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If you’re shopping for the best through-the-wall air conditioner, you’re going to want to pay attention to the BTU rating and compare that against the total square footage of the area that needs to be cooled. Likewise, focus on the EER or energy efficiency rating because this will impact your overall energy bills. Programmability is another key feature if you’re especially interested in creating air conditioner presets so you never come home to a warm house. In some cases, this is just a 24-hour programmable timer, but for a premium, you can also find models that are WiFi-enabled and can be connected to smart devices like Alexa. And finally, additional intuitive features like supplemental heat or dehumidifiers can make a through-the-wall air conditioner more functional.
After conducting thorough research through countless consumer reviews, we nominated the Friedrich CP08G10B through the wall air conditioner as our Top Pick. Keep reading to learn more about our criteria and to check out our shortlist of recommendations for the best air conditioners for any situation.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: A great air conditioner for smaller spaces up to 300 square feet thanks to the 8,000 BTUs and automatic louver oscillation that helps to efficiently circulate air throughout a room.
The Friedrich wall air conditioner is a solid choice for a through-the-wall AC unit that can cool rooms up to 300 square feet — making it ideal for bedrooms. We think it’s the Top Pick because you’ll get 8,000 BTUs while also saving on money as it’s one of the most affordable through-the-wall air conditioners that we discovered through our research. While it’s a wall unit, it can also be installed as a window AC unit. There’s also a Money Saver mode that deactivates the compressor when your desired temperature has been reached.
One of the most unique aspects of this air conditioner is that it offers continuous auto air sweep, which means that the louvers automatically oscillate right and left to ensure even airflow and circulation throughout the room. Plus, the power cord can be run either to the right or left for more installation flexibility. In terms of functionality, you’ll get a 24-hour programmable timer with an auto-restart function that saves the last settings if your power is interrupted. You’ll also like that there’s a removable and washable antimicrobial air filter. As is standard, this model also comes with a remote control. If you’re looking for intelligent ACs with smart functionality, compare some of these best central air conditioners.
See Also: The best small portable air conditioners have good BTU ratings.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: A through-the-wall air conditioner with Follow Me functionality for more efficient cooling, and 10,000 BTUs to effectively cool spaces as large as 450 square feet.
If you’re in the market to replace an existing wall AC, the Keystone KSTAT10-2C is a great option. While it requires that you already own a sleeve, it’s a great option for cooling medium-sized rooms up to 450 feet. As is somewhat common with through-the-wall air conditioners, you’ll need to ensure that you install and connect it to a 230-volt outlet as it’s not compatible with 115-volt outlets. This model offers 10,000 BTUs of power. While this unit is great for the home, you’ll want the top RV A/C if you’re traveling.
You’ll appreciate that this pick includes a dry mode thanks to the dehumidifier and an evaporation rate of up to 2.3 pints per hour which is in the median range for these types of air conditioners. There’s also a quiet mode that emits 54.1 decibels of sound on the lowest setting, which is the equivalent of having a conversation at normal volume levels. But the best aspect of this unit is that it supports Follow Me, a feature that senses and uses the air temperature near the remote control rather than directly in front of the air conditioner. And if you’re not interested in installing a permanent cooling or heating system in your home, the best portable air conditioner and heater is the perfect solution.
Award: BEST QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: A wall-mounted air conditioner with Follow Me for more precise temperature control, 12,000 BTUs for rooms up to 550 square feet, and a 2.5-pints per hour evaporation rate for increased comfort.
Unlike the leading windowless air conditioners, wall-mounted air conditioners are a great way to effectively cool a space without sacrificing your window functionality to do so. The Keystone KSTAT12-1C wall AC comes with 12,000 BTUs which can cool rooms up to 550 square feet in size. We like that this is another great option that features the Follow Me functionality for more even cooling support. Note that this model cannot be window mounted and that the sleeve must be purchased separately if you don’t already have one.
However, we like that this model has a pretty solid evaporation rate of 2.5 pints per hour when the dehumidifier is activated in dry mode. There are three cooling modes and three fan speeds as well. And thanks to the front-access design, you can easily remove and wash the filter for improved air quality. There’s also an energy saver and automatic mode so that you don’t have to keep fiddling with the control panel or remote. You’ll also get a sleep mode, although the noise output is slightly higher at 56.5 decibels on the lowest setting. Also, note that this unit requires a 230-volt outlet and features a NEMA 6-15 straight blade plug. You may also want to integrate your AC unit into a smart home system with the best ductless mini-split air conditioner.
Award: BEST EASY INSTALLATION
WHY WE LIKE IT: The best through-the-wall air conditioner that comes with an installation kit offers 10,000 BTUs for spaces up to 450 square feet, and is compatible with 115-volt outlets.
A common issue you’ll notice as you shop for a wall air conditioner is that many of them require 230 voltage and have a NEMA 6-15 plug. While this isn’t impossible to overcome, for someone who’s looking for a straightforward installation process like with a traditional window air conditioner, this can be an issue. We like the LG LT1016CER because it’s a true plug-and-play option, making it one of the best through-the-wall air conditioners. While you’ll need to ensure that your wall is prepped for this unit, you’ll appreciate that it has a standard plug for North America and is compatible with 115-volt electrical outlets.
The LG unit has 10,000 BTUs for spaces up to 450 square feet. We like that it has a 10.6 CEER which is in the median range for efficiency. You’ll also get 250 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of airflow. Although this is a heavier unit that weighs 77 pounds, we do like that you get three fan speeds and an easy-to-use LCD control panel. With a 2.9 pint per hour evaporation rate, this model has one of the more efficient dehumidifiers that we discovered through our research. With a maximum noise output of 56 decibels in the highest settings, this is also one of the quietest models. And, as is standard, you’ll get a remote control with this unit. For comparison with other LG units with a better energy efficiency score, have a look at the best LG air conditioners.
Award: BEST DEHUMIDIFIER
WHY WE LIKE IT: An 18,000 BTU through the wall air conditioner that includes supplemental heat, comes with a window mounting kit for installation versatility and has an impressive 5.5 pints per hour evaporation rate.
A powerful air conditioner can be made more efficient if it has a dehumidifier. If you hate the idea of running your air conditioner at full blast at all times, then a unit with a dehumidifier, and a dry mode, can be the best solution. We like the Frigidaire FFRH1822R2 because it has one of the best evaporation rates that we’ve seen in our research for a through-the-wall air conditioner. With 5.5 pints of moisture removed from the air per hour when in dry mode, that equals 132 pints of moisture removed in 24 hours.
This 18,000 BTU through the wall air conditioner also comes with supplemental heat, making it a great choice for year-round use. It’s powerful enough to heat or cool up to 1,050 square feet of space. You’ll get three cooling speeds, three fan speeds, and three heat speeds. Note that this model requires a 230-volt electrical outlet for installation and that the heating BTU rating is 16,000. You’ll also get a 24-hour programmable timer and an eight-way comfort control airflow design for more effective air circulation. And as is fairly standard, you’ll get an energy saver and auto cooling mode for more efficient operation. For your camping trips, be sure to invest in the best portable AC for camping that will keep you and your family cool in your tent or cabin.
Award: BEST FOR BEDROOMS
WHY WE LIKE IT: The quietest through-the-wall air conditioner unit with a smart sleep mode a solid 10.6 EER rating, and 10,000 BTUs to cool spaces as large as 450 square feet.
When you’re installing an air conditioner in your bedroom, you want something that’s efficient but isn’t too noisy. We like the Emerson EATC10RE2 for bedroom installations because it offers a quiet mode that’s specifically designed for sleep. This is one of the quietest through the wall air conditioner units but it doesn’t come with a wall sleeve and must be connected to a 230-volt electrical outlet to operate. However, with 10,000 BTUs, you can cool rooms up to 450 square feet.
We like that this model has a 10.6 EER which is in the median range for efficiency. It also comes with a universal interior trim kit that can work with existing wall sleeves. You’ll like that there are three cooling settings and three fan settings as well as a 24-hour programmable timer and an energy saver mode. As is standard, this model comes with a remote control. And in case you live in drier climates, you will need the best evaporative air conditioner that will keep the humidity levels just right.
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Award: BEST ENERGY EFFICIENCY
WHY WE LIKE IT: A powerful smart-enabled wall AC that’s compatible with 115-volt outlets, with a 12.1 CEER and 12,000 BTUs for cooling power that can be controlled by Alexa or the Kenmore proprietary smartphone app.
For some people, an air conditioner that comes with a remote control isn’t intuitive enough for them. This is especially true if you like the idea of adjusting your air conditioner before you arrive so that you never come home to a warm house. The Kenmore Smart 04277127 is a great option for people who are focused on smart integration. This top-rated wall AC unit is compatible with 115-volt outlets, which makes the installation significantly easier. It’s also one of the most energy-efficient models we’ve found with a 12.1 CEER rating. We like that this model has a maximum noise output of 54 decibels in the highest setting — making it one of the quietest picks.
You’ll get 12,000 BTUs that are powerful enough to cool multiple rooms. Note that as of now, this model only supports Alexa integration but Kenmore is working to roll out more functionality to other services like Nest. One thing we did note from our research was that the actual Kenmore app for this unit has a serious lag. Many customers noted that it was difficult to connect it to Alexa and that this was often because the Kenmore app could take as long as 30 to 60 minutes to register and list the device so that Alexa could detect it. So, while it does work, you should be mindful that it could take some time to get it up and running in your smart home. Still, you’ll get a 24-hour programmable timer, an eco mode, and a sleep mode. And if you’re also looking for a portable evaporative air cooler for the summer, have a look at the best outdoor air conditioner.
Award: BEST FOR TEMPERATE REGIONS
WHY WE LIKE IT: A dual-purpose wall AC that offers supplemental heat with 10,000 BTUs that can cover spaces as large as 450 square feet and a programmable 24-hour timer for increased efficiency.
Whether you live in a more temperate climate or need to supplement an existing heating or cooling system that might not be as efficient as you’d like, an air conditioner that offers supplemental heat can be a smart investment. The Koldfront WTC10001W is a great through-the-wall unit that offers supplemental heat for year-round comfort and climate control. This unit offers 10,000 BTUs for cooling and 10,600 BTUs for heating — both of which are effective for spaces as large as 450 square feet.
Keep in mind that this is another unit that needs a specialized 230-volt electrical outlet and comes with a NEMA 6-20 plug. Also, note that this model has a lower energy efficiency with just a 9.6 EER. Still, we like that you get other standard features such as a 24-hour programmable timer as well as three cooling, three fan, and three heating speeds. You’ll also get a dehumidifier that can remove up to 2.5 pints of moisture from the air per hour. And if you’re looking to compare this with units that prioritize the BTUs and energy efficiency rating, then have a look at the best window air conditioner.
Award: BEST FOR LIVING ROOMS
WHY WE LIKE IT: A medium-capacity through the wall AC with 12,000 BTUs for spaces up to 550 square feet, a 264 CFM rating, and a solid evaporation rate of 3.3 pints of moisture per hour.
Larger spaces such as living rooms need an air conditioner with a higher BTU rating to effectively move air and eliminate the risk of hot spots. The Frigidaire FFTA1233S1 is a great option for larger rooms and has solid specs that make it a strong contender for a variety of purposes. You’ll get 12,000 BTUs that can cool up to 550 square feet. And with a 264 CFM rating at maximum speeds, you can be confident that air is circulating properly through the room. We also like that this model has a solid 10.5 EER, making it a great energy-efficient pick.
You’ll also get a dehumidifier that can remove up to 3.3 pints per hour, putting it in the upper-medium range for evaporation rates. As is standard, you’ll get three cooling speeds and three fan speeds as well as a 24-hour programmable timer and a remote control. Note that this model works on 115-volt electrical outlets for easier installation. However, this is one of the noisier options as even on the lowest level, the sound output is 56.4 decibels. You may want to check out the best air conditioner for sliding windows that has a lower noise output and comes with an installation kit.
Award: BEST FOR COMMERCIAL USE
WHY WE LIKE IT: A commercial wall AC with supplemental heat and 10,000 BTUs to cool spaces as large as 400 square feet and intuitive features like a smart fan, auto saver, and a washable antimicrobial filter.
Hoteliers will appreciate this Freidrich WE10D33 wall AC unit. This commercial-grade unit is a larger pick, coming in at 104 pounds and 27 inches wide. However, we think the key features more than compensate for the larger size. This is a combination unit that offers supplemental heat. You’ll get 10,000 BTUs for cooling and 11,000 BTUs for heating — both rated for spaces up to 400 square feet. While this model doesn’t come with a sleeve, it does come with an inner and outer weather panel and is compatible with existing sleeves.
In terms of functionality, you’ll get a smart fan and auto saver modes for increased energy efficiency. However, note that this model has one of the lowest energy ratings we’ve seen in this product category, coming in with just a 9.8 EER. However, hotel owners and managers will appreciate that the outside mounts are designed to be flush with exterior walls for a low-profile finish. And there’s anti-theft Entry Gard anti-intrusion protection to ensure that once the chassis is slid into the sleeve, it can’t be easily removed or kicked in by burglars. Hotel owners will also love the best tower air conditioner that features a low sound output and white noise functionality.
Through the wall air conditioners are a smart alternative for anyone who wants to avoid lost window functionality by installing a traditional window air conditioner unit. To create our guide, we focused on the following key features — BTU ratings, energy efficiency, programmability, and additional features. All of which will help you choose an air conditioner that fits your needs.
You’ll find that BTU ratings correlate to room size — regardless of whether you pick a cooling-only or a dual-purpose air conditioner. In our guide, the BTUs ranged from as low as 8,000 to as large as 18,000 BTUs. Likewise, coverage areas ranged from as small as 300 square feet to as much as 1,050. You’ll always need to keep these parallels in mind so that you’re getting the best coverage and efficiency for your needs. If you’re unsure about the appropriate level of cool that you need, read our air conditioner high cool vs low cool article for more answers.
Next, you’ll need to consider energy efficiency. We looked at two figures, the CFM and EER. The CFM represents how effectively an air conditioner can move air through a room to avoid cold and hot spots. Meanwhile, the EER speaks to how much energy an appliance consumes. In both cases, the higher the number, the more effective and efficient an air conditioner can be.
Programmability is an important factor if you’re trying to maximize energy efficiency by avoiding cooling an empty room when no one is using it or at home. Almost all modern air conditioners, as you’ll see in our Friedrich Chill CP06G10B 6000 BTU review, come with 24-hour programmable timers which give you the control to adjust the temperature automatically. But you can find smart-enabled models as well. You’ll note that our guide includes one smart air conditioner that is Alexa compatible.
And finally, additional features can help to make your air conditioner more intuitive and functional for your daily needs. In this guide, we focused on options such as supplemental heat and a dehumidifier. Supplemental heat is great if your existing heating and cooling system aren’t as powerful as you’d like, or if you live in a region that’s relatively temperate and only need the heat on occasion. Likewise, a dehumidifier can help to reduce how high you need to set your air conditioner by removing excess moisture from the air and reducing the overall temperature.