The 5 best portable air conditioners to cool a room when you can’t fit a window AC unit
Insider is able to collect affiliate commissions from the sale of products through its links. Find out how you can. Window air conditioning works well but requires single- or double-hung windows to properly install. The air conditioning system on the air conditioner is very useful for keeping the temperature low when not in use. We recommend using Window units when it is possible as it is cheaper and has fewer operational and energy usage. Portable cooling equipment has many positive aspects though. They are accepted for certain rentals whose AC windows are not permissible, and are simpler to carry and install and roll wherever needed.
The 9 Best Portable Air Conditioners of 2022
We independently study the products we recommend to consumers. When we share links to products or services we may receive monetary compensation. Spruce / Chloe Jeung It may seem like windows-mounted air conditioners, but they have plenty of advantages. The portable unit can travel by wheel and roll in rooms, and includes tubes that exhaust heat through windows and through walls. The products are generally easily stored and very versatile.
Portable Air Conditioner
Expert-Approved: Best smart portable AC according to a smart-home consultant Frigidaire Cool Connect Smart Portable Air Conditioner $465 $549 now 15% off $465 We spoke to home-cooling experts about the best smart air-conditioning units — the kind you can control remotely so your apartment is already cool when you get home.
Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET Do portable ACs have to vent through the windows? Yes. In order to have optimal performance for a portable air conditioner, you need to set up the included hose or hoses to vent outside. Without this step, the hot air and condensation won’t have anywhere to go and could hurt the unit’s ability to cool a room effectively.
This portable air conditioner from Black+Decker does one better, though: You can use it year-round, since it works as both an AC and heater—and you get formidable cooling power in the BPACT14HWT. It’s rated at 14,000 BTU ASHRAE (7,500 DOE), which can competently cool about 300 square feet. It’s worth noting that this air conditioner has the same ASHRAE rating as the Whynter ARC-14S but a lower DOE rating and smaller max room size.
Portable Ac Unit
After the room reaches 92 degrees, we turn off the heat and turn on the portable AC unit to cool mode, with a medium fan speed and a set temperature of 68 degrees. We run the unit for 2 hours and 30 minutes and repeat the same test twice per AC unit.
Portable Air Conditioning Unit
EnergyStar, a federal program promoting energy-efficient products, has its own guidelines to help you choose the right model. As BTU capacity increases, the weight and size of the model typically will, too.
How to shop for a portable air conditioning unit Once you’ve figured out how many BTUs a room will need, McKeon recommended considering the following: Portable air conditioners typically run between $250 and $500, depending on the size and amount of features. Portable air conditioners either come with a single hose or double hose.
How do you install a portable air conditioner? Non-evaporative portable air conditioners will need to be set up near a window or vent so that their exhaust hose has somewhere to pump hot air out of your home. These units usually come with a window adapter that will create an air-tight opening for the hose. Installation generally shouldn’t take longer than 15 to 20 minutes.
Best Portable Air Conditioner
If you don’t want the stress and hassle of installing a unit, you may want to consider a portable air conditioner, which is easier to set up and can be moved throughout your space, experts told us. SKIP AHEAD How to shop for a portable AC unit To help you find the best portable air conditioner, we consulted cooling and appliance experts to help you find the right model for your space, plus used their advice to round up some top-rated recommendations.
Best budget portable air conditioner
This portable AC system was the most affordable that we tested and it does good cooling and is fairly quiet. Pros: Ideal for cooling smaller rooms, low power costs for portable AC, simple to setup, easy install fits a broad spectrum of windows. Cons: I had trouble moving the device from room to room, minimal warranty. This cooling device is aimed at cooling the space of about 250 square feet, but it cools the 550-sq ft laboratory room in just a couple of hours. Yeah.
Best portable air conditioner for large rooms
The Whynter Air Conditioner has a 750-square-foot testing room which has a room for about 200 gallons of water in the back. Pros: Top performer for our cooling testing, has a storage cover, and a three-year compressor warranty. Pros.
Do all portable air conditioners have to be vented out a window?
The unit is similar to a self-contained heat pump: It collects warm air into a room and sends it out to another place through an exit vent. Portable ACs do not need venting from windows.
How much does a good portable air conditioner cost?
Portable air conditioners generally run from $250 to $500 depending on their size and feature. Portable Air Conditioners are available in two hoses. Most single-hose models pull stagnant water from inside the house and heat and circulate it all through the house and the room.
The on-machine controls are simple and intuitive: A large panel on the front with a row of buttons below helps you set modes and fan speed. And a cleanly designed, pancake-shaped remote control nests into the appliance’s top. By pancake shape, we mean something like the iconic Honeywell wall thermostat: round and simple.
Portable Ac Units
In order to have optimal performance for a portable air conditioner, you need to set up the included hose or hoses to vent outside. Without this step, the hot air and condensation won’t have anywhere to go and could hurt the unit’s ability to cool a room effectively.
How do portable AC units work? We go into more detail in our portable air conditioner buying guide , but they pull in air from your house, cool it and recirculate it back into the room or space of your choosing. Portable AC units plug into a wall outlet and feature one or two hoses.
Other Portable Air Conditioners
The LG LP1419IVSM was our top pick from 2019 to 2021, and it’s still pretty great if you can find it in stock. Like the Midea Duo, it has an inverter compressor that makes it quieter and more efficient than other portable air conditioners, with an SACC of 10,000 Btu per hour—the same as the Midea, even though its power output by the older standards was comparatively higher than the Midea’s at 14,000 Btu per hour.
Midea’s app also offers a “sleep curve” feature, so you can go to sleep in a blanket of cool air without having to worry about waking up when it’s too cold to get out of bed. With a rating of 10,000 SACC, the MAP12S1TBL should be enough for most people.