Don’t buy a big air conditioner for cooling just a small room. Why? Because air conditioning accounts for more than 15 percent of the energy use of the average home, buying an air conditioner that’s too big is a waste of energy and money. A big unit can quickly cool your small room, it doesn’t have time to remove enough moisture (which makes you more comfortable in a room), and leaving you with a cold, clammy space.
If the size of your room is less than 150 square feet, you should choose an air conditioner that has a 5000 BTU cooling capacity. This unit is the smallest, lightest, and least expensive air conditioner that you can buy. Please keep in mind that you should only buy this size of you need to cool a very small space. If you need to cool a larger area, you’ll want to focus your search on units that better match your square footage.
- Best 10,000 BTU air conditioners for rooms up to 450 square feet
- Best 8,000 BTU air conditioner for rooms up to 350 square feet
- Best 6,000 BTU air conditioners for rooms up to 250 square feet
5000 BTU air conditioners are the best budget option for very small rooms. Window air conditioners are the most popular type of this size. Most of them cost less than $200 and are very easy to install. Some models are multifunction and can include dehumidifying, air purification or heating functions, others are simply cooling units.
Before you go shopping, here are the 4 best 5000 BTU air conditioners to consider. Nearly all the AC units we listed below meet the latest Energy Star standards. Which will save you about 15% – 30% less in energy cost than units without that certification.
1. Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 Mini-Compact Window Air Conditioner – Best Overall
This best-selling window-mounted window air conditioner is a great choice for the bedroom. It quickly cools a room on hot days and quiet operation keeps you cool without keeping you awake. It runs quiet but it’s not silent. It sounds like a heavy rain shower making it great white noise. White noise is a random signal having equal intensity at different frequencies, giving it a constant power spectral density, white noise helps you relax and fall asleep fast. If you sleep with the white noise every night, it’d be your best friend, you can’t sleep without it.
The Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 measures 15 inches deep, 12 inches tall and 16 inches wide. It also weighs just 41 pounds. This is small when compared to many similar window AC units. Several other products we reviewed weigh 50 pounds or more and take up much more space. The filter is antibacterial mesh with side, slide-out access. It cleans the air removing harmful bacteria while you enjoy cool comfort. Mechanical rotary controls allow you to manage the cooling and fan speeds. The top, full-width, two-way air direction control allows you to direct the air where you want it.
This window air conditioner doesn’t come with a remote control and it isn’t Energy Star certified. But with a variety of great features above, this unit is the best 5000 BTU AC on our lineup. This unit can add considerably to your happiness during a scorching summer.
If you’re looking for an air conditioner with a remote control, take a look at the Frigidaire FFRE0533S1 with the same cooling functions.
2. Keystone KSTAW05B Window-Mounted Air Conditioner
The Keystone KSTAW05B is an energy-efficient and compact window air conditioner. It is an Energy Star qualified device and has an EER of 11.2 – which is a good EER. The EER is the energy efficiency ratio, the higher the EER rating, the more efficient the air conditioner. All of the best window air conditioners have a score of 10 or greater. If saving energy and keeping your costs low is important to you, this window unit is a good option.
This unit is designed for cooling a room up to 150 square feet with dehumidification up to 1.3 pints per hour. It has electronic controls with LED display and a temperature sensing LCD remote control allowing you to conveniently see, set and maintain the room temperature from across the room.
This window air conditioner has three fan settings which allow you to run the fan without the compressor, so the unit can cool down your room using very little energy. The cool setting uses both the fan and the compressor and is designed to lower the temperature in the room. Plus, it runs relatively quiet, generating only 50.5 dB on low setting.
In addition, there is an energy-saver mode that conserves energy and saves you money, as well as a sleep mode that gradually increases room temperature after being activated. This product also features an auto start, so if the power supply to the unit is interrupted, the device powers up and resumes where it left off when electricity is restored.
Overall, the Keystone KSTAW05B is one of the best 5000 BTU air conditioners available. It’s lightweight, small, easy to use and quiet. But it’s slightly more expensive compared to other window air conditioners.
3. Haier ESA405R 5400 BTU Room Air Conditioner
This energy star unit has a 5400 BTU cooling capacity that is designed for a room up to 150 square feet. It has impressive 12.1 energy efficiency rating (EER) means it’s one of the most efficient 5000 BTU air conditioners on the market. The average among products we reviewed was 11.1 – 11.3 so this unit is above average for using every watt effectively.
The Haier ESA405R has three fan speeds, so you can use the lowest one that is effective for cooling your room. This can offer significant savings over products that are either on full blast or off. This AC unit also offers the energy saver mode as well as 3 speeds cooling fan. With the energy saver mode, the fan will run at low speed when compressor cycles off and then return to the set speed once compressor cycles back on. Choose from 3 cooling speeds high, medium or low 3 fan speeds high, medium or low or auto cool for maximum versatility.
This Haier unit has an electronic control panel with a digital display plus the Magnolia remote control. The magnolia remote control can be magnetically stored directly on the unit so it is never misplaced plus it has Braille controls for the visually impaired.
This window air conditioner is slightly louder than 2 options above and tends to cost more but cools a room just the same. The output sounds are a good amount of white noise – which some people like and others dislike. Like 2 units above, the Haier is easy to install. It is one of the best 5000 BTU air conditioners available.
4. General Electric AEY05LV Window Air Conditioner
In terms of reliability, GE air conditioners are at the top of our rating. According to customer satisfaction surveys, they have the lowest annual maintenance cost among products we’ve reviewed. The General Electric Model AEY05LV 5,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner is one of the best AC units that keeps you cool during the warmer months.
This unit is perfect for cooling a room at 150 square feet in size. It also is great at reducing humidity, which can make a dramatic and speedy difference in how a room feels. It removes 1.4 pints per hour, which is the highest number in our comparison. Removing the moisture quickly out of the room can make feel comfortable faster.
The GE AEY05LV comes in a neutral white finish that allows it to blend in with the exterior of most houses. It has two cooling modes and multiple fan speeds, so you can make the room cool or cold, depending on the temperature outside. But on the highest fan setting, this unit makes some noise. If you’re putting an AC in your bedroom and are worried about noise, take a look at our first pick, the Frigidaire FFRA0511R1.
This unit isn’t the fanciest and quietest unit, but it stands out in good ways when you consider the reliability and relatively lightweight. The GE AEY05LV is a decent budget-friendly option for cooling a small room that gets too hot during summers.