Best Vertical Window Air Conditioner Guide: Beat the Heat on a Budget

Are you looking for a cost-effective solution to beat the summer heat? Look no further than the best vertical window air conditioners. These AC units offer a budget-friendly alternative to expensive cooling systems that are...

Are you looking for a cost-effective solution to beat the summer heat? Look no further than the best vertical window air conditioners. These AC units offer a budget-friendly alternative to expensive cooling systems that are difficult to install. Designed specifically for sliding windows or doors, they are easy to set up and can quickly cool a room without the need for professional installation.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the most important features of vertical window air conditioners and help you find the perfect model for your home. But first, let's clear up any confusion surrounding these AC units.

Sorting out the Terminology

When searching for an air conditioner that can be installed on a vertically opened window, you might come across terms like 'casement window AC,' 'sliding window AC,' or 'crank window AC.' Don't let the terminology confuse you. These terms all refer to the same type of appliance - the vertical window air conditioner. In this article, we'll stick to this one term to avoid any confusion.

It's important to note that these AC units can also be installed in sliding doors. However, doing so may create a gap between the doorframe and the unit that is difficult to cover. To learn more about different types of cooling systems, check out our comprehensive guide to cooling systems.

Differences between Regular and Vertical Window Air Conditioners

While regular and vertical window air conditioners offer similar performance and features, they are not interchangeable. Regular window ACs are designed for single-hung or double-hung windows with horizontally oriented components. Installing them in a vertical position can cause permanent damage, including refrigerant and oil leakage, leading to compressor failure.

Vertical window ACs, on the other hand, are specifically built for sliding windows. Their components are designed to operate in a vertical position, ensuring optimal performance and avoiding any potential issues.

Cooling Capacity and Coverage Area

Vertical window air conditioners typically have a cooling capacity of up to 1 ton, with most models supplying 8,000 to 10,000 BTUs. As a result, these units are suitable for cooling a single room rather than an entire house. Their coverage range typically covers spaces up to 450 sq/ft.

It's important to note that the actual coverage range may vary depending on factors such as room insulation and climate. To maximize their effectiveness, it's crucial to minimize heat transfer by sealing any gaps between the unit and the window.

Volume of Noise

Vertical window air conditioners are designed to operate quietly, with most models producing less than 60dB of noise - similar to a bathroom exhaust fan or a microwave. The noise level may vary depending on the unit's output, with lower noise levels at half capacity. It's recommended to choose models that disclose their noise levels to avoid any disruptions to your sleep or daily activities.

Installation Requirements

Before installing a vertical window air conditioner, it's essential to measure your window dimensions to ensure a proper fit. These units are typically around 15 inches wide, making them suitable for narrow windows. Additionally, you may need to purchase an installation kit separately, which includes a foam filler panel to cover any gaps between the unit and the window frame.

To ensure stability, a platform should be created inside the window to support the unit. The outside portion of the platform should be tilted downward to enable proper disposal of condensed water. For those in mobile homes, check out our guide to the best mobile home air conditioner units for an adequate cooling solution.

Key Factors to Consider

When choosing a vertical window AC, you'll find a limited variety of options on the market. These units have similar features, widths, and output capabilities. To help you make the right choice, we've identified the most important factors to consider:

Window Type and Size

Vertical window ACs are designed to fit narrow sliding windows. Check the dimensions of your window and choose a model that matches the available space. Some units can also be installed through the wall, but this option may not be suitable for brick walls.

Installation Kit

An installation kit is crucial for sealing any gaps between the unit and the window frame. The kit typically includes a foam filler panel and a sturdy support platform that can withstand the unit's weight.

Energy Efficiency Ratings

Consider the EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) and SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings of a vertical window AC. Energy Star certified models consume less electricity, resulting in lower utility bills. Look for SEER ratings between 10 and 13 and EER ratings between 8 and 11 for the most energy-efficient options.

Cost and Warranty

Vertical window ACs are generally priced between $400 and $600. The price difference between 8,000 BTU and 10,000 BTU models is minimal. Most brands offer a one-year warranty that covers labor and replacement of broken parts. Some manufacturers may even offer a 5-year limited warranty under specific conditions.

Advantages of Vertical Window Air Conditioners

Vertical window air conditioners offer several advantages that make them a popular choice:

Easy Installation

Unlike heat pumps or central air conditioners, vertical window ACs can be installed without professional assistance. Most models come with installation kits, including support for the unit and filler materials to seal any gaps in the window.

Air Humidity Control

In addition to cooling, vertical window ACs can also regulate air humidity. They have a built-in drain that disposes of condensed water, eliminating the need for manual emptying.

Reasonable Pricing

Vertical window ACs are more affordable than many other cooling systems. They provide an affordable cooling solution, and you won't have to spend a fortune on installation costs.

Disadvantages of Vertical Window Air Conditioners

While vertical window air conditioners offer many benefits, there are some drawbacks to consider:

Limited Portability

Vertical window ACs are heavy, making it difficult to move them from room to room. Additionally, the support platform needs to be readjusted each time you switch windows.

Top 5 Vertical Window Air Conditioners

We've narrowed down the top 5 vertical window air conditioners on the market to help you choose the best one for your needs:

1. PerfectAire 3PASC10000 - The Most Compact

With dimensions of 23.5 x 14.75 x 21 inches, the PerfectAire 3PASC10000 is perfect for narrow sliding windows. It offers 10,000 BTUs of cooling power, suitable for a 450 sq/ft area. The unit has adjustable temperature settings, three operating speeds, and a remote control with Follow Me functionality.

2. Keystone KSTSW10A - The Most Lightweight

Weighing just 35lbs, the Keystone KSTSW10A is a lightweight and portable option. With 10,000 BTUs of cooling power and a 4-way direction control, it can cool a room efficiently. The unit features multiple fan speeds and great dehumidification capabilities.

3. Frigidaire FFRS0822S1 - The Most Energy-Efficient

The Frigidaire FFRS0822S1 offers programmable timer settings and variable fan speeds. It has 8,000 BTUs and a high SEER rating, making it energy efficient. The unit is easy to install and comes with straightforward controls.

4. ArcticKing EWL08CRN1BJ9 - The Easiest to Install

The ArcticKing EWL08CRN1BJ9 comes with a washable air filter and an Auto-Restart function. It includes a remote control and features an Energy Star certification. Its Follow Me option measures the temperature away from the AC, providing accurate cooling.

5. Koldfront CAC8000W - The Most Affordable

The Koldfront CAC8000W is suitable for both sliding windows and wall installations. With 8,000 BTUs, it offers adjustable fan speeds and four different modes of operation. It includes all the necessary installation materials and comes with a 2-year warranty.

Our Verdict

While there are limited options for vertical window air conditioners, the Frigidaire FFRS0822S1 stands out as an energy-efficient choice. However, feel free to explore other options based on your specific requirements. The PerfectAire 3PASC10000 is an excellent choice for narrow windows, while the Keystone KSTSW10A is lightweight and portable.

Ultimately, finding the best vertical window air conditioner depends on your window size, installation requirements, energy efficiency preferences, and budget. We hope this guide has helped you narrow down your options and make an informed decision. Let us know in the comments which vertical window air conditioner you choose or check out our guide to humidity control systems for more cooling solutions.