Best 12,000 – 14,000 BTU Air Conditioners: Portable, Window, Room

I’ve already discussed the best 5,000 – 6,000 BTU Air Conditioners and the best 8,000 – 10,000 BTU air conditioners. And as usual, I’ll be giving unique brands and models that you can choose from. But before that, we must discuss the factors you should consider before buying the unit for your home. They include things such as cooling capacity and durability. You’ll also need to look at efficiency and cost.

air conditioner

We all want to buy high-quality appliances at a great price, whether a utility sink or a lawn garden tractor. When it comes to cooling your home, many factors must be considered. You know which unit is a good pick, such as the size and quietness. Consider the installation and efficiency. I’ll help you pick the right brand that fits your needs. I’ll discuss factors and outline the brands that offer the best 12,000 – 14,000 BTU air conditioner units.

Things to consider when buying

The most logical thing to do when browsing for products is to set a certain budget for your purchase. Avoid overspending and being swayed by sales talk. If you’re quite unfamiliar with the pricing and types, it can be pretty hard to set a price range. What should you check first?

The area or size of your room is the most influential factor. Room size determines the required cooling capacity or BTU of the air conditioner. Other details such as the availability of windows and floor space can limit your choice.

For example, portable models can be transferred from room to room. Some models require the installation of window kits for ventilation. If you don’t have a window, you can’t buy those certain models. Another type that heavily relies on the availability of a sturdy window is the window unit. As the name suggests, this type is mounted on windows. You can’t just install wall-mounted units in rented spaces. These require a rectangular hole in the wall for installation.

To sum it up, the size/area and other limitations of your space determine the perfect type.

picture of an air conditioner


Appliances are either seen as a luxury or a necessity. Before, they were mostly considered the former. They can be pricey and can hike up your electricity bills. They may even require extra installation and maintenance fees. Manufacturers saw the increasing need for a more affordable and accessible unit. It’s because of the worsening climate and heat waves.

Finally, portable air conditioners (PACs) stepped into the scene. A portable one is a compact, self-contained system. It is designed to be a free-standing unit that you can set up on the floor with no fuss. As the name suggests, standard PACs are portable and lightweight. It’s a unit that can be easily moved from one place to another. In addition to being the smallest among the three types, some models even have wheels and handles for better portability. You can easily maneuver the unit from one room to another. Thus, these are the perfect choice for people who live transiently in dorms or apartments.

PACs are useful for effectively cooling and dehumidifying single rooms. This unit type is the best choice for single rooms that cannot accommodate window or wall-mounted options. A portable one typically has a window kit. This venting system must be installed to the nearest window to exhaust warm air outside/towards another location. For some units, window kits may involve a window slider and an exhaust hose. All kits are fairly easy to install.

For water drainage, some standard portable units require manual water removal. You must empty the catch basin or container in the system that collects the moisture. Other PAC units have a gravity drain and condensate pump. It’s a setup where a drainage hose is attached to the unit, catching the water pumped into it. The hose’s other end is directed outside for drainage. Advanced models are equipped with smart, self-evaporative features. It allows the AC unit to evaporate moisture from the same exhaust hose as the venting system.

Nowadays, some portable models can cool down even large rooms. It depends on the BTU. PACs became popular due to their relatively low price and compactness. They offered quick and easy setup and flexible installation options. They retained their popularity because of the added smart features and the widening range of BTU offered. It’s while making affordable options.

12000 BTU air conditioner


Because of its easier installation, window models became a popular choice for homes and apartments. They’re also popular in hotels. Compared to portable ones, window units usually come in models with stronger cooling capacities. Even though it’s not as portable as PACs, window ones are still fairly easy to install and reinstall in other rooms. All you need is to find another sturdy and moderately sized window that can accommodate the weight and size of the window units. You can transfer it wherever you want to.

You don’t have to measure your window with PACs before purchasing or installing. However, taking an accurate measurement of both the window and unit is important for window units! This is to make sure that it can fit properly within the window’s boundaries. After your purchase, licensed installers will screw down the AC to your window. They’ll seal the gaps around the unit and do a test run. Your new AC will be good to go!

The only downside of window ones is that it makes your window unusable and inaccessible once it’s installed. It blocks the path of light or prevents the easy opening of the window. I recommend opting for a window option if you have a two-pane window. It’s also great if you have another window that you can use. Since they are meant to fit within the boundaries of your window, they are relatively lightweight and compactly designed.

Window models can be great when you’re adding a shower to a half bath to try and increase its resale value.

Through the wall

Window units are quite similar through the wall models. Unlike PACs with a separate window kit for ventilation and condensate drainage, each window unit and through-the-wall is one big unit. It has vents facing outside, and its fan that blows cool air faces inwards. Wall-mounted models are usually much heavier and bigger in size than window models. These units are installed in a rectangular hole in the wall. Window and wall-mounted ones cannot be interchanged. Window panes cannot support heavy units because they are not as sturdy as concrete walls.

Another defining feature of through-the-wall ones that window ACs do not have is the positioning of the vent. Window AC units hang out of the window because their vents expel warm air from the sides. Through-the-wall models usually line up flush with the exterior wall, with little to no hanging parts outside. They only have a vent at the back, where warm air is exhausted.

If split-type and central models are too pricey for you, through-the-wall models are a wonderful alternative. They are nice and sturdy. Many models have a high cooling capacity, with each unit capable of cooling a single large room or commercial space.

They consume a lot of power, even more so those that do not have energy-saving features. With that in mind, you need to be careful with your extension cord or circuit breaker. It’s especially important if you have other high-power appliances like refrigerators. Extension cords differ in the amount of voltage they can carry. Different wire sizes differ in the amount of electrical current they can handle.

You have to know which extension cord or amp wire size is the right choice for all the high-wattage appliances in your home. Avoid appliance failure and tripping your circuit breaker or causing an accidental fire. Here’s a helpful guide for buying extension cords, and here are two guides for different amp wires. Find the right amp wire and wire size guide. Make sure to also check out our guide on SAE to metric conversion.

What to look for

What to look for
Energy-efficiencyAir quality
outside air conditioner

At this point, you should have a certain type in mind. Portable, window, or through the wall are your options. Next, you should look at these specific features below to settle on a certain brand or model of an air conditioner.


Maybe you’re a light sleeper or someone whose concentration depends on quietness. You would need one of the quietest models on the market. Find a certain unit with a decibel range of 50-60 dB. You can also opt for models with a 60-80 dB range because most of the time, these only get noisy when running at 100% capacity.

Air quality

It’s important to have good air quality at home or your office. It’s especially if you (or any of your loved ones) suffer from allergies. Opt for a unit with good filtering performance and is equipped with a high-quality filter that’s easy to find in the market, if needed. Any high-quality product will be deemed worthless if it has a dirty filter.

Energy efficiency

It’s important to check if the unit can dehumidify air effectively, even during hot, humid seasons. No matter how fast the fan can go, it won’t be able to cool down your space if it’s too humid.

Pick an Energy Star Qualified brand to save up on your electricity bill. This means that it is energy-efficient; the higher the star rating, the more energy-efficient it is.


Having an air conditioner is a luxury for most people. When shopping for the right one, try to find a brand that offers a long warranty and free returns. It will save you from costly repairs.

Do you want to read about stainless steel or why your central AC is blowing cold air? We’ve got articles on those topics as well.

Room size of a 12,000 & 14,000 BTU unit & how much it powers

When it comes to ACs and rooms, size matters. You must pick a model with the right BTU per hour so you’re sure that it has the proper cooling capacity. If you’re unfamiliar with BTU, here’s a brief discussion about it:

  • British Thermal Units (BTU) is an international measure of energy. It describes the amount of energy 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

Why is increasing the temperature of water pertinent? In a nutshell, they work by taking in hot air from the room. It condenses it into liquid, evaporating the heat out of it. It releases it outside through the vents. The cooled-down liquid is left in the unit and processed again to become cool air. Larger spaces would contain higher amounts of hot air that needs cooling, so you’d need one with higher BTU.

Bear in mind that you should buy one with the appropriate BTU. Higher doesn’t equate to better in this case. Suppose you buy a 12,000 BTU AC unit for a mere 250 sq. ft. room. You’ll only be wasting energy and hiking up your electricity bills because it will just undergo each cycle too quickly.

The unit would require 20 BTU to cool down air in a 1 sq. ft. of space as a rule of thumb. A 12,000 – 14,000 BTU AC would be the perfect choice for a room size of 450-700 square feet area. This is a good unit for living rooms and large bedrooms. Here’s a chart from Energy Star that you can use as a cheat sheet as you shop for the right one:

which size AC for a room

Source: Energy Star

However, these factors should also be taken into consideration when deciding on the BTU:

  • amount of light the room receives
  • increase BTU if sunny
  • decrease BTU if shaded
  • crowded spaces
  • each person generates body heat. It increases BTU if crowded.
  • appliance load or type
    • Usage of kitchen oven and stove would require an increase in BTU.

Consult with the provider of your unit if you need to adjust the BTU requirement for your home based on these factors.

Brands with the best 12,000-14,000 BTU air conditioners

little girl sitting next to an AC

Even given the factors above to look for, the market is still teeming with hundreds of brands to choose from. To help narrow down your search further, here are some of the best brands with a BTU range of 12,000-14,000.

LG Electronics

LG Electronics offer a wide range of products, including LCD TVs and kitchen appliances. They also have other home appliances. From 1958 until today, LG Electronics has been bringing top-quality products to the market that fulfill their goal of improving their customers’ life quality. They truly adhere to their brand image, “Life’s Good.”

The air conditioners from this brand are smart & highly energy-efficient. These products are Energy Star qualified, saving up to 70% of energy consumption than other brands. Furthermore, these have a low-noise operation and are equipped with various innovative features like rapid cooling technology. They also have HEPA filters and Wi-Fi control, among many other features.

LG has various types, such as portable and split-type units. These are the units within the range of 12,000-14,000 BTU that caught our attention:

  • LG LW1216ER – 12,000 BTU
  • Cooling area of up to 550 sq. ft.
  • 3-in-one operation & 3 fan speeds
  • 4-way air direction
  • Slide-out washable fight one
  • Remote control & 24-hr timer
  • LG LP1419IVSM – 10,000 BTU Dual Inverter
    • Cooling area of up to 500 sq. ft
    • Inverter Technology for energy & cooling efficiency. It results in 40% energy-saving.
    • Smart Wi-Fi controls as it works with Alexa & Hey Google.
    • 3-in-one operation & 3 fan/cooling speeds
    • Auto-Restart & Auto-Evaporating systems
    • Sleep Mode & 24-hr timer
  • LG LP111WXR – 11,000 BTU
    • Cooling area of up to 400 sq. ft.
    • 3-in-one operation & 3 fan speeds
    • Washable filter
    • Remote control & 24-hr timer
  • LG LP1311BXR – 13,000 BTU
    • Cooling area of up to 500 sq. ft.
    • 3-in-one operation & 3 fan speeds
    • Washable filter
    • Remote control & 24-hr timer


As one would expect from a company operating for more than 30 years, Haier has become one of the top brands in major appliances. As noted by Euromonitor International Limited, they’ve been so for 12 consecutive years. This company is renowned for making premium, reliable products for the market. Haier products are efficient and user-friendly.

Haier’s AC units are Energy Star qualified, with some models capable of saving up to 63% energy. Some models are also equipped with self-cleaning filters. These became popular because this feature makes cleaning and maintenance easier. You can easily find your top pick from Haier because they offer a wide range of BTU.


If you’re looking for a brand specializing in making cooling appliances, Frigidaire is for you. Since 1918, Frigidaire has brought high-quality refrigerators and freezers. They also make room air conditioners. This company branched out to other appliances, offering stoves and dishwashers. Their innovative designs never dwindled in quality. The features that set Frigidaire apart from others are the impressive cooling capacity and low energy consumption.

Here are two noteworthy units from this Frigidaire:

  • FFRE123ZA1 – Frigidaire 12,000 BTU Window-Mounted
  • Effectively cools & dehumidifies an area of up to 550 sq. ft.
  • Multi-Speed Fan & Sleep Mode. They also have Ready-Select Controls & Temperature Control.
  • Fixed Chassis with a washable filter with Clean Filter Alert
  • Remote control & 24-hr timer
  • FFRE1233S1 – Frigidaire 12,000 BTU Window-Mounted
    • It effectively cools & dehumidifies an area of up to 550 square feet.
    • Multi-Speed Fan and Sleep Mode. Choose between ready-select controls & temperature control.
    • Slide-Out Chassis with a washable antibacterial mesh filter
    • Clean Filter Alert & Clean Air Ionizer
    • Remote control & Auto-Restart

GE Appliances

Under Haier, GE Appliances has designed and manufactured eco-friendly and smart appliances. Selling top-notch appliances under various brands, GE Appliances quickly rose as a top producer of home appliances. Their units became their customers’ favorite because of their antibacterial filters and good cooling capacity. They offer their efficient dehumidifying function.


Kenmore has been in the field for more than 100 years. It’s safe to say that this brand will not let you down in terms of product quality. Kenmore vowed to produce appliances that would make day-to-day living easier. That’s what they’ve been doing all these years. It’s worth noting that Kenmore has been awarded the Energy Star Award for three consecutive years. Their products are proven to be energy-efficient. They continue to yield powerful results while consuming the lowest potential energy via the low-power startup feature. This brand offers various types of portable air conditioners. Kenmore units have an 8,000-12,000 BTU power range, equipped with antimicrobial filters and smart technology.

Arctic King

Suppose you’re looking for a brand that offers budget-friendly appliances that still boast amazing features. Arctic King should be on your list. They have a lot of user-friendly portable & window-mounted models. You can also get through-the-wall units from them. As a testament to their amazing service and product quality, Midea has been included in the Fortune Global 500 since 2016.


Daewoo Electronics is favored by many because this company always aims for sustainable growth. For over 30 years, Daewoo has made eco-friendly and energy-saving robust products. They offer consumers a wide range of appliances. Maybe you’re shopping for one. I’m certain you will not be able to stop yourself from checking out their refrigerators and other home appliances.

What’s amazing about their products is that they have two energy classes: A Cooling and A++ Cooling. Their Turbo Heating-Cooling Technology is a great feature. It allows the units to rapidly cool or heat the room within minutes. Furthermore, Daewoo units are also quiet despite the powerful cooling features. There are models with smart features for easier control and maintenance.

Homelabs (hOmeLabs)

If you live in a tropical country, you should check out Homelabs. Their units are renowned for their amazing dehumidifying features. They are comparable to Frigidaire regarding energy efficiency and cooling performance. Homelabs has user-friendly portable and window-mounted options, with a wide cooling range of 5,000-15,000 BTU. You’ll also like the sleek and simple look that all of their models have, which can blend in your home.


Another high-quality portable air conditioner is the one made by Magnavox. This brand offers 8,000-14,000 BTU portable ones. They became top-rated in many online stores due to their powerful and user-friendly features.

man adjusting an AC

How big of a generator do I need to run a 12,000 BTU unit?

Using the wrong type of extension cord or wire size can be dangerous for electrical appliances. This can cause damage to your appliances or fuse and can even result in accidental fires. The same dangers apply to generators. It’s vital to always prioritize safety over convenience or cost when shopping for home appliances.

A generator must power most 12,000 BTU air conditioner units with a running wattage of 1,500. However, you still have to check the unit’s actual power requirements. Some units need a stronger generator if they’re not energy efficient. Suppose you have other high-wattage appliances that rely on the same generator. If you’re using it for your AC, consult with a professional. You might need to increase the generator’s running wattage.


What is the most efficient 12,000 BTU air conditioner?

The most efficient 12000 BTU air conditioner is the LG 115V window AC. This has a rating of 4.4 stars on Amazon as given by more than 1400 satisfied customers.

It is energy-star certified, which means more cooling and more savings.

Is a 12,000 BTU air conditioner good?

A 12000 BTU air conditioner is good for your home if your space is between 400- 600 square feet. If your space is smaller than this, you might be wasting money. If your space is larger than this, you will require another air conditioner or a larger BTU rating.

Which brand of window air conditioner is best?

LG, Haier, and Carrier are some of the best brands of window air conditioners. As of late, Amazon Basics is also catching a lot of attention and proving to be an efficient AC unit.

What size room can a 12000 BTU air conditioner cool?

An air conditioner of 12000 BTU can cool up to 600 square feet of area. The range of cooling falls between 400 and 600 square feet.

There’s plenty of confusion around which size air conditioner to buy for a house. Let’s take a look at how you can calculate this.

How to calculate the air conditioner size for a house?

  1. Find the area.

    Find out the area of the house. Measure the length and width of each room. Multiply both the figures, and the result will be the area of that room. You can add all rooms and figure out the whole house’s area.

  2. Multiply it by BTU.

    The resulting figure should be multiplied by 25BTU—the resulting BTU is the minimum cooling capacity of the air conditioner you need.