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best portable air conditioners

The Best Portable Air Conditioners in 2021

Author: Joanna Davis

Home & Kitchen Expert

Those who sweat at home or in the office in summer often long for a cool breeze. This is where a portable air conditioner can come to the rescue. Our team of experts has reviewed numerous external tests as well as studies and compiled a practical list of the best portable air conditioners.

MIDEA MAP08R1CWT 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner, Dehumidifier, Fan

MIDEA MAP08R1CWT 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner, Dehumidifier, Fan
2,053 Reviews
MIDEA MAP08R1CWT 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner, Dehumidifier, Fan
  • EasyCool : The Midea Portable Air Conditioner, ASHRAE rating…
  • EFFORTLESS OPERATION:Enjoy the simplicity and comfort of…
  • EASY INSTALLATION:Roll your air conditioner to the…
  • WASHABLE AIR FILTER:To provide clean cool air, we designed…
  • WORLDWIDE:Midea is the world’s largest provider of air…

Black + Decker BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner, 8,000 BTU

 Our Pick
Black + Decker BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner, 8,000 BTU
  • QUIET & POWERFUL – Our 5,000 BTU DOE (8,000 BTU ASHRAE)…
  • PERFECT FOR SMALL ROOMS – This floor-standing portable AC…
  • SIMPLE & QUICK TO INSTALL – Just wheel this portable air…
  • EASY TO USE & CLEAN – The simple remote control &…
  • 3-in-1 FUNCTIONALITY – Combines 3 energy efficient functions…

SereneLife SLPAC8 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner, 3-in-1 Floor AC Unit

SereneLife SLPAC8 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner, 3-in-1 Floor AC Unit
  • Dimensions: 14.6’’ L x 13.8’’ W x 27.2’’ H |…
  • Your purchase includes: Portable Air Conditioner, Window…
  • Handy and portable: the SereneLife portable air conditioner…
  • 3 operating modes: The compact floor AC indoor cooler…
  • Built in dehumidifier: You don’t only get the cooling…

TOSOT 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

TOSOT 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
  • Powerful Cooling: Cool spaces up to 300 square feet with an…
  • 1 Product, 3 Uses: This is not only a Portable AC but also a…
  • Super Quiet: Sleep through the night with a peak noise level…
  • Easy Install: Both horizontal and vertical sliding windows…
  • New X-Fan Technology: When activated, the X-Fan will keep…

Black + Decker BPACT10WT Portable Air Conditioner, 10,000 BTU

 Our Pick
Black + Decker BPACT10WT Portable Air Conditioner, 10,000 BTU
  • QUIET & POWERFUL – Our 6,000 BTU DOE (10,000 BTU ASHRAE)…
  • PERFECT FOR SMALL ROOMS – This floor-standing portable AC…
  • SIMPLE & QUICK TO INSTALL – Just wheel this portable air…
  • EASY TO USE & CLEAN – The simple remote control &…
  • 3-in-1 FUNCTIONALITY – Combines 3 energy efficient functions…

Black + Decker 7,500 BTU Portable Air Conditioner with Heat, 14,000 w

Black + Decker 7,500 BTU Portable Air Conditioner with Heat, 14,000 w
  • PORTABLE A/C HEATER COMBO UNIT – Our 7,500 BTU DOE (14,000…
  • HEATS & COOLS MOST ROOMS – This portable heat & AC unit…
  • SIMPLE & QUICK TO INSTALL – Since it’s easy to move…
  • EASY TO USE & CLEAN – The simple remote control &…
  • 4-in-1 FUNCTIONALITY – Combining 4 energy efficient modes…

Rollibot ROLLICOOL Portable Air Conditioner w/App & Alexa Voice Control

Rollibot ROLLICOOL Portable Air Conditioner w/App & Alexa Voice Control
1,508 Reviews
Rollibot ROLLICOOL Portable Air Conditioner w/App & Alexa Voice Control
  • WORKS WITH ALEXA — Our 3-in-1 smart AC delivers comfort…
  • RELIABLE COOLING — With a 14,000 BTU rating, this smart…
  • COOLING POWER OF VOICE — Cool and dehumidify any space…
  • QUIET OPERATION — At its highest setting, the COOL100H-20…
  • BEST-IN-CLASS SUPPORT – All Rollibot standing air…

De'Longhi Pinguino Deluxe 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner

De'Longhi Pinguino Deluxe 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner
463 Reviews
De’Longhi Pinguino Deluxe 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner
  • SPECS: Hose length: 51 inches | Hose diameter: 5 inches
  • SUPER QUIET: Stay cool, don’t hear it. With noise…
  • POWERFUL COOLING: This powerful machine can evenly and…
  • ECO REAL FEEL: Saving up to 30% in energy consumption, this…
  • ENERGY EFFICIENCY: With features like Eco Real Feel, this…

Frequently Asked Questions: Portable Air Conditioners

What is a Portable Air Conditioner?

Regardless of whether you live in a penthouse or an apartment with the resemblance of one, or your house has low insulation – in summer, according to external evaluations of many mobile air conditioner tests, you will quickly start sweating inside your own four walls. 

According to other portable air conditioner tests, high humidity reduces our well-being and performance. Test the mobile air conditioner or mobile air conditioner yourself and consult comparison tables, product tests, product tests, studies and practical tests in search of your test winner!

When a cool rag on your head or a popsicle from the fridge doesn’t help much anymore, a mobile air conditioner comes in handy, according to external practice tests. You can plug this in while you are in the room. However, it is also possible to use an air conditioner to cool down the room a bit before entering it.

Dare to try and test as well as compare mobile air conditioners with the best test score in a comparison table! So you are guaranteed to soon find your individual comparison winner from numerous air conditioner tests!

How does a Portable Air Conditioner work?

The operation of the mobile air conditioner differs depending on whether it is an air conditioner with air cooling or with water-air cooling.

Air-cooled units use cold room air to bring the heated coolant to a comfortable internal temperature compared to the outside temperature. Try a test run with a mobile air conditioner to determine the optimum room temperature in accordance with your body. This causes so-called condensation to form in the condenser.

This collects in a collecting container. The container is to be emptied after control in regular intervals. In congruence with your needs, you can therefore regulate the temperature as desired.

On the other hand, in units with air-water cooling control unit, the condensed water collects in a water tank. The heated coolant can also be passed through this tank. The agent cools down, while at the same time some water evaporates again.

Since this technique achieves up to 30 percent higher performance with lower energy consumption, it can be described as particularly efficient.

When the water tank is empty, the air conditioner automatically switches to air mode. The cooling capacity is reduced at this point and the noise level increases slightly. During this phase, however, you can easily refill the water tank. Once you have filled the tank and reinserted it, the unit will automatically switch to water-air mode.

Caution: Do not place any objects on the air conditioner and leave its air inlets free. Make sure that there are no heat sources in the room and do not use your unit outdoors. Also, avoid using it in rooms with high humidity development, such as a laundry.

Advantages of Portable Air Conditioners

One of the main advantages of the versatile small-sized air conditioners is that they can be easily carried from one room to another. There is no need for prior installation. So you can use your device immediately. However, it is necessary that you place it near a window or an external door with a window. This is the only way to transport the warm, humid air from the inside to the outside via the supplied exhaust hose.

Mobile air conditioners are also aimed at all those who do not want to or cannot install a stationary air conditioner. With comparatively low cooling capacity, they eat up quite a lot of electricity, which is why they are intended more for small rooms. However, the price is comparatively cheap.

The areas of application of the products from external mobile air conditioner tests are diverse. You can use them to cool your bedroom, living room or hobby room. In fresher temperatures, you get your head much better. Also, after a hot day, the well-deserved night’s rest can be enjoyed more sweat-free.

Also in the store, a workshop, containers, on closed construction sites, in storage and production rooms, in marquees, at trade fairs and exhibitions or in laboratories mobile air conditioners are welcome.

Types of Portable Air Conditioners

Air conditioners are available in a wide range of capacities and types. A distinction is made between air coolers, mobile devices or inverters. All of them, of course, offer advantages and disadvantages. In the following, you will learn about the different types. Furthermore, you will learn how the individual types differ from each other.

Portable air conditioner

The one-piece mini air conditioners are also called monoblocks by manufacturers because they include all individual parts. They are particularly appealing to customers who are only looking for a temporary solution or do not want to install an air conditioner.

It is especially convenient that you can install these units specifically when you need them. In winter, the products can be conveniently stored in the basement. Many products with high cooling capacity have rollers that allow you to move the small machines from room to room. In air conditioner test reviews and comparisons, take a look at the test score of the air conditioners as well as the low price of the test winners.

Distinguishing criteria are often the energy efficiency class, cooling capacity, energy consumption and heat protection of the respective air conditioner. Once you have decided on a product, you can purchase it on Amazon, for example.

After consideration, it is also advantageous that monobloc devices have a favorable price. You can put them anywhere where there is a power source. These have similarity with an original air conditioner. However, one must be aware that according to the external evaluation of an air conditioner test, these little helpers have high energy consumption. Although they cool rented apartments, offices or the caravan, they often generate a lot of noise.

You have to take this into account if you want to concentrate on your work or sleep during this time. On the one hand, there are mobile air conditioners with an exhaust hose and those with an exhaust and supply hose. The latter have a higher energy efficiency.

The installation of two hoses is somewhat cumbersome and also limits mobility. In addition, many devices require you to regularly remove condensation.

One of the tiniest mobile air conditioners is probably the handheld mini air conditioner with USB connection and movable cooling device. In peppy colors like orange, green, purple, red or turquoise, it not only looks chic. You can equally freely choose the fan speed.

On the road, you can always be accompanied by a cool breeze, no matter where you are. You will hardly notice the weight of 183 g. Thanks to the integrated battery, you can operate the variant for up to a whopping 6 hours. Therefore, it is ideal for longer trips, hikes, for work or the swimming pool.

This mini format for the handbag is just like a mini fan. Of course, the model also represents a great gift idea for all those who are particularly sensitive to high temperatures and need heat protection.

Mono units / Portable air conditioner without exhaust hose

The biggest drawback to a mobile air conditioner is the exhaust hose. Since it has to be routed outside through an open window, this is bad for the energy balance. But is it possible to avoid the exhaust hose? Does the mobile air conditioner without exhaust hose even exist?

If you search for “mobile air conditioner without exhaust hose” on Amazon, you will get several mobile air conditioners displayed right away, all of which also look like they don’t have an exhaust hose. However, this is only because this disturbing factor is never shown in the product pictures. All mobile air conditioners, as you can see in our test, have an exhaust hose. Because only with this it is possible to lower the room temperature so far that one can speak of a real air conditioner.

If you want to have an air conditioner without an exhaust hose, your only option is to buy an air cooler. These devices work similarly to fans and emit only moderately colder air than the room temperature. This can still be comfortable and sufficient if you have it near you while doing desk work or ironing in the summer, for example. Only the term mobile air conditioner without exhaust hose is unfortunately misleading.

Portable split units

Split units consist of an indoor and an outdoor unit. It is mandatory to break through the wall. So the basis for this decision is that you are the owner of the apartment or have obtained the consent of the landlord. Provided that the outdoor unit includes a compressor, the noise pollution is moderate, according to various air conditioner tests.

However, in turn, neighbors may feel disturbed by the noise. The hose is connected to the indoor unit through a hole or wall opening. If necessary, it can be removed.

Stationary installed split units or classic air conditioners

These copies, in comparison with the mobile equipment, are installed permanently. They are often found in hotels and apartments of southern countries, such as Spain or Portugal.

In terms of price, fixed air conditioners are much more expensive. Nevertheless, they are far more efficient, have a longer service life and are cheaper in the longer term because they require less energy. Since they work a lot quieter, you can install them in the bedroom or work area without hesitation.

Of special quality are the inverters, where the compressor does not turn off completely. Instead, it regulates the speed and power consumption on its own. As a result, the temperature remains constant. Also, when installing an air conditioner, if you live in a rented apartment, you need the consent of your landlord.

Also keep in mind that if you move, the system may have to be removed or resold. Central air conditioning is especially beneficial in new construction. However, consider carefully whether it is really necessary to buy air conditioning in our temperate latitudes.

How are Portable Air Conditioners tested?

The mobile air conditioners go through different test categories with the respective test criteria in some mobile air conditioner tests and suitability tests. The comparison tables on test or comparison portals, where mobile air conditioners tests appear in comparison, should make your decision easier when finding your comparison winner or test winner.

Cooling type

The mobile air conditioners work either by air cooling, where the given room air is used to cool the coolant. Or by air-water cooling, in which the condensed water produced is used for cooling. The latter variant requires less electricity, but still provides better performance.

Energy efficiency class

Here you can find out how energy-efficient the device is.

The scale ranges from class A+++ to class D.

Devices with the A rating are in the midfield with their power consumption, consuming an average of 460 kW/h per year.

Noise

The volume is indicated in decibels (dB), the international unit of measurement of the noise level.

By way of comparison, the noise level inside a library is around 40 dB (A).

An airplane taking off reaches 120 dB (A). Experts measure 10 decibels when snow falls and 25 decibels when leaves rustle.

Weight

Mobile air conditioners are available in different weight classes such as 26 kg, 30 kg or even 40 kg. The weight is crucial if you plan to transport your mobile air conditioner from room to room more often. But there are also devices with wheels, where the weight is not so important.

Maximum cooling capacity

The cooling capacity is expressed in watts or BTU/h (British thermal unit per hour). This unit is calculated from the location, size and insulation of the room.

To temper a room with relatively strong solar radiation, multiply the content of the room in m³ by a factor of 20. Thus, you calculate the minimum required power in watts.

Silence function

For devices with “Silence Function”, you have the option of manually reducing the vibration speed of the device. This reduces the volume to the minimum.

Some devices also have a snooze function, which increases the temperature by 2 °C after about 2 hours in cooling mode for comfort reasons. After that, the temperature remains constant and energy consumption decreases. Accordingly, the device has a better energy efficiency class.

What should I look for when buying a portable air conditioner?

A very important criterion is the volume. If you want to achieve a lot of cooling quickly, some devices act unpleasantly loud. Others reach a noise level of 60 decibels, which makes them rather unsuitable for the office or the bedroom.

On average, units achieve volumes between 45 and 65 decibels in external tests, depending on the power of the compressor. A device that does not exceed a noise level of 50 decibels is considered quiet.

Especially in your bedroom, it is advisable to use the device even before you sleep. Thus, the temperature can be ideally regulated. Overnight, you can then turn it off with the supplied remote control.

Also, look for an excellent energy efficiency class! The scale ranges from A+++ to D. Today, however, only devices up to class B are allowed on the market. Mobile air conditioners easily consume 1000 – 2000 watts in comparison, which is roughly equivalent to a hair dryer in continuous operation. If you regularly operate your test winner or comparison winner for several hours, it can quickly happen that you end up paying US$100 – US$300 more in electricity costs.

The energy efficiency classes can be classified according to the EER value, which indicates the ratio of power consumption and cooling capacity. For the calculation, you divide the cooling capacity by the input power.

Some combination units perform their services in congruence with personal needs not only in the summer, but can be used in the winter as a heater, including humidification. Also in the transitional period, when temperatures are so high that it is not worth turning on the heating system, but at the same time so low that you start to freeze, such a model proves to be very useful. Thus, a two-part air conditioner with heat pump function will serve you as an alternative heating system.

Especially for larger rooms that require a lot more water for the cooling effect, make sure that the water tank of the air conditioner is large enough. The minimum guideline is four hours. Otherwise, you would have to refill your unit far too often. Perfect is an operating time of seven to eight hours. This way, you’ll enjoy a great climate during a typical workday without being constantly interrupted by refilling the tank.

Of course, for people who are very particular about aesthetics, the look should also match your interior style. In the case of a mobile air conditioner, it does not make sense to hide the unit under the table, as this will reduce its efficiency. You should always refrain from covering the unit with a blanket or cloth!

In general, give preference to mobile air conditioners that have a GS seal for tested safety. This shows that your favorite has been closely examined by neutral experts.

Here’s another little checklist to guide you.

  • How large is the room volume to be cooled?
  • Which energy efficiency class do you prefer?
  • Which additional functions should the mini air conditioner fulfill?
  • What dimensions should the unit have?
  • Do you value a modern design or is functionality the main focus?
  • Do you want specific programming such as a time and sleep function?
  • Are you looking for an air conditioner including a dehumidifier and fan?
  • How high can the maximum noise level be?
  • What is the maximum weight of the mobile air conditioner?
  • Do you need different power levels for different sized rooms?
  • Do you prefer intelligent or simple operation?
  • Which cooling principle should I use? (Water-air or air-air?)

Portable Air Conditioner Accessories

According to external air conditioning tests, you can increase the effectiveness of your mobile air conditioner with special window seals. These prevent warm air from outside from flowing into the cool room again. This improves the cooling effectiveness of your device and you save on electricity costs. So window sealing is an absolute must-have! Do the practical test and you will be thrilled!

The only drawback: there may be a slight negative pressure in the room. This is due to the fact that no more air can get inside from outside to equalize the pressure.

Although you can use conventional cleaning and disinfecting agents to clean your mobile air conditioner, there are also special cleaning kits available in stores.

These use probiotic bacteria to rid your system of pathogens and remove light soiling.

Portable Air Conditioner Alternatives

A mobile air conditioner will bring you relief on hot days. But this does not mean that they should also abandon other types of heat protection.

You can use awnings or curtains to protect your premises from direct sunlight. It is advisable to keep your doors and windows closed as much as possible. In this way, you lock out the heat.

A short, strong airing in the evening, when the temperatures have dropped a bit, is also very useful.

An air cooler is a type of fan that directs warm room air over a bowl filled with cold water, cooling packs or ice. The effect is a light and pleasant breeze. However, the room temperature does not drop.

Fans, which are available in both floor and ceiling versions, also make a good wind. However, their often excessively strong airflow causes localized hypothermia of the body. This not only sounds unpleasant, but can even be potentially fatal. Those most affected are elderly and seriously ill people who can no longer easily cope with pneumonia. Especially when caring for people in need of care, a ventilator is not recommended.

However, even healthy people should not underestimate the fan and should never point it directly at the body. It should only rotate at low speed and be operated at a sufficient distance. The constantly cool air quickly results in a cold.

In comparison, mobile air conditioners are more effective and less dangerous when used properly. In addition, they filter the dust from the air in the room and do not stir it up.

A sustainable method is formed by greening the facade, which provides beneficial shade. Good building insulation and modern glazing also keep the heat out in summer and in in winter.

If you want to cool off a bit at night, you don’t necessarily have to put your pajamas in the refrigerator. It’s enough to forgo long legwear and wear a light sleeping robe instead. Silk bedding also brings a pleasant coolness. A cool shower before going to bed or a foot bath with cool water also works wonders.

Last product update on 2021-03-08 | Source: Amazon Affiliate