Best Portable Air Conditioner

Some people like the heat, but most people enjoy getting out of the heat into some nice cool air conditioning. If your house or apartment does not have central air conditioning, you have some options: window air conditioning units and portable air conditioning units.

Most people have seen the big metal boxes precariously dangling out of windows in houses and apartments that use them to cool the rooms. Window units are good for some people, but not everyone wants to install those heavy plastic and metal units in the window. The down side to a window unit is loss of the use of that window. Another problem is properly installing the window unit so that it doesn’t fall out or damage the window itself.

Comparison Table

[amazon box=”B01DLPUWL2, B079RH3G8Y, B01N6SVMDT, B06ZZQJL1T, B075ZLZHYG, B074ZQ8LZQ, B0018DSBKE, B01NBXUBAR, B01DLPUWHQ” template=”table”]

Benefits of Portable Air Conditioners

black and decker air conditioner in the living room

Image Via Amazon.com

Portable air conditioners are beneficial in that you retain the use of all windows in an apartment or house. They can also be moved from room to room with little effort.

They will, however, take up some real estate on your floor, and that placement must be near a window for ventilation because the hot air generated by the compressor still has to be blown out. The difference is that the portable units have a small plastic piece that fits neatly into almost any window. A dryer-hose type vent is connected to the machine and then to the window.

Window Versus Portable

For all of their simplicity, portable air conditioners have some differences from window units. First, the water pulled from the air with the dehumidifier needs to be drained either manually or by connecting a hose. With a window unit, the extra condensation will simply drip from the back of the unit. Second, the unit will draw more power than a comparable window unit because of the higher BTUs needed to cool a comparably sized room. Finally, the price of the portable units is much higher than those of the window units. However, many people choose to take the trade-offs to gain the benefits of the portable units.

Condensation in the Portable Air Conditioner

Glass window with moisture

Image Via Pixabay.com

All portable air conditioner units will collect the condensation inside the unit. Most of the units put the moisture back into the air as it runs if there is only a little collected. If you live in a very humid area, the unit may collect more water than it can disperse. In these cases, the water collects in a receptacle in the back of the unit. When it becomes full, the air conditioner will turn off until the excess water is removed. Since the receptacles are not removable, the water needs to be drained. It is important to note that most of these units are very heavy, and the water will only drain from a spout at the bottom of it. Therefore, it may be beneficial to set the unit up on a platform of some type where you will have easy access to the drain plug.

If you decide that a portable air conditioner is right for you. There are several excellent models from which to choose. We have assembled a list of the best portable air conditioner units on the market today from lowest BTU to highest. We looked at the units themselves and the reviews of other consumers to choose the winners.

[amazon link=”B01DLPUWL2″ title=”Black and Decker BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner Unit”]

 

[amazon box=”B01DLPUWL2″]

Price:

$250

BTU:

8,000

Room Size:

up to 150 square feet

Dimensions:

16.5 x 11.5 x 26 inches

Weight

52.9 pounds

Rating

As an Amazon best seller, many people have chosen this unit to cool their homes. The top mounted LED display has a 24-hour timer and temperature control to keep your small room nice and cool. The air comes out of the top and front of this unit. There is no drip bucket to this design. Any condensation that is not misted out will collect inside the unit to be emptied using the drain hose once full.

[amazon link=”B079RH3G8Y” title=”Honeywell Compact Portable Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier and Fan”]

 

[amazon box=”B079RH3G8Y”]

Price:

$340

BTU:

8,000

Room Size:

up to 150 square feet

Dimensions:

14.6 x 13.5 x 27.7 inches

Weight

43 pounds

Rating

This unit is easy to install and has a quiet operation. The removable filter can be washed and reinstalled quickly. The onboard dehumidifier can take up to 44 pints of water from the air over the course of 24 hours if left running, or approximately 1.8 pints an hour. The unit has two speeds, high and low, and can be placed on an energy saving timer. The digital controls are easy to adjust, as they are located at the top of the unit. Cold air vents from the front of the machine.

[amazon link=”B01N6SVMDT” title=”Koldfront PAC802W Portable Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier and Fan”]

 

[amazon box=”B01N6SVMDT”]

Price:

$270

BTU:

8,000

Room Size:

up to 250 square feet

Dimensions:

34.5 x 18.75 x 15.75 inches

Weight

57.2 pounds

Rating

This compact unit can remove up to 2.5 pints of water from the air per hour and has a 3-speed operation: low, medium, and high. Any accumulated condensation will be vented automatically. The front louvers, or air vents, can be set to move automatically in order to circulate the air around the room, or they can be set to one specific position. Like most portable units, the installation kit comes with it.

[amazon link=”B06ZZQJL1T” title=”Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC8RD1 Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control”]

 

[amazon box=”B06ZZQJL1T”]

Price:

$289

BTU:

8,000

Room Size:

up to 150 square feet

Dimensions:

17.3 x 12.8 x 27.4 inches

Weight

53 pounds

?Rating

The vents on this machine are on the top by the control panel with 3 cooling settings: low, medium, and high. The digital controls can be set to maintain a specific temperature. It has a single hose for venting. It has a generous automatic warranty for 5 years on the compressor, 2 years on the parts, and 1 year on labor.

[amazon link=”B075ZLZHYG” title=”Costway Portable Air Conditioner Dehumidifier”]

 

[amazon box=”B075ZLZHYG”]

Price:

$240

BTU:

10,000

Room Size:

up to 200 square feet

Dimensions:

12 x 13.3 x 28.1 inches

?Weight:

64 pounds

Rating:

This portable unit vents air through the front of the machine. It has two fan speeds and a timed temperature control. Once the timer ends, the unit will turn off. There are 3 other modes, including sleep, fan, and dehumidify. Reviewers report that the unit works very well but the instructions that are included are not easy to follow. If you choose this unit, you may want to check out an installation video.

[amazon link=”B074ZQ8LZQ” title=”Quilo QP112WK Portable Air Conditioner”]

 

[amazon box=”B074ZQ8LZQ”]

Price:

$400

BTU:

12,000

?Room Size:

up to 550 square feet

Dimensions:

16.7 x 19.4 x 31.2 inches

Weight:

66 pounds

Rating:

This unit has one of the sleekest designs with its smooth outer shell. All of the venting is in the back and the cool air comes out of teardrop-shaped sides. There is an LED display at the top to show the room temperature, and the controls are hidden behind a panel to maintain the unblemished look. It has an auto-evaporation feature but will have condensation to drain if it is used in an area of high humidity. If this is the case, you will need to drain the internal non-removable bucket through the drain hole on the bottom.

[amazon link=”B0018DSBKE” title=”EdgeStar AP12000S Portable Air Conditioner”]

 

[amazon box=”B0018DSBKE”]

Price:

$380

BTU:

12,000

Room Size:

up to 450 square feet

Dimensions:

30 x 17 x 15 inches

Weight:

69 pounds

Rating:

This machine can pull 3.75 pints of water per hour out of the air when operating in the dehumidifying mode. It has 3 different fan speeds and dual air filtration with a carbon air filter and a removable and washable filter. The energy efficiency rating is 10.1, which makes it inexpensive to operate on a daily basis. The digital controls are on the top, and the cold air vents through the top front of the machine.

[amazon link=”B01NBXUBAR” title=”Koldfront PAC1202W Portable Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier and Fan”]

 

[amazon box=”B01NBXUBAR”]

Price:

$360

BTU:

12,000

Room Size:

up to 400 square feet

Dimensions:

34.5 x 20.25 x 17.25 inches

Weight:

68.3 pounds

Rating:

This larger unit has an electronic panel at the top and the cold air comes out through the front at the top. When used as a dehumidifier, it can reduce water in the air by 4.5 pints an hour. It has a 3-speed fan with low, medium and high settings. It can be set with a 24-hour timer. The front louvers will close when no air is blowing, thus creating a sleek and streamlined look when not in use.

[amazon link=”B01DLPUWHQ” title=”Black and Decker BPACT14WT Portable Air Conditioner”]

 

[amazon box=”B01DLPUWHQ”]

Price:

?$400

BTU:

14,000

Room Size:

up to 350 square feet

Dimensions:

17.1 x 13.8 x 28.1 inches

Weight:

83.7 pounds

Rating:

While this is a heavy unit, it’s actually small in design and can blend-in well in any corner. Because of its compact size, it is important to keep the vents and filter very clean. The unit needs unobstructed air flow for maximum efficiency. The simple, streamlined design has all the controls at the top along with the vent for the cold air. The 24-hour timer means that you can have it turn on and off at certain times. This is helpful if you want the room to cool before you come home or if you want to use a sleep timer.

Tips for Use

To get the best use out of your portable air conditioner, there are a few basic rules to follow:

  • 1Keep the ventilation hose as straight as possible and keep it as close to the window as possible. This will ensure that the unit is working at maximum efficiency.
  • 2Keep the room door closed because the unit will be able to cool off the room much faster if the air is not escaping into the rest of the house. If you are using a portable air conditioner in a great room, be sure to buy the appropriate-sized unit for the size of the room.
  • 3Using the air conditioner throughout the day prevents the buildup of humid air, which makes the machine work harder. If you can start it a few hours before you need to be in the room, the unit can cool the room properly without working too much.
  • 4Clean the unit and the filter regularly. A clean unit provides healthier air than a dirty unit.
  • 5Use drapes or shades to block out any sunlight coming into the room to reduce the amount of heat that the unit has to combat.

Installation

Since the unit creates heat when running, the heat must be vented out through the back of the machine. This can sometimes cause a room to heat up instead of cool. Some dual-vent systems can alleviate this, but the amount of heat generated depends on the operational conditions of the unit. These units all have one main vent on the back of the machine. This is connected to a hose that is then connected to a kit designed to fit in your window or sliding door. These kits are much easier to install than a regular window unit. Keep in mind that if you have slider windows or plan to vent out of a sliding glass door, you will need additional vent kits to fill in the vertical space since the kits that come with the units are meant primarily for horizonal installation in double-hung windows.

Many of the best portable air conditioner units have very similar features. The main differences are in its capacity to cool different-sized rooms and the price. It is important to keep in mind that these units are not equipped to cool an entire house. Compared to window units, you will spend more and need a larger BTU for similar-sized rooms. However, they have the benefit of not being mounted in a window and the ability to be placed in different rooms as the need for cool air arises.

Janice Friedman