Best 15,000 BTU Window Air Conditioners (2021 Review)

If you’re in the market for a new 15000 BTU window air conditioning unit, keep reading! We’ve put some of the best available to the test below!

In this proHVACinfo guide, you’ll learn:

  • What are 15000 BTU Window Air Conditioners?
  • What are the different types of Air Conditioner? (do the differences matter?)
  • How do Window Air Conditioners Work? (so you know what to focus on)
  • What do you look for in the best 15000 BTU Window Air Conditioners? (learn what really matters)
  • And much more!

Below you’ll find a quick list of our top 5 recommendations, keep scrolling to learn more!

  1. Frigidaire FHWW153WB1 Window Mounted Room AC (Our Top Pick)
  2. TCL 15W3E1-A (Best High-End)
  3. Keystone Energy Star AC (Best Budget)
  4. Emerson Quiet Kool EARC15RE1

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

After deliberating between these great window mount AC units, we decided that the top spot should go the Frigidaire model.

Why?

It impressed us for a multitude of reasons, not least the fact that it looks good. Window air conditioners aren’t exactly high-end art installations, so if you can find one that isn’t an eyesore, that’s a win in our book! We also liked the easy to read front LCD display.

Besides the aesthetics, we found that it cools up to 850 square feet, which is 150 square feet more than every other unit on test, and this was a big factor in giving Frigidaire our coveted best overall award.

What Are 15000 BTU Window Air Conditioners?

Sometimes known as room air conditioners, window air conditioners are straightforward cooling solutions often placed in buildings that predate central air conditioning, or where installation or retrofit would simply not be practical (or even possible).

Window AC units are small, enclosed devices, containing all system components within their own casing.

Now, a 15000 BTU window air conditioner is one that, as you might be able to guess, is rated to 15000 BTUs. We’ll take a moment to describe the concept of BTUs for anybody who might be unfamiliar.

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, and while the first word is British, this is an international energy measurement standard. One BTU is equal to the amount of energy required to increase the temperature of one pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.

Your window air conditioner will come with a BTU rating, that in effect, lets you know how powerful the unit is. In the case of air conditioners, BTU measures the amount of heat removed from the space, rather than the amount of heat added.

What Are The Different Types Of 15,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner?

When it comes to variety in window air conditioners, the bulk of your choice comes down to how many BTUs you’re looking for.

You might make the assumption that more BTUs are always better, but this isn’t the case.

The rule of thumb for an air conditioner should be 20 BTUs for each square foot of living space.

Of course, we don’t live in 2D rooms, and the height of your ceilings and the number of windows and doorways in the space being cooled by a window air conditioner will also have an effect – the more opportunities for loss of cool air through openings, the greater the cooling power you’ll need.

If the AC unit is in a kitchen, you should also consider a 4000 BTU boost in the size of your window AC to compensate for the heating caused by appliances.

If, after you’ve factored in space, openings, and any appliance heat, you arrive at a requirement of 15000 BTU, give or take, the remaining differentiators include features like:

  • Digital Displays
  • Remote Controls
  • Smart Controls
  • Fan Directions

We will go into more depth about these features in the product reviews below.

How do 15,000 BTU Window Air Conditioners Work?

Like all air conditioning systems, 15,000 BTU window air conditioners work on the principle of the refrigeration cycle.

Stage 1 – Heat Absorption

The cycle starts when the air in your home gets warmer than the setting on your thermostat – this will tell your window air conditioner to turn on.

A fan will draw warm air from the room into the unit and pass it over the cool evaporator coil. The evaporator coil absorbs the heat, which in turn causes a drop in the room air temperature.

As the refrigerant liquid in the evaporator coil takes on the heat of the room, it begins returning to its gaseous state and travels back around towards the compressor.

Stage 2 – Compression

At this stage, the gas is sent through a compressor. Here, the overall volume of the gas is reduced and the temperature is further increased until it becomes superheated.

Stage 3 – Condensation

After the gas becomes superheated, it continues through the system to the condenser. This is the outside section of the air conditioner.

Because the air in the system is now hotter than the ambient air, the outside air removes the refrigerant gas’ heat.

As the gas rapidly cools, it once again reverts to a liquid state.

Stage 4 – Repeat

Now that the refrigerant is a cool liquid, it is cycled back through to the inside portion of the system, where it will reenter the evaporator coil and the process begins again.

The thermostat in your window air conditioning unit will allow the cycle to continue continuously until the desired temperature is met.

Our Reviews Of The Best 15000 BTU Window Air Conditioners

Frigidaire FHWW153WB1 Window Mounted Room AC (Our Top Pick)

Our top prize rightfully went to this excellent window air conditioner from Frigidaire.

We particularly liked the smart features – if you choose to download the Frigidaire mobile app, you have complete control over the unit from absolutely anywhere.

If you’re someone who likes smart appliances or simply values convenience, this is your best bet.

If you’re energy-conscious, the smart features of the Frigidaire make it that much better – turn it off before going out for the day, and turn it back on before you even get home.\!

In addition to the smart functions, it boasts an easy clean washable filter, 6 different fan directions, and 3 different cooling speeds.

For your peace of mind, it does come with a 1 year parts and labor warranty, and a solid build quality from a reliable household name brand.

Pros

  • Above average room coverage
  • Very quiet fans
  • Good looks

Cons

  • Difficult installation
  • Instructions are not the clearest

TCL 15W3E1-A (Best High End)

This window air conditioner from TCL offers excellent cooling for rooms up to 700 square feet.

Its fans are quiet, and the directional vents offer 8 different settings. It has a nice, clear LCD display, making it easy to see what your settings are at a glance.

This is one of the easiest window air conditioners to set up, making it a good choice for anybody taking on the installation themselves.

It features built in 24 hour timer presets, so you can set the unit to turn on and off automatically, so you can simply set it and forget it!

Pros

  • Sophisticated directional cooling
  • 3 Fan speeds
  • Remote control included

Cons

  • Not particularly attractive
  • Power cord only 5.5’ long

Keystone Energy Star AC

The Keystone is the cheapest unit on test, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t feature packed! It includes everything you need to install in a window, and should you choose to, the chassis can be removed for wall installation.

The follow me remote automatically aims the fans toward the control, conveniently keeping you cool in rooms up to 700 square feet without having to manually adjust the direction.

For efficiency, it features an energy saver mode, a sleep mode and a 24 hour programmable timer.

Pros

  • Excellent energy efficiency
  • Auto restart after power outages

Cons

  • Excellent energy efficiency
  • Auto restart after power outages

TCL 15W3E1-A

This window air conditioner from TCL offers excellent cooling for rooms up to 700 square feet.

Its fans are quiet, and the directional vents offer 8 different settings. It has a nice, clear LCD display, making it easy to see what your settings are at a glance.

This is one of the easiest window air conditioners to set up, making it a good choice for anybody taking on the installation themselves.

It features built in 24 hour timer presets, so you can set the unit to turn on and off automatically, so you can simply set it and forget it!

Pros

  • Sophisticated directional cooling
  • 3 Fan speeds
  • Remote control included
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Not particularly attractive
  • Power cord only 5.5’ long

Emerson Quiet Kool EARC15RE1

This is a very popular window air conditioner from Emerson, and it’s popular for good reason. It’s a no frills unit, but it gets the job done well.

It has room coverage of up to 700 square feet, and it’s energy efficient thanks to the low voltage startup and 24 hour timer.

It has one of the best warranties of all of the units on test, with 1 year labor, 2 years parts coverage and a generous 5 year compressor guarantee.

Pros

  • Energy Star certified
  • Solid mount

Cons

  • Heavy unit
  • Particularly noisy at top fan setting

Final Thoughts On The Best 15,000 BTU Window Air Conditioners

Window air conditioners are an absolute essential for anybody living in a building with no central cooling.

In addition, they can provide a cost effective way to cool spaces like garages without having to modify existing systems.

Any of the window air conditioners we’ve featured in this proHVACinfo guide should serve you well for years to come.

We hope we’ve given you some insight into their operation, and what you should be looking for when it comes to the best window AC units. 

Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

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Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

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