Minimum Height for Low Profile Window Air Conditioner

A low profile window air conditioner is the perfect choice – and sometimes the only choice – for a window that doesn’t open very high.

This page gives you the names of low profile window air conditioner models from top brands like LG, Danby, Frigidaire, Hisense and Midea.

The Charts below list units that fit in windows that open from 10 inches to 14 inches. You’ve got options from 5000 to 12000 BTU, so whether you’re cooling a 100 square foot bedroom or a 500 square foot zone, you have options.

Minimum Installation Height vs Minimum AC Unit Height

Just a quick note on this confusing topic before the lists of low profile window ACs by height.

Let’s start by defining the terms and then applying them to low profile window air conditioners.

1). Minimum installation height: This is the height the window must open for you to be able to get the AC into it.

For most window air conditioners, it is pretty straightforward. The GE AEL05LX window AC listed below is 12 inches tall, and it requires a window opening of 12 inches or a little more to be able to squeeze it into place.

But it is different for some window AC styles.

For full details, see the discussion below entitled Be Careful about the Over-the-Sill or U-Shape Low Profile AC.

2). Minimum AC unit height: This is how high the window has to be open once the unit is installed. It is usually about the same as the minimum installation height. However, it is quite different for U-shaped and saddle-shaped/over-the-sill units, as discussed later.

Available Low Profile Window ACs by Height

OK, first things first.

How high does your window open? You need to know for sure, so that you don’t order a window air conditioner only to find out it’s a half-inch too tall because you estimated rather than measured.

1). Grab a tape measure or yardstick (does anyone still have a yardstick?)

2). Open the window all the way.

3). Measure from the windowsill to the bottom of the sash – the frame of the part that opens. You want to know the minimum opening that you’re going to have to fit the window AC through.

Here we go.

Low Profile 10-11 Inch Window ACs (Up to 11”)

Cooling Capacity Room Size Available Brand & Models Sampes Window AC Unit Height
5000 BTU 150 sq ft Kapsulair W5 7 inches
5000 BTU 150 sq ft LG LW5016 11.1 inches
6,000 BTU 250 sq ft LG LW6017R 11.1 inches

You’ve got options, but not many. These units are great for small rooms.

5,000 BTU = Up to 150 square feet: 10’ x 15’, 12’ x 12’

6,000 BTU = Up to 250 square foot: 12’ x 20’, 15’ x 16’, 14’ x 18’

What Is The Maximum Cooling Capacity For A 11 Inch High Window Ac?

6,000 BTU – That’s the best window air conditioner choice for a window that opens just 11 inches.

What Is The Maximum Room Size A 11-Inch Window Ac Can Cool?

250 sq ft – The 6,000 BTU models cool this much space – a bedroom, office, den or similar space.

Do You Recommend The Kapsul W5?

Yes, but only if you have a window that opens just 7 to 10 inches. While it is a decent window air conditioner, the Kapsul 5 is the most expensive 5000 BTU AC on the planet. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, or not, but at $800, it is two to four times the cost of many other very good low profile window air conditioners.

For example, the LG LG5016 in the chart is about a quarter of the price. And it has great customer ratings and reviews. What could you do with a savings of $600?

Check out the low profile LG window AC here.

12-13 Inch High Window ACs

Cooling Capacity Room Size Available Brand & Models Samples Unit Height
5000 BTU 150 sq ft Frigidaire FFRA051WAE, GE AEL05LX, Toshiba RAC-WK0511CMU 12 inches
6,000 BTU 250 sq ft Frigidaire FFRA062WAE 12 inches
8,000 BTU 350 sq ft LG LW8016ER, LG Smart LW8017ERSM 12.4 inches
9,500 BTU 420 sq ft LG DUAL Inverter LW1019IVSM 12.5 inches
10,000 BTU 450 sq ft Hisense AW1022CW1W 13 inches

OK, these take a little more room, but they give you more options from 5,000 to 10,000 BTU models from quality brands.

8,000 BTU = 350 square feet: 24’ x 15’, 18’ x 18’, 20’ x 17.5’

9,500 to 10,000 BTU = 420 to 450 square feet: 30’ x 15’, 24’ x 18’, 20’ x 22’

What Is The Maximum Cooling Capacity For A 12-13 Inch High Window Ac?

10,000 BTU – that’s sufficient for up to 450 square foot.

What Is The Maximum Room Size A 12-13 Inch Window Ac Can Cool?

450 sq ft, which can be a large room such as a living room or bedroom suite.

14 Inch High Window Air Conditioners

Cooling Capacity Room Size Available Brand & Models Samples
7,500 BTU 320 sq ft LG LW8021HRSM, LG LW8016HR
8,000 BTU 350 sq ft Danby DAC080EE2WDB
10,000 BTU 450 sq ft Frigidaire GHWQ103WC1, Danby DAC100B6IWDB-6
12,000 BTU 550 sq ft Frigidaire Inverter GHWQ123WC1, Midea U-shape Inverter

These are medium and high output window air conditioners that need a window that opens at least 14 inches for them to fit.

How much space can a 14” window AC cool?

7,500 to 8,000 BTU = 320 to 350 square feet: 16’ x 20’, 16’ x 22’, 18’ x 18’, 18’ x 20’

What Is The Maximum Cooling Capacity For A 14 Inch High Window Ac?

12,000 Btu

What Is The Maximum Room Size A 14- Inch Window Ac Can Cool?

550 sq ft

Be Careful about the Over-the-Sill or U-Shape Low Profile AC

For U-shaped and saddle-shaped window air conditioners, the installed height is just a few inches.

By that we mean that the window closes once the AC is installed until the window sash is only open a few inches.

But – here is the crucial point – the window still has to open pretty high to get a U-shaped or over-the-sill AC into place.

The Midea U-shaped 10,000 BTU AC is a good example. When installed, the window opening height is just a couple of inches.

However, check out this specification right from the Midea website:

Minimum Window Opening Height (inches): 13.75″

That’s how wide the window has to open, obviously, to insert the unit. That unit can’t really be called a low profile window air conditioner.

The purpose of these ACs aren’t to be low profile:

U-shaped window air conditioners offer better security because the window is only open a few inches. Put a stick between the top of the semi-closed sash and the top of the window frame, and that leaves an opening of just a couple inches. Nobody will get through that.

Saddle ACs, aka over the sill window air conditioners, are also good for security, if you use a stick as mentioned above. They have the added bonus of maximizing your view out the window, since most of the unit sits below the level of the sill.

Window AC Alternatives if Your Window Height is Too Small

OK, your window opens less than 11 inches (7 inches if you’re willing to spend more on a Kapsul). There isn’t an AC that fits.

What are your options for cooling a room without AC?

Air Conditioning Alternatives

Don’t give up on air conditioning yet. We have two AC suggestions and then a few alternatives to a room air conditioner.

Portable Air Conditioner

These units sit on the floor. A hose exhausts warm air out the window. So, yes, you need a window, but the panel holding the hose is about 6” wide, so it will fit in almost every sash-type (single stage, double-hung) window made.

Get all the details in our Portable AC Buying Guide.

Mini Split AC

This is a more expensive choice, but it is also permanent and offers better efficiency than a portable AC. And most of them are heat pumps, so you get heating when you want it plus AC when it is hot.

You will begin to recover the higher cost of the equipment every month by paying lower utility bills than with a window air conditioner or portable AC. They are quieter too.

And they can be DIY if you’re handy. MrCool and Klimaire make DIY mini split systems. The PickHVAC Guide to the Best DIY Mini Split Systems gives you options for pre-charged systems you don’t need a pro to install or charge with refrigerant.

But if you prefer pro installation, we recommend brands like Fujitsu and Gree for outstanding efficiency with good quality, LG for all-around performance and Mitsubishi for premium quality. Pioneer is a decent bargain brand if you don’t plan to use the system too heavily.

Non-AC Alternatives

These are more affordable but don’t cool as effectively, and they don’t remove humidity from the room.

Ceiling Fans

Did you know that the rotation of a ceiling fan can be reversed?

In warm weather, it will blow down on you to create a breeze and cool you as it dries perspiration from your skin.

In cold weather when you are heating the room, the blade rotation can be reversed with the flip of a switch. And it will pull cool air up from ground level and force the warm air accumulating near the ceiling to flow back down.

Personal and Room Evaporative Coolers

Evaporation causes cooling, like water evaporating from your skin.

They are most effective in dry climates where moisture readily evaporates.

Your options include small size coolers and those that can cool off an entire room or zone.

Written by

Rene has worked 10 years in the HVAC field and now is the Senior Comfort Specialist for PICKHVAC. He holds an HVAC associate degree from Lone Star College and EPA & R-410A Certifications.

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