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Air conditioners

What's behind our air conditioner Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 26 models in air conditioners to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    This is based mainly on comfort, noise, and energy efficiency. The displayed score is out of a total of 100 points.
  • Comfort
    How quickly the air conditioner on its low fan setting cooled a room sized for the particular unit and how accurate it came to meeting the temperature set point.
  • Indoor noise low
    This judgment of indoor noise at the low-cool setting is the objective measurement of noise level using a sound meter.
  • Indoor noise high
    This judgment of indoor noise at the high-cool setting is the objective measurement of noise level using a sound meter.
  • Brownout
    Gauges the unit's ability to run and restart during extreme heat and low voltage.
  • Ease of use
    This reflects control-panel layout, including the clarity of its markings, as well as how easy and intuitive the controls were to operate.

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Recommended air conditioners

Recommended air conditioners are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Price & Shop
Low prices and high efficiency make portable air conditioners and window air conditioners inexpensive room air conditioner alternatives to central air for cooling one or two rooms. Some 5,000- to 6,000-Btu window air conditioners now cost less than $150. If you're looking for information about portable air conditioners and window air conditioners, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports’ air conditioner reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our air conditioner buying guide to discover which portable air conditioner and window air conditioner features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased air conditioner Ratings and air conditioner reviews to help you choose the best air conditioner for your needs.

Recently reviewed air conditioners

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Chill CP08G10A
This Friedrich midsized air conditioner has
  • Through-the-wall installation instructions included
  • Remote control
  • Up/down louver control

Air conditioner buying guide

All the air conditioners in our latest tests do an excellent job of cooling and come with such convenient features as a digital display, a built-in timer, a remote control, or touchpad controls. But some models are noisy and others struggled to cool during brownouts. Find out which to buy for the space you need to cool.

Low prices and high efficiency make room air conditioners an inexpensive alternative to central air for cooling one or two rooms. Some 5,000- to 6,000-Btu (British thermal units) models now cost less than $150. Our air-conditioner guide will help you choose what's right for you.

Nearly all we tested meet the latest EnergyStar standards, which require them to use 15 percent less energy than the minimum allowed. And all now have electrical plugs that help prevent fires by shutting down if the power cord is damaged.

Find out whether replacing your air conditioner makes sense by using the savings calculator on the room air conditioners page at www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=roomac.pr_properly_sized. (Every 0.1 increase in EER translates into about a one percent drop in electricity use.) Also keep the following in mind:

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