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Are you looking for the best portable air conditioner for your home or your office?
You are in the right place, in this article,we will reviews the top 6 rated portable air conditioners on the market to help you make a good choice. Click here to see our #1 pick on Amazon.com
Table of Contents
- Best Portable Air Conditioner Reviews
- Top 3 Best Portable Air Conditioner 2020
- Best Portable ACs Comparision
- When to Buy A Portable AC
- Top 6 Best Portable Air Conditioner Reviews
- #1. Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose – Best Portable Air Conditioner to buy
- #2. Honeywell MN10CESWW 10,000 BTU – A good Portable Air Conditioner
- #3. Koldfront PAC1401W Ultracool 14,000 BTU – Best Portable Air Conditioner for the money
- #4. Shinco 10,000 BTU – Cheap Portable AC under 300 bucks
- #5. Honeywell MN12CES 12,000 BTU – Top rated Portable Air Conditioner
- #6. SPT 8,000BTU Single Hose Reviews
- The 4 types of Portable Air Conditioning Infographic
- Portable Air Conditioner Pros and Cons
- Choosing the Right Size Portable ACs
- Portable Air Conditioner Buying Guide
- Water Cooled Portable Air Conditioner Verses Dehumidifying Portable Air Conditioner
- Portable Air Conditioner Power
- Portable Air Conditioner Reliability
- Portable Air Conditioner Noise
- Read The Portable Air Conditioner Reviews
- Portable Air Conditioner Installation Video
- Maintenance Tips for Portable Air Conditioners
Best Portable Air Conditioner Reviews
Summer is literally killing us with all this heat around. I don’t say we didn’t have hot summers before, but this time it seems like more persistent and more devastating. So what could we possibly do in such cases?
It isn’t always possible to go to the mountain and enjoy some cool air. Also, it’s not always possible to go to the beach, especially while working.
Nowadays a lot of people are working from home since they realized it’s more efficient and effective (the comfort of your own home boosts your energy and performance while working, since the little 10 minute pauses count a lot more than office pauses).
This is where the problems come: not everyone has an air conditioner at home.
Some people would rather avoid the complications of installing a central air conditioning system so they need temporary but effective solutions. A good portable AC is all you need to cool your room down and make it comfortable to stay at home while outside you’d get fried!
Top 3 Best Portable Air Conditioner 2020
Are you searching for the best portable air conditioner? Do you frequently move around and suffer from the excess heat? Are you looking for more convenient and less expensive air conditioning units?
If it is your case, consider buy a portable AC. Read the portable air conditioner reviews on this site will help you a lot.
Portable ACs are different from the traditional window air conditioners. They are designed to be mobile and easy-to-use.
There are lots of brands and different models of portable ACs on the market.
Choosing the best portable air conditioner is really a complicated task for most people. So I create this post and write reviews about the top rated portable air conditioners.
Best Portable ACs Comparision
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When to Buy A Portable AC
Having the best portable ac unit with you can be very useful; they are small and are easily mobilized. But, there are times when having even the best portable ac unit is simply not in your best interest.
Here’s a general rule to know if your future purchase will be worth it:
- It’s not possible to mount a permanent ac unit. Some building owners do not permit tenants to install ac units, so by having a portable air conditioning unit to cool your space is the next best thing.
- You live in a damp climate. If you live in a damp, humid area, having the best portable air conditioner can be very useful as most (but not all) portable air conditioners also acts as dehumidifiers.
- You are environmental savvy. If you are campaigning to save the earth, you would appreciate a portable air conditioner because it cools down a room with less energy.
In general, buying the best portable air conditioner that you can get is a good thing because they are practical.
Top 6 Best Portable Air Conditioner Reviews
#1. Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose – Best Portable Air Conditioner to buy
The Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner is engineered to deal with the very sweltering days.
The unit has power of 14,000 BTU and works well for rooms up to 700 sq.ft. With the dual-hose design and the auto-evaporation system, it has an incredible efficiency rating.
The only drawback is that this portable ac is a little expensive. For more information, please read my reviews as follows.
14,000 BTU – The cooling power of this portable ac is 14,000 BTU. It is such a large number of BTU that it can be capable of cooling a 700-square-feet room. The number will drop considerably when the unit is used to deal with rooms with excess moisture.
Auto-Evaporation System – This feature is also known as the auto-drain system. Units with this design can automatically drain the water exhausted from the room air, which saves your labor of manually draining the water bucket.
Dual Hose Design – The dual hose system makes the unit more efficient than a single hose system. It doesn’t use the room air to work with the condenser. The Whynter 14,000 BTU has its own air circulation in its dual hose system.
Thermostat and 24 Hour Timer with Remote Control – Provide the end users with more flexibility.
- Efficiency – We always use the number of EER to measure the efficiency of a portable air conditioner. The larger the number is, the better the efficiency will be. In most cases, the number of EER is between 8 and 10. However, when it comes to the Whynter 14,000 BTU, the number is an incredible 11! It means that this unit can produce more cooling air with less energy, which will save you much money on the electrical bill.
- Good Thermostat – The thermostat can control the machine well. If the temperature drop to a certain number, the unit will turn off.
- Price – I have to admit that the price of this unit is expensive. Due to the dual hose design and large number of BTU, the Whynter 14,000 BTU is more expensive than units with single hose and less BTU.
- Noise – The other thing you had better consider is that the machine has a standard noise level. It is not very noisy but if you are very concerned about the noise level, the machine will not serve you well.
#2. Honeywell MN10CESWW 10,000 BTU – A good Portable Air Conditioner
Honeywell MN10CESWW Portable Air Conditioner is a new comer in the portable AC market, but it has received rave reviews and impress large number of customers by its performance.
Indeed, it has surpassed many competitors. This unit has power of 10,000 BTU, which means it come cool a room of 400 sq.ft. The product can also work as a dehumidifier.
The Honeywell MN10CESWW has a good performance of efficiency with relatively quiet operation. It is a good choice for those who want a solid and compact portable AC.
10,000 BTU – Suitable for room up to 400 sq.ft.
Dehumidification – The unit is not only a cooler but also a dehumidifier. It can dehumidify about 75 pints of water per day, which is for the moist environment.
Full-Function Remote Control – One of the modern features of the unit. The remote control covers all functions and allow you to control the device from a distance.
Precise Timer – Yes, this portable air conditioner is equipped with a programmable timer.
Auto-Evaporation System – It means that the machine will automatically drain water through its evaporation system. and you don’t need to drain the bucket frequently.
Caster Wheels – For mobility.
- Easy Installation – A lot of customers address that the installation for this unit is a breeze. You can put the window kit vertically, which is very convenient.
- Versatility – As mentioned above, Honeywell MN10CESWW can take on roles of cooler and dehumidifier. Additionally, it is also a fan. The fan can shorten the time of cooling as it can bring the cold air to the room more efficiently.
- Quiet – Most portable AC has a noise level of 48 to 55 dbA. And the operation noise of Honeywell MN10CESWW is 50 dbA, which means this unit is a very quiet ac.
- A High Energy-Efficiency Rating – EER, which is short for Energy-Efficiency Ratio, is used to measure how efficient a unit is. Most portable ac has a EER of 7 to 10. And the MN10CESWW scores 11.1! The unit is really efficient. It uses less energy to generate the same BTUs.
- Surge of Noise – Although we said that this ac is a very quiet one, it does have some noise. Indeed, there is no air conditioner without noise. Some customers complaint that this unit has a surge of noise as the machine power surges. The noise isn’t one the same level in a period of time.
- Single Hose System – The machine loses efficiency due to its single-hose design, which is mainly because of money.
#3. Koldfront PAC1401W Ultracool 14,000 BTU – Best Portable Air Conditioner for the money
The Koldfront PAC1401W Ultracool 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner, which comes from the professional cooling appliance company – Koldfront, has received rave praise in the market.
The unit is designed for large rooms with an area up to 500 sq.ft. It can also serve as a dehumidifier and you can turn the function off when it is not needed.
The machine has three fan modes you can choose. This portable AC is a great buy for those who wants a compact and easy-to-use cooling device.
14,000 BTU – In a general way, we uses BTU to measure the power of an air conditioner. This unit has a number of 14,000, which is a large one. It means that the unit is able to reduce the temperature of a 500-square-feet room.
Three Modes of Fan Speed – Users love this feature because they can control the speed of the breeze as they want. You can’t find this feature on other portable ACs.
Dehumidification Mode – This Koldfront PAC1401W is a capable dehumidifier as well. Additionally, you can disable the dehumidification mode when it is unnecessary.
Auto-Drain System – The machine can automatically drain the condensate through its auto-drain sy
stem. And you won’t need to drain the water bucket now and then. However, this auto-drain system makes the unit not work well in very moist climate.
- Great Filter – Koldfront PAC1401W has a pre-filter, which means that the filter is very easy to clean. When using traditional portable ACs, you will find washing filter can cost great labor but this is not the case with this unit. The filter can make the room air cleaner and it is great for your health.
- Energy Saving – The machine has a 24 hour programmable timer. You can control the unit through previous set. The unit can automatically turn off when it is not needed. This is a very useful feature when it comes to the energy saving topic.
- Difficult Installation – Some customers complaint that the installation of this Koldfront PAC1401W is difficult. In most cases, you should use tape to help with the installation, which should be carefully finished according to the user’s brochure.
- Unsuitable for Moist Environment – Due to the auto-drain system, this unit won’t work perfectly in rooms with excess moisture.
#4. Shinco 10,000 BTU – Cheap Portable AC under 300 bucks
With the power of 10,000 BTU, self-evaporation system, digital control and a relatively low price, the Shinco 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner becomes more and more popular in the market.
This portable ac can keep a room with an area about 300 sq.ft. comfortable. If you want a decent, easy-to-use and highly economical air cooler, this one is a wise choice for you.
10,000 BTU – The BTU of an portable AC determine how many square feet of area it can deal with. In this case, the unit can cool down an area up to 300 sq.ft.
Auto-Evaporation System – With this system, the machine doesn’t have a water bucket so that the labor of manually draining the water bucket is eliminated. Instead, the unit can automatically recycle water exhausted from the room air and gain a more decent efficiency.
Self-Diagnosis Function – Most air conditioners don’t have a function like this. In a general case, if your portable ac has got a problem, you will have to send it to the repair department, which could bring you a lot of trouble. But if you are using this Shinco 10,000 BTU, you can turn the self-diagnosis system on and the machine can automatically find the problem and guide you to fix it.
Anti-Freeze Function – When an air conditioner works for a long period of time, there is possibility that the machine will create ice. The ice can damage the unit and cause you a mass. This Shinco 10,000 BTU is equipped with an anti-freeze system, which is able to prevent the machine from creating ice.
- Price – Compared with other 10,000 portable air conditioner in the market, the Shinco 10,000 BTU is really an economical one. If you want a 10,000 BTU air conditioner but don’t want to spend too much money, you can choose this unit.
- Easy Installation – It has to mention that the user’s manual of this unit is very comprehensive. When it comes to the installation, all you have to do is follow the user’s manual and the work will be done within minutes.
- Noise – One drawback you should consider is that the unit could create some noise during the operation. If you want a quiet air conditioner, this one will not serve you well.
#5. Honeywell MN12CES 12,000 BTU – Top rated Portable Air Conditioner
The Honeywell MN12CES 12,000 BTU Portable Conditioner Reviews has received high ratings from customers.
The unit can keep areas between 400 to 450 sq.ft. cool efficiently. Users are also impressed by its multi-use features, digital control and portable design.
Although it is a little bit expensive compared with other 12,000 BTU portable ACs, the unit is quieter than competitors, which makes it a great buy for those who want a portable air conditioner.
12,000 BTU – The cooling power of Honeywell MN12CES is 12,000. It is suitable for rooms with areas between 400 to 450 sq.ft. However, if the room has a high ceiling or it is without insulation, the cooling areas will drop. You should take these factors into consideration.
Auto-Drain Design – With this design, the machine has no bucket and no drip. You will not have to manually drain the water tank because the water will be used by the machine to produce cooling machine.
Multi-Use Features – This unit is versatile. It can serve as a cooler, a dehumidifier and a fan. You can adjust the mode by your need.
Portable Design – The window kit of this unit is easy to set. You can follow the detailed and easy-to-understand manual to finish the installation quickly. What’s more, the unit comes with caster wheels, which will provide you with good mobility. You can move the unit anywhere to suit your need.
Digital Control – This Honeywell MN12CES has a digital touch screen. You can make precise temperature adjustment. Also, you can use the remote control to operate the machine from a distance.
- Eco-Friendly – One of the most impressive advantages of Honeywell MN12ES is that the unit is very efficient and eco-friendly. The unit is equipped with a easy-to-wash air filter and the refrigerant is designed to be eco-friendly, too. The filter can automatically clean the air in your room, which does good to your health as well.
- Quiet – Compared with other portable ACs which have a cooling power of 12,000 BTU, the noise level of this unit is relatively low.
- Price – You probably has noticed that this portable ac is not that economical. It is more expensive than the traditional air conditioner and other portable air conditioners at this power level.
#6. SPT 8,000BTU Single Hose Reviews
The SPT 8,000 BTU Single Hose Portable AC is one of the best sellers in the conditioning market.
Using the outstanding technology of SPT, the unit is capable of the cooling task and is also a capable dehumidifier.
This portable ac functions well in rooms with excess moisture. Although it is not flawless and has some drawbacks, the unit has received glowing reviews from a large number of customers.
8,000 BTU Power – The unit is designed for standard rooms. With power of 8,000 BTU, the device works best in a room of about 250 sq.ft. If it is your case, this portable ac is suitable for you.
Self-Drain System – It is also auto-evaporation system. With this system, you won’t need to drain the water tank now and then. The machine will automatically drain the water it produced in the cooling process.
Extendable Exhaust Hose – The hose of this machine can extend to 59”, which is very useful when further extension is needed.
Digital Thermostat and Timer – The timer is programmable. These two devices provide you with more featured functions of the machine. Additionally, you can use the remote control to operate with the timer.
- Very Capable Dehumidifier – The unit not only has a dehumidification function, but also can dehumidifying the environment while cooling. So this SPT 8,000 BTU is good for areas of excess moisture. If this is your case, this unit is the best for you.
- Easy installation – The unit is a single hose system. Although it loses some efficiency due to this design, it is easier for end users to install the machine with a single hose. Follow the user’s manual, the installation is easy and can be done in 15 minutes.
- Noise – Yes, this unit produce more noise than other portable ACs. It is the biggest disadvantage of this unit. If you want a quiet portable air conditioner, this one is not a wise choice for you.
- Weight – The machine weighs about 60 pounds, which will make it a little difficult to carry upstairs.
The 4 types of Portable Air Conditioning Infographic
Different people have different preferences when it comes to the best portable air conditioners. When it comes to portable ac units, these are some types/features that you may want to consider:
- Drip vs. Non-drip types: Between these two types of models, drip portable air conditioner units are generally less expensive.The difference between the two is that with drip models, you need to empty out the small tray that collects the condensated moisture when needed.
- Single exhaust vs. Dual exhaust types: The dual exhaust type has a lot more advantage because it circulates air and cooling it better.
- Multi-functional types: These units have other functions other than cooling your space; some can dehumidify, fan-cool or heat and some can do all these and more.
Portable Air Conditioner Pros and Cons
Within the recent years, more and more people are keen on getting the best portable air conditioners for either their home and/ or offices. As a party planner, I’ve used mine not only in my home but sometimes I bring it along to work. I can’t tell you how much portable ac units have saved me from hot messes.
Before you commit yourself to any particular model, I suggest you read the pros and cons of portable air conditioners to see if they really suit you.
- It’s a space saving device
Almost all portable ac units are small; that’s what makes them portable in the first place. This means that you don’t need to buy or mount extra units for other rooms.
During my college days, my small dorm room was cramped and can get hot stuffy when there is a hot spell in Toronto. That is, until during my sophomore year that my mother bought me my first portable ac. God bless her. Now that I’m working, I know that summer parties can leave guests hot and cranky. That’s where my own or rented portable ac units come to play. The best portable air conditioners are small enough to discreetly hide in a corner of a room while keeping party guests cool and happy.
- It saves a lot on utility bills
Instead of cooling the whole house, portable air conditioners allows you to cool only the room that you are in. It eats up lesser kilowatt usage of electricity so your bills won’t be as high.
Look for the best portable ac units by looking at their EER – the higher the better. Or, when in doubt, get a unit with an Energy Star, which means that it meets energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.
- Straight-Out-Of-Box use
The good thing about the best portable ac units are that as soon as you arrive home from the store, you can use your newly purchased merchandise right away after you unpack. There’s no need for you to punch a hole in your wall of call an electrician to set it up.
To wrap things up, if you plan to get a cooling system, try to find the best portable air conditioner FOR YOU. It’s affordable, doesn’t cost much to operate and easy to install. All you need to do is search for one that will serve you well.
- It has a slightly expensive price tag than window units
Yes, it’s small but it definitely doesn’t come with a smallish price tag. Starting from around $300 for a standard unit, prices increases as its cooling capability increases.
However, paying a slightly higher purchase cost compromises the big save a portable air conditioner can make. Let’s go to the next point.
- It’s noisy
The fact that unlike a window unit, portable ac units’ compressors are with you in the room instead of somewhere outside. The compressors on some units can be very loud so select one that makes the least noise. You can achieve that by reading reviews like this one.
Choosing the Right Size Portable ACs
If you’re overwhelmed by all the BTU numbers and can’t seem to decide between a 5,000 BTUs portable ac unit to another that has 16,000 BTUs. don’t worry. I’m coming to the rescue in your quest to get the best portable ac unit!
When it comes to portable ac, size matters and bigger does not always means better. There is no advantage in buying anything that is much too big than what you need; it may actually waste energy when the cycle turns on/ off too frequently (a smaller portable ac would cool down a room for a longer period) and performs less than what you would expect it to.
To choose the right best portable air conditioner size, I would recommend that you know these two things:
The size of the room in square feet
For a square/ rectangular room, get the size of the room by multiplying the length of the room by its width. If it’s triangular, multiply the length by the width of the room and divide that by 2. If you have an irregular shaped room, ask your developer or sales representative’s help to determine the room’s size.
Any other additional heating factors i.e. additional person that occupy the room, poor insulation. skylight etc.
Here are some tricks to determine the exact amount of BTU that you need:
- Heavily shaded room: -10% BTU
- Sunny Room: +10% BTU
- Additional persons occupying the same room: +600 BTU for each person (for more than two persons)
- Kitchen: +4000 BTU
- If you’ll be using the unit in multiple rooms, buy a unit accordingly to the largest sized room.
After determining the size of your room, consult the table below to determine the actual number of BTUs that your best portable ac unit would actually need. This is what is recommended by EnergyStar, a program that was initiated by the government to help businesses and individuals to protect the environment through superior energy efficiency.
|Area To Be Cooled (square feet)||Capacity Needed (BTUs per hour)|
|100 to 150||5,000|
|150 to 250||6,000|
|250 to 300||7,000|
|300 to 350||8,000|
|350 to 400||9,000|
|400 to 450||10,000|
|450 to 550||12,000|
|550 to 700||14,000|
|700 to 1,000||18,000|
|1,000 to 1,200||21,000|
|1,200 to 1,400||23,000|
|1,400 to 1,500||24,000|
|1,500 to 2,000||30,000|
|2,000 to 2,500||34,000|
After knowing what you need, you can safely get what you need. Do take note that the recommended cooling capacity needed will vary between the manufacturers and it can be rather frustrating. However, to make things easier, get the best portable ac unit that has 20% more BTU units so that you wouldn’t caught short on hot days.
Of course, there are more to a best portable air conditioner than its cooling capacity.
Portable Air Conditioner Buying Guide
Portable Air Conditioner Installation Video
Maintenance Tips for Portable Air Conditioners
The best portable air conditioner units are easy to maintain and are not much of a fuss. Some of the common things that you should take importance of are the initial venting, water drainage, air filters, body housing and storage.
The exhaust hose of your portable ac unit must be vented out with a venting kit. This kit should come with the unit that you purchase and it should slide easily into your window. The initial venting route should be set up right after purchase. Do remember that your exhaust hose must be fitted into the correct space in the window kit before you can start using your unit. Opt for a drop ceiling or wall if you can’t set up the initial venting into a window.
Moisture is removed when air is cooled. This water is usually used by the system to cool itself down. However, if you live in a high humidity area like I do, you will find that there will be some water collected. There are various ways for the best portable ac units to drain the water, depending on its make.
The simplest units have buckets that you need to empty regularly while more sophisticated models evaporates the water through the hot air exhaust. Regardless of its complexity, every portable air conditioner units are able to drain water continuously through a gravity drain hose.
To ensure that you have clean and allergy free air in your room, make sure that your air filters are regularly cleaned and/ or replaced. For someone that uses a portable ac unit on a daily basis, I make sure that the air filters are cleaned every two weeks. You can do this weekly or monthly depending on how often you use your unit.
For washable filters, slide them off, immerse them in a warm mild detergent solution, rinse and dry them out before replacing them back in. However, if your unit use carbon filters, replace them accordingly based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
To keep your best portable ac unit clean, wipe the housing surface down with a soft, damp cloth every few weeks or so. Avoid harsh detergents and keep your portable air conditioner unit away from direct sunlight to avoid any damages or discoloring of the unit’s body. Remember to switch it off before you start cleaning.
The place you store your best portable ac units is important too. When summer ends or when you find that you no longer frequently need your portable ac unit, it is important that you store them correctly. Drain all the water out and put your unit to fan mode to dry the interior. Once it’s dry, clean the filter, wrap the cord on the cord hooks, pack it up in its carton and store it in a dry location.
There you go – easy steps to maintain your best portable air conditioners so that they will maintain their usability life. Taking proper care of your portable ac unit will ensure that you are able to use it for a longer time.