Product Review: Frigidaire FFRA0511Q1 5,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

Frigidaire FFRA0511Q1 5,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

Frigidaire FFRA0511Q1 5,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
8.5

Quality

8/10

    Price

    10/10

      Shipping

      8/10

        Durability

        8/10

          Warranty

          9/10

            Pros

            • This Is By Far One Of The Lowest Price Window Air Conditioners On The Market Today
            • The Product Is Rated To Cool Rooms Up To One-Hundred & Fifty Square Feet
            • This Product Is Very Light Coming In At Only Thirty-Five Pounds.
            • Comes With Built In Mounting Kit Making For An Easy Install
            • Product Comes With A One Year Manufacturer Warranty

            Cons

            • If You Have A Room Greater Than 150 Square Feet You May Want To Go Up In BTU Rating
            • The FFRA0511Q1 Is Not Energy Star Certified With The Environmental Protection Agency
            • Some Complaints Of Unit Not Working Out Of The Box, But Warranty Will Cover You
            • Over Time Some Users Have Complained Of Fan Becoming Loose And Causing A Rattling Noise During Operation
            • Product Does Not Have A Digital Display Or Remote Control

            Hello and greetings ladies and gentlemen. It is another hot one here in Kansas City. Like my father always says, ‘It’s DAMN Hot!’ As I write this article it’s past eight at night and yet the sitting temperature is still hovering right around ninety degrees and that’s not even counting the humidity. Just yesterday I was out mowing the yard in this heat and let me tell you… it’s not a fun time. The only relief that I get from this excessive summer heat is coming into a nice cold air conditioned home. (I keep it at a crisp seventy-two degrees.)

            I’m sure that this is something that you can all relate too especially those of you who in the hot states. There’s nothing like stepping into a nice climate controlled building after walking the streets and sidewalks during the peak heat of the day. Now when most folks enjoy their air conditioned homes or offices they are using the traditional split system air conditioner. A split system is your typical unit that you find outside and in your basement. These units route the cold air through the duct work in your home ensuring that every room is kept at a nice even temperature.

            Here’s the problem though folks. Not everyone has access to a central air conditioning system. There could be a variety of reasons for this. They could be living in an older farm house that has no central ducts routed. They could be in an older apartment with no air conditioning. Or, it could simply be a question of money. Central air systems can easily cost over four-thousand dollars and for a lot of people this cost just simply isn’t possible.

            So, what are people to do when looking for a relief from the heat but they don’t have thousands to drop on a new system? Well, I have my two go to solutions. Yes, there are others, but i won’t get into each and every possibility here. My two personal favorites are portable air conditioners and window air conditioners. In this article we’re going to focus specifically on one particular window unit: Frigidaire’s FFRA0511Q1 5,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner.

            We’re going to go through all of the product features, the Pros, the Cons, and anything else that needs to be brought up on this air conditioner. Is this the unit for you? Is it going to fill your need, or should you be looking at a different product? Well, without further adieu, let’s dive in and find out!

            Frigidaire

            Whenever I do a product review or if I am just researching a product for myself I always like to take the time to research and learn about the company behind the product. Maybe I’m a bit obsessive. But I like to know who are they? How long have they been around? What is their brand?

            Frigidaire Window Air Conditioners
            Frigidaire Window Air Conditioners

            A company’s brand can be a very powerful thing and if done right people will recognize the name instantly. A prime example of branding done right is Coca-Cola. Everyone knows what a Coke is. Everyone knows what to expect. They are world-wide. Now, if I was to offer you a Coke or an off-brand Cola, what would you choose? We all know the answer. This same logic can also apply when shopping for an air conditioner.

            The company behind the FFRA0511Q1 is Frigidaire. To most of you this name may sound familiar. In fact, very familiar. There’s a reason for that. The Frigidaire company is one of the most prominent appliance manufacturing companies in the world. Chances are if you were to go into your kitchen right now and begin to look around that you would find Frigidaire appliances. It could be your oven, dishwasher, microwave, or even your refrigerator.

            Speaking of refrigerators, did you know that over one-hundred years ago the Frigidaire company invented, patented, and began commercially selling one of the first self-contained refrigerators? Yes, that’s right back in 1916 they were selling refrigerators across the United States. Ever since then they have grown. Throughout that growth they have been inventing and innovating their products. They now have a century behind them and they are still going strong.

            The Frigidaire company has a solid reputation when it comes to refrigeration and air conditioning. I would feel very comfortable purchasing a window unit from them as they have proven time and time again that they know exactly what they are doing.

            Product Features

            Frigidaire FFRA0511Q1 5,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
            Frigidaire FFRA0511Q1 5,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

            Ok, folks, first things first. Before you can seriously consider any type of window air conditioner to purchase you first have to know exactly what sized unit that you need. If you purchase the wrong sized unit you could end up paying higher energy bills then you need to and end up with random hot and cold spots throughout your room. On the flip side, if you were to purchase a unit that is too small for your room then the unit will be running constantly which will raise your energy cost. This constant running will wear the unit faster and you still won’t even get completely cooled room. No, the best way to do this is to get that perfect sized unit. But, how do you know what size you need?

            Air conditioners are sized by what’s called BTUs, or British Thermal Units. You may have noticed that this unit, the FFRA0511Q1, is rated at five-thousand BTUs. BTUs are the standard way on measuring the cooling capacity of an air conditioner. The higher the BTUs the more power a unit has. The usual rule of thumb that we see is around thirty BTUs per square foot of cooling space. So, in the case of our five-thousand BTU unit we can do the math:

            Frigidaire FFRA0511Q1 Control Dials
            Frigidaire FFRA0511Q1 Control Dials

            5,000 BTUs / 30 Square Feet = 166 Square Feet.

            So, we can now find out that the FFRA0511Q1 is rated to cool rooms at around one-hundred and sixty feet. Now, the official product description says one-hundred and fifty feet, but that extra sixteen feet won’t get you in trouble! If you do find that you do need a bigger air conditioner then I would suggest checking out our Window Air Conditioner Buyer’s Guide. This guide will walk you through every possible consideration that you need to take when purchasing a unit and it will also give you a sizing guide so that you can make sure to get the perfect unit for your situation.

            The FFRA0511Q1 is a fairly bare-bones product, but it is also a very aggressively priced unit. So, you sacrifice features for price. Don’t get me wrong though, this unit will cool your room just fine, it just doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles that other products would have. This unit comes with two turn-dial knobs.  The first knob lets you control the temperature by switching between seven different settings. The second knob allows you to control the fan speed. So, while you can’t set the actual temperature you can still choose between varying degrees of low, medium, and high.

            When I was a teenager, so many years ago, I used to work for my father’s landscaping company. I remember at one particular job we were laying irrigation pipe and I was still pretty green at it. Something he told me, and something I’m sure you’ve all heard before: Measure Twice, Cut Once. It’s a saying we’re all used to and I can say that it definitely applies to window units. No, we won’t be doing any cutting. Let me explain. Before you purchase a unit for your window you have to measure your actual window to ensure that the product can actually fit. Otherwise, your product will show up at your door, you’ll go to install, and then you realize that it just doesn’t fit. (As your wife stands over your shoulder saying you should have measured first.) My point here folks is that you’ve got to measure! The FFRA0511Q1 can fit in windows with width range of twenty-three inches to thirty-six inches. Also, don’t forget height. You will need a minimum of thirteen inches of open space for your new FFRA0511Q1 to fit.

            Most of the time this section won’t apply to you but since you are in the market for a window air conditioner I want to take some time out here and talk about the plug-ins that come with these units. Now, with the smaller units, like our 5,000 BTU friend here, you normally don’t have to worry. But, as you begin to go up in size you may notice that the standard one-hundred and fifteen volt plug-ins began to get replaced by a more heavy duty two-hundred and twenty volt plug. The one-hundred and fifteen volt is your typical outlet that you can find throughout your home. The two-hundred and twenty volt plug is rare to find in most homes. Typically, your oven and your clothes dryer uses these outlets. When buying please make sure you know what kind of plug-in you are getting. Also, with the FFRA0511Q1 you get a cord length of six and a half feet. This length should be long enough to reach an outlet. Most manufacturers do not recommend using an extension cord.

            The FFRA0511Q1 comes with the refrigerant R-410A. 410A, or Puron, is one of the most commonly used refrigerants today. It can be found in most home and office split system air conditioners. While it does not harm the Ozone it does have a higher Global Warming Potential. The good news here is that it is relatively cheap right now so if you do need a recharge down the road you won’t be out too much money.

            The last point that we’ll bring up here before moving into the Pros section is weight and size. This unit is a five-thousand BTU unit which means that it is quite small. However, this unit is even smaller then some of the other five-thousand units out there. It only comes in at thirty-five pounds. That means it’s going to be one easy install. Along with the light weight you also get a complimentary mounting kit that comes with your unit. Installing should be a breeze, but you may still want some help from a second person just in case. (You don’t want to drop it during install.)

            Pros

            The way I see it with this unit there are two big selling points. The first, which I’ve already mentioned above, is price. I challenge you to look around on Amazon.com and find a cheaper window unit out there. While the FFRA0511Q1  doesn’t have a lot of features it all but makes up for it when it comes to the price point. This unit is designed to be a budget air conditioner made for those people who are just looking for basic relief from the heat. If you want a remote control or digital display you may need to look elsewhere. Just be aware that you’re going to have to pay more. You can check out our premium five-thousand BTU units in the Conclusion section of this article.

            Frigidaire FFRA0511Q1 Energy Guide
            Frigidaire FFRA0511Q1 Energy Guide

            The second big Pro on this unit is that it comes with a one year manufacturer’s warranty. While this may not seem like a big deal I can assure you that it is. Remember, we are paying a very low price point for this air conditioner and you are still getting a great one year warranty. So, if your unit does fail six months from now you can get support and help from the Frigidaire company. This warranty secures your purchase and gives you peace of mind that you will have a cooled room through out the season.

            Cons

            With air conditioners the Environmental Protection Agency has something called their ‘Energy Star,’ program. This program measures how efficient a product is. This efficiency is measured by a product’s Energy Efficiency Ratio, or EER. The higher the EER the more efficient your system is. The EPA’s requirement to meet Energy Star guidelines is a 10.0 EER rating. Unfortunately, the FFRA0511Q1 only comes in at a 9.7 EER. So, while it is not Energy Star rated it is very close to that 10.0 threshold number.

            When you purchase something online there is always the risk of it arriving to your home damaged. That risk increases with the bigger and heavier the package. On top of that, the risk increases even more when dealing with a machine like an air conditioner. Now, I’m not going to lie to you here. The chances of your unit arriving damaged is rare, but there is a chance folks. The good news though is that if this does happen you can always file a claim with Amazon.com and they will take care of the return process. Something that you’ll notice is that some of the ‘bad reviews,’ on this product are a direct result of the product arriving damaged to the consumer’s home. This is not Frigidaire’s fault and frankly shouldn’t be attributed to them.

            The last Con to mention before we move onto our Conclusion is that in some cases after extended use the air conditioner’s fan can become loosened. While this doesn’t affect performance or overall safety of the unit it can lead to an increase noise or volume when the air conditioner is running. If it was me, I probably wouldn’t notice it, but there are others out there who are very sensitive to noise and may find that the extra noise of the fan slightly moving around can drive them crazy. Just be aware of this. It doesn’t happen to every unit so it may not even happen to you. These noise complaints made up the last of the negative reviews.

            Conclusion

            Alright ladies and gentlemen that about covers it for Frigidaire’s FFRA0511Q1. We’ve gone over all of the features, the Pros, Cons, and everything else. I hope that by reading this article that you were able to come to a informed decision on rather or not this is the unit for you. If you do decide that you wish to purchase this product then I recommend you purchase from our Amazon.com partner by clicking here.

            However, if you are looking for something slightly different in this BTU range let me suggest to you two alternatives:

            • Friedrich’s Chill CP05G10B.
              • The Friedrich brand name is known to be top quality in the window air conditioner world. If you want the best of the best then this is your unit. Be prepared to pay a bit more though. Quality isn’t cheap!
            • hOmeLabs Window Unit
              • This is the cheapest of the cheap out there today on Amazon.com. It will get the job done. It will cool your room but it is going to come with the most basic of settings. If you’re looking to save a buck or two then this is the unit for you.

            I hope this review was helpful and thanks for reading,

            Alec Johnson

            RefrigerantHQ

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