Why buy a window AC and a heater if you can have both of them in one HVAC device?
We usually buy window AC units to keep cool in the summer. In the winter, we buy space heaters to keep up warm. Having two devices for cooling and heating eats away our space, we have to store them, and we have to pay once for a window AC and once for a space heater.
This is exactly why window air conditioners with heat are such a perfect solution. Can window AC units heat? Of course, they can. All window AC units that can cool and heat work like window AC heat pumps:
- Window AC with heater can provide 10,000+ BTU of cooling effect during the summer.
- The same window unit with heat can provide 10,000+ BTU of heating during the winter.
If you’re going to mount a window AC unit on the window sill, it’s smart to consider if you can use that same device for heating in the winter. By getting an AC and heat window unit you solve both cooling AND heating requirements with a single 2-in-1 unit.
Of course, there are “good” and “bad” window AC units with heat. To eliminate the bad ones and see which units are the best window AC with heater combos, you have to look at both:
- Cooling capabilities. Adequate cooling square footage, cooling energy-efficiency (EER rating), and low noise levels.
- Heating capabilities. Adequate heating coverage, heating energy-efficiency (HSPF rating), and low noise levels.
This is exactly what we have done. The result is a list of the best window AC units with heat combos, complete with a comparison table of the 5 best units, and window AC with heater reviews. You can skip to the list, comparison, and reviews here:
Before we look at the top-rated window air conditioner with heat, however, it makes sense to familiarize ourselves with these financially viable devices.
We’ll start by looking at how window AC units with heat work as heat pumps, and continue with the 3 most important specifications based on which you can make an educated decision about which window air conditioner heater window unit to buy:
How Do Window AC Units With Heat Work?
All window AC units are comprised of key parts like expansion valves, compressors, fans, and controls.
The vital part to understand how the window air conditioner can provide the heating effect includes the condenser coil (indoors cold coil) and the evaporator coil (outdoor hot coil). Here is how they look on the exploded diagram of window AC with heater:
In the summer, the indoor air is run over the cold condenser coils (copper tubing), effectively decreasing the temperature of indoor air.
The gathered heat from the indoor air is transported via the refrigerant and capillary tube (refrigerant lines) to the outdoor hot evaporator coils. There the excess heat is dissipated outdoors; the net effect we all feel is cooler indoor air.
In the winter, however, the window AC unit with heater works in a reverse way; this action is the essence of all heat pumps. To use a window AC as a heater, the direction of refrigerant flow has to reverse. All window AC units with heat do this automatically; the position of the expansion valve is changed accordingly.
Now, the indoor cold condenser coil is turned into a hot evaporator coil, and vice versa. The cooler indoor air in the winter is run over these hot indoor evaporator coils, which heat it up.
The net effect of this condenser-evaporator coil reversal via the opposite refrigerant flow is heating.
Effectively, the window AC units with heat combos can produce almost the same amount of heating as cooling.
Example: The most popular model – LG LW1216HR – can provide 12,000 BTU of cooling output in the summer and 11,200 BTU of heating output in the winter. The reason why this is the best LG window AC unit with heat is that it does both jobs very efficiently.
3 Key Metrics To Have In Mind When Buying AC And Heat Window Unit
When buying window AC units, you have to make sure of two important things:
- Cooling capacity and square footage. Window ACs have to be powerful enough to adequately cool down a room/s you’re in.
- Energy-efficiency. The main expense is not the cost of the unit itself; it’s the cost of the electricity your window AC is going to spend in the next 15 or so years. That’s why energy-efficiency, expressed as an EER rating, is key to reducing these overall costs and being as eco-friendly as possible.
When it comes to window AC units with heating, you have to additionally think of the heater. Namely, heating properties should be considered just as strongly as cooling properties. That’s why we have to check other key metrics:
- Heating capacity and square footage.
Let’s go into a little more detail about these 3 key factors before we check out the best-rated window AC units with heat:
Cooling Capacity And Coverage Area
Every window AC with a heater has a designated cooling capacity, measured in BTU (British Thermal Units). The cooling output of these units ranges from the smaller 8,000 BTU units to the big 25,000 BTU units.
The key part is to buy a window heat pump that is:
- Not too weak. Having a window AC heater with insufficient cooling capacity will leave you sweating during the summer heatwave.
- Not too powerful. That would be overkill; you would be paying extra for BTU capacity you don’t actually need.
To properly size the cooling effect to our room size, we can use the EPA’s rule of thumb which states:
“20 BTU per sq ft of living area.”
That’s quite an energy-conservative figure, however. To make sure we don’t invest in a window AC unit with a heater that’s too weak, let’s use 25 BTU per sq ft. Here’s how we can calculate the room size (we’ll use 12,000 BTU as an example):
Cooling Coverage = 12,000 BTU / 25 BTU per sq ft = 480 sq ft
In short, a window AC unit with heat that generates 12,000 BTU of cooling output is enough to cool down spaces up to about 500 sq ft.
In the comparison table and individual reviews of window AC heater units, you will see the recommended coverage area for every unit.
Heating Capacity And Coverage Area
The same goes for heating capacity. With every window AC unit with heat in the comparison and reviews below, you will see the heating capacity and the recommended coverage area.
Heating capacities for window AC units range from 3,500 BTU to 16,000 BTU.
The bigger units by Koldfront, LG, and PerfectAir can be used as stand-alone heaters in the winter. They generate 10,000+ BTU of heating output and can adequately heat up spaces of 400 sq ft or more on their own.
Smaller units like Frigidaire FFRH0822R1 and Koldfront WAC8001W produce 3,500 BTU. On their own, they could heat up rooms up to about 150 sq ft. However, generally, they are used as supplemental heating units; the central heating system is the primary generator of heat, while these smaller window AC units with heaters act as a secondary generator of heat.
The window AC units with a bigger heating effect are like small furnaces. They need, however, more than 3000 watts of power to function at 100% heating output. With a higher wattage, the energy-efficiency becomes increasingly more important:
Energy-Efficiency Of Window AC Units With Heat
Any HVAC device, including AC and heat window units, should use as little electricity as possible for the biggest possible output. A metric that determines this ratio is energy-efficiency.
The average window AC EER rating is about 9. In the table below, you will find above-average energy-efficient air conditioner and heater window units. The #2 LG LW1216HR with an extremely high EER rating of 11.3 is the most energy-efficient window AC with a heater. It requires only a bit more than 1000W to produce 12,000 BTU of cooling output.
For heating, we use the HSPF rating to express how energy-efficient the heating part of the window heat pump is. On average, window units require about 300W of energy for every 1,000 BTU of heating output.
The biggest window AC unit – Koldfront WAC25001W – can generate a tremendous amount of heating output for a window unit; 16,000 BTU in total (with up to 700 sq ft heating area). For that it requires 4,800W of energy; it sounds quite a lot but this is one of the most energy-efficient heating window AC units.
List Of The Best Window AC Units With Heater
- Koldfront WAC25001W: Biggest Window Unit With Heat (25,000 BTU).
- LG LW1216HR: Best LG And Most Energy-Efficient AC And Heat Window Unit.
- Frigidaire FFRH0822R1: Best Small Window Air Conditioner With Heater (8,000 BTU).
- Koldfront WAC8001W: Cheapest Window AC With Heater (Below $500).
- PerfectAire 3PACH18000: Powerful Heating And Cooling Window Unit.
1. Koldfront WAC25001W: Biggest Window Unit With Heat (25,000 BTU)
|Cooling Capacity:||25,000 BTU|
|Cooling Area:||Up to 1500 sq ft|
|Heating Capacity:||16,000 BTU|
|Heating Area:||Up to 700 sq ft|
|EER Rating:||9.4 (CEER)|
|Power:||2660 W cooling / 4800 W heating|
|Dimensions (HxWxD):||26.5″ x 26.5″ x 18.63″|
Koldfront WAC25001W is the biggest window AC unit with a heater. It’s not just another window AC; this unit will generate over 2 ton of cooling power (25,000 BTU). It’s the size of a small central air conditioner, and can additionally generate a total of 16,000 BTU of heating effect in the winter.
It’s outstanding how a window AC unit could be so big. Koldfront WAC25001W is massive; it weighs 136.5 lbs and has a powerful enough cooling effect to effectively cool down spaces up to 1,500 sq ft, according to Koldfront. Realistically, 25,000 BTU of the cooling effect is enough for up to 1,200 sq ft.
The cooling alone needs 2660W to run at 100% capacity. The heater – heating requires more energy – requires 4,800W to generate as much as 16,000 BTU of heating effect.
Koldfront WAC25001W can heat up places up to 700 sq ft. It’s an outstanding device that can replace several portable or window AC units at once. It can even be used as the only cooling and heating device in a small up to 700 sq ft house.
The only drawback of Koldfront WAC25001W is that it has some electrical circuit requirements. It runs on 230V only, and you will need a 30 Amp breaker (that fits the LCDI 6-30P plug type). Some people are also looking for a smaller window AC with a heater.
All in all, if you are looking to make a serious impact on your cooling and heating capabilities at the same time, Koldfront WAC25001W is the biggest and most powerful AC and heating window unit on the market:
2. LG LW1216HR: Best LG And Most Energy-Efficient AC And Heat Window Unit
|Cooling Capacity:||12,000 BTU|
|Cooling Area:||Up to 550 sq ft|
|Heating Capacity:||11,200 BTU|
|Heating Area:||Up to 450 sq ft|
|Power:||1060 W cooling / 3500 W heating|
|Dimensions (HxWxD):||22.06″ x 23.63″ x 14.97″|
LG is known for producing the best window AC units. Fortunately, they also produce a series of window AC units that can heat as well. Out of those, the LG LW1216HR is the best model; in fact, this is the best overall window AC unit with heat currently on the market.
The LG LW1216HR can produce an almost symmetric heating and cooling effect at an incredible energy-saving rate.
In the summer, the LG LW1216HR is capable of producing 12,000 BTU of cooling output. This is enough for about 500, 550 sq ft area. 12,000 BTU is exactly 1 ton; this is one of the most coveted and best-selling AC capacities.
In the winter, this LG unit can generate 11,200 BTU of heating output; there is less than 10% of the difference between heating and cooling output. 11,200 BTU is enough to heat up spaces up to 450 sq ft. That means that you can use the LG LW1216HR to cool and heat the same room/s; with a combined square footage of about 500 sq ft or less.
The best part about LG LW1216HR is its extremely high energy efficiency. It has an EER rating far above 10. In fact, the LG LW1216HR can deliver 12,000 BTU of cooling effect at an 11.3 EER rating. That means it only needs 1060W to power the window air conditioner.
For heating, however, it needs to draw a total of 3500W of power to run at 100% heating output. To produce that, you will need a 230V voltage; this is the only drawback the LG LW1216HR has.
All in all, LG is the most reliable brand that makes window AC heater combos. LG LW1216HR has an almost symmetric cooling/heating output, 12,000 BTU capacity that most homeowners are looking for, and tremendous energy-efficiency. It is the best overall LG window AC with heater:
3. Frigidaire FFRH0822R1: Best Small Window Air Conditioner With Heater (8,000 BTU)
|Cooling Capacity:||8,000 BTU|
|Cooling Area:||Up to 350 sq ft|
|Heating Capacity:||3,500 BTU|
|EER Rating:||9.8 (CEER)|
|Power:||775 W cooling / 1290 W heating|
|Dimensions (HxWxD):||23.31″ x 22.63″ x 15.38″|
Frigidaire is also a well-known HVAC brand. With Frigidaire FFRH0822R1, Frigidaire has made the best small 115V window air conditioner and heater in one. The fact that it can run on 115V voltage gives it an advantage over bigger units that require 230V.
On its own, Frigidaire FFRH0822R1 can generate 8,000 BTU of cooling effect. This is more than enough to cool down spaces up to 350 sq ft. With 115V, it’s really easy to install on the window sill; you can use your standard 115V outlets.
The heating effect is 3,500 BTU. This is enough to heat up places up to 150 sq ft on its own. However, the Frigidaire FFRH0822R1 heater is predominantly used as a space heater in the winter; a as supplemental (and not stand-alone) heating source.
It is fairly energy-efficient. The 9.8 CEER rating is above-average. To produce 8,000 BTU, Frigidaire FFRH0822R1 requires only 775W of power input.
All in all, the Frigidaire FFRH0822R1 is the best and smallest window AC unit with a heater. It can be used as a window AC unit and space heater, and produces enough BTU output to cool down spaces up to 350 sq ft:
4. Koldfront WAC8001W: Cheapest Window AC With Heater (Below $500)
|Cooling Capacity:||8,000 BTU|
|Cooling Area:||Up to 350 sq ft|
|Heating Capacity:||3,500 BTU|
|Power:||750 W cooling / 1320 W heating|
|Dimensions (HxWxD):||23″ x 22.63″ x 16.13″|
Koldfront makes both the biggest and the smallest AC and heater window units. Koldfront WAC8001W is their 8,000 BTU window AC unit with 3,500 BTU supplemental heating; it’s the cheapest heating/cooling window combo, available for less than $500.
The 8,000 BTU of cooling effect in the summer is enough to properly cool down spaces up to 350 sq ft. The 3,500 BTU of heating effect will provide pretty much the same effect as a stand-alone space heater in the winter. It will serve as a supplemental heating system; on it’s own it can only heat up spaces up to 150 sq ft.
The best thing about Koldfront WAC8001W – apart from the low price – is a very high cooling energy-efficiency. It has an EER rating of 10.7 which is way above the average 9 EER rating for window AC units. To produce 8,000 BTU, the Koldfront WAC8001W requires only 750W of power input.
The beauty of a smaller and more energy-efficient window AC unit with a heater is that it only requires 115V voltage; no need for Amp breakers or circuit upgrades. You can just put it out of the box, plug it in a 115V outlet, and run it within 15 minutes.
With a price of less than $500, the Koldfront WAC8001W is the most affordable air conditioner and heater window unit:
5. PerfectAire 3PACH18000: Powerful Heating And Cooling Window Unit
|Cooling Capacity:||18,500 BTU|
|Cooling Area:||Up to 900 sq ft|
|Heating Capacity:||16,000 BTU|
|Heating Area:||Up to 700 sq ft|
|Power:||1730 W cooling / 4800 W heating|
|Dimensions (HxWxD):||25.5″ x 23.75″ x 18″|
PerfectAire 3PACH18000 is another good choice if you’re looking for a big and powerful window heat pump. This is a 117 lbs device that can produce a grand total of 18,500 BTU of cooling output; that’s more than a 1.5 ton central AC unit.
The 18,500 BTU can almost cover 1,000 sq ft. In fact, you can use the PerfectAire 3PACH18000 to cool down a combined area of up to 900 sq ft.
On top of that, it also has a powerful heater. With 4,800W power input in the winter, the PerfectAire 3PACH18000 can generate 16,000 BTU of heating output. You can use it as a stand-alone heater and it will adequately heat up to 700 sq ft; almost symmetric heating/cooling effect.
What is more, the PerfectAire 3PACH18000 is also very energy-efficient. With a 10.7 EER rating, it’s one of the most energy-efficient combos of window AC and space heater. The one drawback the PerfectAire 3PACH18000 has is the lesser-known PerfectAire brand. A brand is usually connected with reliability, and some homeowners will not trust an unknown brand.
All in all, the PerfectAire 3PACH18000 might be the last on the list, but it’s a very powerful unit with decent specs, and available at an affordable price point:
That’s it for the combination of window air conditioner and space heater, all in one. If you have any additional questions, you can use the comment section and we’ll try to help you out.