Newly designed window air conditioners

Window air conditioners aren’t the prettiest appliances, but when the heat is on, they’re often the only option if you want to stay cool.

Consumer Reports just tested dozens of air conditioners.

Although not much has changed in the way they are installed, there is a new air conditioner with a U-shaped design that allows you to open and close your window without the heavy unit falling off.

But the installation is a little different from a traditional A/C window.

It still needs special support to be installed first.

Once you’ve done that, you can slide the air conditioner into place and the window closes in that U-shaped groove.

Just note that you may not be able to fit some windows to the screen.

And now the important question: can it cool a room?

CR testers raise the air temperature in a special chamber to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then measure how long it takes an A/C window to cool the room by 10 degrees.

Most window air conditioners do a fairly decent job.

The best can do it quickly and quietly.

And that’s where two of Midea’s U-shaped units stand out, earning top marks for cooling and noise in CR’s tests.

Consider the U-shaped Midea MAW08V1QWT for medium-sized rooms around 250-400 square feet.

And for larger spaces, CR recommends the Midea MAW12V1QWT U-shaped unit.

If you only need to refresh a small space – less than 300 square feet – the LG LW6019ER will do the job for around $280.

If your space can’t accommodate a window air conditioner, CR also tests portable air conditioners.

These usually cost more and don’t perform as well as window units.

To help you choose the right one for your space, take a look at the Btu/h. provided by the Department of Energy on the box.

This is often more realistic than the manufacturer’s Btu/h. interval.

You can also click HERE to watch a video with more information on portable air conditioners and tips on how to make them work for you.

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Karl M. Bailey