6 Best 8,000 BTU Air Conditioners For 250-400 Sq Ft Spaces

8,000 BTU air conditioners are considered one of the smallest AC units. The 8,000 BTU (British Thermal Units) capacity might be enough for a good-sized room or even a small apartment.

How big of a room will 8000 BTU cool?

8,000 BTU air conditioners can cool rooms from 250 sq ft (low-end) to 400 sq ft (high-end):

8000 btu air conditioner coverage area
8,000 BTU air conditioners can cool down rooms from 250 sq ft (about 16×16) to 400 sq ft (20×20).

These 2/3 ton air conditioners are one of the best-selling ones because they can be used to cool down:

  • 16×16 rooms.
  • 18×18 rooms.
  • 20×20 rooms.
  • Even small apartments.

Of course, they are good 8,000 BTU AC units and bad 8,000 BTU AC units. To weed out the bad ones and get a list of only the best 8k air conditioner, we can look at the following specifications:

  • Energy-efficiency (above 9 EER rating is essential).
  • Max. airflow (at least 150 CFM on the high fan speed setting).
  • Noise levels (anything above 60 dB is considered loud).
  • Brand. Probably the most important factor: Well-known brands such as LG, Midea, Frigidaire, GE, Haier produce reliable and long-lasting 8,000 BTU air conditioners.

In accordance with these specific metrics, LearnMetrics recommends 6 best 8,000 BTU air conditioners to cool down 300-500 sq ft areas. We’ll go through the metrics first; but if you want to skip to the list, spec-by-spec comparison, and individual reviews of 8,000 BTU units, you can do that here:

Skip To Best 8,000 BTU AC Units In 2021

To make an informed decision about exactly what kind of 8,000 BTU AC you need (and if 8,000 BTU unit is actually appropriate for your situation), let’s start with the 2 types of AC units that can produce 8k cooling effect:

Two Types Of AC Units Capable Of Producing 8,000 BTU Cooling Effect

Central air conditioners or the new ductless mini-split AC units produce a minimum of 9,000 BTU. There are only two types of air conditioners that produce 8,000 BTU of cooling output:

  1. 8k Portable Air Conditioners.
  2. 8k Window Air Conditioners.

Window and portable AC units can be small enough to generate as little as 8,000 BTU. That’s why they are perfect units to cool small to mid-sized rooms.

Which is better – 8,000 BTU portable AC unit or 8,000 BTU window AC unit?

In general, portable AC units are the most popular. This is because they can be moved from room to room; you can have an 18×18 room and cool it, and then move to another 16×16 room and move that one as well. You just unplug the 8,000 BTU portable AC and plugin it in a 115V outlet in another room.

8k air conditioner can cool down 350 sq ft room
Portable 8,000 BTU AC units are easier to install but window units have a higher energy-efficiency (on average).

Nonetheless, as far as energy-efficiency is concerned, the 8,000 window AC units have an edge over portable ones.

How Big Of A Room Will 8,000 BTU Cool?

The cooling output is directly connected with the room’s square footage. EPA gives a rough estimate for an energy-saving air conditioning that says:

“20 BTU per 1 sq ft.”

Hence, if you have an 8,000 BTU air conditioner, it will be able to cool a 400 sq ft room. That’s the maximum recommended coverage. 

Practically, there are several other factors that impact how big a room will an 8,000 BTU air conditioner cool (isolation, ceiling height, sun exposure, and so on). To avoid a too weak cooling effect, we should take into account 25 BTU or even 30 BTU per square foot.

That translates to:

  • 20 BTU per sq ft = 400 sq ft; 8,000 BTU unit could cool down 400 sq ft room.
  • 25 BTU per sq ft = 320 sq ft; 8,000 BTU unit could cool down 320 sq ft room.
  • 30 BTU per sq ft = 270 sq ft; 8,000 BTU unit could cool down 270 sq ft room.
  • 32 BTU per sq ft = 250 sq ft; 8,000 BTU unit could cool down 250 sq ft room.

The 250-400 sq ft is the most realistic range for 8,000 BTU air conditioner coverage.

How Much Electricity Does A 8,000 BTU Air Conditioner Use?

The overall cost of every 8,000 BTU AC doesn’t really depend on the unit price: It depends on energy-efficiency. In 10 years, you might pay as little as $800 or as much as $1,500 in electricity bills for an 8,000 BTU air conditioner.

The difference? Energy-efficiency.

Energy-efficiency of 8k air conditioners is measured by EER rating. This is simply a ratio between cooling output and power input. On average, 8,000 BTU portable units have an 8.5 EER rating, and window units have a higher 9.6 EER rating.

Let’s make some calculations to figure out how much is the running cost of 8,000 BTU air conditioners with different EER ratings. 

An 8.5 EER rated unit will require 940W to produce 8,000 BTU. If you run it for 1000 hours (average season), you will burn through 940 kWh. With the average price per kilowatt-hour of about $0.1319, that translates into $124 in electricity bills.

Now let’s have a look at an extremely energy-efficient unit. Frigidaire Gallery is the most energy-efficient 8,000 BTU AC with a 12.0 EER rating. Instead of 940W, it requires the only 660W to achieve that cooling output. That means that running it for 1000 hours at max. speed will spend only 660 kWh or $84. 

Here’s the summary of how much it costs to run an 8,000 BTU AC given the EER rating:

  • 8.5 EER rating = $124 per 1000h.
  • 12.0 EER rating = $84 per 1000h.

That’s about $40 per cooling season. It might not mean much in 1 year but portable can last up to 10 years. In 10 years, that’s a $400 difference.

Here’s the outtake:

If in doubt, always go for a more energy-efficient 8,000 AC unit, even if it costs $200 more than the lower energy-efficiency unit. In long term, you’re making a financially smart investment.

Note about CEER rating: Some producers already list the new CEER (Combined EER) rating in the specification sheets. These units are usually ‘proud’ of how energy-efficient they are. Example: Midea U Inverter has superb energy-efficiency, depicted by 15 CEER rating.

What Are The Quietest 8,000 BTU Units?

No one wants an air conditioner that makes too much noise. Some louder portable 8,000 BTU air conditioners can generate more than 60 dB on the highest fan speed setting.

The quiet ones – like the ones you can see in the table below – produce less than 60 dB of noise. In fact, the super silent Midea 8,000 BTU U Inverter produces as little as 47 dB even on the highest setting while generating 476 CFM airflow. That’s more than impressive.

In general, every quiet 8,000 BTU should have a silent compressor (the primary source of noise) and an optimized airflow (the fan is the secondary source of noise).


Given these specifications, you can check the list and spec-by-spec comparison of the top 6 8,000 BTU air conditioners (both portable and window units) here:

Top 8,000 BTU Air Conditioners (List + Comparison)

  1. LG LP0817WSR: Most Popular 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner.
  2. Midea U Inverter: Best 8,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner.
  3. Frigidaire FGRC084WAE Gallery: Best Frigidaire 8,000 BTU AC Unit (Most Energy-Efficient Unit).
  4. GE AHY08LZ: Best GE 8,000 BTU Window AC Unit.
  5. Haier HPP08XCR: Best-Selling 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner.
  6. TOSOT Tranquillity: Super Quiet 8,000 BTU Air Conditioner.
8,000 AC: #1 LG LP0817WSR #2 Midea U Inverter  #3 Frigidaire Gallery #4 GE AHY08LZ #5 Haier HPP08XCR #6 TOSOT Tranquillity
Photo:
Cooling Capacity: 8,000 BTU 8,000 BTU 8,000 BTU 8,000 BTU 8,000 BTU 8,000 BTU
Coverage Area: 250-400 q ft 250-400 q ft 250-400 q ft 250-400 q ft 250-400 q ft 250-400 q ft
EER Rating: 9.2 15 (CEER rating) 12.0 11.4 (CEER rating) N/A 12.0
Type: Portable AC Window AC Window AC Window AC Portable AC Window AC
Max. Airflow: 250 CFM 111/476 CFM 134/156/175 CFM 190/220 CFM N/A N/A
Noise Levels: 51/53 dB 42/47 dB 55/56/58 dB N/A N/A 42/47/49 dB
Power, Voltage, Amps: 870W (115V, 7.7 A) 710W (115V, 8.78 A) 660W (115V, 5.7 A) 695W (115V, 6.0 A) 900W (115V, 7.8 A) 660W (115V, 6.9 A)
Price: $$$$ $$$$ $$$$ $$$$ $$$$ $$$$
Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.8 out of 5 stars 4.7 out of 5 stars 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.2 out of 5 stars 4.8 out of 5 stars
Availability: Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price

1. LG LP0817WSR: Most Popular 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

LG LP0817WSR: Most Popular 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
Cooling Capacity: 8,000 BTU
Recommended Coverage Area: 250-400 sq ft
EER Rating: 9.2
Type: Portable AC
Max. Airflow: 250 CFM
Noise Levels: 51/53 dB
Power, Voltage, Amps: 870W (115V, 7.7 A)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 21.97″ x 19.17″ x 13.46″
Weight: 70 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

LG LP0817WSR is the best-known 8,000 BTU portable air conditioner for 250-400 square feet spaces. It has quite a legacy and a true-and-true successful track record. It’s the best 8,000 BTU air conditioner LG produces.

It’s interesting that LG decided to specify the ‘Up to 200 sq ft’ coverage. This is playing it extremely safe; an 8,000 BTU LG LP0817WSR will use a grand total of 40 BTU per square foot; that’s quite a lot. According to the HVAC calculations, 8,000 BTU should be easily enough to cool down 300 sq ft areas, for example.

The main reason why the LG LP0817WSR is considered the best 8,000 BTU portable air conditioner is the legacy that the LG brand brings. They have a good reputation as a reliable HVAC producer; LG air conditioners are the ones that last the longest.

The oscillating air discharge is a welcome feature; the air is more evenly distributed throughout the room. This is the only truly effective way to get rid of hot spots in the room.

The only problem with this classic LG air conditioner is the energy-efficiency. This is not the newest 2021 model with all the eco-saving features; it does have an EER rating of 9.2. That means that it draws 870W of energy to produce the 8,000 BTU output.

It is, however, one of the quietest 8,000 BTU portable air conditioners. With 51/53 dB noise levels at low/high fan speed settings, you will be able to sleep next to it.

All in all, the LG LP0817WSR is one of the best and definitely the most popular 8,000 BTU air conditioners. It might have a record-level energy-efficiency but it’s reliable, quiet, and has been tried-and-tested to last for 10+ years:

Pros
  • Best 8,000 BTU air conditioner LG every engineered
  • Has proven to be reliable and is a tried-and-tested model with minimum issues
  • Oscillating air discharge (with 250 CFM airflow) distributes cool air to 250-400 sq ft rooms as evenly as possible
  • Quiet operation
Cons
  • Energy-efficiency is not much above average (EER = 9.2)
  • LG does recommend up to 200 sq ft room coverage; 8,000 BTU are capable of cooling larger rooms than that

2. Midea U Inverter: Best 8,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

Midea U Inverter: Best 8,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
Cooling Capacity: 8,000 BTU
Recommended Coverage Area: 250-400 sq ft
EER Rating: 15 (CEER rating)
Type: Window AC
Max. Airflow: 111/476 CFM
Noise Levels: 42/47 dB
Power, Voltage, Amps: 710W (115V, 8.78 A)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 21.97″ x 19.17″ x 13.46″
Weight: 67.9 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Midea U Inverter is not only the best 8,000 BTU window air conditioner; given the specs, it’s the absolute best 8,000 BTU AC unit in general. As we’ll see, the energy-efficiency, airflow, and low-noise specs are through the roof.

First of all, the Energy Star certified energy-efficiency of Midea 8,000 BTU U-Inverter is superb. With a 15 CEER rating, the Midea unit uses as little as 710W to produce 8k of cooling output. Comparatively, that makes it 35% more energy-efficient than other 8,000 BTU units.

It’s also the quietest 8k air conditioner. With 42/47 dB noise levels, it’s one of only two 8,000 AC units capable of operating below 50 dB even when you set it in the high fan speed setting. That setting produces the max. airflow of 476 CFM; these are specs of 12,000 BTU mini-split ACs.

On top of that, it has the distinctive new-age U-shaped saddle design; it sits on the window sill, has a lower profile, and comes with an easy installation kit.

Overall, the Midea U Inverter is the single best 8,000 BTU air conditioner given the superb energy-efficiency, low-noise, max. airflow specs. The new U-shaped design is much more visually appealing and lets in more natural sunlight:

Pros
  • Record-level specs for a 8,000 BTU unit (12,000 BTU mini-splits have less than 476 CFM airflow, for example)
  • Extremely high energy-efficiency that saves $100 in electricity bills (CEER rating = 15)
  • Record-low noise levels: with the 42/47 dB noise levels, this is the quietest 8k AC unit
  • U-shaped saddle design is visually more appealing than boxy window AC units, and also lets in more natural light
  • Surprisingly affordable price for such record-level 8,000 BTU specs
Cons
  • Midea is not as well-recognizable a brand as LG or Frigidaire

3. Frigidaire FGRC084WAE Gallery: Best Frigidaire 8,000 BTU AC Unit

Frigidaire FGRC084WAE Gallery: Best Frigidaire 8,000 BTU AC Unit
Cooling Capacity: 8,000 BTU
Recommended Coverage Area: 250-400 sq ft
EER Rating: 12.0
Type: Window AC
Max. Airflow: 134/156/175 CFM
Noise Levels: 55/56/58 dB
Power, Voltage, Amps: 660W (115V, 5.7 A)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 18.5″ x 17.7″ x 13.4″
Weight: 60 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

If you need any kind of air conditioner, Frigidaire probably makes it. They have abundant experience in engineering air conditioners, and their best 8,000 BTU window AC unit – the Frigidaire FGRC084WAE – is a good reflection of that. 

The single most important aspect – the energy-efficiency – is superb. Frigidaire has managed to create a window air conditioner that requires only 660W electrical input to produce 8,000 BTU of cooling output. With the total 12.0 EER rating, this is the most energy-efficient 8,000 BTU air conditioner.

It is Energy Star certified and will likely save you several $100s in electricity bills compared to similar 8,000 BTU units.

With 8k output and 134/156/175 CFM airflow, the Frigidaire FGRC084WAE is capable of cooling 250-400 sq ft rooms. Frigidaire recommends for this unit be used in rooms up to 350 sq ft.

On top of that, you can use a smart device to switch between fan speeds, change the temperature, and so on.

The only drawback the Frigidaire FGRC084WAE has are the noise levels. With the 55/56/58 dB noise level interval, this is not the quietest AC unit. It’s far from being loud, however.

To summarize, the Frigidaire FGRC084WAE is the most energy-efficient 8,000 BTU air conditioner. It comes with reliability Frigidaire is known for, and energy-savings that no other 8k unit can match:

Pros
  • Most energy-efficient 8k unit with 12.0 EER rating
  • Can save about $40/year compared to standard units (cost-saving and eco-friendly)
  • Capable of adequately cool down 350 sq ft rooms
  • Frigidaire makes one of the most reliable air conditioners in the industry
Cons
  • Noise levels are a bit high (55/56/58 dB)

4. GE AHY08LZ: Best GE 8,000 BTU Window AC Unit

GE AHY08LZ: Best GE 8,000 BTU Window AC Unit
Cooling Capacity: 8,000 BTU
Recommended Coverage Area: 250-400 sq ft
EER Rating: 11.4 (CEER rating)
Type: Window AC
Max. Airflow: 190/220 CFM
Noise Levels: N/A
Power, Voltage, Amps: 695W (115V, 6.0 A)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 17.38″ x 21.13″ x 15″
Weight: 53.9 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

GE also has a good reputation. In GE AHY08LZ, they have created the best GE 8,000 BTU air conditioner for less than $300. Comparatively, this is the cheapest 8k AC unit by a big brand.

GE AHY08LZ is a window AC, capable of cooling down rooms up to 350 sq ft, according to GE. The unit can also be connected to your smartphone or Alexa, and you can control it remotely.

With a CEER rating of 11.4, the GE AHY08LZ has an above-average energy-efficiency. It even has an Energy Star certificate for being a cost-saving and eco-friendly device. To produce 8,000 BTU, GE AHY08LZ requires less than 700W of power (695W to be exact).

It’s max. airflow is mid-range; 220 CFM. The well-optimized airflow is the reason for the GE 8,000 BTU air conditioner being silent. How quiet exactly? Not known; there are no decibel levels to be found in the specification sheet.

All in all, GE is a trust-worthy brand and the GE AHY08LZ is the best 8,000 BTU AC unit GE produces. It’s Energy Star rated and very budget-friendly (less than $300 for a 8,000 BTU unit):

Pros
  • One of the cheapest 8,000 BTU units (costs less than $300)
  • Has a high energy-efficiency with Energy Star rating (CEER rating = 11.4)
  • GE is one of the biggest HVAC brands; they are trust-worthy and make reliable AC units
Cons
  • Exact noise levels are not known
  • The design is a bit boxy; the fallacy of most window AC units

5. Haier HPP08XCR: Popular 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Haier HPP08XCR: Popular 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
Cooling Capacity: 8,000 BTU
Recommended Coverage Area: 250-400 sq ft
EER Rating: N/A
Type: Portable AC
Max. Airflow: N/A
Noise Levels: N/A
Power, Voltage, Amps: N/A
Dimensions (HxWxD): 11.81″ x 27.19″ x 12.56″
Weight: 44 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

Haier HPP08XCR is one of the more popular 8,000 BTU air conditioners. Above all, it’s very simple and lightweight; you can just pick it up, set it down in a room, plug it in 115V, and experience the 8,000 BTU of cooling effect.

This easy-to-use principle is why people who are in immediate need of additional air conditioning – when summer heatwave hits.

Frankly speaking, however, Haier HPP08XCR is a good short-term 8,000 BTU AC unit. It’s not as reliable as comparable LG, Midea, or Frigidaire units. On top of that, the exact energy-efficiency is questionable.

In short, the Haier HPP08XCR will give you immediate 8,000 BTU cooling effect but it won’t last as long or be as energy-efficient as other top 8,000 BTU air conditioners:

Pros
  • Simplest 8,000 BTU air conditioner to use
  • Easy to set up and move around (44 lbs makes it extremely portable)
  • Haier is a well-known brand
Cons
  • Not as energy-efficient as other top units
  • Less reliable
  • Still has a price on par with 12 EER rated 8,000 BTU units (no reduction)

6. TOSOT Tranquillity: Quiet 8,000 BTU Air Conditioner

TOSOT Tranquillity: Quietest 8,000 BTU Air Conditioner.
Cooling Capacity: 8,000 BTU
Recommended Coverage Area: 250-400 sq ft
EER Rating: 12.0
Type: Window  AC
Max. Airflow: N/A
Noise Levels: 42/47/49 dB
Power, Voltage, Amps: 660W (115V, 6.9 A)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 21.4″ x 18.8″ x 14″
Weight: 71 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Despite being the last on the list of the best 8,000 BTU air conditioner, the TOSOT Tranquillity is actually one of the best 8k units out there. Primarily, this is a flagship quiet model (hence “Tranquillity” in the name) and is as energy-efficient as the Frigidaire Gallery.

First of all, the TOSOT Tranquillity was designed to be the quietest window air conditioner with decibel levels below 50 dB. It’s one of the two 8,000 BTU units capable of operating below 50 dB. The exact noise levels are 42/47/49 dB for low/mid/high fan speed settings, respectively.

Quiet compressors like TOSOT uses also tend to be very energy-efficient. In fact, the 12.0 EER rating is one of the highest possible energy-efficiency ratings for an 8,000 BTU air conditioner. According to the EnergyGuide label, the TOSOT Tranquillity will cost you as little as $65 per year in electricity cost (calculation made with 720h runtime).

It’s also fairly easy to install on the window sill. Most people can pick it up and have it installed within 15 minutes.

On top of that, TOSOT Tranquillity has a surprisingly low price. This is an 8,000 BTU air conditioner that costs less than $400; quite amazing, given the extremely high energy-efficiency rating and low-noise operation:

Pros
  • One of the most energy-efficient 8,000 AC units (EER rating = 12)
  • Designed to be whisper quiet; measured noise levels of 42/47/49 dB are a testament to that
  • Very easy to install (it comes in one block piece, 15 min installation)
  • Surprisingly affordable for such quality specs
Cons
  • TOSOT made a great AC but it’s not primarily an HVAC company
  • As with all window units, it can’t be easily moved around like portable ACs

This was the complete list of the best 8,000 BTU units in 2021. The list is updated fairly regularly. If you have any questions regarding these 2/3 ton air conditioners, you’re welcome to use the comment section below.

2 thoughts on “6 Best 8,000 BTU Air Conditioners For 250-400 Sq Ft Spaces”

  1. Thank you very much for this article about aircon and recommended BTU. It helps me now to decide which size of an AC should I buy for my room.

    Reply

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