appliances are guaranteed to consume lower amounts of energy, thus, decreasing your annual costs.

Lower Carbon Footprint

Households that tend to use lower amounts of energy contribute greatly towards bettering the environment because they ultimately get to decrease their carbon footprint.

Improved Cooling Performance

Compared to the lesser energy efficient models, these high utility models have the ability to cool down your living space much quicker. As such, they provide more reliable cooling services at lower costs.

Advanced Features

Appliances with the ENERGY STAR® compliance stickers have better features, including automatic reminders for filter replacement and a functional energy-saving mode.

Both features play a considerable role in helping you lower your annual energy consumption, hence, their superiority over other brands.

Cooling Power: The Basics

First things first, let’s look at how cooling power in window ACs is measured so that you can have a better understanding of how energy efficiency works.

Normally, window ACs’ power is measured in British Thermal Units, more commonly initialized as BTU[s]. These units refer to a unit’s ability to cool the air surrounding it per hour. For a functioning window AC, the least amount of BTUs expected lies between 6,000 and 5,000 BTU. In most cases, such ACs are used in small-sized areas.

The larger end of the spectrum includes window ACs with a power reading of between 12,000 and 10,000 BTU. Such appliances should be used for extensive areas such as master bedrooms, living rooms, or offices. There are some that are specifically meant for heavy duty or rather commercial use, with a power rating of 25,000 BTU. However, such units have very little value with regards to their energy efficiency. Therefore, this article will concentrate on the smaller units, specifically those meant for residential use.

When it comes to window ACs, size means everything. There are no two ways about it. So it is very important for you to choose the right size for your room, failure to which you will either incur unnecessary energy costs or get substandard cooling services. According to the Department of Energy, using a small sized AC for a large room will lead to poor performance, while using a bigger sized appliance for a smaller room than it is supposed to will only lead to energy wastage. Therefore, you cannot afford to overlook the immense importance held by room size when it comes to purchasing the right window AC.

Worthy of mentioning is that you should also focus less on cooling power and more on your room’s size. Make sure that the appliance you choose matches the BTU rating required to adequately cool the room in question. The Department of Energy recommends that 20 BTUs are used for each square foot cooled.

To better get this ratio, products with the ENERGY STAR® certification give a more detailed breakdown of the room size they are a meant to cool. Make sure to follow these guidelines so as to make the right choice in as far as overall performance and size are concerned.

Energy Star Savings Table Air Conditioners
Energy Star Savings Table for Air Conditioners

What Does EER Actually Stand For?

EER is an abbreviation for Energy Efficiency Ratio. Compared to BTU, EER gives a more accurate reading off energy efficiency levels offered by each window unit. Just as the name suggests, Energy Efficiency Ratios give a more rationalized comparison between a unit’s power supply input [commonly measured in watts] and its cooling ability [measured in BTU/Hour]. In essence, EER is a ratio between these two metric elements. Therefore, units with a higher EER tend to be more highly rated in the market on the basis of performance and cooling ability.

For instance, a 5,000 BTUs window AC running on 500 watts of electricity has an EER of 10. This figure has been reached by dividing the units cooling capacity [5,000 BTUs] by its energy consumption [500 watts] to give a ratio between the two elements. In today’s market, the most energy efficient window automatic coolers have an EER of at least 12. However, this figure varies based on the units cooling power and size. Generally speaking, it is much harder for large ACs with heavy duty components to have optimal efficiency than it is for those intended to cooler much smaller rooms.

EER gives a more accurate benchmark for a unit’s cooling capacity as compared to its BTU. Especially for smaller units, the BTU given if more often than not much higher than the actual BTU. Therefore, the EER gives a more reliable means of asserting the unit’s cooling ability. This implies that an appliance with an EER rating of 12 will offer more efficiency than one with a lower EER, taking into account differences that arise as a result of real-time cooling effect.

To be safe, you should insist on using coolers with the ENERGY STAR® stickers. This gives you a guarantee of energy efficiency because all coolers with this compliance label exceed the requisites for standard energy use.

Some of the notable criteria used to set the standards include:

  •  Improved overall performance
  • Additional features that are otherwise not present in other sub-standard models, such as filter replacement reminders and an energy saving ode.
  • Better quality parts as well as components for increased energy efficiency
  • Higher energy efficiency than basic government-based standards [at least 10%]
  • Increased savings on energy costs, which helps you recoup extra costs incurred when purchasing the appliance

Usually, manufacturers manage to meet these standard requirements by using high quality components and parts while builder their AC unitss. These include better quality fans, surfaces, and most importantly, compressors.

Author’s Choice: GE AHM05LW

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Our ultimate pick is the GE AHM05LW one of the sturdy an reliable units. According to consumer reports, this is by far the highest rated window AC in the market today. It is so highly rated because of the ffact that it offers one of the highest energy efficiency levels and is also among the cheapest options out there today. True to this fact, the GE AHM05LW goes for at most $200 despite it offering much higher efficiency and performance levels than more costly units.

With an EER of 12.2, this model is in line with ENERGY STAR® requirements. It is a rather straight-forward fixed chassis design with a rating of 5,000 BTU. Key components include three fan speeds, a timer that runs for 24 hours, three cooling speeds, and a remote control. All these features help ensure that you receive consistent cooling at energy efficient levels.

Another aspect of the GE AHM05LW that makes it the ultimate choice is its light weight design which makes setting it up a very easy procedure. It has a considerably small chassis and weighs only 45 pounds. As such, it uses a simple EZ Mount installation structure which if you are the keen type, lends itself to a flawless DIY. Just make sure that you follow the steps properly and use adhesive or tape to seal any leakage,

With its high level of performance, inexpensive nature, and easy to install design, the GE AHM05LW is arguably the best choice for window automatic coolers available in the current market. In this case, it wins author’s choice for its reliable user reviews, market accolades, and 1 year limited warranty. If you are looking to buy a reliable energy-efficient window AC at an affordable cost, be sure to put GE AHM05LW top of your list when shopping around.

 Top Budget Alternative: Danby DAC060EUB5GDB

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If your top consideration is price, Danby DAC060EUB5GDB should be your ultimate pick. It’s is one of the most affordable and energy efficient units they currently have on sale. With a rating of 6,000 BTU and EER of 12.1, this model is ideal for rooms not bigger than 250 square feet. Although the brand is not as reputable as other market heavyweights such as LG, GE, or Frigidaire, Danby offers top quality products that are highly recommended by Consumer Reports.

This low price window AC comes with a number of features such as remote control for easy access and electronic controls. This model offers its users very high levels of convenience. Apart from its convenience and energy effective levels, the Danby DAC060EUB5GDB does not stand out much. However, it is a workhorse that will always get the work done accordingly.

To boost its energy efficiency, the unit comes fully equipped with an energy saving mode that helps users maintain relatively low temperatures without consuming too much energy. In the long run, this contributes greatly towards lowering your annual energy costs. Additionally, it uses a 4-way system for its air circulation. This also contributes greatly to its ability to cool a room without consuming a lot of power. Based on Amazon reviews, the Danby DAC060EUB5GDB offers above average services. It is energy efficient, comes with a warranty that runs for 1 year, and more importantly, goes for less than $200. If you’re looking for a ENERGY STAR® compliant AC on a budget, this window AC model is the best option.

Top Quiet Option: Haier ESAQ406T

Haier ESAQ406T

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Traditionally, room ACs have been known to make a lot of noise when in operation unlike their central air counterparts. This is attributed to the design used in assembling these appliances. Usually, the noise is caused by the moving parts within the AC which include a fan, compressor, and motor. Given that all three components are located near or in the space that requires cooling, it is impossible to turn the AC without you hearing the parts get in motion. With the Haier ESAQ406T, this should not be a problem as its one of the quietest options available in the market today. It’s overall performance is good and pricing lower than most of the other modern window AC models.

Suitable for small rooms, Haier ESAQ406Thas a rating of 6,000 BTUs which is quite similar to other compact ACs. This model has four operation modes and is approximately 7 dBC quieter than most brands. You can operate at a meager 54.5 dBC. However, this is not always the case. In order to achieve such a rating, you have to turn on the cooling mode and use the least fan setting.

Haier distributors have hailed this AC for being the quietest window AC available today. Their observation is based on tests run by a third-party. So if you are looking for an efficient window AC that will allow you to study or sleep without much interruption,this is the most reliable option.

Best AC for Big Areas: Frigidaire FGRC1244T1

Frigidaire 12000 Cool Connect Smart Window Air Conditioner with WiFi Control, 12,000 BTU

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The Frigidaire FGRC1244T1 is one of the highest rated window ACs that offers extremely high levels of convenience and efficiency. Operating at 12,000 BTUS, this unit has the ability to cool big areas. This model can cool areas of up to 550 square feet. It has an EER of 12 which qualifies it for the ENERGY STAR® certification.

This model uses a smart system which relies on Wi-Fi connectivity. Users can issue commands through Wi-Fi or basic internet connections. To have more control, you may want to download the Frigidaire app on your smartphone so that you can control you control the AC from practically anywhere.

To complement its high-tech abilities, the Frigidaire FGRC1244T1 has a very sleek and appealing design. However, it is rather heavy given that it weighs 72 pounds. This is not unusual as it requires large parts to accommodate the high current. For some, this may be a slight inconvenience but it’s much of a deal-breaker. The good thing is that once you set it up, you will barely notice its size thanks to its appealing design.

When it comes to its operations, the FGRC1244T1 has three fan speeds which can be kept in motion if need be. This helps it maintain positive airflow for a subtle cooling effect. To add on to its features is slanted flow of air hitch is generally made possible by the fan speeds. If you need more silence, the three fan speeds can be set at quiet to accord you utmost serenity while the AC remains in operation. Based on these features, the FGRC1244T1 can go for up to $500. However, it is worth every single penny and especially if you plan on using it in large rooms such as your master bedroom or office space.

Best AC for Medium Spaces: LG LW8016ER

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LG is one of the notable household brands in the consumer electronic market. When it comes to window ACs, the LW8016ER is among their top models. This AC unit is ideal for mid-sized rooms such as offices, dens, or other rooms that nobody sleeps in. With an above average noise rating and energy rating in the range of 8,500 to 7,000 BTU, this unit will best fit rooms that are not greater than 350 square feet and not smaller than 250 square feet.

LW8016ER has a EER rating of 12.2 so it qualifies for the ENERGY STAR® certification. This 58 pound unit also has three cooling speeds plus two-way air direction system. It also features a remote that allows for convenient controlling of the appliance. Each unit comes with 1 year labor as well as parts warranty which covers all issues that might arise earlier on during its use. All in all, it is a decent choice for individuals who are not looking for exceptional performance.

Most Ideal for Small Rooms: Friedrich Chill CP06G10B

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Rounding our list of Window ACs is the Friedrich Chill CP06G10B. It is the most suitable unit for smaller rooms of not more than 250 square feet. With an energy rating of 6,000 BTU and an EER of 12.2, this un it is also ENERGY STAR compliant.

Just like all the other units, Friedrich Chill CP06G10B comes with a number of features that give you better control. Notable ones include the 24-hour timer, auto-restart function, and digital remote that lets you take charge of your unit from a distance.

In order to maximize circulation of air, the model comes fully equipped with an Auto-Air system which prevents the accumulation of hot air pockets. Installation is easy. You can mount it on the wall or on a window. Though quite heavy (weighing 60 pounds), it is very easy to maintain and offers high levels of energy efficiency.

This model comes with everything you’d expect from an up-to-date window unit: digital remote, digital thermostat, 24-hour timer and an auto-restart function that saves previously used settings with 3 cooling speeds.