Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1 window air conditioner review

The Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1 is a superb small scale and simple air conditioner on a budget.

Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1 Review
(Image: © Frigidaire)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1 is a compact air conditioner that's great for cooling smaller rooms efficiently while staying low on price.


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    Great reliability and customer care

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    Energy conservation mode


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    Can get noisy after rain

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    Not powerful enough for larger rooms

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    Manual controls only

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Here's everything you need to know about the Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1. We've researched the latest window air conditioners, asked the experts, and sifted through thousands of specs, features and user reviews to find the best window air conditioners around.

Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1: What you need to know

The Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1 is a compact wall air conditioner that is ideal for colling smaller rooms efficiently without spending a lot on the unit price.

This is a no-frills air conditioner which will do the job and do it relatively quietly and efficiently but without any fancy extras – yup, even a remote control is classed as fancy in this case.

The Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1 will save you money initially and there is also an energy efficient start up mode which will also save you money by keeping electricity costs down.

The unit is good for rooms up to 150 square feet owing to its 5,000 BTU of output. You can use it on larger rooms just don't expect it to get to temperature quiet so quickly. 

The device will also dehumidify the room as it cools which makes it ideal for more muggy areas that get wet heat. thanks to an extra long power cord it's nice and easy to install right out of the box without the need for any extras. 

So is this budget window air conditioner the one for you? Read on to find out.

Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1: Design and build

  • Manual knob controls
  • Slide-out mesh filter

The Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1 is a basic looking device, for sure. That's mainly thanks to the simply white finish and the rotary knob controls. That means you don't get a screen or a remote control like lots of other units – but it means you do get a  great saving on price. 

There is a slide-out washable mesh filter which allows for an easy install where there is no opening in the window. This not only ensures greater efficiency of cooling but also keeps bacteria and odours out of the room for healthier, cleaner air.

Since this is made by Frigidaire you can rely on a decent build quality. Should there be an issues you can also rest easy knowing you're in the hands of a very capable customer care team too. While this is cheap, there are off-brand versions for less but you won't get the build quality or the after-purchase support you do here.

Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1: Features

  • Two fan speeds
  • Two cooling levels
  • Low power start-up
  • Effortless Restart

The Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1 doesn't have an exhaustive list of features but then it doesn't need to – it simply does what it's there to. This cools the room and it does that well with its 5,000 BTU. This means a 150 square foot room will be noticeably cooler in just an hour or use. 

You can pick two cooling and two fan settings. This allows for faster cooling at the start but then quieter levels of running to keep this running, say overnight. It's rated to 53 dB of volume at its quietest which is pretty impressive.

Low-power start-up, as mentioned before, lets you get to the right temperature without costing you too much in electricity bills.

Effortless Restart is a feature which ensures the unit will power back on and keep running in the even of a power cut. That should mean you don't come home to a warm place or get woken in heat at night if there is a power-cut. 

Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1: Performance

  • Low noise
  • Powerful performance

The Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1 manages to stay relatively quiet at that 53 dB level. Of course if you have it going at full blast it will be a little louder. This certainly isn't the quietest option out there.

If it's rained you may notice the unit gets louder. This is on purpose. Some air conditioners are made to retain a little rain water so that when turned back on the fan can flick water across the coils to increase cooling efficiency. As such this will run a little louder for the first hour or so into that water has cleared – but it will be saving you money by colling faster with less power used. 

Power is plentiful if you're in a smaller room like a bedroom. You should be able to get it from hot to comfortable in an hour. Go for a larger than 150 square feet room and you're looking at a longer wait time. It'll still get cool but not right away – so if you want it more permanently comfortable you may need to leave this running so it maintains a good level of cool.

That dehumidifier works well, taking jungle like wet heat down to a nice dry cool making it perfect for sleeping. 

INstallation is easy enough and the inclusion of a six feet power cable make it nice and easy to get up and running even without an extension cord. 

Should I buy the Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1?

If you want to make a 150 foot room nice and cool without spending too much money then the Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1 is ideal. It might not have many extras or run silently but it will work hard to cool the room and do so with the peace of mind of great customer care backing you.

If you want something more powerful quieter or with greater control options then you may need to spend a bit more. Or spend less and go off-brand but we can't vouch for how long that option will last.

Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1: Verdict

The Frigidaire FFRA051ZA1 is a great compact window air conditioner for those looking to cool a small room on a budget. The low power start does help to save more money by keeping power use to efficient levels. The backing of a well made device from a company that offer great customer care are also what you're paying for here.

It might not be pretty or smart featured but sometimes simple gets the job done just as well – and with less to go wrong.

Luke Edwards

Luke is a veteran tech journalist with decades of experience covering everything from TVs, power tools, science and health tech to VPNs, space, gaming and cars. You may recognize him from appearances on plenty of news channels or have read his words which have been published in most tech titles over the years. In his spare time (of which he has little as a father of two) Luke likes yoga, surfing, meditation, DIY and consuming all the books, comics and movies he can find.