Best Portable Air Conditioners for Effective Cooling

Review & Comparison, Last Update June 17, 2021
Do you wonder how to survive a hot summer or how to heat your room in winter? Perhaps, it's high time to think about a reliable and cost-efficient portable air conditioner that will maintain the optimal temperature in your room. This review will help you find the one you need. ...Read more ...Read less
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PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Cooling Capacity
Air Consumption
Dehumidifying Capacity
Cooling Area
Weight
Max Power Consumption
Energy Efficiency Ratio
Filter
Usability
Warranty
 
PROS

The Whynter portable air conditioner features a dual-hose venting system, which makes it much more efficient than single-hose air conditioners.

CONS

The display might be too bright and bothering at night. 

OUR VERDICT

This portable air conditioner effectively cools sizeable areas, which makes it a perfect solution for owners of large apartments and houses who appreciate nice, modern design and great performance.

detailed parameters
Cooling Capacity

14,000 BTU

Air Consumption

253 CFM

Dehumidifying Capacity

71 pints per day

Cooling Area
500 sq. ft.
Weight

73 lbs

Max Power Consumption

1300 watts

Energy Efficiency Ratio

11 EER

Filter
Washable pre-filter, Carbon air filter
Usability

Auto Drain function, 24-hour programmable timer, 3 fan speeds, Remote control, Automatic cut-off, Caster wheels, Window kit

Warranty

1 year

PROS

It boasts a high dehumidifying capacity and is able to fully replace an air dryer. So, it can prevent the bacteria buildup and appearance of mold.

CONS

Some hose/window panel pieces are hard to put together.

OUR VERDICT

The BLACK + DECKER BPACT14WT AC can quickly cool down a living room, bedroom, college dorm room and other rooms up to 350-400 sq.ft. in size. It's easy to install and maintain.

detailed parameters
Cooling Capacity

14,000 BTU

Air Consumption

N/A

Dehumidifying Capacity

166.1 pints per day

Cooling Area

300-350 sq. ft.

Weight

68.3 lbs

Max Power Consumption

1200 watts

Energy Efficiency Ratio

~ 11 EER

Filter

Slide-out washable filter

Usability

Auto water evaporation, 3 fan speeds + auto mode, 24-hour timer and sleep mode, Full-function remote control, Casters for easy mobility, Installation kit

Warranty

1 year for labor, 1 year for parts (manufacturing defects only), 5 years for compressor part

PROS

4-direction vented airflow outlets promote ultimately even air distribution throughout the room. Add to that 12,000 BTUs of power and you'll get ultra-quick cooling results. 

CONS

On the max setting, the fan produces 75 dB.

OUR VERDICT

The BLACK + DECKER BPACT12WT is a powerful unit for small- to medium-sized rooms. In less than an hour, it's capable of reducing the temperature up to 15-20 degrees.

detailed parameters
Cooling Capacity

12,000 BTU

Air Consumption

N/A

Dehumidifying Capacity

~ 70 pints per day

Cooling Area

300 sq. ft.

Weight

59.5 lbs

Max Power Consumption

950 watts

Energy Efficiency Ratio

9.61 EER

Filter

Washable air filter

Usability

Auto water evaporation, Top mounted control panel with LED display, 3 fan speeds, 24-hour timer, 4 direction vented airflow outlet, Sleep mode, Built-in handle and casters, Remote control, Window mount exhaust kit

Warranty

1 year for labor, 1 year for parts (manufacturing defects only), 5 years for compressor part

PROS

Thanks to the auto-fan setting, the fan speed will be automatically adjusted depending on the ambient temperature.

CONS

Connecting the outlet to the exhaust hose is a little tricky.

OUR VERDICT

This air conditioner is ideal for dorms, bedrooms, and small offices. It's quick to install, relatively lightweight, and easy to move. The cooling efficiency of the device is pretty good too: it reaches the temp very fast and keeps a room comfortably cool for hours.

detailed parameters
Cooling Capacity

10,000 BTU

Air Consumption

N/A

Dehumidifying Capacity

45 pints per day

Cooling Area

250 sq. ft.

Weight

52.9 lbs

Max Power Consumption

1150 watts

Energy Efficiency Ratio

8.69 EER

Filter

Slide-out washable filter

Usability

Auto water evaporation, Control panel with LED display, 3 fan levels, Auto-fan setting, 24-hour timer and sleep mode, Remote control, Casters, Installation kit

Warranty

1 year for labor, 1 year for parts (manufacturing defects only), 5 years for compressor part

PROS

The remote is fitted with a unique "follow me" proximity sensor that can detect the temperature around you and transmit a signal to the air conditioner.

CONS

The rubber hose is a tad bit short.

OUR VERDICT

With 8,000 BTU cooling capacity, the MIDEA MAP08R1CWT is best suitable for smaller spaces up to 150 sq. ft. With only 900-Watt output, it doesn't consume much electricity but cools or dehumidifies rooms quickly and efficiently.

detailed parameters
Cooling Capacity

8,000 BTU

Air Consumption

N/A

Dehumidifying Capacity

~ 35 pints per day

Cooling Area

150 sq. ft.

Weight

59.9 lbs

Max Power Consumption

900 watts

Energy Efficiency Ratio

8.9 EER

Filter

Washable air filter

Usability

LED display, 3 modes (cooling, dehumidification, fan only), Sleep mode, 24-hour timer, Adjustable temperature 62°F - 90°F, Four wheels, Remote control with the proximity sensor (batteries included), Installation hardware

Warranty

1 year limited

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Whynter Dual Hose

High-Tech AC

At a glance, it becomes obvious that the Whynter ARC-14S is a premium device that looks different from the majority of other portable conditioners out there. Instead of plain, white design, it's available in a sleek glossy, black body with platinum details. That's why it can blend seamlessly into any modern decor without ruining the integrity of your home design.

Yet, the Whynter ARC-14S is high-tech not only from outside. Awarded as the "2020 Best Overall" by Good Housekeeping's, this portable air conditioner is currently one of the most powerful options on the market. With 14,000 BTU capacity, it's capable of quickly cooling up to 500 sq. ft. in quite a short while. Actually, this unit delivers very cold, clean, and filtered air in spades and has a good thermostat that is adjustable in the range from 61 degrees F to 89 degrees F. Also, the fan here is fairly powerful and can provide the maximum airflow of 253 CFM. However, despite all that, this model is fairly cost-effective and has an 11 EER rating.

For your convenience, it features an LCD display that shows the current indoor temperature, fan speeds, operation modes, and timer settings. Speaking of which, the 24-hour programmable timer can be set to automatically turn the unit on or off at any time during a whole day. As for other extras, this multifunctional appliance can be used as a dehumidifier to remove up to 101 pints of excess moisture per day. And since this unit is equipped with an auto-drain technology, you won't need to empty the baskets of water.

Review of Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner 14,000 BTU

Two Hoses are Better than One

What also makes the Whynter ARC-14S a standout is the fact that it's made with two hoses instead of one. Therefore, it seems to work much more efficiently than single-hole models. Actually, the conditioner doesn't lose as much BTU power, meaning it cools down the same areas quicker and with less electricity consumed.

Another perk is that this unit features an advanced auto drain technology that uses and recycles moisture (collected during the cooling process) to produce more cool air. Besides, a washable pre-filter in combination with a carbon air filter perfectly purify the air, making your living environment healthier. All this surely makes the Whynter ARC-14S a top-choice for those who'd like to get the most out of a portable conditioning unit.

Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner 14,000 BTU in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price $525.00
Stock In stock
ASIN B0028AYQDC

VIDEO
Whynter ARC-14S, ARC-14SH, ARC-143MX Portable Air Conditioner Installation Guide
 

Black & Decker BPACT14WT

Heat Killer

The BLACK+DECKER BPACT14WT is a real workhorse! Being slightly bigger than a mini-fridge, it can help you kill heat in any bedroom, living room, college dorm room or even small apartment. It features super-strong fans that can cool any 350-400 sq. ft. space from stuffy 90 degrees F down to pleasant 70 degrees F in less than an hour. After the unit reaches the set temperature, it shuts off automatically or operates in a fan-only mode. You can adjust louvers up or down to create a steady airflow for even temperature distribution. The fans blow fresh air approx. 10-15 feet away.

This AC unit has cooling, fan, and dehumidification functions. The dehumidification mode is very helpful during those muggy days. It's able to remove up to 166 pints of moisture per day. Also, this B&D unit boasts a fast-cool feature and an oscillating setting. Operating in the latter mode, it oscillates the air rather than blowing in one direction. Moreover, the manufacturer also offers this unit with a heating function.

The AC itself is nicely built. At 14,000 BTU, it's quite small and is perfect for those who want to save space. Side carrying handles and 4 caster wheels make the unit easy to move around. However, they might not roll very well on thick carpets. Also, we would like to note that this isn't a central air unit, so it'll definitely make some noise. If just fan is running, it's pretty quiet. But things get a bit worse when the compressor kicks on. It'll make the "buzzing" sound that is loud enough to drown out a conversation. You might be surprised, but some customers say that the noise doesn't bother them at all and even blends into the background as a calming white noise. So, if absolute silence drives you insane (as well as unbearable heat), this mighty one is your choice.

Review of Black & Decker BPACT14WT Portable Air Conditioner 14,000 BTU

Backed by Advanced Technologies

The unit has a handy control panel with a LED digital display. It shows you the ambient temperature, settings, and more. You can set the needed mode/temp manually or use a handy remote. It can help you access all the functions from anywhere in the room. Also, this B&D portable air conditioner features an automatic thermostat, 24-hour on/off timer, and a sleep mode. Enjoy the simplicity of use!

Black & Decker BPACT14WT Portable Air Conditioner 14,000 BTU in the use

Easy Installation

This portable air conditioner is supplied with the window installation kit and a complete manual guide for an easy set up. The installation set includes some foam window seal stuff, 4'11" exhaust hose, slide lock screw, the sliding kit (the piece with the vent, 2 extensions), connector for the slides, and some other things. The AC is compatible with windows that open side to side as well as up and down.

Detailed review of Black & Decker BPACT14WT Portable Air Conditioner 14,000 BTU

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $429.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B01DLPUWHQ

 

BLACK + DECKER BPACT12WT

Powerful Conditioner

Designed specifically for cooling small spaces, the BLACK+DECKER BPACT12WT is actually a bit more powerful than its rivals and, thus, it can bring quicker cooling results. While other units intended for 300 sq.ft. rooms usually produce no more than 10,000 BTUs, this one is capable of delivering a whopping 12,000 BTUs. That's why it can cool down small rooms quickly yet quietly.

To understand how powerful this AC is, just consider the fact that it can reduce the temperature by 15-20 degrees in less than an hour. With that, it doesn’t sound like a jet engine and produces just a slight blowing exhaust sound that maximizes at 75dB on the highest setting. When it achieves the target temperature, it becomes a bit quieter. Besides, it also features a Sleep Mode that not only auto-controls the air temperature at night but also keeps noise to a minimum so as not to disturb you and your family members. That being said, it is still recommended to place it on a firm floor in order to minimize noise and vibration of the conditioner.

For an effortless installation on a suitable spot, the BLACK+DECKER BPACT12WT comes with rolling casters and side carrying handles. Also, the box includes a long hose and a window adaptor that is compatible with double-hung or sliding windows (no crank windows).

Review of BLACK + DECKER BPACT12WT Portable Air Conditioner 12,000 BTU

A Few Modes to Choose From

The BLACK+DECKER BPACT12WT is a versatile unit that cools, dehumidifies, and circulates air to stand up to summer heat. To set the operation correctly, you should press the "up" or "down" buttons on the control panel until the desired temperature is displayed on the screen. Then, you can select the fan speed from High, Med, Low, and Auto modes. All the settings can also be adjusted via the remote that works up to 23 feet away from the appliance.

For those muggy days when you need to both cool and dehumidify the room, you can set the dehumidification mode capable of removing up to 70 pints of moisture per day. Equipped with the very latest MIST technology, the water tank of this conditioner nearly never fills, meaning you'll need to drain water only at the end of the season.

Offering almost immediate comfort, this BLACK+DECKER air conditioner is a great choice for small spaces that need to be cooled down within the shortest time possible. It's unpretentious in use, powerful, and portable.

BLACK + DECKER BPACT12WT Portable Air Conditioner 12,000 BTU in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price $400.00
Stock In stock
ASIN B01DLPUWGW

 

Black & Decker BPACT10WT

Compact and Unobtrusive

Of course, having a good air conditioner in your room will keep you cool and comfortable during the hot summer months. However, if you have a small room or need a temporary solution for your camper, there is no need to install a bulky AC unit. The BLACK + DECKER BPACT10WT Portable Air Conditioner may be the answer. It's a bit more compact compared to similar models and, accordingly, easier to install and move around.

The window kit that comes with the purchase includes three panels to fit both horizontal and vertical window openings from 20.5 to 59 inches. However, if your window is smaller, you can carefully cut the included window panel using a saw to make it suitable for exhausting. Also, the installation set includes a 5-inch diameter threaded exhaust hose, rear panel hose connector, and window panel hose connector. Since the exhaust hose is 5 feet and the power cord is 84 3/8 inches long, you get plenty of reach and will barely need an extension.

At 20 x 20 feet, the unit doesn't take up much space and fits unobtrusively into dorms, RVs, apartments, bedrooms, or living rooms. Basically, it provides a steady and effective cooling for spaces from 150 up to 250 sq. ft.

Review of Black & Decker BPACT10WT Portable Air Conditioner 10,000 BTU

Tech Specs

When it comes to functionality, the BLACK + DECKER BPACT10WT doesn't trail behind the competition. Just like its bigger contenders, it offers three energy-efficient functions - cooling, ventilation, and dehumidifying. The latter does a decent job of reducing humidity, mold, and mildew, thereby, preventing the growth of bacteria in hot and steamy conditions. As for the cooling mode, the unit outputs 10,000 BTU and can cool the air up to 65 degrees F at the max setting. It is great when you need immediate relief.

The fan levels can be set to low, medium, and high. Also included is an auto-fan setting (in the cooling mode) that adjusts the fan speed according to the ambient temperature. This mode turns the appliance into a normal household fan and is good when you want to keep a room cool for longer.

The other useful feature is a 24-hour timer that prevents electricity waste and helps to save some money. This way, you can set the AC to come on anywhere between 1 and 24 hours and the unit will diligently bring the temperature back down from the afternoon highs when you come back home from work. Also, the timer can be set to turn the unit off within the same 1-24 hour interval.

With this good functionality and compact size, the BLACK + DECKER BPACT10WT is a sound choice for any small room. It's reliable, easy to install, and quick at cooling.

Black & Decker BPACT10WT Portable Air Conditioner 10,000 BTU in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price $365.00
Stock In stock
ASIN B01DLPUWG2

 

Midea MAP08R1CWT

Follow Me

Since 1985, Midea has made a big name in the air conditioning market. The company is known for its wide range of high-quality air conditioning appliances and advanced technologies they are packed with. Actually, each Midea product is one of its kind because of its novelty design, technological specs, and advantages. See for yourself.

The Midea MAP08R1CWT is a sleek-looking portable air conditioner that can make a bedroom or any other small room very comfortable within a pretty short period of time. With the ASHRAE rating of 8,000 BTU, it covers spaces up to 150 sq. ft and can run both fan and dehumidification functions at the same time, cooling the ambience anywhere between 62°F-90°F.

All the settings are easy to adjust using the control panel with an easy-to-read LED display or remote control (included in the set). Speaking of which, the remote looks somewhat basic at a glance but it's anything but. The unique thing about it is that it's fitted with the “follow me” proximity sensor that detects the temperature surrounding you and, given the remote controller is beside you, senses your distance from the unit. Based on this information, the Midea MAP08R1CWT automatically adjusts the cooling power, which allows it to create a maximum comfortable room temperature.

Review of Midea MAP08R1CWT Portable Air Conditioner 8,000 BTU

One of the Most Portable AC Units

Besides setting the temperature and choosing between the cooling, dehumidifying, and fan-only modes, the remote and LED control panel let you regulate the oscillation level, fan speed as well as set the timer or sleep mode. In the latter mode, the Midea air conditioner will automatically adjust the temperature, keeping you pleasantly cool throughout the night. The unit gently blows nice, cold air while staying at a tolerable noise level so that you could place it even next to your bed and do not worry that it would disturb your sleep. The 24-hr programmable timer, in its turn, will allow you to program the unit to turn off midnight, thus, saving some energy.

As for the installation, this AC unit lives up to expectations and sets up without a hitch. All the components are of good quality and snap in place with no problems. Once assembled, the unit looks clean and takes minimum floor space. It comes equipped with four wheels for even greater portability. We really couldn't ask for a better experience in this regard.

All things taken into account, this smart-controlled Midea air conditioner is a very solid investment for those who need a highly portable and reliable unit to use in small spaces. Produced by a trustworthy manufacturer, it cools efficiently and offers some nice extras like "follow me" function.

Midea MAP08R1CWT Portable Air Conditioner 8,000 BTU in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $309.30
Stock In stock
ASIN B087CQVC9G

 

What Is a Portable Air Conditioner?

An air conditioner, for many, has become the only salvation, allowing them to survive hot summer weather. The problem is, not all people can afford to install one, which is especially true of those who live in rented apartments and aren't allowed to do any modifications to the place. There are also those who simply don't want to make changes to the external side of the building and ruin its integrity and aesthetics. The solution? Consider a portable air conditioner which is designed for effective cooling of the premises where it's impossible to install other types of air conditioning systems. The advantage of these portable units is that they can be used anywhere in your house. For instance, you can cool your living room during the daytime and then you can easily move the appliance to cool your bedroom at night. Another benefit is that they require very little assembly. With most of them coming with an easy-to-install window venting kit, all you will need to do is adjust a vent pipe to the window and connect it to the mains. Not sure which one will work best for you? For this review, we've hand-selected the best models currently available out there so it will be easy for you to take your pick!

If you want to install a stationary air conditioner to cool only one room in your house, then take a close look at split air conditioners or window air conditioners with a window slide bar that fits standard windows.

What Features to Compare

Performance

When you decide to purchase an air conditioner, performance is one of the most important features that need to be considered. It goes without saying that performance is a key factor in creating a proper indoor climate. This primarily depends on 3 essential functions: cooling capacity, ventilation, and dehumidification.

The cooling capacity determines how much and how fast a unit can cool a room. It is measured in BTU (British thermal unit), where BTU is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. When used in relation to an air conditioner, BTU means the cooling capacity of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. For example, a model with a cooling capacity of 10.000 BTU can efficiently cool an area of 350 square feet.

When it comes to the heating capacity, it is directly proportional to the cooling capacity. The ventilation is used to circulate and cool the air. The air flow is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). For example, in a room with an area of 350 square feet and a 10-foot ceiling height, an air conditioner with the air flow of 200 CFM can force the total air volume through the system within 18 minutes. The higher the CFM is, the faster the air is cooled or heated in the room.

The dehumidifier helps reduce indoor humidity to the desired level. It is measured in pints of moisture accumulated for a specific period of time, normally during a day. If an air conditioner is used in a humid climate, it is better to choose a model with dehumidifying capacity of more than 90 pints per day.

The power consumption is another important feature. Energy efficiency of the unit is determined by its performance-to-consumption ratio. The higher this ratio is, the more efficient an air conditioner is. The most energy efficient units have 10 EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) value and higher.

Mobility

Since air conditioners are portable devices, their mobility is one more essential feature that should be taken into account. Primarily, you should decide whether you will use the device to cool a single room or multiple ones. If you plan to use an air conditioner as a stationary unit, then it's worth paying attention to the window kit and the vent pipes length. It should be taken into consideration that the longer the pipe is, the easier it is to place a unit. On the contrary, the shorter the pipe is, the less heat will come to the room from the outside. If you constantly move your device from one room to another, you should consider its weight, size, wheels and side carry handles for easy transportation.

Usability

The usability includes an automatic drain system, a remote control for convenient use, a programmable 24-hour timer to set on/off time, and many other extra features.

Sources:

1. Kristen Hicks The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Portable Air Conditioner, CompactAppliance. July 7, 2016.

2. 5 Things to Consider When Buying a Portable Air Conditioner, Sylvane.

3. Portable Air Conditioner Buying Guide, Sylvane.

4. Andrew Moseman I Bought a Portable Air Conditioner. Should You? Popular Mechanics. May 31, 2016.

5. Carl Laron Portable Air Conditioner Buying Guide, ConsumerSearch. June 8, 2017.

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