When temperatures rise, you might find yourself scrambling to find a way to cool your home without causing a huge spike in your electric bill. And the
best energy-efficient air conditioners will help reduce your usage rate — and in turn, your overall energy costs. Some energy-efficient machines have timers so you can control how long they run for, along with settings that use less power. These air conditioners are available as window structures or portable floor units, and the cooling coverage is dependent on the British thermal unit rating of each.
The number of British thermal units (BTUs) will be your guide to
how much heat it can remove. The higher the number, the more space it'll cool. Of course, it's important to take room structure into consideration, because it can fluctuate based off ceiling height and the number of windows and doors that you have, but as a general rule of thumb, the optimal BTU ratings based off square footage are: 5,000 to 8,000 BTU: 150 to 350 square feet 8,000 to 12,000 BTU: 350 to 550 square feet 12,000 to 18,500 BTU: 550 to 1,050 square feet 18,500 to 25,000 BTU: 1,050 to 1,600 square feet
Other features to consider while choosing an energy-efficient unit are programmable timers so you can set schedules and prevent your machine from running too long. Many newer air conditioners — including a few below — even have Wi-Fi and smart technology that makes them easy to control from your phone and with your voice.
To make your shopping experience a bit easier, scroll on for the
best energy-efficient air conditioners on Amazon. We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.
The Overall Bet: This AC Unit That Won An Energy-Saving Award
BTUs: 8,000 (150 to 350 square feet)
air conditioning unit — which comes with an eco-cooling setting — won an Energy Star Most Efficient 2020 Certification, meaning it could potentially save you some big bucks on your power bill. It features a U-shaped design that helps reduce noise, brilliantly keeping the louder portion of the cooling system on the outside of your home and window. The built-in Wi-Fi capability allows it to be controlled from anywhere via your phone, and it also responds to voice commands through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. There's even a remote control included if you prefer. And according to one reviewer, you can set schedules and even check energy usage with those smart features. It's also easy to install and comes with an included support bracket that allows you to open and close your window. What fans write: "As far as efficiency, the unit's auto and eco modes seem to add a lot for efficiency that basic units don't have. On top of that, this is the single most efficient window AC on the market right now according to the Energy Star website (I checked) so you really can't go wrong here."
The Runner-Up: This Unit With A "Money Saver" Setting
BTUs: 6,000 (150 to 350 square feet)
Another unit with built-in Wi-Fi, this
air conditioner can also be programmed to go on and off at certain times, which can help save a ton of energy in the long run. Similar to the first option, it can also be controlled remotely via app, smart home setups with voice commands (per reviewers), and the included remote control. But since it's 6,000 BTUs, it doesn't cover as much area and is best for rooms between 150 and 350 square feet.
This has a digital screen to make it easy to control exactly how cold you want it. It also boasts a "money saver" button for energy-efficient usage. And according to fans, it's both "quiet" and "easy to install."
What fans write: "There is nothing not to like about this air conditioner. It’s easy to install, sturdy with impressive construction but I was able to install 2 of these units by myself. It cools off a room 250-350 square feet very well."
A Budget-Friendly Window Air Conditioner Under $200
BTUs: 5,000 (150 to 350 square feet)
With an under $200 price point, this
air conditioning unit is a great option for anyone looking to cool a smaller space on a budget. Since it has a 5,000 BTU rating, it can reduce the temps in a room up to 150 square feet. It features a low power start-up to conserve energy and offers relatively quiet operation. It also has dual turn dial controls that allow you to adjust temperature and mode easily — but unlike the second option, you can't see the exact temp on a digital screen, and it doesn't have any eco-friendly modes. This one can't be connected to Wi-Fi or your smart system, and it doesn't have a remote. But for the cost, it's a total bargain. Plus, one reviewer called the installation "very simple." What fans write: "The unit is very light and I had no problem lifting it into the window by myself. (I am 60+ years old) It has basic controls, is relatively quiet, and cools the room easily. A good price for an energy efficient unit."
A Window Air Conditioner That Operates Extra-Quietly
BTUs: 6,000 (150 to 350 square feet)
Although there are some others on the list that also boast quiet operation, this
air conditioner operates with nearly no sound whatsoever. That's because it's designed with a compressor blanket that majorly reduces noise. It also comes with a remote control that allows you to adjust it without ever leaving your bed or sofa — and similar to the second option I mentioned, it's equipped with an easy-to-read LED display that shows the temperature.
There's also an on-and-off timer you can set, along with an energy-saving mode. However, there's no mention of this machine being compatible with Wi-Fi or smart home devices. Plus, reviewers have written that it's easy to install.
What fans write: "I own two of the units. As someone who hates noisy AC, I find this unit to be very quiet and energy efficient."
An Energy-Efficient Portable AC Unit For Big Rooms
BTUs: 14,000 (550 to 1,050 square feet)
This 14,000 BTU
air conditioner can be moved from room to room as needed. It's equipped with an energy-saving dual-hose system that helps it cool your room effectively to help save money on your electric bill. It's accompanied with a remote control, and there's also an LCD screen that lets you monitor the temperature of your space. The built-in timer system can also help you save energy by letting you set how long you want it to run for. However, this unit doesn't seem to be compatible with Wi-Fi or smart home systems.
But since it doesn't need to be put into a window opening, it's easy to install. One reviewer commented, "It's also reasonably quiet, with a white noise sound rather than a compressor sound."
What fans write: "Energy usage: we live in Seattle where the temperatures are somewhat moderate, we used the unit moderately conservatively, and we have the cheapest electricity in the country, but this thing only increased our electricity bill from $30 to $50 for July and August (combined). Like I said, cheap electricity."