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Room ACs Get Smarter, More Efficient

This summer, technology has come to the rescue of AC window unit users who loathe coming home to a sweltering house or apartment.

GE, as did Friedrich and Frigidaire before it, has addressed the distress with a line of connected ACs that can be activated remotely from the road.

For GE, now a unit of Haier Group, its 10,000 Btu AEC10AV (suggested retail: $350) and 12,050 Btu AEC12AV (suggested retail: $440) represent the company’s first foray into Wi-Fi-enabled room air.

Using the majap maker’s new Comfort mobile app, users can operate the models remotely from a menu that allows them to change cooling modes; creating cooling schedules; control multiple units; and receive reminders to clean or change the filter.

Meanwhile, Friedrich took air conditioner connectivity one step further through its partnership with ThinkEco, whose Cloud-based smartAC platform provides both remote operational control and energy demand response (DR) monitoring for its Kühl (pronounced “cool”) line of Wi-Fi-enabled models.

The latter feature, first added in 2014, allows participating utility companies to throttle back the thermostat during peak energy demand periods in exchange for consumer incentives like rewards points and gift cards.

Last year Electrolux similarly incorporated the EcosmartAC platform into its Cool Connect room air line. Its updated 8,000 Btu Frigidaire Gallery model features a contemporary mesh grill and, like Kühl, can earn owners cash by linking to participating utilities. Suggested retail: $429.