As I write this article it is Memorial Day Weekend and here in Kansas City the temperature is going to be stuck in the high nineties for most of my three day weekend. In fact, I spent a better part of my morning setting up a pool for my girls to play in. But, here’s the thing, after my family was done with the pool we came inside to a nice seventy-two degree home. All of that is thanks to our window units that we have installed on each side of our home. These products can be a lifesaver especially if you are in a warmer climate like Kansas.
If you find that you are needing a window air conditioner either because yours finally died on you or it’s your first time purchasing one the same questions will arise in your head. What kind of window unit do I need? What brand do I need? What size do I need? In this article I aim to answer those questions and more. My aim is to guide you through the buying and decision making process.
Frigidaire Brand Name
Chances are you already recognize the Frigidaire brand name. In fact there is a pretty good chance that you could already find one of their appliances already in your home. It could be your refrigerator, your microwave, your dish washer, or even your oven. My point here is that Frigidaire is an appliance company and an appliance company that has withstood the test of time. In fact, the Frigidaire brand name has been around for over one-hundred years.
If we go back in time all the way back to 1916 we can find the Frigidaire brand name and it’s origin. During that year the Frigidaire company invented and began selling the first self-contained refrigerator. While a refrigerator and a window air conditioner may seem different to you I can assure you that they are in fact very similar. Think about it for a moment. They both cool and they both use refrigerant. The only difference here is that the window unit is cooling your room while your refrigerator is cooling the cabin. Besides that, the principals are the same.
Over the past century the Frigidaire company and brand has been innovating and improving their appliances. Today they are a respected brand name throughout the country and the world. If you see a Frigidaire name on your appliance you can rest assured that you are getting a quality and durable product. The same can be said with their window air conditioners.
Now before you decide to purchase a window air conditioner there are some considerations and other notes to go over. The worst thing you can do is ‘guess’ as to what kind of unit you need. Depending on the size of window air conditioner you purchase they can be quite expensive. When you purchase you want to make sure that you have the perfect unit for you. Let’s take a look at some of the buying considerations below:
In order to fully understand what kind and what size of window air conditioner that you need you first need to understand British Thermal Units, or BTUs. BTUs are the traditional measurement of heat. When looking at air conditioners BTUs are used to measure the cooling capacity of your window or portable air conditioners. The higher the BTU number the more powerful and the more cooling capacity your unit has.
Most people use a measurement of around thirty BTUs for each square foot of living space that you wish to cool in your home or office. If we use that same measurement we can do some math based on a seven-thousand BTU air conditioner. If we take that seven-thousand number and divide it by thirty we get an approximated square footage of two-hundred and thirty. So, in this case seven-thousand BTUs would have enough power to cool a larger bedroom or office. (Remember that square footage is just a calculation that can be done by measuring the width of bedroom and the length of a bedroom. Once you have that you multiply the numbers together and presto, you now have your square footage.)
Remember though folks that bigger isn’t always better. You want to ensure that you get the proper sized unit for the room that you are trying to cool. If you purchase something with too few BTUs then your unit is going to be working overtime trying to cool the room. If you purchase something that has too much BTUs then your unit is going to be costing you extra on your electric bills and you will also develop warm and cold spots throughout the room due to the larger sized unit.
Lastly, I will emphasize this one more time. BTUs are one of the most important decision you can make when purchasing a window air conditioner. Getting this number wrong or right will determine exactly how well your new window unit will perform.
We all know that old adage, measure twice and cut once. Well the same rule applies to air conditioners. Always always always be sure to measure the width and the height of your window to ensure that the air conditioner that you will be buying will fit and will fit correctly. To get even more specific you may even take into consideration the depth of your new AC unit and see if there are any trees, shrubs, or anything else that could obstruct exhaust flow of your unit. Remember folks, that heat has to go somewhere and if there is something obstructing your exhaust your air conditioner isn’t going to have a good time.
As I said before it is best for you to measure the window so you know exactly what you are dealing with but I will give you this bit of advice. Most windows found in homes today range between twenty-four to thirty inches wide and forty-eight to fifty-six inches high. If you are unsure of the dimensions of the air conditioner you are wishing to buy either on Amazon or the manufacturer’s official product page will have the full details for you.
EPA’s Energy Star
The United States’ Environmental Protection Agency has a rating for window air conditioners. This rating is called Energy Star. The Energy Star program was founded back in 1991 and was originally designed to regulate and improve the energy usage of lighting in larger commercial buildings. (Think large office buildings or warehouses.) Since it’s found in 1991 the Energy Star program has changed and adapted over the years. Today it is one of the leading sources on finding out exactly how energy efficient a product is.
On the window air conditioning side of the world the Energy Star is measured by whats called Energy Efficiency Ratio, or EER. For a window unit to qualify for the Energy Star program the unit must have an EER rating of 10.0 or higher. Now, I won’t say that every Frigidaire unit is Energy Star certified what I can say is that a good portion of them are. Remember, that if your unit is Energy Star certified that means less costly monthly energy bills.
115 Volts VS 220 Volts
Most of the time this won’t apply to you but if you are going to be purchasing a larger window air conditioner then you should definitely stop and think before you purchase. What kind of plug-in does this air conditioner have? Does it come with a standard one-hundred and fifteen volt plug, or does it comes with a two-hundred and twenty volt plug?
I’ve seen this trip a lot of people up. The worst thing you can do is order a unit, have it come, get it installed, and then when you go to plug it in you realize that you don’t have the right outlet for it. I can just see myself doing this with my wife standing over my shoulder telling me I should have checked before I ordered. (I can’t be the only one, right?)
Frigidaire Window Air Conditioner Products
Alright folks so we’ve now gone over the Frigidaire brand name and the various options that you need to consider before purchasing a window unit. Now that that is out of the way we can begin to look at the various window units that are on the market today. Personally, I buy everything online nowadays including the big things. In the section below I am going to provide a link to our Amazon partner’s web-page that shows you the product that we have discussed. These products are our top rated Frigidaire window units. Let’s take a look:
- Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 5,000 BTU (No longer available!)
- The FFRA0511R1 is your very basic bare bones unit. This product will do exactly what it’s designed to do. It will cool your room. You may have noticed that the BTUs on this unit are only at 5,000. That is because this is a very small window unit only rated to cool rooms at one-hundred and fifty square feet. That square footage is about the size of a large bedroom. This Frigidaire unit is by FAR one of the most popular window units on the market today. That is mostly due to the Frigidaire name and the dirt cheap price. Go ahead, try and find a cheaper unit out there!
- Frigidaire FFRE0633S1 6,000 BTU
- The FFRE0633S1 from Frigidaire is the next step up from the previous model we looked at. This model not only goes up one-thousand BTUs but it also swaps out the turn-knob controls with a digital display and a fully functional remote control. The FFRE0633S1 is rated to cool up to two-hundred and fifty square feet, is Energy Star certified at 12.2 EER, and is still considered a ‘mini’ unit which means it only comes in forty-four pounds. If you were to ask me my opinion I would suggest this unit over the 5,000 BTU product we looked at earlier. You get better features on this product and you also get covered if you have a larger closet, bathroom, or other small additional square footage that you are wishing to cool.
- Frigidaire FFRE0833S1 8,000 BTU
- The FFRE0833S1 is rated to cool rooms up to three-hundred and fifty square feet. Depending on the lay out of your home this could be a large master bedroom, a living room, or kitchen. (Please note that if you are looking for a unit for your kitchen that you should always add at least one-thousand BTUs due to the extra heat coming from the kitchen oven.) This unit comes with a digital display and a fully functional remote control. The FFRE0833S1 is also Energy Star certified with the EPA coming in at a 12.0 Energy Efficiency Ratio rating. (Keep in mind that the baseline for this is 10.0.)
- Frigidaire FFRA1011R1 10,000 BTU
- The FFRA1011R1 is rated as ten-thousand BTUs and can cool rooms upwards to four-hundred and fifty square feet. Again, like before, this could be a very large master bedroom but most likely it could be a living room/dining room combination. Now, the FFRA1011R1 is the baseline model for ten-thousand BTUs. In other words, it is cheaper then the product I’m going to list below but that is because it does not have a digital display, it does not have a remote control, and it is not Energy Star certified. While this unit will work great I would still recommend the FFRE1033S1 over this. You still get ten-thousand BTUs but you also get the extra features and Energy Star qualifications.
- Frigidaire FFRE1033S1 10,000 BTU
- Just like the FFRA1011R1 above the FFRE1033S1 is also rated at ten-thousand BTUs and cool rooms upwards to four-hundred and fifty square feet. The big difference here though between the two products is that you get all of the ‘bonuses,’ with the FFRE1033S1. You get Energy Star EPA certification, you get, you get a digital display, and you get a remote control. All of these extras for not much more in price. If it was me I would purchase this one over the other ten-thousand unit.
- Frigidaire FFRA1211R1 12,000 BTU (NO LONGER AVAILABLE)
- The Frigidaire FFRA1211R1 is similar to what we looked at with the ten-thousand BTU models. This unit comes in at twelve-thousand BTUs and is rated to cool rooms up to five-hundred and fifty square feet. When we get this to square footage I am thinking primarily of apartments or condominiums. Yes, this can still be used in your home, especially if you have a large open floor plan area. Just keep in mind that you don’t want to go too high or too low on your BTUs. As an example, let’s say your open floor plan is eight-hundred square feet. In that case this window unit will not work for you. You would be best moving up to a much higher BTU requirement. Now the FFRA1211R1 is a bare bones model like we discussed before. You get a turn-knob dial adjustment and no digital display or remote. But, the price is cheaper then on it’s sister product FFRA1222U1.
- Frigidaire FFRA1222U1 12,000 BTU (NO LONGER AVAILABLE)
- The FFRA1222U1 the sister product to the FFRA1211R1. They are both rated at ten-thousand BTUs and can cool rooms upwards to five-hundred and fifty square feet. The difference here is that with the FFRA1222U1 you get the extra features that the FFRA1211R1 simply doesn’t have. Some of these are the digital display and the remote control. While the remote control may not sound like a big deal to you now I can assure you that if you wake up in the middle of the night and find that the room is too warm would you rather reach over to your nightstand and grab the remote, or would you rather get up and walk across the room? I know what I would rather do folks.
- Frigidaire FFRE1533S1 15,100 BTU
- Ok folks now we are getting into the much larger sizes. The Frigidaire FFRE1533S1 is rated at just over fifteen-thousand BTUs and can cool rooms up to eight-hundred and fifty square feet. I remember my first apartment and it was just around eight-hundred square feet. This unit could cool the entire apartment without an issue. The other option is an entire floor. In some houses they have their bedrooms all upstairs. This unit would work great to cool the upstairs floor if you kept your doors open and had it installed in one of the bedroom windows. The FFRE1533S1 is EPA Energy Star certified at 11.8 EER. It has the digital display that I love and the remote control so you don’t have to get up to change the temperature.
- Frigidaire FFRE1833S2 18,000 BTU
- The Frigidaire FFRE1833S2 is the next step and gets us up to eighteen-thousand BTUs. It is rated to cool rooms upwards to one-thousand and twenty square feet. Again, this could be a larger apartment or condo. It could also be an entire floor rather it be your upstairs or main living area. One very important thing that I want to point out to you now is that as we get into these higher BTU window units that the electrical outlet requirements change. Everything before this product could use the standard one-hundred and fifteen volt plug-in. (These are your standard outlets you find all over your house.) However, as get into these larger units the amount of power changes and you need to actually go up to a two-hundred and thirty volt plug-in. (Think of your oven or dryer plug-ins.) This can deter a lot of people and can also upset some as they weren’t expecting this ‘surprise,’ when the product arrives and they go to plug it in. Alright, so now that that is out of the way let’s take a look at the Frigidaire FFRE1833S2. It is Energy Star Certified with the EPA at 11.8 EER, has the standard digital display that we’ve come to know, and comes with a remote control. This is a great unit but just be aware that the price point goes up quite a bit on these larger sized products.
- Frigidaire FFRH1822R2 18,500 BTU
- The FFRH1822R2 is in a class of it’s own. Yes, it has a very similar BTU as the previous model we just reviewed. Here’s the difference though, this unit comes with a supplemental heat-pump that is rated at sixteen-thousand BTUs. That means that not only you do you get your air conditioner but you also get a heater as well. (Please note, that the heater is a heat-pump and will not work when temperatures fall below forty-degrees.) The FFRH1822R2 is rated to cool rooms up to one-thousand square feet, has the digital display, remote control, energy saver mode, sleep mode, and many more options. This is a great product to purchase if you are looking to cool your entire condominium or apartment.
- Frigidaire FFRE2233S2 22,000 BTUs
- Alright folks onwards and upwards. The Frigidaire FFRE2233S2 is rated at twenty-two thousand BTUs and can cool rooms up to thirteen-hundred square feet. Think about that for a moment. That is the size of a small house or a large apartment. This product can cool your whole home without an issue! As I mentioned earlier this unit will require a two-hundred and thirty volt plug-in, so please be aware of that. Besides that, the product comes with your standard features such as digital display, remote control, and it is Energy Star certified with the EPA. (10.3 EER) One other thing to mention is that as you get into these larger units the weight and the difficulty of installation increases. This unit is over double the weight of the five-thousand BTU units that we looked at earlier. Please be careful when installing and gather as much help as you need to ensure the job is done right and no injury to you or your new air conditioner occurs.
- Frigidaire FFRE2533S2 25,000 BTU (NO LONGER AVAILABLE)
- Well folks I honestly don’t know if you would ever need an air conditioner of this size but hey, I’m going to do a write up on it regardless. The Frigidaire FFRE2533S2 is rated at twenty-five thousand BTUs and can cool area up to sixteen-hundred square feet. That area is bigger then my last house, so rest assured you should be able to cool what you’re looking for. Please do keep in mind though that you don’t want to go to big for your room. If you do you could run into higher energy bills and hot and cold spots throughout the room due to humidification issues. The FFRE2533S2 is Energy Star certified with the EPA and is rated at 10.3 Energy Efficiency Ratio. Like with the other units, it comes with a digital display and a remote control. Lastly, remember two things: The first is that this unit requires a two-hundred and thirty volt plug-in. Second, this unit weighs nearly one-hundred and fifty pounds and may be difficult to install.
- Frigidaire FFRA2822R2 28,000 BTU
- But wait, there’s more! Ha! Seriously though, the Frigidaire FFRA2822SR2 is a beast coming in at twenty-eight thousand BTUs and it can cool areas up to nineteen-hundred square feet. This thing is a monster and should easily meet your cooling needs. It does require a two-hundred and thirty volt plug-in and it is heavy at nearly one-hundred and fifty pounds. It does come with the digital display and remote control but this unit is NOT Energy Star certified as it only has an EER rating of 8.5. Lastly, keep in mind that when purchasing a unit this big that the cold air is only coming from one point. If you are trying to cool your whole home with this unit I would recommend instead getting two or three of the smaller BTU units and place them sporadically throughout your home. This will allow you to have cold air coming from two or three points in the home instead of one central point. That way your cold air will be more evenly distributed.
While there are always other brands out there I can assure you folks that by going with a Frigidaire product you are not only getting a high quality product but also one that has an aggressive price point and that stays right in line with the competition. As a consumer I always like to look at my choices through the Good, Better, and Best approach.
What that means is that I do my research to narrow down my selection to three main products. I then determine which one of these products are a ‘Good,’ which ones are ‘Better,’ and which ones are ‘Best.’ Now a ‘Good’ product means that the unit does exactly what it is intended for. In this case, to cool your room. It may not have all the bells and whistles as a ‘Better,’ or a ‘Best,’ but it gets the job done and will not let you down. The ‘Better’ is similar to the ‘Good,’ but only with additional features, extended warranties, or something else that has caused it to stick out to me. Lastly, the ‘Best,’ is the top of the line unit. Nothing else out there beats it and you are getting absolute quality.
If I was to put the Frigidaire brand name up against this scale I would rate Frigidaire as a ‘Better.’ The Frigidaire names brings quality and effectiveness with their brand but there is another brand out there that outranks Frigidaire in the ‘Best’ category. That brand is Friedrich. Now, I won’t spend too much time here on this brand but the Friedrich brand is top quality. They ONLY make window air conditioners and use commercial grade parts to ensure a long lasting unit. You can read my write up on Friedrich’s air conditioners by clicking here. I will warn you right now that the Friedrich name is a premium name and with a premium name comes a premium cost.
The decision is now up to you folks. Do you want the ‘Better,’ or the ‘Best?’ If ‘Better,’ then I would suggest purchasing one of the recommended Frigidaire products we mentioned above. If ‘Best,’ then check out the Friedrich link that we provided above as well. Lastly, if you are looking for just a bare bones air conditioner, or a ‘Good,’ then you may want to move over to Amazon and purchase either a hOme or an LG unit.