Best Portable Air Conditioners Reviews and Buying Guide

Are you fed up with your old air conditioner? It doesn’t work as you expected. Buying new unit would be too expensive but keeping up with recent air conditioner is not an option. In this case, you could opt to buy portable air conditioner. It is small yet powerful enough to cool down one or two continuous room.

Now that you have decided to buy one for your house, what are some preparations you should make? Choosing brand and setting price limit is not the end. Go to store and you will find long lines of portable air conditioner. Listening to sales’ explanation is not recommended, as you might spend more.

Start your research of best portable air conditioner from its features. Make lists of functional works your future AC should have. After that, try to find one that matches most features. Portable AC is perfect choice for small room when central AC installation is not possible. Second, get most valuable item, not the cheapest.

Get some recommendations from portable ac reviews. Words from previous users should be counted. Think wisely to accept or decline their opinion. Bad reviews might be caused by wrong installation. It is not always manufacturer’s error.

What is a Portable Air Conditioner

When people mention about Air Conditioner, most people will get mental image of white box attached to the wall. Portable Air Conditioner is slightly different in terms of appearance. As its name suggests, this unit could be moved to different rooms easily. Most units have wheels on the bottom. You only need to unplug the cable from power source and push it.

Inside the AC cabinet, there is a self-contained portable system. Manufacturers usually claim that one portable AC unit will fit best for single room only. When you install it later, they often cover more than one room only. Keep in mind that some brands set their products to cool down one room only.

Those who fall in love with portable AC must be pro simplicity and functionality. Instead of permanent installation, portable AC set up equipment includes window kit, exhaust hose and power cord. It takes minutes to connect and place all equipment.

How Do Portable AC Work

Before answering this question, you need to understand that portable AC is just like any standard air conditioning unit. The only difference its non-permanent installation. Basic step to cool down a room is absorbing heat and transfer it outside. For portable air conditioner, it could be done through window, drop ceiling or a wall.

This exhaust machine is included within portable AC cabinet. You need to connect the hose to venting area. After that, turn the machine on to start cooling. You might have heard that standard AC might require you to upgrade electric plan or provide particular outlet. What about portable AC?

This small unit requires nothing special. It could work on 115/120 volt power. Its power cord is standard type, so you could plug it in any outlet. There is an exception for units that work on 14000 BTU or more settings. You need to check your electric circuit.

Pros of Portable AC Units Over Wall and Window Air Conditioners

Easy To Install

If you don’t believe on this statement, grab a pamphlet of any standard AC brand. Try to compare installation details of portable and standard AC. Usually, manufacturer and dealers recommend buyers to hire contractors to do installation job. Their reason is simple; wrong installation will cut its lifetime.

Portable AC installation only requires you and the manual book. It doesn’t include any technical works. A couple of steps later, your portable AC are ready to use. In addition, it is also easy to move to different rooms. Tidy up after use and keep it in storage room for next summer. It only occupies small area in your room.

Budget Friendly

Keep in mind that portable AC is used to support central AC. It only runs as main cooling system when a house cannot install central AC. When you buy standard AC, there are several costs you need to pay; unit price, installation cost and supporting equipments. In total, you will spend at least $2000 for average apartment room.
It is clear that portable AC asks for less. It doesn’t need installation cost and supporting equipment. Buying one unit includes all tools needed to set up cooling process.

Top 15 Best Portable Air Conditioners

#1. EdgeStar AP12000S

Being the first one in the list, this model really brings the best out of portable AC. There are two size options: 5500 BTU and 12000 BTU. Biggest area it could cover is around 400 square feet. However, it might be less or more depending on heat load capacity.

As for fan speed, you could adjust to three different levels. It also has dehumidifier option. Approximately, it could manage up to 90 pints per day. If you take a closer look at its filter, there are two types of them; washable filter and replaceable carbon filter. You should do regular maintenance on these two filters.

from filters, is there anything else you should take care of? Most people will say to mind the excessive water. You don’t have to worry. EdgeStar AP12000S already includes Auto Drain System. All water excess will be removed automatically.

There are several customers who bought this unit previously. They are satisfied with this product, as it works even better than they expect. This unit is turned on every day for 24 hours during summer season. It is still as good as new product. For maintenance, owners only need to clean up filters just twice.

#2. Honeywell MO08CESWK

Do you live in small house? If yes, then product from Honeywell should be the first option in the list. It is made to cover 250 square feet area only. Any bigger house needs more than one Honeywell MO08CESWK unit. Otherwise, they won’t get cool room. Its capacity is 8000 BTU. In addition, this unit could remove 44 pints of excess moisture in 24 hours.

In this small unit, buyers will get a complete package; dehumidifier, fan, smart digital statistic, and also 24 hour energy saving timer. When you want to have breezing air, turn on its fan function. Do this switch from remote control. You could also set ideal room temperature and humidity. It is simple, isn’t it?

Why moisture removal is important? When a portable AC misses this function, the room will have excessive mildew and mold. Thanks to its built in dehumidifier, this case should not happen. It also has auto-evaporative feature, so you don’t have to throw away water inside the bucket every five hours.

Last but not least, how difficult it is to install Honeywell MO08CESWK? According to manufacturers and those who already have it, the installation process is very simple. Complete package also has window kit and installation equipment.

#3. Honeywell MN10CESWW

It is hard to resist product with great values. However, not all buyers could deal with regular maintenance. They wish to have durable product with minimum care. If possible, products are protected both by materials coating and internal system. In the end, buyers only need very minimum effort to have long lasting products. How to know that portable AC products are going to last longer?

First, take a look at its filter. It should be easy to clean. Honeywell MN10CESWW filter only needs running water to clean. Make sure to dry properly before reinstalling it. This super filter also prevents dust or pet hair from entering the system. Buyers could be sure that cool air in the house is clean and fresh. What about its weight? Is it light or heavy? You might be surprised to know that this unit is relatively light.

In the package, you will find complete parts and installation kit. Bring the unit to the room, set the house and turn on the unit! Another benefit from Honeywell MN10CESWW is very minimum sound level. On its maximum setting, you will hear 51 to 54 decibels only depending on its BTU. After installing portable AC, you only need to set desired temperature and leave it to work.

#4. Honeywell MN12CESBB

Looking for stylish portable AC? You probably want to see Honeywell MN12CESBB. Its black coat stands out among other models. As for features, this model isn’t functioned only as cooling system. It also has dehumidifier, ensuring system works well anytime. For machine protection, this durable unit includes Thermal Overload Protection.

Set temperature and AC’s performance from remote control. This model works exceptionally well for 400 up to 550 square feet area. If you somehow lost the remote control, simply walk to the unit and di manual setting. One more unique feature from Honeywell MN12CESBB is front face, feather control display. Enjoy three in one functions in one product: cooling, dehumidifier and exhaust fan.

Buyers will be able to get cool air during blasting summer. Dehumidifier works to remove 66 pints per day. Exhaust fan helps to manage heat and air circulation from the room. There are two size options to choose; 12000 BTU and 6500 BTU. Its total weight is 68.3 pounds. Don’t forget to check battery before turning on the unit. If there is any problem with unit’s parts, you could claim one year warranty.

For compressor, the warranty lasts for four years. Keep warranty book safe before it expires.

#5. Black+Decker BPACT08WT

What will you get in a pack of BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT? First, it includes AC unit, installation kit and remote control. Once it is turned on, you will be able to see your last setting on panel display. For filter, you will work with slide filter. It is easy to remove and clean. You don’t have to undo any screws. Simply turn off the unit and pull the filter.

How big the area it could cover? If you want BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT unit to work efficiently, then put one unit on 100 to 150 square feet or 10 x 12 feet room. You could either hung this unit or put it on the floor. Unfortunately, it is not compatible to window crack. Forcing it would break the unit. Should you need to move the unit, just push it. There is wheel under the unit.

A little note on BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT unit; it might make Louder noise when you place it on uneven floor. Therefore, it is highly recommended to find smooth, stable and strong surface to hold its weight. Aside from its noise, this unit might not work properly when door or windows are still opened. Close them for maximum cool temperature.

#6. LG LP1215GXR

This model is the first LG product on the list. As long as the room area is still below 300 square feet, then LG LP1215GXR could work properly. Buyers could also choice unit size to their need: 7000 or 12000 BTU. What else is special from this model? It is dehumidification function. While other models boast about moisture maintenance per day, this powerful unit introduces pint release per hour.

In addition, dehumidification system in LG LP1215GXR works differently. Instead of extracting heat only, the system mixes moisture removal and warm air. The result is more stable temperature with less dry air. In order to get all these functions, you don’t need to do a lot of works. Parts of portable AC are not hard to assemble. When you are lost, you could always look at manual book.

Those who had bought the unit are satisfied with its air quality. They could tell the difference almost immediately. Overall, this product offers equal quality to its features. You could fit this unit to window size using window installation kit. As promised, set up procedures are short and take minimum technical skill. Years after installation, this durable unit request few maintenance procedures as well.

#7. LG LP0817WSR

Have you heard about auto evaporation system? It is the most advanced Invention for portable AC product so far. When a unit has this feature, it removes piled up moisture waste in the machine by evaporating it. Buyers don’t need to check water reservoir and throw water away. Buyers could choose from two different sizes: 5500 or 8000 BTU.

Good news from LG LP0817WSR: you don’t need to install additional outlet power. You could use standard 115 volt/15 amp outlet. When you turn the machine on, it could cover up to 150 square feet area. Just like any other LG product, it circulates heat and throws away 1.8 pints per hour. For better performance, install portable AC hose to window instead of attic.

Some previous buyers shared their experience while using LG LP0817WSR. First, it should always stand upright. Tilting it will move refrigerant to unwanted place and break the system. Also, first night might be the busiest night for buyers. Water reservoir fills up quickly. If you install this in attic, then you have to bring unit down to drain the reservoir.

Fortunately, this is the only night you suffer. Days and even years after, you don’t need to drain anything.

#8. FRIGIDAIRE Cool Connect

Unique thing you will notice from FRIGIDAIRE Cool Connect is its cylinder shape. Manufacturer has creative way to interpret portable AC in a stylish but still functional ways. It has smart look thanks to its LED lighting and modern mesh grill. Buyers could put this pretty air conditioning anywhere in the room. Although it looks small, this cooling unit works well with its 12000 BTU.

Do you need to set room temperature? Then grab your smart phone and start the setting, FRIGIDAIRE Cool Connect also has connected phone application. There are several things you could do: set temperature, turning machine on and off, and adjust fan speed. It is also possible to set temperature for 24 hours a day using scheduling option.

Thanks to its 360 degree airflow circulation, your room will have even cool air. It distributes air in circular motion, ensuring every corner is cooling down. For this reason, FRIGIDAIRE Cool Connect could cover up to 550 square feet area.

Since this unit has strong power, does it mean that it is noisy as well? Average noise level is 53 decibel. It might be even louder when you set it to maximum. For automatic setting, you pick energy saving mode or cooling flexibility.

#9. SPT WA-1420E

Do you ever experience power outage? This is the most upsetting thing, especially when you just finished day temperature setting. If you wish to have smart portable AC that could restart last input, then SPT WA-1420E is the answer. It re-surfacing last instruction put into the system. Power outrage won’t erase all data. Your setting will be carried on once the power gets back.

In terms of energy efficiency, you could get EER of 8.9. Compared to other models in its class, you already get the most efficient and least cost unit. Buyers could save more money after spending a little bit high price in the beginning. In addition, buyers don’t need to perform a lot of maintenance steps. SPT WA-1420E is equipped with self evaporating system.

Not only smart, this portable AC also parts of green movement. Instead of using harmful chemicals, manufacturer puts non-ozone depleting R410A refrigerant. It is purely made from RoHs components, which has no dangerous substance.

For you who are not confident with fancy technology, SPT WA-1420E guarantees that all buttons and instructions are user friendly. Using one fan, you could control fan speed (three options are available) and programmable timer. You would be able to tell which button control which instruction.

#10. Honeywell MN12CES

Do you own 400 to 550 square feet area? Then you should take Honeywell MN12CES into consideration. It is a powerful portable AC to use in house. In terms of durability, you should not be worried. It has thermal overload protection. Internal system parts are protected well from overbearing heat. Filter inside the machine could be cleaned under running water.

Simplest setting for Honeywell MN12CES must include window kit. Buyers will get quick and easy installation after setting window equipment. Once everything is set, you could control the unit using remote control. It will be a perfect choice for very hot summer and humid days. In a day, the machine could throw away up to 66 pints humidity.

If you live in the house by yourself, then it is recommended to pick small size; 6500 BTU. However, living with big family might require you to have the 12000 BTU model. Honeywell MN12CES provides both sizes in the stock.

In terms of warranty, manufacturer of this portable AC applies a little bit different rules. Warranty for parts is valid for one year. Next, warranty for professor is only 18 months or roughly one and half year after purchase. Make sure to check your warranty before claiming it.

#11. LG LP0818WNR

This is another new movement in portable AC design. LG LP0818WNR offers sleek design unit with modernity and classic tough. Never say that pretty unit is not strong enough. It has auto swing air vent technology, cooling down every hot spot in the room. Since this unit is built in stylish cabinet, people put it on table or next to cabinet.

system cuts all maintenance procedure. It is okay to make LG LP0818WNR works 24 hours a day. Remember that it has on/off feature that will operate even when you are not at home. Make sure to prepare sturdy floor to put the unit. It is a little bit heavy, approximately 70 pounds. If there is any error in the system, warranty is valid for 1 year.

People live in very hot area really love LG LP0818WNR. They have special case where their house is too close to another room. Not all portable AC could cool down these rooms. After they install this strong unit, they finally enjoy cool air.

Older couple also gives positive feedback for this unit. They are not strong enough to do heavy lifting or complex installation. Thanks to simple setting instruction, this couple could finish within minutes.

#12. LG LP1417GSR

Think carefully before you choose portable AC. Do you want to use two stage cooling power? If your answer is yes, then try LG LP1417GSR. It has custom cooling, including 2 fan and cooling speeds. When temperature reaches stable point, it uses low power. Once temperature drops or rises drastically, then maximum power is activated.

Installed under the unit is roll caster wheel. On the sides, there is side handle. Both of these features allow buyers to move unit smoothly. Usually, a package includes all installation equipment. It should have window kit as well. For further information about set up, refer to manual book. You must be able to find answers and recommendation to install unit.

Many buyers are very careful while choosing place to put portable AC. As many reviewers say, this type of AC makes a lot of noise. Therefore, it is not recommended to put AC somewhere far from other electronic devices. LG LP1417GSR doesn’t belong to this category. It produces low noise. Even when you install it in family room, TV sound won’t be disturbed.

In regards of performance, a lot of customers send positive feedback. It works better than expected and still does so until now. In short, this portable AC unit breaks their skeptical questions.

#13. Frigidaire FGRC0844S1

How cool is it to control your AC unit using your voice? Frigidaire FGRC0844S1 collaborates with Alexa to make this dream happens. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come together with portable AC’s unit. You have to buy it separately. In addition to this voice control, buyers will be able to set linked communication line through WiFi connection. Control it from your smart phone.

In 2016, Frigidaire FGRC0844S1 received award for Energy Star. Manufacturer proudly presents their model that could work on 12 EER power. Supported by 8000 BTU machine, there will be no problem to cool down 350 square foot area within minutes. How do you want your room temperature? Use smart phone app to set temperature and adjust fan speed.

Compared to the other models, Frigidaire FGRC0844S1 is on the light side. Its weight is less than 60 pounds. Buyers will get every parts and kit they need to install unit on windows. There is no need to assembly, either. You only plug cable and turn on machine. If it is not start working, immediately claim one year warranty for parts and 4 years for sealed system.

Out of five stars, buyers give three stars to rate Frigidaire FGRC0844S1. Best word for this unit is “stylish”, or “pretty”. Now you could install portable AC without worrying about ugly exterior.

#14. Koldfront PAC802W

It is small but powerful. Probably this is the fittest description for Koldfront PAC802W. Seeing the unit for the first time, you might not believe its power. Smallest size for this model is 4600 and the highest is 8000 BTU. Any area less than 250 square feet should have this model. You don’t have to remodel window just for portable AC. It fits on small space.

Moreover, Koldfront PAC802W also regulates humidity in the house. Approximately 61 pints a day is regulated per day. Rest assured, you will always get fresh and cool air circulation. How about its hose? Is it single or dual? The answer for this question is “single”. Therefore, two stage cooling system could handle drastic temperature change and resist it.

What is so special about eco energy or sleep mode? First of all, both are automatic systems. You don’t need to do manual setup. For sleep mode, the portable AC unit will increase the temperature 2 degrees and keep it stable for at least seven hours after.

Do you want to know something more interesting? You could now instruct portable AC by saying “Follow Me”. This feature allows portable unit to follow voice command. Whenever buyers stand, set temperature and it will do as it told.

Things to Consider When Buying a Portable Air Conditioner

Cost

Portable AC is popular among buyers for its cheap price. For personal house use, one unit is sold for $150 to $800. For commercial use, you might have to pay more. Cheapest unit price is $10.000. How could they be so much different? First, it is related to power each unit has. Higher price means more powerful cooling system.

Another factor that might affect portable AC unit price is its features. Some ACs also functions as heater or dehumidifiers. Several fancy brands also include remote controls and programmable timers. Best option to take is spending more money on quality product that will last longer than others.

Size And Portability

Even though portable AC unit is made for one room only, buyers often take them for their “portable” function. Instead of installing one unit per room, they prefer to move one unit to several rooms. In this case, buyers like you should pay attention to portable AC size. Bigger size means heavier unit to move.

In addition, you should consider how you will move Ac unit. Not all portable AC includes wheel under its unit. Another point you should think about is weight. Will you be able to lift it alone? You have to check to dealer and manufacturer about unit’s durability. Is it safe to load the unit into a car?

Room Size

How would you pick the size of portable AC? There is one main trick; matching it to room size. You could get comparison table from any dealers. Again, don’t forget that one unit works best for one specific room. If you want to cool down several rooms at once, consider to take bigger unit.

When you calculate room size, make sure to count wall’s thickness and door. They will affect how portable Air Conditioner performs. Instead of relying on one unit for whole rooms, you should take several smaller units. It guarantees even cool temperature.

Energy Consumption

If standard AC has Energy Star label, then portable AC also has similar system. It maintains maximum work with low energy use. Make sure to purchase portable AC that has Energy Star label. Otherwise, you might lose track on energy consumption. It is even more important when you add portable AC to support central AC.

Some people value their money when it comes to electronic appliances. If you belong to this category, then it is recommended to pick unit with programmable thermostat. This additional tool will automatically turn off unit when the room reaches desired temperature.

Single Hose Or Dual Hose

When you come to the store, their first question for you might be about hose option. There are two options: single or dual hose. In terms of effectiveness, dual hose wins. It could cool down a room 40% quicker than single hose unit.

How is this possible? The key of this great performance is directly related to hose number. On single hose, there is only one line for intake and exhaust. Thus, machine works really hard to cool down a room. Dual hose, on the other hand, separates intake and exhaust lines.

Key Features To Consider In Best Portable Air Conditioner

Maintenance

Portable AC could make the room cooler by absorbing moisture and heat. This is just standard process of AC system. Now the moisture is piling and should be removed. If the system fails to remove piling up moisture, then it will disturb the system. Some ways to remove moisture is removing pan manually, connecting a hose to help moisture flowing out or installing pump to bring out the excess water.

There are several brands that could give you less maintenance steps. It includes self-evaporative design. When moisture is collected, the system automatically evaporates it. Thus, you don’t need to regularly throw out water.

Noise Level

Believe it or not, some of you still consider portable AC and standard AC as similar items. They are different on several parts. One of them is noise management. With standard AC, you could have options for quiet or even ultra quiet item. Portable AC is not capable of managing quiet sound. Remember that all machines are stored in one cabinet.

You will be able to hear when machine starts to work. It is hard to lower this noise. Some quiet models could only promise around 40dB noise on maximum settings. You better compare all products’ decibel levels if noise is important matters.

Energy Efficiency

Portable AC might be known for its high energy use when compared to standard AC unit. It might be cheaper for its initial cost, but later on buyers must deal with more energy bills each month. If you are on budget, make sure to check Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) label.

Model with high EER might be a little bit pricey. As years passed, buyers will see that they pay less than those who bought cheaper model. Think carefully which one is more valuable. If you plan to use portable AC occasionally, then EER might not be a big deal.

Conclusion

Deciding best portable air conditioner is not a simple journey. You might start from top ten products. After reading them, you could get insights about portable AC features. Still, it is hard to say which one will be the most suitable for your house. In this case, you should have more considerations to help you decide.
Instead of looking for more information of certain product, you could review your house condition. Think carefully about the areas AC should cover, your daily routine and also monthly energy bill. These considerations will cut and narrow down some choices in your mind. Happy shopping!