The Midea 8,000BTU U-shaped Air Conditioner ($339) is a Wi-Fi-enabled smart air conditioner with a unique design that helps make it one of the quietest window units we’ve tested. It’s easy to install and did a good job of cooling in our testing, and it can be controlled with a remote, mobile app, and Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands. That said, it isn’t quite as smart as our Editors’ Choice, the GE Energy Star 115-Volt Electronic Room Air Conditioner (AHC08LY), which also costs a little less.
Design and Features
Aptly named, the Midea U-Shaped Air Conditioner uses a unique design that separates the front part of the unit, which houses the fan, evaporator, and controls, from the rear part of the unit, which houses the compressor and the condenser. It uses Midea’s inverter cooling technology, which according to company, is up to 35-percent more energy efficient than traditional cooling technology. There’s a narrow channel separating the front from the rear that serves as a window slot. With the window pulled down into the slot, it not only seals off outside air but provides support for the air conditioner. It also helps dampen any sound from the outside part of the unit.
We reviewed the 8,000BTU model designed for rooms of up to 350 square feet, but Midea also makes a 10,000BTU model ($399) and a 12,000BTU model ($459) for larger rooms.
Our review unit measures 13.2 by 21.9 by 19.7 inches (HWD) and weighs 55.5 pounds. The front panel contains an air louver panel and an LED temperature setting readout with up and down temperature setting buttons. There are eight additional controls including a Wi-Fi connect button; a Timer button that you can set to have the unit turn off after a set period of time; an ECO button that cycles the fan and compressor to save energy; a Mode button that lets you choose between Auto, Cool, Fan, and Dry operating modes; a Fan button with four settings (Auto, Low, Medium, High); a Sleep button that automatically increases the set temperature by two degrees after 30 minutes and another two degrees 30 minutes later; a Swing button that has the air louver panel move up and down to help broadcast cool air; and an on/off button.
The unit comes with an adjustable mounting bracket that is easy to install and provides excellent support. It also comes with a user guide, a remote guide, a smart app guide, foam blocks and foam insulation strips for sealing the unit once it’s installed, assorted mounting screws, and a nine-button remote that lets you do everything that the onboard controls do.
In addition to the remote and onboard controls, you can manage the Midea from your phone using an Android or iOS mobile app. The app offers its own embedded voice service, but you can also change settings and turn the unit on and off using Alexa and Google voice commands. However, this AC lacks many of the features that you get with the aforementioned GE air conditioner, including support for Apple HomeKit and Siri voice commands, as well as interoperability with other smart devices via IFTTT applets. And, despite what the instructions state, the app doesn’t tell you how much power the AC is using.
The app opens to a screen with a small panel that displays the air conditioner’s name, the current temperature setting, and the power status. It also has an on/off switch. Tapping the panel opens a full screen with a temperature gauge, up and down temperature buttons, an on/off button, and four mode buttons including Cool, Dry Fan, and Auto buttons. In Cool mode you can set your fan speed, and in Auto mode the unit turns the fan on and off based on room temperature. In Dry mode the air conditioner acts as a dehumidifier.
There are four additional buttons along the bottom edge of the screen. The Fan Speed button lets you use a slider to adjust the fan speed, the Express Run button lets you set a constant startup temperature, the Swing button enables the louver panel swing function, and the ECO button puts the unit in ECO mode.
Installation and Performance
As luck would have it, my Midea AC unit arrived on the first day of a three-day heat wave, so I jumped at the opportunity to get it up and running. Installing the air conditioner was relatively easy, but you might want to enlist some extra muscle to help lift the unit and place it on the mounting apparatus.
I started by attaching the mounting bracket to my window and adjusting the outer support arms to fit my window sill configuration. This was as easy as removing retaining clips and repositioning the hinge pins until both support arms were snug with the exterior siding below my window. I slid out the left and right extension arms until they were flush with the sides of the window frame, and used the included screws to secure them to the frame. I lifted the AC unit onto the mounting frame, centered it, and installed the anti-tip brackets according to the instructions. I then slid the window down into the channel between the front and the rear portions of the AC, extended the window locks, measured the space between the left and right sides of the unit, and cut the foam blocks accordingly.
Once the foam blocks were installed, I used the thick window sash foam to seal off the space between the upper and lower window panes and used the adhesive foam to seal off any other openings. I plugged in the AC and proceeded to the app.
I downloaded the mobile app, created an account, and tapped the plus button to add a new device. Both the app and the written instructions provide a warning that you must complete the app installation within eight minutes after powering up the AC, otherwise you’ll have to power it down and start all over, so I powered down the unit, powered it back up, and tapped Next to begin the app installation. I had to connect to the AC’s SSID, then connect to my home network SSID and enter my password. I gave the unit a name and it was connected and ready to go.
The Midea U-Shaped AC did a fine job of cooling down a 360-square foot bedroom. My starting room temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit was chilled to a cool 68 degrees in a little over an hour, and the unit was extremely quiet.
The AC reacted quickly to commands made using both the remote control and the mobile app, but the app’s voice control was hit or miss. I was able to change the temperature settings a couple of times, but every once in a while I had to close the app and restart it to use this feature. However, Alexa voice commands to turn the unit on and off and to change the room temperature settings worked perfectly. Additionally, the AC followed the schedule I set without issue.
If noise from your window air conditioner is keeping you up at night, the Midea 8,000BTU U-Shaped Air Conditioner can help. Its unique design not only makes it easier to install than most traditional air conditioners, but it uses your window to dampen the sound of the compressor that sits outside of your window, separate from the interior enclosure. This AC did a good job of cooling in our tests, and responded quickly and accurately to commands using the remote, the onboard controls, and the mobile app. Alexa voice commands also worked well, but the mobile app’s voice service wasn’t quite as reliable. If support for HomeKit and IFTTT are a must, however, check out our Editors’ Choice, the GE Energy Star 115-Volt Electronic Room Air Conditioner (AHC08LY), which is also a bit cheaper than the Midea AC and offers location-based temperature settings and power usage reports.
Midea 8,000BTU U-shaped Air Conditioner Specs
|Voice Control||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Proprietary|
|Energy Star Certified||Yes|