7 best portable air conditioners of 2021 for your home
Summer is well underway, and if you live in a hot or humid climate, having an air conditioner is a must. There are many AC configurations, including window air conditioners, air coolers, and portable units. If you don’t want to go through the stress and hassle of installing a window unit, you can consider a portable air conditioner, which is easier to install and can be moved around your entire space.
To help you find the best portable air conditioner, we consulted with cooling and home appliance experts to help you find the right model for your space – and got their top brand recommendations.
GO AHEAD How to buy a portable AC unit
How portable air conditioners work
Portable air conditioners typically cool the entire room by absorbing the warm air in the room, cooling it, and circulating it throughout the room. The unit vents hot air to the outside through a tube connected to your window. Many units also help maintain comfortable humidity levels, explained Shirley Hood, an appliance sales specialist at home appliance retailer ABT. Users then adjust things like fan speed and temperature.
âA lot of people use them to put them in a room where you want to have access to windows and have floor space available,â Hood said. âThey are simple and easy to use. In general, they are used in offices.
Portable air conditioners are a more expensive alternative to window units, although they are also much easier to install and are generally more compact, so you can move the unit from room to room without too much effort. ‘effort, noted John McKeon, MD, CEO of Allergy Standards. – an organization that certifies products as “anti-asthma and allergies”, among others.
Best portable air conditioning units
Here are our top picks for portable air conditioners, which can be easily moved around your entire home and are designed for easy installation and portability.
Best portable air conditioner: Frigidaire
Frigidaire 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner with Remote
This popular model comes with a remote and programmable timer, as well as dehumidification and air filtration functions. It allows three different fan speeds and can cool rooms up to 350 square feet. This model weighs just over 62 pounds and comes with a sleep mode, which saves energy while you sleep and gradually increases the temperature throughout the night.
Best affordable portable air conditioner: Shinco
8,000 BTU Shinco Portable Air Conditioner
With 8,000 BTUs of cooling power, this portable air conditioner from Shinco can cool a room up to 200 square feet and offers three modes to choose from: cooling, dehumidifying and fan. It weighs 55 pounds and has both an LED display and a remote you can use to control it, as well as a timer that can be set for up to 24 hours.
Best portable air conditioner for small rooms: BLACK + DECKER
BLACK + DECKER BPACT10WT portable air conditioner
This portable air conditioner produces 6000 BTUs of cooling power and is ideal for small rooms under 250 square feet. Relatively compact, it weighs just 26 pounds. It has an adjustable fan that can cool the air up to 65 degrees Fahrenheit and has cooling, ventilating and dehumidifying functions. It is easy to install and comes with an LED display, 24 hour timer, and a cleaning reminder.
Best portable air conditioner for large rooms: De’Longhi
De’Longhi PACEX390LVYN 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
With 14,000 BTUs of cooling power, this portable air conditioner is designed to cool a room up to 700 square feet. It is designed to automatically adjust the temperature according to the humidity levels in the room and has dehumidification and ventilation functions as well as cooling.
Best smart portable air conditioner: Honeywell
Honeywell HF0CESVWK6 Smart Wi-Fi Portable Air Conditioner
This model can connect via Wi-Fi and can be controlled by your smartphone, allowing you to control your unit from anywhere in the house. This model can cool rooms up to 450 square feet and weighs just under 63 pounds. Users can also use voice commands to turn on, change the temperature, and adjust the speed of the fans.
Best smart, premium portable air conditioner: Midea
Midea portable air conditioner MAP10S1CWT
This Wi-Fi enabled Midea portable air conditioner is designed with convenience in mind: it can be controlled through a smartphone app, and it can also be paired with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to respond to voice commands. With 10,000 BTUs of cooling power, it can cool a room up to 200 square feet between 62 degrees Fahrenheit and 90 degrees Fahrenheit and has an adjustable 24-hour timer.
Best smart portable air conditioner for large rooms: De’Longhi
De’Longhi 12,500 BTU Smart Portable Air Conditioner
This portable AC option from De’Longhi can cool rooms up to 500 square feet, depending on the brand. With the De’Longhi app, you can control the device from your phone, even when you’re away from home. It is also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The air conditioner can also be used as a fan, dehumidifier and heater during the colder months.
How to buy a portable air conditioning unit
First, assess your space. The cooling capacity of the air conditioner is usually measured in British thermal units, or BTUs. The higher the BTUs, the more powerful the air conditioner is to keep your room cool. On average, an air conditioning unit needs about 20 BTUs per square foot of space to keep things cool, McKeon said. Finding an efficient model for your space is important, but keep in mind that more BTUs isn’t always better.
EnergyStar, a federal program promoting energy efficient products, has its own guidelines to help you choose the right model. As the BTU capacity increases, so will the weight and size of the model.
- Cooling up to 250 square feet: 5,000 to 6,000 BTU
- Of 250 to 350 square feet: 7000 to 8000 BTU
- Of 350 to 450 square feet: 9,000 to 10,000 BTU
- Of 450 to 550 square feet: 12,000 BTU
“If you buy an undersized air conditioner, the equipment is likely to fail to meet cooling demands in hot weather, let alone increase your energy bill because it is working overtime for meet that demand, âMarla Mock, vice president of operations. at HVAC service company Aire Serv, previously told NBC News Shopping. “But if you buy an oversized AC unit, it will reach the requested temperature too quickly, resulting in short cycle behavior and premature failure.”
When purchasing portable air conditioning units, McKeon recommended that you consider the following.
- Price: Portable air conditioners typically cost between $ 250 and $ 500, depending on the size and amount of features.
- Portable air conditioners come with a single pipe Where double pipe. Single-pipe models, which are more common, suck stagnant air from inside your room, cooling it and recirculating it everywhere. Double-pipe units, on the other hand, draw fresh air from the outside and are generally more expensive.
- Some portable air conditioners are fitted smart technology and can be controlled via a smartphone, although these models usually cost more as well.
- Other models come with additional built-in features, such as a dehumidifier, water heater Where air purifier.
- You can also set a timer to turn the device on or off at specific times to reduce power consumption.
- Most units are labeled as self-evaporating, which reduces the need to regularly drain the water from the unit.
Keep in mind that your portable air conditioner should be near a window and an electrical outlet. These models also require simple maintenance, including draining the water from the unit as needed and replacing the air filters every two weeks. This will help prevent mold growth in your unit, which can decrease the air quality in your room, McKeon said.
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