Most and Least Reliable Room Air Conditioners
CR's reliability survey on window and portable ACs delivers good news for shoppers
As temperatures rise, a broken air conditioner can make tempers flare. So it’s good news that a Consumer Reports survey of its members shows that room air conditioners—especially window units—are among the most reliable products we test.
And that was a particularly good thing over the past year when people were spending more time at home during the pandemic. In fact, of those members who bought a room air conditioner in 2020, a third of them did so for the first time. And most of them who had a particular model in mind said they got the one they wanted.
Our survey was conducted last summer after many states had issued stay-at-home orders. Forty-two percent of respondents who owned their air conditioners for a year or more said they were using them more frequently than they had during the previous summer. That highlights the importance of having a reliable model.
All eight brands of window air conditioners and five of nine brands of portable ACs in our survey earn a Very Good or Excellent rating for predicted reliability.