With the summer months officially upon us and heat waves bearing down like we’re stuck in the middle of the Sahara, it’s time to start shopping for an upgrade to your old, leaky A/C unit for a Wi-Fi smart air conditioner which runs, if you’ll forgive the pun, just a little bit cooler.
Jump To: Compare the top WiFi Smart A/Cs and their features.
Wi-Fi connected air conditioners are a new class of home appliance that make controlling the climate in your home or office easier than ever before with the help of smartphone apps and cutting-edge technology. And with that in mind, our #1 pick is the Frigidaire FGRC1044T1 10,000 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner. It’s easy to install and control via your phone, there is an easy to clean antibacterial filter with a built-in ionizer, and 10,000 BTUs to cool large rooms.
But what features should you look for in the best Wi-Fi air conditioners in 2018? Read on in our guide to find out.
Top Wi-Fi Smart Air Conditioners Compared
OVERVIEW Editor's Choice/Best Window Unit Frigidaire FGRC1044T1 Cool Connect Check Price Best Portable LG LP1415WXRSM Check Price Best Budget Frigidaire FGRC0844S1 Cool Connect Check Price
#1 Pick Frigidaire FGRC1044T1 10,000 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner
Price: Check Price | Features: 10,000 BTU, iOS/Android App, Ionizer, Easy to clean antibacterial filter
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: 10,000 BTUs to cool 450 square feet+ Alex integration
Even though we prefer the functionality and convenience of Quirky’s offering (our now #5 pick, only because it’s not in stock) there is no disputing that Frigidaire’s WiFi Air Conditioner can get the job done on the hottest of summer nights. How so?
Well, first and foremost it boasts 10,000 BTUs, which is enough power to cool a room up to 450 square feet. So most living rooms and bedrooms are applicable. Second, it features built-in WiFi, allowing you to connect to the unit via your smartphone (Android or iOS) and changes fan speed, temperature, control the AC’s modes and turn it on and off without having to walk over to the unit. We were gonna say lift a finger, but…that being said, this particular Smart AC unit is compatible with Amazon’s Alexa. So if you have one of those at home, you’ll be able to control its feature set with the command of your voice.
And if that isn’t enough, this AC unit has achieved an Energy Star rating of 12, making it one of the lowest cost to operate window units in its category; $75 a year to be exact (give or take depending on your energy utility’s costs).
And for those of you that are worried about air quality you’ll take comfort in the easily removable mesh antibacterial filter, which easily pops off for cleaning thanks to a magnetic closure. Moreover, there is a built-in clean air ionizer allowing this unit to capture more dust in the air. Lastly there is a sleep mode, battery operated remote (in case you like to go old school on the controls – and on the units), a built-in 3 foot cord, and a window kit with side panels that minimizes leaks and keeps the cold in.
#2 Pick LG Electronics LP1415WXRSM
Price: Check Price | Features: 14,000 BTU, capable of cooling a 500 sq. ft. room
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: The LG LP1415WXRSM has enough power to cool down any size home.
For many, a smaller window-mounted smart air conditioner is more than enough to cool down their bedroom or home office, but what do you do if you need a lot more power for larger spaces like your living room or kitchen?
Enter the 14,000 BTU, portable LG LP1415WXRSM. This A/C unit is a big, burly monster of a cooling system that easily rolls to any corner of your home, and is capable of keeping spaces upwards of 500 sq. ft. tolerable during even the hottest of heat waves.
Using the LG Smart AC app, you can control everything from the fan speed to the humidity settings of your smart air conditioner no matter where you are in the world.
#3 Pick Frigidaire Cool Connect
Price: Check Price | Features: Wi-Fi remote control, 8,000 BTU power rating
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: The Cool Connect is the best plug-and-play Wi-Fi A/C around.
Of all the Wi-Fi-connected air conditioning units out there right now, it’s not hard to see why the Frigidaire Cool Connect system is one of the best.
Note: If you’ve got a bigger space, see our #1 pick – same feature set but more power.
Frigidaire is a king in the industry of keeping your home cool, with a trusted brand name and dedication to quality that stretches back decades. With the Cool Connect, the company is finally bringing their air conditioners into the 21st century, and the move pays off in spades.
Want to get your bedroom cooled down before you get home from work, but don’t want to keep the unit running all day? This is where the Wi-Fi functionality comes in, enabling you to quickly and easily control your A/C remotely so any room in your house is at a perfect 72° by the time you pull into your driveway.
If you only need to cool a small space (350 sq. ft. or less), the Cool Connect is the way to go.
#4 AirPatrol WiFi Air Conditioner Controller
Price: Check Price | Features: SmartConnect connection management, ASUSWRT configuration panel
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: The AirPatrol brings any old air conditioner into the 21st century.
And although the AirPatrol may seem a bit pricey at first (given that you can get a full window-mounted A/C unit for just $50 more), the value starts to make more sense when you factor in the sheer number of features that are on par with the Nest Thermostat.
“Works with Nest” has been a huge selling point for dozens of newer smart home devices, and the level of configurability and customization you get with the AirPatrol is no different. Unlike the Frigidaire and LG which only work with their own apps, AirPatrol lets you connect any model of any air conditioner up to a Wi-Fi network.
This means that if you already run most of your smart home from a single app, AirPatrol will quickly and easily slide into the mix without any extra hassle, and will create an unbreakable link between your current air-conditioning unit and the rest of the web.
#5 Pick Quirky Aros
Price: Check Price | Features: Nest-like GPS tracking, automatic power-saving scheduling
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: The Quirky + GE Aros is feature-rich and ultra-cool.
While there aren’t a ton of features that can set one Wi-Fi-connected air conditioner apart from another, leave it to GE and its partnership with Quirky to streamline everything to the point of near perfection.
Like the Nest Thermostat, the GE + Quirky Aros air conditioner integrates the sensors from your smartphone and translates it into comfort for your smart home. By tapping into the GPS, the Aros Wi-FI air conditioner keeps notes of when you leave the house and when you’re coming home, and turns the unit on or off accordingly so you’re never left sweating in the heat.
What really sets the Aros apart, however, is its unique scheduling and tracking system, which records when you use your air conditioner the most and turns the unit on/off accordingly the next month. It also checks the weather on its own and predicts when you’ll want cooling – so no more waking up in a sticky mess of sweat when temps climb past 90° before 9AM.
Key Factors and Features to a Good Wi-Fi Air Conditioner
- While all of the Wi-Fi air conditioner units we could find carry a basic set of features including: Wi-Fi controls, temperature readouts, and timer setups, that’s not all they can do.
- Keep an eye out for added energy-saving features and scheduling apps that will run your A/C for you in the background, even when you’re not home or able to get to your phone to tell the unit what to do without you around.
- All of the Wi-Fi air conditioners on this list use various smartphone apps to connect you to the unit remotely.
- Some apps are more streamlined than others, while some (like the LG Smart AC app) haven’t seen a visual update since iOS 6.0
Ease of Use
- One of the main reasons you would want to choose a Wi-Fi-enabled air conditioner over a classic design is ease of use.
- Whether you’re a hundred miles away or a few feet away on the couch, Wi-Fi air conditioners offer a convenient way to change temperatures and monitor the temperature stats of your room all from the comfort of a mobile device.
Power Saving Options
- If you decide to go with either the Frigidaire or the LG, know ahead of time that the only power-saving options you’ll have will need to be activated manually.
- The Aros on the other hand automatically tracks your usage stats, and gives you a rough estimate of how much power you’re using or money you’re saving by only activating the air conditioner during certain times of the day or year.
- Unlike dozens of other “smart home” devices that have come out in the past few years, Wi-Fi-connected air conditioners don’t cost much more than their offline counterparts just for the added wireless functionality.
- On average, you should expect to pay around $300 for a reliable 8,000 BTU window-mounted unit, or a little over $500 for a portable 14,000 BTU unit
Mistakes to Avoid
Measure Twice, Cut Once: The last thing you want to deal with after ordering a brand new window-mounted or portable air conditioner unit is finding out that it doesn’t fit in the space where you’re trying to put it. Window-mounted units need at least a foot of vertical clearance and two feet of clearance on either side, and portable units need a window or sliding door that you can stick the ventilation tube out of while still keeping a tight seal between your home and the outside world. Without a proper seal, all that cold air will simply leak out of your home before it cools anything down, so be sure to take a tape measure to your window frame prior to placing an order.
Replacing a Brand New Offline Unit: If you just bought a new regular air conditioner and don’t feel like returning it for a Wi-Fi model, there are alternative options available. By purchasing a third-party AirPatrol.
Which Wi-Fi Air Conditioner is Right For You?
If you only need to cool a small area or a single room, you can’t go wrong with the Quirky Aros or Frigidaire Cool Connect Wi-Fi air conditioner systems thanks to their extensive set of helpful and intuitive features.
If you’re trying to keep anything larger than a living room cool, however, you’re probably better off sticking with the 14,000 available BTUs that come standard with LG’s LP1415WXRSM portable Wi-Fi air conditioner. Lastly, if you just dropped a serious amount of coin on a high-end A/C and don’t want to give up all that power just for a little Wi-Fi functionality, you can always opt to go the third-party route with add-on devices like the AirPatrol that connect them to your smart home with just a few additional parts.
As the temperatures outside rise and your energy costs climb with them, there’s never been a better time to upgrade your “dumb” air conditioner to a smart, Wi-Fi connected version that keeps you cool and saves you money all at the same time.
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