Portable air conditioners combine both functionality and accessibility. However, with the number of options in the market, choosing one that's right for your home can be a task. As a customer, you can choose between all kinds of features - energy-saving options, auto-evaporation and quiet or hush modes. Then there is the question of add-ons like window kits, replaceable filters, and so on. This variability often makes it more difficult to hone in on a product that’s best for you.
That said, there are a few trusted brands that have stood the test of time, and features that are proven to please. We’ll take a look at some of the top sellers in the portable air conditioner industry, helping you inch closer to finding a cooling unit that’s perfect for you.
1. Honeywell HL10CESWK Portable Air Conditioner 10000 BTU
This Honeywell portable air conditioner does much more than just cool your home, as it features additional dehumidifier and fan settings. Packing 10,000 BTUs, this unit can cool, dehumidify and ventilate rooms as large as 450 square feet. It is available in a variety of two-tone color schemes, and offers a visually sleeker aesthetic than most. Its dual filtration technology removes dust, dander, and other materials from indoor air, for your breathing comfort, and simultaneously prevents these materials from clogging the internal components of the unit. The majority of portable ACs do not have this feature, leading to poorer air quality and substantially shorter lifespans. With this unit, you can say goodbye to expensive filter replacements, because these filters are fully washable!
This Honeywell model also differentiates itself by being the safest portable air conditioner on this list. The thermal overload protector that this (and other) Honeywell unit is equipped with ensures that you and your loved ones are safe from the sometimes disastrous consequences of motor overuse. This thermal overload protection also gives Honeywell air conditioners a functional advantage in hotter conditions, because air conditioners that don’t have this protection are prone to system failure on hot days or during extended use. For humid conditions, an auto drain mode can be activated continuously. In case of a power outage, this unit also has an auto-restart feature that kicks in.
The thermostat is outfitted with smart technology, and the control panel is easy to navigate and responsive to soft touch commands. Another feature that allows this Honeywell unit to stand out is its dual motor system, which keeps noise levels down and bolsters the product's longevity.
Unlike many companies, Honeywell stands by their highly protective, plainly written warranty. They also provide customers with a US-based help hotline, with their air-comfort experts equipped to provide helpful answers to all your queries.
- Thermal overload protection for safety, quieter motor and endurance
- Dual filtration for cleaner air & AC longevity
- Sleep mode
- Easy-to-install single hose and window kit
- Time-honored warranty and local US customer support hotline
- FREE 6-month extended warranty
2. Black + Decker BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner 8000 BTU
This 8,000 BTU Black + Decker portable air conditioner features a remote, and an LED display for convenient accessibility. The unit’s control panel is laid out in an efficient, easy-to-read manner, making it simple to adjust. A pop-out compartment on the back of the unit allows you to quickly remove the filter for cleaning and/or replacement.
The Black + Decker BPACT08WT is ideal for rooms up to 150 square feet in size. Although it doesn’t work with crank windows, it is compatible with sliding and double hung windows. It also has an air circulation feature, in addition to regular air conditioning and dehumidifier functions. In its most powerful mode, its noise only reaches 75 decibels, making it possible to sleep while the unit is running at its best.
This Black & Decker unit is also highly mobile, with a set of castors and handles assisting in portability. The exhaust hose is a total of 5 feet in length, and when you need to temporarily halt the unit, a sleep button can be used.
- Sleep button feature
- 5 feet exhaust hose
3. Whynter ARC-14S Portable Air Conditioner 14000 BTU
This Whynter portable air conditioner utilizes an advanced coolant process that results in reduced condensation. After a power outage, it has the ability to restart on its own, leaving you comfortable without having to re-attend to it. Designated times can be preset for when you know you’ll need cool air. It can also be used to dehumidify your room, and with the help of a carbon filter, air is noticeably fresher. It also makes use of a pre-filter, which is entirely washable, and this dual filtration technology only further adds to the quality of the air it produces.
Like some of the others on this list, it too can be used as a fan or dehumidifier. Being capable of a 101 pint daily dehumidification pace, it has the power to keep rooms cool and comfortable for long periods of time. It also features the option for draining, allowing for more extensive use without interruption. The digital thermostat can reach temperatures as low as 61 degrees Fahrenheit, and as high as 89 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 100+ dehumidified pints daily
- 28-degree temperature range
4. LG LP0817WSR Portable Air Conditioner 8000 BTU
If you're looking for mobility, this LG portable air conditioner is a great option. It’s easy to store, move, and set up, making it the literal embodiment of portability. It’s entirely free-standing and known for circulating air well within its range, leaving no out-of-reach hotspots. The system is also programmable, allowing you to keep rooms cool even when you’re not present.
It’s compatible with regular electrical outlets and comes with a kit for easy window installation. This portable air conditioner can cool up to 150 square feet, and as far as dehumidification is concerned, it is capable of extracting 1.8 pints per hour. Its weight of 58 lbs places it on the lighter end, reinforcing portability. Fortunately, there’s no need for assembly, and the batteries that are needed are included. The gentle, soothing white noise it produces makes it useful for folks who suffer from hearing conditions, such as tinnitus.
- Efficient air circulation method eliminates hot spots
- Lightweight and portable
5. Honeywell MN10CESBB Portable Air Conditioner 10000 BTU
Perfect for rooms up to 450 square feet, this dehumidifying, fanning, air conditioning Honeywell trifecta is the ideal energy-saving option. It essentially does what central air conditioning units do, at a fraction of the cost. The filters are set up to be entirely washable and can be easily removed/replaced when necessary. The control panel is easy to navigate and read, and its highly responsive interface makes programming your portable air conditioner easier than ever. It also can be set up for continuous draining for a less hands-on experience.
This Honeywell portable air conditioner does what all of the others do on this list, but increases peace of mind through bonus safety features such as thermal overload protection. This protection means that you won’t have to worry about your air conditioners performance in hotter conditions, nor will you have to worry about the early engine failure that tends to define other non-thermally protected air conditioners. Because of the thermal protection that safeguards this unit’s motor, its longevity and overall safety is further reinforced.
This smart thermostat allows you to easily optimize your room temperature in a matter of seconds, leaving your conditioner to do the rest of the work. Each mode can be accessed with the help of the easy-to-use remote. Draining water through say, buckets, is unnecessary as the system makes use of an auto-evaporation technique. The white noise that the unit produces strikes the peaceful balance of being quiet enough to easily sleep alongside, yet loud enough to block out outside disturbances. Lastly, like other Honeywell products, this unit comes with outstanding warranty, and as a company, Honeywell provides, bar none, the best customer service in the industry.
- Thermal overload protection safety feature
- Slim & stylish design
- Local US customer support hotline
- FREE 6-month extended warranty
6. JHS Powerful Portable Air Conditioner 10000 BTU
The JHS 10,000 can be operated remotely and can switch between two distinct fanning speeds. On top of being able to produce a cool, refreshing environment, this JHS model is capable of dehumidifying and fanning rooms. The LED display is clear, visible, and easy to navigate. The controller that comes with the JHS 10,000 is also user friendly.
Once your room has been successfully brought to the desired temperature, a sleep mode can be accessed, temporarily halting the unit. Altogether, the unit only weighs 53 lbs, and its caster wheels allow for multi-directional movement, making it highly portable. The dehumidifier mode is powerful enough to extract just over 50 pints on a daily basis. Installation is easy for this JHS portable air conditioner, with tool-free set up.
- LED display
- Multi-directional caster wheels for easy movement
- Tool-free setup
7. Global Air Portable Air Conditioner 10000 BTU
Although it doesn’t have dehumidifying features, this Global Air 10,000 BTU air conditioner circulates cool air efficiently in each of its two settings. It includes a remote, as well as an LED, digital on-unit display. The standout feature that this Global Air unit provides is a four-way air circulation technique that helps to maintain even room temperature. It is useful for rooms as large as 300 square feet, and you won’t have to worry about water tanks, as this unit evaporates water on its own. This water is first condensed and then recycled in a highly innovative cooling process.
It also includes a delay feature, that will allow you to re-calibrate room temperature in case it has dropped to a level that’s below comfort. Like most portable air conditioners, filter blockages must be addressed for optimal performance, and the unit must be placed on a flat surface to run at its quietest. Lastly, a kit is included for easy installation through an air-conditioner-compatible window.
- 4-way air circulation technology
- Suitable for rooms up to 300 square feet
8. Frigidaire Gallery Portable Air Conditioner 12000 BTU
This smart-connect portable, indoor air conditioner by Frigidaire is Wi-Fi compatible, and features a highly ergonomic, cylinder-like shape. A good option for a small portable air conditioner, it comes with an app, which means you can connect to the unit using your smartphone device. Controls such as temperature adjustment, turning the unit on and off, and more can be easily accessed through the app. This allows you to not only use your phone as a remote when you’re in the same room as your Frigidaire air conditioner, but also grants you the ability to make temperature adjustments while you’re away from home.
Custom schedules can be made, giving you the opportunity to pre-program your device ahead of time for moments that you know will call for cooler air. This 12,000 BTU portable air conditioner is good for rooms sized 550 square feet and under. Pollen is easily removed by this device’s thorough ionization. The app itself is compatible with iPhone and Android devices. The cylinder-like hull gives it a modern look that stands out from the general bulkiness of most portable air conditioners.
- Filters pollen and some other potentially harmful pollutants from the air
- Wi-Fi compatible
- Can be accessed through the phone with a downloadable iPhone or Android app
9. NewAir Ultra Compact Portable Air Conditioner 14000 BTU
The NewAir Ultra Compact includes a kit for window installation. It features a timer that is programmable up to 24 hours. It easily allows you to keep rooms up to 350 square feet well cooled, whether they be at office or in your home. With a 57 dBA running noise, this air conditioner is suitable for quieter environments.
Fitted with a carbon filter, this NewAir stand-up air conditioner actively provides noticeably pure air. Alongside a timer, it also provides users with a sleep mode, which can be used to momentarily stop the unit once a desired temperature has been reached. It is capable of running at two different fan speeds, and the controls are easy to read and use. Altogether the product weighs just under 50 lbs, and with its multi-directional caster wheels, it’s easy to maneuver and store for later use.
- Weighs under 50 lbs
- Two fan speeds
- Sleep mode
10. SPT Portable Air Conditioner 9000 BTU
This two-speed air conditioner is perfect for rooms up to 250 square feet. The unit comes with a remote, though it is directly programmable and features a timer. As a portable air conditioner unit, it is seasonally friendly, keeping you cool in the summers, and warm in the winters. Additionally, it offers dehumidifying and fanning functions. On the air-conditioning end, it provides 9,000 BTUs, while on the heating end, it brings 8,500 BTUs of power. Like most modern portable air conditioners, this unit contains no CFC refrigerants, making it a green option that’s environmentally friendly.
- 250 square feet room capacity
- Free of harmful CFC refrigerants
- Timer feature for programmable temperature adjustments
Finding the right air conditioner for your home can prove tricky. However, as you do your research, you'll figure out what's important for you fairly quickly. All you need is a little time and you'll find the perfect portable air conditioner for you.
Every portable air conditioner comes with unique features, catering to the specific needs of different people. For some, Wi-Fi connectivity may be hugely important, while others may only need a simple, two-speed interface. Still others may only require the convenience of a self evaporating, bucket-less air conditioning system.
Whatever your needs, it's a good idea to look for units known for their durability and safety - for this, we love units equipped with extra safety features like overload protection. A portable AC requires a significant investment, and you wouldn't want to buy an AC that requires regular (and costly!) maintenance. For us, the value of complete peace of mind cannot be overestimated!