We all look forward to summer when it’s warm and the skies clear blue. Yet, the summer heat can get unnerving. Thanks to climate change, summers are getting hotter and hotter. When warmth turns to sweltering heat, your summer could get uncomfortable. That’s why you need an air conditioner in perfect condition.
A central air conditioner will come in handy in cooling your whole house and making it livable. You can also get a window air conditioner to cool a specific room or buy a mobile air conditioner. Unlike the other two, a portable AC has some advantages. You can move your portable AC around and place it in a room where it’s needed most. What is more, is that portable ACs are easy to set up and operate. And when their work is done, you can keep them. Some portable ACs from leading HVAC companies are light and small enough to carry around when traveling. Not to mention portable ACs are also highly affordable.
When prepping for summer and unsure whether your routine cooling systems will act up when you need them most, it makes sense to invest in portable AC. A huge array of portable ACs are available. So, which one should you choose? We recommend the following six best portable ACs to beat the summer heat.
- Best Overall: LG LP1419IVSM Portable Air Conditioner
- Best Budget Option: Black & Decker BPACT14H Air Conditioner
- Best for Small Rooms: Midea Duo MAP12S1TBL Air Conditioner
- Best for Large Rooms: Frigidaire GHPC132AB1 Portable Air Conditioner
- Best for Portability: LG LP0817WSR Portable Air Conditioner
- Best for User-Friendliness: SereneLife SLPAC10 Portable Air Conditioner
Best Overall: LG LP1419IVSM Portable Air Conditioner
- Efficiently cools rooms up to 500 sq. ft.
- 14000 BTU cooling power
- Standard 115-volt electrical cord
- Top, air discharge with louvers
When you’re sweating from the summer heat, installing the LG LP1419IVSM Portable Air Conditioner will almost instantly restore sanity by lowering the temperatures to your desired level.
Equipped with 14,000 BTUs, this portable AC can cool large spaces and save you energy, as it’s ENERGY STAR-certified. And if you live in a smart home, this portable AC will be a welcome addition. It incorporates LG’s proprietary ThinQ technology that enables you to run and control it remotely.
The LG LP1419IVSM Portable Air Conditioner is easy to install, and unlike many portable ACs, it operates almost noiselessly. The unit weighs 35.2kgs and comes with gliding caster wheels, making it pretty portable. Using the LG LP1419IVSM saves you time and helps you avoid the routine hassle of moisture draining. This portable AC is self-evaporating. Once you set it up, you only need to keep it operational.
White in color, this AC unit can easily blend in with other furniture in the room you install it. For its energy-saving capability, high BTU, and portability, the LG LP1419IVSM is the best overall portable AC to beat the summer heat.
Check out the LG LP1419IVSM Portable Air Conditioner on Amazon.
Best Budget Option: Black & Decker BPACT14H Air Conditioner
- Conditions rooms up to 700 sq. ft
- Slide-out washable filter
- Remote control, control panel, and display
- Easy to move around and control
- Easy-to-install window kit
Apart from its outstanding cooling ability, the Black & Decker BPACT14H Air Conditioner is a portable AC unit and is reasonably priced compared to similar products.
A wheeled AC unit, the Black & Decker BPACT14H, weighs 30 kg and is easy to move around. Moreover, this 14,000 BTU AC can cool large spaces, up to 700 square feet. The machine comes with a full-function remote control. You can pre-set the times you want it on or off and let it do its work.
While the Black & Decker BPACT14H isn’t as quiet as other models, the 54Db noise level might not be too much of a bother. These units are available in white and will serve as an additional complement to your home décor. For its competitive price and advanced features, the Black & Decker BPACT14H is a good portable AC to help beat the summer heat.
Check out the Black & Decker BPACT14H Air Conditioner on Amazon.
Best for Small Rooms: Midea Duo MAP12S1TBL Air Conditioner
- Ultra quiet and portable AC unit
- Effectively cools up to 450 Sq. Ft.
- Impressive 12,000 BTU (10,000 BTU SACC)cooling power
- Works with Google Assistant, and Alexa
- Package includes Remote Control & Window Kit
The Midea Duo MAP12S1TBL is a portable air conditioner that offers efficient and convenient cooling for small to medium-sized rooms.
The Midea Duo MAP12S1TBL Air Conditioner has a sleek black design and will complement your home décor. Since it comes with a remote control, you can adjust its temperature in different locations around your house. With the Midea Duo MAP12S1TBL portable AC, you’re assured of fast and efficient cooling because it’s a dual-hose product. Dual-hose ACs work better than single-hose models. In addition, this AC has a dehumidifying function and can remove up to 63.4 pints of moisture per day. If you are fighting humidity, this is definitely the right machine to tame runway indoor humidity.
With a cooling capacity of 12,000 BTUs, the Midea Duo MAP12S1TBL can cool rooms up to 250 square feet. The air conditioner also has three fan speeds and a 24-hour programmable timer making it highly customizable. Another great feature of the Midea Duo MAP12S1TBL is its easy-to-use LED display, which shows you the current temperature. You can also adjust the settings with just a few clicks. At $450, the air conditioner is affordable and would be a great choice for your small room.
Check out the Midea Duo MAP12S1TBL Air Conditioner on Amazon.
Best for Large Rooms: Frigidaire GHPC132AB1 Portable Air Conditioner
- Light, portable design (with caster wheels)
- Easy-to-clean washable filter
- Control your AC using Wi-FI and the app
- Glow color indicator to monitor performance
- Creates a dry, comfortable interior
- 13000 BTU cooling power
An excellent addition to your large rooms, the Frigidaire GHPC132AB1 Portable Air Conditioner is a top-rated product with an array of impressive features.
The Frigidaire GHPC132AB1 Portable Air Conditioner supports Wi-Fi connectivity, meaning you can control it with your smartphone. This is a smart AC, and you can adjust its temperature and fan speed from anywhere in the room or even when you’re away from home.
A programmable timer on the GHPC132AB1 allows you to schedule specific times for the unit to turn on or off. As well as saving you energy, this feature can reduce your electricity bill. Your air conditioner will only run when it’s needed.
The Frigidaire Gallery Cool Connect GHPC132AB1 can cool large areas up to 450 square feet making it ideal for big rooms and small apartments. The AC is equipped with three fan speeds and a sleep mode to keep the noise level down at night.
With a cooling capacity of 13,000 BTUs and an energy efficiency ratio (EER) of 10.4, the Frigidaire Gallery Cool Connect GHPC132AB1 can deliver huge cooling abilities without consuming too much energy. Maintenance is easy as the AC has a washable filter. You can remove and clean it to maintain optimal air quality.
Check out the Frigidaire GHPC132AB1 Portable Air Conditioner on Amazon.
Best for Portability: LG LP0817WSR Portable Air Conditioner
- Portable AC unit with LCD remote
- 8000BTUs of cooling power
- Perfect for rooms up to 200 sq. ft.
- User-friendly LCD display
- 24-hour on and off timer
- 3-in-1 mode (cools, dehumidifies, air circulation)
Costing less than $300, the LG LP0817WSR portable air conditioner is the ideal choice for cooling small spaces on a budget.
Weighing 26.5kgs, the LG LP0817WSR is a lightweight product. It has a cooling capacity of 8000 BTUs and is highly portable. Moreover, it comes with four casters that make it easy to move it from one room to another. When not in use, you can store the AC away thanks to its compact design.
A digital display allows you to adjust temp and other settings on the LG LP0817WSR. You can set it to run at specific times. A remote control and a programmable 24-hour timer will come in handy for this purpose. The LG LP0817WSR can cool rooms of up to 150 square feet and would be ideal for small offices. This unit can remove 1.8 pints of moisture from the air per hour. With a noise level of 53 decibels, LG LP0817WSR is more quire than other portable air conditioners. Maintenance is easy as it has a washable and reusable air filter.
Check out the LG LP0817WSR Portable Air Conditioner on Amazon. Please Note: As of July 16, 2023, the LG LP0817WSR is currently unavailable on Amazon. If you cannot find the product elsewhere, please check back later.
Best for User-Friendliness: SereneLife SLPAC10 Portable Air Conditioner
- Compact, portable home AC unit
- Sleek and free-standing design
- Built-in AC, dehumidifier, and fan
- Smooth and quiet operation
- 10,000 BTU of cooling power
The SereneLife SLPAC10 Portable Air Conditioner is a highly versatile cooling solution with a compact design. It is ideal for homes, offices, and other spaces that need reliable, efficient air conditioning.
A portable AC unit, the SereneLife SLPAC10 Portable Air Conditioner has a 10,000 BTU rating and can quickly cool rooms up to 350 square. It has three different fan speeds allowing you to personalize your cooling. Not only is it easy to use, but it also comes with an intuitive control panel that allows you to adjust the temperature. Its programmable timer helps you set the off and on times, thereby saving you energy.
Weighing less than 25kgs, this AC has built-in wheels. So, you can move it around easily. The AC operates quietly, is energy-efficient, has a washable filter, and uses environmentally friendly refrigerant.
Check out the SereneLife SLPAC10 Portable Air Conditioner on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best Portable AC: Step by Step
Portable ACs have diverse features and capabilities. When out shopping for your next AC, you need to keep a couple of factors in mind to find the best product. Let’s go over some really critical factors:
Size of Area to Be Cooled
Before buying a portable AC, you need to be sure it will effectively cool the space you place it in. An AC’s ability to cool is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour. The higher the BTU, the higher the AC’s cooling ability. To effectively cool a space of 300 square feet, for example, you’ll need a 10,000 BTU AC. Larger spaces typically require AC units with higher BTUs. The right portable AC ideal for your home will create comfortable and livable indoors and effectively combat humidity issues.
Initial Cost and Maintenance Costs
Portable AC prices vary widely just as there are numerous models. Additionally, whether you purchase a budget product or a premium one, your AC will require some form of routine maintenance.
A high-quality product may cost you much upfront but may require little maintenance due to its superior building and cooling technology. If your portable AC is in good working condition, the only maintenance task you’ll perform is to drain off moisture. With some models, that’s not going to be a problem as they’re self-draining. If you buy a portable AC with this kind of automation, you’ll have little to do in the way of maintenance other than the recommended occasional filter-cleaning and defrosting.
AC Energy Efficiency
While your portable AC should help cool your space, it should do so in an energy-efficient manner. Different models have varying levels of efficiency. Some will, in fact, use much power. An inefficient AC will drive up your monthly electricity bills. Not to mention, they will increase your carbon footprint by polluting the environment.
A portable AC’s energy efficiency is measured using an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). This refers to the number of BTUs used per power watt. The higher the EER, the higher the AC’s efficiency. As a consumer, the easiest way to confirm that you’re buying an energy-efficient AC is to look out for ENERGY STAR-certified products.
All air conditioners, including portable ACs, cool a space by extracting hot air from that space and transferring it elsewhere. When choosing a location for your portable AC, you need to designate a specific place to dispense the extracted hot air. If, for instance, you’re cooling your bedroom, placing your portable AC next to an open window would help. The hot air extracted will be sent outside through the window.
While the window AC in your home could be quite noisy, it might never bother you as the unit is outside. A portable AC, on the other hand, shares the room with you, and if it’s noisy, it could prove quite uncomfortable. Some portable ACs produce much noise while others operate near-noiselessly. The noise generated by a portable AC is measured in decibels (dB), and you should ideally choose the AC with the lowest dB.
What to Know Before Buying the Best Portable AC
The primary reason for buying a portable AC is you want to be able to move it from one location to another, right? But do you know that the level of portability varies from one AC to another? If, for instance, you live in a storied house, how easy is it to move your unit from the ground floor to the second floor? Even when you have to move your AC around different rooms on the same level, how do you ensure you can do so easily?
For your AC to be truly portable, it’s important that it comes with wheels. Some models don’t have wheels, and this might be a crucial consideration when you’re shopping. A unit’s weight also determines whether it’ll be portable or not. Using the example of the person who lives in a storied house (probably without a lift), imagine how laborious it would be to move a weighty AC from one location to another. Apart from the physical strain, frequently moving a heavy AC puts your precious gadget at risk of damage.
If you live in a smart home, did you also know that there are portable ACs that have been designed to work in tandem with your smart home features? Just as you can close windows and turn on the lights remotely, you can also control your portable AC from a remote location using your mobile device. Investing in a smart technology-enabled portable AC is not only convenient but could further boost your energy savings. You just have to turn the unit on and off at precise times. Don’t worry if you don’t have a smart AC. Most of the models available have timers.
Using the Best Portable AC: What It’s Like
If you’re not tech-savvy or need to call an HVAC technician every time your cooling or heating system starts acting up, your experience with a portable AC could be a breath of fresh air. Unlike the central or window AC, a portable AC does not require any installation. You don’t need to drill walls or connect cables. You simply plug the unit in, switch it, and you’re good to go. With your portable AC, you can forget about the costly HVAC specialist fees.
While portable ACs might not be as powerful as central and window ACs, they provide a quick temporary solution for cooling your home. If, for instance, you’ve just moved into a new house, your portable AC could help regulate humidity as you plan to install a central cooling system. Similarly, if you are unable to install a regular air conditioning system in your home, a portable AC could be the best solution.
While some portable ACs could improve your home décor, others are not visually appealing. Either way, you never lose anything with these gadgets. If you feel they don’t blend well with your interior decor, you can move them to another room, and they’ll still do their job.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Casezy idea/Shutterstock.com.