Customer Reviews: Frigidaire FRA052XT7 5,000-BTU Mini Window Air Conditioner
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on July 5, 2010
I spent quite a bit of time researching A/C before purchasing. We live in Oregon and it doesn't get too hot but there's a month or two in the summer where the heat and humidity get oppressive in the house. I wanted an inexpensive, small, window A/C to increase the comfort. I wanted something small enough that I can store it the other 10 months.

So, after much research I ordered this model. I was going to get the 6K BTU model with the electronic controls but I figured I would get something super cheap and if it didn't work I could use it as a single room cooler. Shipped free which makes this a pretty good deal. Arrived in about a week.

Installation was easy, following the instructions in the manual. I did have to install and remove the A/C about 3 times to get all the sealing right. In the box there's a lot of different thicknesses of foam and foam tape. There is no specific instructions about what to do with this, except the stuff for the top gap of the upper sash. So, I experimented with various combos to get a good seal. We have recent vinyl windows with screens but no storms so the unit basically dropped right in. However, there are some gaps around the bottom in this configuration. I stuffed these with the thickest foam that came with the unit. This did the trick but didn't look too great. Luckly I ordered extra foam tape as another reviewer recommended, and I used small pieces of that to caulk around it inside and outside, leaving the big foam inside. It actually looks pretty neat and professional. $4 well spent ;)

Anyway, the unit is installed in our main living room. We are in a 1940's box bungalow so this room is about half of the width and length of the house. The bedrooms and kitchen connect to it. With it on HI cool/Max(7) the entire house has been very cold and huge amounts of water have been pulled out. We will see how it performs in the upcoming week of 95+ temps. We keep a few $10 box fans around to circulate air so I can move the cold air around.

One thing is that I have heard mentioned on a few other models is that the fan catches water in the pan and spits it around. This is a feature and not a bug ;). The unit is designed to pitch backward slightly when properly mounted. Moisture removed from the room collects at the bottom. The fan blade is coated in rubber and it's designed to suck water up and spray it on the evaporator coils. This facilitates some precooling of the outside air. It drastically increases efficiency. I would not drill drain holes, as other people have mentioned.

$100, and my house is cold AND quiet. You can't say much more. If it's not enough for the hottest day I might get one more and move them to the bedrooms. It's very quiet on low but I like white noise.. I hope it lasts, even if it doesn't I'd gladly pay another $100 in 2 years.
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on June 30, 2010
I got it hoping it would keep my apartment cool-ER. I expected it to keep it comfortable, not cold. I also had a bit of a problem with size. The only window that opens in my house is a vertical sliding window, which Air Conditioners I can afford, aren't made for.
Once I received it, I started to assemble and install. Originally I was going to leave the extensions off, since my window was only 18 inches wide, but after I got it and thought about it more, I realized they could still help keep it supported. So I put them on. They are about an inch inside the window, to help it from falling out. Also, I originally hoped to buy some wood and put that above it, but once I saw how sturdy it was with just the extensions, I put cardboard above it and plastic taped around the edges with duct tape. Very red neck, I know. It's sealed with the help of some other bits that came with it to help seal it.
I installed it a little over 12 hours ago and my home is cold. I live in a house above a garage. Just a large living room, average bathroom and small bedroom. It's 621 SQ Feet.(assuming I did the math correctly. 23 x 27 feet.) This is total, but there are 3 separate rooms here. (Also, I have a low ceiling, only 6.5 Feet.) I placed it in my only opening window in the living room and it keeps the bathroom cold which is closest, and my bedroom pretty cold too, which is farthest. A lot larger than advertised for. I didn't care, I needed a little cooler than I had. Before, it was hotter inside than it was outside. I have it on high, but will consider turning it down, which I never thought I would do. I like the cold. It's THAT cold.
For $110, I got an amazing air conditioner that perform WAY better than expected/advertised and it got here exceptionally fast too. It arrived 4 days after I ordered it with standard shipping and handling. I am a very happy costumer.
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on September 22, 2010
I have run this all summer, purchasing it about five months ago.
It has been a relatively mild summer with only 12 days over 100 degrees.

Pros -
Easy to Install
Excellent Size for Small Windows
Fairly Quite to run (would not bother me if I slept in my office)
Keeps my office 11x14 frigidly cold when set on max (temp 7 of 7)
..(takes about 8 hours to cool down a hot room with the door closed)
..(I keep it on 5 out of 7 on the temp gauge, that even gets a little cold at times)

Cons -
The Directional Air Flow vents are poor
Not much difference between the High Cold/Fan settings and Low Cool/Fan settings
When rain blows against the unit the accordion extensions collect a little water along the bottom

I am considering getting two or three more for my house next summer.
I had one of my Frigidaire window units at the house die this year, it was twelve years old.

September 22, 2011
One year later to the date. No this was not planned. This little unit lasted through another summer, and this one was not so mild. I lost count of the days over 100 degrees. I did not buy any more for my house, as I moved into a new home with central air. This unit does however continue to cool my office as it was purchased for.

It was stored all winter in the utility closet off my office (i.e. indoors, warm, and dry). It was washed down with a power washer before being re-installed in the window this year.

Pros -
Excellent Size for Small Windows (I am still amazed I found a unit that fit)
Fairly Quite to run (I don't notice it running anymore, and no customers have complained)
It can still freeze me and my customers out when set on max temp (7)
..(I timed it again and it still takes about 8 hours to cool down a 11x14 hot room)

Cons -
The Directional Airflow vents are very poor (they are basically useless)
Still not much difference between the High and Low settings
..(I fixed the rain issue above by using plexiglass this year)
Rust has started to form on the outside grill and corners where the condensation drops

For those of you wondering, the reduced star is because of the directional airflow issues. Another review mentioned the styrofoam can be seen, and was probably used to fill the gaps. This is true but after two years it still seems to be in good shape. It also appears to be fairly thick. Some other items I tested this year...

Room size 11x14 (left on this setting for 24 hours before temperature was measured)
Average outside temperature during this week of tests was 98 degrees.
Setting Cool/High 7 brought the room to 58 degrees, outside temperature 98
Setting Cool/High 5 brought the room to 63 degrees, outside temperature 96
Setting Cool/High 3 brought the room to 74 degrees, outside temperature 100
Setting Cool/High 1 brought the room to 89 degrees, outside temperature 99
All temperatures were read at 4pm.
**Please note this was my unit's performance. Yours may differ.

Yesterday it was put back in storage until next year. I considered getting a sound level meter or loudness level meter to measure the actual noise my unit puts out, but I have not got around to that yet. Maybe next year.
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on April 29, 2012
For its size, this is a great unit. Our window only opens a max 21" which made it too small for any units I could find at HD and Lowes. Found this guy on Amazon which is 16" wide so it's perfect. I made a custom frame out of 1x3s and 1/4" plywood (see pictures) so that I wouldn't have to drill any holes into the window sill or surrounding walls. We rent an apartment so the fewer holes I need to patch the better. Message me if you would like more details about the frame and/or installation. It was pretty straightforward.
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on June 12, 2011
I live in a basement apartment and struggled to find an AC for my tiny windows - the opening is only 16.5 inches wide and 18 inches tall. No window air conditioner would fit that space. I had an 8,000 BTU portable A/C but that thing was just very inefficient - drawing in hot air from the outside as most portable units do because they constantly exhaust hot air and new air has to come from somewhere. Long story short, I stumbled upon this little unit and found out it was only 16 inches wide (sans the side panels). It fit my tiny window perfectly. Most importantly, it also does not protrude very far to the outside, and important consideration when people walk past your window.

Mounting this unit was easy. It is so light that you don't have to struggle with it like most air conditioners. You should not get a hernia lugging this unit. It also puts very little strain on the window frame and does not need any additional brackets. To my surprise, the unit also came with tons of mounting hardware - including insulation often not included with other units. There was even a piece of foam to put in between the two window panes to insulate the gap in between two open windows. Nice.

I noticed a lot of people out here mount the unit in an angled position. You do not have to go out of your way to do that. If you mount it right, it angles slightly to the outside by itself. The reason for this is so that the water that accumulates in the unit flows outside and not inside. You don't have to tilt the unit outward as much as many of the pictures on here show.

What the unit lacks in size it does not lack in output. At 5,000 BTU, I was not expecting much, but this unit outperformed the 8,000 BTU portable unit easily, drawing 1/3 less electricity. It cools the entire 400sqft apartment with the help of a fan. (a well-insulated apartment, don't expect it to cool 450sqft in a poorly insulated or sun-exposed building) It is one of the quieter units out there, producing a constant hum rather than sounding like a freight train like some units. The most noise comes from the fan. The compressor is barely noticeable. It is a no frills unit with manual controls - but they work pretty well. It maintains the room temperature better than many electronic units. Set to level 6, it cools the room to a comfortable 73 degrees, level 7 cools to about 69 degrees. it cycles on and off nicely and quietly. Finally, the build quality seems rather good - nothing rattles or vibrates.

Overall, this is probably the best little AC out there you can get. If space is a problem and you were considering a wasteful portable unit, give this little guy a try.
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on September 15, 2013
I was looking for a window air conditioner. I saw this one on amazon for a great price and since I already had one in my bedroom for the past 2 years I jumped at the chance to get the three that I needed for a great price. It turns out that you really do get what you pay for. I unboxed the first one, installed it and turned it on. It worked for about 30 minutes and then started to blow hot air, number one AC unit not working. Unboxed number 2 AC unit. The back of it, the part that looks like a radiator that hangs outside your window, was completely caved in. I am assuming that happened during shipping but needless to say that one didn't even need to be plugged in to ascertain that it was non-working. Took the third and final one out undamaged from shipping thank god but to no avail, it also blew hot air right from the start. I went to the post office to find out the shipping charge to send them back and it was more than what I paid so I didn't even bother with returns, I just went to the local Lowes and bought a 15k BTU unit that could handle the whole house and got me a 3 year warranty on it. So, long story short I learned my lesson the hard way. You get what you pay for! Never Again!!!
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on February 21, 2013
i read some bad reviews but due to the good reviews i read i decided to purchase it. it isnt very loud as others said and it works GREAT, it cooled off my entire bedrm and the next room darn near my whole apartment (2bdrm) so i dont know what everyone else was talking about bc i thought it worked great, well didnt think it worked great i know it works great. trust me you should buy this.
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Frigidaire’s 5000 BTU window air conditioners are nicely made, easy to use, and work well.

Despite their low price these Frigidaire units are very nicely made. The plastics on the front are high quality, the metal casing on the back is very robust, and the knobs turn smoothly and click securely into place. If there is one item that can use a little improvement it is the simple and modest feeling air directional control, but you’ve got to cut costs somewhere.

These units are quite compact and unobtrusive. They should fit most windows with ease, and they don’t hang outside of the window much, so they will most likely not need an external support.

Assembling the air conditioner is very simple and quick. All you need is a screwdriver and a few minutes. There is a metal bracket that you screw into the top of the unit and then slip the two side accordion extensions into place. Once that’s done you can set it down in the window. Since these Frigidaire are small and not very heavy, it’s an easy process, but it works best with two people, so one can guide the other. They come with all manner of hardware to screw the accordion extensions and brackets into you windows, but we skipped that step and were able to secure the accordion extensions into place using friction from the window frame. We have modern plastic double hung windows, by the way.

Using the Frigidaire is simple there are two knobs on the front. One controls fan speed, and the other temperature. That’s it. There are no remotes or flashing lights, and there are no vent, exhaust, or sleep modes. Still, they have two fan speeds and an easy to remove and clean air filter. If you like simplicity you’ll like these machines. Despite the low feature count they don’t look cheap.

I purchased three of these units. I put one in the kitchen (136 sq. ft.), one in the dining room / living room (235 sq. ft.), and one in the upstairs master bedroom (135 sq. ft). We live in the lower Hudson Valley of New York and have a well-insulted 1949 colonial that has lots of shade trees. The highest outside temperatures we usually see are low 90º’s, but mostly we spend our summers in the mid-80º’s. Between the three units we are able to cool off the main living areas of the house. They don’t cool off the whole house, for example 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms are left un-cooled, but we don’t spend a lot of time in those rooms anyway. I’ve discovered that the number 6 setting on the temperature dial is approximately 75º, so we set them on a 5 ½ most of the time and 6 in the master bedroom when we sleep. The fan is powerful on high, and moves a lot of air. The Frigidaire is able to lower the temperature of my bedroom from 82º to 78º in about an hour.

These are noisy machines, on both high and low speed. They are not so loud that you’ll be screaming over them or blasting the television, but they will definitely be noticeable. Thankfully, when the compressor clicks on, it’s barely audible so it doesn’t add to the din. None of the machines rattle or make any other strange noises.

I should mention that of the three machines two of them had slightly dented outside cabinets. Nothing that altered the way they operate, just purely cosmetic. The boxes seemed to be in decent shape, so it was odd.

All in all… great little air conditioners.
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on August 21, 2012
I returned a NewAir evaporative cooling tower for this window unit instead. The evaporative coolers just don't work well in Florida and I needed immediate relief for my small 9x12 office this summer. I was against a window unit for aesthetic reasons but didn't see any alternative.

This Frigidaire is a great unit for the price so I figured it was worth a shot, and the shipping was free (which is amazing because this thing is not light weight). But I have to say, I am a little disappointed by a couple of things: first, it has a pretty weak can't feel the air blowing out of this thing if you are more than 4+ feet away, and the air louvers do almost nothing to help direct the air; second, it is pretty noisy in my opinion...I sit about 5 feet away from it and I have to turn the unit off if I'm taking a conference call or put anybody on speaker phone; third, there is no way to attach the screws if you have metal windows, like we do in Florida, so the ONLY thing holding my unit in the window is the sash that's resting on the top of the unit, and that's it. I don't even know how you'd drill into a metal window anyway, probably mess it up. So just be warned about that, probably goes for any AC unit though.

Moving on...for my small 9x12 office (108 sq.ft.) I expected it would keep it cooler than it does, but then again this is Florida, and my office is surrounded by windows, so it just barely keeps up. The next unit up is 6,000-BTU and costs an extra $75, an almost 70% increase in price for an extra 1,000 BTU so I don't think it's worth it. Might be worth jumping to 8,000-BTU model, though, for almost an extra $100, but it doesn't even come with a remote. You could buy two 5,000-BTU units for about the same price as the 8,000-BTU unit, but then it would be even more noisy.

Ultimately, the 5k unit is fine but just barely cuts the mustard when it comes to cooling in my situation and I wish it was Energy Star rated, so that's why I'm rating it just "ok" with 3 stars. All 3 stars are because of price; it would be 5 star if it was a little stronger, quieter, had the Energy Star label and if it came with attachments for a metal window.
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on June 10, 2011
Installation was fairly easy.. For anyone reading who has storm windows that doesn't know what they're getting into.. You need to build a small platform on the window sill (and secure it) using plywood or any decent wood. I had to build mine up about 2 1/2 inches to get the manufacturer's recommended slant towards outside.. so it drains properly per the manual.

As far as operation, I can keep my 13x15 2nd floor bedroom in Minnesota at a cool 72-73F in MN (June) using the highest setting on High Cool. For a 5000BTU unit, this is impressively considering we have 2 human bodies and 2 dogs.. Heat sources, sleeping at night.

I'm protective of my windows, so I cut up some painter's plastic (planning to get some plexiglass) .. and stapled it to the exposed areas of where the A/C unit is sticking out.

Recommend buying some extra foam to anyone with storm windows who don't want to remove them. This unit is not an absolute brute like some 10K+ BTU window units I have lifted. The window attachment is WAY more than enough to hold it in. I do recommend predrilling the holes with a 1/8" drill bit prior to screwing in to prevent your windows' wood from splitting.

Performance of the unit for its size - I would give it an 9/10. Remember this IS a 5000BTU, not a 8K+. The unit will refuse to cool below 70F from what I can tell. It will kick the compressor off when it feels its hit its designated temp.
Appearance out of the box - 7/10 - I also had bent fins on the rear of the unit. Looks tacky, but whatever. It's an AC unit. Nobody cares. I would've loved a digital readout of the current temp on the unit, but oh well.
Overall - 9/10. Appearance is not everything. People only care if it works and looks decent.

UPDATE 6/24 --

Unit is still operating well. I now run it on Low Cool. High Cool is overkill. It will attempt to get the room to about 70F. I keep it on 7 and it keeps my master bedroom at 73F.. Perfect for me and girlfriend. I noticed it was rattling a bit more than I liked.. Found out my mounting screw into the window was a bit loose. I got a bigger screw and screwed it in way tighter. No more rattling. I spent 2 hrs measuring and cutting a piece of plexiglass to put around the unit outside. Screwed it into the window.. Doesn't look too tacky and leaves very little room for water to get in. Frigidaire knows how to make A/C units in my opinion. This unit is saving me A LOT of money. I can keep off my central A/C for my 2200 sq. ft 2 story house with a walk-out basement. We sit in the basement during the evening (which is always cool), and crank on the Frigidaire 20mins before bedtime. I will be buying Frigidaire for all A/C / Dehumidifier needs my whole life.

UPDATE 8/14 --

So I started having to work from home a few days a week, and I hate cranking on the big central A/C to cool our 2000+ sq. ft. house. So I caved in and bought another one of these.. I think I had it out of the box and on the window in about a half hour. The new one makes some odd noises pin-like, but it hasn't seemed to affect any functionality. I think it's just part of the air conditioning process. I am glad to own 2 identical A/C units now that operate at probably half the electricity that an 8K or 10K window unit would use. The bedroom I put it in is about 120 sq ft but has a small 25 sq ft. attached bathroom. Both were brought from 80-82F to 74F in about an hour. Not bad. I just can't get over how light these are. One guy was picking up 2 8K window units from Sears.. the box said net weight 71Lbs! I think these units are barely 30, if that. If you have storm windows like me, as I stated above.. Be sure to make yourself a 2-3" platform on the sill (and screw it down) to prevent any rattling. I just love the fact that I don't have to get on a ladder and install a bracket to put these in.

UPDATE 8/8/12 --

Still running strong. They seem to be a little noisy sometimes, but if you enjoy the white noise at night -- you'll be fine. I actually am only running 1 currently.. Not working from home anymore.

UPDATE 10/14/13 --

Survived its second season.. Both units still running strong. I literally removed it from the window in TWO minutes this year.. Getting way better at it!

UPDATE 6/1/2015 --

Survived its third season last year.. Both units are still fine. I think I'm only going to be using one of them this year. My only complaint after owning them 4 years is it just seems a little underpowered for our largest bedroom. I may end up getting a bigger unit eventually, but I would like to get my money out of this unit.
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