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Best Air Conditioner for Medium Rooms

By: Carl Laron on June 02, 2017

The best medium air conditioners for large bedrooms and typical living rooms

According to Liam McCabe at TheSweetHome.com, 8,000 BTU air conditioners are the most popular size at retail. This size is ideal for cooling a room of up to 350 square feet, "roughly the size of a comfy living room or large master bedroom," he says.

For this year's report, we very much think that the 8,000 BTU Frigidaire FFRE0833S1 (Est. $240) is a top choice in this size range. It's not been tested by ConsumerReports.org, but is the runner up choice at TheSweethome.com. More significantly, it has racked up tons of feedback at retail sites across the Internet, and even after filtering out those reviews that appear on multiple sites (because they were originally posted at the Frigidaire site), it looks like most are very pleased.

McCabe makes the Frigidaire FFRE0833S1 a runner up based on his measures of loudness, but loudness is a complaint we see across the board for nearly every air conditioner in this size and price category, especially those that are Energy Star qualified, and user feedback is neither better nor worse for the Frigidaire in that regard. If you are willing to spend a bit more money for a bit more quiet, we name an air conditioner to consider at the end of this section.

As alluded to above, the Frigidaire FFRE0833S1 is Energy Star qualified and meets the most recent standard. This air conditioner is also well featured. Pluses include a thermostat on the remote (so that temperatures are measured where you sit and/or sleep rather at the air conditioner itself, where temps tend to be cooler) and a programmable timer. There's also an ionizing filter that's supposed to help allergy sufferers, though its effectiveness isn't well addressed in any expert reviews we spotted. Installation is easy, and the warranty is good -- one year on the entire unit, and five years on the sealed refrigeration system. There are negatives, however, aside from noise. The vents have just basic adjustments -- blowing air only left, right and up -- and not very well in the case of that last direction.

As noted, the Frigidaire is the runner up at TheSweethome.com, which names the 8,000 BTU LG LW8016ER (Est. $240) best overall. That recommendation largely hinges on McCabe's perception of the noise this air conditioner generates. He allows that it's not really all that quiet -- and ConsumerReports.org rates noise levels as only Fair. However, he says that the low frequencies it generates may be less objectionable than the noise from other options, and is largely free of sound spikes that can be hard to ignore. "That all adds up to an AC that's easier on the ears than its competitors—even if it's still a little louder than most of us would like," he concludes. Users that weigh in on noise aren't as sure however. Some find the noise acceptable or even pleasant, others rate noise as their number one complaint -- and, as we said earlier, that's typical for machines like these.

Putting aside the noise question, while we do like the Frigidaire a little bit better, the LG is a good second choice. It's a little cheaper (at least if you shop carefully, as prices can vary widely), though also a little less feature rich (there's no thermostat on the remote, for example). It is Energy Star qualified, and has the same CEER rating as the Frigidaire (12.0). User feedback is neither as plentiful nor as stellar as the Frigidaire, but isn't terrible either, including a 4.2 star rating based on nearly 120 reviews at Amazon.com. Feedback indicates that installation can be a bit more challenging (having a helper helps) than the Frigidaire. The warranty is not quite as generous -- one year, with no extended coverage for the sealed refrigeration system.

If your budget is bigger, and your need for silence higher, consider the Frigidaire Gallery FGRQ08L3T1 (Est. $300). This is a runner up pick at TheSweethome.com, and McCabe says that it is the quietest air conditioner his site has ever tested. The Energy Star qualified, 8,000 BTU Frigidaire window air conditioner is a Lowe's exclusive, and user feedback is limited. The handful of user reviews available at Lowes.com and Frigidaire.com all say that noise levels range from quiet to super quiet, and all rate it at either 4 stars or 5 stars. However, there's no real track record as of yet as to how this air conditioner otherwise performs or on its overall reliability. The feature line up is typical, including a remote control (non-temperature sensing), three speed fan, directional louvers, a timer, sleep mode and more. The warranty covers the sealed refrigeration system for five years, and the rest of the air conditioner for one year.

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