Having a central air conditioning system in your home is a great boon. However, if you don’t necessarily want to turn it on just for cooling one specific room, or you have a room separate from the house, you might want to invest in a portable air conditioner.
The best portable air conditioner can be as effective as traditional units while cooling only one room, working even without an outlet and being as portable as a miniature fridge would be. There are a lot of benefits to owning a portable air conditioner, and here’s why you should consider getting one.
Why Buying a Portable Air Conditioner?
The main reason to get a portable air conditioner is right there in the name – it’s portable, and you can use it in any room you want to cool off. Granted, they are usually quite big a not that easy to move, but with a little effort it is manageable, and some even come with built-in wheels for easier transport. With a portable AC, you no longer have to worry about spending a lot of money running the AC for just one room. Some of them can also be helpful for power outages, as they have inbuilt batteries or can run even with a generator.
Still, there are other benefits to the portable air conditioner as well. They can also be useful for people who don’t have the money, or the need, to install a central air conditioning system. With a unit like this, they can just cool a room or two and spend less cash on the electricity bill and don’t have to worry about the time-consuming and messy installation process. Portable air conditioners can just expel all the extra heat through a hose that can go out a window or a hole in the wall.
You might think that to achieve this, you would need to sacrifice some of the functionality that traditional AC systems have, but that is not the case. Portable ACs can do all the things that other ACs can.
They’re also easier to maintain, and you probably won’t have to call a repairman if they break or dig through walls to find the fault. With a unit like this, you can almost always easily fix it with just an instruction manual and some extra parts.
Overall, portable air conditioners are a great addition to your home.
The real problem with getting a portable air conditioner is that it might not be up to snuff, and you could fail to notice that before putting it in your room and turning it on. Various problems could arise; it could be difficult to set up in the space you intended for it, it could look unseemly, it could just be unable to cool off that much space and so on. Not all portable air conditioners are equally strong and efficient, and picking a good one can be problematic.
So, we’re here to assist you with that. In this article, we will go over the most important aspects of portable air conditioners while presenting and reviewing some of the best products on the market right now. If that’s not enough for you, we will also sprinkle in some useful user reviews for extra info. So, let’s start by showing off the three products we picked this time.
Meet the Best Portable Air Conditioners
The Good: This unit is amazingly powerful, highly adjustable and not terribly noisy.
The Bad: That power comes at a high price, and the size of the machine is huge.
The Bottom Line: Overall, this is one of the most powerful portable ACs out there. That does mean it is large and costly, but if you can deal with that, there is nothing else like it, so it’s worth buying.
The Good: It has ample power and can cool down or dehumidify a room in record time.
The Bad: The construction is shoddy, some parts don’t work, and it makes a huge amount of noise.
The Bottom Line: This is a quality unit, and it works well, that is true. It has a lot of issues though, and because of that, it might be a tough sell. You still get a good unit, if you can deal with the noise and other problems it comes with.
The Good: Comes at a low price and is quite small and portable, more than others.
The Bad: It doesn’t have a lot of power and has limited adjustability. It also makes plenty of noise.
The Bottom Line: When all is said and done, this is a decent portable AC for people on a budget, but due to its various flaws and the low power, others might want to consider buying something else.
This is just a summary of our opinions; we have some more detailed reviews below:
All of the Factors Considered
Getting a portable A/C is quite different than buying a regular, wall-mounted unit. You need to consider different things, and not all of the same rules apply. Because of this, it might be difficult to know what to look for in a portable air conditioner and if you follow the traditional line of thinking you could get a unit that is useless to you. Luckily we tested tons of different machines and came up with a definitive list of the most important things you should consider when buying a portable air conditioner.
Size and Weight
When considering buying a portable air conditioner one of the most important things to consider is the size of the unit you’re getting. If you can’t even fit it through the door, let alone find a space for it inside the room, that’s a major problem. Consider how much space you have and buy the unit of the right size for you. Just be careful, since smaller units are also less powerful on average.
The weight is also important to consider for several reasons. For example, if you want to put the air conditioner in an elevated position, you need to consider if you own anything that can support its full weight, especially if it’s on the heavier side.
Both things are important to take into account because if a portable air conditioner is too heavy and large to be portable, then you might as well get a wall-mounted unit instead and not bother with a huge, cumbersome piece of kit that you can barely move anyway.
The BTU acronym stands for British Thermal Unit. This is a unit that measures thermal energy, and it is the amount of power needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit, at sea level. It is the unit used to express the power of an air conditioner or other similar machines that are used to affect temperature. When it comes to air conditioners, the unit is used to express how many BTUs the product can add or remove from the air per hour.
The essential thing is – the higher the BTU, the more powerful the air conditioner. As a useful guide – for a room of 150 square feet, 5000 BTU is enough, while a 450 square feet room needs at least 10000 BTUs.
Of course, you don’t want an air conditioner that is too weak, but you also don’t want an overpowered unit. If the air conditioner is too powerful it will constantly keep cycling on and off in short spurts since it cools off the air incredibly quickly, it shuts off, the temperature drops slightly, and it turns on again, and so on. This might damage it and cause to fail faster than it otherwise would have. An under-powered one will not cool the air to the desired temperature at all though, so you should choose carefully.
The adjustability of any air conditioner is important. The first and foremost part of that is the temperatures it can cool the room down to. But more than the temperature range, other adjustments are of importance. For example, fan speeds – if you can only run the air conditioner at one, noisy fan speed, it might prove to be a large problem. The ability to lower the fan speed, and thus the noise, at the cost of cooling the room down slower, is a great feature to have. The ability to also dry out the air or heat it instead of cooling it is a great thing to have in an AC. If you can utilize an AC for more things you get more for your money, it’s as simple as that.
Another big thing that people worry about when getting an AC for any kind, but especially portable ones, is the noise. All of them produce noise, but portable units are more notorious for this since the entire mechanism is one place, inside the house, and you can’t have the noisiest part placed outside.
The less noise an AC produces, the better. If it’s noiseless enough, you can even run it while you sleep or watch something on the TV without it disturbing you. Of course, stronger units tend to produce more noise, and if you want a lot of power and can handle the noise, that’s fine.
Now that you know what you should watch out for, let’s take a look at the top products and how they ranked.
In-depth Reviews of 3 Best Portable Air Conditioners
Large & Bulky
Due to how powerful it is, this unit is also quite large and weighty. It weighs in at 80 pounds, and its dimensions are 19″ W x 16″ D x 35.5″ H. It’s smaller than comparable units, but not by much. This size is also mitigated a bit by the wheels which allow it to be moved around easily, but it’s still something to consider.
With a BTU rating of 14000 this unit can easily cool off 750 square feet of space. It does it fast too, especially at the fastest setting. Despite this, it is also power-efficient and doesn’t increase your electricity bill by a lot.
This is quite an adjustable air conditioner with a lot of options. It can be used as a dehumidifier or fan as well; it can cool to 61 degrees at the least and 89 at most. It also has three different fan speeds, and window kit for the exhaust can fit onto 46-inch windows at most. It also has a 24-hour programmable timer. It’s got almost everything, except a heating option.
Not Incredibly Noisy
The noise levels of this unit reach 56 decibels at most, which is comparable to other portable units or traditional air conditioners. Nothing special, but not exceptionally loud either. On lower fan speed settings it is even quieter.
Who Should Buy this Product
This is the portable air conditioner for people who need some serious power and want to cool off large spaces in the blink of an eye. With its 14000 BTU rating, this unit can handle almost anything, and at the fastest setting, it will do it quite quickly. There’s almost nothing else like it.
What to Watch Out For
Well, the fact of the matter is that this unit is quite huge and difficult to move around. Yes, the wheels help, but it’s still large. It’s also rather pricey, and that might be a turn-off for some. You get a lot for that price, but if you want an affordable portable air conditioning unit, this one is not for you.
Overall, this is quite a high-quality package. You get a well-built, strong and highly adjustable portable air conditioner that can cool down a room in seconds. However, it’s an expensive and large one as well, so if you want something smaller, you’re out of luck. If you can deal with that though, it’s more than worth the price.
The size of this air conditioner is around 15.2 x 18.1 x 29.4 inches, while the weight is about 61 pounds. This is around the average for a unit of this power, and it has wheels to be moved around, so it’s not difficult to use.
This unit boasts a 10000 BTU rating, making it suitable for rooms up to 350 square feet in size. It’s not incredibly energy efficient though, but it’s not much worse than comparable units. It also cools quite quickly.
Problems with Adjustments
It can work as a dehumidifier or a fan as well. It has three speed settings too, and it can go as low as 60 degrees. It has a timer as well. However, the settings don’t function properly at times, and sometimes it won’t respond, which is quite troublesome. The window adapter doesn’t seal properly either, even on windows of the right
Noisy as All Hell
The manufacturer claims this air conditioner makes only around 55 decibels of noise, but in practice this proves untrue. It makes much more noise with that even at lower settings, and it is quite difficult to listen to.
Who Should Buy this Product
If you want a unit that can cool or dehumidify your room in record time, this portable air conditioner will work more than fine. It works for rooms of up to 350 square feet in size, and it can cool them off in a matter of minutes. It can also dehumidify quite efficiently which is great if you live in a humid area.
What to Watch Out For
For the most part, this air conditioner just seems poorly made. It sometimes won’t accept your settings, even if you enter than manually instead of through the remote. The window adapter for the exhaust hose also doesn’t work as it should, and it won’t seal properly. The biggest downside, however, is that it’s horribly noisy, far more than is indicated.
There is one large upside to this air conditioner, and that is the fact that it works rather quickly and can cool down a room in almost no time at all. The issues it has, however, are undeniable and hard to overlook. The noise is probably the worst part, but the shoddy construction is not far behind. It’s difficult to recommend despite the good qualities it has.
Small & Portable
With a size of 12.8 x 16.9 x 27.4 inches and weighing in at only 56 pounds, this is one of the lightest and most easily portable units around. It has wheels as well, making it even easier to transport.
Not a Lot of Power
This air conditioner clocks in at only 8000 BPU, and it can cool down a room of only 200 square feet, at most. Compared to similar units it is not quite up to snuff. It’s energy efficient though and doesn’t spend a lot of power.
It can go down as low as 60 degrees, which is nice, but other options are lacking. It can work as a fan or a dehumidifier, but it’s not incredibly efficient. It has only two speeds instead of the three that are standard, and so on.
Noisier than Expected
For its small size this air conditioner sure does produce plenty of noise! It makes no claims about the noise levels as far as we know, but they are far from being low.
Who Should Buy this Product
If you want a portable air conditioner but don’t want to spend a lot of money on it, here’s what you should get. It’s decently strong and incredibly portable so you can use it anywhere, and you don’t have to pay a lot for that convenience. It works well; it is easy to set up and simple to use.
What to Watch Out For
It’s quite an under-powered unit, sadly, and it won’t cool down large rooms. Even when it does work, it works slowly. It also lacks some common settings and only has two fan speeds. Both of those speeds are quite loud as well, and it can be an annoyance to have this air conditioner running at all times.
It’s important for a portable air conditioner to be portable, and this one excels at that. It also comes at quite a low price, meaning almost anyone can afford it. The problem is that it is not that strong and produces a ton of noise, making it difficult to recommend. If you want something on a budget, this is the thing to get, sure, but otherwise, it might not be worth it.
The Best Portable Air Conditioner – Whynter ARC-14S
Picking the best portable air conditioner out of the bunch was a difficult task. As you might imagine, different people value different things in machines like these – for example, some just want good performance while others are more concerned about the look. This made it hard to pick just one, but in the end, we managed to find one that stands out above the rest. That is, without a doubt, the Whynter ARC-14S. It excels in almost all areas of significance, and it is easily better than the other products out there regarding power and adjustability. It does cost a lot, that’s for sure, and it is large and bulky, but considering the performance you get, that is negligible. Because of its sheer power and utility, this is the product we recommend above all others.
So, that’s the portable air conditioner we consider to be the best one you could get right now. You might not agree, but that’s just fine – you should pick what you consider to be the best and use all the information we presented here to determine that. The only thing we wanted to do was to make you well informed so you could make a good purchase and we hope we succeeded in that goal. If you liked this article, if it was helpful to you, consider sharing it with other people who might find it useful. We’ll see you next time, and until then, have a good day!