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Best Portable Air Conditioners Available

Air conditioners become an absolute necessity during summer, especially if you live in warm and humid regions. However, with plenty of AC configurations in the market, from air coolers to window air conditioning units and portable AC units, choosing the right one for your home becomes imperative. Building restrictions and design limitations often pose a severe accommodation issue for window units. In such cases, portable units are the best way to go with much easy installation and use.

What’s more, a mobile air conditioning unit allows you to move it from room to room as per requirements and store it away at the season’s end without any maintenance issues. Not to mention how many air conditioning units also cut down the high humidity in the surroundings while cooling down the room. Let us look at the top picks for AC units to consider, followed by some commonly asked questions about portable air conditioners, how they work, their efficiency, and more.

Portable Evaporative Cooler With Fan By Honeywell

For anyone looking to buy an inexpensive air cooler for spaces such as a small bedroom or office, this portable evaporative cooler by Honeywell is the one for you. However, you will need to keep the humidity levels in mind as this air cooler works efficiently only in dryer climates where humidity stays below 45%.

The cooler does not serve intensely cold air; instead, it is more like a cool breeze, nevertheless making for a perfect and affordable option for a room that needs to be chilled. In addition, the lightweight design of the cooler (only 14 pounds) grants you more flexibility. It does not require you to hook it to the window, so move it around from one room to another with ease. But that’s not all. This AC unit comes with a remote control to make it easy to control wind speed,  swing, and temperature.

6,000 BTU DOE Portable Air Conditioner By BLACK+DECKER

This portable Air conditioning unit is one of the most versatile options you will find on the market, ideal for small spaces such as bedrooms and offices. It dehumidifies, cools, and circulates the air around the room to maintain a comfortable and pleasant room temperature. The unit produces 6000 BTUs of cooling power while serving tranquil quiet operation, allowing the most silent sleepers to use it at night without interrupting sleep. In addition, the easy-to-use remote control access makes operating it from a distant place easy. 

Some other noteworthy features of this AC unit by BLACK+DECKER include: 

  • Lightweight (26 pounds) and compact design with rolling casters and carrying handles for flexible portability. 
  • 24-hour timer and sleep mode such that it can be programmed to power off as desired.
  • It is easy to use and comes with a LED display mounted on the control panel, an installation kit, an owner’s manual, and much more.

ARC-14S 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner By Wynter

The Wynter arc-14s dual-hose design of this portable 14000 BTU air conditioning unit allows it to cool a room much faster than its counterparts. Not just this, the AC unit also functions as a dehumidifier and a fan, including three different speeds. The dehumidification mechanism in the unit claims to remove about 71 pints/ per day. Use it year-round as the unit not only cools but acts as a heater as well (up to 89ºF) for the ultimate comfort and cost-effectiveness.

Wynter is going green with CFC-free ECO-FRIENDLY GREEN R-32 refrigerant besides RoHS compliant components, making the unit a much better and sustainable alternative to consider. You can schedule the AC unit for the entire day using the 24-hour programmable timer to get your room chilled before you get back home. The digital readout also lets you monitor the temperature to keep it just as cool as you like it. However, though the exhaust hole does expand up to 5 feet offering flexibility in the placement, you might still need to clear up some space. 

14000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner By De’Longhi

With 14000 BTUs of cooling capacity, this portable air conditioning unit by De’Longhi makes for an ideal consideration for larger spaces (up to 700 sq. feet in size). Apart from the dehumidifying and fan feature, the fact that this AC unit auto-adjusts the temperature depending on the humidity levels in the surroundings, temperature, dryness, etc., makes it a smart option to consider. The AC unit is energy efficient (saving up to 30% energy), durable, reliable, and serves a comfortable and powerful cooling experience. 

Smart Room Portable Air Conditioner By LG

This AC unit does not just boast quiet operation and relative ease in shifting but a smart built-in Wi-fi that allows you to start and stop the cooling remotely, helping you adjust the room settings before entering. The unit also operates with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, serving ultimate flexibility and ease of use. From dry mode to cool and fan, the multiple modes make the unit ideal for all kinds of environments and day’s weather conditions, from rainy and damp to hot and humid.   

FHPH132AB1 Portable Air Conditioner By Frigidaire

This 12000 BTU portable air conditioning unit by Frigidaire helps maintain a pre-set room temperature using an onboard thermostat. What’s more, the unit also provides heating, making it a year-round home appliance. The unit has an impressively quiet operation, with the manufacturers claiming it to be as faint as 52 dBA. Use the AC in dry mode and get rid of 67 pints per day with its built-in dehumidifying feature.

Effortless portability, an electronic control panel including remote control, and a smart restart feature that resumes at previously done settings when powered back on are some other great features offered.


How Do Portable Air Conditioners Work, And Things To Keep In Mind?

A typical portable air conditioner cools down the entire space by taking up the hot and humid air from within the area, cooling it, and then circulating it back in the room. A window-mounted air conditioner undoubtedly does help cool down the room faster and better. But, while certainly, a portable AC unit does not require you to mount it, offering portability, one has to pay more for them.

The warm air is vented out by the unit using an air outlet connected to your window using a tube. Since there are no portable AC units without an exhaust hole, you can also choose to vent it out through the ceiling, walls, or even just a door. If you do not want one with the venting outside, you might consider an evaporative cooler. However, it will require plenty of water to cool the space and therefore is not an ideal consideration in already humid spaces but will work efficiently in palaces that are dry and hot. 

What Are Some Drawbacks Of Portable Air Conditioners?

  • Since portable AC units are on wheels, they tend to be louder and even larger than other options in the market. 
  • Their portability may be hindered without an evaporative cooler as an exhaust hole is a must despite placement. 
  • Since portable ACs are inside the room, they tend to take up significant floor space and might require you to clear up some or have extra footage just in case.
  • A portable AC must sit away from the walls to avoid restricting the airflow; however, you will need a longer hose and more space. 
  • If you move the unit to another room, you must remove and re-install the exhaust hose each time. Not to mention how kinks in the exhaust hose can affect its working. 

 How To Choose The Perfect Portable Air Conditioning Unit?

The first and undeniably the most crucial step is to assess the space you wish to equip the portable AC with. The cooling ability of any AC unit is measured in BTU( British Thermal Unit), such that the higher the BTUs, the more powerful the unit is at keeping your room cool. An average unit requires 20 BTUs/ sq. feet to keep things cool and comfortable. And, while having higher BTUs may seem like the way to go when purchasing, things are not so simple.

As the BTU capacity increases, so will the size and weight of the model, and therefore, finding the right model for the space becomes imperative for effectiveness. An undersized unit will most likely fail to cool the room adequately on hotter days, eventually raising your energy bills for running it overtime to meet temperature demand. At the same time, any oversized unit will meet requirements quickly enough to cause premature breakdowns and short-cycling behavior. 

There are specific guidelines online to help you find the perfect BTU capacity per your room measurements, so make sure you consider them before purchase. Other aspects of understanding include the features you want to access, the affordability, single hose or double hose, outlet ease, maintenance requirements, etc. 

The Bottom Line

Air conditioners have become an absolute necessity for comfort in the days of harsh hot weather. There are various air conditioner options to choose from with unprecedented features to meet any and every demand, from eco-friendly to smart wi-fi portable air conditioners with much more. However, choosing the right one as per space requirements is as imperative as the need to get one. So make your requirements clear or talk to an expert to find the best unit for your home.