6 Best 5,000 BTU Air Conditioners For Below 250 Sq Ft Rooms

Everybody who is looking to cool down a small room is looking for the smallest air conditioners. The 5,000 BTU AC units are as low as you can possibly go with stationary air conditioners.

If we use the EPA’s cooling coverage minimal rule of ’20 BTU per sq ft’, the 5,000 BTU air conditioners are capable of cooling down rooms up to 250 sq ft. Realistically, however, the 5k units are most useful for providing air conditioning for 150-200 sq ft rooms.

According to this coverage, 5,000 can be used to cool down:

  • 10×10 rooms.
  • 12×12 rooms.
  • 14×14 rooms.
  • Potentially even 16×16 rooms.

To lowering temperatures in bigger rooms, you should look into 8,000 BTU, 10,000 BTU, and 12,000 BTU units (up to 600 sq ft room coverage).

The best thing about 5,000 BTU air conditioners is that they require the minimum amount of electricity. The more efficient units – like the ones you will find in the list of the best 5,000 BTU air conditioner further on – require less than 500W of power to generate 5,000 BTU of cooling output.

The only type of AC unit that can go as low as 5k BTU is the window air conditioner. Portable AC units start at 8,000 BTU, mini-splits at 9,000 BTU. One exception are the new battery-powered air conditioners: The best one – Zero Breeze Mark 2 – can generate as little as 2,300 BTU of cooling output.

Despite being so small, the 5,000 BTU window AC units should also be energy-efficient, have an airflow of 100+ CFM, and below 60 dB noise levels.

installing 5000 btu window ac unit
Example of how an installed 5,000 BTU window air conditioner looks like.

Based on these criteria, LearnMetrics recommends 6 models of 5,000 BTU AC units. You can skip to the complete list, with a comparison table (spec-by-spec), and individual reviews here:

Skip To List Of Best 5,000 BTU AC Units In 2021

But first, let’s look at some of the key metrics characteristic for 5,000 BTU air conditioners:

5,000 BTU AC Unit Rooms Size (Up To 250 Sq Ft)

Room coverage is the main thing you have to know when purchasing a 5,000 BTU AC unit. Here are the most common questions regarding this capacity of AC units:

Is 5000 BTU enough for a living room?

Which AC is suitable for a 12×12 room?

What size room will 5000 BTU cool?

The 5,000 BTU unit is absolutely suitable for a 12×12 room, for example. To figure out what size room will a 5,000 BTU cool, we can use:

  • EPA recommendation ’20 BTU per sq ft’.
  • Producers list a recommended room coverage for every 5,000 BTU air conditioner.

According to the EPA recommendation, 5,000 BTU is enough for:

Room coverage = 5000 BTU / 20 BTU per sq ft = 250 sq ft

Of course, if you have bad isolation, above-average sun exposure, big rooms, and so on, 5,000 BTU air conditioners will not be enough to adequately cool down 250 sq ft room in the heatwave.

Producers usually list ‘Up to 150 sq ft’ for 5,000 BTU units. That’s more realistic and safe square footage. Here is what LG suggests to check before buying a 5,000 BTU unit:

In short: 250 sq ft is the absolute maximum coverage for 5,000 BTU AC units. 150 sq ft is a more realistic expectation.

How Energy-Efficient Are 5,000 BTU AC Units?

Energy-efficiency is the most important metric for long-term electricity savings. On average, 5,000 BTU air conditioners have an EER rating of about 9.5. That means that an average AC unit will require about 520W to produce 5,000 BTU output.

If you want an energy-efficient 5k AC unit, you should look for the ones with an above 10 EER rating. In the table below, the high energy-efficiency is the most important spec you should base your decision on. That’s why all units have an above 10 EER rating; in fact, the minimum EER rating is 11.1.

That means that instead of drawing 520W, these highly energy-efficient units require 450W or less energy to produce 5,000 BTU.

Example: The most energy-efficient unit – the Keystone KSTAW05CE – has an EER rating of 12.2 and requires the only 410W to produce 5,000 BTU of cooling output. That saves you about 0.1 kWh or a little more than 1 cent per hour compares to standard 5,000 BTU units (9.5 EER rating).

That may not sound a lot but if you run an AC for 2000 h per season, you will pay $20 less for electricity. In 15 years – the lifespan of window AC units – you can save more than $300.

How Noisy Are 5,000 BTU Air Conditioners?

Smaller AC units can be noisier than bigger ones. That’s because the primary source of noise – the compressor – has to be incorporated in a very small window AC casing. If that compressor is to generate any vibrations, the noise levels can quickly spike above 60 dB.

The quietest window AC units generate less than 60 dB of noise. In the table below, you will find only super silent units. The quietest ones generate up to 55 dB of noise; it’s almost impossible to engineer a small window AC that will go below that.

Example: The quietest 5,000 BTU AC – the legendary #1 LG LW5016 – generates as little as 50 dB of noise at a low fan speed setting. The key part is the silent LG compressor that doesn’t cause vibrations and has an overall silent operation.

Be aware that the secondary source of noise – the swirling airflow – contributes little or no to the overall noise levels. The 5,000 BTU units have a minimum airflow of below 200 CFM and as such generate as little noise as possible.


Now that we are generally aware of the basic metrics that determine how well 5,000 BTU AC units perform, let’s look at the list of the best 5k BTU air conditioners currently on the market:

Best 5,000 BTU Air Conditioners (List + Comparison)

  1. LG LW5016: Best LG 5,000 BTU Air Conditioner (Best Reputation).
  2. Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1: Best Frigidaire 5,000 BTU Air Conditioner.
  3. MIDEA MAW05M1BWT: Cheapest 5,000 BTU AC Unit.
  4. TCL 5WR1-A: Mechanical 5,000 BTU Air Conditioner.
  5. Keystone KSTAW05CE: Most Energy-Efficient 5,000 BTU Air Conditioner.
  6. AMANA AMAP050BW: Quiet Amana 5,000 BTU Air Conditioner.
5,000 AC: #1 LG LW5016 #2 Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1 #3 MIDEA MAW05M1BWT #4 TCL 5WR1-A #5 Keystone KSTAW05CE #6 AMANA AMAP050BW
Photo:
Cooling Capacity: 5,000 BTU 5,000 BTU 5,000 BTU 5,000 BTU 5,000 BTU 5,000 BTU
Coverage Area: Up to 250 sq ft Up to 250 sq ft Up to 250 sq ft Up to 250 sq ft Up to 250 sq ft Up to 250 sq ft
EER Rating: 11.4 11.1 11.1 11.1 12.2 11.1
Max. Airflow: 134 CFM 124/147 CFM N/A 135 CFM 140 CFM N/A
Noise Levels: 50/55 dB 51/55 dB Up to 57 dB 50+ dB 51+ dB 50/55 dB
Power, Voltage, Amps: 440 W (115V, 4.1 A) 450 W (115V, 4 A) 450W (115V, 5 A) 450W (115V, 4 A) 410W (115V, 3.8 A) 451W (115V, 4 A)
Price: $$$$ $$$$ $$$$ $$$$ $$$$ $$$$
Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4.8 out of 5 stars 4.6 out of 5 stars 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.4 out of 5 stars
Availability: Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price

1. LG LW5016: Best LG 5,000 BTU Air Conditioner (Best Reputation)

LG LW5016: Best LG 5,000 BTU Air Conditioner (Best Reputation)
Cooling Capacity: 5,000 BTU
Coverage Area: Up to 250 sq ft
EER Rating: 11.4
Airflow: 134 CFM
Noise Levels: 50/55 dB
Power, Voltage, Amps: 440 W (115V, 4.1 A)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 14.38″ x 17.31″ x 11.13″
Weight: 40 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

LG LW5016 is the legendary 5,000 BTU air conditioner. It’s the most well-recognized and ultimately the best 5,000 BTU window AC unit that has a very successful track record. In fact, this is the best 5k unit LG ever made.

It has a simple classic design and can theoretically cool down rooms up to 250 sq ft. The recommended square footage by LG for this 5,000 BTU AC is 150 sq ft; it will be more than enough for a 12×12 room, for example.

Despite being in production for quite some time now, the LG engineered this small unit very well. It has a superb 11.4 EER rating; it requires merely 440W to function at the high fan speed setting, generating 5,000 BTU of cooling effect. The optimized 134 CFM airflow is more than enough to homogeneously deliver the cool air in 150 sq ft rooms; the LG has even included the 2-way air direction to properly direct the airflow.

It’s the quietest 5,000 BTU air conditioner. At the lowest point, it generates only 50 dB noise levels. If you put the speed to the max, the highest noise level is still only 55 dB; well below 60 dB.

The benefit of being a classic unit is that it’s quite cheap. It doesn’t have any fancy smart-connectivity features that would unnecessarily increase the unit’s price; it’s a tried-and-tested mechanical AC unit.

All in all, the LG LW5016 is the below and best-selling 5,000 BTU air conditioner. The high energy-efficient, low noise levels, and simple-to-use mechanical style is what makes the LG LW5016 the best 5,000 BTU AC unit in recent years:

Pros
  • Most reliable, tried-and-tested 5,000 BTU air conditioner
  • Superb energy-efficiency with 11.4 EER rating (needs only 440W to run at full speed)
  • Optimized 134 CFM airflow with 2-way air direction
  • Made by LG; a well-recognized and reliably brand in the HVAC world
  • Very cheap given it doesn’t have any unnecessary fancy features
Cons
  • It’s a classic model without the smart connectivity features that some people prefer

2. Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1: Best Frigidaire 5,000 BTU Air Conditioner

Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1: Best Frigidaire 5,000 BTU Air Conditioner
Cooling Capacity: 5,000 BTU
Coverage Area: Up to 250 sq ft
EER Rating: 11.1
Airflow: 124/147 CFM
Noise Levels: 51/55 dB
Power, Voltage, Amps: 450 W (115V, 4 A)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 11.88″ x 16.04″ x 16.32″
Weight: 39.7 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Frigidaire is a well-known manufacturer of window air conditioners. Their best 5,000 BTU AC unit is the Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1. It has a reputation of being a no-nonsense reliable AC unit that can easily cool down spaces up to 150 sq ft.

To produce 5,000 BTU, the Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1 requires only 450W (less than 500W). Therefore it has an EER rating of 11.1, well above the 9.5 average. That can translate into about $200 savings in 15 years due to lower electricity draw.

On top of that, it’s a very quiet unit. It operates at 51 dB on low speed and at 55 dB on high speed. Such low noise levels are the result of the quiet Frigidaire compressor.

Operating the Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1 is as easy as it gets. You have only two knobs for temperature (it goes from 1 to 7) and for fan speed (2 settings; low and high).

All in all, the FFRA051ZA1 is the best Frigidaire 5,000 BTU air conditioner. It’s a no-nonsense unit that’s easy to install and run very efficiently:

Pros
  • No-nonsense unit with only 2 knobs (one for cooling, second for fan speed)
  • Energy-efficient with a 11.1 EER rating
  • Has one of the lowest operating noise levels (below 55 dB)
  • Affordable price for a reliable unit
Cons
  • Doesn’t have a thermostat
  • Doesn’t have a remote control

3. MIDEA MAW05M1BWT: Cheapest 5,000 BTU AC Unit

LG LW5016: Best LG 5,000 BTU Air Conditioner (Best Reputation)
Cooling Capacity: 5,000 BTU
Coverage Area: Up to 250 sq ft
EER Rating: 11.1
Airflow: N/A
Noise Levels: Up to 57 dB
Power, Voltage, Amps: 450W (115V, 5 A)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 15.98″ x 13.19″ x 12.05″
Weight: 39.9 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars

MIDEA MAW05M1BWT is one of the cheapest 5,000 BTU AC Units. It works very well, has more-than-decent specs and it costs less than $200.

This is a basic window unit that is mechanically controlled. You can set the cooling speed for 1 to 7, and you can also set a fan speed with cooling included.

It has a high energy-efficiency rating (EER = 11.1) which is way above average and saves you money in the long term. To achieve the 5,000 BTU cooling output, MIDEA MAW05M1BWT requires less than 500 W input.

The noise levels are quiet enough. MIDEA MAW05M1BWT generates up to 57 dB of noise when operating at the highest fan speed setting. That’s a bit more than the best LG and Frigidaire units.

In short, MIDEA MAW05M1BWT is a capable 5,000 BTU AC unit that requires little to no maintenance, has decent specs, and is available at one of the cheapest price points of any 5,000 BTU air conditioners:

Pros
  • 11.1 EER rating makes it quite energy efficient (needs only 450W for 5,000 BTU)
  • Can be used in spaces up to 250 sq ft
  • Has a simple manual control
  • It’s the most budget-friendly 5,000 BTU AC unit
Cons
  • Noise levels are a bit higher than with the quietest LG and Frigidaire units
  • Midea is a lesser known brand

4. TCL 5WR1-A: Mechanical 5,000 BTU Air Conditioner

TCL 5WR1-A: Mechanical 5,000 BTU Air Conditioner
Cooling Capacity: 5,000 BTU
Coverage Area: Up to 250 sq ft
EER Rating: 11.1
Airflow: 135 CFM
Noise Levels: 50+ dB
Power, Voltage, Amps: 450W (115V, 4 A)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 15.2″ x 15.98″ x 12.52″
Weight: 37.7 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

TCL 5WR1-A is another mechanical 5,000 BTU air conditioner with a capable compressor. This 5,000 BTU air conditioner also costs less than $200 which is very affordable for a reliable unit.

As far as energy-efficiency is concerned, the TCL 5WR1-A uses 450 watts of power to generate its maximum BTU output of 5,000 BTU. That puts its EER rating at 11.1; one of the most energy-efficient window AC units.

The coverage of the 5,000 BTU TCL 5WR1-A is up to 250 sq ft, with a recommended coverage area of about 150 sq ft.

Mechanical design means that there are little to no issues. You can use a screwdriver and fix any problems yourself if needed. Apart from cleaning the filters once or twice a year, you don’t really have to do anything else. The freon leakage, for example, occurs in an insignificant number of cases.

All in all, TCL 5WR1-A is another no-nonsense mechanical 5,000 BTU AC units that’s easy to maintain and runs very efficiently

Pros
  • Very easy to maintain (only clean filters once or twice a year)
  • Little to no running issues; a reliable device
  • High energy-efficiency with 11.1 EER rating; it draws 450W when at maximum speed setting
  • Costs less than $200
Cons
  • High speed noise levels unknown; likely up to 57 dB
  • TCL is not a well-known brand

5. Keystone KSTAW05CE: Most Energy-Efficient 5,000 BTU Air Conditioner

Keystone KSTAW05CE: Most Energy-Efficient 5,000 BTU Air Conditioner
Cooling Capacity: 5,000 BTU
Coverage Area: Up to 250 sq ft
EER Rating: 12.2
Airflow: 150 CFM
Noise Levels: 51+ dB
Power, Voltage, Amps: 410W (115V, 3.8 A)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 16″ x 15.4″ x 12″
Weight: 47.4 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Keystone KSTAW05CE, for a lack of a better term, is quite exceptional. It’s built similarly to other 5,000 BTU mechanical AC units but it has one big advantage:

Superb compressor.

That shows the best if you look at the energy-efficiency. With a 12.2 EER rating, the Keystone KSTAW05CE is the most energy-efficient 5,000 BTU air conditioner. 12+ EER rating is something only a very small part of all AC units are capable of achieving. For that, the Keystone KSTAW05CE has been awarded an Energy Star certification.

The noise levels are similarly low to other top-rated 5,000 BTU AC units. At the lowest speed setting, it generates only 51 dB of noise levels. The high-speed setting noise levels are, unfortunately, not measured.

The exceptional part is that the Keystone KSTAW05CE uses only 410W even when operating at the top speed setting. That’s about 10% less electricity used compared to high energy-efficiency 5,000 BTU units and about 40% less electricity usage compared to standard window AC units.

All in all, if you want the lowest possible running costs from your 5,000 BTU AC unit, the Keystone KSTAW05CE is definitely the right choice:

Pros
  • Most energy-efficient 5,000 BTU AC unit (12+ EER rating)
  • Requires only 410W of electrical power to generate 5,000 BTU
  • Quiet operation
  • Rather affordable given the highest EER rating
Cons
  • Keystone is not a well-known brand
  • The high speed setting noise levels are not measured

6. AMANA AMAP050BW: Quiet Amana 5,000 BTU Air Conditioner

AMANA AMAP050BW: Quiet Amana 5,000 BTU Air Conditioner
Cooling Capacity: 5,000 BTU
Coverage Area: Up to 250 sq ft
EER Rating: 11.1
Airflow: N/A
Noise Levels: 50/55 dB
Power, Voltage, Amps: 451W (115V, 4 A)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 15.3″ x 16″ x 12.5″
Weight: 39.7 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars

Amana AMAP050BW is the classic Amana 5,000 BTU air conditioner that has been in production for some years now. With recommended coverage of 150 sq ft and a successful track record, this is one of the most reliable 12×12 room air conditioners.

As most highly energy-efficient 5,000 BTU units, it has an 11.1 EER rating and runs on 451W. For such a small unit, it requires the minimum electricity input to produce its cooling effect. Amana AMAP050BW really has the minimum running + unit cost combined.

The noise levels are on par with the quietest 5,000 BTU unit by LG. The silent compressor is the necessary requirement to have 50/55 dB noise levels.

All in all, the Amana AMAP050BW is another example of a well-developed classic no-nonsense AC unit that will last for ages:

Pros
  • Reliable Amana 5k AC Unit
  • 11.1 EER rating put’s it in the category of the more energy-efficient AC units
  • Low noise levels (50/55 dB) are on par with the quietest LG unit
Cons
  • The airflow is not known; subpar 100 CFM airflow could cause hot spots within a small room
  • The unit seems to be missing from the stock quite a lot

This is it for the smallest air conditioners on the market. If you have any questions regarding the 5,000 BTU AC units, you are welcome to pose them in the comments below.

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