The Best Portable Air Conditioners

The Best Portable Air Conditioners
The Best Portable Air Conditioners

Usually, when talking about an air conditioner, people think about equipment mounted on a wall, playing an essential role in adjudging the temperature in a specific space, such as the living room, making it less stuffy and cooler. However, have you ever thought that your garages, office, or even the server rooms also need an air conditioner? Because in these places, the atmosphere is warmer than usual and a bit stuffy, however, mounting an air conditioner is rather inconvenient. Thus, that is the reason why the best portable air conditioner was released.

The Differences of Portable Air Conditioners

A portable air conditioner is a mobile system that is portably self–contained. It is very ideal for purpose of cooling a single room or a specific space, for instance, your house or office. Unlike most other air conditioners, you do not need to mount this portable one on the wall stably, but just let it stand on the floor and move it anywhere you want as it has wheels, making it become a good replacement for windows.

On the other side, portable air conditioners will be different due to their brand, venting configuration, maximum cooling area, and special features – for example, remote control operation, specialized air filters, programmable timers, multiple operating modes, and energy efficiency.

When do you need Portable Air Conditioner?

To know when you need a portable air conditioner, you should understand what you need or determine your demands as well as get enough useful knowledge about how each kind of air conditioner works. They will have a strong influence on your decision. Basically, there are two major factors which are:

  • The size of space you intend to use it
  • The cases you want to set up a unit

One outstanding benefit of a portable air conditioner is its flexibility. It is very easy to set up and use right the. So, when you need to use a cooling machine for multiple spaces, you can pick it up as the best choice. For example, you can move this device from the bedroom downstairs to your study room easily as your desire.

However, due to the size of the space you are going to use, the capacity and efficiency of the machine will be affected. Usually, people choose to use a portable air conditioner in small spaces but in warmer and stuffier than usual, but these spaces do not need to cool as always, like offices, server rooms, bedrooms, garages, so forth, and so on.

Besides, again, because of its flexibility in installation options, it can be utilized when you need to move it from window to window to cool different spaces.

How to choose the right size

As mentioned above, you should consider the size of a portable air conditioner first. To choose the right size for your room, it is very essential to consider the list below to estimate the size of the area you desire to put it in. In this field, people use a specific unit called BTU, which stands for British Thermal Unit. It is used for calculating pulling power. Even though they are rough estimates, they can help you to get an ideal size:

BTUs The calculations Results
7,500 BTUs 150 square feet x 8-foot ceiling 1,200 cubic feet
9,000 BTUs 200 square feet x 8-foot ceiling 1,600 cubic feet
10,000 BTUs 300 square feet x 8-foot ceiling 2,400 cubic feet
12,000 BTUs 400 square feet x 8-foot ceiling 3,200 cubic feet
13,000 BTUs 450 square feet x 8-foot ceiling 3,600 cubic feet
14,000 BTUs 500 square feet x 8-foot ceiling 4,000 cubic feet
24,000 BTUs 740 square feet x 8-foot ceiling 5,920 cubic feet
60,000 BTUs 1,700 square feet x 8-foot ceiling 480,000 cubic feet

On the other side, you should consider these elements as well to increase the power and size of your PAC:

  • You are living in a hot and humid religion
  • Your living space gets many heat-generating appliances or windows
  • The ceiling in your room is high
  • You use this machine to cool a poorly ventilated space, for example, a workshop or garage

The Best Sellers Portable Air Conditioner

The Best Portable Air Conditioner Reviews

1. Honeywell MN10CESWW 10000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner


  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 18.1 x 29.4 inches
  • Item Weight: 61.7 pounds
  • Manufacturer: JMA Honeywell
  • Batteries: 2 AA batteries required.


This PAC is one of the bestsellers of Honeywell in particular speaking and among entire portable air conditions in general. With the capacity in dehumidifying and cooling up to 350 square feet, (sometimes, when you do not need those functions, you can move into fan – only setting), 3M electrostatic filter and the 3 in 1 technology, you have no doubt in its functions of cooling and dehumidifying.

On the other hand, the system of auto evaporation lets it run continuously without the demands of draining or water bucket emptying, but just a window installation kit including drain hose and window vent which is rather easy to set up.

A small talk about the outlook, this PAC has a sleek and beautiful design, in addition to silence when working, makes it a perfect choice for many customers.


  • Nice outlook
  • Optimum dehumidification and cooling
  • Contain fan-only function
  • Very flexible
  • Have remote control
  • Many useful functions
  • High warranty


  • Not as quiet as recommended
  • Hard to put the hose into the device

2. Whynter ARC-14S, 14000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

The very first impression of this PAC is the sleek and nice design with 14,000 Btu ARC and dual exhaust hose, making it very efficient in exhausting warm air as well as the excess moisture out of the space, blow back the cool and dry air to offer the best comfort. With four operational setting modes, easy installation, and the eco – friendly design, they make the device more valuable. As mentioned previously, this PAC has 14,000 BTU which is able to cool up an area up to 500 square feet, very suitable for server room, living room, office, classroom, workshop, so forth and so on.

Besides, nobody can deny how flexible of it to move from room to room easily due to your demands, in addition to the auto drain function, making it more convenient. We have classified the drain hose in the previous section, so that you can understand how useful of a dual hose. As almost PAC, this device includes remote control, too. Moreover, about the filter, it contains multiple layers such as washable pre – filter and activated carbon filter to ensure the clearest air offered.


  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 19 x 35.5 inches
  • Item Weight: 63 pounds
  • Manufacturer: Whynter
  • Department: Portable Air Conditioners


  • Sleek design
  • Huge coverage in cooling and dehumidifying
  • Dual drain hose efficiently
  • Eco friendly design
  • Multiple setting modes
  • Easy to install
  • Can be used for many kinds of space
  • Including remote control
  • Have multiple layer filters


  • Have to fill the water tray, otherwise, it will automatically turn off
  • Replacement hose is rather expensive
  • The window kit is not fit to all

3. Honeywell MN12CES 12000 BTU

Like Honeywell MN10CESWW 10000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner, this PAC has sleek outlook and the same type of battery: 2 AA batteries, but different in size and weight. With 12,000 BTU, this device can dehumidify and cool in an area up to 450 square feet. Again, the 3 in 1 technology combines with 3M electrostatic filter as well as the compressor, help it to optimize all functions.

It also has the fan – only function. Its flexibility is shown in the ability to move room to room easily thanks to enclosed wheels. Moreover, the system of automatic evaporation helps you get no worry about emptying the water bucket or tray, which includes a window installation kit and exhaust hose.


  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 16.5 x 29.3 inches
  • Item Weight: 68.3 pounds
  • Manufacturer: JMA Honeywell
  • Batteries: 2 AA batteries required


  • Sleek design
  • Huge coverage in cooling and dehumidifying, up to 450 square feet
  • Have fan – only function
  • Very flexible
  • Auto – evaporation function without bucket or tray emptying


  • Only good for window
  • Just working well within 1 year

4. LG Electronics LP0814WNR, 8000 BTU

Because of smaller dimensions leading to lighter weight as well, only 47.6 pounds, this PAC is rather easy to lift and move around. On the other side, even though they are different from each other in brand, this device has the same kind of battery with two Honeywell above – 2 AAA batteries.

In detail, right from the design, we can see that it is very sleek and beautiful which is more suitable for almost spaces. Besides, the auto – evaporation system is strength of this device, allows unemptied water in bucket or tray, but just has a simple and easy – to – install kit. On the other side, you can control the temperature in a space thanks to 24 hour on / off timer.

With 8,000 BTU, this device can dehumidify and cool up to an area of 200 square feet, using an electrical outlet of 115 volts. In addition, it also attaches LED light with 2 cooling speed and 2 fan speed as well.


  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 13.9 x 29.8 inches
  • Item Weight: 47.6 pounds
  • Manufacturer: LG
  • Batteries: 2 AAA batteries required.


  • Sleek and modern design
  • Auto – evaporation function without a bucket or tray to empty
  • Lightweight and small model
  • 24 hour on / off timer to monitor the temperature
  • Can cool up to 200 square feet area
  • Cheap price


  • Noisy
  • Cannot cool many spaces in a house
  • The window kit is not suited for all types of window

5. Frigidaire FRA051 5000 BTU

This Frigidaire PAC has 5,000 BTU, so that it is a perfect choice to use in small space up to 216 square feet with full function of remote control as well as electronic controls, which help you to choose many different options easily by pressing on a button. Besides, the manufacturer also invests in the filter system of the device, with antimicrobial filter for the purpose of limiting the room odors, bacteria, and many other airborne molecules, to offer clear and fresh air, which is rather suitable for those who are allergic to pollen and molds. Moreover, this Frigidaire FRA051 5000 BTU provides three cooling speeds and three fan speeds with swing air direction control, allowing distributing the cool air blow to many sides of the space.

Specifications :

  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 17.5 x 28.2 inches
  • Item Weight: 64 pounds
  • Manufacturer: Frigidaire


  • Nice design
  • Work well in small space under 216 square feet
  • Electronic controls for easy setting through a button
  • Antimicrobial filter for fresh air without any pollen, mold and mildew
  • Suitable for those who have allergies
  • Multiple cooling and fan speed


  • Not work well in large space
  • Heavy weight and big size, very bulky

Features to look for


The very first and important element you should consider is the size of portable air conditioner. A too small cooling machine used in a too large room cannot bring into play its effects. On the contrary, if the machine is too large but just be placed in a small space, it will automatically turn off after cooling the entire space before eliminating the excess humidity out of the room, leading to an unwanted result.

Ventilation and exhaust

We all know the main benefit of a portable air conditioner in particular speaking and the entire air conditioners in general is to cool a specific space, which means the hot air will be vented out of a window, sliding glass door, wall or drop ceiling through an exhaust hose. From that point, you need to consider about the ventilation and exhaust.

Usually, people choose to use a sliding glass door to work with the exhaust hose and draw out the entire hot air, but due to the design and model of the machine, they play important parts in coverage of the length of the window.

Besides, the screen of the window is also another small consideration. Even though most of portable air conditioners exhaust the hot air through this unit, in some cases, the screen is not suitable to do it.

Exhaust hose

There are two basic kinds of exhaust hose:

  • Single hose portable air conditioner
  • Dual hose portable air conditioner

A single hose portable air conditioner works by drawing hot air from the space, cooling it, and turning it back to the space. Besides, the dual hose uses one hose to draw hot air, exhaust it out and uses the other hose to draw external air, cooling and blowing it into the room. Each kind has its own strength and weaknesses that you need to understand clearly to choose the most suitable one for your demands. For example, depend on how it works, the dual hose does not put negative pressure on the space, but it is a little bit less efficient than the single hose because it uses external air to cool the room.

Draining condensate

While taking the function of cooling the internal air, the portable air conditioner also plays a role as a dehumidifier to eliminate the entire excess moisture out of the room, which means that you also need to keep an eye on this function because there are many different ways to dehumidify the moisture, including:

  • Partially Self-Evaporating
  • Fully Self-Evaporative
  • Buckets
  • Condensate Pumps
  • Gravity Drain / Drain Hose


This has a strict relation to how much energy your portable air conditioner will consume and how much it costs on electricity bill every month. This is calculated by EER, which stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio of the portable AC. In general speaking, when EER is higher, the efficiency of the portable air conditioner will be higher. For this element, the rating of 10 is considered as a nice rating for this machine.

Electrical Outlet Requirements

Unlike normal air conditioner, this portable one do not use special wire but just 120-volt power outlet as many other typical households. However, with a few strong portable ACs, it is required special outlets, so that you should read carefully specifications as well as product description to know which outlet is suitable for your PAC.

The noise

Because of the compressor systems used to cool and blow air, in addition to motorized fans, PAC is rather noisy, which sometimes can be a big nuisance for some people, especially the old at night since this makes them difficult to fall asleep. Many individuals think that it is the surrounding noise, while some others consider it the device noise. If you are going to buy this cooling machine for the old or just for you and the noise is a big concern for you, you should consider this element. It is advised to pick up a best portable air conditioner with particular features which are the multiple speeds, a Sleep mode, and a programmable timer. They can limit the noise as much as possible.

In detail, you can have a look at the list of decibel rating at the speed of each fan, making combination between this machine and the other indoor appliances. On the other side, there are also a few elements having influence on the noise which are places of the device, the fan speed or the type of furniture.

The Installation and Maintenance

Besides choosing the best portable air conditioner, you need to consider how to maintain the machine to keep it last as long as possible. This is an easy job but help both you and the device a lot:

  • Make sure that the portable air conditioner is set up exactly for maximum efficiency.
  • Clean the air filters when in need (often one time each summer).
  • Check the warranty of the product for more particular information on the parts and services covered.
  • Have the portable air conditioner been drained prior to storing it.

The AC

In addition to cooling bedroom or office, many people choose to use it in garages and server rooms as well. It is time for you to consider the exhausting AC because in these spaces, there are a lot of equipment can release heat, leading to the higher temperature than usual, asking for more capacity to cool it down. Overestimating the quantity of BTUs needed and usually in these rooms, especially the server room, they do not offer to access through the windows, so that you should think about drawing the hot air through ceil or wall instead.


1. How many requirements are there to install a portable air conditioner?

Requirements are changed due to the design and model. However, installation is typically fast and gets no pain. Because the entire portable air conditioners eliminate the hot air as well as withdraw the excess humidity, they need to be withdrawn to the other places – usually the outdoor space through a window kit or ceiling kit. Window kits, contain exhaust hose(s) and a window slider. They are easy to be installed to withdraw the heat inside out. Choose the types that are able to be vented through a wall or into a drop ceiling. When you install the window kit and exhaust hose, in the rest, you just need to plug in your air conditioner and begin to cool!

2. With a portable air conditioner, do we have to empty the water? Will excess humidity be condensated into water inside this machine?

As mentioned too many times above, a portable air conditioner plays a role in cooling the air in a specific space by drawing it out of the room through ceiling kits or window kits. However, with excess moisture, there are a few ways to condensate:

  • Gravity Drain and Condensate Pump: The very first way to remove the entire excess moisture is to draw them through a drain hose. It comes including To do this, you need to set up the exhaust hose to the drain port, lead directly the water into this, to move to the other place. Condensate pump accessories are also used in many models to pump the collected water out through a window, for instance, or pass through a long way to another replaced place.
  • Fully Self-Evaporative Models: This is an advanced portable air conditioner that is able to exhaust excess moisture along with the heat, through the hose to go out of the window. By this way, you do not have to lose your energy to empty water based on the repeated and hassle–free working.
  • Manual Removal: On the contrary, this is a standard PAC with water buckets, which means that you have to empty it periodically, usually every eight hours while some modern models is once a month. Due to the moisture as well as the time of use, water will be collected inside the bucket and you will have to shut it off, pour out the water in a bucket, and then alter it prior to cooling beginning again.

3. Can I withdraw the heat out of a sliding glass window or a sliding glass door?

Thanks to window kit accessories, most portable air conditioners are able to draw hot air out of vertical sash windows or traditional double-hung windows as well as utilized as a ventilation tool for a PAC through a sliding glass window. For instance, Danby DPAC10011 User Manual.

Venting PACs through simple window installations is much easier than through sliding glass doors. The window kit which is utilized for traditional windows does not extend far enough for coverage to the door height.

Two or more window kits made to work together with your specific portable air conditioner, for absolute coverage of the door opening, is recommended to use for setting up sliding glass door. You can protect the two window installation kits by utilizing screws. Besides, you can use Styrofoam and Plywood to cover and vent material when setting up a PAC into the frame of your door.

Apart from the installation, you should consult the manual the owner for more information about the guidelines, instructions as well as cautionary information.

Final Thoughts

Nobody can deny the efficiency of the best portable air conditioner in general speaking and a PAC in particular. Without this machine, it is hard for us to stay comfortable during hot weather or in tropical climate religion. Without it, equipment and many other devices will be easy to break, because of overheating or being full of mold and mildew based on the high moisture in the air. From that point, to protect both your life and your appliance, in addition, to saving cost, you should consider carefully before dropping your money on a PAC.

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