If you are struggling with uncomfortably hot temperatures in any room of your house or in your office during summer or all year, then getting a portable air conditioner is a great solution. This practical device doesn’t require permanent installation, and you can easily move it around and place it wherever you want. As there are lots of portable air conditioners on the market of various quality, we’ve spent a lot of time making a buyer’s guide, doing research, reading buyer’s reviews and compared the best units on the market, to help you find the Best Portable Air Conditioner in 2020.
Our list/ranking of the best portable air conditioners on the market are based on several factors, such as price, features, effectiveness, noise-level, energy consumption, etc. All these portable air conditioners can be found and bought on Amazon. Make sure to also check out our complete buyer’s guide for portable air conditioners, below the reviews. Hopefully we will be able to help you find the best possible unit for your space!
The Best Portable Air Conditioner 2019 – Reviews
#1 Whynter Arc-14S Portable Air Conditioner
Dimensions: 16 x 19 x 35,5 inches
Item Weight: 80 pounds
Color: Platinum & Black
Warranty: 1 year on unit, 3 year on the compressor
9.5 / 10Our Rating
Effective - Dual hose (14000 BTUs)
Extendable exhaust hose
Three operation modes: AC, fan and dehumidifier
Easy to install
High dehumidifying capacity (101 pints)
Energy efficient (11.2 EEF)
It's a bit expensive
Quite heavy. Takes up a bit of space
If you're in the market for a powerful portable air conditioner that can easily cool large rooms (up to 500 sq. ft.), then the Whynter Arc-14S Portable Air Conditioner is definitely one you should consider getting. This unit has a sleek design (platinum and black color) and it is also comes with all the features that you'll want in a portable air conditioner. The Arc-14S features dual hoses, for intake and outtake of air, which means that all the warm air that it generates during operation will be removed throughout an exhaust hose, while the intake hose brings air in from the outside. This makes it able to effectively cool down your room faster than single-hose AC's.
Another good thing about this unit is that it has three operational modes: AC, dehumidifier and fan mode. This is very handy for those who are looking for added options. The fan has 3 speed options that can be very useful if the temperature is currently satisfactory and you just want the air to circulate in the room. As for the dehumidifier mode, the Whynter Arc-14S has a dehumidifying capacity of 101 pints per day, which makes it stand above most of its competitors.
In addition to all this, the Arc-14S portable air conditioner can be programmed with a timer (24hr) for activating or shutting off at preset times. It also comes with an auto drain-function, and an auto-restart function in case of power outage, which will automatically restart it with the previous settings. This unit comes with a 1-year warranty on the unit, and unlike many other portable air conditioners, it also comes with a nice 3-year warranty on the compressor.
What Do Owners Say: This product has got a high rating on Amazon and people who have bought the Whynter Arc-14S Portable Air Conditioner are mainly very satisfied with their purchase. However, while the majority are of the opinion that it is relatively quiet in operation, there are some that find it a bit noisy.
Bottom Line: Dependable high-quality portable air conditioner that can cool and dehumidify a large room effectively
#2 Honeywell HL09CESWK Portable Air Conditioner
Dimensions: 18.9 x 15.7 x 31.3 inches
Item Weight: 77 pounds
Color: White & Black
BTUs: 9000 (also available with 10K/12K/14K)
9 / 10Our Rating
Effective - Capable of cooling down a room quickly
Easy to install, easy to use
3 operation modes (Dehumidifier, AC, Fan)
3 fan speeds, sleep mode
Relatively quiet in operation
EER (Energy efficient ratio) of 10.2
Takes up a bit of space
Honeywell's HL09CESWK Portable Air Conditioner comes in a modern and attractive design (white and black), making it a stylish addition to any room. This unit is packed with 9000 BTUs of power and are capable of cooling down spaces up to around 400 square feet. The three operational modes gives you added options and the chance to use it not just for AC but also for air circulation (3 fan speeds), and as a dehumidifier. The "built-in" dehumidifier are capable of removing up to 80 pints of moisture in 24 hours, and as this portable air conditioner has a continuous draining option you won't have to worry about emptying the bucket, unless you're living in a highly humid area.
In addition to this, the Honeywell portable air conditioner has digital controls that are very easy to use, a 24 hour "energy saving" timer, and it comes with a sleep mode which will help you save some money on your energy bill. Another good thing about this unit is that it is very simple to install. The venting kit for the window includes a 3-in-1 hose with connectors
that's been pre-assembled for your convenience. In case of any defects, you are backed by a 1-year warranty.
What Do Owners Say: The Honeywell HL09CESWK portable air conditioner has got one of the highest ratings for portable air conditioners on Amazon and most of the buyers seems to be very pleased with their purchase. Many are impressed with how quickly it is able to cool down a room, and the majority are also impressed with how silent it operates, however a few buyers are reporting that they find the compressor a bit loud when it turns on.
Bottom Line: Solid and easy to use portable air conditioner, highly rated by the buyers
#3 LG LP0817WSR Portable Air Conditioner – Best Value
Dimensions: 23.7 x 18.7 x 16 inches
Item Weight: 71 pounds
Color: White / Graphite Gray
BTUs: 8000 (also available with 10K/14K)
9 / 10Our Rating
Very much capable of cooling small/mid-sized rooms
Easy to use
Adjustable fan ("auto-swing" air vent technology)
Quite loud during operation
If you're in the market for a reasonably priced portable air conditioner that is capable of cooling a room (up to 200 sq. ft.)
fast and easy, then the LG LP0817WSR Portable Air Conditioner will be a good choice. This unit comes in a stylish design (in white or graphite gray color) that will make it an aesthetic addition in most homes and most rooms, and it can easily be moved from one room to another if needed. The LG LP0817WSR is not only able to cool down your room, but it can also remove humidity (excess moisture) from the air. As it features an auto evaporation system, you won't need to empty the drain tray unless you live in a very humid area, as it will get rid of nearly all the water itself (up to 1.8 pints per hour).
This portable air conditioner from LG comes with a nice LED display panel, located on top of the unit, with three buttons on either side of it for customization of the timer (24 hr), temperature and mode (AC, dehumidifier, 2-speeds fan). The convenient timer allows you to leave it on for an amount of time, and then it will shut itself down when the time is up. The unit can also be set to auto-restart at a given time in case you need it to. If you don't want to use the panel, it comes with a remote that makes it even easier to control the unit. From there you can also control the "auto-swing" air vent which ensures that the cool air will circulate more efficiently. Another good thing about the LG LP0817WSR is the washable air filters, which will make the quality of the air much better and more "allergy-friendly" for you and your family. If something were to go wrong with this portable air conditioner, you're covered by a 1-year warranty on parts and labor.
What Do Owners Say: People who have bought this product generally seems to be pleased with their purchase, and most are reporting that they find it to be very effective and very much capable of cooling smaller or mid-sized rooms fast. However, there are some that find this unit a bit noisy during operation, but most agree that this portable air conditioner provides a lot of value for money.
Bottom Line: Affordable and effective portable air conditioner that is perfect for smaller rooms
#4 JHS Smart Portable Air Conditioner
Dimensions: 14 x 13.3 x 27.5 inches
Item Weight: 50 pounds
Color: White (& Black)
8.5 / 10Our Rating
Smart air conditioner - Can be controlled from your phone
3-in-1 (2-speed fan, dehumidifier and AC)
Easy to install and easy to use
Effective - Cools a room very fast
Simple and nice design
The fan is quite loud on the highest setting
The JHS Smart Portable Air Conditioner with 10K BTU is a great choice for those who wants a smart AC-unit that can cool areas up to around 250 square feet. This portable Air conditioner comes with WiFi and can be controlled with your phone through an app. From there you can turn the device on or off, change the mode (AC, dehumidifier, fan), set the desired room temperature and increase or decrease the speed of the fan. It also comes with more control-options such as a nice LED touch-panel and a remote for easy control. The JHS portable air conditioner is a 3-in-1 unit, which means it has a built-in dehumidifier, a fan, and an AC-mode. The dehumidifier is capable of removing up to 50,7 pints of moisture per day and will help you keep the room dry and cool. Like with most of these units, the JHS has a drainage kit, as well as auto-evaporation, which means it will get rid of most of the moisture itself.
This portable air conditioner comes with a 24-hour timer that gives you the chance to activate it or shut it off at preset times. It also has a sleep mode setting that makes it able to operate whilst using less energy and with a noise-level below 54 decibels, according to the manufacturer. It also has a thermostat-range that can be set between 61°F and 88 °F. The JHS Smart Portable Air Conditioner is overall very easy to use, and it is also relatively easy to install and most people will have no problems doing it themselves. A 1-year warranty on parts and labor applies from the date of purchase.
What Do Owners Say: The JHS Smart Portable Air Conditioner haven't been on the market for too long, but it has still managed to gain some popularity already and it is one of the highest rated portable AC's on Amazon. The majority of people who have purchased this product finds the JHS to be hugely effective and they can report that it is capable of cooling down a room very quickly. A lot of owners also appreciate the ability to control this unit from their phone. As for the noise-level, some finds it a bit loud, whilst others have no problem sleeping when it is on and running.
Bottom Line: Effective and easy-to-use portable air conditioner with convenient Smart-functionality
#5 Ivation Portable Air Conditioner
Dimensions: 18.3 x 15.6 x 30.1 inches
Item Weight: 64 pounds
Color: White (& Black)
8.5 / 10Our Rating
Compact design - Sits nice in a corner, or along the wall
Long power cord (7+ foot power cable)
Easy to use and operate
3-in-1 (AC, dehumidifier and fan)
5 modes (cool, fan, dry, auto and sleep)
Comes with a hose for continuous water drainage
Some owners are reporting that it is a bit noisy
The Ivation IVAPAC10KBTU is a portable air conditioner that comes with "triple functionality" as there is an AC, dehumidifier and fan inside this compact and stylish-looking unit. With a cooling capacity of 10K BTU's, this air conditioner will be able to cool spaces up to around 350 square feet. Its dehumidifier is able to remove 61 pints of water in a day (24 hrs), which should be sufficient for most households unless you live in an extremely humid area. Thanks to the Drain Alert Technology, you will be notified when the accumulated water is at the maximum level and the tank needs to be emptied. There is also a hose included that you can use to reroute the water to the nearest drain or to a nearby bucket.
This unit can be controlled through a remote or through the touch-button interface with LED-screen located at the top of the unit. From there you can set the timer (24hr), choose between 5 different modes (cool, dry, fan, auto, sleep), adjust the fan speed (high, medium, low) and of course adjust the temperature to a precise degree anywhere from 62°F to 86°F. We also liked that it has got an auto-restart feature which means if there is a power outage, the Ivation IVAPAC10KBTU is able to automatically start up again with the previous settings about 3 mins after the power comes back. As for maintenance, the Ivation portable air conditioner comes with a washable air filter that can easily be cleaned and put back in place. This should be done about every other week to sustain optimal performance. In case of any defects, you are covered by a 1-year warranty.
What Do Owners Say: The Ivation IVAPAC10KBTU has a high rating on Amazon, and it's also an "Amazon's Choice"-product. People who have bought this product mostly agree that it is able to cool a room effectively, but there are a few who have tried it in "larger" rooms that don't find it able to cool the amount that's advertised (400 sq.ft). There are also some that find it to be quite noisy during operation, while many others find it to operate more quiet than what they expected.
Bottom Line: Compact and easy to use portable air conditioner that comes with many nice features
#6 BLACK + DECKER BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner
Dimensions: 16.5 x 11.5 x 26 inches
Item Weight: 53 pounds
8.5 / 10Our Rating
Effective - Great for smaller and medium-sized rooms
Doesn't take up a lot of space compared to many other portable air conditioners
Combines cooling, fan and dehumidification
Easy to use and clean - Slide-out washable filters
60-months warranty on the compressor
Makes a bit of noise during operation
The BLACK + DECKER BPACT08WT is the number one best-selling portable air conditioner on Amazon, and in our opinion it is one of the best portable air conditioners for smaller rooms. This affordable unit can easily maintain cool temperatures in rooms that are around 100-150 square feet. It is also one of the lightest and smallest units on our list and its all white design will make it blend in pretty much anywhere you'll decide to place it. The BLACK + DECKER BPACT08WT is also very user-friendly and easy to operate. At the top of the unit you can find the control panel and the LED digital display, which makes it easy to program it, and it also comes with a remote for even easier and more effortless programming.
As with all the other portable air conditioners on our list, this one is also a 3-in-1 unit and you'll have the chance to use the cooling, fan or dehumidifier mode. It also comes with a 24-hour timer, thermostat, sleep mode, auto restart function, and with slide-out washable air filters which makes for easy cleaning and maintenance. This unit has an auto evaporation feature which means it will drain through the exhaust hose, and it also comes with internal water storage and with a drainage hose to redirect drainage to outside if that is what you prefer. Unlike many other portable air conditioner, the BLACK + DECKER comes with a 1-year warranty on parts and labor and with a nice 60-months warranty on the compressor.
What Do Owners Say: As mentioned previously, this unit is the best-selling portable air conditioner on Amazon and it has a high rating and most people seems to be very pleased with their purchase. Many reports that it is easy to install and use, and that it has no problems cooling smaller or medium-sized rooms. However, the noise level rating is not the best, and there are a few that says it produces a bit of noise, especially when the compressor kicks in, but there is also some saying that they are able to sleep while its running.
Bottom Line: Affordable portable air conditioner that works great for smaller rooms
#7 Frigidaire Smart Portable Air Conditioner
Dimensions: 12.6 x 12.6 x 36.8 inches
Item Weight: 85 pounds
Warranty: 1 year full, 5 year on sealed system
8 / 10Our Rating
Cool and unique design
Efficient for rooms up to 550 square feet
Smart-technology, WiFi ready - settings can be easily controlled using an app
Quiet in operation compared to many other portable air conditioners
Variable fan and cooling speeds
Has Auto cool technology, energy saver mode and sleep mode
Unit is quite heavy and a bit hard to move around
It's rather expensive compared to many other portable AC's
The elegant Smart Portable Air Conditioner from Frigidaire is a great choice for those who needs cooling for spaces up to around 550 square feet. This unit combines cooling, dehumidification and fan all in one and you'll be able to control it from wherever you are thanks to its wireless control module which works seamlessly with WiFi. This gives you the chance to control it with your smartphone and tablet on both the Android and Apple-platforms, using Frigidaire's own app. This means that you can control it via voice commands on platforms such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, which is very convenient. It can also be controlled from the control panel on the unit, and with a remote.
The dehumidifier on the Frigidaire FGPC1244T1 Smart Portable Air Conditioner is able to remove 3 pints of excess moisture per hour, and it will evaporate the water on its own, but you could also attach a hose (not included) to it and drain for yourself. This will be a good idea especially for those who lives in a very humid area. As for the other features, this unit comes with a 24-hour on/off timer, 3 fan speeds and with useful functions such as Auto cool, sleep mode and an energy saver mode, that will help you save money on your energy bills. It will also start up again automatically with the previous settings after a power outage. 360-degree airflow will make sure that cool air will get to every corner of your room. The Frigidaire Smart portable air conditioner has a 1-year warranty on parts and labor and a decent 5-year compressor-warranty.
What Do Owners Say: This product has a relatively low rating for portable air conditioners on Amazon, but it still receives a lot of praise for its functionalities, design, effectiveness and how easy it is to install. Some are saying that it quite hard to move around as it is a heavy unit, while many are praising the Smart features that gives them the chance to control it easily from their smartphones, using the app. As for the noise-level, this unit seems to work quietly and there are barely any complaints about it being noisy.
Bottom Line: Effective and nice-looking portable air conditioner with Smart-functionality
#8 Koldfront PAC802W Portable Air Conditioner
Dimensions: 15.8 x 18.8 x 34.5 inches
Item Weight: 57 pounds
8 / 10Our Rating
Easy to set up and to use
Effective for smaller rooms (up to 250 square feet)
3-in-1 (AC; dehumidifier and fan)
3 fan speeds and sleep function
It will struggle to cool properly when the room temperature is very high (above 90 degrees Fahrenheit)
The PAC802W Portable Air Conditioner from Koldfront are a good choice for those who needs a portable AC for smaller rooms. This unit can are able to cool rooms up to 250 square feet, depending on the heat load. It also comes with a fan-mode, and with a dehumidifier included, which is capable of removing up to 61 pints of excess moisture per day (in 24 hours). Depending on the humidity in your area, you may have to dispose the water from time to time, or you can drain it continuously with a drain hose. On the top of the unit you can find a nice-looking control panel where you can control the 24-hour timer, temperature (62 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit), fan speed, sleep function, and the 4 modes (auto, cool, dry and fan). There is also a remote control included that can be used to program the settings.
For a portable air conditioner to function properly the filters needs to be cleaned regularly, and thankfully, the Koldfront PAC802W comes with washable pre-filters which is easy to clean and put back in, which makes the unit to perform better. Another ting we liked about this unit is that it is very easy to install and most people will have no problem doing it themselves. According to the user manual on Amazon, the Koldfront PAC802W comes with a 1-year warranty on the parts, and a 90-days warranty on labor, which is decent but not the best.
What Do Owners Say: The Koldfront PAC802W Portable Air Conditioner has a decent rating on Amazon for portable air conditioners and it is also an Amazon Choice product, which means that it is recommended by Amazon. A lot of the buyers are pleased with their buy and most are of the opinion that it works effectively and that is able to cool a room quickly. However, some owners who live in warmer areas reports that it does not work properly on days when it is really hot. The user manual also states that this could be an issue when the room temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, which is important to be aware of. As for the noise level, most seem to agree that it operates relatively quiet.
Bottom Line: Solid and easy to use portable air conditioner that is very much capable of cooling smaller rooms
#9 Honeywell MN10CESWW Portable Air Conditioner
Dimensions: 15.2 x 18.1 x 29.4 inches
Item Weight: 62 pounds
Color: White / Black
Warranty: 1 year
8 / 10Our Rating
Easy to install
AC, dehumidifier and fan-mode
Auto evaporation system - dual drain options for continuous draining
3 fan speeds
It makes quite a bit of noise when the compressor kicks in
The Honeywell MN10CESWW portable air conditioner comes with 10K BTU's and are able to cool rooms that are up to around 350-400 square feet. As all the other portable AC's in our list, this one is also a 3-in-1 unit, and you'll be able to use it for cooling purposes, dehumidification, and for circulation of air. The MN10CESWW can dehumidify up to 68 pints of water in 24 hours and the auto evaporation system will make sure that the water goes through the exhaust hose and gets evaporated by itself. You should be aware that in some areas with high levels of humidity, these self-evaporating systems will not be as effective, but luckily this unit has dual drainage options and it can be continuously drained, if that's what you prefer.
As for the control options, the Honeywell MN10CESWW comes with a remote for effortless programming and with a front-facing touch control panel and display. From there you can easily set the desired temperature, the timer (24 hr), choose mode (AC, fan, dehumidifier) and fan speed. This unit comes with a washable air filter that are easy to clean and that will help to extend the life and performance of the product. In case of any defects, you are back by a 1-year limited warranty on parts and labor from the date of the purchase.
What Do Owners Say: This is one of the best-selling portable air conditioners on Amazon and there are over 2K reviews of this product. The main impression is that most people find it easy to install and set up and most are also pleased with its cooling and dehumidifying ability. However, there are quite a few that reports that it does make a bit noise when the compressor kicks in and that it is not a good idea to have it running while trying to sleep.
Bottom Line: Good portable AC / dehumidifier for rooms that are around 300 square feet
#10 SPT WA- 1420E Portable Air Conditioner
Dimensions: 18.4 x 15.6 x 30.1 inches
Item Weight: 73 pounds
Warranty: 1 year
7.5 / 10Our Rating
Works great for larger spaces
AC, dehumidifying and air circulation all in one
Comes with a 24-hour timer, fan speed settings, auto restart, washable air filter
Capable of removing up to 71 pints of water in 24 hours
It is not the most aesthetically pleasing portable AC
Relatively low EER (energy efficiency ratio) of 8.9
If you're in the need for a solid portable air conditioner that can cool larger spaces then the SPT WA-1420E is one of the better options out there. With its 14000 BTU's it is best suited for cooling rooms that are around 400 - 700 square feet. This unit is not just able to cool, but it can also dehumidify and circulate air. The dehumidifier on the SPT WA-1420 is able to remove a decent 71 pints of excess moisture from the air in 24 hours. As this unit has got an auto-drain system that will exhaust most of the condensate it will reduce the need to manually drain from it. The SPT WA-1420 also comes with all the other features that you'll want from a portable AC, such as a 24-hour timer, fan speed settings (3-speed), a digital thermostat, eco-friendly refrigerants, a washable air filter, and a remote control.
While there are many things to like about this portable AC, there are also some things that are not so good such as its energy efficiency ratio (EER). This unit has an energy efficiency ratio (EER) of 8.9 which is decent but not amongst the best in its class, which will make it a bit more expensive to run compared to other units that have a better EER. In case of any defects, Sunpentown (SPT) offers a 1-year warranty on material and workmanship on this product from the date of the purchase.
What Do Owners Say: People who have purchased the SPT WA-1420E generally seem to be pleased with their buy, and this is also reflected in a relatively high rating for portable air conditioners on Amazon. Most agree that it is able to cool larger rooms effectively and some are even saying that it is able to cool multiple rooms. There are also barely any complaints about its noise level, which is quite rare when it comes to AC's.
Bottom Line: Affordable portable AC compared to many other 14K BTU-units that works great for larger spaces
Buyer’s Guide For Portable Air Conditioners
How Does a Portable Air Conditioner Work?
If there is no central AC at your home, you shouldn’t settle for window units or fans to keep you cool. Just by plugging a portable air conditioner into a standard wall outlet you can get the desirable temperatures with little effort. A portable unit looks like a mini-fridge on wheels. The controls allow setting the required temperatures and switching between cool and fan modes. Some models also come with a dehumidifying feature. Portable air conditioners function the same way as HVAC systems and window units. But unlike them, they don’t require permanent installation. Due to a small weight, they are simple to use, convenient, and can be moved around the room. Just like any other AC, this unit releases cold air and expels warm air outside. For expelling warm air, they use a large-diameter vent hose. One end of it is connected to the device and the other one gets outside through a window, door, or any other slot. When the appliance is being moved, the hose moves with it. But the most common situation is when the unit is located nearby the window and the vent hose is snaking up to it.
Similar to other air conditioners, the portable one contains coolant and consists of a compressor, condenser and evaporator. The coolant gets to the compressor as a cold gas under low-pressure. When passing through it, this gas squeezes greatly. After the compressor, the coolant enters the condenser as a hot gas under high-pressure. When passing through the condenser, it turns into a liquid. Then it comes through a narrow opening into the evaporator. As there is no more high pressure, it turns back to gas again. Thus, air cools down and can be released into the room. The gas returns to the compressor ready for the next cycle. Portable air conditioners have an internal reservoir for excessive condensation. It can be emptied through a hose into a drain or manually.
A portable unit work at its best when it located close to opening. The closer it is to the slot, the more hot air will be expelled outside. It would be useful to insulate the hose with cloth or towels to prevent it from heating the indoor space during the operation. Nowadays, portable air conditioners are widely distributed in various makes and models. So-called reversible monobloc air conditioners can even produce heat during the cold season. Moreover, some portable units have air filters. They purify air by removing dust, molds and other allergens, while making it perfect for people with respiratory diseases. It’s clear that these devices have proved to be very useful and can become an indispensable part of most homes out there. Just because a portable AC can be operated independently, it is easy to target cool air directly to the place where you are. Another benefit of operating these devices is that they use less energy than other air conditioner types.
Why Should You / Should You Not Get a Portable Air Conditioner?
If you are looking for a portable unit but don’t know whether it will match up your requirements or not, make sure to learn all pros and cons before you buy one. A portable unit is a home climate equipment that is highly demanded for several reasons. One of them is their mobility. However, there are numerous other aspects that should be taken into account when planning to purchase it. The first and foremost thing is that a portable AC uses a compressor and a refrigerant that makes it much more effective than a usual air cooler. While enabling proper cooling, a portable unit keeps the humidity at a low level.
At the same time, these appliances have some drawbacks. A few major concerns are: cooling range, improper water management, and problems with the placement. This unit can pull the moisture from the air into a tank while dehumidifying the indoor space. It creates a comfortable atmosphere and is an obvious advantage. However, this moisture needs to be discarded. Hence, a portable unit should be placed near the location that allows water to flow out through a hose (for example, near a window). Sometimes it will also have to be done manually.
The other aspect which makes a portable air conditioner less convenient is a plug-in system. Although there is no need to install this unit “permanently”, it has to be placed where you can plug it in. This aspect limits the cooling space. So, instead of being closer to you for your comfort and convenience, this AC must be closer to the electrical outlet.
Portable units with a tube are definitely less efficient in cooling the indoor space. The air that expels outside is a dehumidified air from the inner space. This results in energy wastage as the AC has to cool the air that hasn’t been dehumidified yet. The outer air that replaces the inner dehumidified air is warm and humid. It also creates an uncomfortable atmosphere. However, the latest models of portable air conditioners have two hoses and it makes them similar to window units. These two hoses send cool and warm air to different locations which is much more efficient.
Although portable units are considered to be mobile in the sense they can roll around, there may be some difficulties while actually moving them. The floor surface should be taken into account because a simple carpet on the floor or any other roughness may become an obstacle during replacing AC from one place to another. And there’s one more point that should be taken into consideration as well. Since the compressor, condenser and evaporator are located in the very same unit, these air conditioners tend to create more noise.
Then again, some people don’t realize the fact that, even though a portable unit isn’t a window AC, there still has to be a window to use it! The vent hose has to run into a window, door or any other way of venting. If you can’t get the end of tube out, a portable AC won’t be a good choice.
How to Calculate the BTU Needed for Room Size?
Shopping for a portable AC that fits a certain room size or specific needs can be quite challenging. But knowing if it meets the cooling requirements of the room is another question. In other words, size matters! When purchasing a unit that is too small, you will end up with a relatively cool room or with an appliance that overheats. On the other hand, if a unit is too large, it won’t be able to remove the moisture from the room and make the indoor air clammy. As you can see, both options are not desirable. Therefore its important to calculate BTU to pick the AC that is perfect for your needs.
A British Thermal Unit (BTU) is a measurement of how much energy is needed to heat 1 pound (0.454 kg) of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.55 degrees Celsius). Each AC, including portable ones, is rated to produce a certain number of BTU’s per hour. To avoid spending extra on energy bills, it’s important to find a unit with a BTU that matches your requirements. Therefore, you should figure out how to get the required BTU output.
You can use a BTU calculator that is available on countless websites. The “reference chart” below will give you a clear understanding on how many BTU’s you will need.
BTU CHART BASED ON ROOM SIZE
BTU’s Needed (approximately)
Up to 250 sq-ft.
200 – 300 sq-ft
300 – 400 sq-ft
400 – 500 sq-ft
By using it, you will be able to determine the correct amount of space to be cooled and pick the right model of a portable AC for the job. Then just adjust the correct capacity according to the following factors:
Reduce the capacity by 10% if the room is shaded heavily. And the opposite, if the room is sunny, increase the capacity by 10%.
If there are more than 2 people in the room regularly, add 600 BTU’s per hour for each person after the second one.
If it is a kitchen that needs to be cooled, increase the capacity by 4,000 BTU’s per hour.
Increase the capacity by 10% if you reside in a warm, humid place.
All in all, it is not a big deal to calculate it correctly.
How to Calculate the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)?
Energy efficiency is a “hot” topic these days, and for good reasons as an energy efficient product will be good for your wallet as well as for the environment. Portable AC’s can be categorized by their EER or energy efficiency ratio. The EER is very simple to calculate and all you have to do is to divide the portable air conditioner’s BTU by the wattage consumed.
Example: A 14000 BTU portable air conditioner consumes 1500 watts, so its EER-rating will be 9.33 (14000 divided by 1500). As you’ve probably figured out yourself already, the higher the rating (EER), the more energy efficient the AC will be.
Generally, an EER-ratio of 11 is considered to be high for portable air conditioners. Our top pick, the Whynter Arc 14-S has an EER of 11.2, which makes it one of the most energy efficient units on the market.
What Features to Look for in a Portable Air Conditioner?
Most models of portable air conditioners offer various features that are not only handy and enhance your cooling experience but also help keep your home cooled more efficiently and save money in the long run. The most common of them are the following:
Programmable timer and sleep settings
Odor removal and air purification
Adjustable air vents
Here is a brief review of the basic features:
Programmable timer and sleep settings
A programmable thermostat allows presetting your unit to switch on and off at a time that is suitable for you. Thus, you will be able to make some savings on time and money by operating it wisely.
Some models allow setting a precise temperature. Once it’s been reached, the machine turns off. Or it turns on and starts cooling at pre-programmed times. Many portable units even offer such function as sleep settings. When on, it will maintain comfortable temperatures in your room quietly and intelligently.
Just like regular split-systems, some portable units can operate in reverse-cycle. It means they can cool your room during the hot season and heat your home during the cold one.
The self-evaporator technology allows evaporating humidity and moisture collected from your room and exhausting it through the hose. Therefore, you won’t have to empty the container with collected water every few hours.
Some units comes with a dehumidifer feature. Excessive vapor and humidity makes indoor air stuffy and frowsy. It can also cause the growth of mold and mildew. When the dehumidifying feature is on, it removes moisture and dampness from the air and makes the indoor environment more comfortable. This feature is of a great importance for those who suffer from allergies and respiratory conditions.
Odor removal and air purification
When it comes to odor removal, this feature can be helpful in removing cigarette smoke, smell of mildew, and other unpleasant odors.
An air purifier uses a filtration system to remove such harmful pollutants as dust, pet hair, bacteria, and other debris. It creates a healthier and cleaner environment that especially matters to people with allergies, respiratory issues and other sensitivities. For the best air cleaning, you should look for an appliance with HEPA filter system. The HEPA filter removes dust, pollen and dander to name a few. As a result you will get a cooled air that is significantly easier to breathe as well. Oftentimes, it’s possible to notice the control of allergy symptoms as the most common triggers are being caught in the HEPA filter.
Remote control can be useful if your portable AC is located in the place that is hard to reach. Some units use remote controls only which are usually available in hand-held styles.
Adjustable air vents
Adjustable air vents are designed to shift the air flow. This feature works similar to a car’s AC. Surprisingly, not all portable units have it on-board. Some models have air nozzles that can be extended or rotated to direct the air flow directly where you need it.
Additional modes that are also available in portable AC’s of various brands are:
Choosing the best portable air conditioner for your home is not the easiest of tasks and there are a lot of factors to take into consideration, but hopefully we’ve been able to make it a little bit easier for you to make a good purchasing decision with our reviews of the best portable air conditioners in 2020. All the portable AC’s in our list can be found on Amazon. If you got any questions about portable air conditioners, let us know in the comment section below and we will try our best to help you out.
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