Investing in a portable air conditioner is a wise investment during the summer months for a number of reasons. Possibly your windows are not large enough to accommodate a window air conditioner, or perhaps your tower fan needs some help. Portable air conditioners can help keep your home or office cooler on hot days and can cool areas up to 600 square feet or even more. Additionally, some of them can also serve as dehumidifiers, fans and space heaters. They are easy to transport, store, and set up too.
To help you select the best portable air conditioner, we tested the most popular models from top brands and finally narrowed it down to the top 5 choices. Read on
The 5 Best Portable Air Conditioner Units In 2023 – Quick Ranking
Whynter Elite ARC-122DS portable air conditioner is a feature-rich and one of the quietest air conditioners available at a fairly lower price. This cooling engine has a 12,000 BTU and is capable of cooling 400 square feet of space. This unit has three operating modes that include cooling, dehumidifier-only, and fan-only.
Besides its compact size, it also features a dual hose system, one for input and one for exhaust, so it works more efficiently and doesn’t pull in warm air. For rooms with limited space, offices, homes, server rooms or other areas with warm spots, it’s the ideal solution.
- Dual-hose system
- Three operational modes
- 24-hour programmable timer
- Cools up to 400 square feet of space
- Sealing problems with window kit
Air conditioners shouldn’t be too underpowered, but too much BTUs are also wasteful. This Black+Decker model provides 10,000 BTU ASHRAE and is perfect for rooms smaller than 250 square feet, but it’s most efficient in 150 square feet or smaller.
Besides being a powerful and quiet air conditioner, this unit also acts as a dehumidifier and a fan. Its bucket-free design allows for condensation to be evaporated from the air conditioner, which simplifies maintenance. Cleaning the air filter about twice a month is pretty much all you need to do.
- Perfect for small rooms
- Automatic sleep timer
- There is no need for drainage
- Quiet and powerful
- Installing a window kit is difficult
The SereneLife SLPAC10’s moderate cooling abilities and versatility make it one of the best affordable portable air conditioners. Besides acting as an air conditioner, the SereneLife SLPAC10 also functions as a dehumidifier and a circulating fan. These units range in capacity from 8,000 BTU to 12,000 BTU. With 10,000 BTU ASHRAE, this particular model can cool rooms up to 270 square feet.
With just under 3 feet of height and a footprint of 17 x 13 inches, it moves easily around the house thanks to the easy-rolling casters and easy-grip sides. Although it is quite compact, it consists of remote control that allows you to operate it, in addition to a control panel on its top.
- Compact and easy to move
- Available in various sizes
- Good value for money
- Built-in dehumidifier
Instead of using refrigerants, Evapolar’s EvaChill uses evaporative cooling to lower the temperature. Although it won’t be able to cool an entire room effectively like traditional air conditioners, it can efficiently cool an area of 21 square feet around the device, enough to cool a workspace. With its nightlight feature and dual-function cooling and humidifying capabilities, it makes a good sleeping companion. It’s incredibly small, measuring only 7 x 7 x 7 inches and weighing just 1.7 pounds, so it can easily fit on a tabletop or desk. This smart cooling device is powered by a USB cable, making it an excellent choice for a home office or a small bedroom.
- Best for a small workspace
- Built-in night light
- Extremely quiet
- Cooling area is limited
An evaporative cooler, such as this one from Honeywell, is another option if you don’t have the space for a window vent (or want to avoid the eyesore). With its ventless design, the indoor/outdoor unit draws air over ice loaded inside it, creating a cool breeze that cools a room up to 320 square feet.
In hot, dry climates, it’s surprisingly effective even though it’s not a portable air conditioner. The convenient remote control and three humidity settings make it a great home humidifier. You can set it to run for up to 7.5 hours on a programmable timer, also it comes with remote control.
- Ventilation is not required
- Programmable to run for up to 7.5 hours
- Three humidity settings
- Indoor-outdoor design
- It is most effective in dry climates
- It’s not actually an air conditioner
The best portable AC unit should suit your lifestyle and living space, so make sure you select the model that fits both. When deciding on the model, we recommend taking into account the most important factors, ranging from BTU ratings to programmability.