Your guide to purchasing a good window AC this summer

If your home doesn't have central air conditioning, or if you have some warmer rooms that just don't get cool enough, a window unit or portable air conditioner might help.

ABC13's partners at Consumer Reports tested different models and shared with us which ones cooled the best and which ones blew out a lot of hot air.

Window air conditioners aren't the most aesthetically pleasing appliances, but when the heat is on, they are often the only option if you want to keep cool.

Consumer Reports said that while not much has changed in how the appliances are installed, a newer AC with a U-shaped design allows people to open and close their window without a heavy AC falling out the window. But, installation is a little different from a traditional window AC.

"It still does need a special bracket to be installed first," said Chris Regan, with Consumer Reports. "Once you do that, you can slide the AC into place in your window, and the window closes down into this U-shaped groove."

And now the important question: Can it cool a room?

Testers cranked up the air temperature in a chamber to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. They then measured how long it took a window AC to cool the room by 10 degrees.

"Most of the window air conditioners do a pretty decent job when it comes to cooling a room," said Regan. "The best can do it quickly and quietly."

That's where two of the U-shaped units from Midea stood out, earning top scores for cooling and noise in the test by Consumer Reports.

Those interested should consider this model for medium sized rooms ranging from 250 to 400 square feet.

If you only need to cool down a small space under 300 square feet, an LG model will get the job done for about $280.

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