How to choose the best air conditioner

Posted at 7:26 AM, Jun 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-18 07:26:34-04

(PIX11) – The notoriously hot and humid NYC summer is approaching fast, and with that comes the need for a hearty air conditioner.

Consumer Reports tested several of the top brands to determine which AC will be most effective.

Quietness, convenient controls and whether the AC kept working in a brownout distinguished these window air conditions from the rest:

  • For larger rooms (350 to 650 square feet): LG LW1214ER at $350
  • For medium-sized rooms (250 to 400 square feet): LG LW8014ER for $240
  • For smaller rooms (100 to 300 square feet): GE AEM05LS for $210

Room size is crucial when it comes to choosing the right air conditioner. If the unit is too small, the room won’t get cool enough. But if it’s too large, the room could feel cold and clammy.

And as for portable air conditioners, Consumer Reports found they’re not much better than a fan for cooling down a room.

Eight units from Honeywell, Haier, Frigidair and Sunpentown ranging in price from $250 to more than $500 did not fare well, failing to cool Consumer Reports’ test chamber below 80 degrees even after nearly two hours of running.

Before installing an air condition, be sure that the electrical circuit to the room can handle the electrical load of the unit.

An AC with 6,000 or fewer BTU should cool a room about 300 square feet. A unit with 7,000 to 9,000 BTU are appropriate for a room between 250 and 400 square feet. Between 10,000 and 12,000 BTU will be enough to cool a room about 650 square feet.

Click here for Consumer Report’s complete AC buying guide.