What Is a Smart Air Conditioner?

The high tech way to stay cool

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

What Is a 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. These devices look similar to standard room air conditioners.

Frigidaire Smart Air Conditioner
Frigidaire

Typically, smart air conditioners are mounted to windows or walls, instead of being centrally located in a home. Much like other smart home technology, a smart air conditioner can be programmed to cool on your terms. You can turn it on and off remotely.

What Makes a Smart Air Conditioner Smart?

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

Homeowner using a tablet to control the smart air conditioner in their home
GregorBistor / Getty Images

Smart Air Conditioners vs. Smart Thermostats

A smart air conditioner is not the same as a smart thermostat. Thermostats are most commonly used with central air systems, not individual smart conditioning units.

A thermostat is responsible for sensing the air in a home and telling the 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 small sizes and are made specifically for individual rooms. This means you would need to purchase a separate unit for each room you want to cool.

How Does a Smart Air Conditioner Work?

You turn on a smart air conditioner using a smartphone, tablet, or another mobile device. Some air conditioner units can be connected to home assistants such as Alexa for easy voice activation.

Smart air conditioners typically don't require a remote for functionality. The air conditioner generates cold air that circulates throughout the rooms in your home when you give the command using a Wi-Fi connected device or by voice.

The Pros and Cons of Smart Air Conditioners

Like all smart technology, smart air conditioners have pros and cons that you should weigh before making a purchase.

The Pros of Smart Air Conditioners

Smart air conditioners have several pros to offer:

  • Convenience: You can turn the air conditioner on or off using a smartphone or device, whether you're at home or out. This means you have full control over your home's atmosphere as temperatures rise and fall.
  • Smart home connectivity: If you have other smart devices in your home, such as automatic window blinds or lights, you can connect these devices to control the temperature of your home better. For example, if you live in a hot climate, you can program the air conditioner to turn on, the blinds to shut, and the lights to dim to cool your home.
  • 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 come with a hefty initial price tag. Still, you'll save on energy costs by turning the air conditioner off when you're not home.

The Cons of Smart Air Conditioners

Along with a healthy list of pros comes a short, but important, list of cons:

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

Is buying a smart air conditioner right for you? If you're looking for a simple way to cool a couple of rooms in your home and have full control over the settings even when you aren't home, you could benefit from smart air conditioners. If you need to cool your entire home while staying on budget, consider looking at other options, such as units without built-in smart technology.