Nobody wants to feel uncomfortably hot in their own home. If you need a way to cool down your house in the areas you need it most during the hot summer months, a portable air conditioner can be an excellent solution. Our guide can help you navigate the many options to help you find the best portable air conditioner for your needs.
- 1 Buying Guide
- 2 Buying Recommendations
- 3 Final Thoughts
There are many portable air conditioners on the market made in different sizes and for different budgets and needs. Here are a few tips to consider before you purchase:
- How portable air conditioners work: A portable air conditioner has a hose that vents outside rather than sitting in a window to allow you to move it inside a room within reach of the hose length.
- Considerations to make when purchasing: These air conditioners can be convenient for some, but they also aren’t always very portable. They typically weigh at least 50 pounds, and their movement is limited by the venting hose.
- Available draining systems: Most portable air conditioners have an exhaust system that removes water through evaporation. In cases of high humidity, it might become necessary to manually drain the storage tank.
- Why portable air conditioners are noisy: Because a portable air conditioner sits inside a room, it seems noisier than a window unit, whose cooling components sit outside your window.
- BTUs and what they mean: Air conditioning energy is measured by the British Thermal Unit (BTU). The higher the BTU, the more area an air conditioner can cool, but higher BTU units are often more expensive. In general, look for 20 BTU per square foot of the area you want to cool.
Budget Portable Air Conditioners
Save money with these budget-friendly portable air conditioner options.
1. Shinco Portable Air Conditioner – Editor’s Pick
The Shinco Portable Air Conditioner is our top budget good choice for smaller rooms because of its simplicity to set up and multiple operation modes.
- ✅【KEEP COOL】- Compact 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner Unit Delivers Fast, Effective Cooling for Spaces Up to 200 - 350 Sq.Ft in Home, Bedroom, Office, Cabin or Camper. When the room is cool enough, switch to the first speed level,this air conditioner will become quiet(Noise ≤52dB), enough to maintain the temperature while you are sleeping.
- ✅【MULTI-FUNCTION MODES】- 3 functions in one machine. Air conditioner cools your room quickly; 2-speed fan satisfies your needs. With 60 pint dehumidifying capacity per day, the dehumidifier function is a quick fix for stopping the growing of bacteria and mold in hot and humid environment, keep your room cool and dry!
- ✅【SELF EVAPORATIVE SYSTEM】- The portable ac is built with self-evaporative cooling technology that cools the condenser coils with water from the air. This not only increases cooling efficiency, it also reduces the water that collects in the tank, so you won't have to empty it as often.(R410a refrigerant)
2. BLACK+DECKER Portable Air Conditioner
- COOL AS A CUCUMBER: Keeps a room, home, bedroom, apartment, dorm or garage that is approximately approximately 15 inches x 20 inches and keeps the room pleasant and comfy during the summer months when the heat sets in. Works in double hung or sliding windows only, no crank windows
- DESIGN ENGINEERING: Vertical motion creates a steady and powerful airflow that provides consistent temperature in any room in the house. Slide out filter that rinses easily under a faucet for a fresh air feel. 4 caster wheels included for easy movement and compact portability
- TOP TECHNOLOGY: Enjoy the simplicity and precision of programmable, electronic controls and the clarity of an LED digital display and a 24 hour on/off timer and sleep mode. 115 volts, 950 watts and 60Hz.Operating Condition : Room Temperature -64 ̊F (18 ̊C) - 95 ̊F (35 ̊C) for Cold and Dry Mode.(Unit performance may be affected when in use outside of these operating temperatures)
Premium Portable Air Conditioners
These premium portable air conditioners are our top picks for people with higher budgets who want a few more bells and whistles.
1. Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner – Editor’s Pick
With its easy installation, quick-wash filter, and fan and dehumidifier modes, the Honeywell MN14CCS Portable Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier is our top premium pick.
- [POWERFUL, SAFE & DEPENDABLE] Cools rooms up to 550-700 sq. ft. Thermal Overload protection & Dual Filtration System for added safety & peace of mind. Window bracket can be installed either vertically or horizontally and is adjustable from 19. 9 inches to 47. 25 inches
- [EASY INSTALL & MAINTENANCE] Washable Filter designed to protect from dust & hair to extend product life & performance. Filter cleans easily under a faucet for easy maintenance. Full set window kit included for quick & easy installation for vertical and horizontal windows (Max. hose length is 4 feet).
- [DESIGNED FOR COMFORT] With 3 fan speeds, digital controls and an advanced LCD display, 24 hour energy saving timer & remote control
2. EdgeStar Portable Air Conditioner and Heater
- 14,000 BTU (ASHRAE-128 Standard) / 8,800 BTU (DOE 2017 Standard) Cools up to 400 Square Feet (depends on heat load)
- All portable air conditioners including this one must be vented using the included hose; Window kit (34" max) with extendable exhaust hose up to 49" included
- Maximum noise level: <56dB; 24 hour programmable timer; Dimensions: 35" H x 18.75" W x 15.75" D
Portable Air Conditioners for Small Rooms
These portable air conditioners for small rooms can ensure that you’re not wasting energy with too much cooling power.
1. Midea Portable Air Conditioner – Editor’s Pick
The MIDEA MPF08CR81-E Portable Air Conditioner comes with excellent customer reviews and reliable cooling to make it our top pick for small rooms.
- EASYCOOL: The Midea Portable Air Conditioner, ASHRAE rating 8, 000 BTU (4000 BTU 2017 SACC standard) delivers fast, effective cooling for spaces Up to 100 Sq. Ft while simultaneously providing fan and dehumidification functions in any home, bedroom, office or cabin; creating a relaxing and comfortable environment.
- EFFORTLESS OPERATION: Enjoy the simplicity and comfort of digital controls. The portable AC features an easy-to-read LED display and includes a compact remote control (batteries included) to easily set the time, temperature, and mode, from across the room. Its 24-hour adjustable timer can cool a room to a temperature between 62°F-90°F and has 3 modes to choose from - cooling, dehumidification, fan only.
- EASY INSTALLATION: Roll your air conditioner to the preferred cooling area, attach the 5ft hose and adjustable window brackets (fits openings from 26. 5-48“), turn the unit on and let your cooling begin! An exhaust hose and window kit are included, no extra tools are needed for assembly. Installation instructions are simple and can be done by anyone.
2. LG Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control
- Portable air conditioner with auto evaporation system
- 8000 BTU (ASHRAE-128 Standard) / 5500 BTU (DOE 2017 Standard)
- Uses a standard 115-volt/15 amp electrical outlet (6-feet. long power cord), Window Installation Kit
Portable Air Conditioners for Mid-Size Rooms
Mid-size rooms up to 500 square feet should cool well with these best portable air conditioners.
1. Whytner Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner – Editor’s Pick
The Whynter ARC-14S Portable Air Conditioner sits at the top of our list for mid-size room picks for its ability to cool a room reliably while keeping the air clean.
- AWARD WINNING : 1. Good Housekeeping's "2019 Best Overall" and "can cool down a room faster than other portable units" 2. Consumer Report's 2019 Highest Score
- Three operational modes: air conditioner, fan or dehumidifier. This unit can cool up to a 500 square feet space (ambient temperature and humidity may influence optimum performance)
- Full thermostatic control (61°F - 89°F) with digital readout, 24 hour programmable timer; Eco-friendly CFC free Green R-410A refrigerant; Patented auto drain function fully exhausts all condensate automatically in most environments
2. SereneLife Portable Air Conditioner
- HANDY AND PORTABLE: The Serene Life Portable Air Conditioner System features a lightweight, handy, sleek body design intended to be used in the bedroom, living room, or garage at home or office. It features rolling wheels for easy portability
- BUILT-IN DEHUMIDIFIER: You don’t only get the cooling effect of the portable AC, but it also helps reduce humidity levels, acts as purifier which makes your home less hospitable to allergens such as dust mites, mold, and mildew by selecting dehumidifier mode
- 4 OPERATING MODES: The compact floor AC indoor cooler conditioning unit features a simple electric plug in operation and has 4 modes - cooling, heating, dehumidifier, and fan. Also features automatic swing mode w/ moving wind vent for maximum air circulation
Portable Air Conditioners for Large Rooms
Your large room may benefit from having one of these top portable air conditioner picks in place.
1. hOmeLabs Portable Air Conditioner – Editor’s Pick
This 14,000 BTU portable AC unit from hOmeLabs is a winner in our book, thanks to its quiet and energy-efficient operation for a unit with its power.
- PORTABLE, QUIET ENERGY-EFFICIENT AIR CONDITIONER - Experience a cool and relaxing day at home with the hOmelabs portable air conditioner. It cools quietly and is perfect for 450 to 600 square feet room with horizontal window opening. Equipped with an automatic vertical swing function that evenly distributes airflow throughout the room
- EASY TO INSTALL, NO HEAVY WINDOW UNIT TO LIFT - Our portable AC measures 17.9 x 15 x 30.7 inches and has wheels so it can be easily moved to any room that has a window accessible. Simply attach the hose and the window slide adapter, plug in the power supply and you’re good to go. Most customers are able to install in 8 minutes or less. At the end of a season or when you don’t need it, simply unhook the unit and store in your closet, basement or garage
- BUILT IN DEHUMIDIFIER FUNCTION - Unlike traditional dehumidifiers which output excess heat into the room, this unit will expel hot air through the exhaust hose while still cooling your room. IMPORTANT: An accessible drainage facility is required to install the unit since it discharges water during operation. Use the included drain hose when operating as this AC does not have a built-in reservoir tank
2. Della Portable Air Conditioner
This 14,000 BTU portable AC unit from hOmeLabs is a winner in our book, thanks to its quiet and energy-efficient operation for a unit with its power.
- COOLING & HEATING - 14000 BTU Cooling power (R410A refrigerant) for rooms up to 550-700 sq. ft & 11000 BTU Heating for rooms up to 350-500 sq.ft. Use it all year long from summer to winter in bedroom, home living room, office, apartment, condo, dorm, garage, workshop and other indoor spaces.
- MULTI-FUNCTION - While cooling and heating, this unit will function as a DEHUMIDIFIER which prevents bacteria and mold from growing in hot and humid environment. 3 Speed Cooling FAN keeps space cool during spring and fall.
- DISPLAY & TIMER - LED DISPLAY and simple easy select control panel features mode selection button, up/down temperature adjustments, fan speed selection and timer. 24 Hour automatic TIMER allows you to turn unit on and off at desired.
Portable Air Conditioners for Cars
If your car air conditioner isn’t working properly, you might consider trying one of these small, portable units.
1. Silini Mini Air Conditioner – Editor’s Pick
If you have a USB port in your car, you can plug in this mini air conditioning unit to cool off your interior fast.
- PORTABLE AND EFFECTIVE: The system of water cooling of the personal mini air conditioner not only cools but moistens the air. Just add water, press the button, relax and enjoy the cooling breeze. The device occupies a minimum of the place and consumes not enough energy. The stylish and compact device will perfectly look in any interior on a table, on a bedside table at a bed or on a coffee table.
- SOFT LUMINESCENCE: The personal portable mini cooler thanks to the built-in lamp radiate soft light, therefore, it will be not only the practical household device but also a bright decorative element of an interior. The soft, weakening light is ideal for the bedroom or the children's room.
- UNIQUE TECHNOLOGY: The secret of the Silini mini air conditioner is in the technology of hydrocooling with use of the special filter which turns hot air into a pleasant cool breeze. Three adjustable modes of speed provide you more exact control, and the silent fan carries out air circulation till 8 o'clock on one filling.
2. Palmer Air Conditioner
- ❄️Palmer air cooler TURNS HOT AIR INTO A PLEASANT BREEZE and you can enjoy it with our evachill personal air conditioner up to 8 hours with the cooler tank full
- ❄️It`s the best way to ensure some fresh air with our USB PORTABLE AC COOLER for room as this air conditioner CAN BE CONNECTED TO YOUR CAR & PC or CELL
- ❄️Just add some water, press a button and enjoy cool air with this EVAPORATIVE AIR COOLER FOR BEDROOM & ANY OTHER INDOOR OR OUTDOOR SPACES
Portable Air Conditioners for Camping
When you’re a camper on the go, these portable air conditioner units can keep you conveniently cool.
1. Scinex Personal Air Cooler – Editor’s Pick
This small air conditioning unit by Scinex is our top pick for a lightweight, portable option for personal use while camping.
- ✅BREATHE DEEP & FEEL REFRESHED: Let this portable AC unit turn your warm personal space into a cooler and more refreshing atmosphere. Enjoy a healthier room environment with cool and humidified air produced in no time. This mini ac performs best within 6 feet distance.
- ✅EASY TO USE & CONVENIENT: All you have to do is add water into the tank of this desktop air cooler, plug it into USB port or power bank and TURN ON. Fill the built-in water tank once and it will last up to 8 hours. We recommend ice water for a cooler effect.
- ✅ CREATE AN INSPIRING ATMOSPHERE: Relax, read a book or spice up the friendly gathering! Set the mood thanks to the air cooler LED night light that produces 7 amazing colors to suit your different needs.
2. Zero Breeze Portable Conditioner
- OUTDOOR AIR CONDITIONER PIONEER: Zero Breeze is the first outdoor air conditioner manufacturer in the world. The newest launched model Z19, has been upgraded on the basis of the feedback from first thousands of users around the world. Built in with a 1100 BTU patented micro compressor, excellent to drop down the temperature from 90℉ to 72℉ in a 50 sq.ft closed tent. That will be more stable and efficient.
- 5-in-1 DESIGNED FOR THE OUTDOOR LOVERS: Most of the portable air conditioners in the market are designed for indoor. We designed with those enjoying spending time outdoors in mind. Achieves 5-in-1 features from the air conditioner, fan, USB charging station, Bluetooth music player, and LED lighting. Perfect to meet many demands outdoor.
- SUPER EASY TO CARRY AND USE: Z19 is only 12.8 LBS and the 1/5 size of the usual portable ac. It's really handy to carry on. Hassle free to load in the car trunk and take little space to storage. 4 steps quick installation: snap the exhaust hose and drain hose into the corresponding port, then insert the power cord, that’s all.
The best portable air conditioners can be an excellent option for you if you want to save a little money on a unit while still keeping hot rooms cool during the warmest months. These units tend to be a bit noisier than window AC units, though, so keep that in mind when you consider where you want to place one. We hope that our recommendations above help you find the best portable AC for your needs.
Last update on 2020-04-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API