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As the hot summer months approach, it’s time to start thinking about ways to efficiently cool your home. And one of the best is with a portable air conditioner. They are a much cheaper alternative to running your central air around the clock. And you have the freedom to move them from room to room as needed.

We know researching countless models can be tiresome. So we made things easy by compiling all the best entries for your viewing convenience. And be sure to stick around after our reviews for more information on how to choose the right unit for your needs.

Don’t Have Time to Read the Whole Article?

LG took the top spot as the best overall. The LP1417HSR delivers excellent cooling in a sleek and compact body. It’s easy to move around and includes a remote for added convenience.

Not far behind is Frigidaire’s FFPA1222U1. If you’re looking for a great deal, you’ll find this portable AC to be an amazing value. It sports an attractive design and is very user-friendly.

Top 10 Best Portable Air Conditioners

We have 8 more for your consideration. We think you’ll be impressed with what these units can do for you and your home.


1. LG LP1417HSR Review - Best Overall

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  • Handy remote
  • Easy to move
  • Nice design
  • Durable
  • Pricey
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This compact unit sports an attractive design that looks great anywhere you put it. It’s armed with 14,000 BTUs and pumps out crisp, cool air.

We love how easy it is to relocate the LP1417. It’s portable in every sense of the word, with solid performance even on the hottest of days.

We appreciate LG’s build-quality, too. Nothing feels cheap or flimsy. It’s a very sturdy unit that is sure to please you with its cooling capabilities.

Features

  • 14.76 x 17.44 x 29.53 inches
  • 14,000 BTUs
  • 77.2 pounds
  • 115-volt

Ease of Use

Thanks to wheels equipped at the base of the unit, moving it from room to room is a breeze. The included remote is easy to operate and even sports an LCD screen. From here, you can readily see the temperature selected and its modes.


2. Frigidaire FFPA1222U1 Review - Best Value

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  • Modern design
  • User-friendly
  • Good value
  • Well-made
  • Noisy operation
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Frigidaire really impressed us with this one. It boasts a modern design that looks classy and stylish. And it matches most décor thanks to its slick black construction.

We like the digital user-interface that’s positioned at the top of the unit. It’s easy to operate and does a great job of cooling down small to medium rooms.

It can be pretty noisy at times. But we can’t complain too much considering its excellent performance.

Features

  • 15.19 x 18.69 x 27.88 inches
  • 12,000 BTUs
  • 66 pounds
  • 115-volt

Ease of Use

Frigidaire gives you everything you need for easy installation and use. And thanks to casters on the bottom, you’ll have no trouble moving it around your home.


3. Honeywell HL14CESWB Review - Most Attractive

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  • Great for kids
  • Cute design
  • Easy to use
  • Compact
  • A bit noisy
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We love the unique design choice Honeywell went with here. The stylish construction has a lot of character, making this a great unit for kids’ and teens’ bedrooms.

You get 14,000 BTUs at the ready for quick cooling power. There are 3 fan speeds to choose from for maximum comfort.

We appreciate the safety measures in place here, too. It’s armed with thermal overloading protection. So you can run it while you sleep without fear of malfunction.

Features

  • 18.9 x 20.5 x 18.2 inches
  • 14,000 BTUs
  • 64 pounds
  • 115-volt

Ease of Use

You get all the proper components for quick and easy installation. We like the remote that comes with this AC, too. It’s equipped with an LCD screen so you know which selections you’ve made and the current mode that’s running.


4. Black + Decker BPACT14WT Review - Most User-Friendly

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  • Quiet operation
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Versatile
  • Limited features
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Black + Decker delivers a worthy contender with the BPACT14WT. This 14,000-BTU unit does a great job of cooling you down quickly and efficiently.

Although its design is rather basic, it’s easy to use and doesn’t confuse with a lot of bells and whistles. If you’ve been looking for a no-nonsense approach to cooling at a reasonable price, you’ll be pleased with what this model has to offer.

Features

  • 17.1 x 13.8 x 28.1 inches
  • 14,000 BTUs
  • 28 pounds
  • 115-volt

Ease of Use

Black + Decker gives you one of the easiest units to relocate. At less than 30 pounds, it’s a cinch to move around as you see fit. And it has casters that glide effortlessly over flooring.


5. Whynter ARC-14SH Review - Best for Large Rooms

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  • Excellent design
  • Heats and cools
  • Lots of modes
  • Well-built
  • Top-heavy
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Whynter uses the dual-hose setup with the ARC-14SH. We found this model to do a great job of cooling down large rooms.

It boasts an elegant design that should blend in well with the rest of your appliances. It’s very easy to operate thanks to its simplistic user-interface.

We like that it dehumidifies, as well. And it has a built-in heater for year-round comfort. If you find yourself in constant battle with the weather, this is an all-in-wonder you can’t live without.

Features

  • 16 x 19 x 35.5 inches
  • 14,000 BTUs
  • 80 pounds
  • 110-volt
  • Ease of Use

Whynter made this unit very user-friendly. Our only complaint thus far is that although it looks beautiful, it’s quite top-heavy. You need to be sure to carefully secure it as you move it. We found this out the hard way and tipped it over the first time around.


6. JHS Smart Portable AC Review - Best for the Office

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  • Slick interface
  • Cools well
  • Innovative
  • Versatile
  • Noisy operation
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If you prefer to stay on the cutting-edge of technology, you’ll find JHS’s portable AC to be right up your alley.

It has a slick LED user-interface that looks great and works well. There’s even Wi-Fi for mobile control on your smartphone or tablet.

It has 10,000-BTU cooling power, making this the perfect addition to your office or study. If you want a high-tech gadget that delivers the goods, JHS has you covered.

Features

  • 14 x 13.3 x 27.5 inches
  • 10,000 BTUs
  • 50 pounds
  • 115-volt

Ease of Use

Simply use the touch-sensitive control panel or connect the AC to your smart device. Thanks to its built-in Wi-Fi feature, you have more personalized management.


7. Whynter Elite ARC-122DS Review - Best for Beginners

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  • Good cooling power
  • Easy to move
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Initial installation can be tricky
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Whynter makes our list with back-to-back entries. This time, it’s with their 12,000-BTU ‘little brother’. It may not look quite as sleek or stylish as the ARC-14SH. But the ARC-122DS still delivers prime cooling power.

This robust unit cools well and has plenty to offer. It comes with a dehumidifier and fan control to ensure your home stays comfortable at all times.

It loses the heater, but it makes up for it with excellent portability and user-friendliness.

Features

  • 17 x 29.5 x 16 inches
  • 12,000 BTUs
  • 60 pounds
  • 115-volt

Ease of Use

The onboard interface is straightforward and easy to use. It has lots of modes for greater convenience, like speed, timer, auto, and energy-saver. And you get a remote control for greater ease.


8. SereneLife 4-in-1 Review - Easiest to Use

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  • Plenty of modes
  • Good value
  • Versatile
  • Sturdy
  • Rather basic design
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SereneLife makes the list with their 12,000-BTU 4-in-1 unit. You not only get a portable AC, but also a heater, fan, and dehumidifier.

This is a highly cost-effective way to stay comfortable each month of the year. We found that it does a commendable job of keeping you cool on hot days and warm during cold nights.

It is a bit basic in its design, but it sports an excellent user-interface that’s a breeze to operate.

Features

  • 17.4 x 13.4 x 32.1 inches
  • 12,000 BTUs
  • 70.2 pounds
  • 115-volt

Ease of Use

It might look boring, but there’s a lot going on under the hood. You’ll certainly won’t get bored with everything this model has to offer. The interface works well, with clearly labeled buttons for easy control.


9. RolliCool COOL310-19 Review - Most Innovative

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  • Innovative design
  • Alexa-enabled
  • Good cooling
  • Versatile
  • Not very quiet
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For the tech-centric, Rollibot’s RolliCool is an innovative portable AC. It sports a modernized design that will fit in with other high-tech gadgets and appliances.

What separates this unit from others is its Alexa-enabled controls. Now you can simply use your voice for the ultimate convenience.

You also get a heater, fan, and dehumidifier. And thanks to 12,000 BTUs, there’s plenty of cooling power just a voice command away.

Features

  • 16.5 x 14.2 x 28.4 inches
  • 12,000 BTUs
  • 62 pounds
  • 115-volt

Ease of Use

It doesn’t get much easier than this. We had no trouble syncing this with Alexa. Voice commands work well and are very effective.


10. Danby Portable Air Conditioner Review - Most Budget-Friendly

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  • Great for small rooms
  • Excellent value
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Basic design
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It’s basic, plain, and rather boring to look at. But it’s highly-portable, it cools well, and comes at a great price.

It’s also equipped with a dehumidifier and a fan. Armed with 6,000 BTUs, this little unit works best in smaller rooms.

If you’re on a budget and don’t mind its aesthetics, Danby’s portable AC is a winner all the way.

Features

  • 12.8 x 12.52 x 24.21 inches
  • 41.4 pounds
  • 6,000 BTUs
  • 115-volt

Ease of Use

At just a little over 40 pounds, this unit is a cinch to move around. And for added convenience, there’s even a remote control included.


Air Conditioner Buyer’s Guide

The first thing you should know is that there are two kinds of portable air conditioners:

  • Single-hose: They provide you with better portability and a lower price. Unfortunately, they are not as effective as the dual-hose ones. Single-hose systems create a negative pressure, which causes warm air from outside to enter your room.
  • Dual-Hose: They are not as portable as the single-hose models, but they are more effective. Their price is higher, but they overcome the negative pressure problem, so the hot air is effectively kept out of your room.

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.

Why Go for a Portable Air conditioner?

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.

Is it Hard to Install a Portable Air Conditioner?

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.

Factors to Consider

Before you decide to purchase a portable air conditioner, there are a couple of factors you should be aware of.

  • Unit size: If you want to get the maximum out of portability, then look for a smaller model. Note the dimensions and the weight of a unit before you commit to a purchase. You should also measure the size of the area where the new portable air conditioner will be standing.
  • Room size: You should know the size of your room in square feet. Because that will be an important factor when it comes to deciding the power of the portable air conditioner. If you want to know how many BTUs an air conditioner needs to have to cool down your room, then check out this useful cooling capacity calculator.
  • Energy use: Different units have different energy efficiency. If you put importance on the energy use, then make sure to find a portable air conditioner that comes with a programmable thermostat. It is also important to keep your unit clean. Because dust and dirt will cause your air conditioner to use up more energy.
  • Ventilation: Hot air must go out somewhere, so make sure to keep your unit close to a window. Most of the portable AC models come with a window venting kit that makes it easy to set up. But, note the length of the vent hose if you want to keep your air conditioner further away from the window.
  • Noise: Every air conditioner makes noise, it is inevitable. So, consider the levels of noise you are comfortable with, and find a unit that suits your needs. Many of the models out there pride themselves in noise-cancelation. So, most of the high-quality models produce minimal noise. But, make sure that you are comfortable with their levels of noise.
  • Aesthetics: Will your new air conditioner mess up the aesthetics of your room? Do you even care about aesthetics? If you do care, then look for a model that will fit well with the decor of your room.
  • Condensate type: You should know that plenty of models come with an internal bucket that needs to be emptied out regularly. On the other hand, if you don’t want to bother yourself with emptying buckets of condensate, then go for a no-drip air conditioner.

Features to Look For

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.