The 8 Best Portable Air Conditioners of 2021 – Buying Guide

If you do not have central air and you need to cool an ASAP space, the first question you need to ask is whether you want to buy a portable AC unit or a window air conditioner. Because of design limitations or building constraints, a portable air conditioner is the best route if you can not install a window air conditioner in your room. If you want a mobile air conditioning unit that can be moved from room to room or stored away at the end of the season, it’s a better choice too.a

Based on categorical experience from brands we trust, enjoy, and use, the experts have rounded up the best portable air conditioners on the market. These are efficient in cooling and reducing high humidity and are simple to use and install. These are the best portable air conditioners which you can purchase:

Are portable air conditioners as good as systems with windows?

If you have the window-mounting capacity, you will likely have more success in cooling a room. You can consider equivalent portable AC units to those that need to be placed on the wall or window, but you will probably pay more for them. While portable air conditioners are meant to be easier to travel around (after all, they are on wheels), they appear to be louder and may be larger than their counterparts. And they’re not as portable as one might imagine because of the exhaust hose needed for venting.

Portable AC units take up floor space so making sure you have the extra square footage for one is important. You want the device to be positioned away from the walls so that the airflow is not limited, but this will probably require a longer hose and more room. This is another downside, as they involve removal and re-installation of an exhaust tube each time it is relocated to another room. You need to make sure that the exhaust hose is as straight as possible for maximum efficiency as kinks will restrict the performance.

How to find the right portable AC unit for you?

While useful features and aesthetics are good, most importantly, you will need to find a portable air conditioner with the appropriate British thermal units (BTUs) or capacity rating for Seasonally Adjusted Cooling Capacity (SACC). Too heavy and you’re going to waste needless fuel, too slow and you’re still going to use too much energy running the machine at full strength and feeling too warm still.

Overall, our top portable air conditioner recommendations are:

Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner

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This powerful Whynter 14,0000 BTU AC has a dual hose, allowing it to cool down a room faster than other portable units. It also works as a fan (with three velocities) and a dehumidifier that can remove up to 101 pints per 24 hours. The programmable 24-hour timer allows you to set a schedule for the entire day (read: schedule it to turn on 30 minutes before you get home from work), and you can monitor the temperature on the digital read. The exhaust tube extends up to five feet, so you’ll have some flexibility to place it, but you’ll definitely want some space to clear.

Portable Indoor Evaporative Air Cooler

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This cheap air cooler is suitable for a small office or bedroom in dry climates (where humidity remains below 50 percent). You’ll get more of a cool breeze than intense cold air but for a room that needs a chill, it’s a solid affordable option. In order to work, it does not need to be hooked to a window, so you have more flexibility in choosing where to place it (and it only weighs 12 pounds, making it easy to move about). The remote included is an extra bonus — control it without leaving your bed.

BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner

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Look at this BTU 8,000 machine to cool your bedroom without having to hold you up at night. It’s quieter than other portable air conditioners and at 53 pounds you ‘re not going to strain a muscle that will move it. It has a smaller suggested area of cooling, so for an office or a small bedroom, it is best. The filter slides out of the back for quick cleaning access and the remote included ensures you don’t have to stop working or get out of bed to adjust the settings.

Honeywell Contempo Series Portable Air Conditioner

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This 12,000 BTU unit is quieter than others, with the manufacturer claiming it can stay as low as 52 dBA — roughly as loud as a quiet talk. It has a built-in dehumidifier that removes 86 pints/hour, and you won’t have to change a bucket of drained moisture unless you live excessively humid somewhere, as it’s built-in evaporation to help manage the moisture it collects. It suits in vertical or horizontal screens and clean filters in the sink with a rinse. The four-foot hose will be installed in vertical or horizontal windows and has a remote included.

Whynter ARC-14SH Whynter Eco-friendly 14000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner

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Fast identical to our overall pick, this 14,000 BTU unit also works as a heater so you can use it all year round. Manufacturers say it cools down to 61 ° F and heats up to 77 ° F, so you’ll be comfortable whatever the weather (and can control the temperature with the remote included). It comes with a storage bag if you need to store it all year round. Similar to our overall pick, it can dehumidify up to 101 pints per 24-hour period, thus helping to ease a wet summer.

Dyson Pure Cool Me Personal Purifying Fan

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This Dyson personal fan is best positioned near you, rather than installing a whole house. It contains a HEPA filter that helps purify the surrounding environment, saying 99.97 percent of allergens and contaminants are eliminated. The small size makes it ideal for installation on a desk or nightstand. Through shifting the top dome location, you can change the direction of the airflow, it will be a little different than other portable ACs — with more of an air stream being guided than a wider spread.

Whynter Elite ARC-122DS 12,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner

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Similar to our Whynter All-in-one pick, this double hosed 12,000 BTU cooler and dehumidifier is rated up to 400 square feet in a room. The programmable 24-hour timer and remote included helps you manage the cooling better throughout the day. Whynter states that it can dehumidify up to 76 pints every 24 hours, while the estimated noise level of the factory is below 52 dBA, making it easy to sleep through its service. The included warehouse bag helps to keep all parts and accessories together for winter storage.

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How do these Portable Air Conditioners work?

The portable AC works just like a normal air conditioner by sucking, cooling, and dehumidifying it in humid and warm air, and blowing it back into the room. The models of single ducts where this duct is connected to the window to remove the heat from the room are more effective in refrigerating the room. They draw the air out of the room and vent some to the outside for proper and fast refreshment.

Thus, venting the hot air out through this single duct will result in drawing warm air into the room, making the ac constantly struggling to cool the room. These portable units are noisier than most split AC’s but they are cheaper to use than the split ACs.

The hot air is discharged through an air duct that we install in an open window. When the room is cooling, the conditioner condenses the water from the air and this is stored in a tank or drained away. Some models use this water to help cool down in the room as well as improve overall efficiency and thus reduce the need to drain or clear the bath.

These portable ACs are usually supplied with a venting device, with which you have to close the gap around the pipe to prevent cool air from escaping. These portable ACs are also noisy (above 60 dB) when running at high power compared to normal air-conditioners.


Although all the aforementioned 3 products are best, Super General Portable Air Conditioner (SGPI182) is an excellent portable AC among them, as per our market research. The reason for this is that it is lightweight, comes with various features such as 3 in 1 technology (air conditioner, dehumidifier, and ventilator), no-drip technology & antibacterial air filter, and 2-liter water tank capacity. The installation, use, and carrying of it is simple. The capacity of 1.5 tons will also make it suitable for medium-sized rooms with 120 to 180 sq. Ft.

I hope the purchasing guide will help you select the best air conditioner for your portable use. Which portable air conditioner will you pick in this 2020. Or still, have air conditioner queries? Then feel free to share it with us in the comment box below.

Also, See The 11 Best Desk Fans in 2020

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