There are millions of old-fashioned window air conditioners out there, but the technology for the ugly, noisy boxes has not changed much. You can do smarter by connecting it to a third-party controller such as Sensibo Sky, Ambi Climate 2 or Tado Smart A / C Remote, and that can reduce energy consumption; But if yours is on the last legs, you better retire it and buy something new that has a built-in brain. That's what LG's Dual Inverter line of connected window air conditioners have, and they're extremely efficient to boot.
LG's Dual Inverter line ranges from a 9,500 BTU unit to a 22,000 BTU sample that relies on a 220-volt outlet (an electric dryer will use). I reviewed LG's model LW1
Manufacturers can also specify the square footage that an A / C unit should be able to cool. LG recommends this unit for rooms up to 800 square meters. I tested it on a 600 square foot loft that was converted into bedrooms. The remodeling did not bring channels from the central HVAC system to this room, so the space gets incredibly hot in the summer. A window air conditioner is a must.
What is a converter?
Before discussing this air conditioning's smart features, let's talk about the underlying technology that makes it more efficient than most. An air-conditioning compressor motor circulates the refrigerant used for heat exchange. On the typical air conditioner, the compressor motor operates at a fixed speed regardless of the ambient temperature and the target temperature you set with the air conditioner controls. The compressor is fired and works with full tilt until the measuring temp is reached. It then turns off and waits for the ambient temperature to rise above the target again, at which point it starts up again. This cycle is repeated over and over until there is no longer any need for air conditioning.
But no self-respecting smart home dweller will fiddle with buttons on a control panel when they can give voice commands to a smart speaker or use a smartphone app. This is where the air conditioning Wi-Fi adapter on board (alas, it will only connect to 2.4 GHz networks) and LG's SmartThinQ app come into play. The device is also compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
The SmartThinQ app does a great job of controlling and adjusting the air conditioner from afar, but you will get significant errors when drilling into the planning options. The app lets you schedule days and times when the air conditioner will turn on and off, but you can't create schedules with target temperatures throughout the day. There's also home, away and vacation mode in the SmartThinQ app, but they're incredibly blunt about what they do and how they can be adjusted.
The problem stems from the fact that SmartThinQ is designed to control a range of LG smart appliances – refrigerators, washers and dryers, robotic vacuum cleaners and even LG TVs – so many of the options in it don't apply in that all A / C units.
Inverter tech for victory
With a price tag that is not that much higher than other comparable window air conditioners that do not have inverter motors or Wi-Fi features, the LG LW1517IVSM is very easy to recommend. It would be a good choice even without smart skills. I'm not a big fan of LG's SmartThinQ app, but if you don't need thorough planning, it doesn't matter. And if microcontrol is a must-have feature, you can always add a third-party controller, such as one of the above.