The Best Affordable Air Conditioner: Keeping Your Cold Hard Cash

When the temperature climbs in the summer, you may feel like you are willing to spend any amount on a decent air conditioner. There are a number of great affordable options, though. The best affordable air conditioner is out there, you just have to know how to look.

Before you begin your search, it is a good idea to have a set budget in mind. This will allow you to limit your search to just units falling into your price range. It is easy to fall into paying a lot for an air conditioner that is not much better than a more affordable alternative.

Keeping in mind your space size and cooling needs is another important consideration. Why pay for a unit that can cool 1,000 square feet when you have a 500 square foot space? Going into the shopping process with these stats on hand will certainly help you.

Though the size capacity of the unit has a major impact on its price tag, it is not the only contributing factor. Air conditioners come with a number of additional features that can really jack up the price.

Features worth paying extra for

Though not everyone needs the same features from their air conditioner, there are a number of features worth paying a little extra for. The first of these is the size capacity. You will just be disappointed if your unit does not cool down the space you needed.

Spending a little more for the correct size capacity is really worth it in the long run. Otherwise, you will spend all your time in the room huddled by the unit because that will be the only truly cool place in the room.

Another feature really worth the added price bump is energy efficiency. Air conditioners are notoriously expensive to run. Purchasing an energy efficient model is not only better for the environment, but it will save you money in the long run.

User friendly controls are another important feature. Although this may seem straightforward, there are many confusingly designed units on the market. A simply designed control panel will save you some headache later.

If you live in a humid climate, a built-in dehumidifier is another feature worth paying for. While the cooling mechanism naturally controls some humidity, it cannot handle extremely humid climates. On those 90% humidity days, you will be glad you paid for the dehumidifier.

Features not worth the price

Some features, while nice to have, are truly not worth breaking the bank for. One such feature is a timer. While it is a nice feature to have, the added price tag makes it a luxury item.

Like a timer, a remote controlled air conditioning unit is a nice luxury. It is the epitome of a luxury feature, however. It has no sway over the functionality of the unit, so, unless you plan on putting the unit behind furniture, it is rather unnecessary.

A digital display is typically not worth paying extra for either. Digital displays do exist on some cheaper units, but they may be lower quality. For an affordable option, the classic nob and button setup is a wiser decision.

There are even units on the market now that offer built-in air fresheners. These, however, run out and need to be refilled. Not only are you paying extra for the unit, but you have to pay more in the long run to refill the scents.

Some units also include built-in air filtration systems. While this may be an attractive feature for some, it often hikes up the price tag and is not as effective as a stand-alone air filter. If you have poor air quality, spend your money on a stand-alone air filter instead.

Best affordable options available

Most well-known air conditioner brands have affordable options on the market. No matter the brand, the most affordable style of air conditioner is the window unit. There are a number of good affordable air conditioners to choose from, so keep in mind your own needs.

The Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 is a good affordable option from one of the top brands. At only a bit over the hundred dollar mark, this unit will not break the bank and will provide enough power to cool a room up to 150 square feet.

The FRRA0511R1 also has a built-in dehumidifier to help cool you room. If you do not need the actual cooling function – like, for instance, at night – you can also use the unit as just a fan which incorporates the dehumidifier function.

The Haier ESA405P Energy Star air conditioner is another great affordable option. while it is a bit more expensive than the Frigidaire option, its energy efficiency will make it cost less in the long run.

As far as cooling capacity, the ESA405P also cools a room up to 150 square feet. One place where it does differ, however, is that it has a dedicated dehumidifier setting that will limit the power needed.


Though there are a number of great affordable air conditioners available, you can easily end up paying a lot more for extra features. Keep in mind which features are worth the price and which are not when purchasing a unit.

The best affordable air conditioners on the market are likely the Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 and the Hair ESA405P. They offer slightly different features, but both will serve your needs well without totally breaking the bank.

While the FFRA0511R1 is a bit less expensive, the ESA405P does have a few more features, such as the energy efficiency rating. Depending on your own needs, each has a lot to offer for an affordable price tag.

You own needs will largely dictate which air conditioner is best for you. Finding an affordable option, however, is not impossible for anyone regardless of your needs.

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