When a person needs something a little bit more powerful than a window air conditioner but they don’t want to spend the money required to install a central AC unit, then they might want to consider the option of buying a portable AC unit. These units are designed to deliver a great deal of cooling to the home, but do it at the fraction of the cost of the central air conditioner. They’re so good at cooling down the home, we decided to review some of the ones we were impressed with. So without further ado, we present to our readers the best portable air conditioners around.

Quick Summary of the Best Portable Air Conditioners

Best Overall: Serene Life 10,000 BTU 4-In-1 Portable Unit

One of our favorite portable air conditioners is this one from Serene Life. Why is this our favorite unit? It’s our favorite because it’s capable of not only cooling a room but can do a lot more. That’s because this model is a 4-in-1 model that can cool, heat dehumidify and also circulate air around the room. Yes, it’s a dehumidifier, heater, air conditioner and a fan all in one. It also has 10,000 BTUs of power, which is more than enough to cool a room up to 350 square feet in size. It’s also capable of moving air 290 m3/hour and dehumidifying up to 15 liters of water from the air per hour.

All of this is quite impressive for an air conditioner that’s only 17.4×13.4×32-inches and only weighs approximately 63-pounds. This model is also extremely quiet, operating at a sound level of approximately 56 decibels. Other features that can be found in this model include fan speed, time and temperature adjustment settings, remote control operation, a window exhaust kit, and a sleep mode. All of these features come together to create a unit that’s good not only during the summer but is suitable for use all around the year. It’s a great tool that’s a good addition to any home.

Having said all of that, there is one thing that we’d like to complain about and that’s the price of this unit. This unit costs more than many of the other portable AC units we’ve reviewed. However, that’s not surprising considering that this product can do so many different things to improve the climate of the user’s home. And its remote control allows it to be operated from across the room without the user having to even come near it. Also included with this unit is an exhaust hose and plate that allows it to be quickly set up.

What we liked about it
It provides both cooling and heat.
It has a remote control.

Best Portable : Black & Decker 8,000 BTU Air Conditioner

This portable air conditioner from Black & Decker has 8,000 BTU of power and is designed to be used easily in just about any room of the home. This model is approximately 16.5×11.5×26-inches in size and weighs under 60-pounds. It comes with just under 5-feet of exhaust hose, a manual and a window kit, so it’s easy enough for just about anyone to install. It also features a 7-foot power cord, so it’s easy to find an outlet to plug it into when setting it up. And because it has casters on it, it can easily be pushed from one room to the next as needed.

Because this unit can cool a room that’s up to 150 square feet in size, it can be used in rooms that are 10×12 feet in size or smaller. Now that we’ve talked about how easy this air conditioner is to set up and what size rooms it can be used to cool during the hot months of summer, we would like to take a few moments to talk about some of the features our readers can expect to find on it. One of the features we were impressed with was this unit’s filter. It can easily slide it and it’s washable, so the consumer can use it over and over again without having to worry about buying a new one every few months.

Another thing that we liked about this unit was that it had an easy-to-read LED display. This display shows the temperature in big, clear numbers. This unit also comes with remote control, so it can be operated from across the room. This unit is also equipped with fan, cooling and dehumidifying modes, and it also comes with a 24-hour on/off timer and a sleep mode. If there’s one final thing we’d like to leave our readers with, it’s this point: this product’s exhaust system has to be hooked up to either a sliding or double-hung window. If the consumer’s windows aren’t one of those, they aren’t going to be able to install it.

What we liked about it
It’s an 8,000 BTU portable air conditioner.
It has easy-to-use controls.

Best Affordable: Shinco 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

This unassuming unit from Shinco is the cooling solution that some people have been looking for. This portable air conditioner is approximately 14.5×13.8×27.2-inches and only weighs 46 pounds, but it has the cooling power to cool down a room up to 200 square feet in size. This 8,000 BTU unit can easily be used in the home, at the office or anywhere else that an air conditioner can be used. And because it has many of the features that people look for in one of these units. It’s not only easy to set up but it’s also very easy to use.

This unit features three different functions that users can use to their benefit. First of all, it’s a great air conditioner. Second of all, it has a 2-speed fan that can be used for circulating air around the room. And thirdly, this unit is a dehumidifier that’s capable of removing 60-pints of water out of the air per day. This means that as the unit runs, it will keep the air from getting swampy, helping all of those in that room to be more comfortable. And because this system is built with self-evaporative technology, this system is extremely efficient and it collects water in a tank that doesn’t have to be emptied too frequently.

This device also has an LED display that’s easy to read and a control panel that’s easy to use. And for convenience, this model also features a remote control for ease of use. Another thing to mention about this portable air conditioner is that it comes with a window kit and an exhaust hose. This allows anyone to have the device set up and running in 10-minutes or less. The only flaw that we could find with this air conditioner is that it’s loud. A lot louder than comparable portable units, so consumers should keep that in mind before purchasing it.

What we liked about it
This is an inexpensive model.
Easily cools off a 300 square-foot room.

A Portable Air Conditioner Guide

Without a doubt, the summer season can be a lot of fun. There’s trips to the beach, BBQ in the backyard or the park with friends and family, and lots of swimming. However, the summer isn’t a lot of fun when you live in a home that has one or more rooms that get hot during this season. The room or rooms may get hot because there aren’t central air conditioning ducts in it, it doesn’t have a window air conditioner, or maybe it’s just a part of the home that stays warm. In those instances, the consumer is going to want to make sure that they get an air conditioner that will keep that room cool. And the air conditioning that’s great for this job is the portable air conditioner. It’s a unit that has the power to keep a room cool but is portable enough that it can be moved from room to room as needed. 

When buying a new portable air conditioner, however, the consumer has to be careful because not all of these units achieve the same quality level. Some models work quite well and have the features the consumer needs, and other models simply can’t cut the proverbial mustard. That’s why we’ve decided to write this guide. We hope that this guide is capable of helping the consumer sort out the quality models from the models that they should take a hard pass on. By following the suggestions in this guide, just about anyone can purchase a model that cools down the rooms they need it to cool and do it while being energy efficient. 

Consider The AC Size Needed

It doesn’t matter how big or how small an air conditioner is because consumers only look at how well they perform cooling down a particular space. In other words, you could have the biggest AC unit around, but people will consider it to be worthless if it doesn’t cool down the space they need it to cool down. A person can have the best air conditioner in the world, but it will work poorly if placed in a room that’s larger than what it’s rated to cool. Therefore, the consumer needs to match the size of their unit with the size of their room. And one way a person can do that is by matching the BTUs of the unit to the room’s size. Below is a handy chart that will enable consumers to figure out just what size air conditioner they need for the size of their room. 

  • 150-250 Square Feet: 5,000 to 6,000 BTUs
  • 250-350 Square Feet: 6,000 to 8,000 BTUs
  • 350-450 Square Feet: 8,000 to 10,000 BTUs

Consider The Unit’s Noise Levels

Another thing worthy of a person’s thought and attention is how much noise the unit makes. Although all portable air conditioners make some kind of noise and none of them are completely silent, some are quieter than others. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine the noise level of an air conditioner when it’s in the store or an online listing, so the consumer may have to depend on outside reviews such as ours to determine if a particular model is noisy or not. 

Consider The Unit’s Aesthetics

Although performance, features, and energy efficiency are all important factors to consider, the consumer shouldn’t overlook the aesthetics of the unit. After all, no one wants to put an ugly unit in their home, so the consumer should take the time to consider how the portable air conditioner is going to look in their home. 

Consider Whether It’s Exhaust Fits

It’s also important for the consumer to think about the exhaust system of the portable air conditioner. The exhaust needs to fit into the consumer’s window so that it can vent out the hot air. Although most models fit double-hung or sliding windows that’s not always the case. The consumer should also consider whether they have non-standard windows that might make it impossible for the exhaust to be installed into it. If that’s the case, then the consumer might have to purchase a window exhaust kit to install their portable AC unit properly. 

Other Features To Consider

There are quite a few other features that the consumer needs to think about. Features that will make the unit easy to install or extend its capabilities. That’s why we’ve decided to go ahead and list some of these features below so consumers can give them the proper consideration.

  • Heat/Air Conditioner Combinations
  • Remote Control Operation
  • Slide-Out And Washable Filters
  • Built-In Dehumidifier