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Smart Air Conditioners & Controllers

Top 5 Best Smart Air Conditioners & Controllers 2020

Looking for a smart air conditioner or a smart AC controller?

You've come to the right place.

In this in-depth buying guide, we recommend the best smart air conditioners and smart AC controllers.

Smart air conditioners cool your home the same way as traditional air conditioners. The difference between 'smart' and 'dumb' or non-smart air conditioners is in how you control each type.

Smart air conditioners have wireless connectivity, usually wifi (that's why they are sometimes called wifi air conditioners).

Wifi connectivity allows you to control and monitor the AC unit remotely from your smartphone. The biggest advantage of using wifi enabled air conditioners is the convenience. You can adjust fan speed and temperature from any room in the house, from your office at work, or when on vacation.

You can also integrate a smart air conditioner into your smart home, which allows you to control your home climate and comfort using a voice assistant like Alexa or Google Home. Just say, "Alexa, turn on the AC." – super convenient, right?

If you already have a non-smart air conditioner, don't worry, you don't have to buy a new AC to enjoy this convenience. Get a smart air conditioner controller.

A smart AC turns a 'dumb' window, portable, or split AC system into a smart AC. Similar to a smart AC, you can control it from your phone wherever you are and even integrate it with your Echo or Google Home smart speaker.

There are many other benefits of having a smart air conditioner (e.g., energy savings), which we will discuss below.

We will also explain how smart ACs and controllers work and how to install one in your home.

If you are specifically looking for a portable room AC (not a window or a split unit), see our reviews of the best portable air conditioners and smaller portable AC units(for apartments and small rooms).)

What's In This Guide?


Why Buy a Smart Air Conditioner?

Smart Air Conditioner

Smart technology is all about convenience.

Instead of having to search for the remote control or walk to the AC every time you want to adjust the temperature, you can do it from your phone, which is likely never far from your hands.

Even better, proximity and range do not matter. You can change AC settings from another room, outside the house or from the office.

The unlimited range is handy for pet owners. You can keep your pet comfortable and safe, even when you are at work.

It's also useful when you want to cool the living room or bedroom before you get home.

Here are other reasons you should consider getting a smart air conditioner, or at least a smart AC controller.
  • Voice control: With a smart air conditioner, you can use your voice to control the AC. Just connect the AC to a smart assistant like Alexa, Siri, or Google Home and then issue a voice command using your phone or a smart speaker.
  • Automation: For even more convenience, you can set up the AC to adjust to a certain temperature or fan speed automatically based on a trigger. For instance, it turns on when it detects you've entered a room or adjusts temperature based on the weather outside. You may need additional smart gadgets like motion sensors to set up automated actions.
  • Energy savings: By automating your smart AC, you can reduce energy wastage. For example, you can set up the AC to turn on only when there's someone in the room.

Smart AC Units vs. Smart AC Controllers

Smart AC Units vs. Smart AC Controllers

In this buying guide, we review both smart air conditioners and smart air conditioner controllers. What's the difference and which one should you get?

A smart air conditioner is precisely that; an AC with built-in wireless connectivity that allows you to monitor and control it from your phone and integrate it into your smart home.

A smart air conditioner controller, on the other hand, is a small device that turns your existing 'dumb' (meaning without any wireless connectivity) AC into a smart AC.

A smart AC controller connects to your home wifi network. When you change the temperature or another setting on your phone, it sends an infrared signal to the AC.

If you are looking for a new air conditioner, we recommend getting a smart air conditioner. That way, you don't have to worry about adding other devices later to make it smart.

If you are happy with the cooling performance of your current AC but would like to be able to control it remotely with your smartphone, get a smart air conditioner controller.

It allows you to enjoy the benefits of a smart AC without buying a new air conditioner.

Best Smart Air Conditioners 

Kenmore 12,000 BTU AC
  • Kenmore 12,000 BTU AC

  • Editor's Top Pick
  • 12,000 BTUs
  • Max room size:
    550 sq. ft.

  • Compatibility:
    Alexa, Smartphone app

Frigidaire Cool Connect
  • Frigidaire Cool Connect

  • Best smart portable AC
  • 12,000 BTUs
  • Max room size:
    550 sq. ft.

  • Compatibility:
    Alexa, Google Assistant, Smartphone app

Frigidaire 10,000 BTU Cool Connect AC
  • Frigidaire 10,000 BTU AC

  • Best smart window AC
  • 10,000 BTUs
  • Max room size:
    450 sq. ft.

  • Compatibility:
    Alexa, Google Assistant, Smartphone app

LG LW1019IVSM window AC
  • LG LW1019IVSM window AC

  • Quietest smart AC
  • 9,500 BTUs
  • Max room size:
    450 sq. ft.

  • Compatibility:
    Alexa, Google Assistant, Smartphone app

RolliCool COOL100H-19
  • RolliCool COOL100H-19

  • Best smart AC with heater
  • 14,000 BTUs
  • Max room size:
    700 sq. ft.

  • Compatibility:
    Alexa, Smartphone app

Friedrich Kuhl
  • Friedrich Kuhl

  • Best smart AC for small rooms
  • 5,800 BTUs
  • Max room size:
    250 sq. ft.

  • Compatibility:
    Alexa, Google Assistant, Smartphone app


Best Smart Air Conditioner Controllers

Sensibo Sky
  • Sensibo Sky

  • Editor's Top Pick
  • Best feature:
    Automatic temperature control based on local weather

  • Compatibility:
    Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa

Ambi Climate 2
  • Ambi Climate 2

  • Most Intelligent
  • Best feature:
    AI learns from your preferences and automatically sets temperature

  • Compatibility:
    Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri

Cielo Breez Eco smart controller
  • Cielo Breez Eco

  • Best Value
  • Best feature:
    Ability to control AC when there's no WiFi

  • Compatibility:
    Google Assistant and Alexa

Cielo Breez Plus smart ac controller
  • Cielo Breez Plus

  • Best with display
  • Best feature:
    Display showing current temperature and settings

  • Compatibility:
    Google Assistant and Alexa

Gidbo
  • Gidbo

  • Best budget
  • Best feature:
    Smart weekly schedules

  • Compatibility:
    Google Assistant and Alexa


Top 6 Smart Air Conditioners: Reviews

1. Editor's Top Pick: 

Kenmore 12,000 BTU Smart Room Air Conditioner

Kenmore 12,000 BTU Smart Room Air Conditioner

Our top pick is the Kenmore 12,000 BTU smart air conditionerThe window AC cools spaces up to 550 square feet, making it a good choice for most rooms.

You can control the AC from a smartphone app or an Alexa-powered device.

Pros

  • Ideal for large rooms.
  • Remote app control + Alexa integration.
  • Energy Star certified.
  • Works quietly.

Cons

  • Limited Alexa integration – not all settings are adjustable via Alexa.
  • Not compatible with Google Home and Apple HomeKit.
  • Buggy app and Alexa integration.

Our Review 

With 12,000 BTUs, the Kenmore window air conditioner is a great choice for open-style living rooms, spacious bedrooms, and other large spaces.

The maximum recommended room size is 550 square feet.

In addition to cooling, it also dehumidifies.

The Kenmore AC is one of the best wifi air conditioners available in market that comes with an easy to use touch control panel. You can also use the included remote control to adjust the temperature, change fan speed, set a timer, or switch between modes (cool, dry, fan, and eco).

You can also use the Kenmore Smart AC app to adjust these settings from your smartphone or tablet wherever you are. You'll need to connect the unit to a wireless network to use the app.

The Kenmore window unit is Alexa-compatible. Once you link it to your Alexa account and add the Kenmore Alexa skill, you can send voice commands to the AC using the Alexa app on your phone or an Amazon Echo speaker.

Issues & Limitations 

The Kenmore air conditioner is compatible only with Alexa. If you use Google Home or Siri, you cannot control it with voice commands. But the manufacturer says they'll soon add Google Home and Apple HomeKit integration.

The Alexa integration itself is limited. The only things users can reliably do via Alexa is turning the AC on/off and adjusting the temperature. Most users are unable to change mode or fan speed.

There are also many complaints about the app. It's buggy and difficult to set up.

But once you get through the setup process, it works well.


2. Best Smart Portable AC: 

Frigidaire 12,000 BTU Cool Connect Smart Portable Air Conditioner

Frigidaire 12,000 BTU Cool Connect Smart Portable Air Conditioner

If you are looking for a smart portable AC, you can easily move from room to room we recommend the 12,000 BTU Frigidaire Cool Connect portable AC.

It has built-in wifi connectivity and a companion app to control the temperature remotely from anywhere.

Pros

  • Ideal for large rooms.
  • Efficient 360-degree airflow.
  • Caster wheels for easy portability.
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.

Cons

  • Heavy – difficult to carry it up the stairs.
  • Loud when the fan speed is high.
  • Small window kit.

Our Review 

The Frigidaire Cool Connect is a great choice if you are looking for a portable AC for a large room. Unlike a window unit, a portable AC is easier to move from room to room.

You can use it in the living room during the day then move it to the bedroom at night.

Its 12,000-BTU cooling capacity is good for spaces up to 550 square feet.

It comes with multiple modes, including dry (there's a built-in dehumidifier), fan, and an energy-saving eco mode.

Unlike most portable ACs that have vents on only one or two sides, the Frigidaire Cool Connect produces cool air all around. The 360-degree airflow design cools large rooms faster and distributes the cool air evenly, ensuring there are no hot spots.

As for smart connectivity, you can control the Frigidaire Cool Connect from your smartphone. Download the companion app and link it to the unit. You'll also need to connect the AC to your home network.

Many users say the wifi setup process is fast and relatively bug-free.

If you prefer using voice commands, the Frigidaire Cool Connect is compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

Issues & Limitations 

The main complaint from customers is the small window kit. The slider fits vertical and horizontal windows smaller than 44.1" (but not smaller than 22.1").

If your window is wider than 44.1", the kit won't fit. This wouldn't be a problem if the manufacturer sold an extension window slider. As it is, you have to buy an extra complete window kit, which is relatively expensive.

Another issue is the noise. When the fan speed is high, the AC can make it hard to talk to someone or watch a movie.

 There's also the matter of weight. The Frigidaire Cool Connect weighs 85lbs. The caster wheels make it easy to move it to another room. But if you are planning to take it upstairs, you'll need two people to lift it.

3. Best Smart Window Air Conditioner: 

Frigidaire 10,000 BTU Cool Connect Smart Window Air Conditioner

Frigidaire 10,000 BTU Cool Connect Smart Window Air Conditioner

If you love the quietness and efficiency of a window AC, The Frigidaire 10,000 BTU Cool Connect AC is a great choice.

 It can handle medium size rooms and comes with wireless connectivity for convenient control via your smartphone or smart assistant.

Pros

  • Energy Star certified.
  • Remote app control + Alexa and Google Assistant integration.
  • Works quietly.

Cons

  • Buggy app and wifi setup.

Our Review 

At 10,000 BTU, the Frigidaire window AC is perfect for medium-sized rooms. The max recommended space is 450 square feet.

The Energy Star AC cools the room efficiently and quickly. It has an energy efficiency ratio of 12.0, which is great compared to other air conditioners.

Similar to other windows ACs, the Frigidaire Cool Connect works quietly, even when the fan is on a high. When you lower fan speed, the AC is almost inaudible.

In addition to cooling, the Frigidaire Cool Connect has a built-in ionizerThe ionizer removes pollen and other allergens from the air for better indoor air quality.

Similar to the Frigidaire Cool Connect portable AC, the Frigidaire window AC can be controlled remotely through a smartphone app or a smart assistant (Alexa or Google Assistant).

Issues & Limitations 

The most common customer complaint we have seen is regarding the wifi setup. It is buggy and tedious.

It takes time to connect the AC to your home wifi network, and even when you do, the app is not the most intuitive to use.


4. Quietest Smart Air Conditioner: 

LG LW1019IVSM 9,500 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner with wifi

LG LW1019IVSM 9,500 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner with wifi

Some air conditioners can be a pain in your ears. If ultra-low noise levels are important to you (e.g., you have an infant or find the whirring noise distracting), get the LG LW1019IVSM window air conditioner.

The LG LW1019IVSM uses a dual inverter and sound insulation for whisper-quiet operation.

Pros

  • Super quiet.
  • High-efficiency rating.
  • Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility.
  • 5-way airflow ensures even cooling.

Cons

  • Not ideal for large rooms.

Our Review 

The dual inverter compressor is powerful but quiet. It cools spaces quickly and efficiently without making a racket – no rattling, no whirring, and no annoying whining sounds.

At the lowest fan speed, the noise level is at 44 decibels. You won't hear it unless you are right up against the vents.

The LG LW1019IVSM is not just quiet; it's also very efficient. It is Energy Star certified and has an energy efficiency ratio of 13.8. This means it uses less energy than many other air conditioners to cool a room.

The LG LW1019IVSM is also a dehumidifier. It removes about 3.1 pints of water per hour. You do not need to set up the drainage as the AC is auto-evaporative. All the water collected from indoor air is exhausted outside, along with warm air.

You can control the AC using the included remote control or connect it with wifi, and enjoy convenient control from your smartphone.

You can also integrate the LG LW1019IVSM with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa and use voice commands to set a comfortable temperature, adjust fan speed, and turn the AC on/off.

Issues & Limitations 

If you want an AC to cool your large bedroom or an open style living room, the LG LW1019IVSM may not be the best choice.

 It's designed to cool medium-size rooms up to 450 square feet. You can still use it in a larger room, but it will cool slower and less efficiently.

5. Best Smart Air Conditioner with Heater: 

RolliCool COOL100H-19 Alexa-Enabled Portable Air Conditioner

RolliCool COOL100H-19 Alexa-Enabled Portable Air Conditioner

If you are looking for a smart air conditioner you can use all year round, we recommend the RolliCool COOL100H-19 portable AC.

The integrated heater means you can keep enjoying it even during the colder months.

Pros

  • 3-in-1: cooler, heater, and dehumidifier.
  • Alexa-enabled.
  • Ideal for extra-large rooms – up to 700 sq. Ft.
  • Caster wheels for easy portability.

Cons

  • Not self-evaporative – you have to set up drainage or empty the tank frequently.
  • App and Alexa can be a bit problematic to set up.

Our Review 

The RolliCool COOL100H-19 is the largest – in terms of BTUs – air conditioner among our picks. At 14,000 BTUs, it is perfect for extra-large spaces.

The manufacturer-recommended max room size is 700 square feet.

RolliCool is a 3-in-1 portable air conditioner. It cools, heats, and dehumidifies. This means you can use it throughout the year.

Note that you'll need to set up the drainage hose when using the dehumidifier. RolliCool is not self-evaporative, meaning you have to drain all the water it collects from the air.

If you don't want to connect the drainage hose, get ready to empty the internal tank at least once every hour.

Being a portable air conditioner, the RolliCool COOL100H-19 is noisier than a window AC. But the noise level is not that bad, especially considering this is a 14,000-BTU unit.

If the noise bothers you, reduce the fan speed using the included remote control or through the RolliCool app (you'll need to connect the AC to your home wifi network first).

You can also link RolliCool to Alexa and send voice commands using your phone or an Amazon Echo smart speaker.

Currently, RolliCool only works with Alexa. You cannot connect it to Siri or Google Assistant.

Issues & Limitations 

Several customers have reported problems setting up the app. It takes several tries for the app to detect the AC. One user recommended using the Tuya Smartapp to pair your phone with the AC instead of the RolliCool app.

 Another issue with the RolliCool AC is the dehumidifier. Because the AC is not self-evaporative, you need to set up drainage or empty the tank often. RolliCool does not have the set-and-forget convenience of self-evaporative ACs.

6. Best Smart Air Conditioner for Small Rooms: 

Friedrich 5,800 BTU Kuhl Air Conditioner w/wifi Kit

Friedrich 5,800 BTU Kuhl Air Conditioner

If you want a smart AC for your small home office or bedroom, the Friedrich Kuhl Air has just the right amount of BTUs to cool the room quickly and efficiently.

Pros

  • Great for smaller spaces.
  • Automatic fan control.
  • Durable and corrosion-resistant steel and aluminum construction.
  • Custom energy management programs improve efficiency and energy savings.
  • Very quiet.

Cons

  • Pricey.
  • Heavy.

Our Review 

The first thing you'll notice about the Friedrich Kühl window AC is that it's expensive, considering the relatively low BTUs.

It costs more than other window ACs with more than double the BTUs.

The reason for the high price tag is the build quality. Friedrich Kühl is built to last. It has a steel base plate, steel inner walls, and corrosion-resistant aluminum endplates.

This, coupled with the industrial-grade enclosed motors, ensure the AC lasts for years with minimal issues. If you are tired of replacing ACs, the Friedrich Kühl is worth the price.

The Friedrich Kühl AC is rated at 5,800 BTUs, making it ideal for spaces measuring 250 square feet or smaller.

Temperature control is super easy. You can adjust fan speed and temperature using the included remote control. Alternatively, connect it to your wifi network and control temperature from an app on your smartphone/tablet.

You can also link Friedrich Kühl to Alexa or Google Assistant for voice commands.

One temperature-control feature we love – and which we have not seen in other air conditioners – is the ability to set a 7-day custom schedule based on your lifestyle.

You can set the AC to adjust the temperature automatically based on when you are normally home or away.

Issues & Limitations 

The Friedrich Kühl window air conditioner is expensive for an AC of its size. But we think it's worth it and most customers agree.

 Another issue you should be aware of is the weight. All that steel and metal construction adds a lot of weight to the unit. It weighs 72lbs. You'll need help to carry it inside and install it.

Top 5 Smart AC Controllers: Reviews

1. Editor's Top Pick: 

Sensibo Sky Smart Air Conditioner Controller

Sensibo Sky Smart Air Conditioner Controller

Sensibo is one of the most popular smart air conditioner controllers. It supports any air conditioner with remote control, including mini-splits, portable, window, and central AC.

Once you link your AC to Sensibo Sky, you can control it from anywhere using a smartphone app or a smart assistant (Google Assistant or Alexa).

Pros

  • Compatible with most air conditioners.
  • Integrates with Google Home and Amazon Echo.
  • Easy 7-day scheduling.
  • Geo-fencing – allows automatic temperature control based on your location.
  • Automatic triggers.

Cons

  • Not compatible with Apple HomeKit – yet.

Our Review 

As long as your air conditioner has a remote control, you can connect it to Sensibo Sky. All you need to do is download the Sensibo app, register your Sensibo device, and connect it to your home wifi.

Then you pair your AC remote control with Sensibo. After that, you can control temperature, humidity, and other settings from the app, no matter where you are.

You can also link Sensibo Sky with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa and use voice commands (via your phone or smart speaker) to control the AC.

Currently, Sensibo Sky is not compatible with HomeKit, but you can use Siri Shortcuts on your iPhone to control the AC.

The Sensibo Sky AC controller makes it much easier to keep your home at the perfect temperature without wasting energy.

With the app, you can turn the AC on or off and adjust the temperature from wherever you are. This is handy if you tend to forget to turn the AC off when you leave home. It's also useful if you have a pet at home.

Sensibo Sky also has a feature called Geofencing that allows location-based AC control. You can set the AC to turn on when you are close to it (e.g., when you enter the room or get close to home) and turn off when you go away.

Geofencing is not just convenient (you never have to think about turning the AC on or off); it is also energy-saving since the AC turns on only when necessary.

Another feature we love is the automatic climate-based temperature control, which Sensibo calls Climate React.

You can set your AC to adjust room temperature based on ambient temperature and humidity.

You can also set Sensibo to maintain the temperature within your comfort range, so you never need to adjust the thermostat when it gets too warm or cold. Sensibo will do it for you, automatically.

Good to know: You can set up custom triggers (e.g., AC turns on when you open garage door) using Alexa/Google Assistant routines as well as IFTTT.

Another convenient feature is the 7-day scheduling. You can set specific temperatures for different days and times of the day based on your lifestyle.

Issues & Limitations 

The main issue raised by many customers is the lack of HomeKit support, which Sensibo has been promising for some time now.

You can use Siri shortcuts on your iPhone. But if you have a HomeKit, you are out of luck. But, hopefully, not for long.


2. Most Intelligent Smart AC Controller: 

Ambi Climate 2 Smart Air Conditioner Controller

Ambi Climate 2 Smart Air Conditioner Controller

The Ambi Climate 2 smart AC controller works with any AC that uses a remote control with an LCD screen. This includes a window, ductless, and portable AC units.

Pros

  • Compatible with most ACs.
  • Control via the app, Google Home, Alexa, and Siri.
  • AI temperature control.
  • Smart scheduling and triggers.
  • Great customer support.

Cons

  • Doesn't support HomeKit.

Our Review 

If your AC remote control has an LCD screen that displays temperature and other settings, then you can use Ambi Climate 2 to control the temperature remotely.

Set up is easy and mostly trouble-free. If you encounter a problem, Ambi provides great customer service. Just give them a call, and they'll work with you to get your AC controller working.

Once you set up Ambi Climate 2, you can control your AC in two ways: using the Ambi Climate app on your phone or a smart assistant like Alexa.

The app is easy to use and allows you to set temperature wherever you are. You can also adjust AC fan speed and mode.

If you don't want to use the app, link Ambi to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, and send voice commands using your phone or a smart speaker.

Similar to Sensibo, Ambi does not support HomeKit. But you can connect it to Siri on your iPhone.

Ambi Climate 2 uses artificial intelligence to make indoor climate control effortless. You only need to train the AI by providing feedback on how comfortable you are feeling.

Using your responses and temperature history, the AI learns to adjust the temperature automatically to your comfort level. The room stays comfortable without you having to change the thermostat now and then.

Ambi Climate 2 also has smart scheduling, which allows you to set different temperatures for different days and hours.

Additionally, you can configure triggers based on sunlight, humidity, location, and temperature. For instance, you can set Ambi to lower temperature when it's sunny or raise it when you approach home in the evening.

Ambi Climate 2 is compatible with IFTTT, meaning you can set up custom triggers and actions.

Issues & Limitation 

The main limitation of the Ambi Climate 2 is similar to that of the Sensibo controller: lack of HomeKit support.

If you have a HomeKit speaker, consider complementing it with an Amazon Echo or Google Home speaker so that you don't miss out.

3. Best Value Smart AC Controller: 

Cielo Breez Eco

Cielo Breez Eco

The Cielo Breez Eco is our top value pick. It's cheaper than other AC controllers but provides just as many features and conveniences.

Pros

  • Compatible with Google Home and Alexa.
  • Easy to use the app.
  • On/off control works even without wifi.
  • Usage data and statistics.
  • Smart scheduling + geo-fencing.

Cons

  • No Home Kit or Siri support.
  • No IFTTT integration.

Our Review 

Being one of the cheapest smart AC controllers, we expected the Cielo Breez Eco to lack some important features. However, we found it almost as good as other smart controllers.

It's not as intelligent but has all the features you need for effortless climate control.

Let's start with compatibility.

Cielo Breez Eco works with any air conditioner that has an infrared remote control. It can be a window unit, a mini-split, a portable AC, Cassette type ACs and heat pumps.

Cielo Breez Eco is compatible with both Android and iPhone smartphones. Download the free app and pair it with the controller.

As for smart assistants, Cielo Breez Eco works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Unfortunately, no Siri or HomeKit support, for now.

Using the app or a smart assistant, you can adjust all AC settings without using your old remote control or the buttons on your AC. These include temperature, fan speed, climate mode, swing, and dehumidifier.

The app introduces additional features and settings, including smart scheduling, geo-fencing, air-filter status, and usage statistics.

The Cielo Breez Eco is the easiest smart AC controller to set up and configure. It detects your remote control automatically, and connecting it to your home wifi network is a breeze.

Issues & Limitations 

Cielo Breez Eco does not offer Siri or HomeKit support. For iPhone and HomeKit owners, the only way to control your AC through Cielo Breez Eco is by using the app.

Another major feature lacking is IFTTT integration. You cannot set up custom triggers and actions.

4. Best Smart AC Controller with Display: 

Cielo Breez Plus

Cielo Breez Plus

Cielo Breez Plus is the more powerful sibling to the Cielo Breez Eco.

 As expected, it costs more and offers more features. Our favorite feature is the built-in display that tells you the current temperature and humidity at a glance.

Pros

  • Touchscreen display and control panel.
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Home.
  • Local controls without wifi.
  • Multiple power options – hardwired or plugged in.
  • Weekly scheduling.
  • Intelligent triggers + geo-fencing.

Cons

  • No HomeKit support.

Our Review 

The Cielo Breez Plus smart AC controller looks more like an Ecobee or Nest smart thermostat. It's the only controller among our picks to have a display

The display and touchscreen control panel provides another way to control your AC. More importantly, it allows you to control your AC locally, even if there's no wifi connection.

Similar to a smart thermostat, the Cielo Breez Plus display tells you the current temperature and humidity at a glance.

The best way to use the display is to mount the Cielo Breez Plus on the wall near your air conditioner. It comes with a backplate and screws for wall mounting.

When you install it on the wall, you have two power delivery options. Plug it into a wall socket using the included 5V USB adapter or hardwire it.

You can also place it on the table using the included base and power it using the USB adapter and cable.

The Cielo Breez Plus takes over the features of your old remote control and adds some smart ones that save energy and make climate control easy.

One of the smartest features is intelligent triggers. You can set Cielo to adjust temperature and fan speed automatically based on ambient temperature and humidity.

You can also set a temperature range. No matter the weather, Cielo will maintain that range to ensure you are always comfortable.

Other features we love include geo-fencing, 7-day scheduling, air filter status, and usage statistics.

As for compatibility, the Cielo app is available for both Android and iOS smartphones. If you prefer voice control, Cielo Breez Plus is compatible with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Issues and Limitations 

 Like its cheaper sibling, the Cielo Breez Plus does not offer support for Siri or HomeKit.

5. Best Budget Smart AC Controller:

Gidbo Smart AC Controller

Gidbo Smart AC Controller

If you are on a budget, we recommend the Gidbo smart AC controller. It is the cheapest of our picks but provides all the important features you need to make your air conditioner smart.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.
  • Easy to configure.
  • Geo-fencing.
  • Weekly scheduling.

Cons

  • No HomeKit/Siri support.
  • Some remote control features may not transfer to the app.

Our Review 

For less than half the price of other popular smart AC controllers, Gidbo offers plenty of smart features.

Setting it up takes a few minutes, and most people did not encounter any issues. If you have a problem connecting Gidbo to wifi or pairing it with the app, the manufacturer's customer service is very helpful.

Once you set it up, you can adjust the temperature, fan speed, mode, and other settings from your smartphone wherever you are.

Gidbo also has a geofencing feature. It will automatically turn off the AC when you leave home and turn it on again when you are within a ¼ mile of home.

Another way to control the AC automatically is through the smart weekly schedule. Set your preferred temperature for different times of the day and days of the week.

In addition to the app, you can also control the AC using Alexa or Google Assistant. Once you link Gidbo to your smart assistant, you can send voice commands using your phone or a smart speaker.

Issues & Limitations 

Like most other smart AC controllers, Gidbo is not compatible with HomeKit and Siri.

Several users have also noted that the app does not always take over all the features and settings on the remote control.

 It'll take over the essential ones, including temperature, fan speed, and mode. But others, like turning off the AC lights or controlling the oscillating vents, may not appear on the app.

How Smart ACs Work 

Best Smart Window Air Conditioner

A smart air conditioner cools your home the same way a traditional 'dumb' AC does. It pulls in warm air from the room and passes it over the evaporator, where a refrigerant absorbs heat from the air.

A fan then blows the now-cool air out of the AC and distributes it around the room.

With a traditional AC, you adjust temperature and other settings using a remote control or the control panel on the AC. This means you have to be near the AC to change a setting.

With a smart AC, you have the option to control the AC from your smartphone. You pair an app on your smartphone with the AC via your home wifi. You can then adjust temperature and other settings wherever you are, whether from another room or when you are at work.

Another advantage of having a smart AC is the ability to control it using Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands.

How a Smart AC Controller Works

Smart AC Controller Working

A smart AC controller allows you to control your non-smart air conditioner using your smartphone or a smart voice assistant.

To use a smart controller, you have to pair it with your air conditioner's infrared remote control. Then you connect it to your home network and pair it with an app on your smartphone.

You can then use your smartphone or a voice assistant like Alexa to control the AC wherever you are.

The controller receives your commands and transmits them to the air conditioner using infrared.

Buying Tips

Tips for Buying a Smart Air Conditioner`

wifi enabled air conditioner

1. Sizing an Air Conditioner 

Air conditioners, smart or not, are sized based on the number of BTUs. BTUs indicate cooling capacity. So, the higher the BTUs, the more powerful the AC is.

It's important to choose the right BTUs for a room. If the AC is too powerful for the room, it'll be inefficient and can make the room uncomfortable.

If the AC has too few BTUs for the size of the room, it will struggle to keep the room comfortably cool.

On average, you need 20 BTUs of cooling for every square foot of living space. This applies whether you are buying a mini-split, a window unit, or a portable air conditioner.

For small rooms (less than 300 square feet), a 10,000 BTU or lower AC is ideal. For medium-sized rooms (300-500 sq. ft.), get an AC between 10,000 and 14,000 BTUs. For a large room over 500 sq. Ft. such as an open style living area, get a 14,000 BTU or higher AC.

2. Type of Smart AC

There are several types of smart air conditioners. Here are the most common.

Portable ACs: These are compact units that you can easily move from room to room. They need to be vented outside a window.

Window ACs: These are compact air conditioners installed on a window sill or through a slot in the wall. They are quieter and more efficient than portable ACs. The main disadvantage of window ACs is that you cannot move them from room to room.

Ductless mini-splits: Like window and portable air conditioners, mini-splits are also designed for cooling a single room. They consist of a condenser/compressor unit installed outdoors connected to an indoor air-handling unit.

Heat pumps: Some air conditioners also function as heat pumps, meaning they cool and heat. A heat pump is handy if you need an AC you can use all year round. You use the cooling function in summer and turn on the heat during winter.

3.Connectivity and Setup 

Check how easy it is to configure wifi connectivity. Some smart ACs take forever to connect to wifi or keep losing connection.

A quick look through customer reviews will give you an idea of how tedious (or easy) the AC is to set up and the kind of customer support you can expect from the manufacturer.

Also, check whether the AC uses 2.4GHz or 5GHz wifi. If you have a dual-band router, the type of wifi doesn't matter.

Something else to check: whether the companion app is compatible with your smartphone. Most smart air conditioners have both Android and iOS apps, but confirm before you order.

4. Smart Compatibility 

Amazon Alexa is the most popular smart voice assistant, so most smart air conditioners are compatible with Alexa. You can send voice commands through the Alexa app on your phone or through an Echo smart speaker.

Many smart ACs are also compatible with Google Assistant. You can send voice commands using your smartphone or a Google Home smart speaker.

What is hard to find is an Apple HomeKit-compatible smart air conditioner. In fact, as of this writing, we could not find any HomeKit-compatible AC on Amazon.

Tips for Buying a Smart Air Conditioner Controller 

Smart Air Conditioner Controller

If you have a non-smart air conditioner and would like to control it from your smartphone or through a smart assistant, what you need is a smart AC controller.

The most important thing to consider when buying a smart controller is connectivity and compatibility.

Check what kind of wifi the controller users and which smart assistant it is compatible with. Most smart controllers can connect to both Alexa and Google Assistant. A few are also compatible with Siri.

But, as with smart ACs, you'll be hard-pressed to find a HomeKit-compatible smart AC controller.

Also, check if the controller is compatible with your AC.

Smart controllers only work with air conditioners that have an infrared remote control

Installation & Maintenance

smart air conditioner

If you are buying a window AC or a mini-split, you may need professional installation.

Portable ACs are much easier to set up. You just need to set up the window kit and connect the exhaust hose from the AC to the window.

After you install the AC, the next step is to configure it. Link it to your home network and then pair it with the companion app on your phone.

If it's a smart AC controller, you first pair it with your remote control, then connect it to your home wifi network.

Maintaining a smart AC is no different from maintaining a traditional AC. The most important task is to wash or replace the filters as often as the manufacturer recommends.

Frequently Asked Questions About Smart Air Conditioners

Frequently Asked Questions About Smart Air Conditioners

How do I convert my AC to a smart AC? 

Get a smart AC controller. Pair it with your AC remote control and connect it to your home wifi. You can then control the AC from a smartphone app wherever you are. You can also control the AC from Alexa or Google Assistant.

Smart plug vs. smart AC controller?

A smart plug allows you to control your air conditioner from your phone but only the on and off function.

A smart AC controller is more versatile. You can adjust the temperature, change the AC mode, and turn it on or off from your smartphone.

Can I control my AC using Alexa or Google Assistant? 

 Yes, you can, as long as you have either a smart air conditioner or a traditional AC connected to a smart AC controller.

About the Author Tom Hanson

I’ve worked as an HVAC tech in Phoenix, AZ for the past 10 years. I created CoolAndPortable.com to help home owners select the right portable air conditioner, cooler or air purifier for their needs & budget in just a few minutes.

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