If you don’t have the budget for a whole house air conditioner, or if you do have a whole house air conditioner but you still have a room or two that just won’t get cool enough, a portable air conditioner might be the perfect solution.
There are a lot of different options to choose from so we’re going to share with you some portable air conditioner reviews and tips about what to look for when shopping for one.
From our research we were surprised to find that the vast majority of portable air conditioners are of poor quality and that most of them get terrible reviews from customers. We could only find 3 that we felt were good enough to recommend to you.
Reviews Of The Top 3 Portable Air Conditioners
Out of all the portable air conditioners we looked at, this one consistently received the best reviews. It has 12,000 BTU/hr cooling power which is perfect for rooms of up to 450 square feet and uses a re circulation system for drip-less and bucket-less operation.
The Delonghi also features something they call whisper cool mode which supposedly makes it 50% less noisy which is perfect for a bedroom, office or when you are watching TV. It’s got a 24 hour digital on/off timer and a 3 in 1 function that enables the unit to act as a air conditioner, dehumidifier and fan.
As we said, the Delonghi received the best reviews out of all the portable air conditioners we looked at. One guy said that he has a 650 square foot room that gets very hot when the temperature outside reaches a 100. This unit cools the room down with ease.
Some of the negative reviews were related to the noise. Most people agree that the unit is not whisper quiet as the manufacturers would want one to believe but they also agreed that the unit is much quieter than other models. With air conditioners it is impossible to eliminate noise.
The Honeywell packs 10,000 BTU of power which is good for rooms of up to 350 square feet so make sure that you take into consideration the size of your rooms when purchasing a portable air conditioner.Just like the Delonghi it also features the 3 in 1 technology and a no drip, no bucket system.
This unit does have a nice LCD panel for controls and comes with a remote which is handy.We found a lot of reviews for this unit and the main thing that makes it different from the Delonghi is the setup time. Most people have it up and running within 10 minutes where the Delonghi seemed to take people a bit longer to get going.
Customers also agreed that this unit is quiet and they can easily watch TV even in a small room. One thing we noted was that a lot of people mentioned that the unit is a bit larger than they envisioned from the pictures so keep that in mind.All in all the positive reviews far out weight the negatives and we feel confident in recommending this unit to you.
If you are looking for a unit that works well without all the bells and whistles then this one could be a great option. It also costs around $100 less than the other units.The Shinco works for rooms of up to 300 square feet and comes with 2 functions, air conditioner and fan. No dehumidifier built into this model. People really like this unit though.
It is a bit noisy and a little big but it gets the job done. Everyone says that they were very surprised to see how quickly this unit can cool down a room.If you do not want to fork out over $300 for a unit and don’t mind a bit of noise (about the same as an old box fan) then this unit could be perfect for you.
What to Look For When Buying an Portable Air Conditioner.
Window or Freestanding Unit
Window air conditioning units are affordable and easy to install. Because of this, they are also very popular. This type of air conditioner can be installed in either a single or double hung window and they will usually have accordion style panels to fill in any gaps between the side of the unit and the window frame.
If you have sliding windows, you can still get a window air conditioner, but you may have to get a support that will be attached to the outside of your home.
Freestanding portable air conditioners offer some benefits that the window units don’t. For one thing, they can be moved easily from one room to another. Freestanding portable air conditioners also act like dehumidifiers, pulling moisture out of the air.
These units will usually have a reservoir that fills up with water and will need to be emptied from time to time, or they will come with a hose so you can direct the water down a nearby drain.
A very important thing to look at before purchasing the best portable air conditioner for you is it’s cooling capacity. Air conditioners are rated in BTUs (British thermal units) which is a measure of how much heat they are able to remove from a room. The larger the room, the higher BTU rating you will need.
As a general rule of thumb, if the room you will be cooling is up to 200 ft.², an 8000 BTU unit will work. For every additional 100 ft.² of space, an additional 2000 BTUs is recommended. For example, if you’re going to be cooling off a 500 square-foot room you would want to look for unit with a rating of 14,000 BTUs.
The size of the room is not the only factor to consider. If you need to cool a room that gets excessive sunlight, a room with computers or other electrical equipment, or a room that regularly has two or more people, you may want to get a unit with a few more BTUs.
Single or Double Exhaust Hose?
With a single hose portable air conditioner, air is drawn into the unit, cooled, and then most of that air is returned back into the room while a small amount of the air is used to cool the unit’s compressor. This will create a slight negative air pressure.
With a duel hose portable air conditioner, air from the room is drawn into the unit, cooled, and then released back into the space, just as it is with a single hose unit. It just does it in a different way.
Air is pulled in through one hose, cooled and then expelled through a second exhaust hose. This design does not create a negative pressure inside the room that is being cooled, and because of this, a double hose unit can operate a bit more efficiently.
Portable air conditioners use a compressor to cool the air and a fan to move the air around. Because of this, they will make some noise. The noise that a portable air conditioner makes is not much of a concern for a lot of people, but there are units available that are designed to operate more quietly.
Some units have programmable features like timers, multiple speeds, and a sleep mode to help people manage the noise that these machines make.
When you’re researching portable air conditioners, you can check the decibel rating of each unit you’re looking at. If noise is a concern for you, go with a unit that has a lower decibel rating.
What about Moisture?
Earlier, we mentioned that a portable ac does act somewhat like a dehumidifier, pulling moisture out of the air. Some units have collection reservoirs to collect condensation. Other units use a hose to drain the water out so you won’t have to empty the collection reservoir every time it fills up.
There are also some units that are either fully or partially self evaporating. What this means is that the unit can exhaust the condensation back into the air so you won’t have to worry about locating the unit near a drain or emptying a collection reservoir.
These units are also a great option for people who live in dry climates because they won’t be reducing the humidity of an already dry space.
Most air conditioners these days are designed to be as energy efficient as possible and they will be labeled with an EER rating which is their energy efficiency rating. Air conditioning units with higher energy efficiency ratings will operate more efficiently, helping keep your energy bills low.
The EER for most portable air conditioners will range from 8 to 11.5. You may also want to look for a model that is Energy Star rated.
When you start shopping for a mobile ac then you’ll notice that some models have certain bells and whistles that other models don’t. For example, some portable A/C units might have a remote control, multiple fan speeds, washable air filters, directional control, or a number of other features.
Additional features usually mean additional money, so you’ll have to decide which features are most important to you and if those features are worth paying a little more money for. If you read our portable air conditioner reviews above then you will already be familiar with the features that the models have.
Delonghi Whisper Cool
Delonghi Whisper Cool