It’s likely we’re going to experience another intense heatwave this summer, so I’ve been preparing now by choosing and installing an air conditioner. I’ve tested out quite a few different window air conditioners over the past few years. I liked them all, but after installing the Insignia 8000 BTU window air conditioner, I’ve found the best unit for my living room. Here’s a look at how it installs, and a quick rundown of a few features that make it stand out from all other window air conditioners.
Appearance of Insignia 8000 BTU window air conditioner
The Insignia 8000 BTU window air conditioner (model NS-AC8WU3-C) is designed for a room that’s approximately 350 square feet (32.5 sq.m). If you’re not sure that’s enough BTU for your space, you can find out more about BTU and how to decide which air conditioner will best fit by reading this article on how to properly size your air conditioner.
Placing the controls and fan inside your house and the air conditioner components behind the window, the Insignia 8000 BTU air conditioner has a unique design. It’s essentially split right down the middle, so it gives you nothing but cool air inside your home while any heat released stays outside.
This window air conditioner was created for standard double-hung windows that have a width of 22 – 36 in. (55.9 – 91.4 cm) and a window height of 13.5 in. (34.3 cm). It weighs 53 lbs, so it’s best to have two people install it so you can lift it together.
Features on Insignia 8000 BTU window air conditioner
- U-shaped design mounts securely to give you the option to keep your window open or closed
- Ultra-quiet window air conditioner runs at 42dBA
- 3 fan speeds or uses Auto mode to rapidly cools your room based on the temperature in the room
- LED display gives you a quick visual of the temperature you’re setting
- Vents glide open and closed when you turn the unit off and on
- Manually adjust airflow from the unit up, down, or side to side
- Offers a temperature range of 16° – 30° C (60° – 86° F)
- Remote control lets you control your air conditioner from across the room up to 26.2 ft. (8 m) away
- Indicator lights let you know when to clean the reusable filter
- Timer lets you set the air conditioner for up to 24 hours and sleep mode pauses cooling for 7 hours
- Energy Star certified
Installing Insignia 8000 BTU window air conditioner
It’s easy to be intimidated when you install a window air conditioner, but it was honestly the easiest install I’ve ever done. There is a manual included that walks you through the entire process, or you can also follow the steps in my review video, or watch an Insignia video that walks you through the process step by step.
In my opinion, the two things that made it so easy to install the air conditioner are the U-shape design and the unique mounting bracket.
U-shape design keeps the heat outside
I’ve never seen a window air conditioner shaped like the Insignia 8000. Instead of a unit where the entire air conditioner unit is inside your house and the window closes to hold it in place, the Insignia window air conditioner has a literal gap between the motor and the control panel with fan.
The gap lets you slide the window down into the middle of the unit. That keeps the motor and the hot air released from the motor completely outside. Not only does the design keep your room cooler because no heat is released inside, but it also looks a lot better than a standard window air conditioner. To me, it looks like a mini-split fan panel.
Support bracket secures the window air conditioner
The mounting bracket holds the air conditioner in place, and when the unit is placed on it the bracket extends and presses firmly against your siding. You’ll need to use the included screws to bolt the bracket down, but I thought it felt very secure even before we screwed it into place.
It’s great that everything you need to install the AC is included in the box, and you can follow the manual or video step by step. The only part we found challenging is the timing of some of the steps. For example, there are two support brackets. In order to get a screwdriver or drill close enough, you’ll want to attach the support bracket to the mounting bracket before placing the air conditioner. Otherwise, you’ll need an extension drill bit for your drill.
Testing out the Insignia window air conditioner
This Insignia window air conditioner has a very modern feel to it. From the minute you tap the power button the lights turn on and the vent glides open. The buttons are easy to read and the remote control is easy to use.
Different modes offer different ways to cool your room
There are 3 fan speeds on the Insignia window air conditioner. You can set it to low, medium, or high both on the console or remote control. There is also a dry mode you can use as a dehumidifier when it’s raining outside or you feel as though the room is damp.
There are a few other modes on this air conditioner that I’ve never seen before. While you can direct the vents by hand so you can position your air flow toward where you are in the room, there is also a Swing mode. It will direct the vents the cool air comes out of, putting them in a standard position when the machine is turned on.
However, the mode I used the most was iSense or Auto mode. When you tap it the air conditioner will turn on and off depending on the temperature it senses in the room. It’s a lot like having a furnace that turns off and on depending on how cold it is in the room, and it works really well. I set the temperature I’d like to 70 degrees and it turned off and on depending on what the room’s temperature was.
There is also Eco Mode and Sleep Mode. You can use Eco Mode to keep the fan running after the compressor turns off so it will continue to blow cool air. Sleep Mode will let the temperature in the room increase for 7 hours while you are sleeping, and when that time is up it will resume cooling as normal.
Finally, a window air conditioner that runs quietly
The design of the Insignia 8000 BTU air conditioner really reduces any noise you might hear from your window air conditioner. Even if it didn’t have a U-shaped design, it would still be a very quiet machine. I don’t have another window air conditioner set up to compare, but you can tell it runs very quietly in all modes. According to the manual, it’s 9X quieter than a standard window air conditioner. It runs at 42dBA, which is the same noise level as a quiet library.
I tested out all modes and all levels and I thought the air conditioner was very quiet. It definitely helps to have the compressor outside, but even when you’re standing in front of it while it’s running it’s very quiet.
Control your cool air from across the room
It’s easy to use the front panel buttons to turn your air conditioner off and on. It also has a LED display so you can see exactly what temperature it is. One of the best parts of the Insignia 800 is the remote control. It will turn the unit off and on, and it also has all of the modes on it so you can select the exact function you’d like. It’s really helpful to have it, especially if the air conditioner is in your bedroom. You can reach over for the remote and turn it up or down or switch the mode without leaving your cozy bed.
This model also has a washable filter. You can press and hold the swing button on the air conditioner to set a countdown for hours used, and once it hits 250 hours a light will come on to let you know it’s time to clean the filter.
Foam blocks keep cool air in and insects out
One of the best parts of the Insignia 8000 BTU U-shaped air conditioner is how well it blocks the gaps left in your window after placing the air conditioner. Instead of using the older accordion style side panels on either side, the Insignia air conditioner uses foam blocks that you can stack to ensure a secure fit.
The foam blocks are easy to cut with any kitchen knife. To install them you’ll just need to cut them to fit and, if needed, use a few to stack them so they completely close the gap in your window.
The foam blocks work better than I thought possible. I don’t have any air coming through the window at all, and they look so much better than the accordion side panels.
Should you choose the Insignia 8000 BTU window air conditioner?
If you’ve ever thought a window air conditioner won’t work for you or your home, the Insignia 8000 BTU U-shaped air conditioner will be the model that changes your mind. The design alone makes it a smart choice. I love how the condenser is completely blocked by the window.
The installation process is very simple. Anyone can install this window air conditioner, and the Insignia install video really helps if you get confused along the way. I like that the support bracket is very sturdy on its own, so you don’t have to worry that you only have a window holding your air conditioner in place. It’s such a sturdy bracket that you can actually open and close the window if you want to.
It runs so quietly you can barely hear it, and I love all of the different modes. I’ve used dry quite a few times because it isn’t that warm yet and we’ve had a lot of rain. It makes the room feel less damp.
The Insignia 8000 is designed for a room up to 350 square feet so it can cool a large space. I let it run for a few hours on a sunny day and the air was noticeably chilly in the house. I had to turn it off before I was tempted to turn on the fireplace and warm everyone up.
Now is the best time to prepare for the warm summer months, and with an air conditioner like the Insignia 8000 window air conditioner, you’ll be set for whatever the summer brings. You can find your own Insignia window air conditioner right now at Best Buy.