What Is A Smart Air Conditioner?

The high tech way to stay cool

Woman sitting on cough using smart app to control air conditioner.

courtneyk/Getty Images

Smart air conditioners use internet and Wi-Fi technology to help you control the air conditioning in your home in a wide variety of ways — whether you're inside or not.

What Is A Smart Air Conditioner?

Frigidaire Smart Air Conditioner

Smart air conditioners are air conditioner units that connect to the other smart appliances in your home to better control your home's comfort level. They often look similar to standard room air conditioners.

Typically, smart air conditioners are mounted to windows or walls, instead of being located centrally within your home. Much like other smart home technology, smart air conditioners can be programmed to cool on your terms, turned on and off remotely and so much more.

What Makes a Smart Air Conditioner Smart?

The core requirement for smart air conditioners is the ability to connect to Wi-Fi. Through this connection, you're able to control your air conditioner remotely, using your mobile device.

Smart Air Conditioners vs. Smart Thermostats

A smart air conditioner is not the same as a smart thermostat. In fact, thermostats are most commonly used with central air systems, not single smart conditioning units.

A thermostat is responsible for sensing the air in your home and telling your air conditioner unit when it's time to start cooling.

An air conditioner, on the other hand, holds the components necessary to generate the cool air. When it comes to smart technology, both a thermostat and an air conditioner can be managed using a Wi-Fi connection.

Most smart air conditioner units come in smaller sizes and are made specifically for individual rooms. This means you would need to purchase separate units for different rooms you wish to cool.

How Does a Smart Air Conditioner Work?

Man using tablet to control the smart air conditioner in his home
GregorBistor/Getty Images 

Most smart air conditioners are either turned on via a smartphone, tablet or other device. Some air conditioner units also can be connected to home assistants such as Alexa for easy voice activation.

Smart air conditioners typically don't require a remote for functionality. Once the command is given, either via a Wi-Fi connected device or voice, the air conditioner begins to generate cold air to circulate throughout the rooms in your home.

The Pros and Cons of Smart Air Conditioners

Like all smart technology, smart air conditioners have both pros and cons you should weigh prior to making a purchase. What are the pros?

  • Convenient: You can turn your air conditioner on or off using your smartphone or device when you're at home or while you're out. This means you have full control over your home's atmosphere as temperatures rise and fall.
  • Smart home connectivity: Do you have other smart devices in your home such as automatic window blinds or lights? You can connect all of these devices together to better control the temperature of your home. For example, if you live in a hot climate, you can program your air conditioner to turn on, your blinds to shut and your lights to dim to help cool your home periodically.
  • Multiple options: Smart air conditioners come in various types including in-window, portable, in-wall and split units. Multiple options allow you to choose an air conditioner that works best for you, your home and your temperature needs.
  • Long-term cost savings: Smart air conditioners do come with a hefty initial price tag. But, you can save in energy costs over time by turning your air conditioner off when you're not home.

With a strong list of pros comes a list of cons, especially when dealing with electronic devices for your home.

  • Price: Smart air conditioners are pricey due to how new they are to the market. Depending on the size of the unit you choose, they can range in price from $300 to thousands.
  • Multiple units required: Smart air conditioners don't work centrally, so multiple units are required to cool your entire home.
  • Installation: Installing a smart air conditioner can be difficult, depending on the unit you choose. They also take up valuable space in your home. For example, a window unit will need to be installed in the lower half of the window, rendering it unavailable for use.

Is purchasing a smart air conditioner right for you? If you're looking for a simple way to cool a couple rooms in your home and wish to have full control over the settings, you could benefit from smart air conditioner devices. If you need to cool your entire home while staying on budget, you might consider looking at other options such as units without smart technology built-in.

The bottom line is this: Smart air conditioners are a great way to have better control over your home's temperature, whether you're spending time at home or away.