Best Portable Air ConditionersDon’t spend hours looking for a model. We will help you to determine which is the quietest portable air conditioner for your home or office and what are its best and worst features. Read our portable AC reviews to find out which are the leading models in today’s market.

Let’s start!

Portable air conditioners can cool surfaces of up to 600 square feet and don’t need professional installing. But did you know that portable air conditioners dehumidify the air whilst cooling it?

Technology advances and portable air conditioner advance and improve with it. In this article, you’re going to read about the reasons you should buy a portable air conditioner instead of a fixed one, and why this technology is superior to others.

We read thousands of reviews, hundreds of product descriptions, and tested multiple devices to make the most comprehensive buying guide about portable air conditioners available online.

Contents

Top Portable Air Conditioners In The Market

  • Haier Portable Air Conditioner
  • 4.0 Customer Rating
  • PRICE : $$$$$
  • DIMENSIONS : 20 x 33.6 x 16.6
  • WEIGHT : 83 pounds
  • BTU's : 14000
  • SETTING : 3 Cooling / 3 Fan Speeds
  • Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner
  • 3.8 Customer Rating
  • PRICE : $$$$$
  • DIMENSIONS : 16 x 19 x 35.5
  • WEIGHT : 79 pounds
  • BTU's : 14000
  • SETTING : Three modes: Air conditioner, fan or dehumidifier
  • Honeywell HL Series Portable Air Conditioner with Heater
  • 4.1 Customer Rating
  • PRICE : $$$$
  • DIMENSIONS : 18.9 x 15.7 x 31.3
  • WEIGHT : 64 pounds
  • BTU's : 14000
  • SETTING : 4 functions: Cooling, heating, fan and dehumidification
  • Titan Portable Air Conditioner
  • 4.7 Customer Rating
  • PRICE : $$$$
  • DIMENSIONS : 15.6 x 18.3 x 30.1
  • WEIGHT : 72.6 pounds
  • BTU's : 14000
  • SETTING : Four modes : Auto,Cool,Dehumidify and Fan.
  • GoCool 12V Portable Semi Truck Cab Air Conditioner
  • 3.5 Customer Rating
  • PRICE : $$$$
  • DIMENSIONS : 20 x 17.3 x 24
  • WEIGHT : 35 pounds
  • BTU's : N / A
  • SETTING : Two modes : Auto , Manual

Haier Portable Air Conditioner, 14000-BTU

Haier Portable Air ConditionerHaier’s single-hose 14,000 BTU air conditioner unit should be able to cool large spaces of up to 500 square feet.This model has three cooling settings and three separate fan settings. It also has a dehumidifying mode you can use all year round.

The exhaust hose is 6 feet long, so you can move this unit around without having to change the window kit to a new location.

We tested this unit and found some solid pros and cons.

Pros:

  • This model is cheaper than other units with the same cooling capacity
  • It looks good – this is not something we look for in an air conditioner, but it’s a plus
  • Different fan speeds – you’ll be able to set it up as you like, a good feature for night use
  • Remote controlled
  • Easy setup – most portable devices install easy, but some easier than others. Installing this model was a breeze.
  • Easy to clean – you can access the filters without trouble and it doesn’t need a drip pan

Cons:

  • The unit is mostly quiet, but it’s loud when the thermostat changes between AC and fan.
  • Bright display – this may be a pro during the day, but it’s definitely a con when you’re trying to sleep

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner

Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner Whynter’s dual hose 14,000 BTU portable air conditioner comes with a special antimicrobial filter. This model was designed with commercial applications in mind, and you can use it in server rooms or data centers. It should cool surfaces of up to 500 square feet.

This air conditioner uses a dual hose exhaust system. This means it uses the outside air to cool its components, while it cools the air inside.

The unit has three different modes: cooling, fan, and dehumidifying. When you set the cooling mode, it will both cool and dehumidify the air. The fan mode will circulate the air in the room, and you can use the dehumidifying mode all year round, just like you would a normal dehumidifier.

Here are some of the pros and cons we identified for this model:

Pros

  • Effective cooling – it really gets the job done
  • Good air filter – the antimicrobial air filter seems to stop more particles than other filters
  • Remote control
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Pretty loud – many people won’t be able to sleep with this unit in the same room
  • Low-quality window kit – you should really shop for another one because the one it comes with will let in bugs and heat.
  • You need to place a pan under it to collect the water.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

Honeywell HL Series 14000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner with Heater

Honeywell HL Series 14000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner with HeaterHoneywell’s 14,000 BTU single hose portable unit should cool units up to 550 square feet and has four different functions.

The first and most important function is cooling. You can use this function on three different speeds.

The second function is heating. While the cooling system is capable of producing 14,000 BTU and cooling areas of up to 550 square feet, the heating system is able to produce 11,000 BTU and warming up areas of up to 400 square feet.

The third way you can use this model is as a fan. When the outside temperatures are mild, you use this function to circulate the air inside a room.

The fourth function is dehumidifying. This model is able to remove up to 111 pints of moisture in 24 hours.

After analyzing all these features, here are the pros and cons we identified for this model

Pros

  • Great cooling capacity
  • Quiet – the noise produced can be classified as white noise. You’ll be able to sleep with this unit in your bedroom
  • Good dehumidifying capacity
  • Remote control
  • Looks nice

Cons

  • The heater is not very reliable – when you set this model on the heater mode, the thermostat will turn it off with an error of 10 – 12 degrees in either direction.
  • Window kit could be better

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

Titan 14000BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Titan 14000BTU Portable Air ConditionerTitan’s single hose 14,000 BTU portable air conditioner has four operation modes you can access individually and it’s the perfect fit for your home or office.

The Cooling mode produces 14,000 BTU which should be able to cool surfaces of up to 550 square feet.

The Dehumidifying mode is able to remove up to 71 pints of moisture every day. You can use this feature independently all year.

The third operating mode is Fan. You can use this mode on three different speed settings, allowing you to circulate the air in the room.

The last operating mode is Auto. This mode changes between Cool and Fan in order to keep the temperature at the level you specified.

Here are the pros and cons we identified for this model:

Pros

  • Nice cooling capacity
  • Precise thermostat – This might not seem important, but some thermostats stop the air conditioner with errors of up to 10 degrees. This one is spot on.
  • Good dehumidifier – if you live in a humid environment this model can get up to 4 gallons of water or more each night
  • Remote control

Cons

  • Bad packaging – the manufacturer should really improve this aspect
  • Exhaust hose is rather short
  • Window kit could be better

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

GoCool 12V Portable Semi Truck Cab Air Conditioner

(For Camping Tent & RV Camper)

GoCool 12V Portable Semi Truck Cab Air ConditionerThis air conditioner was not designed to cool down a large surface, like a room or an office, but a small enclosed one, like a tent or the inside of a vehicle.The great thing about this air conditioner is that it has no exhaust, so you don’t need any exhaust hoses and window kits.

This model uses ice or frozen gel pack to cool and dehumidify the surrounding air. Once the air is cooled, the resulting water is drained outside through a drainage tube.

The air conditioner has the capacity of holding four one-gallon jugs, nine two liter plastic bottles, or 40 lbs of ice.You can connect this model to a 12-Volt AC or DC power source. AC is the regular power you have in a building, while DC is the one coming from vehicle lighter outlets.

Here are some pros and cons for this air conditioner:

Pros

  • You can use this model with great success when camping
  • You can use this air conditioner to keep your car cool for your pets while you run errands
  • Large storing capacity
  • Rechargeable battery

Cons

  • Short working period, especially in humid environments
  • Pricey for the cooling capacity
  • Battery life of up to 6 hours only

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

  • LG Electronics Portable Air Conditioner
  • 4.1 Customer Rating
  • PRICE : $$$
  • DIMENSIONS : 17 x 11.8 x 32.3
  • WEIGHT : 55 pounds
  • BTU's : 10000
  • SETTING : Multiple Fan Speeds and Auto Cool
  • DeLonghi 3 in 1 Portable Air Conditioner
  • 3.9 Customer Rating
  • PRICE : $$$
  • DIMENSIONS : 17 x 16 x 29.5
  • WEIGHT : 62.3 pounds
  • BTU's : 11000
  • SETTING : 3 imodes : Cooling, Dehumidifier, Fan
  • Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner
  • 4.1 Customer Rating
  • PRICE : $$$$
  • DIMENSIONS : 16.5 x 20 x 34
  • WEIGHT : 44.9 pounds
  • BTU's : 12000
  • SETTING : 3 speed settings
  • Honeywell HL Series Portable Air Conditioner
  • 4.2 Customer Rating
  • PRICE : $$
  • DIMENSIONS : 18.9 x 15.7 x 31.3
  • WEIGHT : 64 pounds
  • BTU's : 12000
  • SETTING : 3 speeds and 24-hour automatic shutoff timer
  • Shinco Portable Air Conditioner
  • 3.9 Customer Rating
  • PRICE : $$$
  • DIMENSIONS : 13.3 x 14.2 x 24.7
  • WEIGHT : 52 pounds
  • BTU's : 12000
  • SETTING : 3-speed cooling and fan

LG Electronics 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

LG Electronics 10,000 BTU Portable Air ConditionerLG’s single hose 10,000 BTU portable unit has three operating modes and should cool down surfaces of up to 400 square feet.

You can program this unit with the help of a 24-hour on/off timer, so you can be sure to find the room temperature you want, even if you’re not there. This model has a Cooling mode, a Fan mode, and an Auto mode.You can set different fan speeds in Fan and Auto mode. Auto mode is a mix between Cool and Fan which ensures the temperature stays within the values you set.

This model uses an auto evaporation system, so you don’t need to remove the water from it in most environments. If you live in a particularly humid environment, you might need to connect a drainage for condensation water.

Here are this model’s Pros and Cons:

Pros

  • Great cooling for its capacity
  • Remote control
  • Multiple fan speeds
  • Timer
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • The thermostat is not very accurate. It’s not very bad either but has an error of 2 – 4 degrees
  • Not quiet. Many people might not be able to sleep with one in the room

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

DeLonghi 11,000 BTU 3 in 1 Portable Air Conditioner

DeLonghi 11,000 BTU 3 in 1 Portable Air ConditionerDeLonghi’s single hose 11,000 BTU portable air conditioner should be able to cool areas of up to 400 square feet. This model has three separate operating modes.The cooling mode is surprisingly efficient for a unit with only 11,000 BTU capacity.

The dehumidifying mode is able to remove up to 76 pints of water each day, a respectable amount. This model uses a no-drip technology which allows it recirculate the condensation water. This means you don’t have to worry about emptying a gathering pan, or a bucket.

The fan mode allows you to switch between three fan speeds to circulate the air in the room. You can set the air conditioner on silent mode, and it will automatically set the fans at the slowest speed to reduce the noise.

Here are some of this model’s Pros and Cons:

Pros

  • No-drip technology – you don’t have to worry about the condensation water
  • Surprisingly powerful for its cooling capacity
  • Relatively quiet – most people won’t have problems sleeping with it in the room
  • Remote control
  • Easy to install the window kit

Cons

  • You can’t adjust the airflow, it only blows straight
  • Some might find it difficult to move, especially if you have to move it over doorsteps
  • Window kit’s quality should be improved

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

Whynter 12,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner

Whynter 12,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air ConditionerWhynter’s dual hose 12,000 BTU features and auto-drain function to control the condensation and has three operational modes: cooling, dehumidifying and fan only.

The 12,000 BTU cooling capacity should allow this model to cool down surfaces of up to 400 square feet. You can use it to cool your home, your office or your small business. The dehumidifier uses an auto-drain technology which draws the moisture from the surrounding air and recycles it. This means you don’t have to drain the unit yourself any longer.

This model has a dehumidifying capacity of up to 96 pints per day, which is high. Keep in mind that if you live in a very humid environment you’ll still need to drain the water from time to time.

Here are this unit’s Pros and Cons:

Pros

  • Easy setup – easier even than other portable models
  • Remote control
  • Good cooling capacity
  • Accurate thermostat

Cons

  • Loud – most people will be able to sleep with one in the room, but it might take some getting used to it
  • Large – this model will take up more room than other portable units
  • Window kit can be improved
  • Control panel light is too bright – even if you can sleep through the sound, the LED light of the control panel will disturb you. You cannot dim them down

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

Honeywell HL Series 12000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Honeywell HL Series 12000 BTU Portable Air ConditionerHoneywell’s single hose 12,000 BTU portable unit combines three technologies in the same appliance.

You will be able to benefit from a cooling and dehumidifying function that will be able to cool down surfaces of up to 450 square feet.

The dehumidifier mode will remove up to 86 pints of moisture each day. This unit benefits from an auto-evaporation system which recycles the condensed water, so you won’t have to dispose of it in normal humidity conditions.

The third function is the fan mode. This mode allows you to recirculate the air in the room with the help of three different fan speed settings. This unit has a special sleep mode you can enable to keep the room temperature constant during the night.

After analyzing this model, we identified the following Pros and Cons:

Pros

  • Very good cooling capacity
  • Quiet – most people won’t have any trouble sleeping with one in the same room
  • Remote control

Cons

  • Hard to drain – even if this model should recycle the condensed water in normal humidity conditions, it doesn’t do it well. Draining it is rather difficult
  • Inaccurate thermostat – the thermostat will stop the cooling before the temperatures reach the value you want

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

Shinco 12000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Shinco 12000 BTU Portable Air ConditionerShinco’s 12,000 BTU single hose portable air conditioner should be able to cool down an area of up to 400 square feet.

Besides cooling, this model also has an individual dehumidifier function you can use all year round. This function allows the unit to draw up to 67 pints of moisture per day, or up to about 2.8 pints per hour.

The cooling fan has three separate fan speed settings you can use, and it can distribute the airflow in four directions, so you’ll have an even air circulation throughout the room.

This unit has a 24-hour on/off timer, you can use to create a schedule, so you won’t waste electricity and spike your bills. You can wash and reuse all the air filters, so you don’t have to buy new ones. You should clean the filters once every two weeks.

Here are some Pros and Cons we identified for this model:

Pros

  • Good cooling capacity
  • Remote control
  • Not loud – you will be able to hear the unit, but most people won’t have problems falling asleep with it in the same room.
  • Timer – you can use the timer to make sure your room is cold when you get home
  • Adjustable airflow direction

Cons

  • Window kit should be improved
  • Unit must be drained

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

The Quietest Portable Air Conditioners

  • De'Longhi Whisper Cool Portable Air Conditioner
  • 3.8 Customer Rating
  • PRICE : $$$$$
  • DIMENSIONS : 18.9 x 17.9 x 34.3
  • WEIGHT : 85.4 pounds
  • BTU's : 14000
  • SETTING : Four modes : Cooling, Dehumidifying, Fan, Heating
  • Whynter Portable Air Conditioner
  • 3.8 Customer Rating
  • PRICE : $$$$
  • DIMENSIONS : 15.8 x 19.2 x 32
  • WEIGHT : 76 pounds
  • BTU's : 14000
  • SETTING : Four modes: Auto, Air conditioner, Fan or Dehumidifier
  • Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner
  • 3.9 Customer Rating
  • PRICE : $$$
  • DIMENSIONS : 15.2 x 18.1 x 29.4
  • WEIGHT : 61.7 pounds
  • BTU's : 10000
  • SETTING : 3-in-1 technology
  • Shinco Portable Air Conditioner Cooling/Fan
  • 4.0 Customer Rating
  • PRICE : $$
  • DIMENSIONS : 17 x 13 x 31.3
  • WEIGHT : 54 pounds
  • BTU's : 10000
  • SETTING : 2-speed cooling and fan
  • Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner
  • 4.0 Customer Rating
  • PRICE : $$$
  • DIMENSIONS : 15.7 x 16.5 x 29.3
  • WEIGHT : 68.3 pounds
  • BTU's : 12000
  • SETTING : 3 speeds and automatic on/off timer

De’Longhi Whisper Cool Portable Air Conditioner

De'Longhi Whisper Cool Portable Air ConditionerDe’Longhi’s single hose 14,000 BTU portable air conditioner has a special Whisper Cool function which will produce 50% less noise. This model has four operating modes you can use all year round.

The first, and most important, operating mode, is Cooling. With a cooling capacity of 14,000 BTU, this unit will cool areas of up to 500 square feet.

The Heating operating mode allows you to use the unit during the cold season as well and does not take long to raise the temperature in a room. If the outside temperatures are mild, you can use the fan only operating mode to circulate the air through the whole room.

The fourth operating mode is dehumidifying. You can use this mode individually during the whole year. This model can remove up to 86.65 pints of moisture each day. The condensate recirculation feature recycles this water so you won’t have to dispose of it.

After analyzing this model’s features, here are the Pros and Cons we found:

Pros

  • Remote control
  • High-quality air filter
  • Very good cooling capacity
  • Whisper mode – this mode really lowers the noise. Everybody should be able to fall asleep with this unit in the same room

Cons

  • Window kit should be improved
  • Short exhaust hose

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

Whynter 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Whynter 14,000 BTU Portable Air ConditionerWhynter’s single hose 14,000 BTU portable air conditioner has four operational modes you can run independently: Air conditioner, Fan, Auto, or Dehumidifier.

The air conditioner mode should cool spaces up to 500 square feet. The Fan operating mode has three different fan speeds you can use to circulate the air around the room.

You can run the dehumidifier setting as you would a normal dehumidifier to keep surplus moisture from harming your home. This setting can draw up to 71 pints of moisture per day, a large quantity.

The air filters are a great addition to this model. You can wash the pre-filter any time you want ( the recommended period is once every two weeks) and combine it with the activated carbon filter to keep the air clean and fresh.

Here are the Pros and Cons we were able to determine for this model:

Pros

  • Superior air filters – these air filters really do their job well.
  • Good dehumidifying capacity
  • Accurate thermostat
  • Quiet – most people should be able to sleep in the same room with this unit without any trouble

Cons

  • Tricky setup – You might have problems connecting the exhaust hose to the machine. We contacted the manufacturer and the instructions are to carefully expand each end and thread the connector on the hose, but in a counter-clockwise direction
  • Not portable – because mounting the exhaust hose is tricky, we don’t recommend moving this unit

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

Honeywell 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Honeywell 10,000 BTU Portable Air ConditionerHoneywell’s 10,000 BTU single hose portable air conditioner has a 3M electrostatic filter that helps with keeping the air fresh and clean.

This unit can cover a surface of up to 350 – 400 square feet, providing the best cooling and dehumidification.Besides the cooling function, you can individually opt for a fan-only function you can control with three different fan speed settings or a dehumidifier function you can use to gather up to 70 pints per day.

This model has an auto-evaporation system which will recycle the condensation water so you won’t have to dispose of it regularly in normal humidity conditions. One of the best features of this model is the electrostatic air filter. It will block most of the bacteria and dust and keep the air fresh.

After taking a look at this model’s best and worst features, here are the Pros and Cons:

Pros

  • Superior air filter
  • Good cooling capacity
  • Quiet – Most people will be able to sleep in the same room with this unit without any kind of trouble. You can barely hear it
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • The thermostat is not spot on – it may have some slight errors
  • The display is too bright – you need to cover it up at night if you want to get a good night’s sleep

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

Shinco 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner Cooling/Fan

Shinco 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner Cooling/Fan Shico’s 10,000 BTU single hose portable air conditioner has a self-evaporative system that will recycle most of the condensed water, so you won’t need to drain the unit in normal humidity conditions.

The 10,000 BTU cooling capacity should cool surfaces of up to 300 square feet. The airflow is distributed evenly throughout the room with the help of a 4-way direction.

This model has two air filters. You should periodically remove the first and wash it, but you should change the second, charcoal filter once every season to make sure the air is fresh.

This unit has an automatic operation mode which will allow you to keep a constant temperature in the room. Once this mode is activated, the air conditioner will cool the room to reach the specified temperature and then it will use the fan to recirculate the air in the room.

Here are some of the Pros and Cons we identified for this model:

Pros

  • Good cooling capacity
  • Very quiet – most people won’t have trouble sleeping with a working unit in the same room.
  • Remote control

Cons

  • You still have to drain the unit if the environment humidity is over 80%
  • Window kit could be better

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

Honeywell 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Honeywell 12,000 BTU Portable Air ConditionerHoneywell’s single hose portable air conditioner with 12,000 BTU cooling capacity has a dehumidifying capacity of up to 79.2 pints per day.The cooling capacity should allow this unit to cool areas of up to 450 square feet. When the air is cooled, it is also dehumidified so you’ll feel more comfortable.

This model benefits from a special electrostatic filter developed by 3M which will keep most dust particles, pet hairs, bacteria, and fungi from floating through the air. You can program this unit to turn on or off at certain hours with the help of a timer. This way, you can make sure your home will be cool once you finish work.

The dehumidifier has an auto-evaporation system which will allow it recirculate the condensed water, so you won’t have to drain the unit unless you live in a very humid area.

Here are some of the Pros and Cons:

Pros

  • Superior cooling capacity
  • Quiet – most people won’t have problems sleeping in the same room with a working unit
  • Good air filter
  • Remote control
  • Looks good – not very important in an air conditioner, but a plus

Cons

  • Window kit could be better
  • Exhaust hose should be longer

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

The Ultimate Guide to Buying Portable Air Conditioners

What Is Exactly A Portable Air Conditioner?

Portable Air Conditioners ReviewsA portable air conditioner is a unit capable of sucking the warm air in the room, cooling and dehumidifying it, then blowing it back, lowering the room’s temperature.

Unlike a fixed air conditioner, you can move the portable version from room to room, with only a few setbacks. One of the setbacks is the fact that the portability is slightly limited. First of all, all portable air conditioners need installation via a window. You don’t necessarily have to worry about buying a window kit because manufacturers ship one in the package.

If on the other hand, you want to be able to move the portable unit between rooms, it might be easier and quicker to buy an extra window kit so you can connect the air conditioner from one window to another.

The window kit is a piece of plastic you can slide to adjust to your window’s width. Once adjusted, you just close the window over the plastic piece. The window kit has a hole you have to use to connect the exhaust tube.

Another setback is that all portable air conditioners have an exhaust tube. This tube is usually between 5 and 7 feet long and fits in the window kit. This is why the portability is limited. You can only place the air conditioner 5 or 7 feet away from a window, at most.

Once you connect the portable AC to the window kit and close the window, you can turn it on. This will make the AC suck the humid warm air, cool and dehumidify it, and then blow it back in the room.

Do I Need A Portable Air Conditioner?

Portable Air ConditionersWhile most homeowners generally prefer using a fixed air conditioner, the portable version is perfect for renters.

  • First of all, you don’t have to spend a lot of money installing it. In fact, you don’t have to spend any money, because a portable air conditioner doesn’t take long to install, and you can do it yourself.
  • Second, you can take it away with you if and when you decide to move out.
  • Third, not all landlords are nice and friendly. In fact, most of them don’t even want to hear about permanent modifications to their building, especially if you want them to contribute with some of the money.
  • Forth, you don’t need to buy a unit to cool your whole house. You can buy one powerful enough to cool your largest room and move it around when necessary.

Another category of people who should think about buying a portable air conditioner is the small business owner.

Launching your own business is a tough and usually expensive project, so you usually can’t afford to spend as much as you’d like in your new location, so it might not be as good as you’d like.

Buying a portable air conditioner for your new business will help you;

  • Keep your employees comfortable while they work.
  • Ensure a cool environment for your business meetings.
  • Make sure your customers and clients feel comfortable when buying from you or when they’re using your services.

Campers can enjoy the benefits of this technology, as well;

Portable air conditioners don’t necessarily have to be big and bulky. There are some smaller versions out there, and they can meet all the requirements a camper might have.

  • You can use one to cool your tent during warm nights
  • You can use one in your camper or in your truck when you want to sleep

A portable air conditioner will be great for pet owners. It will help you;

  • Keep your pets cool in the summer when you take them camping
  • Keep your car cool while your pets are inside and you’re out running errands.
  • Even if the air conditioner keeps the air cool, you should still leave the window cracked for your pets when you leave them in the car.

Portable air conditioners can be used with great results for cooling computer server rooms;

They can even be used as the primary cooling source for server rooms, but most companies prefer using them during the weekends when the central air conditioning is turned off.

Here are some of the benefits of using a portable air conditioner in a server room;

  • Most server rooms don’t have windows, so you can vent them by leading the exhaust tube through a side wall or the ceiling.
  • You can run the portable air conditioner only when necessary
  • High humidity levels can harm the servers, but you can use the dehumidifying feature of the air conditioner to keep it low.

What to Look for When Buying a Portable Air Conditioner

portable air conditioners buying guideThe human body is highly adaptable. This is why our ancestors have populated most of the known world since ancient times. Humans have adapted to extreme conditions, from bitter cold to searing heat.

But adapting isn’t done right away. In fact, it took several generations for our ancestors to adapt to diverse conditions.

Thanks to modern technology, we no longer have to adapt to extreme conditions because we can modify the environment to our liking.

One of the worst living conditions on the planet is being warm while the humidity is high. In normal conditions, when you feel warm, the body cools itself through perspiration. But when the humidity is high, the body cannot cool itself fast enough.

This may lead to several conditions and illnesses, some more serious than others, from heat rash, to heatstroke and organ failure.

Luckily for us, modern technology has a simple fix for warm environments. Air conditioning. We no longer have to suffer the heat, we can just replace the warm air with cool one, and stay comfortable in our homes and offices.

The thing is,

Even though the solution is simple, installing a permanent air conditioner can be trickier than it seems. Some people are tenants. Every person who was a tenant, or who has tenant friends knows that not all landlords are friendly and that most of them don’t like permanent modifications to their buildings.

Sometimes, you don’t even need a fixed air conditioner, but a mobile one. You might have a room or two in the house which you don’t use regularly. Why go through all the trouble of installing a fixed air conditioner, when you can move a mobile unit around the house when needed?

Portable air conditioners were specially designed to make our lives easier. Here’s a buying guide that should help you learn which are some of the features the best portable air conditioner has to have.

6 Features Your Small Room Portable Air Conditioner Should Have

  1. Dehumidifier – This is an important function. Most models act as a dehumidifier once the air conditioner is turned on, but some of them can function only as a dehumidifier, without air conditioning.
    Relative humidity levels of over 60% can lead to mold or mildew growth, so it’s healthier and better for your home to keep the humidity levels at 30 – 50%.Having a separate dehumidifier function on your portable air conditioner will allow you to use it in the winter, as well as in the summer.
  2. Heating Function – Most people buy a portable air conditioner to make themselves more comfortable during the summer, but some models can do more.Some models are able to produce heat, so you will be able to use them during winter.This is a great feature, and you should keep it in mind. It will make the device more versatile and useful throughout the year.
  3. Thermostat Function – This function will allow the air conditioner to keep the air temperature at a specific value. Even though most people don’t think about this function, it will make the room more comfortable because the unit will turn on when the temperature is higher/lower than the setting and off when the desired value is reached.
    This will also make the portable air conditioner more environmental-friendly because it will no longer run all the time.
  4. Timer Function – The timer function will allow you to set a specific period in which the air conditioner can run. Once that period is reached, the air conditioner will turn off. This is very helpful for units that don’t have a thermostat function.
  5. Adjustable Airflow – Some air conditioning models have a single setting for their airflow, which is straight. This might meet all the necessary requirements for most households, but sometimes it doesn’t.If you have to place the air conditioner unit facing another window, or a door, a straight air flow might lead to an ineffective cooling.This is why adjustable airflow is better. Some models can even change and adjust the airflow automatically. A changing airflow will cool a large room better than a fixed one.
  6. Remote Control – Most portable air conditioners have a remote control, but some don’t, unfortunately. This allows you to control the air conditioner remotely, without having the sit up and go to it.

portable air conditioners necessary

How Do Portable Air Conditioners Work?

Portable air conditioners work pretty much the same as refrigerators, but instead of cooling a small, well-insulated place like the inside of a fridge, they cool an entire room.

Air conditioners use some chemicals that convert quickly from a gas to a liquid and back. These chemicals are used to transfer the heat from the warm air inside a room to the outside air.

Each machine has three parts:

  1. A compressor
  2. A condenser
  3. An evaporator

how does it workIn a regular air conditioner, only the evaporator is located inside the house, while the compressor and condenser are located on the outside part. Portable air conditioners have all the working parts in the same place, inside the house.

The chemicals we mentioned before arriving at the compressor as a low-pressure gas. When they reach the compressor they are cool, but once inside they are packed together and increase in temperature and energy.

They leave the compressor as a high-pressure hot gas and go in the condenser. The condenser uses metal fins to reduce the gas’ temperature, so the gas cools rapidly and transforms into a liquid.

This liquid drains into the evaporator through a narrow hole. In the evaporator, the pressure drops and the liquid begin evaporating as a gas.

As the liquid evaporates and changes into a gas, it collects heat from the air around it. Other metal fins help with the thermal exchange, and by the time the chemicals exit the evaporator, they are a cool, low-pressure gas again.

This gas will return to the compressor to start the process all over again.

The evaporator is also connected to a fan which circulates the air inside the room. Hot air rises above the cold one because it’s lighter, so a vent is positioned to suck it into the air conditioner and lead it to the ducts.

This hot air is used to cool the chemicals in the evaporator. Because these chemicals collect heat from the air around them, the air cools and it’s blown back inside the house through lower ducts.

The same process is completed over and over until the room reached the right temperature.

Single hose or Double hose?

Now,

There are two types of portable air conditioners.

  1. single hose,
  2. dual hose.

You might be wondering what’s the difference between them.

Well,

A single hose system will suck warm air from the room, cool it, and return most of it back in the room.

During this process, some of the air is used to cool the unit and will be blown out the exhaust hose.

This process will determine a small negative pressure to form in that room because a small amount of air is being removed constantly.

This will lead to some air from the adjacent rooms to enter the room with the air conditioner. Because the new air is not conditioned, the cooling efficiency will be affected.

A dual hose system sucks air from the outside through a hose to cool the unit. The exhaust is then expelled through the second hose.

This will not create a negative pressure in the room, but it will lead to a slightly less efficiency because warmer air is used to cool the compressors.

A dual hose unit will also use two internal fans, which means it will use more energy.

Even though experts have been testing both systems for years, there is no conclusive proof that one system works better than the other.

How much power does a portable air conditioner use?

Every time you think about the amount of power needed to run an appliance, you have to know its Energy Efficiency Rating or EER.

The highest EER value of portable air conditioners is 9.5. This means that, if the unit has 14,000 BTU, it will consume 14,000/9.5 = 1,473 W

An EER of 9.5 is not a high one. So a unit that’s not very energy efficient with 14,000 BTU will consume 1,473 W/ hour.

If a unit has an EER rating higher than 10.0, it will be very efficient. The national standards in the U.S. require that all air conditioners have an EER rating higher than 8.0.

Outstanding Benefits Of Portable Air Conditioners

Portable air conditioners will never be able to cool an entire house, like a central air conditioner.

Even so, this system still offers many advantages and benefits. Here are some of them

  • Low price – they only cost a fraction of what a central air conditioner does
  • No Installation – you only have to mount the window kit
  • Somewhat portable – you can move the unit around the room as long as you keep the exhaust connected
  • Good for rented apartments – because they don’t need installing, you can use them and take them with you if you move
  • Reliable outdoors – you can use a portable air conditioner for cooling while you’re camping
  • Good dehumidifying – All models dehumidify the air while they cool it. Some even have a separate dehumidifying function you can use all year round.

Do You Need A Quiet Portable Air Conditioner?

5 Tips To Get A Quiet Portable Air Conditioner

Buying a quiet portable air conditioner is more difficult than it seems because today’s market is full of with different brands and models, each of them advertising as the best available. Here is a list of things you should know before you make a purchase, no matter the manufacturer,

  1. Portable Air Conditioners Are Relatively New!

    This is one of the most important things you have to keep in mind. This is not an old technology. This is why new and better models appear each day

    Technology advances and portable air conditioners advance with it. That’s why you should never listen to advice like “I had a portable unit 5 years ago and it was very loud, so don’t buy one.”

    That statement might be true, but today’s technology is surely better than it was 5 years ago. Just look at your cell phone or at your laptop and you’ll know the truth of it.

  2. New Portable Air Conditioner Models Are Quieter!

    Manufacturers understood by now that one of the greatest flaws this technology has is the noise level.

    Unlike the fixed or the window air conditioners which have the motor outside the building, portable ones have it running in the same room you’re using it. This is automatically louder than an exterior motor.

    This lead to a race between manufacturers to produce the quietest model, that’s why newer models always produce less noise than previous ones.

  3. Higher BTU Levels Need a Larger Motor!

    When you’re looking for an air conditioner, portable or not, you’ll notice that the cooling capacity is measured in BTUs.

    BTUs stand for British Thermal Units or the amount of heat it can change with cool air in an hour.

    Units with a higher BTU level will be able to displace a larger quantity of warm air and replace it will cool air, but they will need larger motors to do that.

    Larger motors might be more efficient, but they’re also noisier. The noisiest part of the unit is actually the compressor. So you have to make sure you pick the right sized air conditioner to fit your room.

  4. Choosing The Right BTU Level

    There is no definite rule on choosing the right BTU level, but most experts agree that you need 8,000 BTUs for 200 square feet.

    This does not mean you need a double amount for 400 square feet. If your room is bigger than 200 square feet, just add another 1,000 BTUs for every extra 50 square feet.

    These figures are just for guidance. If your building is not insulated, if you have heat leaks, or if the region you live in is really warm, you might need more BTUs.

  5. Portable Air Conditioners Have Different Shapes and Sizes

    When you’re looking for a portable air conditioner, the BTU level is not the only thing you should think about.

    You should also think about the size and weight of the unit. You need to figure out where you’re going to place the unit most often and look for a model that fits. You have to keep in mind that most manufacturers recommend an 18 – 20 inch of free space around the unit, for it to work efficiently.

    If you’re planning on moving the air conditioner around the house, keep in mind that some models can be heavy, so make sure you can lift them over door stops or steps.

What is the noise level standard in decibels for air conditioners?

Noise intensity is measured in decibels (dB). The smallest audible sound in total silence is 0. A sound 10 times more powerful will measure 10 dB, while a sound 100 times more powerful will measure 20 dB.

To give you a fair estimate, you should know that a normal conversation reaches between 40 to 60 dB, while a gunshot can be as loud as 140 dB.

Air conditioner noise is unavoidable. This is true about all types of air conditioners, not only portable ones.

The noise level emitted by your air conditioner can be extremely important when you decide on buying a portable unit. These units will emit somewhere between 36 and 83 dB, depending on the model and the design.

The quietest models will emit somewhere between 36 – 46 dB, which should be quieter than a normal desk fan.

On average, portable air conditioners will emit between 53 and 68 decibels, so you can compare the noise with a whisper for the first, or a loud conversation for the latter.

You should also keep in mind that these decibel ratings are taken right next to the air conditioning units. It’s normal for the noise level to decrease as you get further from it.

Under How Many Decibels Is a Portable AC Considered Silent?

Whenever you use a portable air conditioner, you should expect some noise. Most of it is made by the compressor, but even the air blowing from the unit will make some.

A normal urban household with various appliances has a sound level of 50 dB, so it’s safe to say that an air conditioner that emits under 55 dB is silent.

Keep in mind that this noise level is measured right next to the working unit. The further away you stand from it, the lower the sound level will be.

While this noise level is considered low by most people, some might have problems sleeping when hearing it. This is why manufacturers developed several models that emit below 50 dB, which is very low. Most models usually emit this noise level when functioning at the lowest level and higher levels will be noisier.

How Do I Tell If a Portable Air Conditioner Is Quiet?

Finding a quiet portable air conditioner can be tricky in today’s market when every manufacturer advertises its model as the quietest. Luckily for you, we tested the best models out there, so you only have to read our portable air conditioner reviews to find out which ones are quiet.

If you’re one of the people who would rather do all the work personally, you can check the manufacturer’s website before purchasing a model. Most will specify the unit’s noise level while working.

Generally, units that have a noise level between 55 and 70 dB are quiet for an urban environment. If you’re looking for a very quiet model, look for a unit which emits less than 60 dB. You can even find some with noise levels under 50 dB, which will sound like a distant whisper.

TIP – You can further decrease the noise level of a portable air conditioner by placing it on top of a soft pad. The pad will cancel out most of the compressor’s vibration, so you’ll only head the airflow.

Are Quiet Portable Air Conditioners More Expensive?

The answer to that question is:

Not necessarily.

Manufacturers realized by some time now that this is one of the most important buying criteria for the average customer, so they compete against each other to develop the most silent portable air conditioner yet.

The price is usually determined by the unit’s power or BTU capacity, not by its quietness.

5 Portable Air Conditioning Tips for Camping

portable conditioners for campingIf you like to go camping but your next destination is situated in a very warm area, you might need a portable air conditioner. Besides the refreshing cooling effect, an air conditioner will also dehumidify the air, further increasing your comfort.

Some campers will stare and point at you when they’ll see you’re using an air conditioner when camping but don’t worry, only those that don’t know the benefits will.

  1. Keep the AC Outside The Tent

    One of the downsides of a portable air conditioner is that it generates heat. Normally, that’s not a big problem, but in a tight space like a tent the generated warmth will make you uncomfortable

    Another problem is space. When you use a portable air conditioner in a room, you can place it in various spots near the exhaust, but space is limited in a tent. You can place the air conditioner in the small entryway if space permits it, but it’s better to place it outside.

    Some tent models have one or two holes specially designed for an air conditioner, but most don’t.

    Here’s how you can make your tent AC friendly

    • Measure the air conditioner, especially the suction and the airflow areas, and cut the tent’s canvas so these areas access the inside of the tent.
    • Buy and tailor a protective cover for the AC unit.

    Once you make all the necessary modifications, plug in the air conditioner in a high-output power cord to avoid overheating. Turn on the air conditioner and enjoy the cool air.

  2. Use Small Air Conditioners

    If you don’t want to modify your tent, you can always use small portable air conditioners. These will fit in your tent without any kind of trouble.

    If your tent has more than one room, it’s better to place the AC unit in the small hallway so that the cool air will be distributed somewhat evenly between the rooms.

  3. Use Vehicle Lighter Outlets

    Some portable air conditioners can be adapted to use vehicle lighter outlets by using a cord. This will allow you to use the car’s battery as a power source, so you won’t have to bring an additional battery.

  4. Use A Battery Powered Air Conditioner

    Battery power is not the cheapest way to run an air conditioner, but it’s a viable option.

    If you can’t place the tent near your car and you don’t have an additional battery you can use, some models allow you to use alkaline batteries.

    While a single set of alkaline batteries probably won’t last you through the night, you can always store more. They’re not very expensive, and you can always buy bulk.

  5. Use The Window Kit For Installation

    When you buy a portable air conditioner, it’s delivered with a window kit.

    If you want to place the AC inside the tent, you can use the window kit to lead the exhaust outside the canvas through a window, the ceiling, or a wall.

Window Air Conditioner Vs Portable Air Conditioner

portable air conditioner in a roomThese technologies have much in common and the most important aspects are identical: they’re both cheaper and easier to install than a central, or a ductless air conditioner.

Both systems have some advantages and disadvantages we will explain below.

  • Window Air Conditioners

    Pros:
    • Cheap, sometimes cheaper than portable models
    • Easy to install
    • Relatively quiet
    • High level of BTU
    • Good exhaust
    • Good dehumidifiers
    • Most double as heaters
    Cons:
    • Might block a window completely
    • Some installation is still needed
    • Only fit standard sized windows
    • Might rumble against the window sills
    • Don’t cool entire home
  • Portable Air Conditioner

    Pros:
    • Cheaper than central air conditioners
    • Easy to install.
    • Adjustable, exhaust fits most window types
    • Relatively quiet. Some models can be extremely quiet.
    • High level of BTU
    • Good exhaust
    • Somewhat good at dehumidifying
    • Some double as heaters
    • Somewhat portable
    Cons:
    • Pricier than window air conditioners
    • Limited portability
    • Some models can be noisier than windows air conditioners
    • Don’t cool the entire home
    • Sometimes the water is collected in a tank that has to be emptied regularly
    • Only some double as heaters

Cooling Capacity

Neither window air conditioners nor portable ones were designed to cool entire homes. They were designed to cool a single room or to supplement the central air conditioning.

While neither of them was designed to cool multiple rooms, you can still use a portable air conditioner to cool more than one room, but not at the same time.

Installing

Window air conditioners can only be used in a single room because they have to be installed on the window still.The main downside of this is that you can’t install them except if the window is standard-sized. Another downside is the fact that it blocks that window.

While portable air conditioners need installing, you only need to install the window kit. This kit is made out of plastic and you can adjust its width to fit various windows.

Another advantage is that the exhaust hose connected to the window kit is usually between 5 and 7 feet long, so you can move the unit when needed. This allows you to direct the cool air to different parts of the house during the day.

Heating and Dehumidifying

Window air conditioners are also relatively efficient heaters during the cold season. This feature is not commonly used with portable models.

Most portable air conditioners are less efficient at dehumidifying than window units.

This happens because many manufacturers design portable systems without a good dehumidifying mechanism, working instead as a regular dehumidifier, by collecting water in a tray that must be emptied regularly.

Check out our list of top things that you need to consider before buying a space heater.

Is One Better Than The Other?

Now,

When people compare these air conditioning systems, they usually ask whether one is better at cooling than the other.

But here’s the thing:

Cooling a room properly depends on a lot of factors, such as the room’s dimensions, its purpose, the number of working appliances in the room, the local climate, and not least of all, the energy efficiency of the air conditioner.

It doesn’t matter if you choose a window or a portable air conditioner, as long as you choose the right size for it.

  • Noise Levels

    If you believe a window air conditioner will be more silent than a portable one just because the compressor is placed on the outside of the building, you might be wrong.

    The air conditioner vibrates while it’s working. This vibration might lead to a rumbling noise when the air conditioner hits the window sills.

    The noise levels portable units produce vary greatly between models, and some models can be quieter than a desk fan, while others can be noisier than a window air conditioner.

    The bottom line is,

    If noise is a decisive factor for you when you’re looking for an air conditioner, a quiet portable unit is definitely the better choice.

  • Cost

    It’s generally true that a larger and more powerful air conditioner will cost more. This high cost is usually justified if the air conditioner has the right size.

    Usually, a portable air conditioner will be pricier than a window air conditioner with the same cooling capacity. The price difference is generally around 80 – 100$.

    The cheapest portable air conditioners have more BTUs, a higher cooling capacity than the cheapest window air conditioners, so it’s normal for them to be more expensive.

  • Venting System

    Both types of air conditioners work in the same way. They remove the warm air from a room and send it somewhere else, generally outside.

    Portable air conditioners take the hot air outside through a flexible exhaust hose. Some models have two exhaust hoses, one for leading the hot air outside, and the other for taking air from outside.

    These hoses are easily installed with window installation kits. You can also vent a portable air conditioner through the ceiling, doors, or walls.

    Window air conditioners are fixed. They sit on window sills and have the front side in the room, while most of the unit sits outside the window. If the fit is not perfect, it can either leak hot air while extracting it or cool air while producing it.

  • Power Consumption

    Measuring exactly how energy efficient a portable air conditioner is pretty tough, and many of them don’t have Energy Star ratings. That does not mean they are not efficient, though.

    It is generally believed that window air conditioners are more energy efficient than portable models, with or without ratings.

Wrap Up

Portable air conditioners are improving quickly. Some of the models available today are twice as good as the units sold in the same price range two years ago.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of models available, and each is advertised as the best there is.

It’s difficult to find out which is the best portable air conditioner and also the quietest portable air conditioner you can buy, but you can make an informed decision after reading our comprehensive buying guide.

With the latest technology advancements, you can use a portable unit all year round, not only in the summer. New models can be programmed to turn on/off at certain hours, you can use them as a dehumidifier only, and you can even use them to warm a room during the cold season.

Read our portable air conditioner reviews to find out which is the right model for you, and what are its best and worst features.