The best portable air conditioners will take care of any summertime woes! Easy to move, efficient, and incredibly effective, portable AC units are a must-have in the warmer months. Furthermore, they’re super versatile and can be used just about anywhere!

This article will walk you through the best portable air conditioners of 2018 and consequently give you a comprehensive look into choosing the perfect unit for your space. Let’s get started!

Best Portable Air Conditioners 2018: Comparison Chart

Check out the chart below detailing the best rated portable air conditioners on the market today. We’ve got them in order of price range ascending, to make it easy for you to compare the different features and benefits. Hence, the product summaries and reviews in the next section are in the same order. 

If you’re on a smaller screen or smartphone, you’re probably seeing an optimized version of the table. Select the green buttons by each product to view more features, as well as cost and popularity ratings.

ImageUnitBTUsSq FtSettingsModesCostPopularity
LG Portable 115V AC80001502 SpeedAC
Dehumidifier
Fan
Della Portable AC Unit8000150-3002 SpeedAC
Dehumidifier
Fan
Honeywell Compact Air Conditioner80003502 SpeedAC
Dehumidifier
Fan
SPT WA-1420E Portable Air Conditioner14,000550-7003 SpeedAC
Fan
Frigidaire Portable Air Conditioner10,0004503 SpeedAC
Fan
Global Air Portable Air Conditioner10,0004002 SpeedAC
Fan
Black+Decker Portable AC Unit14,000300-3503 SpeedAC
Heat
Fan
Whynter Arc-14S Portable Air Conditioner14,0005003 SpeedAC
Dehumidifier
Fan
Honeywell MN12CES Portable Air Conditioner 12,0004503 SpeedAC
Dehumidifier
Fan
Cool-Space CS6-36 Industrial Grade Portable Air ConditionerIndustrial3600Variable SpeedAC

Top 10 Best Portable Air Conditioner 2018: Reviews

Hopefully you’ve found a unit that piques your interest. In this comprehensive guide you’ll find the pros and cons as well as a detailed summary of the best portable ac units on the market.

1. LG 8,000 BTU Portable 115V AC

Best Cheap Portable Air Conditioner

Best Cheap Portable Air Conditioner-min

The LG 8,000 is a dynamic and reasonably priced air conditioner that offers quality performance for less. Coming in at a remarkable price point, the LG snags the spot for best cheap portable air conditioner on the market.

Pros

  • Uses a standard 115V electrical socket for ultimate ease of use and simple installation
  • Can cool a room up to 150 square feet while removing up to 2 pints of humidity per hour
  • Adjustable fan allows you to precisely aim the airflow for ultra flexibility

Cons

  • It’s been noted that the blade fans are a little noisy on this model

2. Della 8,000 BTU Portable AC Unit

DELLA Air Conditioner Cooling Fan 8,000 BTU-min

The Della 8,000 BTU Portable AC is an ultra-affordable unit that fits into any space with ease. With the ability to keep rooms up to 150 square feet perfectly chilled, the Della 8.000 is a great purchase for single rooms and smaller settings.

Pros

  • Includes a digital display and custom touch controls
  • This portable unit comes with a quick install kit as well as one hose for easy setup
  • Low noise volume makes the Della 8,000 the best quiet portable air conditioner for small rooms

Cons

  • Uses a lot of energy, so factor that into the overall cost of the unit

3. Honeywell 8,000 BTU Compact Air Conditioner w/ Dehumidifier

Best 8000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Honeywell 8,000 BTU Compact Air Conditioner-min

The Honeywell 8,000 is a small but powerful workhorse! Keeping rooms up to 350 square feet icy cold, the summer heat is never a problem when it’s around. One of the best home portable air conditioners on the market.

Pros

  • Small and compact unit doesn’t take up much space and is perfect for apartments and smaller rooms
  • Comes with a built-in dehumidifier that removes excess moisture with less hassle
  • Simple digital controls include an onboard smart home thermostat and energy saving timer

Cons

  • The Honeywell 8,000 is a smaller unit that doesn’t measure up against more powerful portable ACs

4. SPT WA-1420E 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Best Portable Air Conditioner For Apartments

Best Portable Air Conditioner For Apartments

The SPT 14,000 is perhaps the best portable air conditioner for apartments due to its high power and perfect size. With the ability to cool up to 700 square feet, this is the only unit you need to keep large spaces icy cold!

Pros

  • Very energy efficient with an EER of 8.9, the best in its class for savings in your pocket and the environment
  • Comes with a cooler, fan, and dehumidifier as well as an intuitive electronic control board for ease of use
  • High power unit makes it the best 14,000 BTU portable air conditioner for general purposes

Cons

  • The air output is less than some comparable models

5. Frigidaire 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Best Brand Portable Air Conditioner

Best Brand Portable Air Conditioner

Frigidaire makes powerful appliances, and the Frigidaire 10,000 is no different. Offering powerful cooling for rooms up to 450 square feet, this is the best brand portable air conditioner.

Pros

  • 10,000 BTUs is the perfect choice for big family rooms or apartment spaces
  • Incredibly durable and exceptional support from Frigidaire thanks to their status as a top AC manufacturer
  • Low in noise without sacrificing on power, the Frigidaire 10,000 is the quietest portable air conditioner of 2018

Cons

  • The Frigidaire 10,000 is not energy star certified

6. Global Air 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Best 10000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Best 10000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner-min

The Global Air 10,000 is a cooling powerhouse capable of delivering perfect temps in rooms up to 400 square feet.

Pros

  • Self-evaporative technology means no water tank to clean or empty
  • Precise digital controls allow you to fine-tune the AC unit to the perfect temperature
  • Built to be powerful and ultra efficient, the Global Air 10,000 is one of the best 10,000 BTU portable air conditioners available

Cons

  • Installation of the Global Air is a little more complicated than other models

7. Black+Decker 14,000 BTU Portable AC Unit w/ Heat

Best 14000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Best 14000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner-min

The Black+Decker 14,000 is a powerful unit that cools your room in the summer and keeps it warm in the winter months! Because of the dual action performance, this unit is perfect for year-round versatility. Suitable for large rooms up to 350 square feet, the B+D 14,000 is the best portable air conditioner and heater unit on the market.

Pros

  • Programmable controls give you full management over the temperature of your room
  • Features a 4-in-1 system that integrates coolers, fans, dehumidifiers, and a powerful heating element
  • Optimized for versatility with undercarriage wheels and a uniquely engineered airflow for perfect performance

Cons

  • There are a few concerns regarding the longevity of the product

8. Whynter 14,000 BTU Arc-14S Portable Air Conditioner

Best Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner

Best Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner-min

The Whynter Arc-14S is a portable AC capable of coolings rooms up to 500 square feet. Even more, it features dual hoses for optimum performance, earning it the title of best dual hose portable air conditioner.

Pros

  • Comes with 3 operation modes: air conditioner, fan, and dehumidifier
  • Features an intuitive digital control with a 24 hour sleep timer
  • Bonus perks include a remote control, washable air filter, and an easy installation process

Cons

  • Known to be quite noisy due to powerful 14,000 BTU fans

9. Honeywell MN12CES 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Best 12000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Best 12000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner-min

The Honeywell 12,000 offers dual speed cooling and can cover up to 550 square feet of space! Equipped with a dehumidifier and multiple fans, this model is one of the best 12,000 BTU air conditioners around.

Pros

  • Digital display offers an immersive LED touch control for easy temperature adjustment
  • 3 speed ultra-quiet 55 dBA fan gives off the perfect amount of air without sacrificing on noise dampening
  • Sleek and small dimensions make the Honeywell 12,000 one of the best small portable air conditioners

Cons

  • The Honeywell 12,000 struggles when temperatures reach 100 degrees

10. Cool-Space CS6-36 Industrial Grade Portable Air Conditioner

Best Portable Industrial Air Conditioner

Best Portable Industrial Air Conditioner

The Cool Space CS6 is unlike anything else on our review list. A cooling juggernaut, this unit is the best portable industrial air conditioner, bar none! With the ability to keep huge commercial areas icy cold, this is the true king of cooling.

Pros

  • Variable speed fans and and UV resistant housing delivers powerful and durable cooling all year long
  • Features a 46 gallon built in water reservoir tank to draw upon without connection to a water supply
  • Cool Space offers the best and longest warranty in the industry

Cons

  • This is a very expensive unit and suitable only for large operations

What is a Portable Air Conditioner?

Now that we’ve had a look at the best portable air conditioners of 2018, let’s talk a little more about the technical details behind these units.

In short, a portable air conditioner is a detached and self-contained air cooler that is perfect for cooling areas of varying sizes. But how does it work?

Most residential models attach to your window via a hose. This hose collects the air from outside and runs it through a conditioning process.

best portable air conditioner reviews-min

Components

The conditioning process, or refrigeration cycle, requires a number of components to function.

  • condensing coil
  • expansion valve
  • evaporator coil
  • and compressor

With all these components working together in unison, the internal chamber of the air conditioner gets icy cold as the air starts to circulate inside. Once the air is sufficiently chilled, the AC unit pumps it out into your room.

It only takes a few minutes for small rooms to start to cool down. Plus, when the perfect temperature has been reached many ACs will automatically maintain the atmosphere!

cooling-cycle

How to Use a Portable Air Conditioner

One of the main selling points of a portable air conditioner is that it can move around from room to room without much hassle. Compared to other types of of coolers such as window ACs, this gives you ultimate freedom and flexibility.

Setting up portable air conditioning units up is a breeze due to the simple installation process of attaching the hose exhaust to the window opening. If you follow the instructions correctly, it will most likely only take a few minutes to get up and running.

Plus, most portable air conditioners are designed to cool your room in as little a just a few minutes! That’s hard to beat.

How To Video

Check out the video below for a great overview of how portable air conditioners work.

What to Look for in a Portable Air Conditioner

There are a ton of different options when it comes to choosing the best portable air conditioner for your space. You’ll have to look at size, features, and most noteworthy- the cooling capabilities of the unit you’re thinking about installing.

How do portable air conditioners measure power?

Powering Portable AC Units

BTUs are the measurement of power for most types of air conditioners. The BTU measurement indicates how much heat the air conditioner can remove from a room. Generally speaking, the higher the BTUs the more powerful the AC.

best portable air conditioner 2017-min

We’ve put together a few recommendations for choosing the right portable air conditioner for your space. Keep in mind that these are base stats and you may want to go a little higher for some wiggle room (and be sure to keep in mind ceiling height).

BTU Sizes:

  • 8,000 BTUs will cover roughly 200 sq/ft
  • 10,000 BTUs will cover roughly 300 sq/ft
  • 12,000 BTUs will cover roughly 400 sq/ft
  • 16,000 BTUs will cover roughly 600 sq/ft

Aside from the actual power of your unit, you should also consider energy efficiency. Low BTU units usually take up less energy. In contrast, some high powered ACs are built to be really good on your wallet (and the environment). Energy Star certification is always a good starting point.

Noise can play a huge factor as well. Always check out the reviews to make sure that the noise level is tolerable.

best portable air conditioner

What is the Best Portable Air Conditioner?

We’ve looked at a number of portable air conditioners, all with varying specifications and features. But the question remains: which is best?

The truth is, there isn’t any best portable room air conditioner. You really have to consider all your requirements when making a final decision. One household may do well with an 8,000 BTU unit, while the mansion at the top of the hill might well need a 20,000 BTU behemoth!

Finally, at the end of the day it’s about finding what works for you.

The best portable air conditioner that meets your needs is out there! Do your research, shop around, and above all- remember to stay cool!

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