Best 15,000 – 18,000 BTU Air Conditioners: Portable, Window, Room

Summer is always an anticipated season in all parts of the world. Summer entails the promise of a good vacation and time away from studies or work. It finally lets you have the chance to tend to your summer garden and make use of your lawn & garden tractor and leaf mulcher. However, let’s be honest here. The scorching heat that summer brings can be pretty dreadful! Sometimes, my thoughts stray to using our heavy-duty utility sink to act as a pool with how high the temperature gets! Summer is nothing but sweat and lightheadedness. Overheating appliances without a working air conditioner is the worst!

To fully enjoy the perks of summer, getting one that can cool you down is more of a necessity than a luxury. It’s especially the case with the worsening global warming we’re experiencing!

You’ve come to the right place if you’re scouring the internet on what kind to look for.

I’ll outline the important features to look at and give you some brands with the best 15,000 18,000 BTU air conditioners. I’ve also done a buying guide on other units with 5,000 – 6,000 and ones with 12,000 – 14,000 BTU cooling power. Check those out if you find out that your room requires a unit with a different amount of power. Not familiar with what “BTU” is? Read on to know more!

air conditioner

Things to consider

Things to consider 
Room sizeIs your place rented?
TypeWindows or not

There are many different types on the market, often categorized by cooling power. They are also commonly categorized by installation type and size. Most people buy the most powerful model they can afford, which is a huge rookie mistake! Before you shop for one, you should take note of the limitations of your space first. You should take note of the size of your room or how spacious it is. Take note of the number of windows and whether you can make permanent changes in your room. All of these things determine factors when choosing the type and power.

AC units on a building
  • Room size determines the needed cooling capacity or BTU.
    • Each level corresponds to a certain cooling capacity. Not all models can cool down a 2,200 square foot area. A bigger space would require a higher BTU.
    • Buying one with the wrong amount of power is just a waste of money because it won’t be able to cool down your area properly. It can be wasteful in energy. We’ll discuss the specifics of why this happens later.
  • The available space in your room will be a determiner of what type your room can accommodate.
    • If your room is already crowded with many appliances, buying a portable standing model might be a disadvantage. It will decrease your floor space even more.
  • Windows are an important factor when it comes to ventilation and water drainage.
    • Many models require windows, especially window-mounted ones. It’s because that is where the unit will be mounted. Some portable options also need windows because they have window kits installed for ventilation and drainage systems.
  • If you live in a rented place, it’s better to opt for a portable or window model because these are temporary fixtures.
    • If you’re just renting out a space, you can’t make permanent changes to the area. Make a rectangular hole in the wall to install a through-the-wall unit. If you’re planning on purchasing one for your spacious home, you’re free to get one that can be a permanent fixture. An example of such could be a through-the-wall one or a central system unit.

To enlighten you further, let’s discuss the types based on how they are installed:

15000 BTU air conditioner

Portable

Portable air conditioners (PACs) came about because of more compact and portable models. On top of that, they tend to be affordable and lightweight. The release of these units was beneficial to those who couldn’t afford and accommodate powerful options on the market.

They are perfect for living in a rented apartment or dorm because they don’t need a big renovation to install one. It is a compact, self-contained system that is usually free-standing. Installation can be pretty quick and easy, so one can easily move it from one space to another. You need a certain spot on the floor to situate a PAC on and a window for units with window kits. The kit consists of a venting system installed at the nearest window to expel warm air outside or to another location. With this type, you’ll have flexible installation options. Some models even have wheels and handles for better portability!

A portable model can effectively cool and dehumidify a single room. If you’re looking for one for your RV, RV roof air conditioners might be too expensive. You can use a portable RV AC unit instead. Most multipurpose models can operate as fans or air conditioners, depending on your needs. Earlier on, the cooling capacity of PACs was limited to small rooms. Nowadays, many of them have high BTU/cooling capacity and are capable of operating efficiently in 800-1,000 square foot areas.

Besides cooling power, they can also differ in water drainage systems. Most standard ones require manual water removal. These units usually have a catch basin or container that collects the moisture.

You have to empty it periodically. Other models have gravity drain and condensate pumps. A drainage hose is different from the venting system’s hose, which is convenient. It is attached to the unit. It directs the water to the other end of the hose, so you don’t have to remove it manually. More advanced units are already equipped with self-evaporative features that include moisture evaporation. It leaves out the same exhaust hose that the venting system uses. For convenience, opt for self-evaporative features. You won’t have to manually drain the water or find another area to direct the drainage hose.

Window

Compared to PACs, window models are slightly more difficult to install. The whole unit must be put within the window frame. But suppose you compare the ease of installation of window ones with through-the-wall units. The former is easier to install than the latter.

This type is popular among homes and apartments. It’s quite easy to install and would only require the presence of a window or two! When you buy a window model, your purchase usually includes free delivery and installation. You won’t have to worry about extra installation fees. However, having a window is not the only prerequisite for a window-mounted one. You need to have a sturdy window and be big enough so that the whole unit can fit within its boundaries. Make sure that it won’t give out under the unit’s weight.

Unlike PACs that you can situate wherever on the floor, you have to measure the window before installation. This will give you a gauge on which model can fit within the boundaries of your window. One downside of having a window option is that it makes your window inaccessible or unusable. The unit may block the path of light. The sealing around the unit may prevent you from opening or closing your window. So, suppose you value having a window that you can freely open or indoor plants that need some sunlight. I suggest that you opt for window ones only if you have a couple of windows available.

It is one whole unit that is relatively lightweight and moderately sized, depending on the model. It’s an appropriate size that a window frame can support. On the other hand, through-the-wall ACs are usually heavier because concrete walls can support more weight than windows. In terms of sturdiness and cooling power, most window models are sturdier and more powerful than PACs. Window options are also more advanced than PACs because being portable sometimes limits PACs.

The outer body of a window model typically hangs out from the window. Some people add extra metal encasement outside for extra sturdiness or to ensure that the unit won’t get stolen from outside. Suppose you’re a handyman looking for some tools that you can use to make this metal support/encasement. You should check out the following on engine-driven welders and extension cords. Learn more about plasma cutters and mini metal lathe machines.

Through the wall

You can’t cut a hole through the wall to make space for it if you’re renting a space. If you do, getting your security deposit back will be a challenge. If you have your own space, this type is the perfect choice for you. You can make permanent changes without getting in trouble for it, which is great.

Like window-mounted ones, through-the-wall ones consist of one big unit that doesn’t need extra parts for drainage as PACs do. As the name suggests, the whole unit is installed through a rectangular hole in your wall. Its vent faces outside, and the fans face inwards. It blows cold air inside. In terms of cooling power, both window and through-the-wall models have a wide BTU range and can effectively cool rooms.

However, these two types differ in the specific placement of their ventilation system. Window ones have vents at the sides. In contrast, through-the-wall alternatives only have vents at the very back of the unit. This is why the former hangs out from the window, so its side vents can expel air properly. At the same time, the latter can fit snugly through the wall. It is lined up flushed with the exterior wall with no hanging parts peeking out. If you detest the appearance of it hanging out from windows, I suggest that you go for a through-the-wall solution instead.

Home appliances like refrigerators can consume quite a lot of power, especially if your unit is not energy-saving. Considering the other high-wattage appliances in your home, you should be careful about choosing the right extension cord. These things vary in the amount of voltage they can handle. The amount of electrical current they can carry depends on their wire sizes and lengths. One honest mistake can lead to appliance failure and short-circuiting. It can even cause accidental fires.

To help you with this, read these guides before buying an extension cord. Learn everything about amp wires and get a guide to help you.

What to look for

two air conditioners

Deciding what type you’re going to get is the first step. Afterward, look for the following features as you decide what brand or model will best address your needs.

  • Quietness
    • Buy one with a 50-60 dB range for peaceful sleep and workspace. A decibel range of 60-80 dB can also work since most of them only become noisy when running at their fullest capacity.
  • Air quality
    • One equipped with a good filtering performance and is equipped with a high-quality filter is the best choice. It’s great for people who suffer from allergies or are sensitive to dust, like elders and babies. Look for a unit that can dehumidify the air effectively with a HEPA or antimicrobial filter. They should be easy to clean and replace.
  • Energy efficiency
    • If you want to make sure that you’re getting one cost-efficient unit, look for an Energy Star Qualified unit. This means that it is energy-efficient. The higher the star rating, the more energy-efficient it is. You’ll save a lot of money on your electrical bills if you have a highly-efficient unit.
  • Warranty
    • To save money and effort, find a brand that offers a long warranty and free returns. It will save you from costly repairs and the hassle of finding a pro that can repair your AC.
New AC unit being installed

Room size of a 15,000 & 18,000 BTU unit & how much it powers

Larger spaces contain a lot of hot, humid air than small spaces. Cooling down this area must use a certain amount of energy to convert the existing hot air into cool, dehumidified air. This process entails condensing and evaporating moisture from the air, where BTU comes in.

  • 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.
  • Rule of thumb: 1 sq. ft. = 20 BTU/hr

They work by taking in hot air from the room and condensing it into liquid. It then evaporates the heat out of it, which is released 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. It is why you’d need an AC with higher BTU for larger rooms. Thus, the BTU/hr determines its cooling capacity.

However, “ higher” doesn’t always equate to “better.” You need to choose the right one with the right power level for your space. It’s a common misunderstanding that a powerful AC can work anywhere as long as it can cool down your space. It is not true. Suppose you buy a 16,000 BTU option 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.

A 15,000 – 18,000 BTU option would be the perfect choice for a room with a size of 700-1000 sq. ft. area, such as large bedrooms. It would also work great in living rooms and commercial spaces of that size.

However, these factors can also affect the level of power that you will need:

  • room’s amount of / exposure to sunlight
  • increase BTU if sunny
  • decrease BTU if shaded
  • crowded area”
  • increase BTU if crowded (each person generates body heat)
  • appliance load or type
    • use kitchen oven and/or stove would require an increase in BTU

To estimate the amount of BTU that you need to adjust, consult with the provider of your unit before purchasing.

Brands

The market is saturated with brands that offer quality home and commercial appliances. This makes shopping hard sometimes because you have many options to choose from. To help you in narrowing down your search, here are some examples of the unique brands that have 15,000-18,000 BTU air units:

LG Electronics

LG is a well-known brand of smart devices and home appliances, garnering high spots on various top brands in different categories. They have been bringing quality products to the market ever since 1958. They always stick to their goal of improving their customers’ life quality. Indeed, their brand image fits them very well.

They have decades of experience in designing and manufacturing smart appliances. LG Electronics knows how to innovate toward the betterment of the environment. LG’s products are smart and energy-efficient. Their ACs are Energy Star qualified, saving up to 70% of energy consumption. Each unit has amazing cooling power and filtering performance. With their low-noise operation and rapid cooling technology, you’ll love them. They come with HEPA filters and other smart features that other brands have not perfected yet. For ease of usage and maintenance, many of their products have WiFi control features and filter indicators.

LG Electronics offers various options, such as portable and window-mounted models. They also have through-the-wall and central air conditioning units. Here are some in the 15,000-18,000 BTU range that caught our attention:

  • LG LW1516ER – 15,000 BTU
  • Cooling area of up to 800 sq. ft.
  • Indoor noise: 57-61 dB
  • 3 cooling & fan speeds
  • 4-way air direction
  • Slide-out washable filter
  • Remote control & 24-hr timer
  • LG LW1816ER – 18,000 BTU
    • Cooling area of up to 1000 sq. ft.
    • Indoor noise: 61-65 dB
    • 3 cooling & fan speeds
    • 4-way air direction
    • Slide-out washable filter
    • Remote control & 24-hr timer
  • LG LW1815HR – 18,000 BTU
    • 2-in-1: Seasonal Heating & Cooling
    • Cooling area of up to 1000 sq. ft.
    • 2 cooling & heating fan speeds
    • Remote control

Haier

AC filter being replaced

According to Euromonitor International Limited, Haier has been reigning as one of the top brands in major appliances for 12 consecutive years. It’s an amazing feat during their 30 years of operation in the industry. They bring high-quality products to the market, such as Haier’s products. They are not just smart and energy-efficient but also user-friendly. Like LG, Haier products are Energy Star qualified to help users save up to 63% of energy usage. What’s also amazing about some of their products is that they’re equipped with self-cleaning filters. It is a wonderful feature to have because it makes maintenance much easier.

Frigidaire

Frigidaire is always at the top of the list of many shoppers when they’re looking for cooling appliances. Since 1918, Frigidaire has been true to its brand name and focuses on making premium cooling appliances for its customers. As they developed, the company also ventured toward other home appliances. They now have various products such as refrigerators and freezers. Do you need a dishwasher or an oven? They can help you with that, too. Many people trust Frigidaire because of their units’ proven and tested impressive features.

Frigidaire ones have an impressive cooling capacity and numerous smart & energy-saving features. Like the brands above, Frigidaire products are also Energy Star certified and have features that make their operation much easier. These include a clean filter alert and washable antibacterial filter. Do you want remote temperature control? You’ve got it.

GE Appliances

GE Appliances is a brand under Haier, which often causes confusion. It offers a lot of eco-friendly and user-friendly home appliances that your family will love. They have room air conditioners and kitchen appliances and make water filters and refrigerators. Many of their products are also Energy Star certified and equipped with antibacterial filters. Furthermore, they have a new line of SMART GE ROOM ACs. It enables users to create their cooling schedule and check the unit’s energy usage! You can easily control it through your smartphone and get reminders to clean it.

After only a few years of operation, GE has already become a favorite of most people. It’s due to its low energy consumption and innovative smart features.

Kenmore

After a century of manufacturing home appliances, Kenmore has nearly perfected the production of energy-efficient products. They produce only the highest quality. As proof of their hard work and great innovations, Kenmore has been awarded the Energy Star Award multiple years in a row.

Kenmore’s models have the low-power startup feature. It enables each unit to yield powerful results despite using the lowest energy possible. Maybe you have a large room that needs rapid cooling, and you want to save up on your electricity bill. Kenmore should be on your priority list. This brand offers a range of air conditioners with a wide BTU range of antimicrobial filters and smart technology.

Arctic King

If high-quality appliances are what you’re searching for, Arctic King can give you what you need! You can take your pick among their portable or window-mounted units. They’ve also got through-the-wall ones if you own your own place. On top of that, they are all reasonably priced and boast amazing features and good cooling capacities. It’s amazing how even their smart models are significantly more affordable than other brands. It allows users the luxury of having a smart unit without splurging. Also, these are proven to be durable and long-lasting!

Daewoo

Daewoo Electronics is a company that always focuses on sustainable growth. Since its establishment 30 years ago, Daewoo has continuously innovated to offer eco-friendly & energy-saving robust products. As a result of their innovations, Daewoo has made two energy classes for their units. Look for their signature A Cooling and A++ Cooling. This feature allows the users to control the cooling power and energy consumption. Their units are equipped with the Turbo Heating-Cooling Technology, allowing it to rapidly cool or heat the room within minutes. Daewoo ones are also quiet despite the powerful cooling features. Some advanced models have smart features for easier control and maintenance.

Homelabs (hOmeLabs)

If you’re looking for one that can beat the hot air in your area, hOmeLabs should be on your list. These are well-known for having impressive dehumidifying features, rivaling those of other reputed brands. Homelabs also take pride in how energy-saving and efficient their models are. You can take a pick from their portable and window-mounted ones, which are all user-friendly and ergonomically designed.

Be sure also to read our article on gasless MIG welding, showers vs. baths & adding a shower.




How to maintain your air conditioner

  1. Change your air filter every month.

  2. Regularly clean the coils.

  3. Check the fins for any bends or kinks.

  4. Keep an eye out on the condensate to avoid the drain clogging up.

  5. Schedule yearly maintenance and service appointments with trained professionals.

FAQ

How many square feet will a 15,000 BTU air conditioner cool?

A 15,000 BTU air conditioner can cool up to about 875 sq. ft.

What size room will an 18,000 BTU air conditioner cool?

An 18,000 BTU air conditioner can cool a room of anywhere between 800-900 sq. ft.

How much electricity does an 18,000 BTU air conditioner use?

An 18,000 BTU air conditioner consumes about 5,275 watts per hour.

Is 18,000 BTU too much?

An 18,000 BTU air conditioner is ideal for a 1-2 bedroom house with minimal sun exposure and an ideal insulation setting.

How heavy is an 18,000 BTU air conditioner?

Typically an 18,000 BTU air conditioner weighs about 130 pounds. However, the weight may differ along with different brands and models.