Consumer reports: Best AC units to cool you off this summer

Consumer Reports

CONSUMER REPORTS — Window air conditioners aren’t the most aesthetically- pleasing appliances, but when the heat is on they’re often the only option if you want to keep cool.

Consumer Reports just tested dozens of air conditioners and says while not much has changed in how they’re installed, a newer AC with a u-shaped design allows you to open and close your window without a heavy AC falling out the window. However, installation is a little different from a traditional window AC.

“It still does need a special bracket to be installed first once you do that you can slide the ac into place in your window and the window closes down into this u-shaped groove,” said Chris Regan of Consumer Reports.

Just note you might not be able to fit the window and the actual screen. And now the important question: Can it cool a room? 

Testers crank up the air temperature in this chamber to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then measure how long it takes a window AC to cool the room by 10 degrees.

“Most of the window air conditioners do a pretty decent job when it comes to cooling a room. The best can do it quickly and quietly,” Regan said. 

And that’s where two of the u-shaped units from Midea stood out, earning top scores for cooling and noise in CR’s tests. Consider this model for medium sized rooms about 250-400 square feet.

And for larger spaces, CR recommends the Midea. If you only need to cool down a small space – anything under 300 square feet works. The LG will get the job done for about $280.

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