Trying to filter out which portable air conditioner is best for your home is no simple task. If you are trying to reduce the temperature in your home, or specific rooms, then this type of AC unit is the most efficient solution. Just as with buying other electronics, things move fast. These machines are able to provide multiple benefits such as removing moisture from the air while simultaneously reducing its temperature which provides you with a comfortable atmosphere. These products are also incredibly energy efficient, which will help to save you money over the course of it’s lifespan. Make sure to read through all of our portable air conditioner reviews and understand the sizing chart prior to making a purchase. You can save lots of money by buying online and there is no risk if you have made the right choice with our help. Follow our facebook or twitter to stay up to date on the seasons best models and accessories.
Edgestar 12,000 BTU
The EdgeStar 12001S offers 12,000 BTU with 3 fan speed settings. It is also able to operate as a dehumidifier only if you don’t need the cooling capabilities at the given point of time.
NewAir 12,000 BTU
The NewAir AC-12000E is an strong competitor on the market. With a form factor many times smaller than normal air conditioners, the AC-12000E is mobile and ready to be deployed in any room in your house
Honeywell 10,000 BTU
The Honeywell MN10CESWW is on of the most well designed portable air conditioners on the market. What makes it so impressive off the bat is it’s high yield despite it’s small size.
Whynter 14,000 BTU
The Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner is the most environmentally friendly product on our reviews list. The ARC-145 is CFC and is designed to consume as little energy as possible
NewAir 10,000 BTU
The NewAir AC-10000E is the top recommended portable air conditioner for any small room or office 325 feet or smaller. The patented auto evaporating technology allows this mighty little machine to run continuously for many hours.
Frigidaire 10,000 BTU
The Frigidaire FRA054XT7 5,000 BTU Window-Mounted Mini Room Air Conditioner is the ideal company for small bedrooms, offices, and people on a tight budget.
Quirky + GE 5,000 BTU
The unit might be smart, but its brains are actually housed in an app you can download to your phone and work with ease.
DeLonghi Penguino 11,000 BTU
The The DeLonghi PinguinoPortable Air Conditioner has a maximum cooling capacity of 11,000 BTU which is rated for rooms up to 350 square feet. It features all of the digital controls and settings that you would need.
Koldfront 14,000 BTU
The Koldfront PAC1401W Ultracool 14,000 BTU portable air conditioner has 3 fans settings and the ability to function as only a dehumidifier making it a very versatile piece of equipment.
Our review: Why do I need a Portable Air Conditioner?
On this website you will find informative portable air conditioner reviews which will help you to find the perfect fit at the right price. This style of conditioning is known as evaporation cooling is much different than the traditional absorption refrigeration cycle that you will find sitting outside of most houses and facilities. The main difference is that this equipment will utilize the massive enthalpy of water. By inducing a phase change from liquid to vapor, the temperature of the surrounding air can be greatly reduced which provides the source of cold air which will be delivered to the surroundings. The greatest advantage of this cooling process used by portable models is that it requires significantly less energy and will save money on utility bills every month. You can also pick and choose which locations you want to cool so you are not wasting energy while cooling places that nobody is currently located. It has the great luxury of being implemented in the privacy of your own home or indoor sports zone.
|BTU||British Thermal Unit – A measure of energy used for heating and cooling products|
|Capacity||The maximum recommended area of the room in which the equipment will be used|
|Refrigerant||Reduces the amount of humidity in the air making it more of a dry heat|
History of the Portable Air Conditioner
The history of air conditioning is an ancient and fascinating story. The cool nature of A/C units is often taken for granted today, as it is free in nearly every modern establishment. It is considered uncommon in the United States if someone does not have air conditioning in their room. The air we breathe hasn’t always been so cold. In fact, it’s only been in the last hundred years that what we consider as air conditioning really became a mature technology. The basic technologies behind air conditioning revolves around evaporation. Modern systems use a principle of physics called phase change. Normal portable air conditioning units use heat pumps to circulate coolant from a high temperature heat sink into a lower temperature heat source. Each side acts as a condensation chamber or an expansion chamber. The pressure and temperature variations cause the coolant inside to phase from gas to liquid by sending it beyond its boiling point and compressing it again. The process is called phase change and it is the underlying technology to produce cool air everywhere.
Timeline of the invention of AC
Who invented Air Conditioning?
Ancient Egyptians used this method to create the world’s first artificial ice and therefore had the ability to cool an area. The used this knowledge to create an inventive system of trickling water across dried reeds in a window. Blowing air would pass through the window brush against the evaporating liquid. This cooled the air coming into the home. The first wall ac was born.
Roman architects used their aqueducts to run water through piping through stone walls of some homes. This had the effect of cooling the home without ruining the views out of your window. It also was a significant step forward towards our modern air conditioning technology.
In Persia, great cisterns were used in juncture with massive wind towers to forcibly push air across arid climates. However, their methods weren’t based on evaporation like the others.
Chinese scientist Ding Huan invented the rotary for indoor air conditioning for the Han Dynasty Emperor Xuanzong in the 2nd Century. The great “Cool Hall” was noted as being a technological marvel with rising streams of water and wheels that powered a massive 10 foot square machine that powered it all.
English Scientist Cornelius Drebbei showed King James what he called Turning Summer into Winter. The first chemical method of air conditioning that would sprout out own modern technologies. Nothing that came before could even compare. By adding salt to water he showed that they could cool the liquid. The demonstration used a mercury thermometer that eventually fell to -17 degrees Celsius.
Modern techniques for cooling a home however weren’t devised until the 19th century. Significant scientific research over hundreds of years had progressed our understanding of chemistry to the point of mastering cooling using refrigerants and electrical based circulation. In 1902, Willis Carrier introduced the residential air conditioning unit and ushered in the great migrations and colonization of the sunnier areas of the world. Never before had a luxury ac been experienced in privacy.
Timeline of Technologies used
How does an air conditioner work?
There are many different methods of refrigeration. This most common of these is a system that uses a fan and coolant system to blow cold air throughout the area. However, the simple to the wet pad method uses refrigerant pipes instead of an exposed pad to achieve the differential. We have found a great video from YouTube that will help explain this better than we can in words. Don’t forget to read on. There’s a lot more great information below.
What makes an air conditioner portable?
The core technologies of portable air conditioning are identical to a traditional unit in almost every way with a few additions and compression. One of the largest downsides to air conditioning is that through the cooling process they generate condensation. This can sometimes build up and leak across your floor ruining a customer’s belongings. This required the invention of rapid evaporation systems that are in nearly all modern machines today. A portable machine is one that has wheels and or can be easily moved around inside an office, kitchen, room, or entire home.
- Mounted on wheels and able to roll across the floor
- Not too heavy for you to lift up and carry around
- Has extendable ventilation ducts to drain condensation outdoors
Different Types of Portable Air Conditioners
These machines have a rather large variation in type and performance. Primarily, when you shop for these things you are looking for something that is using either a hose or is ductless. Some even use a two hose setup to drain. The differences are rather large. Older systems require the use of a pipe to funnel hot air out of the room. The process that generates cooling is a compression based method that generates heat in a heat sink. That heat has to be expunged somehow and a majority of units choose to do it by using a funnel system like this. Other systems rely on a more compressed technology and are called ductless. The main difference is cost. They both have similar use and coverage.
Types of Models
Window Air Conditioner
The wall ac units are an old fashioned breed. Most smaller units made before 1990 were positioned inside of a window sill and not designed for the average customer to make work. Unlike modern products you can buy online, they were made of heavy metals and built in a way that made them very heavy. This caused these devices to be rather expensive and hard to install. This also made them hard to find cheap repair services. In addition, you would have to sacrifice the views from your window for a cool room. Once installed, these beasts are typically going to permanently obstruct your view. This made for a lot of customer complaints. This is where the modern machines start to diverge. Newer units benefit from lighter materials and more advanced machinery. This makes them smaller, colder, and more energy conscious. As a result they are cheaper, easier to install, and can even be moved to a different window. They aren’t as convenient as a true one with wheels but they still do a great job. These can come in 5,000 to 8000 BTU sizes and can cover an area of about 300 sq ft and can cost around $100 to $300 with shipping and handling.
Portable Air Conditioner
The parts that make a portable air conditioner different from any other model to the average customer is its size, shape, BTU, and square foot coverage. The portable air conditioners have created a middle niche to fill rooms ranging from 400 sq ft to 600 sq ft or more. Anything larger and you will want to start looking into a stationary unit. These require huge interior remodeling projects. Most of the time people will decide to, or are forced to, choose a larger 12,000 to 14,000 BTU portable models. Two of these can cover the average American home or office space. Commercial space will require a more industrial machine. Portable devices have wheels on the bottom and a method of dissipating heat that must be positioned in a window sill or internally. Some newer ones are ductless however they can be rather expensive. These ones are the most portable of them all. Companies even offer a refund policy if the unit doesn’t work for you. This makes it easy to check without worrying about having to read the fine print and be locked into a contract you didn’t want to sign or buy.
Mini Portable Room Air Conditioner
There are always novelty sized products to buy. These border on that kind of product. Mini portables are best used to cool an individual person or area space less than 100 square feet. Still based on the same technologies as normal ones but they are often hand held. Most of them are even fan based. More or less glorified fans, they are marketed as air conditioners for marketing sake only. If they are listed as such then it is most likely just a little portable model.
Ductless Portable Air Conditioner
- Evaporation cooling cycle
- No exhaust air produced by the unit
- No vent piping or ducts required to be routed to the outside
The most expensive according to all portable air conditioner reviews are the ventless portable air conditioners. Also known as ductless. Ductless fans don’t have an exhaust as is common in other models. Instead they use something known as ‘split systems’. These are most commonly used in dry arid climates like deserts or other areas during the hotter climates. They are based on the ancient Egyptian technology of using passing air to pick up the cooling effects of evaporation. Modern devices use what are called wet pads to pull what is outdoor in and pass it out the other side. These devices are often split into two chambers for compression and chilling. They are on average more expensive than other comparably sized products. As such none exist on our portable air conditioner review list if you would like to learn click here.
Dual hose Portable Air conditioners
If you check, you’ll see that these appliances are almost exactly like the traditional one hose units. They rely on the same compression and evaporation technology as other wheel based units however they have one main difference. The place in the window where the hose drain is easily installed has two holes. Both holes have hoses that run to the unit. One of the hoses takes hot air from the machine and spits it outside. The second hose pulls air in from the outside. That’s the only difference. Portable air conditioners with two hoses use the outside air to cool the inside instead of pulling hot air out of the inside and spitting it out. Due to this method of cooling they are more effective than other single hose or single duct units. Single hose models create a ‘negative pressure’ in the main room that causes warm air to pull in from the outside to compensate. This reduces its’ efficiency.
12v Portable air conditioner
The smallest of the all air conditioners you can buy are the ones that run on 12v batteries. These are similar to the mini units and are typically used to cool desks, beer, or food coolers. They are typically made of plastic and run off of a fan system, not refrigeration. You can pick them up for a few dollars at most Walmart’s or other places. Just look for the big sports sign and beer coolers. Technically not an air conditioner, these devices are more a set of fans that remove hot air so your things stay nice and cold.
RV Portable Air Conditioner
This isn’t really a different kind of machine to buy. Rather it is a different use for it. Enough people use portable air conditioners in their RV’s that it has become a popular sub category of the product. The machines can be exactly as the normal portable units on our site but sometimes more bulky and not meant to be rolled around as much. The great benefit to using a portable air model versus the built in RV air conditioner, which is technically still portable, is mostly gas savings. Some people will run a generator to run just the A/C unit. At this point is is an efficiency game. Most little generators are more efficient than the larger RV’s. This makes them ideal choices when staying at a single place for an extended period of time. Which are the point of an RV. Some future forward owners are even taking to carrying solar panels and wind mill type machines to generate electricity while on the go. This energy is stored in big batteries that run the units as a normal outlet would If your RV is smaller than that or you only need to cool a portion of the RV or house boat, then you can use a 12v portable air conditioner similar to above. These can be of great use when dealing with little spaces and can run off of the RV’s own power supply without draining it too fast. Again, with these units it’s not always the better choice to use an RV portable air conditioner. Some of the newer RV models have taken this inconvenience into consideration and have allocated on board resources accordingly. Odds are though if your RV is more than a half a decade old you will need to try the generator/solar panel approach to powering your interior AC.
What makes the best portable air conditioner?
They say if you do something right, then they won’t even know you’ve done anything at all. Similarly, when dealing with something that either fits in your window or roars in the corner of your room, it’s best to find a unit that is as unobtrusive as possible. The best products in any market are usually the most finally refined ones. When talking about portable air conditioners that means sound, size, and effective coverage, with lowest energy consumption possible. If you can find a product that has free shipping then you the experience is even better. While older systems were large and took most of the day to install, newer systems can be setup in less than an hour. The best of these systems run as quiet as a mouse, and cover your entire domicile without costing as much as your car insurance. To say one machine is better or best versus another is hard to say though. Each one is measured in BTU. A British Thermal Unit is a gauge as to house fast a process can increase the temperature in a room 1 degree Celsius. You can find both a 5,000 BTU portable machine for a 350 square foot room or a 14,000 BTU portable one for a 600 square foot studio. The price is relatively close depending on the shop. It’s also important to note that if you are going to run your machine inside of kitchen you will have to get the next biggest size. The oven and stove add a lot of heat to the room and its hard to compensate. Hands down though in order to be considered the best you have a good digital remote control system to control the unit.
- Output capacity that matches your requirements
- Intelligent controls to increase the overall efficiency of the system
- Appropriate drainage setup to suit the environment that it will be used in
- Operation that does not produce too much noise to interrupt your living
- A price that that you are able to afford without stretching the budget
Portable room air conditioner ratings
In order to appropriately rate an ac unit’s cooling ability, we must distill what important features there are to consider when try to buy a portable air conditioner company. On our reviews based website we have tried to search for the best criteria and have chosen to use several important and constant metrics to rate our machines by. They are price, BTUs, sound, energy efficiency, aesthetics, dimensions, weight, ease of use, and ease of install. Occasionally some devices have extra features that others have and must be considered as additional notes. The main example of an extra note would be a ductless unit, dual hose unit, or app based digital remote control. The total list of these ratings and comparisons to all other portable air conditioner reviews and comparisons can be found here. We tally up the benefits and our judges give an overall star rating out of 5 stars. Every customer is encouraged to read the comparisons and discover for themselves what makes one ac unit deserve more stars and therefore more cool than another. Also to provide feedback whether or not our portable room air conditioner ratings are appropriate or not. Compare the brands on our site and around the net. If you find any discrepancies then your feedback is always welcome. While we are confident in how we rated our product, we want to make sure we haven’t rated them too highly.
Importance of the different features
Quiet Portable Air Conditioner
- Less than 30 dB of white noise
- No clicking or other high pitched noise
Since most central air conditioners and ductless air conditioners are positioned outside as split-air systems, their noise level is rarely any concern of the home or business owner. This relegates the term quiet portable air conditioner to a classification of portable air conditioners. Of these types of products there are two different types to consider. The wall air conditioners are the best and most convenient choice for most customers. If the central ac in your home goes out then you can easily run out to the store and pick up a 5,000 to 8,000 BTU portable air conditioner and slap it in your window in less than an hour and have a cool room a few short hours after that. Being so cheap and easily installed, they are usually the best choice. This however comes at a downside, these wall based machines are considerably louder than other products on the market as they have less space to more efficiently control the noise. The bigger wheeled hose based portable air conditioners are the quietest of all the ac unit types. They are typically a different type of technology than the wet pad based window air conditioners and can therefore run quieter relying on a heat sink vs a loud fan system. The downside of these ones are partially the cost and the room it takes to house them. Unlike window a/c they are freestanding in your home on wheels and can be a real eyesore if you don’t pick one with good aesthetics. There are a few tricks to making your air conditioners more quiet though. You can try to run it less when it is already cool inside. Or try using a dehumidifier. Reducing humidity can have perceived 20 degree variation in ambient temperature in warmer climates. Running a pure dehumidifier will be quieter and will make the entire space feel less tropical.
Small Portable Air Conditioner
It’s already been mentioned several times but it is important to note. The best portable air conditioners are usually smaller than the rest. No one wants to obstruct their living space or window view with a large, loud, energy sucking machine. While there are some really great products on the market that highly mitigate these types of inconveniences, the truth is still constant that you will have to sacrifice space to house your new machine. For this reason, we have included the dimensions comparison column in our comparison chart. For a window model, a smaller dimension means a better view, for portable models it means a slimmer profile and more free space for you and your family. The wall models also have a one time installation as it’s not often moved. Wheel based machines make you redo the installation every time you move the device which is implied in its design.
How many BTUs do I need?
Cheap Portable Air Conditioner
Everyone loves cheap. It means we have more resources to spend on the things we want rather than the thing we have to have. A new customer though may not be aware of the importance of the other phrase, you get what you buy. AC has become a luxury of our modern world and most people are intolerant of being without this standard amenities. It’s not a big secret why either. A few minutes without one and anyone will learn the value. That doesn’t mean that we have to labor under the cost. Cheap portable air conditioners do exist and they come in the form of either window air conditioners or used and refurbished portable air conditioners. These smaller and used products can run you about $100 to $200 to cover up to 450 square feet if you are lucky. Every day yields a different deal so it’s best to pay close attention to markets and try for a random bargain. If time isn’t a luxury you have then buy a smaller window unit. It may just be the better choice for you considering they can be as cheap as $100.
|8,000 BTU||10,000 BTU||12,000 BTU||14,000 BTU|
|under $100||under $150||under $200||under $350|
Portable Room Air Conditioner and Heater
Not all people that needs an air conditioner live in the tropical areas. Most of the world’s population lives in regions with 4 full seasons. These more highly varied locations will benefit from owning one of these machines for only few months out of the year. On the other side, what are the to do with their machine? Fortunately for them they are most commonly on wheels so they can simply roll it out of the way. However, on nights that are extremely cold some companies are including a portable air conditioner and heater combo. These multi-units can both cool your home and warm it up. The combined use brings back the reliability and value to more than half of the world. They function in much the same way as normal ones except the exhaust is controlled a bit more closely. Filtered exhaust can warm a room just as easily as filtered clean air can turn your room into a cooler. The heater option is not commonly sold in the tropical regions as they have no real use except for maybe a week out of the year. Even then it’s often not cold, just cooler. For this reason the ac heater combo is not as commonly sold or known about. Those that have them though love them dearly and swear by them on average. They do tend to be harder to service if they need a repair though as there is more in them than a normal machine.
How to Install a Portable Air Conditioner
- Read the instruction manual completely before starting
- Work with another individual to move and position the unit
- Purchase the required hardware and tools prior to starting
Check the YouTube videos above. They show how the average model has a rather easy installation. You don’t need to be amazingly handy with a hammer to figure out how to use your new toy or hire an expensive services. As with most appliances the parent business has put a lot of care into the design and electronics of the objects. This goes a lot way to helping your personal comfort. Throw in some good deals from us and it’s a painless process. The video from Haier above does a great job showing us how easy keeping the outdoors outdoor is with a quality new model.
Health Concerns with Portable Air Conditioners
There are several ways that one of these devices can both improve your average health and deteriorate it. It comes down to how fully loaded it is. The only disadvantage to owning a portable model is that is can sometimes generate mold depending on your model. The wet pad wall models are the most notorious for this. Most companies have accessories you can buy that will help easily clean their specific model. If not then Lysol spray and a good scrub does a lot of good. Most of the time with the wet pad you will want to just replace the mat. If you clean your machine often though then you will never have a problem.
Who Benefits the most from a portable air conditioner
|Allergies||Filters allergens out of the air and deposits them into the collection tank|
|Asthma||Removes any dust and particles from the atmosphere which interfere with the lungs|
|Sweating||Reduces the amount of humidity in the air making it more of a dry heat|
The health benefits though are based on air purification installed in the devices as well as dehumidifiers. The collection of these two features provide for the best clean atmosphere for the home. This lets everyone have an allergy free time every day and a clear view of their health.