ULTIMATE GUIDE: Sliding Window Air Conditioners – Pros, Cons and Everything Else That You Should Know Before and After Buying

It’s hot summer and you are looking for a quick and cheap yet reliable device to cool down your space, and preferably you would like to be able to easily remove it when the winter arrives? Well, you are at the right place. 

You have definitely already saw them hanging from someone’s window. And to be honest, once installed, they can look pretty nice both from inside and outside – yes we are talking about sliding window air conditioners and they are one of the best ways to quickly solve your issue called hot summer nights and even hotter summer days!

We prepared for you this in-detail guide where you can find everything that you should know before buying a sliding window air conditioner – from tips on what to look for to the tutorial on how to calculate the perfect cooling capacity for your space. Furthermore, we also included important tips for what to do after the purchase regarding the installation and usage.

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Our Choice: The Best Sliding Window Air Conditioners to Buy

But first let’s present you with the five best sliding window ACs that we came up with for you to help you find the one that fits the best both your budget and your space.

OUR TOP PICK: Frigidaire FFRS1022R1 10000 BTU Sliding Window / Casement Window Air Conditioner

frigidaire window air conditioners Model: Ffrs1022r1 64 1000
frigidaire window air conditioners Model: Ffrs1022r1-64 1000

This relatively small beast among the sliding window air units will fit the most of your needs and this thing can be even used for air conditioning a smaller condo with its cooling capacity of 10000 BTUs and suggested coverage of up to 450 square feet.

This small but powerful window air conditioner has just everything that you might need. You will be surprised with the range of options that this small powerful casement unit is hiding inside.

It is fully programmable, comes with the wide range of controls, a washable filter and you even get notified when your filter needs to be cleaned.

There is also an option to control the direction of the air flow that this AC produces.

This unit is specially made to be installed onto a sliding window or casement window and it comes with a DIY installation kit.

Another cool thing to know regarding this window AC unit is that it is reasonably quiet since when installed, most of its size will be on the outside. Also, this unit has already proved out to be capable of cooling down even larger areas than the manufacturer’s recommended square feet coverage.

It comes with 3-5 year warranty on compressor, condenser, evaporator and tubing.

Pros:

  • Can be used to cool even larger rooms and mid-sized condos
  • Can be fully controlled with the buttons on by using full-command remote controller
  • Comes with built-in washable mesh filter which will notify you when needed to be cleaned
  • Has built in dehumidifier, can blow air in 4 different directions and 4 different speeds
  • Reasonable level of noise for this kind of units

Cons:

  • This unit, although it falls into the small air coolers category, requires a minimum of 21,5 inches height of the window (the dimensions of the unit are: 23.5 x 14.5 x 20.2 inches).
  • A little bit heavier to move around and to install, can require some extra time to spend fixing the perfect angle of it during the installation in order to stop it leaking inside the house

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Powerful and reliable unit with advanced controls and options that can be used even for the larger spaces. 

BEST FOR SMALL ROOMS: Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 5000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

Frigidaire window air conditioners model: Ffra0511r1-64 1000
Frigidaire window air conditioners model: Ffra0511r1-64 1000

If you have a space up to 150 square feet to cool down, this Frigidaire window AC unit is just probably the best option for your money. The only

There is not really plenty of reasons why this AC unit is not our top pick except the fact that it is designed to be used in smaller areas. Everything else regarding this unit is up to the highest standards. That’s probably why it holds the best seller place on Amazon in the category of window air conditioners.

As his larger cousin described above, this smaller Frigidaire air conditioner has all the popular features:

It is a 5000 BTU AC unit that comes with the DIY installation kit. Due to its smaller size and weight (15 x 16 x 12 inches, 41 pounds) it will fit almost anywhere. And the installation process for this unit should be pretty easy and quick.

It is a reasonably quiet unit and can cool a room pretty quickly. It has a two-speed fan and a two cooling speeds options built in. It can blow the air into 2 directions (up and down) and has a dehumidifier.

It is a highly efficient unit that does its job. 

Pros:

  • Easy to install and easy to remove (during the winter) – you can do all of the installation within just couple of minutes
  • Simple controls and settings
  • Great to be used as a dehumidifier in smaller rooms
  • Can fit almost anywhere

Cons:

  • Designed for use in smaller rooms
  • Doesn’t have a thermostat with the classic fahrenheit degree scale, instead has a setting with 7 different levels of cooling – however, you can use external thermostat and connect it with this air conditioner to work together 
  • Can be really cold in the room if you leave it turned on during the night at the High Coolsetting
  • Can be a little bit noisy for a short period of time after rain, since it is designed to collect the rainwater to increase the cooling efficiency

OVERALL IMPRESSION: A small and reliable air conditioning unit that can fit and can be installed easily almost anywhere, easy to demount during the winter. A perfect choice for smaller rooms.

BEST FOR BUDGET: hOmeLabs 5000 BTU Window Mounted Air Conditioner

hOmeLabs 5000 BTU Window Mounted Air Conditioner
hOmeLabs 5000 BTU Window Mounted Air Conditioner

Made by hOmeLabs this small window air conditioner is almost shoulder to shoulder with its competitor from Frigidaire that we choose as our “Best For Small Rooms” pick. 

Although the prices may vary, this gets to be usually cheaper than the competition and that’s the main reason we put it as a third choice i.e. as ours “Best For Budget” pick.

Both the Frigidaire’s and the hOmeLabs’ ACs of this capacity are highly energy efficient – they come with 11.1 EER rating and the estimated yearly operating cost of only $41. However, this unit is significantly smaller than its competitors measuring only 16 x 15.4 x 12 inches.

Pros:

  • Cheaper than other similar AC units of its cooling range
  • Easy to carry and easy to install and remove during the winter
  • Can cool your room super-quickly 
  • Has built-in reusable and washable eco filter with antibacterial features
  • Reasonably quiet
  • The filter is really easy to clean and it is easy to get removed from the casing

Cons:

  • As the other AC units of this cooling range, it has simple controls and has no a remote controller, also there’s no a kind of thermostat you would expect

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Great for budget and reasonably efficient window air conditioner of this range of capacity and size. Beats the competition with price, low operational costs and its small dimensions.

BEST FOR MID-SIZED SPACES: Frigidaire FFRS0822S1 8000 BTU Window AC Unit

Frigidaire FFRS0822S1 8000 BTU Window AC Unit
Frigidaire FFRS0822S1 8000 BTU Window AC Unit

Frigidaire made sure to have a competing sliding window air conditioner for all the expected space sizes where this kind of AC unit could be used. This is also the case for the mid-sized spaces – they made this 8000 BTUs air conditioner that can cover the space area of up to 350 square feet.

When it comes to features and options, this unit is very similar to its heavier cousin that has the capacity of 10000 BTU. 

It is specially designed for casement or sliding window installation and it can’t be used on standard windows.

This unit features a full set of controls that can be accessed either from the push buttons on the casing of the unit or from the full-control remote. It is fully programmable with precise controls over the temperature, the cooling fan speed and the direction of the airflow.

It also features a washable mesh air filter which is easy to remove and clean.

Pros:

  • Suitable for mid-sized spaces between 150 and 350 square feet
  • Wide range of controls and options
  • Comes with the installation KIT
  • Has built in washable mesh air-filter
  • Reasonably quiet

Cons:

  • The provided material to cover the gaps during the installation might not be the perfect solution, you could rather use pieces of plexiglass to fill in the gaps
  • The assembling instructions might be a little bit time consuming to read

OVERALL IMPRESSION: If you have a mid sized space to cool, and don’t want to spend slightly more for the 10000 BTUs unit from the Frigidaire, this one is a great solution. However, if you don’t mind spending a couple of dozens of bucks more, our recommendation would be to go for our top pick i.e. the 10000 BTU unit because it is more reliable and has a wider user-base.

RISING STAR: PerfectAire 3PASC10000 10000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

PerfectAire 3PASC10000 10000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
PerfectAire 3PASC10000 10000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

If you are looking for an alternative to Frigidaire’s 10000 BTU AC unit, then this competitor from PerfectAire will offer you very similar features and options. However this model has yet to prove itself therefore we picked it up as a rising star among the sliding window ACs.

One of the cool features that this model has is the so-called Follow Me built-in thermostat technology that will help you cool the parts of your space that matter the most.

With its 10000 BTU cooling capacity this AC model can cool spaces up to 450 square feet. It comes with the installation kit and with full-control remote.

Pros:

  • Reasonably quiet
  • Has built-in Follow Me smart thermostat technology 
  • Can be installed on horizontal sliding windows

Cons:

  • Can become louder after couple of years of use but this is the case with the most of air conditioners of this type as the screws get loose due to constant vibration, proper maintenance is required
  • There are some complaints about the shipping regarding this model

OVERALL IMPRESSION: A good alternative to Frigidaire’s competitor of the same capacity, can cool larger rooms and smaller condos.


The Quest: Buying Window Air Conditioner To Meet All Your Needs and Criteria

If you are looking for a proper air cooling device to install in your home you might be in this very dilemma: 

Whether to choose an advanced (and often not so cheap) central air conditioning system or simply to buy one of these simple sliding window air conditioners that you saw hanging on your neighbor’s window and they looked pretty cool.

Okay, without plenty of thinking, we both could agree that it would be awesome if every home and office in this world would have installed a central air conditioning system, right?

Well… It would but…

Of course, due to practical and financial reasons, this is not possible, at least not yet. Looking at it just from the financial aspect of it, it’s just hard to imagine anything similar happening any soon.

Even in the well developed countries, setting up a central air conditioning system is not that cheap and easy.

Not only that this kind of adventure might be very expensive, it can also be a big step in the wrong direction.

Why?

Well, haven’t you yet read our story about Jack? You don’t want to get into the same trouble as he did with his central heating system.

Cooling and heating are diametrically opposite to each other. However, when you need to heat up or cool down your home and apply the best available solution for that, they are very similar to each other – you will face similar obstacles and issues with both of these.

Central air systems vs single-room AC units

When deciding about which kind of air cooling to use in your place you will probably have only these two options to choose from:

  • Central AC Units
  • Single-room air conditioners (sliding window air conditioners fall into this category as well)

While central systems would be probably a great solution if you had to cool down a large home or facility, it might not be a good fit for a smaller flat or office.

However, in some cases even for the larger homes, using casement ac units might be way more energy efficient than using a central air system.

There are so-called duct losses that are largely typical for the central air systems. These systems in their essence work so the air is cooled in the central AC unit and then spread to all connected rooms through a system of ducts. As the cooled down air goes through these ducts, it often gets heated or it leaks through the fittings. This may decrease the energy efficiency of the AC system up to 30%!

This is less likely to happen with smaller portable AC units that are made to use in a single room or small condo.

Truth to be told, sliding window air conditioners and similar portable air cooling units, due to their constructional simplicity might produce a little bit more of noise than what you would have with a central system (they have to make them simpler and with fever options due to the limited space of the housing so they can fit on the most of the windows). 

However, just because of that it is much less likely that you will leave them turned on when leaving your home. 

This is not the case with quiet central air conditioning systems that are often used as a set and forgetsolution during the summer.

Set and forget sounds great but in this case it often means: Pay more for the bills.

And if you thought that single-room air conditioners can’t work for larger rooms, you would be surprised that these little cooling beasts can easily cool down up to 1600 square feet of space – depending on which model you choose to buy.

Sliding window air conditioners

Window air units are probably the most popular alternative to the central air cooling systems. 

There is one single reason why they might be the best way to cool down your place – they are so easy to install.

In order to install one of these you really don’t need much. All that you need would usually be a non-threaded 1/4″ steel rod that will fit your window. Besides that, you will need a piece of plexiglass to fill the hollow space left after you put the air conditioner in place.

With these few materials and a few proper tools, you can have it all installed on your own in probably less than an hour.

Here’s a quick-short video that shows how it’s easy to install vertical window air conditioner:

How to install sliding window air conditioner video instructions

If you need a step by step tutorial on how to install a sliding window air conditioner, we will have one included at the end of this article.

HOW to Buy? This Is What To Watch For When Buying a Sliding Window Air Conditioner

In order to buy the most appropriate sliding window air unit, you need to pay your attention to several factors:

  • Cooling capacity (used to display the area coverage range for the given conditioner)
  • Dimensions of the air conditioner and your window
  • Power requirements
  • Energy efficiency
  • What kind of filter is inside
  • Controls and options of operation
  • Warranty

Calculating How Much of the Cooling Capacity Do You Need

This is the most important feature that you should be looking for. The cooling capacity reveals how much of the cooling power your air conditioner can produce.

This is a number that can be found usually on a yellow sticker that looks somehow like this:

The cooling capacity is calculated in so-called BTUsor British Thermal Units

It is really hard to explain and understand what BTU stands for however, you don’t really need to know that. What you will need is this cooling capacity chart:


Size of AreaCapacity Needed
100 to 150 square ft5,000 BTUs per hr
150 to 250 square ft6,000 BTUs per hr
250 to 300 square ft7,000 BTUs per hr
300 to 350 square ft8,000 BTUs per hr
350 to 400 square ft9,000 BTUs per hr
400 to 450 square ft10,000 BTUs per hr
450 to 550 square ft12,000 BTUs per hr
550 to 700 square ft14,000 BTUs per hr
700 to 1,000 square ft18,000 BTUs per hr
1,000 to 1,200 square ft21,000 BTUs per hr
1,200 to 1,400 square ft23,000 BTUs per hr
1,400 to 1,500 square ft24,000 BTUs per hr
1,500 to 2,000 square ft30,000 BTUs per hr
2,000 to 2,500 square ft34,000 BTUs per hr 

Or, if you need the whole tutorial on how to calculate how many of BTUs would be enough for your space, you can find one here

Another fact that you should be aware of regarding the BTUs is that this or any chart you can find online is not completely correct and applicable to all kinds of spaces. Use it rather as an approximate source of data to help you better determine what to look for.

There are numerous factors that can affect how much of the cooling capacity you will need like how well your place is insulated, from what kind of materials is your home or building made, the position of your place towards the sunlight etc. 

Also, simply choosing to buy a conditioner with the higher cooling capacity (i.e. larger number of BTUs) can help you make sure that your conditioner will be able to serve its purpose. 

Although this sounds as the most logical thing to do, beware that you still need to try to find the right capacity for your space because you can end up with less functional air cooling unit in both of the cases: 

  • If you buy a sliding window air conditioner with too low cooling capacity, it won’t be able to cool down the space to the required temperature which will leave it turned on and running all the time, consuming the maximum possible amount of energy.

  • If you however buy an air conditioner unit with too large cooling capacity, your could end up with unevenly cooled space where some parts of it would have breezing cold temperature while the others would be way too hot.

NOTE: Some stickers will also often display the half of the cooling capacity, i.e. what number of BTUs would you get if you use the half of maximum output cooling power. You can see how this looks like on the sticker example we attached above.

When it comes to determining which cooling capacity would work best for your place, you also need to take in count a couple of other factors like your plafond heightthe position of your space towards the daily sunlight, you also need to take in consideration if there is a kitchen in the space where you are installing the AC unit or if the unit is going to be used in the kitchen only. 

For higher plafonds you obviously need to consider increasing the cooling capacity since in that case putting only square feets into the equation is not enough to get a fitting result.

If your space is on the sunny side of the building and is constantly bombarded with the sunlight during the day, you might want to increase the cooling capacity for up to 15%, especially if you have larger glass windows on that side.

If you are planning to put the AC unit into a kitchen, then the number of BTU’s can really go high, depending on how much do you use your kitchen. For a regular daily use of kitchen you will most likely need to add extra 15% of the total cooling capacity.

Dimensions and the Size of Window AC Unit

Since the sliding window air conditioner will have to fit on your window, you need to make sure to choose the right size. Although most of this kind of ac units is already made to fit even the smaller window sizes, you better check twice before buying.

You don’t have to find an ac unit that will fit perfectly the exact width of your window. As we will show you in the installation tutorial bellow, you can always fill the uncovered space with a piece of plexiglass or similar panels and make it look appealing both from inside and outside.

If you don’t have sliding windows or simply don’t want to block the one that you have, there are some air conditioners of this type that can also be put in a custom space in a wall.

If you have vertical sliding window, there is a higher chance that your sliding window AC package will also contain side curtains that you can use to fill the empty space left after installing the unit.

Power Requirements and Your Home Electrical Circuit

This is a very important factor to have in mind when buying a window air conditioner. Your home electrical circuit has to be capable to carry out the extra load that your new air conditioner will bring to it.

You want to be cautious regarding this because putting too powerful AC unit to work within a weak electrical circuit can cause your circuit wires to melt and burn.

While the most of the window AC units are built to meet these requirements for the average home circuits, you need to be careful to check this when buying an unit that has the cooling capacity larger than 15000 BTUs.

Also, most of the window air coolers that have the capacity below 15k BTUs will most likely be built to work with the 115-125 volt circuits. The ones that have larger capacity might require higher voltage of the circuit, most likely 220 volts.

Energy Efficiency of the AC Unit

There are couple of basic facts that you need to know about the energy efficiency of the air conditioner.

Energy efficiency of the given unit is usually expressed by Energy Star rating and by the EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) number. 

On the example image attached above, you can see that the red scale in the background goes slightly above 3 stars rating:

This means that the EER for this product is between 3 and 4 stars. If you go further below, you should also find this written, in this case it says: ISEER – 3.86*. This means that this product has the EER rating of 3.86 of possible 5.0.

The maximum rating is 5 stars so, the higher the EER, the better efficiency.

So, what this all means actually?

It is simple, the higher the energy efficiency is, the more you will save on your electricity bills i.e. the air conditioner will use less electrical power to output more of the cooling power.

What Kind of Filter is Inside

Every air conditioner will come with some kind of a built-in filter. Of course, they need to have these since they prevent anything like dust or polluted air to enter your home.

Therefore, it is very important to make sure what kind of filter do you need. If you are living in an urban area, you need to consider choosing an AC unit that has or can take a quality filter.

This is also important to take in count when planning the maintenance of your window air conditioner. There can collect plenty of dust and dirt at the back side of the unit (the outside part of it) and this can also happen with the built-in filter.

The newer models have filters that you can take out of the AC unit, wash them and use again. So, if you want to spend less on the maintenance, buying one of these air conditioners with removable and washable filter might be a smart decision.

NOTE: When it comes to maintaining your window AC, you need to know that by regularly cleaning the filters and the outside dirt from the AC, you can extend its lifetime. This will also keep your AC performing as it should since the quality of the performance can really get lower if there’s plenty of uncleaned dirt inside it.

Controls and Options to Consider

Until recently this was something that would be considered as a luxury option but now you can expect to have advanced control options even from the mid-priced air conditioners.

There are some cool options that you get for your money so if possible, you should look for options that can help you program your AC unit to turn on during the day and to put in energy-saving mode or turn off completely during the night.

Also, you can set it up to be turn of while you are at work and turn off automatically at the hours when you’re usually arriving back home.

Another cool option to have is to control the speed of the airflow – if you don’t like to literally feel the airflow produced by the air conditioner, some of these will let you reduce this to a minimum and still have a perfectly cooled space.

What’s the Period of Warranty

If you are looking for a long-term AC solution to cool down your space, you should pay additional attention to the warranty offered.

The warranty range for the window ACs is from 1 to 5 years and you need to make sure that the warranty covers the compressor as well. 

This kind of ACs is relatively cheap but getting a 5-year warranty on it as well sounds like a real-deal. Considering that the 5-year warranty can be expected even for the units priced at $170 and above, you can solve your cooling problem for the next five years for a bargain!

A Step by Step Tutorial on How To Install Sliding WIndow Air Conditioner

Ready to install your brand new sliding window air conditioner? 

Well, we hope that you did take in account the dimensions of your window and the air conditioner before buying, as we advised above. 

Now let’s get to the work, here is a step by step tutorial on how to do it.

Before you start with the installation: Determining the location where the air conditioner will  be installed

If there’s more than one window in your room or condo, let’s try to figure out together where it would be the most appropriate to install the AC unit.

First, if you can avoid putting it right next to bed or your working desk we would advise to do so. Although most of the newer models will have plenty of options when it comes to controlling the airflow direction, you might just want to have it as far as possible from your bed or wherever you spend the most of your time.

This is just a precautionary measure to avoid negative effects of being directly exposed to the cold airflow from the air conditioner as well as to avoid the noise issues.

Most of these units will be really quiet while brand new but as you use them more and more, they might start to produce more of noise. Putting it away from yourself will reduce any inconvenience regarding this for a longer period of time.

Next thing to consider before mounting your window air conditioner is on which window exactly to put it. Most of manufacturers of this kind of ACs will advise you to put it on the less sunny side of your house if possible. This is because the exposure to direct sunlight might heat up your AC unit and make it run longer and consume more electricity. 

If possible, rather put it on a window that is not on the side of your space which is directly exposed to the sunlight.

When it comes to selecting the size of the window on which to mount your unit, if you can choose, you should put it on the window where the gap after putting the air conditioner would be reasonably small. Large gaps will require more effort to cover properly while the smaller gaps will save you plenty of time and you can insulate them properly much easier.

Another factor to take in consideration when deciding where to install your window AC unit is how far your window is from the closest electricity outlet and if the provided cord is long enough to reach it. 

Avoid using extension cords unless you really have to do it. In that case, you need to make sure that the extension cord you intend to use can handle the power that your AC unit requires to operate. The extension cord has to have really thick cables to bear this amount of power especially for the AC units of capacity of 8000 BTUs and above.

Using a thin extension cord to power your AC unit can cause the cables to melt and burn so be very careful regarding that.

Installation of Sliding Window ACs

This type of AC units usually comes with everything that you will need to install them quickly. When buying one, make sure to check if there’s an installation kit provided and what’s exactly inside.

Step #1: Prepare tools and unbox the AC unit

You will need a measuring tape and a screwdriver. Unbox your AC unit carefully and make sure that there is no any significant damage on it caused by shipping. Look for the manual in the package and see if there’s a quick guide on how to install all the parts that can help you.

Step #2: Prepare your window for the AC installation

No matter if you are installing your air conditioner onto a vertical or horizontal sliding window, the installation procedure should be very similar.

However, if you are installing the AC unit onto a vertical sliding window, you need to make sure that the AC is put in the middle of the window. You can use the measurement tape to find the center of your window and the AC unit and position them accordingly.

Installing AC unit onto a horizontal sliding window will require you to put the ace unit into the corner of the window. In which corner of the window to put it exactly will depend from in which direction your window slides to open. You can see an example of horizontal window installation in the video we attached earlier in this article.

NOTE: Some AC unit packagings will also contain a weather strip. These strips will improve the required insulation around the AC unit and will also prevent or minimize possible mechanical damages to the air conditioner.

Step #3: Prepare the air conditioner to be placed on the window

Vertical sliding window air conditioners will usually come with easily attachable side panels. These panels are used to fill the gaps and insulate the area around the AC so there’s no airflow from the outside through the gaps.

If your package contains these side panels make sure to attach them properly before putting in place your AC. If you didn’t get any side panels, you can still install the air conditioner but you will need to make the side panels on your own. You can use plexiglass plates and cut them to fit into the gaps then put them on place using some silicone or simply use a duct tape as a temporary solution (this might not be the best for the eye but a lot of people actually do it this way).

NOTE: If you want to add an extra layer of insulation to the side panels that are filling the gaps, you can use styrofoam panels to double the insulation.

If you are installing your air conditioner onto the vertical sliding window, you will not have to care about the side gaps but you will need some extra material to fill the vertical gap once the AC unit is mounted properly. 

NOTE: This is why this kind of air conditioners works better with vertical sliding windows, so, if you can choose between installing it on a vertical or horizontal sliding window, always choose the vertical one unless there are more important factors that would make you choose the horizontal window as the place of the installation.

Step #4: Mounting the air conditioner onto the window

By now, you should be ready to put the AC unit on the window. Before jumping into puting it there on your own, you might want to take in count some security measures before doing it.


If you are installing them somewhere in an urban area where there might be people walking down below your window, you should be very careful with this step so no one gets hurted. Also if the unit is too heavy, you need to make sure that you protect yourself from getting hurted by the heavy unit.

It would be the best to have someone help you with this step even in the case if you feel that the AC isn’t too heavy and that you can lift it on your own. You need someone to hold it while you do the mounting just as a precautionary measure to keep it from falling either outside or inside.

For the vertical sliding windows, once your AC is put in its place, all you have to do is to tightly close the sliding window (slide it down as much as possible but don’t damage the casing of the air conditioner – having weather strip put on the window will minimize the risk of damage as well).

Once your window is tightly closed you will need to put the L brackets that will come as a part of the installation kit. These L brackets need to be put so they prevent the sliding window to move upwards. While doing this, again you might need a help from someone to hold the AC unit and the window in place.

NOTE: Securing your window with the brackets is very important step. Although it might feel like it is tight enough when you just close it you are risking a lot by not securing your window properly especially if there are children around that could reach the AC unit. 

For the horizontal sliding windows, the procedure is very similar however you need to use a steel rod which will vertically secure the unit. You can see the video we attached in the upper section of this article for more details regarding horizontal window installation.

NOTE: Using L bracket is highly advised for the horizontal window AC units installation since horizontal windows are much easier to open – they can be pushed even by the small vibration that is coming from the AC unit.

Step #7: Filling the gaps

If you got the side panels included in the package with the AC units, you should already have them attached and simply you need to pull them horizontally to the left and right edge of the window (we are talking about vertical sliding windows of course) and then when they’re in place just screw them to the edges of the windows.

If you didn’t get proper side panels, then you need to find a way to fill in the gaps.

NOTE: It is very important to fill and insulate gap as much as possible, if you let these gaps stay open your air conditioning unit will never be able to cool your place properly.

EXPERT TIP: There are a lot of complaints from buyers of this kind of air conditioners that they are leaking inside the room once installed. If this is happening to you, make sure to make that the AC unit is properly leaned to the outside so the leaking goes into the right direction.

With this step you are done with the installation. The next thing to do is to plug in your AC and start cooling yourself.

Wrapping it Up

In this guide you were able to get plenty of info regarding sliding window air conditioners. We covered all the important things and steps that you should take in consideration before, while and after buying an AC unit.

We presented you with the list of our top five picks that we found most appropriate for different use cases. Also, you were able to read our in-detail guide on what to look for when buying an AC unit, how to determine what’s the cooling capacity that you need for your space and finally we gave you a step by step guide on how to install your AC unit once you have it bought.

We hope that you found this guide useful and that we helped you to pick up the best air cooling solution for your space.

If that’s the case, we would be very thankful if you share this also with your colleagues or friends who might be in the same need, cheers!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are window air conditioners capable of cooling my space?

Window ACs are very efficient devices that can cool your space as good as the regular air conditioners would do. There are various sizes and models with various capacities. In order to cool your room efficiently you need to make sure that your window unit has the required capacity to cover the given surface.

Are window ACs energy efficient?

Yes, unlike the portable ACs, most of the window units will come with the Energy Star or EER rating. These units can be very energy efficient and are built so they consume as small amount of energy as possible in order to reduce the energy costs.

Are window ACs better than regular air conditioners?

This primarily depends on your budget and your limitations regarding the installation of the AC. If you want to spend less money and you don’t want or can’t install a split system then window air conditioners could be a perfect solution which would eventually be better for you. 

What is the cheapest window AC?

Window ACs are probably the cheapest air conditioners available on the market that are still capable to do their main job efficiently. You can buy a window AC for as low as $130 although the price depends on its cooling capacity and other features. You can read more about this in our top picks section of this article.

Can I use a window AC to cool my entire home?

Yes, there are window units that have enough of the cooling capacity that can be used for air conditioning the entire home. These are usually units that are larger in size so, if you are buying one, make sure you have a proper-sized window to install them.

Can I use window AC for heating my home?

If your window unit has a built-in heat pump then yes, you can use it for efficiently heating your home during the winter. Note that not all window AC models will come with this feature so, if you are looking for one make sure that it comes equipped with the heat pump

How many BTUs my window AC should have?

BTUs (British Thermal Units) are used to measure the cooling capacity of air conditioners. It depends of the size of your home how many of BTUs your window AC should have in order to cool your home efficiently. For example, for a 150 square feet room you would only need a window unit with 5000 BTUs of cooling capacity but for a 1000 square feet space, you would need at least 18000 BTUs. Usually it would be written within the product specifications of the unit for how large surface they can be used for.

How to find the best window air conditioner?

To find the best window AC that fits your needs you will need to determine first which capacity do you need, on what kind of window do you plan to install it, what is included in the installation kit, what warranty options are offered, what is the specified noise-level of the unit and finally what are the special features and control options. You can check our list of top picks to see some of the best models available on the market.

Are window ACs easy to install?

Yes, they are. However, this depends of the size of the unit. There are small units that you can easily mount and install onto a window without having anyone to help you. The installation process is pretty simple and you don’t need any special skills to do it. If you bought a window AC that is heavier and larger, you might need someone’s help to securely lift it and mount onto the window.

Can I use an extension cord to power my window AC?

It is not recommended to use an extension cord for plugging in your window AC unless it is a special kind of a power cord with a thick wires. Window units are similar to heaters when it comes to power consumption and they require to get plugged in directly into the outlet. Using an extension cord with thin wires can be very dangerous and can cause melting of the cables.

Do window ACs come with the installation kit?

Yes, most of the window ACs will come with everything what you need to get it installed. The installation kit will usually also contain the side panels that you need to insulate the gaps. Note that the most of the window ACs will come with an installation kit that supports only vertical sliding windows.

Do I have to change the filters on my window AC?

Generally, most of the newer models of window ACs will come with a built-in washable filter. So, you don’t need to replace it unless it is broken. It is enough to wash the filter once it gets dirty and put it back in its place. Most of the models will also notify you when it is time to clean the filters.

How to prevent window AC from overheating?

You should consider installing your window AC onto a window where it is not directly exposed to the sunlight, this can be very helpful in preventing it from overheating. You also need to clean up the filters on time and eventually to clean the inside of the AC at least once per year.

Are window ACs easy to remove?

Yes, if you won’t be using it as a heater during the winter or if you need to move it to another room, you should be able to easily demount your window air conditioner from your window.

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