Best 8,000 – 10,000 BTU Air Conditioners: Portable, Window, Room

I’ve tackled the Best 5,000 – 6,000 BTU air conditioners previously, which is the best pick for rooms with a size of 100-300 sq. ft. area. Similar to shopping for other home appliances, you should consider the cost-efficiency of each product, whether you’re looking for a leaf mulcher, lawn tractor, utility sink, or what we’re covering on this page. Most of the time, we consider the durability, efficiency, and cost of appliances before buying them, and this should also be applied when shopping.

To save you from brainstorming about what makes one a good buy, I’ll carry you through the factors that you must take a note of. Some examples of these factors are the type, watts, BTU, how small/compact the unit is, quietness, and ease of installation, among many others. I hope that by the end of this blog post, you’d already have a good pick of the brand, size, and found the best 8,000 – 10,000 BTU air conditioner that you want to purchase.

AC unit being installed

Things to consider before

The limitations of your space is probably the first thing that you should consider when you’re looking for the best option for your room. For example, having two or more windows is preferable when you’re opting to buy a window type, because it will render one side of the window (or the whole window) unusable after installation. You should also consider if you need one unit that you can easily transfer from one room to another or if you prefer a more permanent fixture like a wall-mount option.

Of course, the size of the room must be taken into consideration because it is the deciding factor in picking the right British Thermal Unit (BTU). If the BTU isn’t high enough, the unit may not be able to cool down the whole room to your preferred temperature. And if you purchase a too powerful unit, you’ll just be wasting energy and ramping up your electricity bill.

In line with this, we’ll delve into the common types units first, so you can decide which one will suit your needs.

Portables

Not everyone has the luxury of getting the room that they want. We all know that large windows and spacious bedrooms hike up the price of rooms, especially rentals. Without a large and sturdy window, you can’t opt for a window option. And without a window, you can’t opt for a split one (or other units) that comes with a window kit for ventilation/drainage. This is when a portable one (PACs) comes in handy.

PACs came into the market when manufacturers recognized the need for a good one that can be used in rooms without windows or rooms that are relatively small in size. They became a hit due to their relatively cheap price, quick setup, and flexible installation options that other options cannot offer. They boast a compact, self-contained system that can effectively cool small, single rooms where window or through-the-wall options are too much to put up with, either due to space limitation or energy consumption. Furthermore, the venting system is fairly easy to install, such as window kits with window sliders and an exhaust hose, which is another charm of these products.

Generally, it sits on the floor but some models have handles and wheels for better movement. With these added features, you can easily move the unit from one window to another or to another room. Some brands even came up with mini sized options that are more lightweight and compact, which is perfect for small rooms.

There are also different types in terms of water/moisture draining. Standard ones require manual removal of water; you have to periodically empty a bucket/container in the unit that collects moisture. Other models have what you call a “gravity drain and condensate pump,” which involves attaching a draining hose to the unit and directing the other end of the hose outside or into a drain. Advanced models, on the other hand, now have self-evaporative features, wherein the PAC unit evaporates moisture out of the same exhaust hose that the venting system uses.

As of today, numerous brands have transformed some of their powerful units into portable ones, and so a lot of PAC can now cool down larger rooms. Some examples are vertical models that can cool large rooms; BTU range of such units range from 6,000-20,000 for residential units, while the units for commercial or industrial settings have 12,000-40,000 BTU.

Window

Window ones are probably one of the most common types that you’d spot at homes or rental spaces, such as apartments and dorms, because these are cheaper and easier to install compared to other bigger options and usually do not require extra installation fees. They are a popular choice for rental spaces because these are more of a temporary fixture rather than a permanent one; you don’t have to cut a rectangular hole through the wall to fit this type in your room.

The only thing that a window unit requires is a decently-sized sturdy window that can accommodate the unit—installation is quite a breeze after that. Since these units are meant to fit within the boundaries of a window, they are relatively lightweight, compact, and moderately sized. It’s important that you have an accurate measurement of the unit; compare it with your window’s measurement before purchasing it. It’s better to leave a few centimeters of allowance rather than buying a unit that won’t fit. The unit will be screwed down to the appropriate location at your window and the gaps around it will be sealed. The only downside of using a window option is that the window it’s situated in becomes pretty much unusable after the unit has been installed; it can block light and remove the option of opening a window because it’s screwed shut.

It’s also important to choose a window that has a nearby electrical outlet to power it up. If you only have one window for your unit and it’s too far from the outlet, you can just go ahead and buy an extension cord. Choosing the right extension cord for appliances that uses up a lot of power is vital to avoid accidents.

Also, if you plan on buying a circuit breaker, meter socket, or fuse for your appliances, you need to find out which wire size is appropriate, to make sure that it can handle the electrical current. These guide articles on amp wire sizes, breakers, & circuits for 20-60 Amp extension cords and 70-600 Amp extension cords will help you pick the right product and avoid accidental fires or appliance failures. And if you’re planning on buying an RV roof option instead, make sure to know exactly how many watts/amps your RV can handle to avoid any machine failures.

Through the wall

Wall-mounted models (a.k.a. through-the-wall) are kind of similar to window ones. These two are both composed of one big unit with their vent facing outside and their fans, which blows cool air, face inwards. Unlike PACs, they don’t need extra window kits for ventilation or water drainage. However, wall-mounted ones are heavier and occasionally bigger in size, compared to window ones. This is why most through-the-wall units can’t be interchanged with window units—window frames are not as sturdy as concrete walls.

The second notable difference between wall-mounted and window models is the placement of vents; window ones have vents at the sides that expel warm air, while wall-mounted ones only have vents at the back. This is why wall-mounted can be lined up flushed with the exterior wall, with little to no hanging parts, while window options only hang out from the window so that the side vents can have some space. Through the wall ones are usually cheaper than split options and central conditioning, so it’s a great choice for cooling down one small- to large-sized room.

If you’re a handyman who’s planning to move or reinstall a window or through-the-wall unit by yourself, you might want to check out these products that can make your life a whole lot easier: engine driven welder, UV light sanitizers, cassette toilets, plasma cutter, mini metal lathe machine, welding glasses/goggles, and welding gas. Or simply this conversion chart from SAE to metric.

Old AC units

What to look for

With so many options on the market, it can get hard to keep track of which is the best option. To help you out, here’s a quick list of some of the noteworthy features that you should look out for:

What to look for
Level of noise Air quality Warranty
Maintenance Ease of cleaning Cooling capacity
Energy Efficiency
  • Quietness
    • If you’re sensitive to sounds and you plan to put it in your bedroom or office, opt for the quietest model that you can find. A decibel range of 50-60 dB would be the perfect choice for you.
    • You can also opt for models with a 60-80 dB range. Most of these models only get noisy when they’re running at 100% capacity and are generally quiet when running only at 60% capacity.
  • Air quality
    • If you’re suffering from asthma or allergic rhinitis, you have to pick one that can give you clean, fresh air. Pick a unit that has a good filtering performance, equipped with a high-quality filter that’s easy to replace or clean. A dirty filter is a prerequisite for poor air quality and filtering performance. Some models have HEPA filters and some even have auto-cleaning filters.
  • Maintenance / Cleaning
    • Pick a unit that has the least tedious upkeep. They are easy to clean will last longer and will require less costly maintenance. Some brands offer self-cleaning units with filter indicators, which is very useful if you’re forgetful about routine cleaning.
  • Energy efficiency
    • Having one is both a luxury and necessity nowadays, with worsening hot, humid climates and skyrocketing energy rates. Thus, it’s vital to pick an efficient and energy-saving option; some brands/units consume more energy than the others despite having the same power/cooling capacity.
    • Check whether it is Energy Star Qualified (meaning, they’re proven to be energy-efficient), and opt for the one that has a higher star rating (the higher the rating, the more energy-efficient it is).
  • Warranty
    • When it comes to electrical appliances, it’s important to choose a brand that offers a long warranty because repairs can get pretty expensive. Also, try to look for a brand that offers free returns within 30 days.
  • Cooling capacity
    • Read further to find out more about choosing the one with the proper cooling capacity!

Man repairing AC units

Room size of an 8,000 & 10,000 BTU unit & how much it powers

The cooling power of these products is usually expressed in how big the room/area it can cool down. They have what you call a BTU and depending on this and the size of your room, you can properly choose the right one for you. So, what’s BTU?

  • British Thermal Units (BTU) is an international measure of energy. It describes the amount of energy that’s needed to increase the temperature of 1 lb of water by 1°F.
  • 1 BTU = energy required to increase the temperature of 1 lb of water to 1°F

As I’ve discussed earlier, they work by condensing air and evaporating liquid to remove heat from hot air and release cool air, which is why BTU matters. A larger area would contain larger amounts of hot/warm air that needs cooling, you’d need one with higher BTU so it can effectively lower the temperature of the area. Therefore, the bigger the room, the higher it needs to be. As a rule of thumb, a unit would need 20 BTU to cool down the air in a one square foot of space (1 sq. ft. = 20 BTU/hr).

However, too much cooling power can also be harmful for your wallet and the environment. Opting for one with a BTU that’s way higher than recommended for your room just leads to waste: waste in energy and electricity bill. If you buy an 8,000 BTU option for a mere 250 sq. ft. room, it will just undergo each cycle too quickly, wasting energy and hiking up your bills astronomically.

One with a range of 8,000 – 10,000 BTU would be the perfect choice for a room with a size of 300-450 sq. ft. area. This is a good unit for living rooms, medium-sized offices, and bedrooms. Here’s a chart from Energy Star that you can use as a cheat sheet as you shop:

which size AC for a room

Source: Energy Star

However, some factors may also affect the cooling power. The BTU/hr requirement of a certain area must be adjusted depending on the following:

  • amount of light the room receives (increase BTU if sunny, decrease it if shaded)
  • crowded spaces (each person generates body heat; increase BTU if crowded)
  • appliance load or type (i.e., usage of kitchen oven and/or stove would require an increase in BTU)

For example, when it comes to RVs or campers, the BTU requirement is usually higher, relative to what you’d need in your house, due to the aforementioned factors (kitchen, cramped space, appliance load, etc.). An RV with an area of 300 sq. ft. will need a 10,000 BTU RV model, which is usually a unit that can cool a normal room with a size of 450 sq. ft. To know the specific increase or decrease needed per factor, consult with the provider.

Brands with the best 8,000-10,000 BTU options

There are models on the market that have similar specs but differ in prices. Most of the time, the brand of the unit is what’s affecting the cost. To help you pick the most suited AC unit for you, I’ll be outlining the top rated 8,000-10,000 BTU options that can cool a 300-450 sq. ft. area room effectively.

Best brands to pay attention to
LG Electronics Haier Frigidaire
GE Appliances Friedrich Kenmore
Arctic King Daewoo Homelabs
EdgeStar Magnavox Soleus

LG Electronics

Ever since 1958, LG Electronics has been adhering to their philosophy and brand image, “Life’s Good.” The company has been developing numerous electronic products, such as home appliances & air solutions, that aim to improve people’s life quality.

LG models are smart, eco-friendly, & energy efficient. All of them are Energy Star qualified and can save up to 70% of energy consumption. A lot of LG products have low-noise operation, equipped with rapid cooling technology, and have mesh and/or HEPA filters for better air quality. There is also a wide range of BTU to choose from (5,000-24,500 BTU) and advanced models have smart features (Wi-Fi connection, filter indicator, remote temperature sensor, etc.). You can pick from various types, from portable, window, split type, room/residential, up to commercial grade ones.

One notable one to pay attention to is the LW8016ER, which is top rated on Amazon (4.4/5) with over 8,000 reviews. It has the following features:

  • 8,000 BTU 115V window model
  • Can efficiently dehumidify and cool a room of up to 340 sq. ft.
  • Auto Restart function for power outages & 24-hr timer
  • With 3 cooling/fan speeds & 4-way air direction
  • Remote control

Haier

Providing high quality appliances for over 30 years, Haier is also a notable brand that you should check out. As one of the top brands in major appliances for over 12 consecutive years, stated by the Euromonitor International Limited, you can rest assured that you’ll be getting premium, reliable products.

Haier ones are efficient, energy-saving, and smart. They are Energy Star qualified, saving up to 63% energy, have self-cleaning filters, user-friendly interface, and a wide range of cooling capacity (5,000 – 23,500 BTU).

A top-selling one from Haier is the HPB08XCM. Check out its notable specs below:

  • 8,000 BTU option with wheels for better maneuvering
  • Cool, Fan, & Dehumidify modes: can cool, heat, and dehumidify a 299 sq.ft. area
  • Auto/Self Evaporation for continuous operation
  • Auto Restart function for power outages & 24-hr timer
  • With 3 cooling/fan speeds & 2-way air direction
  • Remote control

If you’re looking for another portable one with wheels that also has a 3-in-1 design (cool, fan, & dehumidify), check out the Danby’s Easy Home 8,000 BTU option. Its remote can serve as a thermostat, so the unit can base its temperature control on where the remote is, rather than where the unit is.

Frigidaire

Frigidaire has been the standard for many countries, up to the point that people use the brand’s name when pertaining to cooling appliances like, refrigerators, and coolers. Now, Frigidaire is also bringing numerous products into the market, such as stoves, dishwashers, microwaves, filters, and dehumidifiers, not just cooling appliances.

All of Frigidaire models are energy-saving (Energy Star certified) and have impressive cooling capacity! One of the most popular and top-rated options of Frigidaire is the FFRE1033U1 unit, which garnered a rating of 4.5-star (out of 5) on both Walmart and BestBuy. This is popular one due to these features:

  • 10,000 (10,200) BTU
  • Cools & dehumidifies a 450 sq.ft. area effectively
  • With an Antibacterial washable filter & a Clean Filter Alert
  • With Energy Saver Mode & Auto Restart features (on/off at time intervals to let the room stay at a certain temperature; auto-restart for power outages)
  • With 3 cooling/fan speeds & 24-hr timer
  • Remote control with Temperature Control (records temperature for maintenance of preset room temperature)

GE Appliances

GE Appliances is also a Haier company, focusing on home appliances and selling these products under various brands: Monogram, Cafe, GE Profile, GE, Haier, and Hotpoint. From freezers, washers, water filtration systems, and more, this company always ensures that each and every unit can satisfy the needs of their consumers. What’s wonderful about GE Appliances is that all of their products are designed to be eco-friendly, smart, and easy to use. Their products have antibacterial filters, good dehumidifying features.

Friedrich

Focused solely on creating air conditioning appliances and providing premium models since 1883, Friedrich has solidified itself as the go-to brand. Friedrich offers durable, quiet, and energy-efficient ones. This company caters to residential units up to big corporations. Friedrich has always been at the top when it comes to producing the most energy-efficient and quietest models in the industry.

Friedrich Chill CP08G10B, is one of the top-rated units from their Chill Series. It has a 5-star rating on Walmart and a 4.3-star rating on AJ Madison. Here are its notable features:

  • 8,000 BTU
  • Window or Thru-Wall Installation: slideout chassis & expandable side curtains
  • Cools a 300 sq. ft. room effectively & quietly
  • With 3 cooling speeds, 4-way air flow control, & 3 fan-only settings
  • Energy Efficiency Rating of 10.8 with its Money Saver setting
  • With an antimicrobial filter, remote control, & 24-hr timer

Kenmore

For over a century, Kenmore has been manufacturing innovative home appliances. Kenmore always aims to give their consumers products that make day-to-day living easier, whether it’s doing the laundry or cooking. This company has been awarded the Energy Star Award for three consecutive years, with energy-efficient products that rival other top brands’ due to Kenmore appliances’ low-power startup feature. Kenmore offers central, window-mounted, through the wall, and portable models, with a range of 8,000-12,000 BTU and equipped with antimicrobial filters and smart features.

Arctic King

Arctic King offers budget-friendly and user-friendly units, which are also of high quality! This company is owned by Midea, a Chinese brand that ranked in the Fortune’s 500 list. It’s amazing how much cooling power they have despite their affordable prices. Arctic King’s products are a great buy for those who are looking for an affordable option that can effectively cool a small room.

Another brand that comes from a Chinese major appliance manufacturer is Gree, a brand that offers powerful household and commercial ones.

Daewoo

Another company that rivals top brands in providing energy-saving, eco-friendly, and robust appliances is Daewoo Electronics. For over 30 years, this company has designed hundreds of appliances with sustainable growth in mind. Daewoo has two energy classes, A Cooling and A++ Cooling, capable of quickly dropping the temperature of the room without consuming tons of energy. The inverter units from Daewoo have Turbo Heating-Cooling Technology, operate at a low-noise level, and boast smart features for easier control and maintenance.

Homelabs (hOmeLabs)

Well-known for producing top-notch dehumidifiers and air conditioners, hOmeLabs appliances are comparable to Frigidaire when it comes to performance and energy efficiency. Their window and portable series are user-friendly, easy to maintain, and come in various BTU options (5,000 – 15,000 BTU). Homelabs products are multipurpose, capable of cooling, warming, and/or dehumidifying areas quietly and efficiently.

EdgeStar

EdgeStar has been operating since 1999, rising to be one of the top brands in America for adhering to their core values of giving better prices, selection, and service to their customers. The company offers a wide selection of cooling appliances, such as wine refrigerators, beverage refrigerators, kegerators, ice makers, and air conditioners.

Edgestar compact models are one of their most popular products, and the EdgeStar Ultra Compact 8000 BTU one caught my attention; it’s one of the smallest units out there that can cool 150-225 sq.ft area. The AP800W is rated 4.2 out of 5 on Amazon and has been featured in numerous blogs across the web. Here are some of its noteworthy features:

  • 8000 BTU with rolling casters for great mobility
  • Max floor capacity of 250 sq.ft.
  • Direct drain (extendable exhaust hose)
  • With 3 fan speeds & 50 pints/day dehumidifier
  • Remote control & 24-hr timer
  • Washable pre-filter

Magnavox

Another high quality option is the Magnavox brand. This brand offers 8,000-14,000 BTU ones, all of which became top-rated in many online stores due to their powerful, smart, & user-friendly features. Magnavox P-08NPE is one of my current favourites, which boasts the following features:

  • 8000 BTU
  • Max floor capacity of 350 sq. ft.
  • Self Evaporation System; Tankless Design
  • 3 fan speeds & auto swing function
  • Auto-Restart, Sleep Mode, & Cool/Fan/Dry functions
  • Remote control & 24-hr timer

Soleus (SoleusAir)

Soleus pride themselves for their top-notch Portable models. This brand rivals other big names like LG and Frigidaire for its availability worldwide, energy efficiency, and innovative & smart features. They pioneered the world’s first hybrid over-the-sill window models, too, garnering an award at the 2002 Global Innovation Awards for Product Design. Most of their products use R410a, an eco-friendly refrigerant.

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