Window air conditioners make the difference between living in reasonable comfort during the summer or sweating out as our home office becomes a sauna. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to fight back against heat with one of these appliances. But it pays to have some background knowledge and some test data to help you select the best appliance to help you stay cool.
The popularity of a window air conditioner has steadily increased since the arrival of Philco Bantam 12 on the market in 1957. Today, some 7.5 million to 8.5 million small air-cooling appliances are sold every year in this country, according to Statista.com and the U.S. The Energy Department.
Although these appliances may have a variety of features—such as app control and multiple fan speeds and cooling modes—all work in the same way that they shift heat from inside to outside. The metal cabinet of an air conditioner contains two key components: a condenser (also called a compressor-condenser) and an evaporator.
Cold refrigerant gas circulating through the evaporator tube acts as a heat absorbing sponge. Hot indoor air blown over the evaporator loses its heat to the surface of the cold coil and the gas inside it.
The refrigerant gas then moves from the evaporator to the condenser, where it is compressed, causing the compressor coil wall to become extremely hot. The fan blowing the air over the condenser coil moves the heat out of the hot coil surface and into the outdoor air.
Inside the house, the air conditioners blow the cold, dry air from the evaporator to the living room. The moisture that condenses out of the air flows out of the evaporator coil and drips outwards. Setting aside all bells and whistles, all window air conditioners are working this way.
How We Test
We surveyed the market and surveyed manufacturers along the way looking for key features that point to better construction quality, energy efficiency, noise reduction, convenience and ease of maintenance.
We test each appliance in a 1,200 cubic-foot space with a high ceiling. One wall of space faces west and sees a strong and unrelenting afternoon sun. It’s getting extremely hot and stuffy, which means it’s perfect for an air conditioner test.
We run each appliance at different settings and use an infrared thermometer to measure the effect of the appliance on its surroundings, such as walls and nearby objects. Next, we measure how far away the cooling breeze of the appliance can be felt. This is known as throwing in the air conditioning.
Of the five we tested, all of them (even the least expensive ones) throw up to 10 feet of cool air; the sweet spot is mostly in the six-to eight-foot zone. We’re looking for how easy it is to use the controls of the appliance (they should be so simple and intuitive that you don’t need the owner’s manual).
We get a sense of how comfortable the appliance is to make us feel. The five appliances we tested all deliver effective cooling; this is true from the smallest to the largest. Having said that, more powerful air conditioners (those with higher BTU air rating, like 12000 btu) have larger condensers and evaporators and significantly larger cooling coils.
There is no question that they could better cool larger floor areas or spaces with high ceilings or windows facing south or west. Simply stated: when the cooling needs are challenging, purchase a slightly larger air conditioner to handle the additional load rather than simply rely on the sq ft for which the manufacturer rated the appliance.
We also included a number of models that we have not yet been able to test but evaluated on the basis of our market knowledge and contextual insights from the pace of other ACs. With that in mind, here are the results of our tests and the most prepared air conditioners to help you survive the summer heat.
Sizing a Window AC – Make Sure it’s Big Enough
The first order of business is to make sure you’re looking for the right size window air conditioners for your needs. 12000 BTU air Window ACs are rated at up to 550 square feet. This table, based on the US Department of Energy guidelines, shows the size of the window air conditioners that you should install.
Do you need the best 12,000 BTU AC window? If so, this is the right guide for you. Cooling Tip: Note that these units are rated as “up to” 550 square feet. If the room faces south or west, has high ceilings or is a kitchen where cooking generates extra heat, you should purchase a window air conditioner of one or two sizes larger than the one shown on the chart.
What Are BTUs and Why Are They Important?
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and is used to measure thermal heat and helps you understand how much energy is needed to increase the temperature of one pound of water by one degree.
The reason why this is so important is that if you have an A/C that provides only 5000 BTUs, in a room that is more than 150 sq ft, your A/C will struggle to fill that space with cool air and shorten the lifespan of the device.
If the BTUs are too high, the room will quickly cool down and shut down only for this cycle to start again shortly after it shuts down. You need a device with just the right amount of BTUs for the space in which you use it.
Aspects to Consider When Buying the Best 12,000 BTU Air Conditioner
There are a lot of things to do before you press ahead and buy your new air conditioning unit. You’re going to want to make sure you’ve asked all the right questions and understand the different features on offer.
The Size of the Area You Need Cooled
As we mentioned earlier, the size of the area you need to cool down is important. If you have an area of 400 sq ft and buy an A/C that provides only 5,000 BTUs, you will most likely break your A/C as it will struggle to keep up with the constant demand to fill that space. Typically, you’ll be able to cover around 500 sq ft for a 12,000 BTU air A/C.
Efficiency and Eco-Friendliness
The point of saving money and saving the planet is an important issue for many people. There are a lot of ACs on the market that offer a decent EER rating. This rating shows how efficient the device is with the energy it needs.
The higher the number, the more efficient it is, and anything above the EER of 10 is amazing. You’ll also find that a lot of A/Cs have easy clean, eco-friendly filters that clean the air from bad smells and dust.
Portable or Window A/C’s
There are not many differences between these two types of portable air conditioners. First, window units tend to be more powerful and efficient than their portable counterparts. This is mainly because they receive their cool air directly from the outside, rather than through plastic tubes like portable units.
The portable units can either operate on a dual or single hose system that extracts and exhausts the cool and warm air used by the unit. The main advantage of this type is that they can be moved to different rooms.
Top 11 Best 12,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner in 2021
We did the research. These are the best 12000 BTU window AC available. Full reviews are provided below. This section is designed for busy readers looking for a reliable list of top ACs so that they can make a recommendation or purchase and move on to other things.
- All of these units are rated at up to 550 square feet.
- Dry Mode removes moisture from the air without cooling – ideal for cool, crisp days.
- A few of these are 230-volt models, requiring a 230 (220-240V) outlet. See the pros and cons of 115V vs 230V ACs in the Buying Guide at the bottom of the page.
Here are complete reviews of the best 12,000 BTU window air conditioners.
1. Midea MAW12R1BWT Window Air Conditioner 12,000 BTU Air Easycool AC
This Midea AC window combines good value with three performance modes that allow you to customise indoor comfort. Midea is the world’s largest manufacturer of window and room ACs, and its products are well-built and reliable. It has an AC mode for cooling, dehumidifying, drying the air on a damp, chilly day, and a Fan mode for moving the air or providing white noise. It also has:
- LED Display
- Full-feature Remote
- 24-hour Timer
- Energy-saver/Eco mode raises the temperature slightly to conserve energy
- One-year parts & labour warranty
It has 110-120 volts, so no special outlet is required. The average consumer rating for this unit from multiple sites is in the mid-80s, which is very good for room ACs. It has excellent features and a number of modes that tailor your indoor climate to your preferences. Dry mode is ideal for cool, wet weather.
Most of the negative reviews are about the units that have arrived damaged or in non-working order. Amazon has a good return policy, and Midea has a one-year labour guarantee. If you want a reliable window air conditioner with one of the most trusted AC names in the world, consider this Midea. It’s available in multiple sizes for all rooms that need an AC window.
2. Frigidaire 12,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Compact Air Conditioner with Remote Control
Frigidaire is another reliable brand with quality parts and good performance. Although not an Energy Star AC, it is quite efficient with an energy efficiency rating of 10.9. 3.8 pints per hour of dehumidification will make the air in your room much more comfortable, whether you’re cooling the air or just drying it on a damp, chilly day.
This standard 12.000 BTU window unit will be able to offer you exceptional experience when it comes to the area that can be covered. Cooling a large area of 550 sq ft, you’re not going to have to worry about if it’s going to do its job in the largest area.
It’s also not lacking in the dehumidifier department, as this built-in feature can extract up to 3.8 pints of damp, hot air every hour. Features such as timer and sleeper mode are all great additions that are also controlled on the electrical panel on the device.
The main focus of clean, cool air is never lost with the help of an ioniser that removes any bad odours and impurities from the surrounding area. Finally, the efficiency rating is above standard, as it is around 11.3.
Covering about 550 sq ft, this product is not efficient and effective when it comes to cooling and cleaning the air. The EER rating is above the standard and is perfectly at 11.3, far more than is required.
The ioniser also does its part to clean the air as it sifts out any impurities and bad smells, perfect for those who have pets. If you live in a hot climate and can’t sleep at night, the dehumidifier will be able to extract that heavy, damp air with about 3.8 pints removed every hour.
All these settings can be customised via the control panel. A downside would be that they’re not providing you with a remote location that would make this far more convenient.
The problem with this A/C window is that it overheats quite regularly. Also, the dehumidifier does not have a continuous drain option, not many do, but it would be nice to have.
3. Koldfront WAC12001W 12,000 BTU 208/230V Heat/Cool Window Air Conditioner
This unit heats up, too. The 12,000 BTU AC is a heat pump, so it uses the same technology to deliver 11,000 BTU of heat. Heating is ideal for additional heat in a room that is not well-heated by a central heat source or in mild climates where only occasional heating is needed.
This unit has a powerful fan that really moves the air from side to side and across the room. Several positive reviews indicate the quality of this AC. A large number of users have reported that this is the best option for a room of 300-350 sq ft.
Many of them liked the package as a whole, because it’s pretty professional and decent. In addition, the majority of users are satisfied with the quality and performance of this unit. Indeed, the overbuilt quality of this AC is one of the features that we like the most.
Other than that, the speed of the fan can be adjusted to three different levels, along with the auto option.
The best part of it? It also comes with a remote control and a digital front display. This unit is efficient enough to cool down 400-450 sq ft. It’s perfect for garage owners or people looking for a small coffee shop.
It is also ideal for a relatively small room or kitchen. To cap it all, this unit is perfect, as it is an efficient option, too, at an affordable rate. At times, however, noise can be irritating. Apart from that, this unit comes with a remote control and a digital front display for ease of use.
4. Friedrich Chill Premier 12,000 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner with Built-in WIFI
Friedrich is a premium brand known for its quality components and superior performance. It’s a bit more expensive, but the price is pretty good for a WiFi window air conditioner. “Alexa, turn the AC on! “This smart window AC works with the ability of Amazon Alexa to make it simple.
The unit connects quickly to WiFi and can be monitored and controlled from anywhere using the App. In addition, there are many ways to give you the climate control you want on the basis of room conditions – AC, Dry, Fan or Auto. Hit “Auto” and set the temperature, and the unit will choose the mode and the fan speed needed to hit the set point of the thermostat.
Its voltage is 230, so you’re going to need a 220/240V outlet. The upside is more durable with 230 volts of electricity. Users like this kind of AC. It is rated between 80 percent and 90 percent positive for most rating and review sites. It’s smart, convenient cooling. Improved durability with 230V power.
Good set or Modes and features such as timer and remote control that can be used to control all settings. However, if one is not available, you need to instal a 220/240V outlet. Consider this Friedrich window air conditioner if you want WiFi convenience and smart operation.
5. LG LW1216ER
What makes this product so attractive is that you can evenly spread the cool air around the 450 sq ft. area without any problems. This even spread will allow your entire space to cool down at a steady pace. With this powerful window unit, you will maximise efficiency and efficiency with an EER of 12.1.
Product information indicates that the energy cost of this product will be around $89 for the entire year. Many other impressive features include the three different cooling and fan speeds that can be adjusted via remote control, another convenient advantage of this product, and you will have access to the timer, temperature, and different speeds using this remote control.
If the A/C is ever shut down, it will auto-start at the last setup so that none of your settings will be lost. Another feature is a slide-out washable filter that traps foul odours and dust particles that keep the air clean around you and your family.
The only thing that makes this product stand out is energy efficiency. There are not many A/Cs out there that can provide an EER of 12.1. Four-way airflow is another ideal function as you can evenly spread the cool air around, lowering the temperature of your space at a faster rate.
The filter is another benefit, as it ensures clean air for your family. Convenience is important to this unit as you will be able to control the various modes and settings via remote control, as should be the case for all devices. The only complaint with this product is that there is no dehumidifier capable of absorbing hot, damp air.
6. BLACK + DECKER BPACT12WT
This portable best 12,000 BTU air conditioner is currently the best on the market. The portability of the device allows anyone to simply move the A/C around whenever they feel fit. Not only that, but the product has a three-in-one function, which means that it also works as a fan and dehumidifier, perfect for those hot summer months.
The product will be able to cool a room with between 250 and 300 sq ft. You’ll be able to control a lot of features like temperature and timer settings with just a remote control that’s great for convenience.
In addition, the slide-out filter, which limits dust and bad odours, is convenient for washing, as all it requires is soapy water. The single hose system is connected via the nearest window, which allows all the warm and cool air outside to be drawn in and used.
There are a few simple benefits to this product. Including the fact that it is a portable AC and remote-controlled are two of the most basic, but still highly desirable, benefits.
Other advantages of this A/C are that the three-in-one function means that you are prepared for almost any situation. The easy-clean filter is another big advantage, as it only adds to the convenience list. Cleaning the filter is as simple as using a little soap and water.
The only real downside to buying the air conditioner is that it only covers between 250 and 300 sq ft, which is much less than your standard 12,000 BTU window AC unit. The other downside is that the single hose system means that the unit overheats quite easily.
7. Pioneer WYS012-17
Window units are always much more powerful than their portable or wall counterparts, and this AC can heat or cool down any area up to 450 sq ft. within 15 minutes or less. It produces a low noise level of 40 dB, which is much lower than the majority of the units currently on the market.
If your device is ever shut down, you can count on auto-restart to continue with all of your favourite settings. These settings can be adjusted either by remote control or by electronic control panel on the product.
Settings such as timer, sleep mode, and eco mode are all basic but essential. One of the most impressive modes is the night mode, which adapts the temperature to your natural body temperature changes throughout the night.
This unit has a few advantages, with its downsides not far behind. It can provide both cool and warm air that is great for all year round use. This cool/warm air is effective for rooms up to 450 sq ft. which is the standard for most A/Cs of this size.
There are, however, a few that are not close to this. The noise rating of 40 dB is below the recommended limit of 50 dB, which means that the device is somewhat silent during operation. The lack of noise is what most impresses people as it alters the cool/warm air depending on the body’s natural night time heat schedule.
The downside to this product is that although it offers its services all year round, you don’t have a dehumidifier built-in like most other A/Cs on the market.
The fact that it provides a heat pump is what makes this air conditioning unit so hard to instal with all the extra wires it needs. This added feature also has an impact on efficiency that is below standard, sitting at 9.0.
8. Frigidaire FFRA1222R1 12,000 BTU
With a BTU rating of 12,000, the space that this device can operate inside shouldn’t come as a surprise. However, many of the devices out there are just not of the highest quality.
It’s 550 sq ft. coverage is one of the best on the market for this 12000 BTU rating window unit. Energy efficiency is at 10.9, which means that it is impressive and above standard.
What the manufacturers are proud of is the eight-way airflow, which disperses cool air evenly and precisely throughout the specific area. Other built-in functions, such as the dehumidifier, are just as effective in extracting up to 3.8 pints of liquid per hour.
Additional features such as timer, sleep mode and energy-saving mode are all standard but essential. With this A/C being budget-friendly, it’s a surprise to learn that it has some pretty useful features.
For starters, it can cover up to 550 sq ft which is great for any kind of window unit. The EER rating of 10.9 is above the standard and therefore operates at an exceptional level, as does the built-in dehumidifier, which extracts 3.8 pints every hour.
The dehumidifier doesn’t have the luxury of a continuous drain, so you’re going to have to drain it manually. The next downside is the lack of convenience, as there is no remote control included, which is usually the standard for most A/Cs.
9. Frigidaire 12,000-BTU Air Conditioner
There are a lot of buyers who have reported the superior performance and quality of this product. Multiple users praised the easy setup mechanism. It can cool the space of 500-550 sq ft efficiently, which is one of the most loved features of this unit.
Well, the cooling surface is the feature that strikes us the most. This unit comes with an easy installation and easy-to-clean mechanism. You also get a sleep mode with this. In addition, low power mode helps to conserve energy.
We find this unit to be ideal for storage or storage. Without a doubt, it offers all the necessary features required by the purchaser. The mechanical rotary function of level adjustment is a plus. It can also be installed in a small library area or in a garage.
To sum up, the overall design and structure of this unit is commendable. It can easily serve a large area without creating any problems. It’s just a 115V electrical outlet, and you’re good to go.
10. Whynter ARC-12S 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
One thing that manufacturers boast about is the incredible rate at which they can dehumidify any humid and humid air as this device can extract 91 pints per day. Another impressive feature is the 400 sq ft, the area that can be covered.
Thanks to the timer setting, these two modes can be customised to operate for a certain period of time. The speed of the fan can be changed to any of the three levels that will increase or decrease the time it takes to cool your room.
Another proud fact is that it has one of the quietest components on the market, creating only 52.5 dB, making it the winner in noise level department. This portable AC is voted one of the quietest currently on the market and could not be more accurate, as the compressor and the engine make more or less no noise whatsoever.
The dehumidifier can extract up to 91 pints of liquid each day, which is wonderful for any A/C out there. It covers a range of around 400 sq ft, which is impressive given the small and compact design.
The only improvement that could be made is that due to the high intake of fluid, you would benefit from a continuous drain option, as manual removal would be too much of a problem. The device will overheat because of the single hose. Apart from that, it’s just perfect.
11. Honeywell MN12CES
This portable AC unit will be able to provide up to 550 sq ft. This capability exceeds any expectations of a portable unit. The three-in-one function includes an A/C, fan, and dehumidifier.
The dehumidifier can remove up to 66 pints of fluid from the air with the option of continuous discharge. This means that you will benefit from 24 hours of operation. This device has been designed with comfort and ease of mind, and remote control with all the features is what makes this product so convenient.
The features included are multiple fan speeds, a 24-hour timer and an energy-saving mode. The easy-wash filter is also included in the kit along with everything you need to set up, including a single hose window bracket.
Due to the single hose system, the device has built-in thermal protection, which means that you will be able to sleep without any worry that your family is at risk. Portability is the main and most obvious advantage that comes with this device, the fact that it covers up to 550 sq ft is a surprise, as most portable units are not as effective as window units.
The dehumidifier is just as effective by extracting up to 66 pints of fluid per day with the option of continuous drainage, which means you can run it all night and don’t have to worry about filling it up.
Another concern about using it overnight is that it might overheat. However, thermal protection will ensure that the product is safe and that your family is not at risk.
The only downside to this device is that the single hose system is not as effective in producing the same cooling power as the window unit, so that the room may take longer to cool down. This also means that it is more likely to be overheated.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Electricity do 12000-BTU Air Conditioners Use?
Power consumption is directly linked to the EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio). 12000-BTU air conditioners would consume approximately 991-1,331 watts of electricity. However, the monthly energy consumption would be approximately 92-122 kWh. The air conditioner of the 12000-BTU is 3.5-5.1.
What Do 12000-BTU Air Conditioners Mean?
Simply put, BTU (British Thermal Unit) is a traditional heat unit. In the case of air conditioners, it is the amount of heat that can be removed from a particular space. The cooling capacity of the AC is measured by BTUs. A 12000-BTU air conditioner is sufficient to cool a room of 450-550 square feet.
How Many Square Feet Will 12,000 BTU Air Conditioners Cool?
With this product, you will be able to cool an area of up to 500 sq ft. without any problems.
Can You Save Energy With 12,000 BTU Air Conditioners?
Depending on the energy efficiency rate, with this type of air conditioner, you should be able to save both money and energy. Anything above 10 is a wonderful rating. The standard rating is approximately 9.4.
What is the Power Consumption of 12000 BTU Air Conditioners?
This type will consume between 991 and 1,333 watts of energy. For any A/C that is more modern and up-to-date, they would consume an average of 1,090 watts.
How Many Amps Do 12000 BTU Air Conditioners Use?
It will typically use either five or six amps.
To finish our article, we hope you’ve learned something new here today and that we’ve taken you on the right path to finding your new air conditioning unit. It’s a tough choice to get the best 12000 BTU window AC, but thankfully from experience, we’ve collected all the information you need.