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The best air conditioners will cool the room size they’re designed for with maximum speed and efficiency. While 5000 BTU and the best 6000 BTU air conditioners are good choices for efficiently and quickly cooling smaller spaces, rooms over 300 square feet need a good bump up in cooling power to get the job done.
While smaller models are more energy-efficient, there are advantages to 8000 BTU units besides their cooling power. They have lower operational noise and a tendency to offer more advanced features, such as 24-hour timers, mobile device connectivity, Wi-Fi, and remote control. And though they often come with a significant price increase, their larger, more robust design usually means a slightly longer lifespan than smaller units, and there are still many models in this class that can be had at an affordable price. If you’d prefer to stick to smaller units, check out a good portable air conditioner.
Keep reading our buying guide to learn more about the best 8000 BTU air conditioners and what they offer.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is a very energy-efficient unit with a low noise level and has both washable and easy-to-remove filters.
This 8000 BTU LG window air conditioner is an ideal option for anyone who needs to cool down a room as large as 350 Sq ft. It can get as quiet as 53 decibels when switched to its lowest mode, which is silent enough to ensure a good night’s sleep. Its Energy Star Certification means that it won’t use much electricity when functioning, and with up to 3 different cooling and fan speeds, users will be able to set it to function right down to their preferred settings. It also comes with a remote for convenient operation, however, picky users might not appreciate its outdated design.
On the flip side, the air conditioner offers a 24-hour timer that allows users to schedule how long it needs to function. It also comes with an auto-restart feature that is quite beneficial in the event of a power shortage since it’ll still default to its previous settings once power is restored. The AC unit also comes with removable filters that are easy to wash, and on its control panel, there’s a check filter indicator that also lights up whenever the filters are due for replacement.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: It has a space-saving design and is great for allergy sufferers thanks to its ionizing function. It also comes with 8-way vents for good circulation.
While most may be pulled to it by its compact size, the Frigidaire FFRE0833S1 window air conditioner is also energy efficient, and thanks to its 8000 BTU rating, it is perfect for a room size of up to 350 Sq ft. Also, one of its standout features is that it comes with an ionizer. This makes it a perfect option for allergy sufferers since it’ll be able to remove pollen and other impurities from the air, thus keeping it clean and safe to breathe. Unfortunately, previous users have complained that it gets pretty loud.
When set to its lowest setting, this window-mounted air conditioner has an airflow velocity of 185 CFM. This rises to 207 CFM at a medium setting, while its fastest setting peaks at 224 CFM. Its 8-way multidirectional vents also allow for users to determine precisely where they’d like to concentrate their air circulation, and since it comes with a temperature sensing remote control, users will also be able to see and accurately set room temperature depending on where they are seated.
Award: BEST FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is energy-star rated and has a check filter setting for users to know when to change the filters. The filters are also easy to remove, and the AC unit has a 24-hour timer.
The Koldfront WAC8003WCO window air conditioner may be large, but its 8000 BTU rating means that it is well equipped to serve a room that’s up to 350 Sq ft in size. Owners will be able to alternate between its auto function, sleep mode, dry mode, and energy saver mode, and with a 24-hour timer, they’ll also be able to schedule when it should shut off. The AC unit has washable filters that are very easy to take out, as well as a check filter indicator that lights up whenever they’re due for washing. However, previous owners have complained that it gets pretty noisy.
This AC unit is made to fit windows that are 23 to 36 inches wide and have a minimum height of up to 14 inches. It has a remote control to save users from walking up to it and also features an energy-saver mode to help cut down on energy costs. Its fan has a low, medium, and fast speed setting, and since it also has a dehumidifying function, it is perfect for eliminating excess moisture from your space.
Award: BEST FOR STYLE
WHY WE LIKE IT: It has a stylish layout, a 24-hour timer, and two separate louvers for multi-directional air circulation.
The Tosot Chalet 8000 BTU air conditioner is perfect for users with a window size of between 26 and 41 inches in width and not less than 19 inches in height. It has a power cord that is 6 ft long and is ideal for rooms up to 350 Sq ft in size. With a noise output that averages between 54 and 59 decibels, most users have agreed that it doesn’t get too loud. Since it comes with a remote control with an iFeel function that senses the temperature from the user’s position, there won’t be any need to walk up to it to change the settings. Its only drawback is that the temperature cannot be changed while in auto mode.
This AC unit comes with a cool, fan and dehumidifier setting, and on top of that, it is also energy-star rated to keep energy costs low. Its design is also pretty stylish and modern, as it features a touch control panel that is situated right below its display. Its sleep mode is designed to make incremental changes towards an ideal set temperature so that users can wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready for the day.
Award: BEST FOR FLEXIBLE WINDOW MOVEMENT
WHY WE LIKE IT: Its U-design allows owners to quickly open and shut their windows. It also has a low noise output and is WiFi-enabled for app or voice control.
The Midea 8000 BTU window air conditioner has a U-shaped design to allow for more flexible window movement and is also WiFi-enabled so that users can use either their voice or app to have it function. Therefore, users who have Alexa or Google Assistant will also be able to activate it through their voice. Those who don’t want to bother setting all that up can also stick to just using its remote, and since it has a measured noise output of only 42 decibels, most consider it pretty quiet. Unfortunately, some complained that it took longer to install.
This AC unit was awarded the 2021 Energy Star most efficient certification, so it is not likely to drive up to anyone’s energy costs, and thanks to its innovative design, it has an air throw capacity of up to 20 ft. This unit is perfect for either single-hung or double-hung windows 22 to 36 inches wide and higher than 13.75 inches.
Award: BEST FOR EASY INSTALLATION
WHY WE LIKE IT: It can be installed onto a wide variety of different windows, and the process is very straightforward. It also comes with a temperature sensing remote control for accurate temperature changes.
Released in 2021, this Soleus 8000 BTU air conditioner has an innovative over-the-sill design, making it super easy to install and allowing for flexible window movements. Fit for a space that is up to 375 sq ft, the air conditioner works as a cooler, dehumidifier, and fan, and it also has a super low noise output that averages between 38 and 49 decibels. It will fit in window openings that are between 24 and 48 inches wide and a minimum of 16 inches high. It comes with a remote for convenient operation and a 24-hour timer that is very easy to program. Its only issue might be the lack of smart features that other models in the same lineup have.
The AC unit has three primary modes that it can be set to: There’s an auto mode that will have it choose the most efficient functioning based on the current room temperature, a sleep mode that’ll keep its fan at its quietest and maintain the current temperature, and a dry mode that gets rid of the moisture in the air. Its remote also has a temperature sensing feature that will have the unit adjust the room temperature according to where the user is.
What Is an 8000 BTU Air Conditioner?
An 8000 BTU air conditioner is an appliance designed for cooling mid to large spaces. In general, most models in this class efficiently cool spaces between 250-400 square feet. Many models will be able to cool larger rooms, but that can cause the unit to work harder, decreasing both efficiency and potential lifespan.
8000 BTU units are also a good choice for smaller (100-250 square feet) non-standard spaces, such as kitchens, rooms with high ceilings, rooms with unusual shapes that make air circulation slower, or anywhere you might otherwise use a 6000 or 5000 BTU model.
The primary difference between 8000 BTU air conditioners and other models is, of course, their cooling power, measured by British Thermal Units or BTUs.
As a rule, when it comes to window air conditioners, more BTUs mean less efficiency, or more energy consumption per period of use, and this scales exponentially. There’s a reason why 5000 BTU models are generally considered the most efficient. 8000 BTUs is a significant boost in cooling power, and though efficiency is noticeably lower in this class, it’s not nearly as large a gap as there is between the 5000 and the best 10000 BTU air conditioner.
Additionally, units in this power class tend to have more advanced features than many in lower tiers, though obviously, this can vary considerably from model to model.
8000 BTU air conditioners work exactly like all other air conditioners. Heat and humidity are pulled from a room and replaced by cold air, cooling the room. All air conditioners feature a compressor, a condenser, and an evaporator coil which work in conjunction with a refrigerant chemical.
The refrigerant is changed from a gas to a liquid, then back to a gas, with the compressor increasing the pressure and heat of the refrigerant, sending it to the condenser where it’s turned again to a liquid, and then sending it to the evaporator coil.
The refrigerant is then converted to gas again, cooling the evaporator coil. A fan then blows indoor air through the coil, where it is cooled and sent again into the room. The heated, evaporated gas is sent outside through the compressor and is turned again into a liquid. The cycle repeats until the room is cooled as desired.
Finally, the cold air is sent back into the room as the heated and evaporated refrigerant gas is sent through the compressor back outside and the refrigerant returns to a liquid state. This cycle continues until the indoor room air reaches the temperature selected.
If you need to cool a mid-sized room of 250 to 400 square feet with an average ceiling height, an 8000 BTU air conditioner will provide more than enough cooling power, and it will do so quickly and reasonably efficiently.
Kitchens are notoriously difficult to cool due to ambient heat, so if you’re looking for a model to make your cooking more enjoyable, an 8000 BTU unit will do the job more than adequately until around the 350 square foot range. At that room size, depending on the specific model, your AC will have to work a little harder to do the job, which can increase your power bill and potentially shorten the unit’s lifespan, depending on frequency and duration of use, and the efficiency of the specific model.
An 8000 BTU model has a lifespan of around ten years, though many manufacturers offer warranties of up to five years. With regular maintenance, the best 8000 BTU model (as well as the best 13,000 BTU air conditioner) can last as long as 25 years, though that’s less common. There are a few key factors that will keep your unit running for as long as possible:
An air conditioner that’s only used for three weeks out of the year will generally last longer than one that’s used for several months out of the year. Moreover, an AC unit that’s used continuously for many hours will usually not last as long.
Regularly cleaning and periodically doing maintenance on your air conditioner will give it a longer life. Filters clogged with dirt, grease, and dust won’t allow air to flow through them properly, making all the components work harder to cycle air and cool a room. It’s especially important to clean your unit of any growing mold. You can either hire a professional service to clean it out for you or you can take care of it yourself once you learn how to clean mold from air conditioner vents. Though keep in mind the type of air conditioner you have. You may not need to worry about cleaning AC vents if you own a model without them, if you’re already familiar with what a ventless air conditioner is.
Moreover, air that passes through dust, dust, or pollutants will carry those contaminants to the evaporator coil, making it harder for it to absorb heat. Cleaning your filters regularly or replacing them if they’re disposable will help to prevent malfunction and maintain optimal performance.
Constant direct sunlight will wear on an AC unit over time, as well as make it work harder to cool a room. This increases energy consumption per hour and increases wear and tear on all the components, shortening a unit’s lifespan.
If you can, install your air conditioner in a north-facing window where it gets as much shade as possible. While a little direct sun exposure won’t really hurt it, a constant stream of sunlight over long periods of use definitely will.
8000 BTU units are generally rated for rooms of 250-400 square feet with varying levels of efficiency depending on the model. Trying to cool a room that’s too large for your unit’s cooling power will significantly increase wear and decrease efficiency. Not only will that mean a shorter life for your unit, but it’ll take longer to cool a space.
Now that you’ve decided to purchase an 8000 BTU Air Conditioner, you can look at the factors and features that will help you choose the right model for you.
1. What is its cooling Capacity per square foot?
8000 BTU air conditioners are designed to cool spaces between 250 and 400 square feet. They’re capable of cooling spaces larger than that, but efficiency will quickly diminish as room size increases, which will put a strain on the components, increasing energy costs and possibly shortening a unit’s life span.
2. Where will you install it?
Though 8000 BTU models are designed for 250-400 square foot rooms, they can be a good fit for medium-small sized kitchens (200-250 square feet) whose dimensions might otherwise call for a 5000-6000 BTU model. You won’t want to use them in small kitchens or rooms under 200 square feet, as it’ll be too much and thus will unnecessarily cost more to run.
3. What are the power demands?
Most household appliances use considerably less power than either a window or wall-installed air conditioner. Once you hit over 5000 BTUs, that demand increases exponentially. As such, you’ll need to consider how much power the unit draws. Otherwise, you run the risk of serious electrical issues if your circuit breaker can’t handle the voltage demands. For an 8000 BTU model, you’ll need a 20 amp circuit for safe use.
4. What is its efficiency and eco-footprint?
Efficiency generally decreases as BTUs increase, though within a BTU class, it can vary considerably. There are two key things to look for when determining efficiency in all AC units: