Best Portable Air Conditioners Reviewed & Rated for Quality
We all experienced one of those unbearable summer days when the temperature is so high that’s hard to think or even breathe normally. Most of us just wander around, taking a shower after shower, trying anything possible to keep our bodies cool. However, there is one quick and long-term solution for this problem, and it’s named air conditioner! You need one of these genius devices to keep you cool even at the highest temperatures, and finally provide a comfortable temperature. These devices are just incredible! You can move them around with great ease, so using them in your garage while you’re working on your car or in your RV during those hot summer days is a breeze (pun intended). Thanks to their great portability and versatility, you’ll find all the best portable air conditioners quite useful in various situations and at many places!
- Whynter ARC-14S
- Black & Decker
- Honeywell MN10CESWW
These days, the market if full of all kinds of portable air conditioners, and it’s just hard to decide for a particular model. They all come equipped with different BTU levels and features to suit a variety of needs. In order to help you get through the searching process a lot easier and save you some free time, we have done thorough research to find the best air conditioners out there. Our list contains 10 best products to suit every requirement as well as some additional tips and recommendations you can follow to be sure you’re making the right decision. Hopefully, our list will help you find the perfect air conditioner that will last for years! Here are the best products we could find:
10 Best Portable Air Conditioners
Whynter offers three functionality modes which include an air conditioner, a fan, and a dehumidifier. This device offers a cooling capacity of 14,000 BTU which makes it suitable for any space that measures up to 500 square feet. It features two hoses for improved efficiency and airflow. That way, the device is able to cool the space faster and more efficient than the one with only one hose. Using CFC-free refrigerant, Whynter is an eco-friendly device that consumes minimum energy. We especially liked the auto drain mechanism that prevents the accumulation of water and consequently all possible leaks. There is a convenient control panel that allows for simple adjustments – you can adjust the modes, temperature, and fan speed. The LCD display will show you the current temperature as well. You'll also get a remote control for superior comfort and easy adjustments.
The installation of this air conditioner is quite simple thanks to the provided window kit. The unit measures around 19 x 16 x 36 inches and weighs around 80 pounds. You can see for yourself that we are not talking about a lightweight unit, but keep in mind that Whynter is a powerful device suitable for large spaces. Most first-class air conditioners with the power of 14000 BTU are rather bulky, and this is not an exception. Although it’s not too light to be carried around, it features 4 multidirectional wheels for simple transportation around the house. Furthermore, this powerful unit isn’t noisy at all! The conditioner produces less than 56 decibels when operating, which is quite fair for its impressive power.
Cost and Value
Whynter is a powerful device that is very popular among users. The reasons for its popularity are various, as we already stated above, and the main one is an exceptional value it provides for the money. You’ll have to spend a few more bucks on it, but it’s certainly worth every penny!
Three functionality modes
Cools spaces that measure up to 500 ft
Control display with adjustable settings and a remote control
4 wheels for better mobility
A little pricey
Black & Decker
As we said above, this is a versatile AC that cools, dehumidifies, circulates air, and warms up a certain area. With the power of 12,000 BTU, this is a powerful air conditioner that allows for cooling or warming up to 250 square feet. It’s also an environmentally safe R410a refrigerant, and very quiet for the provided cooling power. There’s a LED screen that shows the current temperature, and right below the screen are buttons that you can use to adjust the speed of the fans, switch from cooling to heating (and the other way around) and set up the timer.
Measuring around 17.1 x 13.8 x 28.1 inches and weighing only 68 pounds, this is quite a compact device for a 12,000 BTU. However, don’t expect a light unit that you can easily move around. This is a powerful air conditioner after all, and its components are rather heavy. The wheels located at the bottom of the unit should help you roll it around, though. The thing you’ll certainly like about it is a sleek attractive design, which is very important if you need it for your living room.
Cost and Value
If you want a powerful air conditioner that will keep your room comfortably cool during hot days, this is a perfect choice for you! However, keep in mind that it will demand some extra cleaning and maintaining in order to provide flawless performance. The box includes a window kit for simple installation, the manual, and remote control for superior comfort. You’ll have to spend some extra cash to get all of this, but it’s definitely worth it!
Cooler, heater, a fan, and a dehumidifier
Cooling or warming up to 250/350 square feet
Sleek and attractive design
Features wheels for more portability
Honeywell offers 10,000 BTU and it can cool up to 250 square feet. It features a dehumidifier as well, and it can remove air moisture quite efficiently. The window kit makes the installation as easy as it can be, and the included remote control allows for simple temperature adjustments from any place in the room. There’s also a touch-control display that shows the current temperature and has several controls if you want to set the options manually. The installation is quite simple thanks to the included window venting kit. We have only one complaint about the provided equipment – the hose is a little short and it could limit the adaptability.
Although this is not the most powerful air conditioner on the market, it is very portable and takes less free space. It measures 15.2 x 18.1 x 29.4 inches and weighs only 49 pounds. You can move it around even more easily thanks to the wheels at the bottom of the unit. It features a washable filtration system that makes the unit more durable as well as thermal overload protection for safer operation. This will prevent dirt, dust, and hair to get to the unit and cause irreparable damage. It’s also incredibly quiet compared to the previously reviewed models.
Cost and Value
If you’re searching for a compactly designed air conditioner that you can move around easily, this is an excellent choice! It’s not powerful as other bulky units, but it provides decent performance and it costs less than previously reviewed models.
Features a dehumidifier as well
Comes with a remote control and window venting kit
Compactly designed and quiet
A short hose
Less powerful than previously reviewed models
LG features 4 units with the same overall design, but with different output power. This one offers 8000 BTU and cools up to 150 square feet. It also features dehumidification (up to 1.8 pints per hour) and connects to the standard 115V outlet. The box includes a window kit as well, allowing for incredibly easy installation. However, there were some users that complained about the installation. It seems that the hose is sometimes hard to assemble on the window.
We already mentioned that this unit is compactly designed, measuring around 23.7 x 18.7 x 16 inches. It’s not exactly lightweight with 71 pounds, but it has wheels for improved portability. It features a sleek design to complement any room decor. The unit offers 3-speed fan controls that you get to adjust according to your preferences. You can use the digital control on the top of the unit for manual temperature adjustments as well as a remote control that comes with the unit. Additionally, the air filter is completely washable for simple maintenance that ensures a long lifespan.
Cost and Value
This is one of the cheapest air conditioners on the market, way cheaper than the competition. We highly recommend it for everyone who needs a compact and reliable unit. Whether you need it for your apartment, bedroom, RV or as an addition to the already existing air conditioning system, LG is an excellent choice!
A cooler and a dehumidifier
Includes a window kit and a remote control
Compact design and wheels for improved mobility
3-speed fan controls
Not suitable for larger areas
Some users had problems with the installation
This is a powerful unit with 12,000 BTU which makes it suitable for all areas that measure up to 300 square feet. It offers 3-speed fan and dehumidifier along with the standard cooling option. You can easily keep your room cool and dry during hot summer days using this powerful JHS unit. The top air-outlet design ensures that cool air is spread quickly and evenly around the room. With a 24-hours on/off timer and adjustable thermostat, you can adjust it according to your needs. You can use either a digital control panel or remote control, and the LED display will show you the current temperature.
This is an incredibly portable unit that you get to move around and install with great ease. It comes with castors and handles for simple transportation and great mobility as well as with a window kit and an exhaust hose for easy installation. However, we have to address that some users had issues with the assembling part. If you don’t have a window that is wide or tall enough for the kit, you’ll have to adjust it (using a saw) to keep the hole completely open when it is assembled in the window.
Cost and Value
Considering the 12,000 BTU and great portability you’ll get with this device, JHS is a real steal! It’s a well-priced product that offers straightforward design and great value for many years.
Offers 3-speed fan and a dehumidifier
Top air-outlet design
Very portable and compact
LED display, manual controls, and a remote control
Some issues with the assembling part
This air conditioner offers 9,000 BTU and it can cool an area that measures up to 400 square feet. Along with excellent cooling power, you can use it as a dehumidifier and a fan for more comfort. It offers a straightforward design that allows for quick and easy adjustments. The LED screen shows the current temperature, while the touch-sensitive buttons on the left and on the right allow for simple settings. You can also use a remote control to set temperature, 3 fan speeds, sleep mode, and 24-hour on/off timer. It’s that simple! While the unit is unbelievably quiet when cooling, it might be annoyingly loud when the compressor is on. We also had a minor issue with the remote control – it doesn’t have a very good reach and we would like to see it with light buttons for better visibility in the dark.
This unit measures 18.9 x 15.7 x 31.3 inches and weighs around 64 pounds. This makes it incredibly portable and adds to its already growing popularity. It also comes with a window kit for simple and quick installation. Overall, this is one of the most portable air conditioners on the market, suitable for every room in your house as well as your garage or RV. Its sleek and no-nonsense design will complement any interior style.
Cost and Value
Along with all these great features and overall excellent performance comes an attractive price! You can easily make the Honeywell a part of your household and comfortably enjoy in the upcoming summer. Most users have purchased this unit as an addition to their existing conditioning system, that’s how efficient and well-priced Honeywell turns to be!
Dehumidifier and 3-speed fan
Straightforward design with LED lights and a control remote
Compactly design and portable
Comes with a window kit
An attractive price
Loud when the compressor is on
Remote could be improved
Shinco offers 8,000 BTU and it perfectly cools all areas that measure up to 350 square feet. Along with cooler, it offers a 2-speed fan and a dehumidifier. The LED display on the unit shows the current temperature and has a control panel with a user-friendly design. You can adjust the temperature, 24-hours on/off timer, turn on the quiet low-speed mode, and more. The box also includes a remote control for superior comfort. The only issue we had with it is the noise. However, while it's extremely loud at high speeds, you can lower the speed when the room is cool enough and maintain the temperature during the night using a quiet mode.
This is one of the most portable air conditioners on the market. It measures 14.5 x 13.8 x 27.2 inches and weighs only 46 pounds! There are also 4 wheels at the bottom of the unit for improved mobility. The installation is quite easy due to the included exhaust hose and window kit. Overall, you shouldn’t have any major issues with this air conditioner because it’s designed to be easily operable and simple to maintain.
Cost and Value
With all provided features and adjustable options, Shinco saves energy and consequently a lot of money. We were quite surprised to find out that it comes at an attractive price. For the unit that provides 8,000 BTU and compact design, you’ll find it well worth the money!
Comes with a dehumidifier and 2-speed fan
LED display, a control panel, and a remote control
An attractive price
Very loud at high cooling speeds
Global Air has 10,000 BTU and it’s able to cool up to 400 square feet. This is decent output power and the unit uses the self-evaporative system for more efficiency. Basically, it means that the condensing water is recycled for better performance. Additionally, using a 4-way air direction it ensures that the air is spread evenly across the room. There’s a LED display on the top of the unit with digital controls that offer temperature adjustments, but you can also use an included remote control.
Easy to Use
This air conditioner measures 17 x 13 x 31 inches and weighs 54 pounds. This makes it very portable and easy to use on any location. The only issue is a very loud sound that comes from the unit. It’s bearable at lower speeds, but keep in mind that it could still get quite annoying. When it comes to the installation process, you shouldn’t have any issues at all. Things are quite simple and require only a few minutes of your free time.
Cost and Value
If you want a powerful yet cost-effective air conditioner, this is definitely the wise choice! It might be unsuitable for your bedroom because of the noise, but if you plan to use it in the garage or living room, you’re going to be quite satisfied with its performance!
10,000 BTU / 400 square feet
LED display, digital controls, and a remote control
Compact design and great portability
Easy to install
This unit has an output power of 10,000 BTU and it’s able to cool up to 400 square feet. It offers 3 different modes: it cools, dehumidifies and gives several fan speeds. Using a LED digital display that also shows the current temperature, you can adjust the temperature according to your needs. The box includes a remote control as well, for superior comfort during long sedentary summer days.
Easy to Maintain
This air conditioner is fairly compact measuring 13 x 12 x 24.5 inches. It features roll caster wheels for great mobility. The installation is incredibly easy thanks to the water-full indicator technology – this makes it suitable for all those who can’t install an exhaust hose. You’ll only have to clean the filter once in a while, but it’s completely washable and it won’t take you more than a few minutes. The only drawback is an annoying noise that comes from the unit. We don’t recommend it for people that have a light sleep!
Cost and Value
Costway offers this great air conditioner at an attractive price. You can purchase it as a part of your central air conditioning system or as the main unit for small rooms where you can’t install it using a window kit. Either way, it provides enough power to ensure a pleasant temperature at any time!
Cooler, dehumidifier, and several-speeds fan
Led digital display with controls and a remote control
Compactly designed and portable
Water-full indicator technology
This unit doesn’t offer only a cooler, but also a great fan and a dehumidifier. It is suitable primarily for small areas that measure up to 100 square feet. Featuring a brushless motor with 5 speeds, this unit consumes less power than the competition. It offers a quiet mode to save even more energy and allow for noiseless working. While this certainly makes it comfortable during the sleeping hours, when you switch it on higher speeds it gets pretty loud.
You can use this one wherever you please thanks to the incredibly compact design. It measures only 9.8 x 15 x 25.4 inches and weighs around 12.3 pounds. It’s probably one of the most portable air conditioners on the market yet it’s still quite powerful. It also comes with remote control for superior comfort.
Cost and Value
Considering the great portability and excellent performance as well as competitive price, this Honeywell air conditioner is a real steal! It provides comfort and durability every step of the way, from your office to your RV, home or garage. Honeywell never disappoints! You’ll only have to wash the filter once a month, but this shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.
A cooler, a fan and a dehumidifier
Brushless motor with 5 speeds
Low power consumption
Features a quiet mode
One of the smallest and most portable devices on the market
Only for spaces that measure up to 100 square feet
Loud at high speeds
Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Portable Air Conditioners
In order to rank our 10 best picks according to their performance and quality, we had to apply strict criteria and take into account all their good and bad sides. Here are some of the most important factors that influenced the evaluation:
To cut a long story short, more BTU means more power and better cooling abilities. The most powerful air conditioners are at the top of our list, featuring incredible performance and various temperature adjustments. Of course, you might want to get a less powerful unit for smaller rooms, which we also took into account and included some great devices with lower BTU.
We are well aware that powerful air conditioners can’t be as portable as smaller devices with low BTU level. However, we had to assign some points according to the overall design that every unit provides. Some of them are still incredibly portable even if they have large motors and bulky boxes. Not to mention how valuable are the medium-sized devices with average power which you get to move around easily according to your needs. We thought about all of these things during the evaluation and ranked the products according to their overall performance and portability.
We had to think about all those little things that make one’s life a lot easier. For example, almost every air conditioner on our list comes with remote control, but we had to make sure that each one of them offers straightforward design with user-friendly interface and controls. Not to mention things like different speed modes, timers, sleep modes, and more. All of these little features seriously influence on the overall performance of every unit. It’s also very important that every unit comes with a window kit and other necessary stuff for simple installation. The main purpose of each one of them is to be highly portable and easy to use, and failing in this means being unsuitable for the job.
Cost and Value
Last but not least, air conditioners are not cheap at all, although they do offer great performance for many years. We had to make sure that every product on our list will deliver great value for money, and make the customer fully satisfied.
Other Factors to Consider
There are some things that you might want to consider before you make up your mind and purchase an air conditioner. It will take only a few extra minutes, but it can drastically influence your final decision. Here is what we had in mind:
You can easily estimate how much BTU you need for a particular area. This is the first and crucial step in the process of choosing the best air conditioner. To put things simply, BTU refers to cooling power. You should always look for the amount of BTU before everything else because it will determine the overall power of the unit. The reference point is the size of the area where you’re planning to use an AC – bigger rooms require more power. Also, take into account the number of windows and the room’s solar orientation, because it will determine whether you need more or less power from the cooler.
If you need a powerful air conditioner you’ll have to make some compromises with the compact design. Most of the available powerful devices are bulky and they are hard to move around, while compact and easy-to-maneuver ones offer less power. If you need a portable device to move around your rooms, garage or office, you should go for the less powerful device that offers more portability. Think wisely before you make the final decision because bulky air conditioners with high BTU are not cheap at all.
You should also consider your own expectations when it comes to additional features that every unit provides. They all come equipped with different stuff, including remote controls, LED displays, manual controls, numerous fan speeds, timers, and many others. Not every air conditioner has everything you need and everything you like. You might find yourself unsatisfied with the product’s features regardless of their quality. Not to mention the level of noise that could make you hate a particular air conditioner. Even the best ones can annoy you with some unchangeable features. Think about the things you expect from the unit and carefully examine all the features that it provides. That way, you won’t end up with the wrong product on your doorstep.
We advise you to always consider your personal requirements and add a few more bucks (if needed) to purchase just the product that meets your needs. These devices are designed to keep you cool, and they have to provide exceptional performance and long-lasting features. Purchasing the first cheap product that catches your eye is not a great decision, and you’ll most likely end up very unsatisfied with its performance!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Which one is the best?
A: It’s really hard to tell when we don’t know anything about your personal requirements. We can say that every air conditioner with high BTU offers excellent cooling power and consequently great performance, but it might not be suitable for your needs. You should first determine how large is the room where you plan to use it, so you can decide for a certain level of BTU. The product that turns out the best for your personal requirements might not be the perfect one for other users and vice versa. For more details about how to pick a perfect air conditioner to meet your needs, you can look above at our tips and recommendations.
Q: Are they quiet devices?
A: Well, some of them are quiet while others are very noisy. People often wrongly assume that the most powerful units (with high BTU) are always extremely loud. This is not quite the truth, it rather depends on the model and the company.
Q: Can they really cool a large area?
A: Of course they can! There are many powerful portable air conditioners that deliver flawless performance in incredibly large areas. You’ll spend some extra cash to get them, but still less than installing the entire air conditioning system in your house.
Q: Are they easy to maintain?
A: Yes, they are incredibly easy to maintain. Most of them require only an occasional filter cleaning, and that takes only a few moments of your free time. The only thing that could cause some issues is the installation process because of the differently sized windows, short hoses, etc. Once you install the unit at your window, things are as simple as ABS.
Q: For how long they usually work?
A: While this depends mainly on the conditions in which they work and the average usage over the year, most air conditioners work perfectly for a decade. The less used ones can easily go up to 15 years, and if you maintain your unit on a regular basis over the years, it could work flawlessly for 25 years.
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