Last Updated on April 17, 2022
Finding the best portable air conditioner is no easy feat. There is a sharp learning curve with some unscrupulous sellers attempting to confuse you with terminology. Our easy to read guide slices through the fluff and gets straight to the core of the matter.
We have done all the leg work and research for you so you can make an informed decision this summer. Don’t suffer in a puddle of your sweat, cool your rooms down today.
Our Top 3 Portable Air Conditioner Picks
1. The Best Portable Air Conditioner By Signature
2. The Best Energy-Friendly Portable Air Conditioner By Blu
3. The Best Portable Air Conditioner With Dehumidifier By IcyAir
Product Testing & Comparison
Our reviewer primarily focused on a specific set of guidelines to determine the best of the best for our list:
- Quality of cooling
We primarily looked for a high-quality air conditioner. That means that it needs to be equally durable and well-performing. Energy efficiency was always included in this, as it’s equally important to long-term use.
Finally, we looked at portability. Whether that means it’s lightweight and has carry handles or just wheels, it’s important that these can go between rooms as needed. That made low-effort installation important as well. Now – enough about what we want, let’s see what’s best for you, shall we?
READ NEXT: How to make a fan blow cold air.
Compare our top 3 picks below, or scroll past to see the detailed analysis of all 7 products.
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Portable Air Conditioner, 7000 BTU, White By Signature
12HP 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioning Unit By Blu
65W Mobile Air Conditioner with Air Cleaning Function By IcyAir
|PRICE||£220.99 on Amazon|
|£399.99 on Amazon|
|£329.00 on Amazon|
|PROS||7,000 btu – enough for any need||Industry-leading 12,000 btu with great temperature control||No vent hose installation required, easy to use|
|CONS||The included exhaust hose is quite short||Heavier than most units||No ability to set the desired temperature, which some users need|
|BOTTOM LINE||Self-regulating and modern, this thing is a great “fire and forget” AC unit.||Energy-efficient and eco-friendly, this is a fantastic choice.||Portable and easy to use, this is a great AC unit.|
|RATING CATEGORIES||Portable Air Conditioner, 7000 BTU, White By Signature||12HP 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioning Unit By Blu||65W Mobile Air Conditioner with Air Cleaning Function By IcyAir|
|PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS||Portable Air Conditioner, 7000 BTU, White By Signature||12HP 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioning Unit By Blu||65W Mobile Air Conditioner with Air Cleaning Function By IcyAir|
|DIMENSIONS||30.5 x 38.3 x 75.2 cm||40.5 x 39 x 82 cm||28 x 35 x 84 cm|
|WEIGHT||25.26 kg||42 kg||9 kg|
|SPECIAL FEATURES||Self-evaporating, Cut off thermostatic; Overheat protection;, Portable, Environment friendly, 2 speed settings||R290 Eco Friendly Refrigerant, Remote Control, Self Evaporating, 4 in 1 Functions: Cooling, Heating, Dehumidification, Fan, Castors for Manouverability||Sleep mode, remote control|
|VIEW PRODUCTS||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon|
These Are The Best Portable Air Conditioners Reviewed In 2022
Best Portable Air Conditioner
- Dimensions: 30.5 x 38.3 x 75.2 cm
- Weight: 25.26 kg
- Special Features: Self-evaporating, Cut off thermostatic; Overheat protection;, Portable, Environment friendly, 2 speed settings
Self-regulating and modern, this thing is a great “fire and forget” AC unit.
The best portable air conditioner is the 7000BTU air conditioner by Signature. Its winning combination of affordability, functions and noise level are sure to turn your humid Sahara Desert of a room back into a fresh and breezy beach.
The S40014 comes with the option to set your air conditioner between around 18 and 32 degrees Celcius; not only will this unit cool a room, but it can also heat it. To offer further flexibility, the S40014 has two fan speeds as well as a breeze setting.
What about power consumption? This one-room unit comes with an energy-efficient sleep mode that ensures you only use electricity when it’s needed. Despite its low power consumption, this air conditioner can cool a room up to 30 square metres or 322 square feet for those using imperial measurements.
Whilst pumping out a whopping 7,000 BTU (British thermal units), this air conditioner can also dehumidify your kitchen with its self evaporative colling system and built-in water tank. The water tank has an anti-bacterial coating and a handy full tank indicator, never worry about your tank overflowing ever again!
Another hot topic (I couldn’t resist) on your mind is probably the environmental impact of this device. It uses an R290 refrigerant that has a low Global Warming Potential (GWP), and as already mentioned, energy-saving sleep mode.
This was our reviewer’s favourite, despite its lack of WiFi connectivity and its short exhaust hose. It’s energy-efficient, super good at its job, and easy to use – and what more could you ask for?
- 7,000 btu – enough for any need
- 6 inches hose diameter and 2m hose length
- The BTUs are enough to cool & heat up to 322 square feet
- These cooling units are energy efficient
- This portable air conditioner & dehumidifier makes no noise and has sleep mode
- These cooling units have multiple safety features
- The included exhaust hose is quite short
- Not WiFi connected
Best Energy Efficient Air Conditioner
- Dimensions: 40.5 x 39 x 82 cm
- Weight: 42 kg
- Special Features: R290 Eco Friendly Refrigerant, Remote Control, Self Evaporating, 4 in 1 Functions: Cooling, Heating, Dehumidification, Fan, Castors for Manouverability
Energy-efficient and eco-friendly, this is a fantastic choice.
The second best portable air conditioner you can get is one by Blu. The 12HP by Blu is one of the most powerful portable air conditioners we reviewed. With a higher BTU rating than most domestic air conditioning units, this device can cool and heat an impressively sized room. Oh, and did we mention that it’s portable as well?
Blu has put a lot of thought into the design and manufacture of the 12HP. After researching some other reviews, we came across many people saying that the actual effectiveness of this machine is even better. One reviewer stated, ‘cooled the entire downstairs (approx 800sq ft) in around 20minutes on Saturday (85-degree heat), which also carried a little way upstairs.’ As with most of the units we reviewed, this unit functions as either a heater or cooler.
Given its impressive performance, we initially expected it to have a high noise level and quite power-hungry; we were proved wrong. This air conditioner is rated as A/A+ for energy efficiency (depending on where you live). Running this air cooler for almost 24 hours a day on medium settings will add roughly 50p per day to your electricity bill.
Our reviewer loved this thing. It’s easy to use, extremely energy efficient, and is super adaptable. While it’s rather heavy and lacks a timer, those are small prices to pay for the coolest, most comfy room you’ve ever experienced.
- Industry-leading 12,000 btu with great temperature control
- These portable air conditioners cool in the summer & heat in the winter up to 322 square feet while they make no noise
- This mobile cooling unit has A+ Energy efficiency rating and a dehumidifier mode to extract moisture from air
- 1.8m expandable exhaust hose and a good hose kit
- This portable air conditioner & dehumidifier has a window vent kit included
- Heavier than most units
- No timer function
Best Air Cleaning Conditioner
- Dimensions: 28 x 35 x 84 cm
- Weight: 9 kg
- Special Features: Sleep mode, remote control
Portable and easy to use, this is a great AC unit.
The third best portable air conditioner you can get is the portable Air Conditioner by IcyAir. This small and lightweight unit from IcyAir is one of the best portable devices in our lineup. At just around 9 kg or 12 pounds, this air conditioner is genuinely portable and not only by name. Feel free to take a look at the sales, prices and details on the Amazon store links below.
This portable type ac does away with a refrigerant-based compressor and chemical refrigerating compound. It is using an 8-litre water container to cool the air it expels. This is not the best system for intensive use and is much better suited to that awkward middle ground between a fully-fledged air conditioning unit and a fan. This air conditioner is using a honeycomb filter to purify the air it intakes.
Cold air is generated exclusively with fresh tap water and ice cubes. As it does not use a refrigerant-based system, this unit does not require the installation of an exhaust hose.
Simple, smaller, affordable and sips power like a poor tourist in an expensive cocktail bar. What more could you ask for? Aside from a free cocktail, of course.
Our reviewer loved this thing. It’s super simple to get set up (no vent hose installation), energy-efficient, and boasts a suite of safety and ease of use features. While you can’t set specific temperatures and you’ll need to refill the water container, how big of an issue is that, really?
- No vent hose installation required, easy to use
- This home cooling unit is using just 65W
- Wheels make this black and white unit more mobile.
- Weighs around 5.5kg with good size and no noise
- Multiple key safety features and good control panel
- Cool your room in the hot summer with this unit
- No ability to set the desired temperature, which some users need
- The water container will need refilling with ice to ensure cold air
Best Basic Air Conditioner
- Dimensions: 61.5 x 32.9 x 31.8 cm
- Weight: 40 kg
- Special Features: Energy class A, 5000 BTU output
The fourth best portable air conditioner you can get is the 5k Portable Air Conditioning Unit by Challenge.
This portable unit is like something out of a Ronseal advert. It may not have all the bells and whistles that other similarly priced units do, but it does what it says on the tin or air conditioner in this case. The exact specs for this portable air conditioner are hard to come by. We know that it is using a refrigerant-based system, but we do not know what refrigerating compound it is using. This could mean that uses an older and less environmentally friendly compound, unlike modern machines which use R290.
This system recycles warm air into cool air, to keep your room at the perfect temperature. Whilst having an A rating for energy consumption, this comes at a BTU unit cost. Outputting just 5000BTU this air conditioner is only suitable for rooms up to 10 m2 or 150 square feet. If you compare it to the last entry, these units’ 560W consumption may seem significant.
This apparent jump in consumption is due to this unit being a true air conditioner and using a compressor. A description of how this all works is at the end of this article.
Our reviewer quite liked this for her office. While it struggles to cool larger rooms, it’s perfect for an office or bedroom. It comes with a suite of handy features and is just good at its job. What more could we possibly ask for?
- This portable air conditioner features 5,000 btu
- Good 24 Hour timer for that will help control the temperature
- Auto-restart function and low noise
- This home cooling unit is reliable
- This portable unit has effective performance range and wheels so you can turn and move it around your house area.
- Includes hose for extraction and hose for drainage
- Small maximum room size
Best Wi-Fi Enabled Air Conditioner
- Dimensions: 24.8 x 20.5 x 76.4 cm
- Weight: 8.7 kg
- Special Features: Air purifier, space heater, senses pollution/allergens, WiFi connected, Alexa enabled
The fifth best portable air conditioner you can get is the Apple equivalent for home products.
Whilst not technically a personal air conditioner, as it does not use refrigerating compound, this is one of the best devices you can buy. Modestly styled, this looks like something straight out of space station. Its advanced air filtration system is impressive and is using a HEPA and activated carbon filter to eliminate pollutants.
The Dyson website says the latest model delivers an airflow of over 77 gallons per second, which is equivalent to 618 cubic feet per minute (CFM). Dyson customer services claim a higher number, 361 litres per second, which works out to 765 CFM. Translated into English, this means the unit is not as powerful as a common 16″ oscillating pedestal fan, which might deliver up to twice as much airflow; at 10% of the cost, I might add. This units main selling point is its purifying capability. If air quality and a gentle airflow are your goals, then this is the best portable air conditioner for you.
Dyson states this portable air conditioner can filter the air in small rooms up to 18m2 or 290 square feet. This unit has sensors that tell you how much of various pollutants are in the air, plus temperature and humidity.
This thing was awesome, but our reviewer’s large hangup was the cost – £789 at the time of publication. Nonetheless, it does everything it boasts perfectly and is well worth the cost. If you’ve got that type of change lying around, this is entirely worth the money and will last you for years to come.
- Advanced Filtration with HEPA and activated carbon double filters
- This home cooling unit is controllable via APP or remote control
- Easy to move and it is not noisy at all
- Automatically adjusts to help remove pollutants
- A good two year free repairs warranty
- Great features to help you control the temperature
- Cooling power lower than a refrigerant-based AC unit
- Nonwashable filters, so you need to buy new ones
Best 9000 BTU Air Conditioner
- Weight: 23 kg
- Special Features: Remote control, timer, 2 speeds, overheat protection
The sixth-best portable air conditioner you can get is Portable Air Conditioner by Prem-I-Ar.
The slightly corny brand may not instil confidence but don’t be fooled. This portable air conditioner from prem-i-air is one of the best.
This one small air conditioner has 9,000 BTU of cooling power, which is equivalent to 2600W. This unit works effectively in rooms from 12-18m2. The major drawback for this machine is that it does not have a heater function and does not include a vent hose.
All the normal features you would expect are included. The unit utilises a remote control, programmable 24-hour timer, two fan speeds and overheat protection. Whilst its effectiveness is not in question, the refrigerant is. We could find no documentation that states what refrigerating compound it uses. Fingers crossed it’s an eco R290 based air conditioner, but we can’t guarantee that.
Despite the mostly unknown brand name, our reviewer loved this thing. It’s got a good range of protective features, is effective, and works in rather large rooms. Its downsides lie in its lack of heating and not including the exhaust hose – you’ll need to get that one separately.
- 9,000 BTUs
- Cools & heats up to 322 square feet
- These portable ACs feature overheat protection
- These popular portable units come with good remote control
- No exhaust hose included, you need to buy it separately
- No heating option
Best Digital Portable Air Conditioner
- Dimensions: 33 x 33 x 70 cm
- Weight: 23 kg
- Special Features: Digital controls, remote, timer, auto on/off, window venting kit
The last portable air conditioner you can get is the portable 9000 BTU air conditioner from Burfam.
This is best for us in rooms up to 16m2. Although this is a cooling only unit, your ideal temperature can be set as anything from 16°C to 30°C. Its three fan speed and class A energy rating means reduced power consumption and savings on your energy bill. The Artica also has a dehumidifying function that is capable of extracting 24 litres per day; this setting can be used independently of the normal cooling setting of this air conditioner.
Our reviewer honestly loved this thing. It’s super easy to use and powerful enough for large spaces, unlike many devices in this list. However, it uses an unknown refrigerating compound, which is… less than ideal. It does, however, include a window kit, which is quite nice.
- 9000 btu enough for large space
- Incredibly low power consumption
- Independent dehumidifier with good efficiency
- No noise, and energy friendly (A energy class).
- Unknown refrigerating compound
Who would’ve thought that the world of air conditioners is so complex! There are two main things to consider when it comes to buying a portable air conditioner: 1) How fast do you want the room to be called down, 2) How big is your room or rooms that you want cooling? Most air conditioners are rated with a BTU; this represents the cooling power of a device; the higher the number, the faster you cool off. Most of the best portable air conditioners will plaster their BTU all over the product description. If it’s not easy to find, then this can be a sign that the air-conditioning unit is underpowered or worse still, overpriced.
In order to make sure that your mobile air conditioner is efficient and can keep up with your demands, pay close attention to the room dimensions it can cool. Portable air conditioners try to make sure that they can claim to effectively cool multiple rooms rather than just your average living room.
Be wary of the fact that even the best portable air conditioners are tested in laboratory settings; the displayed maximum room size is often the absolute maximum the machine can pump out. When a portable air conditioner is operating just inside its maximum limits, no matter how man X 000 BTU it has, the efficiency will suffer drastically. If you can afford it, it’s always much better to opt for a portable unit that happily cools a room larger than you intend it to do so.
If efficiency and environmental friendliness are the main components of your decision, then ensure your unit runs R290. All of the best options we found made use of this energy-saving gas. This is one of the best energy-friendly decisions you can make in relation to portable ac.
How do portable air conditioners work?
Most of the air conditioners we reviewed use a compressed refrigerant. This refrigerating compound is forced through a coil that absorbs the heat in the air that’s coming in and vents it out before expelling ice-cold air. Some of the air conditioners we reviewed use more rudimental systems such as ice and cold water tanks.
How to clean portable air conditioners?
Most are wipe clean and relatively easy to maintain and take care of. Be sure to read your instruction manual as some of the more premium options include filters which may also need cleaning or replacing.
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