Best Portable Air Conditioners 2022 for a Cool Home This Summer
When the temperature rises, an air conditioning unit is a summer dream come true. Whereas Fans simply circulate the already warm air, these units remove warm, humid air from a room and blow a deliciously icy breeze instead. It’s ideal in a stuffy office, if you just can’t sleep when the nights get warm, or if you have a sunroom where intense heat easily builds up.
However, most people don’t want to go through the hassle or expense of installing a permanent wall unit that can only be used for a few weeks a year. Instead, portable air conditioners (PACs) can be moved between rooms and stored during the winter. Be aware that to work properly as an air conditioner, they must be vented via a duct through a window or wall.
Although some models come with window kits to make this easier, these usually only work with sliding or sash windows, so unless you’re particularly good at DIY, your window will be wide open every day. time you use the air conditioner, which will make it more efficient. The units are all quite large and heavy so make sure there is room to use it next to a window and remember that if it doesn’t have a hose it really is an evaporative air cooler and not an air conditioning unit at all.
Don’t expect these devices to be cheap. Prices start at around £250 and the more powerful the machine the more expensive it will be. Cooling requirements are measured in British Thermal Units (BTU) and the higher the rating, the larger the space the air conditioner will cool.
A unit with 7000 BTUs will cool a small room of around 18-20 square meters, but always check the size of the room before buying as a unit with too low a BTU for the space will not cool it effectively. Other features to look for include a remote control, programmable timer, and sleep mode so it can cool quietly all night long.
How we tested
We tested a range of portable air conditioners in our own home during particularly hot days in June and July to find the best, taking into account price, portability, cost and how well they cooled us despite the temperatures of outdoor cooking. Note that with such demand for conditioners during last month’s heat wave, some of them are currently out of stock but will be available again soon.
The best portable air conditioners for 2022 are:
- Best overall – MeacoCool™ 7000 series: £299.99, Meaco.com
- Ideal for sleeping – DeLonghi pinguino PAC EX120 muffler: £845.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best lightweight model – Draper 56124 portable air conditioner: £480.80, Amazon.co.uk
- Ideal for every window – GoodHome takoma mobile air conditioner: £319.99, Screwfix.com
- Ideal for year-round use – Tower presto 9000BTU air conditioner, £299.99, Robertdyas.fr