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What to Look for in a Smart Air Conditioner in 2023

Smart air conditioners aren’t as glamorous as smart thermostats, but if you’re living in a building without central A/C, they can radically improve your living situation. These come in two different formats, and beyond figuring out which format is best for your home, there are a few other things to consider.

Window-mounted and portable are the two most common designs for smart air conditioners. As you’d expect, window-mounted units are the ones that sit on the frame of your window and are visible from both inside and outside your home. These are great if you don’t want to take up precious floor space.

Portable designs are the other format for smart air conditioners. These are typically larger than window-mounted units and sit on your floor with a vent running to your window. They’re not portable enough to make you want to frequently move them from room to room—but you can easily wheel them a few feet or change their direction to better cool your home.

Technically, portable air conditioners are easier to move around your home than window-mounted units, but you’ll still need to go through a fairly lengthy process to swap them from one location to the next. However, if you plan to move your air conditioner, you’ll want to look at portable models.

Once you’ve decided which format fits your needs, you’ll want to consider the space you’re trying to cool. Smart air conditioners are rated for different spaces, so you’ll want to find a size rating that will work best with the room you’ll looking to cool. Portable units work best for larger spaces, but you can find decent options for most room sizes in both categories.

Those are the two biggest factors to consider when hunting down a smart air conditioner, but there are plenty of secondary factors. This includes whether your prospective unit supports Alexa or Google Assistant, if it comes with a companion app, how loud it is while operating, and the overall look of the air conditioner (because, let’s face it, some air conditioners are an absolute eyesore).

Thankfully, it’s easy to find a smart air conditioner that checks all the right boxes. If you need help getting your search off the ground, here are the five best smart air conditioners, which cover various budgets, room sizes, and design options.

Best Smart Air Conditioner Overall: Midea Duo Smart Inverter

Midea Smart AC in living room


  • Cools up to 550 sq. ft.
  • Helps save on electricity
  • Works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa


  • Expensive

If you want to cool your home fast, you can’t beat the Midea Duo Smart Inverter Portable Air Conditioner. The big selling point of this air conditioning unit is its duo hose design—which allows it to both intake and exhaust air outdoors for an experience that’s more sophisticated than most other products on the market.

Beyond impressive cooling, the Midea Duo Smart Inverter is built to use 40% less energy compared to US Federal standards, operates at a quiet 42dB, and supports both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. There’s also a robust smartphone app so you can control your A/C after leaving the home—which is great if you forgot to change the settings before heading to work in the morning.

There’s a lot to love about Midea’s premium smart air conditioner, but it comes at a price. Specifically, that price is $700. Still, if you need a well-rounded way to keep your home cool that doesn’t cut any corners, you won’t find anything better.

Best Smart Air Conditioner Overall

Midea Duo Smart Inverter Portable Air Conditioner

It's pricey, but the Midea Duo Smart Inverter offers incredible air conditioning along with tons of smart home functionality, including support for Alexa and Google Assistant.

Best Budget Smart Air Conditioner: Windmill Smart Home AC

Windmill smart AC in window


  • Simple install process
  • Great price
  • Google Assistant and Alexa support


  • Only rated to cool 350 sq. ft.

Clocking in at around $400, the Windmill Air Conditioner Smart Home AC needs to be on the list of every frugal shopper. Not only is it affordable, but the installation process is remarkably simple, thanks to a window A/C unit that’s largely preassembled out of the box.

The biggest tradeoff you’ll make when opting for the Windmill Air Conditioner is that it’s only rated to handle rooms up to 350 square feet. This might not cut it if you have a big open studio to cool. But if you want to cool a room and make it be more comfortable, there’s no reason to dismiss this lower-priced option.

With an accompanying smartphone app, support for Alexa and Google Assistant, and a reliable company reputation, few smart air conditioners under $500 can do what this unit can. Other notable features include a fairly modern design, an auto-dimming LED display, and a quiet operating noise that’s just 50 dB at the lowest setting.

Best Budget Smart Air Conditioner

Windmill Air Conditioner Smart Home AC

With tons of smart home features, a powerful smartphone app, and easy assembly, there's a lot to love about the ultra-affordable Windmill Air Conditioner Smart Home AC.

Best Window Smart AC Unit: LG Dual Inverter Smart Window Air Conditioner

LG Dual Inverter smart AC


  • Very quiet while running
  • Minimalist design
  • Several models for various cooling needs


  • No HomeKit or Matter support

As far as window-mounted AC units are concerned, the LG Dual Inverter Smart Window Air Conditioner might be one of the best-looking. Featuring a smooth, minimalistic design, this is about as far as you can get from the clunky A/C units of yesteryear.

The LG Dual Inverter doesn’t just look the part—it backs it up with some luxurious smart home features. This includes Alexa and Google Assistant support, performance up to 25% more efficient than Energy Star requirements, and the ability to control the action remotely with the LG ThinQ App. You also get to pick from four different fan speeds to change the rate at which your home cools down.

LG didn’t include HomeKit support with this unit—however, support for Apple’s smart ecosystem is rare with smart air conditioners. But that’s a minor complaint for an otherwise stellar device, with a cooling capacity of up to 450 sq. ft.

Best Window Smart AC Unit

LG Dual Inverter Smart Window Air Conditioner

Rated to cool up to 450 sq. ft. and boasting one of the best designs on this list, the LG Dual Inverter Smart Window Air Conditioner is hard to beat.

Best Portable Smart Air Conditioner: Frigidaire Gallery Cool Connect

Frigidaire cool connect close-up


  • Frigidaire reliability
  • Google and Alexa support
  • Ultra quiet


  • Expensive

If you need a portable smart air conditioner to cool a big space, the Frigidaire Gallery Cool Connect is your best bet. With 14,000 British Thermal Units (BTU), it’s rated for a massive 700sq. ft—much more space than most A/C units on the market. It’s also shockingly quiet, with the High setting clocking in at just 49dB.

Other great features include a washable filter, Alexa and Google Assistant support, reliable caster wheels, a robust companion app, and a Dry Mode to help dehumidify your air. And if you have a child roaming around your halls, you’ll be glad to know Frigidaire includes a built-in Child Lock feature to prevent them from meddling with your settings.

It’s a bit more expensive than some models on this list, but there’s no doubt you’re getting what you pay for. So if you don’t mind the price, make sure to take a look at this premium model before making a final purchase.

Best Portable Smart Air Conditioner

Frigidaire Gallery Cool Connect

Frigidaire went all-out with the Gallery Cool Connect, which cools rooms up to 700 sq. ft and is shockingly quiet even at its highest setting.

Best Air Conditioner: Frigidaire Compact Air Conditioner

Frigidaire AC unit in bedroom window


  • Three fan speeds
  • Customizable operating schedule
  • Sleep Mode saves energy


  • No smart home features
  • Old-school design

Smart air conditioners cost a bit more than their traditional counterparts, but the ability to remotely control their performance or quickly modify schedules appeals to most buyers. However, if you’d like to save a few bucks and don’t mind working around a few constraints, the standard Frigidaire 8,000 BTU Window-Mounted Mini Compact Air Conditioner might fit your needs.

Just to be clear—this isn’t a smart A/C unit. You won’t have a smartphone app to control the action, and it won’t sync to Alexa or Google Assistant. But what it will do is cool your home without making a fuss.

Like the Gallery Cool Connect above, this is built to the high standards of Frigidaire. Its style is decidedly retro—and its display isn’t nearly as robust—but it’s hard to argue with its rock-bottom price tag.

Although it doesn’t have many “smart” features, you can still set a 24-hour schedule, use the included remote control to change settings from across the room, and quickly clean its filter thanks to a washable design.

Best Air Conditioner

Frigidaire 8,000 BTU Window-Mounted Mini Compact Air Conditioner

You won't be controlling this one with a smartphone or through Alexa, but for a standard air conditioner, the Frigidaire 8,000 BTU Window-Mounted Mini Compact offers everything you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can technically use a smart plug with an air conditioner. However, it’s worth noting that a smart plug will only turn your A/C unit on or off and has no way to directly control other features on your unit.

If you want the convenience that comes with controlling your air conditioner with a smartphone or other smart platform, then yes, smart air conditioners are worth it. But if you’ve never experienced issues with your standard air conditioner, you might not need to make an upgrade.

Steps for cleaning an air conditioner vary by product. Most involve some combination of washing a filter, removing built-up dust, and brushing out any gunk collecting around its edges. However, make sure to read the owner's manual to ensure you don't accidentally damage your unit while cleaning.

This varies widely by product, and you will need to consult your owner's manual for proper installation. Some must be carefully mounted onto your window, while others sit on your floor and simply need an exhaust vent that runs outside your home.

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Profile Photo for Jon Bitner Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a freelance writer who focuses on topics related to video games, science, and technology. His work can be found across the web, although he's a regular contributor to Digital Trends, Slickdeals, TVGuide, CordCuttersNews, and TheGamer. Before starting his writing career, Jon worked in the biotechnology industry, where he produced monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer patients.
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