I'm looking at GE in-window air conditioners. Based on research and room size I've determined a 10,000BTU unit will be best.

My next concern is the loudness of the machine. This led me to two models.
The AED10AV and the AEM10AV. There is only one major difference between the two. The AED lists 230 CFM and the AEM lists 300 CFM.

air conditioner comparison

My problem is understanding how CFM and BTU don't seemed to be linked. Isn't cooling power (British Thermal Units) a function of the amount of air blown (Cubic Feet per Minute)?

  • They're related, but only loosely. A simple fan will have a high CFM, but zero BTUs. An air conditioner with zero CFMs simply won't work (no way to get the cooled air into the room). Apr 4, 2016 at 18:34
  • So, all else equal, the 230CFM wouldn't cool as well?
    – GollyJer
    Apr 4, 2016 at 18:56
  • Should cool equally well, but you won't get as much of a 'breeze' from it. Apr 4, 2016 at 20:48

1 Answer 1


They have almost nothing to do with each other.

BTU describes the actual cooling power.

CFM simply describes how fast it moves the working fluid (the air) through the system, and CFM does not matter for differences that small. Suppose you order water and one vendor supplies four 3-gallon jugs and the other supplies three 4-gallon jugs. Not a difference enough to care about.

Noise has nothing to do with either one, and everything to do with the acoustics of the machine, shape and design of the blowers, and isolation of machinery. Slightly more air volume matters little by comparison.

  • Thanks Harper. Very helpful. I suppose bad acoustics would be amplified by a stronger fan, but I get your point about design vs fan for sound.
    – GollyJer
    Apr 4, 2016 at 19:43
  • Last time I shopped for A/C units, there seemed to be some new ones on the market that were designed to be quiet. er. I hear GE was involved in one of those efforts, but it is not marketed under GE name. Apr 4, 2016 at 20:21
  • 1
    CFM is loosely correlated with noise, in that a fan that moves more air will generally be louder than one that moves less. However, it's likely that the dominant factor in an AC unit will be the compressor rather than the fans.
    – Mark
    Apr 5, 2016 at 1:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.