A portable window air conditioner with smart features.
Photo Credit:
Courtesy of LG
Smart cooling

Get Ready for Summer: Smart Window Air Conditioners

Andrew Zoellner
April 18, 2024

For those that live in older houses and buildings without central air conditioning (or with central AC that doesn’t cool the entire home), summer inevitably means trying to stay cool. That probably means using some kind of window or portable air conditioner. Luckily, these types of window and portable air conditioners are getting quieter, smarter, and more user-friendly all of the time. As a bonus, they’re also getting more efficient and use less electricity to cool more effectively!

Window air conditioners typically last 8-10 years before needing to be replaced, so it’s worth taking the time to find the right one for your home. And, with price points starting at just a few hundred dollars, it’s worth investing a little bit more money to have better features.

Before You Buy

It’s important to size your window or in–room air conditioner to the room or rooms you’d like it to cool. These types of air conditioners are sized by BTUs, and usually have an equivalent square footage they’re rated to cool. Essentially, the more BTUs, the larger the area an air conditioner can cool. It’s not a perfect science, though. For instance, if your room has especially high ceilings, or windows that let in a lot of sun that heats the room, or is on an upper floor that stays hotter than other parts of the home, you may want to increase the air conditioner’s size.

You should also make sure not to oversize your window air conditioner. Getting a unit that’s too big will still cool your space, but you’ll take a significant hit on efficiency.

What to look for: Inverter and Wifi

In addition to right-sizing an air conditioner for your space, we recommend nice-to-have features: inverter or dual inverter, and wifi connection. Unlike a standard air conditioner, where the compressor is either on (cooling) or off (not cooling), an inverter air conditioner ramps up and down more precisely to keep a room cool. It’s much more efficient than a standard air conditioner. A dual inverter unit takes it a step further, increasing efficiency and also the speed at which an air conditioner can cool a room.

Inverter and dual inverter air conditioners are also significantly quieter than their standard design counterparts. The efficiency gains alone are enough to offset the additional cost in a year or two, and having a quieter air conditioner in rooms where you spend time or sleep is well worth the marginal additional cost. Plus, inverter and dual inverter air conditioners do a better job dehumidifying (because they run more frequently). It might not make intuitive sense, but the testing shows they’re more efficient than a standard air conditioner.

Wifi connection may not seem like an important feature to look for in a window air conditioner, but it’s the key to unlocking more energy savings with the bonus of being able to control your air conditioner remotely. OhmConnect is partnered with LG to allow many of their wifi-enabled air conditioners to work with energy-savings events, such as LG mini-splits, portable ac units and window air conditioners. That means you’re able to automatically save energy when grid conditions call for it and earn watts to spend in the OhmConnect marketplace!

Beyond that, though, through LG’s ThinQ app, you’re able to control your air conditioner even if you’re out of the house. That means you can set a schedule to only have it run when you’re home, and even set a schedule of different temperatures throughout the day. If you’re in an area with on and off peak rates, you could pre-cool your room during off-peak hours, and then let the temperature drift during on-peak hours. Plus, the ThinQ app notifies you when you should clean your air conditioner’s filter or perform other maintenance.

Mini Splits

If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, mini splits offer the benefits of central AC without having to worry about running ductwork. For folks in older houses heated by radiators, they’re a great option to add the modern wonder of air conditioning. Ductless mini splits can cool (and heat!) larger areas than window or portable air conditioners but cost significantly less than installing a central air conditioning system and ductwork. LG mini splits come in a variety of sizes and finishes to fit just about any home.

Check out LG’s full line of window air conditioners here, and be sure to look for units that are enabled with ThinQ Smart Technology to maximize energy savings. If you already own an LG room air conditioner, ‘Make a Switch for Good’ by signing up with OhmConnect, linking your utility, and connecting your LG room AC.

Most recent posts
Save money. save energy.

Related Articles

See all >
Someone adjusting a smart thermostat to eco-mode
Climate control, cost down

What Is Eco-Mode on Smart Thermostats?

How exactly does eco-mode on smart thermostats work? What’s happening to save you energy and money and what do you need to do?

A smart power strip on a wooden background
Plug into green tech

Smart Power Strips 101: A Beginner's Guide

Smart power strips revolutionize home energy use, automatically cutting power to unused devices and curbing unnecessary expenses.

A million EVs were added to the grid last year, this is a picture of one
EV surge, energy plunge

How Adding a Million EVs to the Road Didn’t Break the Grid

Despite over a million new electric vehicles hitting the roads in 2023, the U.S. saw a surprising 1.1% decrease in overall electricity consumption