The Kenmore 70051 is a 5,200-Btu window air conditioner that can cool a room of about 150 square feet. Reviews generally say it cools small spaces effectively and quietly, and it offers a lot of features for a fairly low price. It's also lightweight, easy to install and fairly intuitive to use. However, its dehumidifying performance is iffy, and the controls have a few quirks that bother some owners.
Good for cooling, so-so for moisture control. In professional tests, the Kenmore delivers good cooling power but removes less moisture from the air than most other units. Also, while it directs airflow well to the left, it can't do it to the right. Users generally say this unit is effective at cooling under real-world conditions, though a few found it a bit underpowered. Most owners also find it quiet, except for the beeping of the controls (discussed below). Another plus of the Kenmore is its energy efficiency ratio (EER) of 11, the highest we've seen for a window unit.
Controls are intuitive, but have some flaws. Although professional testers gave the Kenmore only average marks for ease of use, owners generally say the controls are intuitive. However, they do have two significant flaws. First, the beeping noise when adjusting the settings is unpleasantly loud for some users. Second, the black background on the control panel and remote makes them hard to use in a dark room. Aside from these minor flaws, owners report no problems using the unit. Also, it's relatively lightweight (42 pounds) making it easy to install.
Good features for the price. This modestly priced unit includes many of the features found on high-end air conditioners, such as a remote control, programmable timer and filter-change indicator. It also gets few complaints about durability. Out of nearly 200 owner-written reviews, a handful report breakdowns after one or two seasons of use, and one says it was defective out of the box.
The warranty covers the entire unit for one year and the sealed system -- compressor, tubing, and refrigerant -- for five. This is pretty standard for a window unit. Both parts and labor are covered, though one review complains of a long wait for in-home repairs.
ConsumerReports.org rates 44 room air conditioners, including the Kenmore 70051, on such factors as comfort, performance under brownout conditions, directional airflow, noise level and ease of use. They recommend models in three size categories, and ratings are summarized in an easy-to-read chart. However, some recommended models are discontinued.
Review: Air Conditioners, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, May 2013
The Kenmore 70051 receives about 200 reviews from customers at Sears.com, with ratings averaging 4 stars out of 5. Most (though not all) say it cools well, and they find it quiet and easy to install. Owners find the controls intuitive, but noisy and hard to see in the dark.
Review: Kenmore 5,200 BTU Room Air Conditioner, Contributors to Sears.com, As of June 2013