The installation of air conditioning is essential if you live in a climate where it is hot and humid for all or part of the year. There are several types of air conditioners that you can install in your home, from mobile units like a portable air conditioner or 12V air conditioner to more permanent options like a central air conditioner or wall unit.
Each type of HVAC unit has its advantages in terms of power, energy efficiency and cost, so determining the right one for you requires thinking about the size of your space, if your house is or can be configured for a permanent solution (there are many buildings for example that do not allow modifications to the facade, so opting for a window air conditioning is not viable), and their cooling needs.
Better air conditioners
A ranking of the top air conditioners that you can currently buy on the market for these air conditioning home appliances.
- Inverter air conditioning.
- Inverter DC technology, ecological gas R32.
- Heat pump + dehumidifier / heating and cooling.
Best air conditioning: Hisense New Eco 12000
With its sleek looks, near-instantaneous cooling power, and affordable cost, you can’t go wrong with any size Hisense air conditioner. At 12,000 BTUs, it can easily cool rooms up to 50 square meters. This Energy Star certified unit has three speeds and fan controls and a four-way air diversion. It comes with a remote control, plus you can also pair it with Amazon Alexa or an Apple Smart Home Kit to use with voice control or with your phone. Even on the highest setting, it’s super quiet, only 52 decibels, which is lower than an average conversation. It is also a powerful dehumidifier.
- Energy class A ++
- Night mode SLEEP – Sleep timer
- Optional Wifi
Best air conditioning quality price: Infiniton 3000 frigorias A ++ Inverter
Window air conditioners are a great solution for tenants who want to bring their air conditioner with them when they move. This 12,000 BTU (or 3,000 frigories) unit will quickly cool a room at a very balanced price for its performance. One of the biggest complaints about window units is that they blow air in only one direction; the infiniton has a clever solution in its eight-way comfort control design. Other benefits are its built-in clean air ionizer that traps pollen and its dehumidifier. This model comes with an installation kit, although you may have to attach a bracket outside your window to support its 70 kilograms of weight.
- REQUIRES INSTALLATION BY CERTIFIED PROFESSIONS
- WARRANTY – Consult manufacturer: WWW.FORCALI.COM
Best cheap air conditioning: Forcali Split Inverter 2000/2200 frigorias
This Foracli unit cools smaller rooms up to 14 square meters quickly and without increasing your electricity bill. It has two cooling speeds instead of the usual three and comes with a remote control, as well as being able to change the settings on the unit itself. You will be satisfied with this purchase, especially its sleek modern design which is not as unsightly as other window units. At 26kg (the outdoor unit) and 8kg (the indoor unit), it weighs less than other similar models, making installation with the included kit a breeze.
- Nominal capacity: 2.7 kW cooling and 2.5 kW heating / Class A.
- To install on the top or bottom of the wall.
- Without outdoor unit: on the outside of the building there are only two grilles for suction and expulsion of air.
Best wall air conditioner without outdoor unit: Olimpia Splendid Smart
At 230V, this window unit without outdoor unit has enough power to cool an entire apartment or floor in your house. Don’t worry, it comes with a remote control so you don’t have to cross the room every time you want to adjust the temperature. The unit container dehumidifies the air as it cools, with a drain on the back of the unit, so you never have to worry about emptying the container yourself. Additionally, it can double as a heater to supplement your regular heat source, although it is not a replacement for one.
- 3 in 1: cooling (2.6 kW), dehumidification (1.2 l / h) and ventilation (380 m³ / h) – ideal for rooms up to 80 m³ (~ 34 m²)
- Temperature setting (16-31 ° c) + timer
- Operation via intuitive led display or remote control
Best 3-in-1 portable air conditioner: Suntec cooler / humidifier
The main benefit of a portable AC is revealed in its name: you can move it from room to room, and this Suntec unit has wheels to help you do it without breaking a sweat. It requires a ventilation hose, so you will want to have a ventilation window installed in each and every room you plan to use. With 8,000 BTUs you can cool your room in no time, even on the hottest days, it is perfect for rooms up to 25 square meters. It has a built-in humidifier and adjustable humidistat to customize your comfort. Please note that you will need to drain the unit regularly, especially if you live in a humid climate.
- Cooling capacity (max): 12000 BTU / h
- Functions: cooling, dehumidification, fan, heating
- Energy efficiency class (cooling): A ++
Best inverter air conditioner: Daikin R32 3010 frigories
This inverter air conditioning unit from the manufacturer Daikin can cool up to a total of 3010 frigories. With a width of 79 cm, a height of 30 cm and a depth of 25 cm, it is a fairly compact but high performance unit that more than fulfills its function of beating the heat on hot summer days.
To put a downside, is that despite its modern design, this unit does not come with Wi-Fi.
- FUJITSU Air Conditioning 3000 | asy35uillce
Air conditioning A +++: Fujitsu Split System
This window mounted outdoor unit air conditioner from popular appliance brand Fujitsu will quickly cool a small or large bedroom or office thanks to its 1,080W of power. It has three cooling speeds and three fan speeds so you can find the perfect temperature that is neither too hot nor too cold, plus it has a mesh air filter to trap impurities.
This unit comes with a remote control so you can change settings from across the room or on your bed. It’s easy to install with the included kit and runs relatively quietly, a big plus for window units. It is even energy certified, so you can be sure it won’t increase your electricity bill.
- MITSUBISHI-Air MITSUBISHI SPLIT MSZ-HR35VF
- Power 3.5 Kw
1 × 1 Split Air Conditioner: Mitsubishi Electric A ++
If your home is not equipped with central air conditioning, wall units are a smart choice. They are safer than window units for two reasons: There is less risk of them falling and injuring someone below, and a burglar cannot push them into your home. The wall units also offer a higher BTU, which translates to more cooling power for your room.
This model classified with an energy efficient certification of A ++ can cool a room of up to 30 square meters as well as different cooling speeds, different modes (fan, cold, dry and automatic) and a programmable operation so that you can configure it, in addition to having an ecological way. A cover is recommended for installation (sold separately). If your room doesn’t have space for a wall unit, you will need to call in a professional to help you with the installation.
- MULTI-2318 Infiniton air conditioning has an A +++ energy classification thanks to which you will receive significant savings on your electricity bill …
- Includes two indoor units (2500 Frigorias / 9000 BTU) and one outdoor unit.
- Different modes depending on your needs: -Night SLEEP -Timer -iFeel
Best 2 × 1 air conditioner: Infiniton Multi-Split A ++
This 2 × 1 unit is the very definition of low cost cooling. A great refrigeration machine.
The small 2 × 1 split from Infiniton seems very simple to use (almost as much as a standard fan for life). Turn its dial to the large snowflake position and the dial to number 7 (maximum cooling and maximum fan speed). In a couple of minutes, you have cold air filling the space in your home. It has a very quiet operation that does not make it annoying while it is working, and yes, it will allow you to sleep peacefully even if you are a light sleeper. As for maintenance, your air filter slides to the right, a simple and welcome feature that promotes cleanliness.
- 4500 REFRIGERATORS – SSDC-4630 Infiniton ducted air conditioner has an A ++ energy classification and uses R32 refrigerant gas.
- Specially designed for installations in the false ceiling of hotel rooms.
- The unique V-shaped evaporator design increases heat exchange efficiency.
Best central ducted air conditioner: Infiniton SSDC A ++ Compact
If your home is already equipped for central air, you can’t go wrong with an Infiniton unit. They come in a range of BTUs. You will need to speak with a technician to find out which model best suits your home’s needs and have it professionally installed.
Whole house air conditioners offer better cooling capacity than window units, as the air is sent through the vents around your house and is more evenly distributed, plus they are better at removing the humidity of the air.
Of course, this means that your electricity bill can also go up, so you will appreciate the energy-saving features that the SSDC line offers; some models have two-stage compression to improve energy efficiency. It is also super quiet and some models can be controlled through an app.
Best Air Conditioning Brands – What’s the Best Air Conditioning Brand?
There are a handful of reputable air conditioning brands that you are likely to find when you go shopping.
If you are looking for a central air conditioning system to cool your entire home, you will probably come across Fujitsu, which sells several popular models. These units are known for their durability, and some even offer lifetime warranties.
Known primarily as a Japanese automaker, Mitsubishi also offers a highly regarded line of mini-split system air conditioners, many of which have smart capabilities.
Although it is a smaller brand, Daikin offers a wide line of air conditioners, including window, wall, mini-split and portable models. While these products are typically expensive, they tend to be energy efficient and offer a variety of advanced features, including Wi-Fi connectivity.
Toshiba is another trusted home appliance brand, and they offer a large number of window and wall air conditioners that can be found in most big box stores like Aamazon or appliance retailers.
LG is an American brand available from a wide variety of independent and regional home appliance and HVAC retailers, as well as Amazon. Window units range from Btus of 5,000 to 14,000 frigories and range between 200 and 600 euros.
Buying guide: Which air conditioner is better? Which one do I buy?
If central air conditioning is not an option, room air conditioners can be a cheap and energy efficient alternative for cooling a room or two.
It is important to choose the correct AACC unit. An air conditioner that is too small will have a hard time cooling a room. One that is too large cools so quickly that it doesn’t have time to remove enough moisture, leaving it in a cool, damp space. Some quick features to watch out for:
- Remote Control . A remote control allows you to adjust settings from wherever you are sitting. Some units have built-in temperature sensors to transmit the room temperature (as opposed to the temperature you have set the unit to).
- Timer . A common energy-saving feature is a 24-hour programmable timer, which allows you to customize the unit’s operating schedule.
- Directional airflow ventilation . Air conditioners have louvers that you can adjust to direct the airflow vertically or horizontally. Some have fans that oscillate. But most are better at directing air one way or the other. Consider your room layout and find a model that can direct the airflow where you need it most.
- Aid for energy efficiency . A timer air conditioner can turn off when you go out or it can turn on just before you expect to get home. An energy-saving setting stops the fan when the compressor is off. These features save electricity.
- Dehumidification mode . This feature is useful on wet but cool spring and fall days.
- Fresh air inlet or outlet configuration . This function provides ventilation without cooling.
- Controls . Touchpads with large LED displays, sizable, no-clutter buttons, clear labeling, and digital temperature readings are easier to use. Poorly designed controls are a constant hassle. Raised buttons with different shapes allow functions to be identified by touch. And digital temperature readings provide a more accurate reading than traditional ‘warmer’ and ‘colder’ settings.
- Look for safe “no-leak” refrigerant gas HVAC appliances. Newer room air conditioners from most brands come with better insulation materials and clearer instructions that help ensure a good seal around the unit, minimizing gas leaks.
- Be aware of noise . Models that scored excellent or very good in our noise tests are so quiet that the only sound you can hear is that of the fan running. Air conditioners that scored fairly for noise can annoy low sleepers when on low and distract everyone when on high.
- Factor in the location of the window . Window air conditioners generally do a better job of blowing air in one direction. That can be a problem if your window is not centered on the wall. To cool a room evenly, you will need to direct the air towards its center, so check if your air conditioner needs to blow air to the right or left. Some have fan arms that rotate.
- Please install it correctly . To get the most out of your window air conditioner, it must be properly installed. Most units are intended for double glazed windows. If you have hinged windows, you may consider purchasing a wall air conditioner. Make sure your window unit is level so it will drain properly. And move any heat-generating device, such as a television or lamp, away from the unit.
- Check the location of the filter. Make sure the filter is easily accessible for cleaning, something you will do frequently to keep the unit in tip-top condition.
- Consider smart cooling. Some air conditioners have gotten smarter, allowing you to control and adjust them from your smartphone. You can even interconnect them with other cooling units in your home.
- Look at the warranty . Some air conditioners have longer warranties than others. When purchasing a new unit, check the manufacturer’s website for information and ask the retailer about the warranty for the make and model you are considering purchasing.
Air conditioning size and power required
If you are buying a window or wall unit, measure the height and width of the opening to make sure you choose a compatible unit. It is also beneficial to consider the weight of the unit, as this will determine if you will need help moving and installing it.
As we just said, before considering price and features, start by determining the size of the unit you need for the space you want to cool, as well as where you will place the unit. The window air conditioners in our tests have cooling capacities ranging from 5,000 to 12,500 British Thermal Units (Btu).
To measure your room, multiply the length of the room by the width. But don’t buy just for Btu. We recommend that you take into account other considerations, such as ceiling height, where the unit will be placed, and the size of windows and doors. Further:
- If the room is very shady, reduce the capacity by 10 percent.
- If the room is very sunny, increase the capacity by 10 percent.
- If more than two people regularly occupy the room, add 600 Btu for each additional person.
- If the unit is used in a kitchen, increase the capacity by 4,000 Btu.
Air conditioner size and location
Next, you will need to consider where you plan to put the air conditioner and how many square meters it needs to cool down. The amount of heat an air conditioner can remove from a room is measured in BTUs, or British Thermal Units – larger rooms require a higher BTU unit.
Here’s a general breakdown of the recommended room size and BTU:
|Square meter||BTU per hour|
|9 to 27 m2||5,000-7,000|
|27 to 41 m2||8,000-10,000|
|41 to 51 m2||10,000-12,000|
|51 to 65 m2||13,000-14,000|
|65 to 92 m2||18,000|
|More than 92 m2||+20,000|
What type of air conditioning is best for your situation
Some fairly small window tube portable units can cost less than $ 200, which makes them a tempting proposition, but only if you need to cool a very small space. If you need to cool a larger area, you’ll want to focus your search on the units that best fit your square footage.
Nearly all of the air conditioners we’ve tested meet the latest energy certification and quality standards, which require them to be at least 10 percent more efficient than units without that certification. The top models have quiet operation and convenient controls, and they operate in blackout conditions. Here we leave you the most common types of air conditioning that you can find for use at home:
Window air conditioner
Depending on the size of the window air conditioning unit, we find three ranges:
- Small window air conditioner . Small capacity ones range between 5,000 and 6,500 Btu. It cools approximately 9 to 28 square meters. These units are the smallest, lightest, and least expensive, but they cannot adequately cool a room larger than 28 square feet.
- Medium window air conditioner . Those of medium capacity range between 7,000 and 8,200 Btu. Cools approximately 23 to 37 square meters. Prices are starting to rise, and its size and weight can make it more difficult to install and remove for winter storage.
- Large window air conditioner . Large capacity ones range from 9,800 to 12,500 Btu. It cools between 32 and 60 square meters. It is best for cooling a large room, but the volume and weight make these models uncomfortable and difficult to install.
Window air conditioners are a popular choice in spaces that only need to cool for one season, as they can be installed and removed quite easily. Many people also like that these units do not take up any floor space, but it is necessary to ensure that there is a compatible electrical outlet nearby, as many manufacturers recommend not plugging the air conditioner into an extension cord.
There are some considerations unique to window air conditioners. First, you will need to determine the style of window it will be installed in, whether it is standard, sliding or framed, and find a compatible unit. Also, you will have to decide if you want a sliding or fixed chassis (the frame that surrounds that unit). Models with a sliding chassis can also be installed as wall units, and are also a bit easier to clean and maintain. Lastly, you will need to purchase a compatible window mount, as this will ensure that the air conditioner remains securely in place and that there are no gaps around it.
Portable air conditioners
Portable models are intended for homes where the window configuration or building construction regulations preclude the installation of window units. The portable air conditioners in our tests range from 9,000 to 15,500 Btu. But don’t compare portable and window air conditioners just by that measure.
However, in our latest air conditioning tests we found that laptops are not as good at cooling as manufacturers claim. They are also expensive and use more energy than similarly sized window units. And since all the mechanics are in the room, they tend to be louder than the window-mounted units. And “portable” is a misnomer, their 20 to 40 kilogram weight can make them uncomfortable and unattractive to roll through carpets or doorways.
Portable air conditioners are even more versatile than window units, as they can be moved from room to room. This style is usually mounted on wheels to allow for easier transport, although they take up some space in the room in which they are operating.
Some portable air conditioners require a ventilation hose to draw the warm air out of the house, which usually requires a nearby window or vent. If this seems inconvenient or is not possible in your home, you will need to find an evaporation system, which uses water (which you must supply) to cool the air. This type of portable air conditioner works best in places that have dry heat, as they tend to add moisture to the air.
Wall air conditioners
Wall-mounted or walk-through air conditioners are very similar to window models, except that they are installed on an outside wall of the house. This type of air conditioner is a great option if you want a permanent fixture in a room that doesn’t have windows, or if you just want to keep your windows clear of clutter. However, as you probably imagine, they are more complex to install, and typically require the help of a professional to make sure you don’t accidentally bump into pipes or cables.
One of the main considerations to take into account when choosing a wall-mounted air conditioner is whether you want to use a traditional ‘sleeve’ to house the unit or whether you prefer to get a model with a sliding chassis. Sliding chassis air conditioners are sold as a single piece and can often be used as window units as well so this could give you a bit more versatility, although if you decide to use yours as a wall mounted air conditioner you will have to purchase a separate traditional sleeve.
Split Ductless Air Conditioners (SPLIT)
The ductless split is a smart way to add air conditioning to a limited number of rooms without having to open the walls to install ducts, as you would with a central air system, or install and remove multiple window units each year. In our tests all the models tested for this type of air did an excellent job of cooling and were much quieter inside and outside than window air conditioners.
Mind you, ductless split is more expensive than window or portable units (and professional installation is recommended), but less expensive than central air if only a few rooms are cooled. However, if you are looking to cool most of your home, a central air conditioning system is probably the most cost-effective option.
Mini split air conditioning systems are a bit more complicated than other styles, as they are made up of two main parts: an outdoor compressor / condenser and an indoor unit. Unlike central HVAC systems, mini-splits do not require any type of ducting. Instead they just need a small hole in the outer wall where cables and a condensation drain can escape.
Many mini-split systems can provide both heating and cooling for your home, and they are a popular permanent option for older homes or those where ducting is not feasible. Its ductless design also helps increase energy efficiency as a significant amount of energy is lost pushing air through the ducts. Another key benefit is that each unit can be controlled individually, so if you install a few throughout your home, you can set different rooms to different temperatures.
Central air conditioners
If you are building a new home or replacing your existing central air system, you may be in the market for a split system or central air conditioning unit. These models are the most expensive, as they are designed to cool the entire house, and require a duct system throughout the house to distribute the cold air.
Central air systems are often desirable because they can be used for heating, too, but you are likely to pay several thousand euros for the system, not to mention the cost of installation.
Air conditioners with Wi-Fi
If it’s the convenience of smart appliances you’re interested in, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of Wi-Fi air conditioners available. These units connect to the Internet and your smartphone, allowing you to control them remotely. In addition, many have features that help minimize power consumption while maintaining a comfortable temperature. Some can also be integrated with other smart home devices, such as the Amazon Echo or the Nest Learning Thermostat. Today’s smart air conditioners cost around 500 euros.
Air conditioning energy efficiency
One of the main concerns many people have with air conditioning is that it uses a lot of electricity. The Department of Energy says that 6 percent of all electricity in Spain is used to power air conditioners, costing users a total of 29 billion euros each year.
With that in mind, you may want to consider energy efficiency when shopping for a new air conditioner. Start by looking at the EER, or energy efficiency rating – the higher the number, the more efficient the air conditioner. Each one point increase on the EER scale represents a 10 percent increase in energy efficiency. So, for example, a unit with an EER rating of 12 is 20 percent more efficient than one with a rating of 10. While units with a high EER may initially be more expensive, they are likely to save you in the long run. money on energy costs, especially if you regularly use your air conditioner.
Another way to choose a more efficient appliance is to look for the energy certification label. This certification is only awarded to products that are at least 10 percent more energy efficient than models that are not.
Air conditioner noise level
If you plan to use the air conditioner in your bedroom or living room, you may be concerned about how much noise it produces. The noise level of appliances is typically measured in decibels, but since we don’t use this measurement in our daily lives, most people don’t know what “40 decibels” sound like. This can make it difficult to choose the best option for your needs.
In general, a standard air conditioner works between 40 and 60 decibels. For reference, televisions typically operate at around 60 decibels, and normal conversation falls between 40 and 60 decibels. Therefore, if you buy an air conditioner that runs at 60 decibels, it can interfere with your conversations or your television show. The quietest air conditioners out there operate between 35 and 40 decibels, and their noise level is comparable to that of a desktop fan.
Added extra air conditioning features
Once you’ve decided on the main style and specifications of your air conditioner, you may want to consider what additional features are available. For example, some units come with remote controls or programmable timers, making it easy to achieve your ideal temperature. Other options have efficiency aids, which help you minimize energy consumption. The best features to look for really depend on your personal priorities.
Air conditioning design and style
One of the first things you’ll want to consider is the style of air conditioning that works best for you. There are several options available, and they vary widely in terms of cost, capacity, and installation requirements.
Two of the most common options for casual users are portable and window air conditioners. Both of these options are quite inexpensive and can be easily installed without professional help. However, the downside to these options is that they typically only have enough power to cool one room at a time, which means you’ll need multiple units if you want air conditioning throughout your home.
Another option is a wall or recessed air conditioner, which is a permanent style. These styles are installed in a “sleeve” on an exterior wall of your home, ideal if your room does not have an acceptable window. However, as you may have guessed, this style of air conditioner requires a more complex initial installation, as you will need professional help to cut a properly sized hole in the wall.
For a more complete air conditioner, you can consider a ductless mini-split system. This style of air conditioning has been gaining popularity lately as it is a good permanent alternative for homes that do not have central air conditioning. As the name implies, no ducts are required, and these units are typically more powerful than window units. However, mini-split systems are also quite expensive and complex to install.
Lastly, there are central air systems, which require ducts throughout the home. These are the most expensive and complicated to install, and as such are typically more common in new construction.
Frequently asked questions about air conditioners
Fujitsu or Mitsubishi?
Two manufacturers of Japanese origin, both brands are two of the largest in the air conditioning appliance sector, with many years in the air conditioning market and highly respected by users.
So the choice is based more on the personal taste of the consumer. Choose the model of the brand you choose, you will be right.
Daikin or Fujitsu and Daikin or Mitsubishi?
Daikin is another Japanese brand, but unlike Fujitsuo Mitsubishi, it is mainly focused on manufacturing air conditioners and air conditioning systems.
Founded in 1924, it has a long history and entourage of satisfied customers with its products. A guarantee of trust and quality if you are looking for a quality air conditioning unit.
Wall or floor split?
A wall split is quieter and takes up less space than a floor one, since in a split the indoor unit hangs inside the wall of the room while the outdoor unit (louder) goes outside. In floor models, the most normal thing is that both units are integrated into the same system that goes inside the room, so more noise is perceived.
What are BTUs or frigars and why are they important?
The amount of heat an air conditioner can extract from a room is measured in BTUs, or British Thermal Units – larger rooms require a higher BTU unit. Energy Star recommends units around 6,000 BTUs for rooms up to 23 square meters; 8,000 BTU units up to 32 square meters; 10,000 BTU units up to 42 square meters; and 12,000 BTU units up to 51 square meters.
How much does an air conditioner cost?
The cost of an air conditioner varies depending on the type and functionality: you can spend between 100 and several thousand euros. Window models start at around $ 200 but can cost upwards of $ 1,000 if you need one with advanced features and high BTU capacity. Portable air conditioners tend to be slightly more expensive, typically costing $ 200- $ 500. Wall-mounted air conditioners generally cost € 400 or more, and mini-split options start at around € 800, plus the cost of installation. Central air conditioning systems are often desirable because they can also be used for heating, but you are likely to pay several thousand euros for the system and installation.
How do you install a window air conditioner?
If you have basic DIY skills and a few tools, you can most likely install a window air conditioner yourself, although as some units are very heavy and cumbersome, you may want to ask a friend to help you. For those who are unsure about installing an air conditioner themselves, you can ask the salesperson when shopping for a new one, or try a professional HVAC installer service.
How do you clean a window air conditioner?
Check the filter on your window air conditioner every month, and clean it as needed. Also, take a look at the water tray inside the unit and wipe it off with a cloth or sponge, this will help ensure proper drainage of the condensate created by the unit. It also helps prevent mold growth.
What types of air conditioning are there?
There are several different types of air conditioners. Window types tend to be the most popular because they are affordable and easy to install, although some homes and apartments with windows of unusual shapes may not accommodate them. Portable units are a great choice because they can be moved from room to room, but they also require more maintenance and are not as efficient. Built-in or split systems offer a more permanent solution but require professional installation and can be expensive.
How air conditioners work?
All types of air conditioning work very similarly. First, they extract air and filter out dust or impurities. That air then passes through the evaporation or cooling coil, and the coil absorbs the heat. At the same time, during this step, the air humidity is reduced to dew on the surface of the coil, effectively lowering the humidity level in the room. Eventually the air is pushed out of the device, lowering the overall room temperature.