The best small portable air conditioners are most suitable for small houses or apartments where it’s not possible to use window air conditioners, as they might be prohibited by private housing rules or by landlords. These unites are highly maneuverable (they have casters or wheels), so you can easily move them around your house to cool different rooms.
Unlike other air conditioners that are installed in windows, they actually sit on the floor of your room that is to be cooled. However, they may still need a window to vent hot air from the room through exhaust hose. The installation of hose vent is quick, painless, and easy as compared to installation of other air conditioning units.
Best Portable Air Conditioner: Our Evaluation
In our evaluation of small portable air conditioning units, we considered energy efficiency and cooling ability more heavily than other elements and features. The most important feature of any air conditioner is to cool efficiently without consuming too much of energy. We calculated each unit’s energy efficiency and its annual operating cost. We also considered features that make a best small portable air conditioner easy to use, such as different operating modes. All the units we reviewed include a remote and a programmable timer, so you can easily control an air conditioner form across your room and can set it to turn on or off automatically at specific times.
Overall design of best small portable air conditioner is another major consideration. Make sure your unit is light weight and quiet during operation. The average noise level should be around 50 db which is as loud as conversation between two people.
The most important element to consider when considering a portable air conditioner is its cooling capability. An air conditioner that produces 5000 Btu can easily cool a 150 square feet room, whereas a unit that produces up to 14,000 Btu can easily cool larger rooms up to 700 square feet.
Another factor that should be kept in mind is that these unites cool the room by removing the moisture out of the air. So you won’t like to empty the drip tray every few hours. Some unites have a self-evaporating design, combining collected moisture with its heat exhaust system to evaporate maximum possible water, means less maintenance for you.
Lastly, you need to consider how much air the best small portable air conditioner circulates. This factor is indicated by its maximum airflow, measured in cfm (cubic feet per minute). This higher this figure, the more is the amount of air pushed through into the room.
Efficiency & Certifications
You need to check the energy efficiency ratio (EER) rating of the machine. The higher the EER, the more efficient the unit is. On an average this number is 9.6 for any portable air conditioner, so if you want an energy-efficient unit, look for an EER at least this high.
Portability & Design Considerations
It’s important that portable air conditioner you’re considering is lightweight and easy to move around in your house. The average weight of best portable air conditioner is around 60 pounds, so look for the machine that’s around that weight if you plan to move it around your house regularly.
Your portable air conditioner should have multiple cooling options to keep you comfortable. If you live in humid areas, look for an air conditioner that has a dehumidifying mode that pulls out excess moisture from the air. If you plan to use it at night, it should also have a sleep mode. If you want to conserve energy, opt for one with an energy-saver mode.
Best Small Portable Air Conditioner: Our Recommendations
After evaluating several portable air conditioners, we’ve determined that the Whynter AARC-125, Haier HPN12XCM and the Friedrich Po9B are the best ones on the market. They are energy efficient, have great cooling capabilities with numerous operating modes, meaning you can easily customize them according to your comfort level.
The Whynter ARC-12S is highly energy efficient best small portable air conditioner. It can cool rooms up to 500 square feet because it produces 12,000 Btu. Although it lacks sleep mode, and a self-evaporating system, it’s the best one you can buy within your budget.
The Haier HPN12XCM has been designed to work in rooms up to 600 square feet, as it generates 12,500 Btu. As this unit can move 4.3 pints of water from your air, it’s best for humid environments. In addition, it’s one of the quietest machines that won’t disturb you when you watch TV or listen to your music. It also comes with full five-year warranty, which is among the longest one on the market.
The Friedrich P09B is the best small portable air conditioner that removes excess moisture from your room as it can easily pull out 5 pints of water every hour. It can generate 9,400 Btu, so it works fine for rooms no larger than 450 square feet. Although it’s not as energy efficient as other unites, it comes with many convenient features, including a beautiful remote with LCD screen. It’s best for all those who live in humid areas, as you can save on the cost of dedicated dehumidifier to make your house comfortable.