Best Portable Air Conditioners to Keep You Cool This Summer

portable air conditioners

The best portable air conditioners have become more of a need than a want these days.

And choosing the right one is utterly important if you want your place to stay cool.

A unit too small will take too much time to regulate the temperature while a large one will give you headaches in the form of utility bills.

We’ve looked at 28 portable air conditioners and completed more than 101 hours of research and testing to write this review, so that I am able to tell you that the [easyazon_link identifier=”B002W87P9C” locale=”US” tag=”77033-20″]Whynter ARC-14SH[/easyazon_link] came out as the best portable air conditioner to buy for most people.

Top Pick:

Whynter ARC-14SH Portable Air Conditioner

[easyazon_image align=”none” height=”500″ identifier=”B002W87P9C” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”77033-20″ width=”330″] [easyazon_link identifier=”B002W87P9C” locale=”US” tag=”77033-20″]Buy Now[/easyazon_link]


Our tests proved that it is able to cool a room quicker and to a lower temperature than the other, and use the least energy getting there. It’s one of the few dual-hose portable air conditioners that have a high EER, substantial cooling capacity, and is widely available to buy. It’s smaller and lighter than most models, so it’s easy to move around and store. It comes with a window kit, remote control and control scheme. The decibel level, price, and installation kit are all standard for the a portable A/C unit.

Why are our reviews are trustworthy

This review came about as I was in need for a portable air conditioner for my house and so needed to do the research to find my own.  We have taken that a few steps further the last few years to include testing of them, and in that time we have logged hundreds of hours of research and testing.

Did you know that the first large-scale electrical air conditioner was invented and used in 1902 by American inventor Willis Carrier?

We’ve looked at a whole host of air conditioners to compile this review. We always stay up to date with reviews from other major companies that also test or review products, such as, ConsumerReports, C-Net and Good Housekeeping. Then we do our own testing ourselves and with members of our product testing teams who provide their feedback through our in depth product testing programs.

*This review covers top portable air conditioners on the market before and since the last time we created this guide.

Who should get these

If you want to regulate temperatures in your home during summer or winter seasons, purchasing a top rated portable air conditioner is the best option. In fact, it is recommended that you go for the top air conditioner as the most ideal choice for your home.

Having a portable air conditioner can help you live comfortably in your home. Since installing, repairing or replacing a central air conditioner can be costly you need to make the right decision from the start when choosing the right unit for you. Some units are prone to breaking down or wearing out fast making it costly to maintain them. That is one of the reasons why you should take your time before buying a portable or installing an air conditioner. You should look for the best room air conditioner available that fits your needs.

How we selected them for testing

This review will help you understand more about home air conditioners. This information includes reports and reviews of different air conditioners and heaters.

Central Air Conditioning Types

There are two types of air conditioners i.e. split system and split ductless system. The split system which has a condenser outside the home with a fan and coil system inside the house to regulate temperatures. The two are connected with pipes which have the refrigerant which cools the house.However, some home owners prefer having a split ductless system because their homes cannot accommodate the ductwork needed to successfully install the central air conditioning system.

Central Air Conditioning

These units use ducts to distribute a refrigerant which cools the house. Normally, the condenser is found outside the house with a compressor and a coil is found inside the house. Between the two, ducts are used to circulate the refrigerant that cools and dehumidify the house. You should check air conditioner ratings online before buying one to make sure that you choose the right unit.

Split Ductless System

This unit has an outside condenser and usually 1-4 indoor blower units that are mounted on the wall to cool the temperatures. Each of these indoor units has a remote control and can only cool the room it’s installed in. These systems are easy and cheap to install especially in homes which does not have existing ducts. However, professional installation is recommended to avoid future problems. There is a list of best in room air conditioners available online with different features, costs and manufacturer’s names. You should do a research to see which suits your home and your budget.

Upgrading an existing A/C system

If you are planning to upgrade your air cooling system, you should consider a different unit because there are other top air conditioners in the market. Also, you should not buy the same size you had because you may have made changes in your home e.g. upgrading your windows which may affect cooling or heating in your house.

When choosing an air conditioning system. You should remember that, an indoor evaporator coil and the outdoor condenser in a split system should be a matched set from the same brand to facilitate efficiency.

With improved technology, today’s systems are more energy efficient although they may be costly. It is advisable to buy an efficient model to save energy bills, repair and replacements costs as well as the cost of maintaining the central system in your home.

Keep All Your Ducts in a Row

If you don’t have an air conditioner in your home and you want to install one, you may need the help of a professional installer to calculate the size of cooling equipment you need in your home. Normally, if you have ductwork for heating in your home, you may end up paying less because the same ducts can be used to install you’re A/C system.

However, since heating ducts may not be of the right size or found at the right location, your contractor need to ensure that they are properly sized and enough in numbers to effectively deliver the right amount of air.

To avoid having noisy ducts, you can:

• Clean the ducts regularly – clean the grills and filters on a monthly basis to keep the ducts clean. Also, you can clear debris and any other dirt that may be on your condenser to facilitate optimal operation.

• Seal and insulate ducts – since air can escape thorough leaks, you need to seal any leaks on your ducts. Also, you need to insulate your ducts to prevent heat loss.

• Maintain your unit regularly – it is recommended that you’ve a professional contractor maintain your system once a year. The contractor should change all the filters, clean and flush the coils, repair leaks and make sure that all mechanical components are working effectively.

Thngs Consider When Choosing a Portable Air Conditioner


You should consider the size of your house to determine the size of portable AC to buy. You can use the calculator on the Energy Start Website for calculations.


Efficiency is expressed as Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER). The higher the SEER, the lower the energy costs and vice versa. Today, the government has regulated efficiency of air conditioners with the lowest SEER being 13.


When buying an air conditioner unit. Even though the overall price may vary, it could be a good deal since you will have the unit for a long period of time. If you are buying a good room air conditioner brand from a reputable seller, he or she will agree to offer the service because they know that the system will cause less problems.

Programmable Thermostats

A programmable thermostat can reduce the total energy cost in your home because it regulates temperatures when needed. Hence, the unit does not run continuously over a long period of time.

How we tested them

The primary reason for looking for the best portable air conditioner to buy is so that we can get the chance to enjoy clean, crisp cool air on a hot day  To test the air conditioners for this year’s review, we selected new people from our product testing program that live in warmer climates and then sent out the air conditioners, instructions and score sheets for them to test for us. We also prepared the portable A/C units for ourselves to test.

Once everyone had their portable air conditioning units instructions and score sheets in hand, each panelist started by noting down the key features like build quality, BTU, coverage area, weight, size, installation instructions and other basic information for each portable A/C unit. To test noise, we connected a calibrated microphone to a smartphone and used an app. For each unit, we measured the decibel level by averaging ten readings across the different modes and fan speeds.

While our home product testers were busy trying out their unots, we go on with testing in-house.  We started with a cooling and dehumidification test by warming a 302 square foot room to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and increased the humidity to 51 percent, which are the industry standard testing conditions (we also did some testing for our best ice tray, the best portable ice makers and best ice cream makers reviews at the same time). Then we set the target temperature on each A/C to as low as it could be, and then turned each unit on for 45 mins to see how much each one was able to drop the room’s temperature and humidity. We repeated these tests on a random set of dates across a period of 6 months to ensure the data took into account the differences in outside temperatures, from really cold days to warm sunny days and due to the logistics of getting the air conditioners to our participating panelists.

After a few months:

The testing phase was complete and all the units had been tested by us and the selected product testing panelists. The scorecards were submitted for analysis and we waited patiently, for the results to find out which of the units came out as the top rated portable air conditioner.  Then we took the time to look through the list and compare the results and the prices and were presently surprised to find that our favorites were not always the more expensive ones.

Other Picks to Consider:

1. Honeywell MN10CESWW

[easyazon_image align=”none” height=”500″ identifier=”B00B2BTAV6″ locale=”US” src=”” tag=”77033-20″ width=”500″]

Price: $349
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Featuring an attractive industrial design and an 10,000 BTU cooling capacity, this air conditioner is ideal for anyone looking for chilled summers. In addition to its high cooling capacity, the conditioner allows you to connect to it through  smartphone or WiFi to control its parameters. An array of smart sensors make sure the room stays cool at all times. You can even set it to turn on as soon as you enter the room!

2. Global Air Portable Air Conditioner

[easyazon_image align=”none” height=”441″ identifier=”B00CSGGUUS” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”77033-20″ width=”500″]

Price: $320
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This air conditioner comes with a capacity of 10,000 BTU. The AC comes with 5 year warranty and will keep you both warm and cool at an affordable price. A bundled remote and digital controls makes operation as simple as it gets.

3. DeLonghi PACN110EC

[easyazon_image align=”none” height=”500″ identifier=”B00F9INH8A” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”77033-20″ width=”312″]

Price: $446
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This is a portable, standing AC that comes with a capacity of 11,000 BTU. Its easy to install, quite efficient at conserving energy and comes with added features like dehumidifying mode.


[easyazon_image align=”none” height=”500″ identifier=”B01DLPUWJ4″ locale=”US” src=”” tag=”77033-20″ width=”500″]

Price: $349
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The name isn’t best in the world of air conditioners but this air conditioner is no less than any other. It has a compact size, rock hard build and smooth operation, along with an affordable price tag. Moreover, this AC has a cooling rate of 10,000 BTU so its well suited for small rooms. Enjoy a comfortable home climate year-round with this versatile unit. It cools, dehumidifies, circulates air in the summer, and also provides heat during cold winter days. Offering immediate, uninterrupted comfort, this Portable Air Conditioner features easy-to-use electronic controls and is quiet while you sleep. Set on rolling casters and with side carrying handles  it is easy tomove around.

5. Whynter ARC 12s Portable Air Conditioner

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Price: $296
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With 12,000 BTU of cooling and an amazing energy efficiency profile, the Whynter is a great choice. In addition to its internal characteristics, it comes with a stylish design, easy to follow instructions and remote control. Window kit, carbon air filter and washable pre-filter are included.

6. LG Portable Air Conditioner

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Price: $1,079
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The high-end air conditioner can perform both heating and cooling. Featuring a cooling capacity of 12,000 BTU, you can use this AC to cool a large area. At the same time, it offers an attractive overall design. Digital LED display, precise feather-touch controls and full-function remote control. 3 speeds and automatic on/off timer from 1-24 hours.

7. Honeywell MN10CES

[easyazon_image align=”none” height=”500″ identifier=”B00B2BTAV6″ locale=”US” src=”” tag=”77033-20″ width=”500″]

Price: $400
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A capacity of 10,000 BTU at such a price tag makes the MN10CES ideal for people on a budget. It comes in three colors, is easy to set up and simple to use. The Honeywell MN10CES Portable Air Conditioner has a sleek, modern design, cooling and dehumidifying very well. With 3-in-1 technology and electrostatic filter, this portable air conditioner delivers optimum good results. The remote control allows you to operate the unit from across the room. It also has a fan-only function and is easy to move around.

8. Haier HPC12XCR

[easyazon_image align=”none” height=”500″ identifier=”B017NO77EW” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”77033-20″ width=”500″]

Price: $280
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Tthe Haier HPC12XCR features cooling of 12,000 BTU. It comes with a de-humidification mode, as well as a remote control for all the temperature changes you need to make. Digital time/temperature display and control with 24 hour on/off time, with 3 cooling and fan speed.

Why Buy A Portable Air Conditioner?

During the summer season the best appliance to have is an air conditioner for the house. There is no better way to relax at home than this. But one must consider some important factors while purchasing the best residential air conditioner. Firstly one needs to take care of the fact that one should opt for a central air conditioner, or a room air conditioner.

Both of these have their pros and cons therefore one need to be sure of their demands. If your place already has a forced air heating system then it’s an easy job to fix up a central air conditioner in your home, then you don’t require smaller units of best home air condition. Once you figure out that what type of air conditioner will you require then you can further shortlist the list depending on the model and features.

These days most of the of best home air condition are energy efficient so make sure to notice of the SEER rate. For general use the rating should be ranging from 15-20, higher the units the higher the price is and better is the working of the home air conditioner.  A little difference in the price won’t affect you much as it helps in saving your monthly electricity bills. Another point which one must take care of is the air dehumidifier.

The air conditioner at home must have this function since it keeps the room dry and clean. It absorbs all the dampness and humidify from the room keeping the air fresh and the molds away. Lastly air conditioner should be bought according to the room’s interior, the color and the size should be appropriate. Apart from the features and functions it is difficult to decide which air conditioner brand to opt for. The brand should have a strong track record in the industry, the brands should have stood the test of time, good delivery with quality, and customer satisfaction and durability are all to be taken care off.

Types of air conditioner

Home air conditioners are becoming the most common electric appliance in every household during the summer season.  Research shows that in United States there are around 60 million houses using the best home air condition that use fluorocarbons. These help in controlling the room temperature as well as the humidity level. So basically there are three types of air conditioners. One is the window room, one is ductless split ac and one is ducted central residential air conditioner system.

Another great option when you cannot afford a traditional home air conditioner is a portable air conditioner. They can be useful for lot of tasks and situations. They are not at all costly, they are as effective as an air conditioner and thirdly are portable and lastly they do not require a lot of maintenance and helps in saving electricity too.

They can be easily moved from one place to another that is why they are the best portable room air conditioners. A major component named as Hydro chloro fluorocarbon, used in refrigerator was previously used for top air conditioners also. But it is affect on the ozone layer made manufacturers start using a different component called hydro fluorocarbon 410A which is energy efficient and reduces the emission of carbon dioxide.

Air conditioner ratings help to decrease the electricity bill of the house. A basic understanding of the unit and with the help of simple math one can easily predicts the electricity use. So select the best home air conditioner and rescue the power consumption according to the ratings.

Maintaining the home air conditioners

Air conditioners for home are only useful during the summer season unless they have a heater. So to be sure that the air conditioner will be working condition till the next summer comes one should winterize it. It’s not a compulsion that you can only get your best home air condition cleaned by a professional person, but you can do it yourself and save your time and money. While cleaning you should be careful that the tap water should not be used as it coils of the ac system. Tap water might cause a wire to short resulting in a shock the surface of the air conditioner can be cleaned easily; the vents on the units along with any of the debris can be removed.

Just use a simple clean wet cloth and wipe it gently .Also you can use a toothbrush or a vacuum cleaner to remove the dust from the system. The best thing to do is to check out the service manual which you get with the air conditioner and just go with the flow. Hiring a professional will obviously make your air conditioner look better and well serviced but it’s going to take some time and money. It is also advisable to keep the best home air conditioner covered when it’s not in use. If the ac is damp and you put a cover on it then the moisture will be captured by the system and it might cause a problem. If you call a service person, please ask him to check the leaks in the system.


For maximizing our comfort at home we need to achieve a lot of things. The air conditioner heater is the paramount to our success at getting cool or warm air. The best home air conditioner lowers the temperature, and the heater increases it. It is used as and when needed according to the weather conditions. Both play an important role to control the humidity level of the house to adhere to our comfort zone. Make sure that before you purchase a portable air conditioner for home, you check our review. You must know what people are saying about that product. The current product in the market’s report and opinion to it  should matter a lot.


Additional Sources

  1. A Brief History of Air Conditioning. Popular Mechanics. 2017-10-09
  2. Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners. US Department of Energy. 2017-10-11
  3. Household Environment Survey. Household Environment Survey. 2017-01-12
  4. Negative Health Effects of Central AC. 2017-11-02
  5. High prices see air-conditioners’ sales plunging 40% this summer. Times. 2018-03-09
  6. Current status in Air Conditioning. 2017-08-05
  7. Energy Glossary Energy Information Administration. 2017-09-08