The Best Portable Air Conditioner Reviews in 2018 – Portable and Efficient Cooling

Summer can be great in a lot of different ways, but it can also suck. The heat can be overwhelming if you need to stay indoors for a long time, to the point that it might be dangerous for your health. Air conditioners are useful machines that solve that problem in a flash.

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.

Using Portable Air Conditioner

You Can Use Portable Air Conditioner in Any Room You Want to Cool off

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

Sale
Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner, Dehumidifier, Fan with Activated Carbon Filter plus Storage bag for Rooms up to 500 sq ft

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.

Sale
Honeywell MN10CESWW Portable Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier & Fan for Rooms Up To 450 Sq. Ft. with Remote Control (White)

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.

Sale
LG LP0817WSR 115V Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control in White for Rooms up to 150-Sq. Ft.

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.

BTU Rating

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 underpowered one will not cool the air to the desired temperature at all though, so you should choose carefully.

Adjustability

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.

Noise Level

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 Portable Air Conditioners

Whynter ARC-14S
Summary
Overall, this is an amazingly powerful unit that has plenty of upsides, since it is quite adjustable and portable due to its inbuilt wheels. It also doesn’t produce a lot of noise, which is a great boon. However, with the power comes the huge size and weight and an equally large price.
Size and Weight90
BTU Rating100
Adjustability95
Noise Levels95
What We Like
Amazingly powerful and power efficient
Highly adjustable
Not louder than traditional ACs
What We Don't Like
Quite expensive
Large and heavy
Requires a lot of draining
95
Great

Key Features

Large and 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.

Incredibly Powerful

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.

Highly Adjustable

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.

Customer Reviews

The place I’m renting for my shop gets awfully hot, even in the spring, so I bought this unit to cool it down. I made a 12-inch pedestal to put it on, and I ran the hoses through the wall through a grate that was already there. The heat it pumps into the shop is not noticeable, but it cools down my office and makes working far less tiresome. I use the timer to get it to cool the office off before I arrive and that is usually enough for quite some time, so I don’t need to turn it on as soon as I come. It’s made my life so much easier, and I’m glad I got it.
I live in a remote region of Arizona and the power here goes out quite often, sometimes for a whole day or two. When the temperature reaches over 110 degrees that can be quite troublesome. So, we got this to keep us cool until the power returns. It manages to cool down a room of 400 square feet to 82 degrees when it’s around 120 outside. It’s just perfect for us when the power goes out, and we can’t handle the heat. It’s a good purchase as far as I’m concerned.
I’ve been looking for a portable but strong air conditioner for the hurricane season when the power goes out. Most perform quite poorly, and I bought some of those over the years and was quite disappointed. This is not one of them. So far, this unit has impressed me with how efficient and strong it is. It was incredibly easy to setup; it’s sleek and good looking, everything I could ask for. It cools like it was a strong window unit, at least so far – I’ll see how it does in the long-run, but for now, I’m more than satisfied.

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.

The Conclusion

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.

Honeywell MN10CESWW
Summary
The largest upside of this unit is its performance, both as an air conditioner and as a dehumidifier. It can cool the room incredibly fast and has more than enough power. The issue with is that some parts of it don’t function as they should and it's noisier than is indicated.
Size and Weight95
BTU Rating95
Adjustability80
Noise Levels80
What We Like
Good amount of power
It cool rather fast
Works well as a dehumidifier
What We Don't Like
There are problems with the adjustments
The window adapter doesn’t function well
Produces a lot more noise than indicated
88
Great

Key Features

Average Size

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.

Ample Power

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.

Customer Reviews

I set this up in my room, and I usually turn it on before bedtime. Three-digit temperatures are common here, and it can get incredibly hot upstairs. I don’t want to turn off the AC for the whole house when I only need one room cool during the night, so I got this. It’s a room of about 300 square feet, and I set this to turn on around an hour before I got to bed. The door stays shut, so it cools off the room nicely, the vent goes through the window, and it is a bit flimsy. I used some weather stripping to make it stay in place.

I put the AC in an elevated spot, seems to cool better now, it did a bit poorly when it was on the floor. Overall, I think it’s worth the money I spent on it since I would have to run the AC for the entire house otherwise.

I have been using this for only four days, but I like it a lot so far. I did plenty of research before deciding what to buy and finally settled on this one. It was easy to set up, and it cools well, which is enough for me. It sits in a medium-sized bedroom, and it can cool the entire space in minutes. Don’t know how it will hold up in the long run, but we will see. For now, I will give it four stars, but I will update this in around year.
This is rather quite when compared to some other portable air conditioners that I have used. I wanted to get a small unit to cool down my master bedroom without cooling the entire house, so I got this. It does the job, it’s rather quiet, and we can sleep while it is still running. It has only two fan speeds, but it works efficiently, and it can fit almost anywhere. I like it so far.

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.

The Conclusion

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.

LG LP0817WSR
Summary
There are two big upsides to this air conditioner, and that is how cheap it is and how portable it is. With its small weight and size, it can be transported anywhere easily. The problem is that it has difficulty cooling down larger areas and makes a lot of noise.
Size and Weight10
BTU Rating90
Adjustability75
Noise Levels75
What We Like
Small size and weight make it quite portable
Easy to set up and use
Comes at a low price
What We Don't Like
Produces a lot of noise
Doesn’t have a lot of power
Not a lot of options
85
Great

Key Features

Small and 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.

Poor Adjustability

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.

Customer Reviews

This is a great small air conditioner that can cool off a large room incredibly fast. I wouldn’t turn it one before going to sleep though, since it makes plenty of noise, though it’s not that bad. The air close to it is much colder than air farther away from it. It’s easy to maintain, and it was simple to install. Of course, the biggest drawback is the fact that you have to deal with the hose, which doesn’t look nice and takes up space. I just chucked it out the window, but that means I can’t put it in the middle of the room as I wanted. Otherwise, it works fine and has been a lifesaver in the humid summer months.
This is quite a big unit. It looks almost like a small refrigerator and takes up plenty of space. It does make a hefty amount of noise. I put it in my bedroom, and it works great and looks nice. I was able to get the hose through my window; the installation kit was able to adjust perfectly to it. Overall, I love it, and I don’t regret buying it.
It looks far more attractive than similar air conditioners, probably because it doesn’t look quite like an AC, more like a miniature fridge. If you have space for it, it won’t look ugly or out of place. It does produce the noise you would expect to hear out of it, so if you want a quiet unit, this one is not for you. The positive is that you don’t have to dump water constantly, or at least I had no need to do it so far. I’m satisfied with it when all is said and done.

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 underpowered 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.

The Conclusion

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 Pick – 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.

Video Review

The Conclusion

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!

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