These Air Conditioners Cost Less Than $200— & They're The Ticket To Staying Cool This Summer


You don't have to resign yourself to subpar home cooling options when you're overheated and on a budget. The best cheap window air conditioners under $200 offer many features found on more expensive models (like multiple speeds and relatively quiet decibel ratings) but are limited by their power output (BTUs) and thus the size of the room they are intended to cool off (usually up to 250 square feet).

When shopping for an inexpensive AC unit, you'll want to pay attention to that BTU figure first. The British thermal unit rating — aka the BTU — indicates how much heat a device can remove from one space. The higher the number, the more space it'll cool. Often, with air conditioners in this price range, the BTUs output maxes out around 5,000 to 6,000, which is still impactful, but means they are only recommended for use in smaller rooms up to 250 square feet (making them ideal for placing in the windows of most standard-sized bedrooms or home offices).

The next thing you'll want to consider is the noise level of your air conditioner, which is measured in decibels (or dBA). This spec might be important to you if you're sensitive to sounds (especially when you're trying to sleep) or if you want to be able to carry on a conversation in the same room as your unit. For comparison's sake, the decibel rating for normal chatter at a restaurant is around 60 dBA and the good. news is, you can still find a cheap option that operates quietly under that level.

The last thing you'll notice as you browse for a way to chill out are the ways a window AC can be controlled. It's rare — but not entirely impossible — to find a budget-friendly AC that comes with a digital control panel and a very hand remote control. The more affordable units, though, typically have manual turn-dial controls that require you to walk to the AC to change the settings.

Below, you'll find the best window air conditioners under $200 you can buy right now on Amazon.

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The Overall Best Cheap Window Air Conditioner

  • BTUs: 6,000
  • Room size: Up to 250 square feet

Boasting the most power of any pick on this list, the MIDEA EasyCool model is a rare find for under $200 (Although be warned, occasionally the price on this item does fluctuate above the $200 point.) Measuring 18.5 by 16.0 by 13.4 inches (length by depth by height), it will efficiently cool down a sizable space.Plus, the digital control panel of this AC is also designed with features that you would typically find in a more expensive AC, including a 24-hour timer, a remote, and multiple cooling settings (including a dehumidification mode, a fan-only mode, and a "sleep mode" that automatically adjusts the temperature throughout the night). It also boasts a maximum noise level of 59.5 decibels.

For optimal performance, this air conditioner also comes with a filter maintenance light that alerts you when it's time to clean the filter.

Helpful review: “We bought this unit for our large bed room. The unit surprisingly works pretty well and cover all area. It only takes about 10-15 minutes to cold down the room. It also comes with the remote control which is one of the reason we choose this unit. This unit is so quiet and much better than the one we had 2 years ago which is in another bed room. I would recommend it to anyone.”


The Quietist Window Air Conditioner Under $200

  • BTUs: 5,000
  • Room size: Up to 150 square feet

Not only is this AC unit by Emerson the most affordable on this list, it's also the most quiet with a rating of 50 dBA. Keep in mind, it's mechanical only, which means you'll need to turn the rotary controls to adjust it to your liking. There are two cooling speeds, two fan speeds, and a variable temperature dial. It measures 16 by 15.2 by 12.5 inches (length by depth by height)

Helpful review: "I just installed this in my sliding side to side window. So far so good. It's been in the 80's and I've used it every night for half a month. I only need to turn it on a half hour before I sleep and the room is very comfortable. If I put in on Low Cool and number 4 to 5 it keeps the room at a steady 71 degrees all night!! Very Comfortable!"


Another Solid Air Conditioner Under $200 (& It's Even More Compact)

  • BTUs: 5,000
  • Room size: Up to 150 square feet

If you find that pick above is sold out and you want something just as reliable with the same price point in mind, this Frigidaire air conditioner will do the job — and at 16 by 13 by 12 inches (length by depth by height) it comes in a little bit more of a compact, mini size. It also has a 5,000 BTU rating, and a no-frills manual control panel that allows you to adjust the temperature setting, the AC to high and low speeds, or choose a fan-only option. At 51.3 decibels, this air conditioner is also still on the quieter side, too.

Helpful review: “A basic AC unit that just works. I love that it isn’t full of electronics that always break and I can rest assured that it will work years from now. My last AC would still be working if all the 'bells and whistles' features weren’t causing issues.”


You May Also Consider: A Smart Window Fan

Although it's not a one-to-one replacement for an air conditioner on a super-hot day, this window fan is an energy-efficient alternative that can still cool down a room quite effectively. It works by drawing in and then circulating fresh air from outdoors. Not only do Amazon reviewers report that it's very quiet, they also mention how thoughtful some of its features are— including a built-in thermostat and temperature sensors that will automatically activate power the unit on when it detects your space is hotter inside than it is outside and vice versa. There are three speed settings and a built-in rain shield included, too, so that it will still work even during a rain storm.

Helpful review: “We think this is the best invention EVER. Our house is over 6000 square feet and costs a fortune to cool. We love leaving windows open on cool nights, but then it is sometimes not cool by the time we go to bed, or it is raining, so the windows can't be opened. This fan with a thermostat is the best because it opens and brings in the cool air from outside only when it is cooler outside than inside air. It doesn't let rain in, so can be on even on rainy days.”