Air Conditioner Reviews, HVAC info and Buyers Guide

In Depth Review: LG LW1511ER 15,000 BTU Window Unit AC

How do you get the best information about how well an air conditioner works? Buy one. Buy one and put it to use for a couple of years. That’s exactly what I did with the LG 15,000 BTU
window mounted air conditioner.

I have the LW1511ER. Bought it through Walmart online and took advantage of their $1 shipping. In 2010, the price was just under $400.00. Since then, this model has been discontinued and the comparable model, the LW1512ERS has replaced it at about $50 more. Reading over the manuals and looking at the picture, they seem like identical units, except for the price increase.

Why this size?

My wife and I did our homework. We first decided that we primarily wanted to cool our 16 x 30 foot main living area (480 square feet total). A window was available on one wall, so if we could find an appropriate sized unit, and one that ran off of a 115 volt household outlet, that was our first choice.
Using a calculator like the one found here, we decided that the minimum size needed (for a house in Michigan) was 12,000 BTU’s. The key word was minimal.

The newer LW1512ERS looks just like the older version.

A few factors had us upgrade to the next highest BTU rating. These were: A south facing wall, the fact that the room is in an upper story, running computers and other heat producing electronics, and the occupancy. We own four dogs, one mini (Jack Russell), two mediums and a large (Great Dane). Adding my wife and me, that brings up the occupancy to an equivalent of four adult humans.

All of these add either heat or humidity and led us to estimate high on the size needed. We ended up guessing 14,000 BTUs. LG’s models came in either a 12,000 or 15,000 BTU, leaving us at the higher number based on our estimate.

Other considerations

The window is behind and next to our television set. That made noise a concern. It’s also across the room from where we sit to watch TV, so we wanted a remote. Finally, we didn’t want to pay for extra filters or other goodies, so the washable filter was a nice plus.

With all this in mind, we started shopping around, looking for a reliable brand at a good price. Close to $400 was the top end of our budget, but we were swayed by the excellent reviews LG gets and the free shipping from Walmart, along with their excellent warranty/guarantee.

How did it all work out?

We have been quite satisfied, now that we’ve used the unit for two summers. It’s quiet enough not to overwhelm the television when it kicks on and cools the room quickly (ten minutes or so) even when we’ve been away all day and it hasn’t been running.

One advantage we didn’t anticipate was using the fan settings. There are three, from low to high, and as the evening cools off, these have been great to bring in cool, fresh air with the AC shut off. Once, we even used the fan on max to clear out some smoke from a small fire (office wastebasket).

On occasion, for hot nights, we’d leave the AC on in the main room and spread the cool around with a few box fans. This lets us keep the next room over, our bedroom, at a pleasant temperature. So far, the unit has been more than up to the job.

Energy, aesthetics and maintenance

I track energy costs because they are partially deductible on my taxes (home office). However, this unit didn’t cause the expected bump up in electricity costs, either because other costs went down in the summer (shorter hours needed for lighting) or because we didn’t use the unit continuously (it was usually put in fan mode at night). Whatever the reason, there was no appreciable uptick in my electricity bills over the summer.

As far as looks, the LG is pretty plain. It isn’t meant to be aesthetically pleasing, and it looks like what it is – a window air conditioner. That said, cleaning is just an occasional swipe with a damp towel and a rinse of the front accessed filter.

We had no maintenance issues, but again, we are not hard users and didn’t have much reason to really stress the unit. One thing we do that probably isn’t wise is leave it in the window over the winter. Our winters are very cold and that can’t be the best thing for the unit. We do cover it in plastic and insulate the interior of the window, but the unit is about 120 pounds, so moving it is a hassle. We chose to take our chances and just leave it in place.

All in all the LG LW1511ER 15,000 BTU window air conditioner is a great unit at a fair price. If I get a couple more years out of it, I will be more than pleased.

If you have an LG window unit, please post a comment below. Has it been reliable? Good points / bad points?

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