For people who live in warmer climates, air conditioning can be a literal lifesaver. On hot, sunny days, it can get very hot and stuffy indoors, and an air conditioner helps keep the air inside cool and dry. But there are a lot of options available and it can be hard to choose: that's why we've composed this list of the best smart air conditioners of 2021. Each of them is Energy Star® qualified, so you can cool your home without a major impact on your energy bill (or the environment).
The Friedrich CCW10B10A is a powerful air conditioning unit from the Chill Premier series, clocking in at 10,000 BTUs of cooling capacity, making it great for larger rooms. It's also the only air conditioner on this list that has a slide out chassis, enabling it to be installed in either a window or a wall. The FriedrichGo™ app allows you to control the appliance remotely on your phone, or you can integrate it with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa and control it with your voice. Friedrich also includes a washable antimicrobial air filter, meaning you don't need to buy replacement filters every year. This machine also comes with 8-way air flow control, which sends cooled air in all different directions to speed cooling and a Money Saver® mode that only runs the fan while it's cooling. It even has a 24-hour timer, so you can program it once and then leave it alone all day.
GE's sleek, low-profile PHC08LY has a cooling capacity of 8,100 BTUs, and is ideal for small rooms (up to 350 sq. ft. in area). It has the most control options of any air conditioner on this list: you can control it using the on-unit panel, the included remote control, via WiFi on the GE Appliances app, or by voice using Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. If you're particularly technically inclined, you can even set up routines for it in IFTTT. GE's put a lot of work into quality of life improvements for this air conditioner: the LED display automatically dims after a few moments of inactivity so it doesn't shine in your face as you sleep, and at 43 dB of noise it's about as quiet as a refrigerator.
The Frigidaire FHWW153WB1 is the most powerful air conditioner on this list. Suitable for rooms up to 850 sq. ft., it has a cooling capacity of 15,000 BTUs. You can control it entirely using your phone on the Frigidaire® app, which not only lets you control it directly but adapt the fan speed and create your own schedules. It also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control. This unit even comes with an automatic restart feature where it will automatically resume at all its previous settings after a power cut, so even on the blisteringly hot days when the power company introduces rolling blackouts, you don't need to worry about keeping your home cool.
Ideal for rooms up to 550 sq. ft., the LG LW1217ERSM has 12,000 BTUs of cooling capacity and has many of the high-end features we've come to expect from all of LG's appliances. You can control it using the electronic touch controls, a remote control, or the LG SmartThinQ™ app as well as by voice using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Not only does it also function as a dehumidifier, but the washable air filter is easy to access and slides out of its housing. Meanwhile, the thermistor thermostat gives you finely-tuned control over the temperature in the room.
The Emerson EARC8RSE1 is another air conditioning unit that is perfect for smaller rooms, with 8,000 BTUs of cooling capacity. You can control it from any room in your house using its Wi-Fi Connection capability, change its settings using your voice via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, or simply use the included remote control. The fans blow cool air in eight different directions, ensuring even cooling, and you can also set the direction of the air to target a specific area. This unit even uses an eco-friendly refrigerant that does not harm the environment and can be treated safely.
What should I look for in an air conditioner?
Higher BTU ratings make air conditioners suitable for larger rooms, so it's a good idea to match the square footage of the room to the air conditioner's capacity. Energy Star® certification helps you save money and electricity. You should also consider the size and shape of the window you want to put a window unit in, as not all windows can easily hold a standard air conditioner.
Are smart air conditioners worth it?
Smart air conditioners can make controlling the temperature in your home much easier. The smart features allow you to place air conditioners in harder-to-reach windows and program them from a distance, saving you time and money.