My window AC is loud. Its monotonous hum is punctuated by vibrating plastic components, like teeth on a cold day.
The window baffles are in tatters. No amount of duct tape can block the sounds of NYC’s sirens and motorcyclists.
My tiny home doesn’t have room to store the AC unit during the winter, thus the window must stay closed and collect dust.
That creaky old AC still cools my room fine, but I’ve been trying the Midea U-Shaped Air Conditioner, a new machine that promises to fix all of my window AC difficulties while providing the same (or higher) temps. It’s made this summer bearable.
The Midea, funded by Indiegogo, has an interesting form that lets you open and closes your window while it’s in the frame.
You don’t have to remove it to open your window in the cool months, and it blocks street noise.
Don’t use the Midea U-Shaped AC’s setup guide. The imprecise instructions make installation complex and intimidating.
It’s easy. It takes much longer than unboxing and plugging in a typical window AC unit. Watch Midea’s YouTube video. It’s easier to follow than the booklet.
I could install the unit myself, but it’s hefty, so having someone is helpful.
Check your window’s compatibility. Midea says it works for 22-36-inch windows with a 14-inch minimum height.
You must use the provided bracket to install this window AC; you’ll also need a screwdriver to secure some components. The bracket may hold the AC without screws, but Midea believes using them assures secure installation since all windows are different. AC is above my balcony, so I didn’t. It feels secure but tightens it.
U-shaped air conditioner. The front and rear are notched. It lets you slide your window into the unit—not completely, but enough to reduce side gaps.
There’s a less open area for cool air to leak out (or hot air to seep in), which improves soundproofing.
The glass doesn’t fully slide down, thus there’s a small gap. Midea includes plenty of foam packaging. Measure and cut foam (a kitchen knife would do) and squeeze it into the side gaps.
Plenty of additional sash foams are included, so check for tiny gaps, cut the foam with scissors, and squeeze it into these areas for a better seal.
Even with the window closed, I still hear street noise. It blocks outside noise better than anything I’ve tested. Most of the loud AC components are in the back.
My apartment is 38 decibels (like a library) and 48 with the Midea AC on. My old window AC blared at 68 dB. (akin to a noisy restaurant or a vacuum).
Has Great Features!
You can open your window without worrying about the AC unit toppling out and crushing someone. The wall-mounted bracket handles the AC’s load.
On cooler summer days, I opened my window instead of running the AC. Window access is helpful if you don’t plan to store the unit during the winter, either because you’re low on the room or too lazy. Neither.
Built-in window locks deter intruders. When you wish to open the window yourself, just collapse the locks and pull them out before closing.
For extra security, you can screw in a separate window lock, but then you can’t open your window.
Cool looks, room
Midea’s U-shaped AC comes in 8,000, 10,000, and 12,000 Btu. Midea provided me with an 8,000-Btu model for my 450-square-foot room.
Energy Star gives a guide for measuring your room to determine what size AC to buy. The 10,000-Btu model is ideal.
The 8,000-Btu version cools a 300- to the 350-square-foot room to 77 degrees on 98-degree days (it cools quite quickly too).
The regions farthest from the AC are warmer.
What About The Fan Speed!
You get fan speed options, a timer, sleep, and environmental mode above the perforated grille. The temperature buttons flank a sleek LED display that shows the degree in large numbers.
The companion app lets you turn off the LED if it’s too bright for your bedroom.
Above these buttons is a louvre that may swing up and down or stay still.
You may connect the AC to Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant (I used the latter) and control the temperature or modes with your voice.
This smart capability connects it to smart home routines. I’ve added Midea to my “Good Night” routine, which shuts off my smart lights, TV, and AC.
I appreciate being able to put on the AC before coming home from a stroll so it’s not muggy and hot. Siri lacks HomeKit support.
If you don’t want to employ assistance, you can use the supplied remote.
Midea has Android and iOS apps. It’s well-designed and enables you to create schedules, share access, and switch on Sleep Curve, which adjusts the temperature while you sleep.
The app tells you when to clean the filter, which is easy.
The software hasn’t given me any problems, but it has low reviews on the App Store and Google Play, so you may find bugs.
It Has App Authentication!
Midea’s app lacks two-factor authentication.
You can log in with Twitter or Facebook, but then you can’t link the AC to Alexa or Google, and two-factor authentication doesn’t transfer (I tried).
The software simply requires an email and password, so use a secondary account and a secure password you don’t use elsewhere.
Many smart-home gadgets have been hacked, so be careful. The app is optional.
The Midea U-Shaped Air Conditioner cools your home while avoiding the regular drawbacks of traditional window ACs.
Other 8,000-Btu window ACs cost $275 to $400 or more at Home Depot. This AC is for hot homes with suitable windows.