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Chill Out: Best Wall AC Units of 2022

I'm from the south, where A/C exists in all places, businesses, homes, and more. After spending most of my life there, I didn't realize A/C wasn't as common in most places. Crazy, I know—we didn't...

I'm from the south, where A/C exists in all places, businesses, homes, and more. After spending most of my life there, I didn't realize A/C wasn't as common in most places. Crazy, I know—we didn't travel much. Texas gets hot, and without a chance to cool down indoors, you'll end up with heat exhaustion, heatstroke, or you might just keel over without air conditioning. Now, I live in the Pacific Northwest, where central A/C is a mythical beast that makes occasional appearances and wall A/C units are a prized gem. While most of the year, our climate is temperate enough that survival is possible without the need for icy blasts of cold air, summers do get hot here, and a recent heatwave sent temperatures in Portland to record highs of 115. You can bet wall A/C units were king.

Who This is For

This guide is for anyone looking to cool their home or office with an air conditioning unit. Central A/C can get expensive and isn't necessary for many parts of the country, but on the hottest of summer days, it can be an absolute godsend to have those icy blasts of air that feel like they came straight out of Elsa's hands themselves. While you don't need to build an ice castle to stay cool, installing a wall unit can feel like quite the task, but we assure you it's well worth it.

How We Picked

When selecting air conditioners, we looked at a variety of budgets and spaces. We ensured there is a unit on this list for all spaces from studio apartments to larger offices. For extra fun, we looked at features including fan settings, dehumidifying options and remote controls. Some options go above and beyond with heating and cooling units for year-round comfort or as a backup in case of crazy weather. Multiple mounting options are available as well to suit a variety of needs.

a wall ac unit Caption: A Wall AC Unit

Features To Look For In The Best Wall AC Units

If you’re thinking of investing in a wall-mounted AC unit, we recommend you consider the following criteria:

Room Size - Air conditioners are measured in terms of their BTU, which represents British thermal units. You should ensure that the unit you buy is powerful enough to cool the room space where it’s going to be fitted. There are plenty of BTU calculators you can refer to online if you’re unsure. Roughly speaking, a unit with 5000 BTU will cool a room of up to 150 square feet, whereas for a 300 square feet space, 7000 BTU’s is preferable. Besides the cooling performance, also consider the model’s maximum airflow as a combination of these two performance indicators will enhance the overall cooling performance.

Efficient Rating - The more efficient your unit is, the higher the EER will be. The average energy-efficient rating of most wall AC units will be around 10.3, with the best units having an EER of up to 10.7.

Operating Modes - It pays to invest in a unit that has customizable settings and modes that can be matched to your preferences. You can find units with adjustable fan speeds as well as built-in dehumidifiers, which will additionally pull moisture out of the air to help keep your home comfortable and mold-free.

If you plan on using your AC unit overnight, it’s also an excellent idea to choose something with a quiet operation so that it won’t cause unnecessary disruption, as well as a sleep mode setting that is conveniently pre-programmed to gradually raise the temperature to a comfortable level while you sleep and when you wake.

Timer - It can be expensive to run multiple electrical appliances in your home, so if you select an AC unit with a range of pre-programmable timer settings, you can choose the one that’s best for you and your budget without worrying about forgetting to switch it off. The automatic switch-off mode will save on electricity costs.

Digital Temperature Control - Many units feature not just a remote control so that you can adjust from wherever you happen to be positioned but also a digital temperature control panel that displays essential information about temperature settings and how much energy your unit is consuming.

Accessible Easy Clean Filters - Most air conditioners do come with filters that will require cleaning and changing. Look out for filters that are easy to access and clean and which can be quickly detached and wiped down rather than requiring professional or expensive ongoing service and maintenance.

Benefits Of Wall AC Units

Below we’ve listed out some of the key reasons why we think you will appreciate a through the wall air conditioner.

  • All-year-round comfort, not just for the hot summer months. Even if you see a spike in temperature in the winter, you can simply switch your AC unit on. If you had a window-mounted version, the chances are that you would already have stored it away.

  • Plenty of units offer flexible heating solutions and can provide cooling as well as heating functions. This can save you money in the long run and also reduce the space that would be taken up by two separate units.

  • Wall AC units are typically less obtrusive than their window-mounted counterparts and safer too, and they don’t require an open window to operate. That means you can still enjoy the views from your windows and have the flexibility to open up your home and enjoy fresh air whenever you feel like it.

  • They’re also far more energy-efficient than central air conditioning systems and more effective than window air conditioners because they have a form together seal around the unit itself, preventing cold air from escaping. In addition, they’re also relatively inexpensive to run, with the average wall-mounted air conditioner costing less than $30 per month to run, even if it’s being used for 8 hours a day.