I Tried the Most Stylish Window AC Unit on the Market and I Won’t Shut Up About It (It’s on Sale!)

published Jul 10, 2023
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Product photo of The Windmill AC on graphic colored background
Credit: Windmill

It’s not every day that you see a window air conditioner and think, “Wow, that actually looks really nice.” But I did have that thought to myself, over a year ago, when I scrolled past a video from TikToker Brigette Muller (@hummusbirrd) showing off her surprisingly aesthetically-pleasing AC unit. It looked so good in her apartment — beautiful, really — that it stuck with me.

It was so memorable, in fact, that when my four-year-old bedroom AC started to sound 104 years old a few weeks ago, I spent almost an hour trying to track down her original video. Turns out, she had The Windmill AC, and when the brand offered an opportunity for me to try a sample of their product soon after, it felt like pure room-cooling kismet. Now, after three weeks of using it in the New York City summer heat, I can attest to the fact that it’s worth every penny, and I’m recommending it to everyone without central AC that I know.

Quick Overview

A Quick Look at The Windmill AC

  • Stylish both inside and outside your window
  • Pre-assembled for easy installation, right out of the box
  • Features three BTU options designed to cool rooms between 250-450 square feet
  • Quietly blows air upward at a 45 degree angle, rather than straight out
  • Syncs with your wifi to turn on and off remotely, plus voice control
  • Optional canvas winter cover available for insulation

Design Features That Stand Out

Of course, design-wise, the entire Windmill AC as a whole rivals any other unit I’ve encountered to date, thanks to its curved retro-looking, yet minimalist appeal. And to blend even more into the background, each device comes with “cosmetic side panels” (pictured below), A.K.A. solid-white pieces that layer over the unsightly accordion-style attachments on either side of the air conditioner. Windmill’s installation kit also includes two different rolls of insulation foam, an extra filter, a remote control, a window lock, screws, and scissors (you only need a drill).

In terms of noise, The Windmill AC hardly makes a sound while running in my bedroom. You definitely hear something, but it’s more like a gentle, continuous hum versus a repetitive rattle. I own the small 6,000 BTU size, but both the medium and large styles include options for Windmill’s new, slightly-more-expensive WhisperTech feature, which runs nine times quieter than similarly-sized counterparts. Plus, because Windmill has truly thought of everything, the air conditioner has an auto-dimming LED display panel that fades away a few seconds after turning it on or making a temperature change for total darkness.

Once installed, you also have a few options for controlling the air conditioner: via remote, on-unit buttons, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, or (my personal favorite) the Windmill app. The latter allows you to turn on the AC ahead of time from wherever you are, plus you can create custom automations, like scheduled time triggers.

Credit: Windmill

How It Performed

The first time I used my Windmill AC, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that air comes out of the top and blows up, rather than straight out from the front of the machine. Because mine’s in the window right next to my bed, it’s a perk I never knew I needed, not having something blasting directly on me all night long. I love that it touts three different modes — fan, cool, or eco — as well as three fan speeds — low, medium, or high — depending on my preferences and the outside temperature, too. I do think that the small Windmill has a slightly lower BTU than my previous bedroom air conditioner, so I’ve noticed it takes a tiny bit longer to cool the whole space, but it still works relatively quickly.

Since getting the AC, I’ve also constantly been using the Windmill app to turn the unit on whenever I’m a few minutes from home. I consider it one of the most genius design features, and there’s no greater feeling than coming back to a semi-cooled-down space during peak summer. It’s a life- and energy-saving option in case I ever forget to turn it off, too.

Credit: Windmill

What We Loved

  • Ready-to-install design: The AC setup was so easy that I probably spent more time reading the instructions and thinking, “Wait, this seems too good to be true,” than actually installing it. It’s definitely a two-person job lifting the unit into the window, but that’s arguably the toughest part overall. Windmill advises setting aside 45 minutes total, but I probably spent half that amount of time (although I did skip the last few steps — drilling my window shut — because mine felt secure as is).
  • In-app control capabilities: If I feel my room getting warm throughout the night, I can lower the temperature from my phone without getting out of bed.
  • Additional filter: Each Windmill already has a built-in (washable!) mesh filter, which lasts around 3 months, but the delivery packet also includes an extra to swap out later. You can opt in for seasonal or annual auto-refills, as well — the more you buy, the more you save on each filter.
  • Optional covers: I chose an all-white design, but to further personalize the look of your AC, Windmill recently launched new colored and ombré front panels for $49.

Good to Know

Because The Windmill AC blows air upward, it does get tricky pairing with certain windows and window treatments. I have recessed windows and curtains in my apartment, and, with traditional ACs in the past, I would normally just pull up the panels and drape them on top of the unit at night. Now, doing that would block the airflow entirely, so I’ve actually resorted to pinning my curtains up with chip clips before I go to bed to keep them drawn at an above-the-AC level. Ultimately, I’d say that the Windmill feels most compatible with blinds or shades that leave plenty of clearance around the top of the machine.

It’s also worth noting that Windmill’s BTUs run on the lower side across the board, ranging from 6,000 for the small air conditioner and 10,000 for the large — equivalent to 250 and 450 square feet, respectively. With that said, prices do feel slightly higher comparatively, starting at $339, but you get what you pay for in terms of style, function, and smart control features.

Should You Buy The Windmill AC?

All in all, The Windmill AC has been the best window unit I’ve personally ever owned, hands-down, but I’d specifically recommend it if you’re seeking something that:

  • Looks design-forward, especially if you want to keep it in your window year-round
  • Makes minimal noise
  • Fits small spaces with single- or double-hung windows, 22-37 inches wide
  • Quickly and easily installs
  • Has voice control and app capabilities

Where to Buy The Windmill AC

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it here: I Tried the Most Stylish Window AC on the Market and I Won’t Shut Up About It (It’s on Sale!)