The Top Ten Best Portable Air Conditioners for 2018

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portable air conditioner

A portable air conditioner is convenient because it is well…portable!  That means that you can take it with you.  I’m going to go over what exactly a portable air conditioner is, different types of air conditioners, what to consider when buying one, features to look for, maintenance, and more.  The outside temperature is bound to rise as we begin to hit the dog days of summer, so let’s get started.

For more in-depth information on the top ten products, we have chosen. Click on the individual review button in the table below.

Here Are The Best Portable Air Conditioners of 2018!

Product Image

Product Name

Rating

Reviews

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Ontel AA-MC4 Arctic Air Personal Space Cooler

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Honeywell Contempo Series Portable Air Conditioner

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Honeywell MN12CES Portable Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier & Fan

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Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner, Dehumidifier, Fan

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LG LP0817WSR 115V Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control

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Amana AMAP121AD Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control

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BLACK+DECKER 8000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner Unit

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Honeywell MO08CESWK Compact Portable Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier and Fan

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COSTWAY 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner Dehumidifier Function Window Wall Mount w/Remote Control (Air Conditioner)

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Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner

What Is A Portable Air Conditioner? 

A portable air conditioner also called a portable AC or PAC, is a self-contained portable system that will cool single rooms.  Most portable ACs will sit on the floor and are quick to set up.  A lot of models come with wheels so that you can move the portable AC into different rooms.

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How a Portable Air Conditioner Works

After learning all the interesting information I’ve included in this article, you may be wondering how a portable air conditioner works. So here is how it works:

  • The gas, which is called a refrigerant, can quickly move from a low to a high-pressure situation, and it can also change the gas into a liquid.  This is what makes your air conditioning feel cool.
  • The low-pressure gas is sent through a compressor where the gas is pressurized rapidly, which converts the cool gas into a heated, high-pressure gas.
  • The hot gas begins to pass through the condenser coils, which are meant to reduce the temperature of the gas.  From here it turns into a liquid form. The liquid is still at high pressure, but it is cooler.
  • Next, the liquid passes into the evaporator coils and its pressure drops.  It then turns back into a gas.
  • The cooled gas goes back to the compressor, as though it were to start the process all over again.
  • Hot air from the house is brought in past the evaporator coil, and it is cooled.  Then a blower pushes it back out into the room, which is what makes your house cool.

Different Types of Portable Air Conditioners

There are not too many different types of portable air conditioners.  That said, you will need to choose which kind you will want to get.  Here is a list of the types of portable air conditioners:

Tabletop Portable Air Conditioner

A tabletop portable air conditioner is basically a small portable air conditioner that can fit on a table, hence the name.  Because it is small, it is also a cheap portable air conditioner.

Portable Car Air Conditioner

A portable car air conditioner is made for cooling your car during the hot summer months.  Similar to the tabletop portable air conditioner, this is a small portable air conditioner.

Stand-Alone Air Conditioner

A stand-alone air conditioner is designed to sit upright without falling over.  Most free standing room air conditioners are a little larger than other types of portable air conditioners.

Soleus Air Portable Air Conditioner

The Soleus Air portable air conditioner is a quiet type of air conditioner.  This is a nice option for those who do not want too much noise in their home.

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Different Types of Air Conditioners 

Besides the types of portable air conditioners, there are also the different types of general room air conditioners.  I’ll go over each type here.

Portable Air Conditioner

The first type of air conditioner is a portable air conditioner.  This is the type of air conditioner we are discussing today.  As I mentioned earlier in this article, a lot of portable air conditioners have wheels so that you can easily move them from room to room.  Portable air conditioners can also be called a portable AC or PAC.

Window Air Conditioner

A window air conditioner is designed to be installed inside a standard window.  Sometimes they are installed inside a measured and prepared wall hole.  This type of air conditioner can cool large or small rooms.  A lot of window air conditioners feature heat modes, programmable timers, and digital control boards.

Through-the-Wall Air Conditioner

Similar to a window air conditioner, the through-the-wall air conditioner is designed to be installed through a wall inside a chassis sleeve.  Through-the-wall air conditioners are available in higher cooling capacities than window air conditioner models and weigh slightly more.

Ductless Mini-Split System Air Conditioner

This type of air conditioner is very quiet and features two basic parts: a large condenser unit that installs outdoors and one or more compact wall-mountable blower units that are placed strategically inside the area you want to cool.

PTAC Cooling and Heating

The PTAC, which stands for Package Terminal Air Conditioner, is popular in hotels, assisted living facilities, offices, and sun rooms.  It can cool a room of any size, and most brands allow you to control multiple units from one location.

Recommended Bestsellers

Bestseller No. 1
Black + Decker BPACT12HWT Portable Air Conditioner, 12,000 BTU with Heat, w, White
  • PORTABLE A/C HEATER COMBO UNIT - Our 6,000 BTU DOE (12,000 BTU ASHRAE) dual compact air conditioner & heater will keep you cool & comfortable during the summer, & toasty warm in the winter. An adjustable fan speed cools the air up to 55°F, and heats up to 81°F
  • HEATS & COOLS SMALL ROOMS - This portable heat & AC unit provides steady & fast cooling and heating for rooms up to 250 sq. ft. It’s the perfect air conditioner & heater for dorms, apartments, cabins, campers, offices, bedrooms, garages, or living rooms. Ideal to use in spaces that cannot support traditional window-mounted AC units
  • HEATS & COOLS SMALL ROOMS - This portable heat & AC unit provides steady & fast cooling and heating for rooms up to 250 sq. ft. It’s the perfect air conditioner & heater for dorms, apartments, cabins, campers, offices, bedrooms, garages, or living rooms. Ideal to use in spaces that cannot support traditional window-mounted AC units
Bestseller No. 2
Black + Decker BPACT14WT Portable Air Conditioner, 14,000 BTU
  • QUIET & POWERFUL - Our 8,000 BTU DOE (14,000 BTU ASHRAE) compact air conditioner (17.1 x 13.8 x 28.1 in,) will keep you cool and comfortable all summer. An adjustable fan speed cools the air to 65°F at the coolest setting. Sleep mode makes it extra quiet while you rest
  • COOLS ROOMS FAST - This floor-standing portable AC unit provides steady, effective cooling for rooms up to 350 sq. ft. It’s the perfect small air conditioner for dorms, apartments, cabins, campers, offices, bedrooms, or living rooms
  • SIMPLE & QUICK TO INSTALL – Just roll this portable air conditioner with wheels into any room with a double hung or sliding window. Attach the included hose & window adapter, & plug it in to an outlet! At the end of the season, just unhook & store
Bestseller No. 3
Global Air 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner Cooling /Fan with Remote Control in White
  • Digital controls offer precise temperature adjustments and the remote control lets you control the air Conditioner from across the room
  • Self-evaporative system no water tank. The condensing water is recycled to improve the efficiency through cooling condenser
  • Maximum room size up to 400 square feet. Over-cold protection three minutes restart Delay function. Wind blows upward and anti-frozen function under cooling
Bestseller No. 4
BLACK+DECKER BPACT12WT Portable Air Conditioner, 12,000 BTU, White
  • QUIET & POWERFUL - Our 6,500 DOE DOE (12,000 BTU ASHRAE) compact air conditioner (17.1 x 13.8 x 28.1 in,) will keep you cool and comfortable all summer. An adjustable fan speed cools the air to 65°F at the coolest setting. Sleep mode makes it extra quiet while you rest
  • PERFECT FOR SMALL ROOMS - This floor-standing portable AC unit provides steady, fast, effective cooling for rooms up to 150 sq. ft. It’s the ideal small air conditioner for dorms, apartments, cabins, campers, offices, bedrooms, or living rooms
  • SIMPLE & QUICK TO INSTALL – Just wheel this portable air conditioner into any room with a double hung or sliding window. Attach the included hose (4’ 11”) & window adapter, & plug it in to an outlet! At the end of the season, just unhook & store
Bestseller No. 5
Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner, Dehumidifier, Fan with Activated Carbon Filter Plus Storage Bag for Rooms up to 500 sq ft, Platinum and Black
  • 14,000 BTU (ASHRAE) / 9,500 BTU (SACC) cooling capacity
  • Award Winning: 1. Good Housekeeping's "2020 Best Overall" and "can cool down a room faster than other portable units" 2. Consumer Report's 2020 Highest Score; UL listed
  • Dual hose operation; Cools up to a 500 square feet space(ambient temperature and humidity may influence optimum performance); Dehumidifying capacity: 71 pints per day; Air Flow (at high speed): 430 m3/h / 253 CFM; 3 fan speeds

Things To Consider Before Buying a Portable Air Conditioner

If you are looking for portable air conditioners, you will first need to consider what type, size, and style you are looking for.  You will also need to consider how large your home is, and how many rooms you want to cool.  I’m going to go over a list of considerations to ask yourself before purchasing a portable air conditioner.

How Big Of a Space Do, I Need To Cool?

If you are heating a significant amount of space, you will need more BTUs (British Thermal Units).  If you only need a small amount of space cooled, you will not need as many BTUs.  Although you may want to buy the air conditioner with the most BTUs, this can be more expensive.  You should only buy a portable air conditioner with high BTU numbers if you were cooling a large room.

How Much Noise Can I Handle?

Portable air conditioners are going to create some noise.  There is no way to get around that fact.  However, you can buy a portable air conditioner that is not as noisy as some are.  One such type is the Soleus Air portable air conditioner, which does not make too much noise.

Where Will You Put the Portable Air Conditioner?

This is a rather basic question that only you can answer.  If you do not have much floor space, perhaps a tabletop portable air conditioner will work well for you.  But if you do have floor space, a free-standing air conditioner may work well for you.  Consider beforehand where you will place your air conditioner so that you know which kind to get.

Do You Need an Air Conditioner For the Car?

If so, you will want a portable car air conditioner.  A portable car air conditioner will be small and is not made for cooling large spaces.  But it works perfectly for a car. 


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Features and Functions Found in Most Portable Air Conditioners 

Here are some standard features found on most portable air conditioners:

  • All portable air conditioners are going to cool your home.  That is the purpose of an air conditioner.
  • A dehumidifier mode will remove moisture from the air without making it cool.
  • A fan will help circulate air in the room.  This will help make your entire house cool.
  • Some portable ACs will be able to heat the room.  This means that you can use the air conditioner year-round, even during the Winter.
  • Self-evaporating air conditioners will help reduce the need to drain the water that your air conditioner collects.
  • A programmable timer allows you to set the air conditioner to turn off and on at specific times.
  • A remote control allows you to turn the air conditioner off and on, even if you are far away from the AC.
  • The lamp-off feature allows you to turn off the panel display lights so that at night your house isn’t bright.

How To Install a Portable Air Conditioner

Installing a portable air conditioner is very easy.  Remember first to read the instructions, since each brand may instruct you to install it differently.  Also, make sure to choose a location that is near a window and outlet.

1. Install the Included Window Adapter Kit

Almost all portable air conditioners come with a window adaptor kit.  Note that some portable air conditioners may not come with this kit, or your window may not work with it.  But if everything does work, you will want to connect the exhaust hose that came with the portable air conditioner to the air conditioning unit.  To do this, connect the window connection bracket or adapter to the other end of the exhaust hose.  Then run the exhaust hose to the window, and place the window connection bracket or adapter into the open window.  Secure the hose in place by taping it and shutting the window.

2. Plug It Into Your Output

Plug your air conditioner into the output, and you are ready to go!


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Maintenance

Portable air conditioners do require some maintenance.  Remember to always disconnect the air conditioner from power before beginning the following steps:

  • Every once in a while, you may need to drain the water.  If your air conditioner has a self-evaporating feature, you may not need to drain it.  However, sometimes even that type of air conditioner does need to be drained.
  • About every two weeks, you will need to clean the air filter.  However, the manufacturer may direct you to clean it sooner or wait longer.
  • Once in a while wipe the air conditioner with a damp cloth to remove dust.  Wipe up excess moisture with a dry cloth.

Safety Tips for Using a Portable Air Conditioner

Set It In a Place With Low Traffic

Make sure that you set up your portable air conditioner in an area where it can’t get knocked over.  Make sure that no one can trip over it, and that no one will be bumping into it.  If you have pets or young children, you may want to block that area off.  However, make sure that you can reach the air conditioner for when you need to drain the water, clean the air filter, and follow other instructions.

Keep It Clean

For your portable air conditioner to work right, you will need to keep it clean.  Make sure to follow all care instructions given by the manufacturer. As well as follow the care instructions I’ve given you earlier.

Do Not Keep It In the Rain

If any part of the air conditioner will be outdoors, such as connections, make sure it is waterproof.  Do not store a portable air conditioner outdoors, as this can ruin the appliance and cause safety issues.


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        <div class="aawp-product__description">
            <ul><li>PROMOTES INJURY RECOVERY from a strained hip, groin or quadricep pulls, torn upper thigh muscle, hip osteoarthritis, tendonitis or bursitis, sciatic nerve and SI joint back pain, hip flexor strains and post-pregnancy pubic symphysis dysfunction.</li><li>BREATHABLE & LIGHTWEIGHT material allows this treatment strap to be worn under or over clothing, keeping you cool and dry throughout any activity.</li><li>ADJUSTABLE COMPRESSION wrap (similar to compressing shorts or briefs) improves stability during movement in your daily activities or sports by increasing blood flow to the injured area and relieving pain to reduce recovery time.</li></ul>        </div>
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​​​Who Should and Shouldn’t Buy a Portable Air Conditioner

Are you tired of the heat of summer?  Then a portable air conditioner may be what you’re looking for.  But unlike a regular air conditioner, a portable air conditioner can be moved from room to room.  If you buy the right kind, you can also travel with it in your car.  Another nice feature is that a portable air conditioner does not waste as much energy as other air conditioners.  Therefore, if you don’t want to spend too much money on air conditioning, a portable air conditioner is a good option for you.

Although a portable air conditioner does not use as much energy as some air conditioners do, it still does waste energy.  If you have a large room to cool down, you will need more BTUs, which means you will be using more energy.  Another con about portable air conditioners is that you need to drain the water often.  Portable air conditioners are also a little noisier than other air conditioners.

Recommended Best-Sellers

Bestseller No. 1
Black + Decker BPACT12HWT Portable Air Conditioner, 12,000 BTU with Heat, w, White
  • PORTABLE A/C HEATER COMBO UNIT - Our 6,000 BTU DOE (12,000 BTU ASHRAE) dual compact air conditioner & heater will keep you cool & comfortable during the summer, & toasty warm in the winter. An adjustable fan speed cools the air up to 55°F, and heats up to 81°F
  • HEATS & COOLS SMALL ROOMS - This portable heat & AC unit provides steady & fast cooling and heating for rooms up to 250 sq. ft. It’s the perfect air conditioner & heater for dorms, apartments, cabins, campers, offices, bedrooms, garages, or living rooms. Ideal to use in spaces that cannot support traditional window-mounted AC units
  • HEATS & COOLS SMALL ROOMS - This portable heat & AC unit provides steady & fast cooling and heating for rooms up to 250 sq. ft. It’s the perfect air conditioner & heater for dorms, apartments, cabins, campers, offices, bedrooms, garages, or living rooms. Ideal to use in spaces that cannot support traditional window-mounted AC units
Bestseller No. 2
Black + Decker BPACT14WT Portable Air Conditioner, 14,000 BTU
  • QUIET & POWERFUL - Our 8,000 BTU DOE (14,000 BTU ASHRAE) compact air conditioner (17.1 x 13.8 x 28.1 in,) will keep you cool and comfortable all summer. An adjustable fan speed cools the air to 65°F at the coolest setting. Sleep mode makes it extra quiet while you rest
  • COOLS ROOMS FAST - This floor-standing portable AC unit provides steady, effective cooling for rooms up to 350 sq. ft. It’s the perfect small air conditioner for dorms, apartments, cabins, campers, offices, bedrooms, or living rooms
  • SIMPLE & QUICK TO INSTALL – Just roll this portable air conditioner with wheels into any room with a double hung or sliding window. Attach the included hose & window adapter, & plug it in to an outlet! At the end of the season, just unhook & store
Bestseller No. 3
Global Air 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner Cooling /Fan with Remote Control in White
  • Digital controls offer precise temperature adjustments and the remote control lets you control the air Conditioner from across the room
  • Self-evaporative system no water tank. The condensing water is recycled to improve the efficiency through cooling condenser
  • Maximum room size up to 400 square feet. Over-cold protection three minutes restart Delay function. Wind blows upward and anti-frozen function under cooling
Bestseller No. 4
BLACK+DECKER BPACT12WT Portable Air Conditioner, 12,000 BTU, White
  • QUIET & POWERFUL - Our 6,500 DOE DOE (12,000 BTU ASHRAE) compact air conditioner (17.1 x 13.8 x 28.1 in,) will keep you cool and comfortable all summer. An adjustable fan speed cools the air to 65°F at the coolest setting. Sleep mode makes it extra quiet while you rest
  • PERFECT FOR SMALL ROOMS - This floor-standing portable AC unit provides steady, fast, effective cooling for rooms up to 150 sq. ft. It’s the ideal small air conditioner for dorms, apartments, cabins, campers, offices, bedrooms, or living rooms
  • SIMPLE & QUICK TO INSTALL – Just wheel this portable air conditioner into any room with a double hung or sliding window. Attach the included hose (4’ 11”) & window adapter, & plug it in to an outlet! At the end of the season, just unhook & store
Bestseller No. 5
Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner, Dehumidifier, Fan with Activated Carbon Filter Plus Storage Bag for Rooms up to 500 sq ft, Platinum and Black
  • 14,000 BTU (ASHRAE) / 9,500 BTU (SACC) cooling capacity
  • Award Winning: 1. Good Housekeeping's "2020 Best Overall" and "can cool down a room faster than other portable units" 2. Consumer Report's 2020 Highest Score; UL listed
  • Dual hose operation; Cools up to a 500 square feet space(ambient temperature and humidity may influence optimum performance); Dehumidifying capacity: 71 pints per day; Air Flow (at high speed): 430 m3/h / 253 CFM; 3 fan speeds

Conclusion

I hope that this guide has answered all the questions you may have had about portable air conditioners. Best of luck as you stay cool this summer and try to find the best air conditioner for you! 

Related Article: The Top Ten Best Baby Sunscreens of 2018

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