GasElectricDual FuelEnergy Star Certified
Main Content
Woman monitoring air conditioner

Smart Air Conditioners Buying Guide

In this guide, we're going to take a closer look at smart air conditioners to see what benefits they can bring to your life.
Friedrich Air Conditioners - Smart Air Conditioners Buying Guide

Getting Started With A Smart AC

In recent years, you've probably begun to notice a growing number of electronics and appliances being offered with integrated "smart" functions. From your entertainment system to your kitchen appliances, just about everything you can buy at is available in an option more intelligent than it was just a decade ago. This technology is popping up everywhere—including your air conditioner. But what is a smart air conditioner, and what benefits does it offer over your existing unit? That's what we're here to talk about.

What is a Smart Air Conditioner?

First things first. What is a smart air conditioner? The term "smart" gets thrown around a lot in the world of consumer electronics these days. Each manufacturer will have specific features offered by their smart machines, but the broad answer is that a smart air conditioner is an air conditioner that can connect to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or both, in order to receive control input and share information. That means you'll be able to control it with an internet-connected device, like your smartphone, tablet, and often even a voice assistant like the Google Home.

How do Smart Air Conditioners work?

Smart air conditioners work just like any typical AC unit, but thanks to their connectivity, they give you the option of using voice or app control. It's important to note that these smart functions are an optional way of doing things—you can still make adjustments the old-fashioned way, on the actual control panel. You don't need to use the smart functions of an air conditioner. This is great for households where one user might not be as tech-savvy as the others.
Friedrich Air Conditioners - What is a Wi-Fi enabled Air Conditioner?

What is a Wi-Fi enabled Air Conditioner?

So, just what are the benefits of a smart air conditioner? A smart air conditioner can add convenience to your daily life, and even help you save some money, by letting you control your AC when you can't be physically near it . Every wall or window air conditioner has a built-in thermostat which has historically been a great way to control the climate in your home. But a thermostat is a simple device, restricted to the instructions you give it. For instance: if you set your window AC to 72°, it will always turn on when the temperature is higher, and turn off when the target temperature is reached. That's great, but it's not always exactly what you might want in every situation. A smart air conditioner like one from the Friedrich Chill series gives you extra controls for these situations.
Imagine that you're snuggled up on the couch in the middle of a movie, when you decide that it's too cold. With a smart air conditioner, you can use simple voice commands to adjust the temperature without ever leaving the couch. Or perhaps your after-work plans changed, and instead of being home at six o'clock, you'll be out until ten. A few quick taps of an app and you can keep your AC from turning on at its typical evening time. There's no need to use energy cooling an empty apartment, which is both environmentally unfriendly and a waste of money. The Friedrich smart air conditioner app also gives you control to fine-tune your cooling system. You can adjust settings for the operation mode, fan speed, and any of the other advanced options that your AC might include. The app easily lets you set complex programming instructions, like a weeklong schedule with different cooling cycles for each day. And you can do all of these things from just about anywhere.

Can A Smart Plug Be Used On A Window AC?

As these connected devices grow in popularity, so does this question. Many people who are interested in upgrading to a smart AC have a perfectly good "dumb" window air conditioner in their home. Being able to upgrade that existing unit with some smartness seems like a perfect solution. Unfortunately, it's not possible to make an AC smart if it doesn't already have the functions built in.
The main obstacle to this is that every window or wall air conditioner has its brains permanently attached—the control panel and thermostat are part of the unit itself. This is in contrast to a central air conditioner, which is modular. The brains are in the thermostat mounted on a wall in your living room, while the mechanical components—and all of the expense—are in your backyard and utility closet. A homeowner can easily replace their home's standard thermostat with a smart thermostat for a very small cost compared to the entire cooling system. That's how the system was designed. But there's no simple way to do that with a window or wall air conditioner.
There is a sort of work around that will add limited smart functions to an air conditioner, but it will only work with certain units. Some very simple electronic devices can be given a measure of "smartness" by plugging them into a smart plug. These are simple adapters that plug into your wall unit, and then receive the power plug of any kind of device. Once plugged in, a smart plug can be turned on and off with your smartphone—essentially becoming a smart power switch for whatever is plugged into it. However, these will only work with basic air conditioners that use physical switches or knobs, and not any units that use digital controls. As a result, we do not recommend this option.
Friedrich Air Conditioners - Can I make my AC smart?

Cooling Down Made Easy

The good news is that if you're in the market for a new cooling solution and you're interested in a smart air conditioner, you don't have to spend a ton of money on one. The cost of a smart air conditioner usually isn't significantly greater than a comparable non-smart one, and they don't incur any extra installation or setup charges. Friedrich smart air conditioners are available in both window and wall options, in sizes ranging from 6,000 to 35,000 BTUs. You can also check out our AC buying guide for more detailed information on what you need to know before you buy your next AC model.