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There is no worse feeling than returning home to a hot and damp room. Luckily, portable air conditioners exist, but there are way too many choices out there. And, making a bad choice won’t solve your problem, it will only leave you with a hole in your wallet.
Fortunately, we are here to help you choose the best portable air conditioner. We have gone through a multitude of reviews and videos to come to an informed conclusion, so you don’t have to waste your time.
We will show you which portable air conditioners we think are the best. Moreover, we will also teach you how to come to the best conclusion on your own.
After looking into the top-ranking products, evaluating their features, and getting to know what real customers have to say about them, our team agrees that the Whynter ARC-14S Dual Hose is the best portable air conditioner. This unit delivers efficiency and unbeatable air-cooling performance than most dual-hose models.
For occasional cooling like when sleeping is unbearable during 90°F nights, the Honeywell MN10CESWW is a perfect match for your needs. It is a single-hose unit, built for your peace of mind. It even has a decent dehumidifier that can remove a lot of moisture from your room’s air.
A fresh breeze in your house is always welcome when in summer’s sweltering heat. Those looking for efficiency and incredible performance above all will appreciate the convenience of a portable air conditioner. The Whynter ARC-14S is at the top of its class by being eco-friendly, and hassle-free during installation and controls.
Environmental concern is not always on people’s minds, but if it’s on the top of yours, Whynter makes sure that this air-conditioner is ozone-friendly. Its refrigerant is CFC-free, and its internal components are all lead-free. Whynter is also RoHS-compliant, which means none of its parts are hazardous.
On to the design, you’ll notice that it is not a grand unit that will take any more space than it should. All you need to do is place it near a window as it needs to vent to the outside. The dual-hose system cools any room much faster than with a single-hose AC. It is also possible to install it through a sliding glass door if you cannot install it horizontally through standard windows.
With three operations modes, this model works as an air conditioner and includes a fan and a dehumidifier in its system. The built-in dehumidifying function works impressively well as it can pull up to 101 pints of moisture in a day. That is a very high number, and unless you live in a tropical climate, we don’t see the unit ever collecting that much water.
The fan feature is also important as it can help reduce energy costs if your house is not too warm and you only need to recirculate the air in the room. The advantage of any dual-hose portable air conditioner is that it will never pull warm air from the outside or another room.
Instead, it has a second hose that helps pull cold air from the outside to cool the air conditioner. With a 14,000 BTU capacity, Whynter ARC-14S is capable of cooling rooms as large as 500sq.ft.
Whynter ARC-14S has invested in an entirely new system that is self-evaporative. Most of the condensate that the unit collects will be exhausted right there in the cooling of the AC. It collects the excess in its reservoir only during very humid days. With a drain plug at the bottom back, you will be able to empty the machine by tilting it.
This AC allows you to adjust temperatures between 61-89F. It has simple button controls with +/- signs when setting the temperature. It also has the button for the mode and the fan speed. The 24-hour programmable timer comes in handy to set this air conditioner for when you need it to start cooling or shut off.
Whynter ARC-14S also comes with a washable pre-filter and a carbon filter to neutralize odors.
Whynter needs you to have an extended warranty on the unit because the standard warranty is very short at only two months. Since the brand does not have some form of quality control, a defective unit can be a lot of trouble to return.
Whynter ARC-14S is a pretty decent portable air conditioner. It works great, except for a few flaws like the two window holes for the hoses being too close to each other. The second problem is related to the warranty and refunds. We believe Whynter has done its due diligence on this machine to ensure you get a room as comfortable as possible.
Honeywell machines are always sleek and sturdy. The firm produces units that work, and the Honeywell MN10CESWW is not an exception. It has a 10,000 BTU capacity capable of cooling rooms as large as 350sq.ft.
This unit boasts a powerful airflow in a machine that can sit anywhere in the house. It will blend in with décor and since it does not get louder than 54dB friends can have conversations without shouting. We like that it is compact and its mobile casters allow for simple movement when you want to move it to another room.
Honeywell MN10CESWW is also a three-in-one functioning model. It has a dehumidifier capable of removing 66 pints of moisture in a day. It is self-evaporative such that it may never need draining unless the humidity is crazy-uncomfortable in your area.
The window kit makes it’s easy to install, and it is, in fact, adjustable between 19.9-47.25 inches. It comes with all the accessories that make installation a snap. It does not increase your energy bills unimaginably. Most people have seen a $20-$30 per month increase when using the unit every day throughout the summer.
With this air conditioner, you don’t have to worry about dust and pet dander being released back into your room. It has a washable air filter that catches up will all the impurities and prevents it from recirculating.
Enjoy simple use with a front-facing touch control panel or with the remote controller. You can set and forget this unit with a 24-hour programmable timer. Its smart digital thermostat is operated using the up and down arrow keys for the ideal temperatures for any particular room. The fan speed can also be set on the control panel. It does not have a sleep mode, which is not inconvenient since you can set the unit to turn off after a certain number of hours.
The air filter needs washing after every two weeks. It can also be set to remove humidity without the cooling function by connecting a direct hose to the unit and dehumidifying the room by setting a fan speed and letting the water collect in a bucket.
This air conditioner comes with a 4ft exhaust hose. It is not very adaptable since the unit cannot be too far from the window at all times.
Honeywell MN10CESWW is especially helpful if you live in a humid environment. Its dehumidifying function is just exceptional. Not to mention its ease of setup and maintenance. The unit is quiet which accounts to why most people with small babies would prefer this unit over any other.
Whynter ARC-14SH is on the expensive side. If you need the BTUs and the heater, it is the better option on the market right now.
Whynter ARC-14SH is a dual-hose model that is similar to the ARC-14S except that the latter does not have a heater. You get all the three modes including a fan and a dehumidifier which make life so comfortable in hot weather. And when the temperatures plummet, no need to invest in a heater as this unit will play the part.
The cooling capabilities are just as top-notch as we expected. It can cool rooms up to 400sq.ft in as little as 100 minutes. We want to indicate that Whynter may have exaggerated the capabilities of this model. With a max airflow of 212 CFM, it falls short of the ARC-14S and is not capable of cooling a 500sq.ft area efficiently.
We, however, noted that it delivers as promised-temperatures of 61F-89F for cooling and 61F to 77F for heating. The fan has three fan speeds to circulate warm or cold air fast to reach every corner of the room. Not to mention the capabilities of the dehumidifier that can remove 101 pints of moisture in a day.
Again, it has the self-evaporative feature that can exhaust most of the condensate when conditions are not oppressively uncomfortable in a humid climate. It still retains the option for a continuous drain when you never want to deal with the excess moisture.
This AC comes ready to install out of the box. The window kit and important accessories are included. It is quite large for a portable unit, but it moves. You’ll find the mobility casters great when you need to use it in a different room.
Whynter has not changed anything on the control panel. It allows you to set the temperature and timer just like you would on the ARC-14S. It has a full-functioning remote though some units ship out without the remote.
This unit also includes the carbon filter and a washable pre-filter. To keep the unit functioning as designed, you’ll want to wash the filter once to twice a month. The carbon filter needs changing every 3-4 months. It comes with the territory so remember to put cleaning and replacing air conditioner filters on your calendar.
Whynter ARC-14SH is not an energy saver. It can increase your monthly energy bills by over $150, which can be too much. Also, the handles are not favorable for carrying this unit up and down the stairs. They put pressure on the fingers making it uncomfortable to lift and carry.
Whynter ARC-14SH is designed with performance in mind. Like most portable air conditioners, it cannot reach the manufacturer’s claimed performance. But, it comes close to accomplish the best cooling you can expect from a dual hose unit.
Whynter Elite ARC-122DS is engineered to be a space-saving AC that functions well in very humid areas. With two direct drains and a self-evaporative function, it can work tirelessly to give you a dry and cool interior space.
This machine is anything like its dual-hose counterparts. It is unassuming, but it does not fail in its capabilities. The machine can push air at high speeds of 155CFM. It works great in hot areas and will not be a noise concern since it doesn’t get louder than 52dB.
Whynter Elite ARC-122DS does not stop its cooling impact on the airflow. It has a 12,000BTU capacity, capable of cooling a 400sq.ft room. It can lower temperatures to a comfortable level in a little over an hour in rooms up to 150sq.ft and will not take longer than 90 minutes to cool large rooms.
All the cooling won’t impact your energy bill greatly. You may never see an increase of over $100 running it 12 hours a day in summer weather. It is just as simple to install and comes with a long exhaust hose that is 5ft long.
The dehumidifying function, which is the highlight of this model, is capable of removing 76 pints of moisture every day. It has an upper and lower drain that can remove all the moisture in the shortest time possible. Not forgetting, the self-evaporative feature which is great when the weather is fair, so you never have to drain a drop of water from the reservoir.
Looking at the control panel, this unit has an LCD and buttons that are straightforward to operate. You can set the temperature between 61F and 89F to suit your living conditions. The 24-hour programmable timer will come in handy when you want to turn on or shut off the machine in the middle of the night.
You will like that this unit will auto turn on after a power outage. It comes with two-way directional louvers in its fan, so it can circulate air over a large area evenly. You can say goodbye to hot spots which are usually the case with directional vents.
This machine is equipped with two air filters. As usual, the pre-filter is washable while the carbon filter will need changing after a couple of months.
This air conditioner is not made for casement windows. You will have to be creative in the position to put the exhaust hoses. Considering that the unit was created to be portable, it is a shame that it is bulky and hard to move.
When it comes to size and air output, the Whynter Elite ARC-122DS is a capable model. It is energy efficient and allows you to install it easily. The machine can remove lots of moisture, which is why it is the best option for those living in high humidity areas.
Haier 14000 Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner is a three-mode model that competes with Whynter dual-hose units even though it is cheaper than Whynter. It is designed for large rooms up to 500sq.ft, but it may struggle to reach the said capabilities.
Anyone can fall for the sleek design of this machine. It has a shiny black and white exterior and is not as large as other models. It is a flexible unit that has three cooling speeds and three fan speeds. It is not very noisy as the lowest setting gets to around 50dB and will not get higher than 60dB in the highest setting.
The good thing with this machine is that it draws only a small amount of infiltration. Hence it will not struggle to cool the air in your room. We recommend this unit for rooms as large as 250ft as it is the most efficient in smaller rooms than what Haier has indicated.
Its top air discharge is coupled by four-way louvers that help to distribute the air more evenly. The unit supports a wide range of temperatures from 61-89F. It helps to bring down temperatures quickly as it does not take longer than an hour to cool small rooms by 10 degrees.
With the dehumidifier functions, this Haier AC can remove up to 90 pints of moisture in a day. It has both the direct drain and self-evaporative features that work well with most environments. You’ll notice that it needs emptying faster in high humidity areas which is why it is better to connect a hose to a drain for continuous cooling.
Installing this machine is easy. It comes with two 5ft exhaust hoses and a 6ft power cord. You don’t need a helping hand. With a screwdriver, the window panel is easy to install and so are the exhaust accessories that allow for a tight connection. Haier offers videos that help with the installation if you’ve never done similar work.
We like that this model also includes a touch control panel, a full-function remote control, and a 24-hour programmable timer. You can control it from any position in the room. The water tank light will come up when it needs emptying. And with a washable filter, a little maintenance will go a long way with this model.
This Haier 14000 Dual-Hose is made to work with windows that are up to 46 inches wide. It does not have an option to extend the length further and will not work with most sliding doors.
Haier 14000 BTU dual-hose air conditioner delivers lots of functionality for the money. It can cool mid-sized rooms while offering three modes for maximum usability. The only additional task is attaching a drain pipe as its self-evaporative function is not the best in its class.
LG LP1215GXR can provide exceptional cooling comfort in most rooms up to 300sq.ft. It is ideal for apartments and dorm rooms where space is not a luxury. It comes with outstanding features like an oscillating air vent that will get rid of those dreaded hot spots.
LG LP1215GXR is not a sleek and modern unit as it is all black with a blocky appearance that does not call for showing off. It comes with a silver remote control and a white power cord if you are keen on details. This machine has a great cooling capacity of 12,000 BTU. It can push air at 255CFM, which makes it one of the most powerful models as it can actually cool the room size that LG indicates.
It is easy to see why most people will jump at the chance of using this unit during a heatwave as it has excellent cooling performance. Its fan and dehumidifying functions also come in handy to improve the convenience of this model.
When the air is too humid, this unit will pull around 28 pints of moisture. It does not have a self-evaporative function. The condensate goes into the water tank, which has to be emptied when it gets full. LG offers a direct drain option where you can connect a pipe to the drain hole, meaning you don’t have to keep draining the unit every few hours.
This unit comes with the installation parts that include a window kit and the exhaust hose. It can be installed in sliding windows and sliding glass doors since you can easily find parts to extend the kit to your needs. With an intuitive control panel, you will be able to adjust the digital thermostat to accommodate your cooling needs.
The remote control works from anywhere within the unit, and it also has a 24-hour programmable timer. You will like that it has a simple control panel; better than in any other portable air conditioner. What’s more, it has a removable and washable air filter that makes maintenance a breeze.
Perhaps the most attractive feature on LG LP1215GXR is that it has an Auto Clean Mode. Instead of setting the machine in dry fan mode to remove moisture. Using the Auto Clean mode will save you from waiting hours for the moisture to be removed before storing it.
This air conditioner is not great for high-humidity areas. It does not remove large amounts of moisture from the atmosphere, and it fills the reservoir fast because it lacks a self-evaporative feature.
LG LP1215GXR proves that you can still depend on a single-hose air conditioner for efficient cooling. This unit works reliably well and does what it does, better than any other small-room unit. From its oscillating function to being able to clean it with less hassle, everything about it is worth the money. Unfortunately, the only problem is its high price tag.
LG LP0817WSR is an 8,000 BTU capacity air conditioner that will cool bedrooms as large as 200sq.ft. It is ideal since it outputs only 53dB of noise in the high setting. It will not disturb your sleep as it works to keep the room cool and comfortable.
This model has three standard modes that include air conditioner, fan, and dehumidifier. When cooling, it can push air at speeds of 250CFM. As you can see, LG makes good single-hose conditioners that work great in most conditions.
When you don’t want to have your permanent AC on, just grab this air conditioner since you won’t have to heat the rest of the house. It is ideal for southern states where high temperatures can last days and even weeks. Such heatwaves can cause the central AC to work super hard, and when you can’t meet the bill, this model will meet your cooling needs.
The air vent is also oscillating for even distribution of cool air. It eliminates hot spots and improves comfort in the process. Its dehumidifying function is just as capable. It can remove around 43 pints of moisture in 24 hours. We like that it has an auto-evaporative system meaning it will deliver most of the condensate to the outside.
LG LP0817WSR is small and lightweight at only 56 pounds. LG includes everything you need to install this unit. It has handles on either side with ample space for the hands. It is one of the simplest portable ACs to move up a flight of stairs. Its weight is ideal for moving, not just from room to room, but also to a car or RV that needs cooling during summer travels.
This unit comes with a remote controller and an LED panel for modifying the temperature. It also has a 24-hour timer to set the on and off times when you are not around. The air filters need washing after every three weeks, and the reservoir light will turn on when it needs emptying. It is perhaps the most care-free model to own.
Although this is a lightweight model, installing it does not come easy. The exhaust hose to the window should be attached last since it keeps falling off. The window insert is also not straightforward, but the unit can be installed in windows as wide as 50 inches.
LG LP0817WSR proves its efficiency in small rooms. It lives up to our expectations of fast cooling thanks to the oscillating feature. All its features perform with excellence, which is incredible considering it is a single-hose AC.
Black + Decker BPACT08WT is another cheap option ideal for small rooms up to 150sq.ft. It is the lightest on our list and also the easiest to carry. However, large hands may feel as if the handles are a bit of a squeeze. But everything about this model spells simplicity as you’ll see.
We start with cooling performance. Black + Decker BPACT08WT has an 8,000 BTU capacity. It can push lots of air, and with the help of its fan, it will cool most rooms in temperate environments in an hour. The fan outputs air vertically, and the vent does not oscillate. However, we feel the fan does a good job to circulate cool air.
Looking at its dehumidifying function, this unit will pull around 12 pints of water in a day. It is not the most capable in this respect, but then, it was engineered for moderately humid climates. It is good to complement any window AC when you want to cool a small room like the kitchen or the nursery.
Though the noise level on this model is the highest when you have it on high, it is still comfortable enough when you don’t need total silence. It may disrupt watching a movie, so it’s better to have it on low since it will only produce 54dB of noise on low.
Black + Decker BPACT08WT weighs only 51.3 pounds, and its casters do not have any form of resistance on most floors. It can be installed in windows as wide as 59 inches and also sliding glass doors. Because it accommodates most windows, it does not have an extension kit option.
You’ll like how simple it is to control this AC. The control panel is on the top front where you can adjust the temperature accordingly. On the remote, you will be able to set the timer for a convenient on and off time.
With a slide-out filter, we are happy that Black + Decker BPACT08WT will not spell trouble when you want to clean it.
The capabilities of this unit are quite limited. You may want to pass it on if you live in very hot and humid environments. But if you are looking for something small to complement what you already have, then go for it.
It is not often that you find a small AC that can work as the manufacturer intended. But Black + Decker BPACT08WT is engineered thoughtfully to perform as it was destined. Compared to other machines in its price range, this unit can cool small rooms without any issues.
The first thing you should know is that there are two kinds of portable air conditioners:
Single-hose air conditioners are good for small rooms and offices. Dual-hose models work better in large rooms, offices, workshops, and classrooms. Basically, if you want a cooling system for a small room and your budget is a problem, then a single-hose air conditioner might be a good choice. On the other hand, if you need to cool down a large room and the budget is not a problem, then a dual-hose solution could be what you need.
Plenty of people wonder why they should opt in for a portable air conditioner over wall and window air conditioners. The most obvious reason is that you use less electricity for the same BTU (British Thermal Unit).
The biggest hassle with wall/window air conditioners is that you have to weatherproof the exterior unit. Furthermore, you have to do the same with the wall of your home. Portable air conditioners eliminate the need for weatherproofing.
Another problem with wall units is that they need a hole in the wall to function. They also need a wall mount. When the old wall unit breaks, and you purchase a new one, chances are high that the previously cut hole won’t be a good fit. Basically, portable air conditioners offer you non-invasive means of installation.
When it comes to window units, they are even harder to install than the wall units. In the end, portable air conditioners provide you with the easiest installation.
Portable AC units pride themselves in the simplicity of the installation process. If you have ever installed any kind of an appliance, then you won’t have any problems with portable air conditioners.
All of the models come with a handy step-by-step instructional booklet that will take you through the installation process. The only thing that could cause a problem is the window installation kit. While most of the models come with a simple-to-install window kit, you should check out what the other users have to say about it. If you notice that plenty of them have had installation problems, then call over a friend that can help you.
Before you decide to purchase a portable air conditioner, there are a couple of factors you should be aware of.
While none of the features we mention are a must-have, plenty of them are useful and will make your life easier.
One of the most often-overlooked features is a programmable thermostat. With it, you can set a precise temperature that you want to achieve, and the unit will turn itself off after achieving it.
An automatic drain system provides you with the comfort of not having to empty out condensate containers. Automatic drain systems use an exhaust vent to empty out the condensate, so you don’t have to.
Most of the portable air conditioners come with a remote controller. But, on the off-chance that a portable AC unit doesn’t come with a remote, we recommend you to go for a unit that does. While getting out of an armchair or a bed doesn’t seem tedious at first, it can quickly become aggravating. So, it is better to go for a unit that provides you with the comfort of a remote controller than one that doesn’t.
If you want to use your portable air conditioner during winter, then go for a model that can also provide heat. Air conditioners that are capable of heating are a smart purchase. You can use them during the entire year.
If you live in a particularly humid area, then you could think about an air conditioner that comes with a dehumidifier. While many models boast high dehumidifying properties, the reality is a bit different. If you need a portable air conditioner with a dehumidifier, then make sure to check out what the other users have to say about it.