The other day I was having dinner with my parents and they were telling me about a house that they looked at. You see, they have been trying to sell their neighborhood home and find a nice house out in the country. They just haven’t found the right house yet. The house they looked at this time was a one bedroom home on thirty acres out in the rolling hills of Missouri. I looked at it myself online and agreed that it was a beautiful home. It was built all the way back in the 1800’s and the quality definitely stood out.
Here’s the catch though. My parents are thinking about not buying this home because of one reason: It does not have a central air conditioner or duct work. Now, as someone who runs RefrigerantHQ I was amazed at this decision. Having a central air system isn’t the end all be all for a home. Yes, I understand that we live in the Kansas City area and as I write this article in July it is one-hundred and two degrees outside but there are other solutions out there. Retrofitting an older home with duct work and a central air conditioning system is a huge under-taking. Just the cost of a furnace and an air conditioner alone can be upwards to six-thousand dollars. Add to that the routing of duct work through the walls and you could easily be over ten-thousand dollars.
There is a better solution to all of this and I’m sure you’ve guessed it by now. Window air conditioners. Window units are no longer the ‘piece of junk’ you see hanging out of a tenth story apartment. No, in today’s world window units come in all sorts of sizes, quality, and options. Depending on what unit you want and what your budget is you can get a window unit or two that will perform just as well, if not better, then your traditional air conditioning unit.
In this example the house my parents looked at was just over one-thousand square feet and consisted of only a few rooms. On top of that, there were easily accessible windows. In my opinion, the house was a prime candidate for the quicker and easier solution of window air conditioners. In this article we’re going to take a deep look into one of these air conditioners: Frigidaire’s FFRE1033Q1 10,000 BTU window air conditioning unit. Is this the right unit for you, or should you be looking at a different sized product or perhaps even a different brand? Let’s dive in and find out!
Now before I ever buy any product, especially an expensive one, I always like to take the time and research the company and the brand behind the product. After all folks, a company’s brand name is paramount to a company’s success. If you have a recognizable and reputable brand name then people will know your product. They will know what to expect. Look at cars, as an example. You know what to expect if you buy a Lexus. You expect a premium car that is top quality. The brand name tells you that. The very same principle can be applied to window air conditioners. Yes, I know it’s not as exciting as a new Lexus, but it is still worth it to do our research and understand the name and the company behind the product we’re looking at.
The Frigidaire company is one of the oldest refrigerant and air conditioning companies out there. In fact, I bet most of you have already heard of this company name. Chances are if you go into your kitchen right now that you’re going to find an appliance from Frigidaire. I don’t care if it’s a dishwasher, a microwave, an oven, or even your refrigerator. Speaking of refrigerators, did you know that Frigidaire was one of the very first companies to invent, patent, and began selling refrigerators? All the way back in 1916 Frigidaire was around and they were selling refrigerators. Over one-hundred years ago.
Since that date so long ago Frigidaire has grown and prospered. Over the years they have innovated, developed, and invented all new applications. With a century of experience behind them I would say that they are a great candidate to purchase an air conditioner from. They have the knowledge, the development, and one of the most recognizable brand names within the industry. Along with all of that they have a variety of window air conditioner products to choose from. If you find that this unit is not the right fit for you then I highly encourage you to visit Frigidaire’s online Amazon.com store so that you can find and select the perfect product for your needs.
Now before we get into the Pros and Cons of the FFRE1033Q1 window unit I always like to take some time out and take a look at the variety of features that the unit offers. First and foremost, we need to decide if this is the right window unit for you. While there are certain aspects to consider like digital display, remote control, and other settings these are not the most important factor when purchasing a new air conditioner. No, the most important is the BTU size.
BTUs, or British Thermal Units, are a measurement of the cooling capacity of your air conditioner. The higher the BTUs the more power your air conditioner will have to cool your room. A lot of people may read this and decide that they’re going to go ‘big’ and buy one of the largest BTU units out there. This is a mistake. BTUs are a fine measurement and must be taken seriously. If you purchase a unit that has too much BTUs for the area you desire to cool then you’re going to have a room with random hot and cold spots. (This is due to too much de-humidification.) Along with that you will also be throwing money out the window for excess energy usage. On the flip side of this, if you purchase a unit that is has too few BTUs then your air conditioner is going to be running constantly causing your energy bill to go up and up. On top of that your room is never going to fully cool. For more information on BTUs check out our BTU guide by clicking here.
The solution here is to identify the correct BTU that your room needs. In order to do this you need to measure your room’s width and length. When you have those numbers times them together to get your room’s square footage. You now have a clue as to what size air conditioner you need. The standard rule of thumb is thirty BTUs per square foot. So, let’s say you are trying to cool your living room/dining room combo that measures twenty by twenty. We have a square footage of four-hundred square feet. Now, if we take our thirty BTU guide times the four-hundred square feet we get twelve-thousand BTUs.
Ok, now that we have that out of the way let’s take a look at the FFRE1033Q1 10,000 BTU unit. It is rated to cool rooms up to four-hundred and fifty square feet. In this case our example is a perfect match. While the rule of thumb states a recommended twelve-thousand BTUs we can see that the FFRE1033Q1 is rated to cool rooms up to four-hundred and fifty square feet. I would say that you would be safe either with the ten-thousand BTUs or the twelve-thousand BTU model. Either way it’ll get the job done without it being too large or too small. Along with the rated square footage this product also dehumidifies your room by up to three pints per hour.
The Frigidaire FFRE1033Q1 is a middle of the road product. It doesn’t come with all of the bells and whistles of the some of the premium brand names out there like Friedrich Air Conditioners but it does come with a variety of features that you just can’t find on the bare bone models. An example of this is that you get a digital display with the ability to control the exact temperature of the room that you are cooling. If you opt for one of the cheaper units you only have a simple turn dial knob that gives you a high, medium, or low setting. You have no control of the exact temperature. With the FFRE1033Q1 the control is in your hands, literally. Yes, you get a fully functional remote control as well. I don’t know about you but I hate having to get up in the middle of the night to adjust the air conditioner. I like to know that the remote is within reach and I can just roll over, hit a couple of buttons, and then go back to sleep. Peace of mind, so they say.
Along with the digital display you get a three separate fan speeds, a timer setting to allow you to set an on/off switch on your air conditioner, a sleep mode, as well as a clean air ionizer that works to remove pollen and other air impurities from your room. (This is a great feature for allergy sufferers.) The fans can also be moved in eight different directions allowing you to control where the cold air is blowing. (Maybe you like it blowing right on you while you sleep. I know I do!)
You know what they say folks, size matters. Window size that is! Before you purchase a window air conditioner it is best to take the time and measure your window to ensure that the unit you are buying is going to fit. There’s nothing worse then ordering a product, having it arrive, going to install, and then finding out that it’s not going to fit in your window. Well, we’re here to help! The Frigidaire FFRE1033Q1 can fit in windows with a minimum height of fifteen and a half inches. The width can fit in a range between twenty-three inches upwards to thirty-six inches. Anything below that twenty-three or above that thirty-six inch measurement and the unit will not fit or mount in your window. While we’re on the topic of installation I’ll also mention that this unit only weighs in at fifty-nine pounds. That’s not too bad and can most likely be installed by an able bodied man. If you are unsure that you can do it by yourself though it cannot hurt to ask for help. The last thing you want to do is drop the unit out your window by mistake!
This Frigidaire unit comes with a one-hundred and fifteen volt plug-in. This is your standard plug that you can find throughout your home. Now, you may be asking yourself why I am mentioning this but I assure you there is a reason! On larger BTU air conditioners the one-hundred and fifteen volt plug tends to go away and is instead replaced with a two-hundred and twenty volt plug. A two-hundred and twenty volt is a rare find in most homes. In most cases you can only find these where your oven and your dryer plug in. It is always best to make sure that the AC you are buying takes a one-hundred and fifteen volt and if it does not you should be prepare to retrofit one of your outlets. Luckily, with the FFRE1033Q1 it comes with the standard plug so there is no worry. Also, the cord extends to six and a half feet which should give you more then enough space to install and plug your product in. I would not recommend using an extension cord for your air conditioner. If the window is too far from an outlet please try a different window.
Alright, the last feature to mention here before we move onto the Pros is the type of refrigerant that this unit takes. Most of you may not even pay attention to this aspect of your air conditioner but I feel like I have to mention it since we’re on RefrigerantHQ. In the past most units were taking R-22 as their refrigerant. R-22 was phased down back in 2010 and has now been replaced by R-410A. While 410A does not harm the Ozone it is still considered a greenhouse gas. The good news here is that 410A is found in nearly every home and office building unit, so if you do need a recharge down the road it shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg.
The first Pro that I want to mention on this Frigidaire 10,000 BTU unit is the price. Yes, I realize that the price may seem high at first glance but you need to understand that this is unit is on the higher end of the BTU scale. There are much smaller BTU models out there such as the 5,000 hOme unit that you could find for a much cheaper price. My point here folks is that for the amount of BTUs that you are looking at there the price is very competitive.
Next on our list is the energy cost of the unit. All window, portable, and even ductless air conditioners come with whats called an Energy Guide. This information is regulated by the government and it’s goal is to give you an estimate of the yearly cost that the appliance will cost you. In this case the FFRE1033Q1 is estimated to cost you around eighty dollars a year. Yes, that’s right. That’s barely anything! Along with the energy cost there is an additional field to mention on the Energy Guide known as Energy Efficiency Ratio, or EER. EER is a measurement of how efficient the air conditioner is. The higher the number the more efficient your unit is. The usual baseline is around 10.0, the good news here is that the FFRE1033Q1 is rated at 11.3 EER. So, you’re a full point above the baseline.
I touched on this in our product features section but I want to take some more time here just to mention the digital display. This may not mean a lot to you right now but if you look at the hOme unit that I mentioned above you will see what a difference it can make. With the cheaper hOme unit all you get are turn dial knobs. No real temperature customization or anything like that. With this Frigidaire unit you get that display as well as custom temperature control.
This product comes with Frigidaire’s one year warranty. While one year isn’t a great warranty it is still something to protect you for the first year of usage. Personally, I would be more happy with a two to three year warranty, but one year is pretty standard for window and portable air conditioners.
The biggest complaint that I see on this Frigidaire unit is the noise. Now, I looked up the exact rated decibel of the FFRE1033Q1 and it is rated at fifty-two decibels. I then looked at a comparison chart to see where fifty-two stood at. It is rated just above a ‘typical suburban background noise.’ The next level up at sixty decibels is a ‘busy office.’ So, this basically boils down to a matter of opinion. Is this going to be loud for you? (Especially if you have the unit in your bedroom during the night trying to cool.) If it was me, I can tell you that I wouldn’t even notice as I tend to sleep like a brick. But, if you are a light sleeper you may be weary of the extra noise that this unit will bring into your room. The only comfort I can say here is that it will be a constant noise and you may grow used to it over time.
When it comes to air conditioners rather they be window units or portable units the Environmental Protection Agency has something called their ‘Energy Star’ program. This program is a measurement on how efficient a product is. Most of the time this measurement is based on a product’s Energy Efficiency Ratio, or EER. If you remember, we mentioned EER in our Pros section. We did for good reason, this unit has an EER of 11.3 and most of the time to qualify for Energy Star rating you need a rating of 10.0 or above. So, while this unit is very efficient it does NOT qualify for the EPA’s Energy Star program. I am not entirely sure why that is as the EER is very high and the estimated energy cost of the unit is only around eighty-dollars a year.
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.
Ok, folks. We made it through! We covered absolutely everything on this product that I could fathom. If you are still thirsty for more information please check out our ‘Important Links,’ section below for the official instruction manual, installation guide, and more.
As far as is this the right unit for you let’s take a look at our Amazon partner. There are nearly four-hundred customer reviews on this product with an aggregate score of four out of five stars. That’s an eighty percent rating across a wide range, pretty good rating if you ask me. If you are interested in purchasing this unit then please click here to be taken to our Amazon.com partner where you can have the product shipped right to your door.