Best Portable Air Conditioners of 2024

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Best Portable Air Conditioner

When the summer heat rises but installing traditional AC isn’t possible, portable air conditioner provides tremendous relief and comfort. Easy to move from room to room, portable AC units offer an accessible way to beat the heat in spaces that lack permanent climate control. Models with adjustable cooling power, efficient design, and valuable features like dehumidification make enduring hot, humid days far more bearable. With so many portables, finding the right one can be a challenge. Close Probe review will cover the pros and cons of single vs. dual hose units, BTU requirements, and unique features. We recommend the top-rated portable air conditioner models for every environment and budget. With the insights from this guide, you’ll be ready to stay calm and collected in the sweltering summer season.

Portable AC Vs. Traditional AC

Portable ACs offer accessible spot cooling, while traditional ACs require installation but provide higher efficiency and power. Choose based on your setup constraints. A comparison table of the pros and cons of portable air conditioners vs. traditional AC units:

FeaturePortable Air ConditionerTraditional AC Unit
InstallationNo ductwork is needed. Easy plug-and-play setup.Requires permanent ductwork installation. Complex setup.
CostLower upfront cost.Higher upfront installation cost.
PortabilityCan move from room to room.Fixed in place permanently.
WindowsDon’t need window access.Require mounting in window brackets.
ControlNo ductwork is needed. Easy plug and play setup.Cool whole home which wastes energy.
PowerLess powerful than permanent AC.More powerful cooling capacity.
Energy UseUses more electricity overall.Direct control over the target area.
MaintenanceNeed to empty water reservoir regularly.Self-contained condensate drainage.
SizeTakes up floor space.Hidden ductwork preserves space.
NoiseCan be loud disrupting sleep.Quieter overall operation.

For cost-mindful homeowners or renters, a portable AC is the clear winner for affordable spot cooling. Regardless, for long-term energy savings and efficiency, traditional permanently installed AC is preferable if achievable.

Benefits of Using a Portable Air Conditioner

For accessible spot cooling without permanent installation, portable ACs offer flexibility and fast payback on investment.

Spot cooling
Cools specific rooms you occupy rather than the whole house. Saves energy.

Most units can also provide dehumidification, fan circulation, and sometimes heating.

No permanent installation
Easy setup with window venting kit. No ductwork is needed.

Wheels allow moving the unit between different rooms as needed.

Zonal control
Cools only occupied spaces without affecting other rooms. More efficient.

Lower upfront cost than central AC installation. Quick ROI.

Supplemental cooling
Good for adding extra cooling to rooms with inadequate HVAC.

No window space needed
Vent hoses require just a small window gap versus mounting in brackets.

DIY installation
Can be installed without professional help if a unit is lightweight.

Modern amenities
Some models have smart controls, voice commands, and advanced filters.

BTU Rating and Room Size

Getting the right BTU rating matched to room size is crucial for portable AC effectiveness and efficiency. Check specific model BTU recommendations and use a minimum of 5-10 BTU per square foot as a general rule. Proper sizing ensures sufficient power without wasting money and energy.

BTU Rating

  • BTU stands for British Thermal Units and indicates the cooling power.
  • Higher BTU units can cool larger spaces more effectively. Lower BTU for smaller rooms.
  • Consider the room size and look for a minimum of 5 BTUs per square foot, or better yet 7-10 BTUs.
  • Undersized units strain to cool and oversized waste energy. Choose the right BTU rating.

Room Size

  • Measure room dimensions to calculate total square footage.
  • Leave space around the portable unit – avoid cramped corners.
  • Consider room features like high ceilings, sun exposure, and occupancy. Larger rooms and more people require higher BTU.
  • If cooling multiple rooms, size for the largest room then use lower fan setting in other rooms.

Factors to Consider for Portable Air Conditioner

Choosing a portable AC based on room size, venting capabilities, and useful features will ensure it effectively and conveniently keeps you cool.

BTU rating
Match the BTU cooling power to room size (minimum 5-10 BTUs per square foot).

Type of compressor
Rotary compressors are quieter and more durable than piston types.

Noise level
Check decibel ratings if the unit will be near where you sleep or work.

Runtime per tank
Larger water tanks allow longer runtime before needing to be drained.

Condensation method
Auto-evaporation systems eliminate water tanks for continuous use.

Venting options
Models with vent kits for windows, drop ceilings, etc. provide flexibility.

Air filtration
Activated carbon pre-filters help remove airborne particles and improve air quality.

Temperature control
Digital displays with remote controls allow easy adjustment.

Timer functions
Set schedules to automatically turn on/off for convenience.

Casters and handles help move portable units between rooms.

Energy Efficiency and Power Consumption

While less efficient overall than permanent AC, some careful usage practices can help minimize the power demands of portable air conditioners.

Less efficient overall
Portable ACs are generally less energy efficient than permanently installed central AC units.

Higher electricity usage
Ductless portables lose some cold air through the venting, requiring more runtime and power to maintain temperatures.

Limited sizing
Oversized portable units cycle on and off more, wasting power. Undersized ones run continuously struggling to cool.

Look for ENERGY STAR units
Certified models meet energy efficiency guidelines and have higher SEER ratings.

Use Eco mode if available
Eco settings use less power by optimizing compressor and fan operation.

Size properly
Carefully match BTU rating to room size for optimal efficiency.

Supplemental use
Limit portable AC runtime by using fans, closing drapes, and only cooling occupied rooms.

Turn off when not needed
Don’t run the unit in empty rooms or all day while out of the house.

Regular maintenance
Clean filters, remove dust buildup and keep parts well maintained.

Best Portable Air Conditioners

LG Portable Air Conditioner

LG Portable Air Conditioner


  • Price: $274.00
  • Cooling Power: 6000 BTU
  • Remote Control: Yes
  • Dimension: 13.27″ x 17.32″ x 27.36″
  • Voltage: 115 Volts
  • Noise Level: 53 dB
  • Cable Length: 5 feet

The LG LP0621WSR portable air conditioner provides flexible 3-in-1 operation to meet a variety of cooling needs. Cool mode delivers powerful chilled air and dehumidification on hot humid days. Fan mode circulates the air to keep things comfortable. Dry mode is perfect for getting rid of dampness during rainy weather.

An automatic horizontal oscillating vent evenly distributes the cool or fan air throughout the room, preventing hot or cold spots from developing. With two cooling and fan speeds to choose from, you can customize the airflow to your needs – full blast on hot days or gentle breeze when just taking the edge off.

Designed for medium rooms up to 250 square feet, this LG portable AC is ideal for spaces like bedrooms, home offices, dorms, or studios. It delivers sufficient power for areas on the smaller side without being overkill.


  •  Easy to assemble and install
  • Cools the room quickly
  • It is handy and takes little space
  • Remote options give ease in handling


  • Little loud in Cool Mode

Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner

Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner


  • Price: $449.00
  • Cooling Power: 14000 BTU
  • Remote Control: Yes
  • Dimension: 16″ x 19″ x 35.5″
  • Voltage: 115 Volts
  • Noise Level: > 56 dB
  • Cable Length: 6.5 feet

This Good Housekeeping 2023 award-winning Whynter portable air conditioner provides powerful cooling for spaces up to 500 square feet. With 14,000 BTU of cooling power, it can handle large open areas efficiently.

Operation is quiet at less than 56 decibels. You can comfortably use this AC without cranking up the TV volume. Dual-hose operation enables advanced auto-evaporation technology so no water tank needs regular draining. It offers three modes – Cool, Dehumidify, and Fan. Adjustable thermostatic control allows setting the temperature between 61°F to 89°F. Max power consumption is an energy-efficient 1300W.

An extendable window exhaust hose up to 60 inches long allows flexible installation. The included window kit fits openings 20 inches to 46 inches wide. With robust cooling power, quiet operation, continuous drainage, and window ventilation capabilities, this Whynter portable AC delivers performance and convenience perfect for large rooms.


  • Cools fast
  • Multiple speed fan
  • Semi-directional vent with 2 hose


  • Loudy at high speeds

BLACK+DECKER Portable Air Conditioner

BLACK DECKER Portable Air Conditioner


  • Price: $299.99
  • Cooling Power: 8000 BTU
  • Remote Control: Yes
  • Dimension: 16.5″ x 26″ x 11.5″
  • Voltage: 115 Volts
  • Noise Level: 54 dB
  • Cable Length: 3 feet

The Black+Decker BPACT08WT portable air conditioner has compact dimensions of 15.3” x 14” x 24.8” and is ideal for rooms up to 350 square feet.

It includes an easy-to-install window ventilation kit with a large vented outlet that ushers cool airflow into your space. Integrated casters and side handles allow smooth room-to-room mobility. This versatile 3-in-1 unit functions as an AC, dehumidifier and fan. The 8000 BTU (ASHRAE) cooling capacity can sufficiently cool and dehumidify personal spaces up to 350 sq ft.

Convenient features include a remote control, top-mounted LED control panel, 24-hour timer, and washable slide-out filter. Weighing just 45.8 lbs, the Black+Decker portable AC is an easy-to-use and energy-efficient solution for supplemental spot cooling needs. The window vent kit and transport handles enable quick DIY installation in any room.


  • Cools very fast
  • The Remote has a programable timer
  •  Easily moveable and not too heavy if you need to lift it over stairs


  • A bit noisy

Midea Portable Air Conditioner

Midea Portable Air Conditioner


  • Price: $199.00
  • Cooling Power: 8000 BTU
  • Remote Control: Yes
  • Dimension: 13″ x 17.1″ x 28.3″
  • Voltage: 115 Volts
  • Noise Level: 52 dB
  • Cable Length: 4 feet

The Midea portable air conditioner provides fast, effective cooling for spaces up to 150 square feet. With 8000 BTU (5300 BTU SACC standard), it has ample power for cooling personal spaces like bedrooms, offices, or cabins.

Digital controls and an LED display offer simple, intuitive operation. The included remote control allows adjusting the temperature, mode, timer, and other settings from across the room. A 24-hour programmable timer further customizes cooling schedules.

Installation is straightforward with the 5 ft hose and adjustable window brackets fitting openings from 26.5” to 48”. No extra tools are required for assembly – just roll the unit in place, attach the window vent, power it on and start cooling. Midea designed this AC with a removable, washable air filter to protect your space from dust and pet hair while providing clean, filtered air. Recommended weekly cleaning extends the filter’s usable life.

As the world’s largest air conditioning provider, Midea stands behind the product with a one-year warranty on parts and labor.


  • Cools quickly
  • Fairly quiet on medium fan speed
  • Wi-Fi is easily set up on the phone with their app


  • The thermostat is not very accurate

Vremi Portable Air Conditioner

Vremi Portable Air Conditioner


  • Price: $385.99
  • Cooling Power: 12000 BTU
  • Remote Control: Yes
  • Dimension: 13.78″ x 16.54″ x 27.17″
  • Voltage: 100 Volts
  • Noise Level: 52 dB
  • Cable Length: 4 feet

The Vremi 12000 BTU portable air conditioner is ideal for cooling rooms between 300-350 square feet without requiring permanent installation.

The exhaust hose vents out a standard horizontal window for releasing heat outdoors. For comfort, this AC cools rooms down to 64°F-90°F with an adjustable 24-hour timer and swing mode for even airflow distribution. The removable air filter should be cleaned weekly to maintain peak cooling performance. Quick and simple maintenance is key.

Compactly sized at 14.06” D x 16.5” W x 27.09” H, this portable unit rolls easily to any room with a suitable window. Just attach the 5.6 ft exhaust hose and adapter, then start enjoying the breezy cool air!


  • Blows air constantly as the vent moves up and down
  • Cools large master bedroom quickly
  • The remote is convenient for changing the temp


  • Audible buzzing noise with compressor

Reviews and Rates for Portable Air Conditioners

Here is a comparison chart for the given portable air conditioner models and ratings:

Easy to install4.
Remote Control4.
Value for money4.
Energy efficiency3.
Noise level3.

This chart allows a comparison of the customer ratings for each portable air conditioner model across the provided criteria. Midea appears to rate well for easy installation and value while LG edges out on durability and energy efficiency based on the data.

Maintenance and Care Tips for Portable Air Conditioners

Performing basic care and cleaning will help ensure your portable AC performs efficiently for many cooling seasons.

Clean air filters regularly
Remove and wash foam or mesh filters at least monthly to maintain airflow.

Drain water reservoir
Empty the reservoir daily to prevent overflow and shutoffs. Some models have continuous drainage hoses.

Clean debris from vents
Use a brush to remove dust buildup from outside compressor vents annually.

Check for leaks
Ensure condensation hose and outlet vents are draining properly without leaks.

Store unit safely
Place a protective cover on the unit and store it safely indoors when not in use for prolonged periods.

Level the unit
Make sure the portable AC is on a flat, level surface so condensate drains properly.

Use stabilizing kit
For window venting kits, use the provided stabilizer bracket and cut foam for a snug fit.

Inspect power cord
Check that the cord is free of cracks or damage, replacing if needed. Don’t use damaged cords.

Verify window clearance
Make sure there is at least 12″ clearance around the exhaust vent outdoors.

Review manual
Follow all manufacturer-recommended maintenance for your specific model.


When evaluating portable air conditioners, take the time to carefully calculate the appropriate BTU rating and airflow (CFM) needed for the room sizes you want to cool. Models with adjustable vents, fans, and remote controls allow you to customize cooling and direct it where needed. Look for energy-saving modes and quieter rotary compressors for the best efficiency and minimal noise disruption. While upfront costs are typically lower, factor in increased energy bills from reduced efficiency compared to permanent AC units. With smart usage and positioning, a good portable unit can provide many years of targeted room cooling and humidity control when traditional air conditioners aren’t feasible. Choosing the right portable AC with adequate power lets you beat the heat in any space you occupy so you can comfortably get through hot weather on your own terms.

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