- 1 Smallest Air Conditioner Reviews – (Updated List)
- 1.1 1. Senville 12000 BTU 15 SEER Split Air Conditioner and Heat Pump
- 1.2 2. Senville 12000 BTU 22 SEER Split Air Conditioner and Heat Pump
- 1.3 3. Pioneer Air Conditioner Inverter
- 1.4 4. Pioneer Ductless Mini Split INVERTER Air Conditioner
- 1.5 5. Frigidaire Mounted Mini-Compact AC
- 1.6 6. Frigidaire Compact AC with Full-Function Remote Control
- 1.7 7. Frigidaire Compact AC with Temperature Sensing Remote Control
- 1.8 8. Frigidaire FFRA0511U1 Window Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
- 1.9 9. Frigidaire FFRE0533Q1 5,000 BTU Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
- 1.10 10. hOmeLabs Window Air Conditioner – 5000 BTU AC Unit
- 1.11 11. Frigidaire 8,000 BTU Window-Mounted Compact Room AC
- 1.12 12. Frigidaire 5,000-BTU Mini Window Air Conditioner
- 1.13 13. Frigidaire 5,000 BTU Window-Mounted Mini Room Air Conditioner
- 2 Buying a Ductless Air Conditioner: Everything You Need to Know
- 3 How Do Mini Air Conditioners Work?
- 4 4 Ways To Save Energy With A Small AC Unit
- 5 How to Clean Your Small Air Conditioner In 8 Easy Steps
- 6 Ductless Air Conditioners Pros & Cons
- 7 Pros and Cons Of All Types of Air Conditioning Systems
- 8 Smallest Air Conditioner Comparison Chart
- 9 Wrap Up
Around three-quarters of all homes in the US already have air conditioners, and these machines are consuming roughly $29 billion worth of electricity.
Did you know that an air conditioner works in the same way as a refrigerator does?
The difference between them is that a refrigerator cools a well-insulated small space, while an air conditioner cools a larger surface that’s usually not insulated that well.
Manufacturers are now using the latest technology advancements to develop the smallest air conditioners to date. Not only are the air conditioners we reviewed small, but they are also some of the most effective models on the market.
Read the following reviews to find out which model is the best fit for your home, office, or small business. Check out our buying guide to find out which features are a must when you’re thinking about buying a small air conditioner.
Senville 15 SEER Split Air Conditioner and Heat Pump
|View On Amazon|
Senville 22 SEER Split Air Conditioner and Heat Pump
|View On Amazon|
Pioneer Air Conditioner Inverter
|View On Amazon|
Pioneer Ductless Mini Split INVERTER Air Conditioner
|View On Amazon|
Frigidaire Mounted Mini-Compact AC
|View On Amazon|
Smallest Air Conditioner Reviews – (Updated List)
1. Senville 12000 BTU 15 SEER Split Air Conditioner and Heat Pump
Senville 12,000 BTU should be able to cool surfaces of up to 550 square feet in normal conditions.
The heating capacity of this model can keep the room’s temperature at comfortable levels, even if the outside temperatures drop below -5 F.
The great thing about this model is the Whisper technology it uses. This technology lowers the noise level significantly, so you shouldn’t hear the air conditioner when it’s running.
The manufacturer offers a one-year warranty for the parts and a 7-year warranty on the compressor.
Here are some of the pros and cons we could identify with this model:
- Very Quiet – This air conditioner is quiet, but if you set it in the Whisper mode, you can barely tell it’s working
- Energy Efficient – This model does not need a lot of power to work, so your monthly bills might lower if you use it
- Nice Cooling Capacity – This unit delivers a nice air flow
- Instructions Unclear – The manufacturer did not make the instruction manual clear and easy to follow. It can sometimes give you bad instructions instead of good ones.
- No Wiring – The manufacturer does not ship the necessary wiring, so you’ll need to get it yourself.
2. Senville 12000 BTU 22 SEER Split Air Conditioner and Heat Pump
Senville’s 12,000 mini-split air conditioner should be able to cool up to 550 square feet.
Besides cooling, the manufacturer advertises this model to be able to heat a room at up to -22 F, so you should be able to use it in your household as a permanent unit, all year round.
This model was designed to cool down spaces such as garages, attics, individual rooms, or offices. You can use it with great results in commercial units.
The great thing about this model is that the manufacturer provides a 2-year warranty on the parts and a 7-year warranty on the compressor.
Here is a list of the pros and cons we identified for this model:
- Great Cooling Capacity – this model delivers a great cooling capacity for its BTU level
- Quiet – most people won’t even notice when this unit is running.
- Long Warranty Period – the manufacturer offers a long warranty period for the parts and for the compressor
- Expensive – This model is expensive for its cooling capacity. You could buy more powerful units from other manufacturers with the same amount
- Customer Service Could Be Better – many people complain about this manufacturer’s customer service
3. Pioneer Air Conditioner Inverter
Pioneer’s 18,000 BTU air conditioner should have enough power to cool down an area of up to 1,000 square feet, probably more if the building is well insulated.
This model has 4 different operation modes.
The first one is Cooling. This is a powerful unit, and it’s perfect for cooling large areas, such as offices, or living rooms.
The second operating mode is Heating. This unit will deliver 18,000 BTU/hour with 9.8 HSPF efficiencies.
The third operating mode is Dehumidifying. Even though this unit will automatically dehumidify the air when it cools the air, you can run this mode to do it individually.
The fourth operating mode is Ventilation. This mode will circulate the air in the room.
Here are this model’s pros and cons:
- Very Powerful – This model has a high cooling capacity and should be used only in large spaces
- Very Quiet – You won’t have any kind of noise trouble if you buy this unit
- Energy Efficient – Using this model to cool and heat your room will most likely decrease your monthly bills
- Reasonably Priced – A unit in this price range can’t be called cheap, but its price is very good considering the unit’s cooling capacity
- Unclear Instructions – The instruction manual is not very clear on many topics.
4. Pioneer Ductless Mini Split INVERTER Air Conditioner
Pioneer’s ductless 9,000 BTU air conditioner should be able to cool surfaces up to 400 square feet in normal temperatures conditions.
The nice thing about this model is the noise level. This unit operates very quietly, so you won’t even tell if it’s working or not.
This is a small and compact unit. You can place it high on a wall and it won’t take up much space. The design of the inside unit will make it blend in with most white walls.
This model is a perfect choice if you want to cool a small area, like a bedroom, an attic, or a garage.
Here is a list of the pros and cons we were able to discover this model.
- Good Cooling Capacity – This model delivers a nice cool airflow, and it might cool large surfaces if the building is well insulated
- Very Quiet – If noise is a problem for you, and you’re looking for a silent air conditioner, this is a great choice. The noise levels are very low, so even if you stay close to this unit, you’ll still hear only “white” noise.
- Bad Instructions – Not only are these instructions unclear, but they are also plain inaccurate on some points
- Low Heating Ability – Even though this model has a heating operation mode, you won’t be able to use it as a single heating source in the cold weather and be comfortable
5. Frigidaire Mounted Mini-Compact AC
Frigidaire’s 5,000 BTU window-mounted air conditioner can be mounted quickly on the window sills. Everybody should be able to do it in under one hour, without previous experience.
This model’s cooling capacity should be enough for a space of up to 150 square feet, maybe even more if the room is properly insulated.
This unit uses a standard 115V electrical outlet as a power source. You will find the window mounting kit needed for the installation in the box.
The dehumidifying capacity is of up to 1.1 pints per hour, and the fan will evaporate the moisture, so you won’t have to install an overflow tube. This model’s EER rating is 11.1, which makes it energy efficient.
Here are some of the pros and cons we identified for this model;
- Runs Quietly – this model is quiet enough to use in a bedroom without having trouble sleeping.
- Low Power Consumption – Using this air conditioner won’t increase your monthly bills.
- Sharp Case – You have to be careful while manipulating this unit. The back of the case is so sharp it might cut your fingers
- No Remote – This unit does not have a remote control, so you’ll have to get up every time you want to change something.
Frigidaire Compact AC with Full-Function Remote Control
|View On Amazon|
Frigidaire Compact AC with Temperature Sensing Remote Control
|View On Amazon|
Frigidaire FFRA0511U1 Window Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
|View On Amazon|
Frigidaire FFRE0533Q1 5,000 BTU Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
|View On Amazon|
hOmeLabs Window Air Conditioner – 5000 BTU AC Unit
|View On Amazon|
6. Frigidaire Compact AC with Full-Function Remote Control
Frigidaire’s 6,000 BTU window air conditioner can be quickly mounted on the window sills using the window kit the manufacturer included in the box.
This unit is not very difficult to mount. Most people will be able to do this by themselves, without professional help in under one hour.
This model uses a standard 115V electrical outlet as a power source, and should quickly cool rooms of up to 250 square feet.
This unit’s dehumidifying capacity is 1.3 pints per hour. All the moisture should be evaporated by the fans, so you won’t need an overflow drain in most environments.
Here are the cons and pros we identified for this model:
- Good Air Filters – This model uses an air ionizer to remove pollen and impurities. This makes the air cleaner and better for people suffering from allergies.
- Quiet – If you install this unit right, it will not be noisy. You should be able to sleep with it working in the same room.
- Bright Display – This unit’s display is bright. This is good when you want to control it at night, but it’s bad when you want to sleep with it in the same room. The display will light the room, so you might want to cover it.
- Does Not Remember Settings – This model will not restart with its previous settings, so you’ll have to reset it every time you turn it on.
7. Frigidaire Compact AC with Temperature Sensing Remote Control
Frigidaire’s 12,000 BTU window air conditioner is a compact unit you’ll be able to install in under one hour. This model is mounted on the window sills using a mounting kit you’ll find in the box.
This air conditioner should be able to cool down a room with a surface of up to 550 square feet.
This model is able to dehumidify up to 3.8 pints of water in an hour. In normal environments, most of this amount will be evaporated by a fan, but if you live in a more humid area, you’ll need to check the drain pan constantly, as well. Or you may think of a separate good quality whole house dehumidifier as an extra.
This unit uses an air ionizer that removes pollen, making the air cleaner and better suited for allergy sufferers.
Here is a list of the pros and cons we were able to identify after inspecting this model;
- Good Cooling Capacity – This model is powerful and will cool a room quickly.
- Remote Control – this unit has a remote control, so you’ll be able to control it easier. The remote also doubles as a thermostat, so make sure you keep it in the center of the room you’re trying to cool
- Heavy – This unit is heavy, so you might need someone to help you during the installation
- Remote is a Battery Drainer – You might consider investing in some rechargeable AA batteries since the remote consumes 2 of them every month when using the thermostat
8. Frigidaire FFRA0511U1 Window Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
This new Frigidaire FFRA0511U1 Air Conditioner is a couple of inches smaller and weights a tiny bit less than the other models that Frigidaire has to offer. It isn’t as loud as the other fans so you could easily adjust to the sound of rushing air being moved that will come from the unit.
The British Thermal Unit of the Frigidaire FFRA0511U1 air conditioner is 5000 BTU so it is not only compact but also powerful. The basic analog design of the device will match every house decoration for it will not be discerned easily from your guests.
The well designed and really easy to assemble installation kit will help you with the installation process and the maintenance so there is nothing to be worried about. The price may seem too high as there are units with equivalent BTU’s that cost less, but we assure you that this unit is well worth it.
- Quiet operation
- High BTU output
- Easy to assemble
- Above average price
9. Frigidaire FFRE0533Q1 5,000 BTU Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
If your room is up to 150 square feet, then this window-mounted compact device will do you just fine. It will give you the comfort you need on hot days and the right oscillation that you want for your rooms.
This air conditioner uses the standard 115V electrical outlet and it will without any doubt save you money and energy because of the low power start-up and operation. The Ready-Select electronic controls that the device has, give you the opportunity to easily select options with the touch of a button and set the temperature that you desire.
You can see what temperature you have chosen on the temperature-readout or control the device from across the room with the full-function remote control. Another cool thing about this air conditioner is the washable mesh filter. Having this you will reduce bacteria and room odors. Your air will be fresh and you will feel comfortable.
- Good for small areas
- Electronic controls
- Mesh filter can be washed
- Can’t cover larger rooms
10. hOmeLabs Window Air Conditioner – 5000 BTU AC Unit
With its seven temperature settings this device, undoubtedly, is going to make the oscillation of your room perfect. The hОmelabs window air conditioner features two-way air direction control so there is no chance that your room will remain hot. The adjustable high or low fan speeds will also make sure of that.
The operation isn’t really quiet but you will breathe fresh, clean air because this unit uses a slide-out air filter that will reduce the bacteria and keep the nasty odors away from your house. The cleaning of the filter is super easy. You could simply wash it or vacuum clean it with a dust buster. This essential summer addition isn’t just good for the air you are breathing; it’s good for your bills, too!
It has a low power start-up and an 11.1 Energy Efficiency Ratio that will save you money and energy. The device comes with a mounting kit that has everything you need. The British Thermal Unit of the air conditioner is 5000 BTUs, so in just 15 minutes or less, you will have the perfect desired temperature.
- 7 settings for temperature
- Two-way air direction control
- The filter can be either washed or vacuumed
- Not very quiet
11. Frigidaire 8,000 BTU Window-Mounted Compact Room AC
Frigidaire’s 8000 BTU window air conditioner should cool down a room of up to 350 square feet. You can install this model in a short period of time. Most people will be able to do this within an hour following the instructions, without previous experience. The window mounting kit is included in the box.
This model has mechanical rotary controls. If the power goes out, this machine will automatically restart at its previous settings once the power is restored.
This unit has 3 separate cool speeds and 3 different fan speeds, directing the airflow in 8 ways. The dehumidifying capacity is of up to 1.7 pints per hour, and the moisture is evaporated by the fan.
Here is a list of the pros and cons we were able to identify for this model:
- Good Cooling Capacity – This model is very effective. It will cool a space of up to 350 square feet in under 2 hours.
- Powerful Fans – This unit’s fan speeds are high. Even the low option is fast.
- Loud – This model cannot be considered quiet. Even if you install it properly, you will still hear it working during the night
- No Remote – This unit does not have a remote, so you’ll have to change its settings manually
12. Frigidaire 5,000-BTU Mini Window Air Conditioner
Frigidaire’s 5,000 BTU window air conditioner has rotary controls you can use to change its settings.
This model is powerful enough to cool a room with a surface of up to 150 square feet. You can choose between 2 fan speeds and 2 cool speeds.
This unit will dehumidify up to 0.8 pints of water every hour. If you install this air conditioner properly, it will drain the water to a fan which will spray it on the evaporator coils, so you won’t have to drain the collecting pan very often.
Installing this air conditioner is very easy. All you need to do is to follow the instruction manual and you should be able to do it in under one hour.
Here are some of this model’s pros and cons we were able to identify:
- Quiet – This model is quiet, even when it operates at its highest speed. Most people shouldn’t have any trouble sleeping with it working in the same room.
- Efficient – This unit does not pack a high number of BTU, but it sure delivers a nice, cold airflow.
- Bad Directional Air Flow Vents – These vents are not very sturdy and they don’t make much difference when you use them
- Hard to Install Right – This model should be slightly inclined backward if it’s installed properly. If this doesn’t happen, water does not get on the fan which should blow it on the evaporator coils.
13. Frigidaire 5,000 BTU Window-Mounted Mini Room Air Conditioner
Frigidaire’s 5,000 BTU window air conditioner is Energy Star-rated. Using this model for cooling your home or office will not increase your monthly bills.
This model has 2 separate fan speeds with a 2-way direction control. You can change between 3 operating modes to cool your room.
This unit has an energy-save operation mode, which will allow you to keep your house cool while you’re at work without using too much power.
This model has electronic controls and you can also change its settings with the help of a remote control. The cooling capacity should be enough for a surface of up to 165 square feet.
Installing this unit is simple and straightforward. You just have to follow the instructions and you’ll have no problems.
Here are some pros and cons we identified for this model:
- Remote Control – This unit has a full-function remote control
- Energy Star – This model has an Energy Star rating, so it should be very efficient while consuming just a small amount of electricity.
- Not Quiet – While this model is not as loud as others out there on the market, some people will still be unable to sleep with one working in the room
- Energy Saving Mode is Loud – The loudest part of the air conditioner is the compressor, and the energy-saving mode will make it stop and turn back on every 10 minutes or so. This will make the air conditioner louder than usual.
Buying a Ductless Air Conditioner: Everything You Need to Know
Ductless mini-split air conditioners get more popular each year. More and more people use them because they offer an efficient cooling in one or multiple rooms. This system provides great temperature control because you can control each unit individually, so each area can have a different temperature.
This kind of cooling system is very energy efficient because you can only cool the parts of your home or office that you actually use, so you don’t have to cool the entire space, like a central air conditioner, would.
What Is A Ductless Mini-Split AC Made Of?
Every small ac unit system is made by combining four components
- A condenser – This air conditioning system has a condensing unit placed on the outside of the building. The condenser coils pump cool air through refrigerant lines connecting to the indoor unit.
- Refrigerant lines – These lines connect the outdoor and the indoor units. They are actually small tubes, usually made out of copper, which is filled with a refrigerant. They carry the refrigerant between the condenser coils and the evaporator.
- Indoor unit – These units are usually mounted on a wall or in the ceiling. They blow the cool air in the house while sucking the warm air and take it outside.
- Control unit – This unit can be either a remote control or a wall monitor. It allows you to control the air conditioner and change its settings.
Will a Ductless Mini-split Air Conditioner Cool a Whole Room?
There are two types of ductless split systems, one that can cool a single area, and one that can cool multiple spaces.
The first and most popular system is the single-zone. This system uses one outdoor and one indoor unit to cool an area. You can use one for your bedroom, or your office with great results.
The second type of system is the multi-zone split. This system cools more parts of your home or office. This system connects a single outdoor unit to up to 4 indoor ones, which are spread throughout different areas. Each indoor unit can be controlled individually, so every different space can have a different temperature.
How Much Power Can a Mini-split Air Conditioner Have?
Each model has a different number of BTU cooling power, but most of them range between 6,000 – 24,000 BTUs.
However, you don’t necessarily have to buy the most powerful unit available on the market.
The best thing you can do is estimating the necessary amount of BTUs needed to cool the entire surface of your room, home, or business, and buy the right sized unit
If you need to cool surfaces between 150 and 250 square feet, you could probably make due with a 6,000 BTU single-zone unit if you have proper insulation.
If you want to buy a multi-zone unit, keep in mind that each individual unit has a separate BTU level, including the outside unit.
Will A Small Air Conditioner Require Professional Installation?
Small indoor units are connected to the outside unit through refrigerant lines. These lines punch through a small hole in your wall to reach the mounted unit outside
Both mounting the unit outside your building, sometimes at different heights, and connecting it through refrigerant lines to the indoor unit will require a professional.
A professional could also help you with deciding the unit’s best location.
How Do Mini Air Conditioners Work?
A ductless mini air conditioner works in a similar way as the ducted systems.
In the cooling mode,
The refrigerant arrives in the compressor as a cool, low-pressure gas. Once inside the compressor, the refrigerant’s molecules are closely packed together, and their temperature and energy increase.
When the refrigerant leaves the compressor, it is a high-pressure hot gas. This gas goes into the condenser. Small metal fins work just over the condenser to lower the gas’ temperature, so it cools fast and turns into a liquid.
This liquid enters the evaporator through a tiny hole. In the evaporator, the pressure suddenly drops, and the liquid starts evaporating as a gas.
As the liquid turns to gas, it collects the heat from its surroundings. Large metal fins are used to dissipate the heat, and the refrigerant exits the evaporator as a cool, low-pressure gas. This gas enters the compressor and a new cycle starts.
The evaporator is connected to the unit inside the house through refrigerant lines, and the cool air is blown into the room. Since hot air is lighter than cold air, it will rise above it. A vent sucks this hot air and then pushes it in the condenser.
When it’s set to the heat mode, the air conditioner acts like a regular heat pump.
Do Air Conditioning Units Give Off Carbon Monoxide?
This is a popular question on the internet, and it’s not surprising that there are many different answers for it.
The short answer is:
No. Your AC cannot produce carbon monoxide by itself.
Is A Small Air Conditioner Energy Efficient?
Mini-split air conditioner’s cooling efficiency is measured and rated. These Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios or SEERs are usually higher than 13 if an air conditioner is efficient.
The Energy Efficiency Ratio or EER of an air conditioner is tested and rated. If both the EER and the SEER ratings are high, mini-split systems are very efficient and are rated as Energy Stars.
These Energy Star-rated models contribute significantly at energy saving, and they can cut the heating and cooling costs by 30% in some cases.
How Much Does An Air Conditioner Cost?
The price of a mini-split air conditioner starts from under 150$ and can reach up to 2000$ or over, depending on its BTU capacity and manufacturer. The higher the BTU level, the steeper the price.
Indeed, if you’re looking for a budget cooling solution, tower fans are a good choice to look into.
4 Ways To Save Energy With A Small AC Unit
It doesn’t matter how energy-efficient your air conditioner is, it will still add to your monthly electricity bills. Follow these tips to make sure you don’t spend a fortune on cooling your house or office.
- Make sure your building is well insulated – if you don’t have proper insulation, some of the cool air is wasted. This will make the air conditioner less efficient and will increase your bills significantly.
- Proper thermostat placement – If you place the thermostat next to a window or a frequently opened door, it might indicate a different temperature than the real one in the room. This will make your air conditioner start more often than it should.
- Use blinds – If your windows face the sun most time of the day, you should consider investing in blinds. This will protect the room from some of the sun’s scorching heat
- Set the air conditioner at 78 degrees – This temperature is usually the optimum level for most air conditioners, making for a steady airflow.
If you’re looking for a space heater with the best combination of price and performance, check out the link!
How to Clean Your Small Air Conditioner In 8 Easy Steps
Cleaning your air conditioner is not the most pleasant thing you can do, but it’s necessary. Using a professional for this job might seem like a good idea until you see what they charge for it.
- Unplug the Air Conditioner – This might be the most important tip. Make sure you’re not going to be electrocuted while doing this simple task.
- Use An Aircon Wash Bag – These bags are available online and they’re designed to catch the water you use for cleaning. You could probably use other plastic bags if you’re inventive enough
- Find a Good Coil Cleaner – You should avoid foam sprays because they are messy, so buy a liquid spray.
- Start Cleaning – Spray the solution at an angle, so it reaches as far back into the coil as possible. Place the nozzle close to the fins and spray them as well. Make sure you get the rotary blades in the airflow outlet.
- Wait – Now the cleaning solution needs some time to work. 10 – 20 minutes should be enough for most sprays, but you will find this information on the spray can
- Use a Water Spray – Use a water spray to clean the solution. Some of the water will drain in the wash bag, while some will drop through the AC’s drain system.
- Wipe – Wipe the fan unit with a dry rag. Plug in the AC, and turn it on. Wait for the remaining water to drain in the wash bag, turn the unit off, wipe it again if necessary.
- You’re done – Remove the wash bag and throw it away. Mission accomplished.
Ductless Air Conditioners Pros & Cons
After comparing these cooling systems with the other ones available on the market, here are the main pros and cons we discovered;
- Very Quiet – The compressor of a mini-split air conditioner is placed in the outside unit. The only noise you will hear is made by the indoor unit’s fan, which is quieter than a window or a portable air conditioner, and pretty much on the same level with central air conditioners.
- Individual Control – It is normal for a single unit to have individual control, but even if you decide to buy a multi-zone system, you’ll still be able to cool each area separately.
- No Ducts Required – Mini-split air conditioners do not require ducts in order to work. This leads to better performance because the ducts can easily crack or leak. Not using ducts is also healthier, because dirty ducts are usually full of allergens.
- No Windows Required – Unlike portable or window air conditioners, mini-split systems do not require a window for the installation. All you need is an exterior wall you can drill through.
- Heating – Unlike many portable and window models, all mini-split systems have a heating option. This means you can use the air conditioner all year round
- Good Dehumidifying – Mini-split systems have a dehumidifier working when the AC is turned on. Some even have an individual dehumidifying setting you can use. All the moisture is drained outside, so you don’t have to worry about placing pans or buckets under the unit.
- Energy Efficient – Since mini-split air conditioners don’t use a duct, they don’t have leaks. They also use a decent amount of energy to run, so they’re more energy efficient than other models. Using this type of air conditioner can reduce your heating and cooling costs by up to 30%
- Very Small – Unlike portable or window air conditioners, a mini-split indoor unit can just hang from a wall, so they don’t take up much of your space.
- Cheap – Mini-split air conditioners are far cheaper than a central air conditioner. Most of them are also cheaper than a portable or a window unit of similar cooling power.
- Professional Installing – Unlike window or portable air conditioners you can install by yourself in a short time, mini-split systems require professional installation.
- Outside Unit – Having the outside unit might come as an advantage when you’re considering the noise levels, but it’s definitely a con when you think about drilling a hole in an exterior wall. Drilling is messy, loud, and takes longer. Another downside of having a unit hanging from outside your wall is that it might ruin your building appearance.
- Limited Heating Capacity – Although you can use the mini-split air conditioner for heating, it won’t be efficient enough to warm large spaces at low temperatures by itself.
Pros and Cons Of All Types of Air Conditioning Systems
There are 5 types of air conditioners you can choose from. Each has pros and cons, and we listed some of them below.
Central Air Conditioners
This system circulates air through an area, then sucks and leads it through a duct to the central unit where it’s cooled or heated, depending on the setting
- All Year Round – The main advantage of this system is that you can use it to both heat and cool your home or office.
- Quiet – This air cooling system is very quiet. Most people won’t even notice the unit is working
- Long Life Span – The working lifespan of a central air conditioner is about 15 – 20 years in good conditions.
- Expensive – The cost of a central air conditioner is pretty steep. This cost is even higher if you don’t have ductwork already installed.
- High Maintenance Costs – Even though this system usually works good, maintenance can be expensive. Ducts can rupture and leak, so they need repairs.
- One Temperature Setting – This is a major disadvantage of this system. You can only set a single temperature on most models.
Package Terminal Air Conditioners (PTACs)
These units are mostly used in motels, hotels, or offices, but they can also be found in some condos or apartments. They’re usually installed through an external wall and sit just above the floor, sometimes under a window.
- Need Little Space – These units are not very large, so they won’t take up too much space
- Not Loud – This type of air conditioning is not quite silent, but the noise it makes should pass as white noise to most people.
- Decent Cooling And Heating – You can use this kind of air conditioner in every season.
- Needs Professional Installation – You can’t install this unit by yourself, so you’ll need a specialist to do it
- Needs Other Parts – The wall sleeve and grille this system needs for it to work are sold separately. You need to take that into consideration before buying
Window Air Conditioners
These air conditioners are designed to be installed on the window sills.
Please note that not every air conditioner is going to fit into a sliding window, so be sure to check out the sliding window air conditioners and installation tips.
- Good Cooling Capacity – Most models are able to cool an entire room without problems if their capacity is right for the room’s area.
- Relatively Small – Since they’re designed to fit into a standard-sized window, it’s safe to say these air conditioners are not big.
- Quick Installation – These units are easy to install, so everybody should be able to do it without professional help
- Rattling Noises – Since the condenser sits on the window sills, it can sometimes make a rattling noise when the fan starts spinning.
- Blocked Window – This unit partially blocks your window.
- Insects Can Enter Your Home – Since half of this unit is on the outside, and the other inside your house, small insects like mosquitoes can enter your house through it
Portable Air Conditioners
These air conditioners are easily installed with the help of a window kit. You can move them from room to room.
- Portable – The main advantage of this air conditioning system is that you can move it around the house. Most models have wheels for increased mobility
- Easy Installation – It’s very easy to install a portable air conditioner. Most people will install one in under 20 minutes
- Good Cooling Capacity – Most portable air conditioners can easily cool a room
- Noisy – Since a portable air conditioner has all the working components inside the room you’re cooling, it can be very loud. Check out the quietest window air conditioners for a lower noise cooling solution.
- Limited Portability – You can move the air conditioner around the house, but it still needs to be connected to a window through the exhaust tube. This tube is usually 5 – 7 feet long, so your placement options are limited.
- Expensive – A portable unit is usually more expensive than a window or a ductless unit with the same cooling capacity
Ductless Mini-split Air Conditioners
These models are increasing in popularity due to their high-efficiency cooling.
- Very Quiet – Most people won’t even hear that the unit is on, let alone have trouble sleeping when it’s working
- Highly Efficient – These models are able to cool an area very quickly.
- Units Are Individually Controlled – You can control each unit independently, so you can have different temperatures throughout the house.
- Needs Professional Installation – This system uses a unit on the outside and one or several on the outside. You need professional help to install the units and connect them to refrigerant lines.
- Limited Heating Capacity – This type of air conditioning is usually not used for heating by itself because it’s heating capacity is not very powerful.
- Outside Unit – The outside unit can really change your building’s appearance
Smallest Air Conditioner Comparison Chart
|Senville 12000 BTU 22 SEER Split Air Conditioner and Heat Pump||$$$$$||29.9 x 11.2 x 23.2||73.8 pounds||500 to 750 Sq. Ft.||230V|
|Pioneer Air Conditioner Inverter||$$$$$||38 x 8.5 x 12.5||26 pounds||450 to 650 Sq. Ft.||230V|
|Senville 12000 BTU 15 SEER Split Air Conditioner and Heat Pump||$$$$||26 x 10.4 x 21.3||66.1 pounds||500 to 750 Sq. Ft.||110V|
|Pioneer Ductless Mini Split INVERTER Air Conditioner||$$$||42 x 24 x 42||100 pounds||350 to 450 Sq. Ft.||220V|
|Frigidaire Mounted Mini-Compact AC||$||15 x 16 x 12||41 pounds||150 sq. ft.||115V|
|Frigidaire Compact AC with Full-Function Remote Control||$$$||15.5 x 18.5 x 13.4||43 pounds||up to 250 sq. ft.||115 V|
|Frigidaire Compact AC with Temperature Sensing Remote Control||$$$||21.5 x 19 x 14.5||69 pounds||up to 550 sq. ft.||115 V|
|Frigidaire FFRA0511U1 Window Mini-Compact Air Conditioner||$$||16.2 x 16.1 x 11.9||44.1 pounds||150 sq. ft.||115 V|
|Frigidaire FFRE0533Q1 5,000 BTU Mini-Compact Air Conditioner||$$$||15.2 x 16 x 12||41 pounds||150 sq. ft.||115 V|
|hOmeLabs Window Air Conditioner - 5000 BTU AC Unit||$$||16 x 15.4 x 12||36.5 pounds||150 sq. ft.||110V/120V|
Air conditioners are making lives more comfortable for millions of Americans each year. This is one of the biggest industries in the home-improvement niche and it continues to grow each year.
Manufacturers are competing to develop the best air conditioner, and smart wifi air conditioners are usually more effective than the old ones, even if they stay in the same price range.
New air conditioners may be more effective, but they’re also smaller. We reviewed some of the smallest air conditioners available on the market and we were surprised to discover how good they were.
Having a small air conditioner in your house or office will make them more comfortable during the summer, and you get to save space in the meantime.
If you decide on buying a unit and want to save some space, make sure you read the buying guide to find out which are the best features for a small air conditioner.