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Best Air Conditioners To Buy in 2024 and Which Features To Look

Air Conditioner 2023
© nikkytok / Adobe Stock

Summer is approaching and it's time to look for the best mobile air conditioner to cool your home. In this buying guide, nextpit has selected for you the best portable air conditioners of the moment and also shows you how to choose among the best models from Midea, Gree, LG, and others for your smart home.

 Best air conditioners compared

  Portable Window Type Mini Split Type
Picture LG Portable Air conditioner Midea U Shaped Gree Livo Plus Senville Leto
Dimensions (HWD) 30.4 x 19.4 x 18.1 in
77.2 x 41.9 x 45 cm
13.5 x 22 x 19.2 in
34.3 x 55.9 x 48.8 cm
33.3 x 11.4 x 8.3 in
84.6 x 30 x 21 cm
21.3 x 26 x 10.4 in
54.1 x 66 x 26.4 cm
Type Portable Window Split (indoor + outdoor) Split (indoor + outdoor)
BTU 10,000 up to 12,000 up to 12,000 up to 12,000
Area 450 sq feet | 41.81 m² 550 sq feet | 51.1 m² 650 sq feet | 60.39 m² 650 sq feet | 60.39 m²
Voltage Supply 110/120 V 110/120 V 110/120 V 110/120 V
Inverter Yes Yes Yes Yes
Heating - - Yes Yes
Min. Noise 44 dB 42 dB 29 dB 34 dB
Control Remote + App Remote + App Remote + App Remote + App
Smart Assistant Google, Alexa Google, Alexa (requires a hub) - Alexa (requires a hub)
Installation User User Authorized Authorized
Maintenance Filter Filter Filter + Cleaning Filter + Cleaning

Buying an AC is as overwhelming as choosing the best smartphone that fits you. It involves numerous parameters and specs that you need to check before you eventually plunge and grab one. Fortunately, we've already done most of the tedious part by selecting a number of air conditioning units from different brands while also narrowing and categorizing them in a list which you can find below.

What features to look when buying an air conditioning unit

Before getting an AC, it is essential to know what specific room and the total area of the space that the unit will be installed. This lets you estimate the right capacity, especially the BTU rating of the device, that you will be needing. At the same time, you will also need to decide if you're going for which form to get since the installation and maintenance will depend on it.


The very basic for buying an air conditioning unit depends on how big the area of the room since the BTU or British Thermal Unit capacity of the air conditioner will depend on this. This means that the larger the space, the higher BTU you should look for.

Typically, base AC configurations have 6,000 to 8,000 BTU and these are sufficient for small rooms with an area between 260 and 350 sq feet (ca. 33 m²). On the other hand, units with 12,000 and up are recommended for areas starting from 400 sq feet (37.16 m²) and higher.

Senville Mini Split Aura AC
Split-type air conditioners are increasingly popular. / © Senville

Inverter Motor

During hot months, the air conditioning unit will run for several hours a day and every so often a full day. Considering a power-efficient system will save you tons of money eventually. It is recommended to pick a model that comes with an inverter-powered motor or dual inverter technology to save more energy. It is drastically efficient and produces less noise compared to non-inverter AC units.

Which A/C design to pick

Air conditioners come in different forms and choosing one depends on the installation process you will need and how to properly keep these devices smooth running. Each has its specific advantages, so you might need to weigh in numerous factors. In addition, we only discussed here the popular designs including the portable, window type, and split type with no ducting system.

  • Portable: As the name implies, this is effortless to set up and works in any type of room. It can be moved anywhere inside your home and only requires a power outlet and a nearby window for the exhaust air to be blown outside. 
  • Window type: The latest windows type air conditioners are now easier to be installed compared back to the old and boxy form. The ones with U-shaped don't require a mounting frame as long as they can be fitted on single or double-hung windows. At once, it requires less maintenance and is cleaned similarly to a portable A/C.
  • Mini split with combined cooling and heating: This kind of air conditioner form is composed of an indoor unit and a compressor and sometimes with a heat pump if it has a heating feature and these are installed outdoors. Relatively, split-type A/Cs are quieter and have more efficient cooling than the first two options. However, these are also the priciest and require professional installation, although they are mostly included in the package along with shipping.

Best portable air conditioner: LG's cheap and capable portables

LG Portable Air Conditioner Inverter
LG Portable Air Conditioner 10,000 BTU with an inverter motor. / © LG

LG is one of the few brands that offer affordable and feature-packed air conditioners. It has updated its portable lineup this year, which includes budget options and a new model with an inverter and smart home capabilities.

The LG LP0623WSR (6,000 BTU) and LP0723WSR (7,000 BTU) are the cheapest portable air conditioners launched in 2023. Similar to the expensive models, they come with an installation kit to easily set up the hose going to the window. Additionally, they have washable filters and boast multiple modes as well as a timer through the remote control.

While they are cheap, they lack LG's inverter technology and cannot be managed in the mobile app. If you don't need these features at all, the pair is a great buy if you want to save, and they are currently on sale starting at $329.

The more capable LG portable air conditioner is the LP1022FVSM with 10,000 BTU capacity suitable for rooms spanning 450 sq. feet. Priced at $689, it has the bell and whistles of a premium model. The inverter allows it to stay quieter than the non-inverter category. Furthermore, you can install the LG ThinQ mobile app to set a schedule or input voice commands via Wi-Fi on an Android phone or iPhone.

Best window type air conditioner with no fuss installation: Midea U Shaped

Midea U Shaped Air Conditioner
Midea U Shaped is a window-type air conditioner. / © Midea

Midea's new U Shaped, priced starting at $399, is among the popular window type A/C offerings, thanks to its flexible design. It comes in 8,000, 10,000, and 12,000 BTU capacities and all get a DC inverter motor, which stays quiet to as low as 42 dB during operation, according to Midea.

Installation of the Midea U Shaped is straightforward as with the floor-occupying portable models and the company is bundling mounting brackets for every set. Many will also appreciate the Wi-Fi connectivity and mobile app compatibility of the cooling system.

Best ductless mini split air conditioner: Gree Livo+ and Senville Leto

Gree Livo+ Split Air Conditioner
Gree Livo+ Split Air Conditioner with a heating system. / © Gree

For bigger spaces, split-type air conditioners are more suitable given they have higher BTU capacities. Plus, these get the quietest setup due to the motor being installed outdoors. The Gree Livo+ and Senville ductless lineups (110/120 volts) are the top choices with combined cooling from an inverter compressor and heat pump system.

Gree's Livo+ with 12,000 BTU costs $1120, which is ideal for room sizes between 400 (37.16 m²) and 650 sq feet (60.39 m²). It has a variable inverter compressor with up to a 7-year warranty and an energy-saving heating system. Moreover, it can be controlled wirelessly using the remote or Gree app using a Wi-Fi connection.

Senville Leto Outdoor Unit for Air Conditioner with Heat System
Senville Leto's outdoor unit with a heating pump system. / © Senville

Although the Senville Leto is a dated system, the model is currently the best-selling ductless split air conditioner in the US. Similar to the Gree Livo+, the Leto mini split series is equipped with a DC inverter and a heat pump, but with a shorter 5-year warranty. Retailing at $819 (with shipping and installation), it is cheaper than most alternatives with the same BTU and works with Amazon Alexa more than the basic Wi-Fi cloud control.

If you want the upgraded models for either brand, Gree and Senville already sell the Vireo+ and Aura series, respectively. Both new systems are more efficient at a higher cost and run on 208/230V supply power.

What do you look for in an air conditioner before buying one? Share your best suggestions in the comments.

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Jade Bryan

Jade Bryan
Junior Editor

I still remember how amazed I was when I first got hold of the Nokia 3210 back when I was a kid, and it was during that time I developed my love for technology, particularly for mobile phones. I started sharing my knowledge through writing in different blogs and forums back in Nokia Nseries era. I even make videos before where I put different phones side-by-side. Today, I'm still an avid enthusiast of smartphones, but my interests have evolved into smart devices and electric vehicles.

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  • 49
    storm Jun 4, 2023 Link to comment

    I live in the desert Southwest. AC is designed in with the heat. I'm planning ductless mini split when the current unit fails.

    Jade Bryan

    • Jade Bryan 15
      Jade Bryan Jun 4, 2023 Link to comment

      How's the maintenance with your current split system? Our only lasted 4 years before pipe starts to leak which requires extensive repair.

      • 49
        storm Jun 5, 2023 Link to comment

        It's not a split. My house is from 1948. So it was built for forced air. I have an outside condenser for the AC part. So far, it's just been filter changes. I have a coil service due this year for the AC "heat exchanger" in the forced air system. Installed, this was rated above 95% efficient for however forced air efficiency is measured. I suspect it's about 1/3 of the way through its expected service life.

        There has been a race to the bottom in forced air system pricing so the quality has taken a hit. The unit I replaced was the original furnace--lasted almost 70 years and didn't have AC, just a separate evaporative cooler. But I removed that when i replaced my roof. Owning is a constant cost of maintenance and changes that way.

        Mini splits should last longer but quality of the installation matters and that's rarely the lowest bidder.

        The Build show (matt risinger on youtube) shows lots of improvements in installation, insulation and the wall penetration boots that can be done for minisplits and condensers but are usually done so cheaply and badly.

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