8 Best Portable Air Conditioners (2024 Reviews)

The Top Ten Best Portable Air Conditioner To Buy for Home or RV

Looking for the Best Portable Air Conditioners to cool off your home or RV?  If so, you’ve come to the right place, as this guide will walk you through the best and the quietest portable air conditioners to buy in 2024.

While central air and window air conditioners are great, they aren’t suitable for every situation or every budget. Sometimes, the best portable ac unit is the better choice for cooling down small to medium-sized areas.

What is the best portable air conditioner to buy?  In our opinion, the Whynter ARC-14S air conditioner is the best choice for most homeowners.

What is a Portable Air Conditioner – How Does It Work?

A portable air conditioner is similar to a window air conditioner. However, a portable air conditioner can easily be moved (on wheels) to any additional rooms where it may be required. 

Using standard electrical household current and a simple heat exhaust hose, portable air conditioners exhaust warm air outside while introducing refrigerated cold air into any room.

Portable AC units come in different sizes, are homeowner friendly, and do not require an outdoor condenser, special wiring, or other professional installation.

 

Best Portable Air Conditioner 2024

We researched 16 of the best manufacturers – and then narrowed the list down to the Top 10 Portable Air Conditioners, including their Key features, Cooling Capacity, And Prices.

Editor’s Pick:   Whynter ARC-14S Portable Air Conditioner

Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier and Fan for Rooms Up to 500 Square Feet, Includes Storage Bag, Platinum/Black, AC Unit Only

Topping our list as the overall best portable air conditioner is the Whynter ARC-14S. Providing the benefits of a proven air conditioner, dehumidifier, and air purifier, The Whynter mobile AC unit is perfect for making your home feel more comfortable throughout the year.

Whether you need a considerable temperature reduction or want to remove the dampness from your air, this unit from Whynter has you covered.

Key features of this product include:

14,000-BTU cooling capacity
Auto draining – All moisture fully exhausted using the Cooling function
Dual hoses
Cools up to 500 square feet
Remote control included
It comes with a storage bag

Reviewers find that this portable air conditioner from Whynter produces cold air, distributes it well throughout a reasonably large area, and doesn’t make too much noise. Many buyers are also quite happy with its ease of use, especially when changing the air filter.

The Patented “Auto Draining” feature exhausts all condensation while using the A/C feature, eliminating the need to empty a drain pan.  However, when using the Dehumidifier function, you must open the provided drain pan.

Although this air conditioner is only rated for 500 square feet, some users note that they have used it in larger spaces with excellent results.

One issue some people have run into is that this unit isn’t powerful enough to provide sufficient cooling in poorly insulated rooms or with too much sunlight coming in through the windows and heating the area.

While users’ lack of insulation problem is more involved, a simple curtain or some drapes can solve the problem of the sun heating the room and allow the air conditioner to do its job without having to fight the effects of the sun.

“Editor’s Pick”  –   Whynter

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Runner Up:  Serene Life 12,000-BTU Portable Air Conditioner + Heater

SereneLife SLACHT128 SLPAC 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner with Built-in Dehumidifier Function,Fan Mode, Remote Control, Complete Window Mount Exhaust Kit, 12,000 BTU + HEAT, White

Coming in second in our portable ac reviews is the Serene LIFE 12,000-BTU Portable Air Conditioner. Like the ARC-14S, this model acts as an air conditioner and a dehumidifier, though it does not include air purification technology. 

However, The Serene Life unit also includes a Heater. It is also an excellent option for larger spaces.

Key features of this product include:

12,000-BTU cooling and Heating capacity
Single Hose
Cools or heats up to 500 square feet
Remote control included
Built-in 100-pint dehumidifier

People who have purchased this portable air conditioner find it an excellent fit for uses ranging from providing extra cooling in a bedroom to being the sole air conditioner in small apartments.

Frequently cited advantages of this model include its excellent cooling capacity and relatively quiet operation. Several buyers have also commented on this air conditioner’s value, as it is reasonably priced for its features and capabilities.

The only real downside to this portable air conditioner is that it is a single-hose rather than a dual-hose model. Dual hose models tend to cool down rooms quickly and more efficiently remove warm air.

However, the Serene LIFE unit makes up for its single-hose quite well with its excellent cooling capabilities.

“Runner-Up”:  SERENE LIFE 

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>


 

Best Value:   BLACK + DECKER 10,000-BTU Portable Air Conditioner

BLACK+DECKER 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner up to 450 Sq. ft. with Remote Control, White

If you’re looking for a quiet portable air conditioner at a great price point, the BLACK + DECKER 10,000-BTU Portable Air Conditioner may be a good option. With ample cooling capabilities for rooms up to 250 Square Feet and very user-friendly features, this model stands out as the best value on our list.

Key features of this product include:

10,000-BTU cooling capacity
Single Hose
Cools up to 250 square feet
Remote control included
Built-in dehumidifier

Most people who have bought and used this unit find that it quickly cools down small spaces and does a reasonably good job of keeping up with the heat. As you might expect, several reviews also mention that this BLACK + DECKER product is excellent value for the money.

Some users have found a slight issue with this air conditioner: the sliding plastic adjuster for mounting the hose into a window isn’t as sturdy as it might be. 

Overall, we found the Black + Decker Portable 10,000 BTU to be the best portable AC for the money.

“Best Value” Portable AC  – Black + Decker

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>


 

Best Portable AC With Heater:  BLACK + DECKER 14,000-BTU Portable Air Conditioner + 11,000-BTU Heater

BLACK+DECKER BPACT14HWT Remote Control Portable Air Conditioner, 14,000 BTU +HEAT, White

For people with limited space or who don’t want to invest in two separate pieces of equipment, having a combination portable air conditioner and heater in one unit can be a huge convenience.

This model from BLACK + DECKER offers good heating and cooling capacity for any space up to 350 Square Feet and can act as a Fan and Dehumidifier.

Key features of this product include:

14,000-BTU cooling capacity
11,000-BTU heating capacity
For use in spaces of up to 350 square feet
Built-in dehumidifier
Programmable digital controls
Remote control included

Reviews of this model highlight its quiet operation and ability to cool down spaces when used in air conditioner mode quickly. Likewise, a reasonably efficient and fast-acting heater is used to warm a room.

Although it isn’t a compact model, it is reasonably small, allowing it to be used in cramped rooms without taking up excessive floor space.

One downside of this model is the weatherstripping for insulating the window into which its hose is fed. According to some reviewers, the material that comes with the air conditioner isn’t as durable as it could be and is prone to breaking.

However, this problem can be easily fixed by getting some commercially available residential weatherstripping material and using it in place of the weatherstripping that comes with the unit.

Best Portable “A/C Unit with a Heater” – Black + Decker

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>


Looking For The Quietest Portable Generator For Camping This Summer – Check Out Our Review For The “Best Portable Generators” Sold on Amazon:

Best Portable AC Rooms up to 700 Square Feet: HONEYWELL 14,000-BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Honeywell 14,500 BTU / 101 Pint Portable Air Conditioner and Dehumidifier, Cools Rooms Up to 700 Sq. Ft., (White)

If you want to cool a larger space, the HONEYWELL 14,000-BTU Portable Air Conditioner may be your best portable air conditioner. This unit acts as an air conditioner, dehumidifier, and fan and features the quality and durability buyers have come to expect from the HONEYWELL brand.

Key features of this product include:

14,000-BTU cooling capacity
Built-in dehumidifier
Cools up to 700 square feet
Three fan speed settings
Dual filtration system

Most reviews of this unit have been extremely positive, with many buyers highlighting its ability to cool down larger spaces rapidly and its lack of excessive noise when running.

Easy setup is also mentioned as a benefit of the HONEYWELL product as a significant advantage. Most users are happy with the appearance of the air conditioner, which HONEYWELL has designed to have a modern feel that fits well in most homes.

One disadvantage of this particular unit is its size. While not overly massive, this portable air conditioner is bigger and heavier than several competitive models.

The size, however, almost certainly won’t be a problem for you unless you’re trying to use it in an unusually small or cramped room, so the next AC unit on this list will likely be a better choice.

Best Portable AC for Rooms up to 700 Sq. Ft. – Honeywell

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>


 

Best Compact AC for Rooms up to 200 Square Feet: SereneLife 8,000-BTU Portable Air Conditioner

SereneLife SLPAC8 SLPAC 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner with Built-in Dehumidifier Function,Fan Mode, Remote Control, Complete Window Mount Exhaust Kit, 8,000 BTU, White

For very compact spaces, like workshops – this best small portable air conditioner from SereneLife is an excellent option to provide quick cooling without forcing you to pay for more cooling capacity than you need.

At the same time, this portable air conditioner is a well-made product that won’t disappoint the quality department.

Key features of this product include:

8,000-BTU cooling capacity
Cools up to 200 square feet
Built-in dehumidifier
Digital control panel
Remote control included

Reviews of this SereneLife air conditioner highlight its effectiveness in cooling down bedrooms to make them comfortable at night and its overall quality. Value is another plus associated with this model since it comes at one of the lower price points among portable air conditioners.

One slight problem some people may have with this unit is its weight. Despite being relatively compact, the air conditioner weighs over 45 pounds, making it somewhat difficult to move around quickly.

While this won’t be a significant issue for most users, it’s worth remembering if you plan to use it in an upstairs bedroom and will have to carry it up a flight of stairs.

Serene Life – Best Portable AC unit for up to 200 Square Feet

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>


 

Best “Alexa Enabled” Portable Air Conditioner:  Midea 10,000 BTU

Midea 10,000 BTU ASHRAE (5,800 BTU SACC) Portable Air Conditioner, Cools up to 200 Sq. Ft., with Dehumidifier & Fan mode, Control with Remote, Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant, Easy-to-use and Install

Suppose you’re looking for a “Smartphone or Alexa-enabled portable air conditioner” also available at a great price. In that case, the Midea 10,000-BTU Portable Air Conditioner may be your best option.

Highly rated and packed with features, the Midea 10,000 BTU air conditioner has ample cooling capabilities for rooms up to 200 Square Feet.  Similar but larger capacity models are also available from Midea.

This air conditioner can also be used as a dehumidifier or as a Fan. The Midea has very user-friendly features, and this model stands out as one of the best values on our list.

Key features of this product include:

10,000-BTU cooling capacity
Single Hose heat exhaust
Cools up to 200 square feet
Remote or use the Smartphone App to control Sleep Modes, Sweep, and Timer.
Built-in dehumidifier and Fan

Most people who have bought and used this unit find that it quickly cools down small spaces and does a reasonably good job of keeping up with the heat. As you might expect, several reviews also mention that this Midea product is excellent value for the money.

smartphone alexa enabled air conditioner
Media’s – smartphone Alexa-enabled air conditioner – Besthomegear.com.

We found the Midea Portable 10,000 BTU, the best Alex or Smartphone-enabled Portable AC for the money.

“Best Alexa Enabled” Portable Air Conditioner  – Midea

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How Does a Portable Air Conditioner Work?

A portable air conditioner uses a refrigerant to absorb heat from the air in a room and then releases that heat outside. A refrigerant is a particular type of gas that can change from a liquid to a gas and back again.

When the refrigerant is in a liquid state, it absorbs heat from the air. When the refrigerant is in the gas state, it releases heat.

A typical portable air conditioner has one hose. However, some portable air conditioner venting options include Two Hoses.

One hose blows the hot air outside through a window, and the hot, humid Room air is drawn into the unit from the room through the portable air conditioner intake.

Can You Buy a Portable AC Without Hose?

Many people, and rightly so, wonder if you can buy a Portable AC without a Hose, and the answer is No. A Portable (AC) Air conditioner is engineered to collect and expel hot air from a room through an exterior window-mounted hose while introducing cold refrigerated air back into a room.

It would be inefficient to leave warm air inside a room without removing it while introducing cold air into the same room. 

A similar question I’ve been asked is: Can I Buy a Ventless Portable Air conditioner? And again, No, because a portable air conditioner without a Vent (Hose) to remove the warm air from a room that it is cooling would defeat the purpose.

The only Alternative to a vented Portable AC unit with a hose is an Evaporative Air Cooler (or Swamp Cooler).  Swamp coolers can somewhat lower room temperature by circulating evaporated air over the top of a cold water reservoir/tank.  Click the link above to see details for an Evaporative Air Cooler.

What Size Portable Air Conditioner Should I Buy?

The size of the portable air conditioner you need depends on the size of the room you want to cool. You should also consider the climate you live in. If you live in a hot, humid climate, you need a larger unit than in hot, dry weather.

All of the portable air conditioner reviews we include above – indicate the recommended cooling capacity – based on the size of the room(s) you plan on cooling. Remember to pay attention to the specific Portable A/C capabilities, as noted above.

If you try to use an air conditioner with a capacity that’s too low for a large room or apartment, you’ll likely find that it cannot provide the cooling you expect, and your comfort and AC equipment will suffer.

How Do You Install a Portable Air Conditioner?

To Install a Portable Air Conditioner, install the window kit supplied by the manufacturer, connect the exhaust vent/hose from the Portable AC to the window kit, plugin the Portable Air conditioner, and enjoy the cold air.

If you’re a visual learner, check out this article from WikiHow – With step-by-step instructions and diagrams to help install your portable air conditioner correctly.

What Are the Most Important Features of a Portable Air Conditioner?

Here are the most essential features to consider when buying a portable air conditioner:

  • Energy efficiency: Portable air conditioners can be expensive to run, so choosing one that is energy efficient is essential. Look for an Energy Star-certified model that meets specific energy efficiency standards.
  • Noise level: Portable air conditioners can be noisy, so if you’re sensitive to noise, you’ll want to choose a relatively quiet model. Look for a model with a noise level of 60 decibels or less.
  • Features: Some portable air conditioners have additional features, such as dehumidification, fan-only mode, and remote control. Consider which features are important to you and choose a model with them.
  • Warranty: Portable air conditioners typically come with a one-year warranty. If you’re buying a more expensive model, you may want to consider one with a more extended warranty.

What is the Cheapest Portable Air Conditioner?

In our reviews for a cheap portable AC – you can consider the 5,300 BTU portable air conditioner from Midea.

However, the cheapest may not always be the best. However, another affordable AC unit is the 14,000 BTU Black + Decker portable AC model, which also gets the job done efficiently and at a great value.

Prices for these air conditioning units cover quite a range, so there are options for almost all budget levels. If you’re working with limited resources, a value-friendly model like the BLACK + DECKER 14,000-BTU is the right choice.

If your budget is larger, you may get more utility from a higher-end selection, such as the Whynter ARC14S, rated as our best portable air conditioner.

Conclusion:

The best portable air conditioner for you will depend on what you need from it and how you intend to use it. The models listed here, though, are among the best today.

Using this portable air conditioner review guide, you should quickly be able to find an ideal air conditioning unit for your home without having to wade through the hundreds of models on the market individually.

References & Further Reading

Kevin Carroll
Kevin Carrollhttps://www.besthomegear.com
Kevin is the author and editor for Best Home Gear, and uses his 25+ years experience in Commercial and Residential Construction Management to author and publish the work for this website. In addition to publishing Best Home Gear; Kevin enjoys the outdoors in Michigan and Arizona, hiking, cycling, fishing, golf, and completing DIY projects at his Home and Garden.

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Author and Publisher for Best Home Gear

Kevin is the Owner, Author, and Publisher @ Best Home Gear, which he began In 2018.

As a Professional in Construction, Real Estate and Property Management, Kevin uses that experience to publish Useful Articles, and help homeowners improve (DIY) their own homes, lawns, and outdoor spaces.

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