Best Basement Window Air Conditioners – 2021 Walk-through

| Last Updated: June 23, 2021

Having a window in the basement can be a blessing and a curse.

Fitting an AC into it is more of a mixed bag.

This article walks you through all the pros and cons of choosing a window air conditioner for your basement and gives a few model recommendations along the way.

Comparison of the Best Basement Window Air Conditioners

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Highlighted by an energy efficient performance of 12 SEER
  • Hypoallergenic efficient at removing pollen and impurities
  • Offers a cooling power of up to 8,000BTU
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  • Featuring a low, medium and high fan speed
  • Highlighted by a 24 hour timer for beginner friendly use
  • With a temperature range between 61 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit
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  • Best for the Money
  • Covers an area of up to 250 square feet
  • Highlighted by a rugged construction of 43 pounds
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  • Highlighted by two fan and two cooling speeds
  • Offering a maximum window width of 35 inches
  • Two way air direction for sleek and efficient performance
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  • With a powerful performance of 450 watts
  • Perfect for rooms that are up to 150 square feet
  • Beginner friendly installation with plug and play design
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Factors to Consider Before Buying a Window Air Conditioner For Your Basement

A window in a basement can provide you with a bit of airflow. Still, you can maximize its performance by doubling it down as a place to fit an AC. Let’s dive into the field of factors that will help you select the most efficient unit for your space.

Size of the Basement

First and foremost, air conditioner sizing is the most crucial consideration. There are a few ways to measure the cooling capacity of the AC for a given area. All of them come to your basement measurements.

Multiply the length and the width to get the square footage and use it to roughly estimate the air conditioner’s BTU (British Thermal Units). In other words, how powerful of a unit you need for the room.

Basement Humidity

While the BTU is of utmost importance, basements are tricky to keep dry. While choosing your AC, make sure that you select a unit that offers dehumidification and ventilation functionality. Eliminating humidity has two main goals:

  • Keep mold and pests out
  • Make cooling easier on the unit
Photo credit: moving.com

Window Dimensions and Installation

Basement windows can be weirdly small and placed in “unreachable” places. Thus, you need to think about how big your unit should be relative to the window frame. Plus, if the opening is in a weird place, is it the most optimal spot for an AC?

Another question you should be asking yourself is if the window is convenient for installation. While you can DIY the window unit installation, you might need help in case of a basement window.

Also, consider the area outside your window. Is your AC going to be appropriately vented?

Family Budget

Window unit prices can range from hundreds to a couple of thousands of USD depending on features and BTUs.

Sure, you can get away with a cheap, small model if the window is in a spot you can reach easily. However, if you have to perform acrobatics to turn a knob on the AC or to get to the manual airflow louvers, you should probably get one that has a remote.

Energy Efficiency and Maintenance

Last but not least, think about how efficient the system is. If you want to save money long-term and lower your environmental impact, pay attention to factors like Energy Star Rating and whether the filter is washable or disposable.

Review of the Best Window Air Conditioners For Basements

Below is our list of the best basement window air conditioners for basements. Read on to learn about the most suitable functions, models, and power capacities.

Best Overall

Frigidaire FFRE0833S1

Frigidaire FFRE0633S1 6,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner with Full-Function Remote Control

Specifications

BTU (DOE): N/A

Coverage Area: 250 sq.ft.

Airflow (CFM): N/A

Dimensions (in): 18.5×15.5×13.4″

Weight: 44 lbs.

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Specs

Voltage: 115 volts

Wattage: 665 watts

Review

Frigidaire is a famous air conditioner manufacturer and is known for its wall and window-mounted units. This 8000 BTU unit is one of our list’s top picks for a few reasons. Namely, it has dehumidification and ionization options, along with efficient cooling.

The 1.7-pint dehumidification means that your basement will stay moisture-free at all times. The ionization function will kill the harmful particles and remove the odors as well. It also has an easily accessible filter that you can pull out from the top.

Bottom Line

This model is ideal for larger basements for a few reasons. First of all, it can cool up to 350 square feet.

Second, digital controls mean that you can access the whole gamut of functions and modes using the incredible temperature-sensitive remote. It allows you to adjust the environment around where you are instead of the unit proximity.

And third, it saves you money in the long run.

Pros

Ionization functionality

Eight-way air direction control

12 Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)

Dehumidification of 1.7 pints per hour

Remote control with temperature sensors and LED panel

Cons

No heating option in case your basement gets cold in the winter

Runner-up

LG LW6017R

LG 6,000 BTU 115V Window Air Conditioner with Remote Control, White

Specifications

BTU (DOE): N/A

Coverage Area: 260 sq.ft.

Airflow (CFM): N/A

Dimensions (in): 14.38×17.31×11.13″

Weight: 4.99 lbs.

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Specs

Voltage: 115 volts

Wattage: 520 watts

Review

As with many other LG air conditioners, this unit has a few unique functions that make it an excellent choice for a medium-sized basement.

One of them is the low noise levels. On the lowest fan speed, it goes up to 52 dB which is a decent threshold even if you use the basement as a bedroom.

Another highlight is that once again, you can see how LG thinks about the end-user. Have you ever contemplated if the air filter needs changing or vacuuming? This unit removes the guesswork by alerting you whenever it needs to be cleaned.

The third advantage is the 24-hour timer and auto restart. Nobody spends all the time in the basement, but everybody wants a consistent temperature there. LG LW6017R can safely cool your space without you even knowing.

Bottom Line

This LG model has many advantages, and while it doesn’t heat, it can keep your basement cool and dry on schedule and even after the power goes off. The three fan speeds clean the air while the filter does its best to make sure you don’t breathe dust and mold.

Pros

Air filter cleaning alert

Three cooling and fan speeds

Noise level of 52 dB on low mode

24-hour timer and auto restart functionality

Small led panel and controls on the unit, plus a stylish remote

Cons

No heating available

Best for the Money

Della 048-TL-WAC6K

Della 6000 BTU Window Air Conditioner 690W, 115V/60Hz, 12.2 (EER) Energy Star Efficient Cooling Rooms up to 250 Sq. Ft. with 46 Pint/24hrs Dehumification, Digital Display with Remote

Specifications

BTU (DOE): N/A

Coverage Area: 250 sq.ft.

Airflow (CFM): 240

Dimensions (in): 15.2×15.98×12.52″

Weight: 43 lbs.

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Specs

Voltage: 110 volts

Wattage: 690 watts

Review

Della’s 6000 BTU window AC is advertised as a simple yet efficient unit that offers a quiet and “set it and forget it” type of operation. It has a 24-hour clock that can save you time and energy in keeping the basement dry and pleasantly cool.

The fast cooling feature and dehumidification of 46 pints per day are its highlights, but the latter is the most important one for any enclosed room. The fan-only operation offers freshness and lets you breathe better, whether you use the basement as a living space or a workshop.

Bottom Line

This 6,000 BTU AC is made to cool down up to 260 square feet efficiently. With its high performance and eco-friendly operation, it’ll cool and dehumidify the basement, getting you to the desired convenience levels.

Pros

Reusable air filter 

Straightforward installation 

Remote control for all features

Temperature Setting from 61℉ – 88℉

Multiple functionalities, including cooling, dehumidification, and fan-only operation

Cons

No heating functionality

Horizontal manual swing

Editor’s Pick

LG LW5016

LG 5,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner with Manual Controls, 115V, White

Specifications

BTU (DOE):

Coverage Area: 150 sq.ft.

Airflow (CFM): N/A

Dimensions (in): 14.38×17.31×11.13″

Weight: 40 lbs.

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Specs

Voltage: 115 volts

Wattage: 440 watts

Review

This is yet another LG product on our list. Its main highlight is the low noise threshold and the compact design. Still, the best part of it is the low price of below $150.

The AC packs 5,000 BTUs worth of power in its relatively small body.

Like other lightweight LG models, this system also fits in low-height windows, which is very convenient for basements. Most basements have small windows, where the width doesn’t tend to be an issue, but the height does.

It’s a go-to option if you don’t have a severe dampness issue in your basement and the window isn’t in a super awkward spot where you cannot reach the rotary controls.

Bottom Line

This LG unit comes with an installation kit, which helps during installation. Although it’s not as advanced or as powerful as some other LG models we mentioned in our lists, it’s a simple unit that gets the cool in without breaking the bank.

Pros

Budget-friendly 

Quiet operation at 52 dB

Modern and efficient design

Window mounting kit included

Cooling and fan modes (low and high)

Cons

No dehumidification mode

Manual controls, no LED display or a remote

Honorable Mention

Frigidaire FFRA051WAE

FRIGIDAIRE 5,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner with Mechanical Controls, White

Specifications

BTU (DOE): N/A

Coverage Area: 150 sq.ft.

Airflow (CFM): 136 Cubic Feet Per Minute Per Watt

Dimensions (in): 15.25 x 16 x 12″

Weight: 41.4 lbs.

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Specs

Voltage: 115 volts

Wattage: 450 watts

Review

A bit less fancy than some Frigidaire models, this honorable mention provides what it’s supposed to. The unit can effortlessly cool and refresh a basement of about 150 square feet without making too much noise.

We found two highlights for this air conditioner. First of all, it offers a low profile of only 12 inches high, which is highly convenient for a half-underground basement.

The other one also has to do with its build. The depth of the unit is also very accommodating; it won’t be protruding too much outside.

It also has the auto-restart function, which keeps you safe even after a power outage and restores the AC settings to the ones you had before the surge.

Bottom Line

You might think that this Frigidaire unit isn’t much in terms of functionality, but it’s a helpful addition to your basement in terms of its built and “no-nonsense” cooling capabilities.

Pros

Simple design, efficient cooling

Washable filter at an easy-to-access spot

Low height, convenient for basement windows

One year limited and five years sealed system warranty

Automatic restart option to get working after a power outage

Cons

Rotary controls

Only two-way air direction

Why Use a Window Air Conditioner For Basement?

You must’ve input a lot of time, energy, and money into finishing your basement. Maintaining what you have is the ultimate way to protect what you’ve achieved. This is the reason you need to think ahead about proper ventilation and dehumidification solutions for the room. 

Combat Heat

Basements can get hot and stuffy, especially in the summer. Installing an air conditioner will help you keep the temperatures in check., Having a consistent temperature at the base also helps with the energy efficiency of the whole house. 

Photo credit: berico.com

Fight Humidity

Most modern air conditioners have the option of dehumidification along with heating, cooling, and ventilation. The appliance can provide a holistic approach to the whole “hot and humid” situation.

Plus, damp air always seems hotter than it actually is, as your body can’t emit sweat particles into the already concentrated environment. Keeping moisture in check will provide you with a base for more efficient cooling.

Eliminate Fungi and Bugs

Hot and humid environments are an ideal breeding ground for some unwanted “guests” like fungi and bugs. If you have mold and mildew in your basement, the whole “finished” look will get spoiled in a matter of weeks.

You might also want to keep moisture-loving bugs away. These include silverfish, cockroaches, and whatnot.

What Size of Basement Window Air Conditioner Do I Need?

The dimensions and power of your window air conditioner depend on a few factors.

First of all, you need to measure your window to get the right air conditioner to fit the window without issues.

Second, consider the size of your basement. Measure the area and use the BTU formula or a calculator to determine the correct tonnage for your future AC model. Another easy way to decide on the size is to find a chart with rough estimates for any given square footage.

If you’re not sure of the size of the unit, ask a professional to guide you.

Photo credit: jeswork.com

Dehumidifier vs Window AC For a Basement

Although there are many options for dehumidifiers and air conditioners for your basement, consider a few issues regarding the room before deciding.

Function

Dehumidifiers suck in the air, pass it through the coils, remove the moisture, and push it back into the room. If you have a mold problem in your basement, doing this might not be the best option, as you’re essentially moving the mold spores back into the environment.

In case you don’t have a mold problem in your basement yet and only want proper dehumidification to prevent it, a window air conditioner will suffice. Even the smallest window air conditioners have dehumidification or fan-only modes, which dry the basement quickly.

Efficiency

Choosing a window air conditioner over a dehumidifier can be more efficient and safe. However, you’ll have to compare the power usage between both and how much moisture they remove to keep the dampness away.

When is a Window AC For the Basement NOT the Best Option?

Window air conditioners demand specific circumstances to operate correctly, so you might need to consider other options if your basement doesn’t fulfill any of those. Let’s go through a few situations where a window unit might not be the best option.

No Windows

Window air conditioners need to be vented, so they have to access the outside. Otherwise, they will fail. Although you can make a window unit work without a window, we don’t recommend it. You can get a wall-mounted mini-split unit or a portable one instead.

Photo credit: countywidect.com

Heating Needs

If you live in a moderate climate where winters get colder, the basement might need heating too. While there are window units that offer heating modes, smaller BTU choices don’t usually include the function. Consider your heating needs before you decide.

No Dehumidification Functionality

The same goes with dehumidification modes on the AC you’re considering. Basements are generally damp and need dehumidification. You might not feel the need initially, but it’s a necessary function to have at hand.

Challenges When Using a Window AC For the Basement

Here are a few more challenges you might need to resolve before installing a window air conditioner in your basement.

Non-standard Windows

While having no windows and no way to open one in a basement is a larger issue, its weird shape or size might pose a slight annoyance. A little construction work might be needed to help the window fit the AC (in this case, not vice versa). 

House Security

You have to remove the window bars to ease air circulation for the unit, which will increase the danger of intruders to your basement. Still, this is a solvable issue if you have an alert system to protect your home.

Installation Issues

If the window is too close to the ground or it’s hard to access, you might have problems during installation. Consider the venting and drainage options before picking the unit.

Photo credit: hvac.com

Conclusion

Fitting an air conditioner into a basement window might be a challenging task. Still, if you know what you’re doing and follow the recommendations in this article, the project will be much easier to pull off.

People Also Ask

Now you’re familiar with our suggestions for the best basement air conditioners. Let’s go through a few additional questions regarding this topic. 

Can You Put a Window Air Conditioner In a Basement Window?

Technically, yes. However, make sure that the air can flow in and out of the unit. Also, pay attention that nothing is blocking it from the outside.

As the condenser will be closer to the ground level, it’s more likely to get dust and debris in. Thus, more frequent cleanup might be needed.

Is It Dangerous To Run a Window Air Conditioner Inside the Basement?

If the unit is installed and vented correctly and the drainage pipes work well, there’s no reason to think that a window AC in a basement can be dangerous. Just make sure that nothing blocks the airflows.

Can You Hook Up a Window AC Unit Without a Window In the Basement?

It’s possible to vent a window AC without installing it in a traditional way, but remember that the unit’s exterior needs to have a direct connection to the outside.

If you can hook up a DIY-ed construction that will allow the unit to vent, it can work. Still, we wouldn’t recommend walking this path. You don’t want a fire hazard in your basement in case something in the unit goes wrong.



My name is Bob Wells and I am a retired HVAC tech from Washington state. I am currently retired and no longer do much with HVAC, however, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge in the subject and I wanted to create a website where I could talk about what I've learned and help upcoming HVAC techs. Find more info about me and HVAC Training 101.