Everyone looks forward to summer, but when it gets really hot you need some way to be able to cool off.
There are two choices.
Getting a fan is probably the cheapest way to get some relief, but they do not offer cold air, and the constant blowing in your face makes you feel like you are in a moving car with the wind in your hair!
Not comfortable, noisy and very irritating.
The only way to go is with PORTABLE AIR CONDITIONER.
First of all, you need to read our detailed Buyer’s Guide.
Best Portable Air Conditioner 2021
We have tested and reviewed some of the Best Portable Air Conditioner 2021, this should go a long way in helping you in making an informed choice.
|Model Name||BTU||Room Size||Price|
|Haier HPN12XCM||12,000||525 square feet||$$|
|10,000||350 square feet||$$|
|LG LP1215GXR||12,000||400 square feet||$$|
|Whynter ARC-12S||12,000||400 square feet||$$|
|Honeywell MM14CCS||14,000||550 square feet||$$$|
|EdgeStar Ultra Compact||8,000||225 square feet||$|
|Whynter ARC-14S||14,000||500 square feet||$$$|
1. Haier HPN12XCM 12,000 BTU
Most people who buy Portable Air Conditioners are those who are renting their accommodation or cannot afford the expense of getting split unit models that need to be installed with extensive remodeling of their home. As far as Portable Air conditioners go, The Haier HPN comes highly recommended with great reviews.
The Haier 12000-BTU is ideal for cooling mid-sized rooms, up to 450sq meters. The unit comes with and installation kit which is easy to put together. An adjustable plastic panel is placed on any sliding or opening window, the panel has an adaptor which connects with the extendible hose. The black and silver unit is aesthetically attractive, the hose not so much, but it is essential for the Air Conditioner to work properly. Always plug the unit directly into a grounded wall plug, never use an extension, this is clearly stated in the user’s manual.
The front control panel has the same buttons as the remote control and they are used to adjust and change the power, temperature, fan speed, and mode. The Haier HPN has 3 settings for cooling and fan speeds and a 24-hour timer program. A versatile unit, the Haier HPN allows you to customize the settings for your own personal comfort. There is also a dehumidify mode which will remove excess moisture from the air. A very handy slot on the front panel holds the remote control so that you do not have to waste time looking for it.
The unit is also easy to move with the four roller castors but bears in mind that if you do move it to another room, the hose and window panel have to be moved as well. If for some reason you need to move it, make sure you remove any water that might have collected in the hose or the unit.
All Air Conditioners make some noise, the portable ones, especially because of the motor, is actually in the room. In most cases, it is a matter of getting used to, but not a big sacrifice when you take into consideration the comfort afforded with the cooling effect which is essential in very hot climates.
Maintenance is easy and it is a simple matter of sliding out the washable mesh filter at the back of the unit. The Auto Evaporation Technology makes manual draining of water unnecessary. You will only need a drip tray if you use the dehumidifier.
If you are considering a Portable Air Conditioner, you can’t go wrong with Haier HPN12XCM, it comes with great reviews and is good value for the price.
Sturdy window panel
Flexible extendible hose
Accessible cleaning filter
No drip tray
A bit noisy
Heavy to lift
Energy bill will go up with constant use
2. Honeywell MN10CESWW 10,000 BTU
Honeywell is a well know brand that has made their mark in Air Conditioners and is trusted for quality and reliability, especially in the US. The Honeywell MN10CESWW 10,000 BTU is an attractive white unit that is suitable for medium size rooms up to 400sq feet. If your options are limited regarding split units, whether it is because of permanent installation or cost, getting a Portable Air Conditioner, especially one with the power and features of the Honeywell 10,000 BTU, will be a blessing when the heat really gets unbearable. The best is that the unit does not require permanent installation and can be moved from room to room as needed.
With the advantage of also being used as a dehumidifier, this Honeywell model also has an auto-evaporation system which allows the unit to run continuously, without the need to empty any drip trays. The 3-in-1 technology allows you to use the unit as a fan, a cooling system, and a dehumidifier. The Digital LCD display allows the complete freedom of setting the Air Conditioner to the exact levels you prefer. You can set the power, temperature, mode, cool, dry, fan speed or use the timer for your convenience. All the buttons are repeated on the remote control, which comes with batteries and is essential to have.Installation is pretty simple, with an extendible pipe which fits snuggly at the back of the unit and extends to fit into the socket of the hard plastic window panel. The panel is adjustable and fits any sliding or opening window frame. Although the plastic pipe is unattractive, it is a necessity and a small price to pay for your comfort. Honeywell has an instructional video on YouTube which will make it even easier for you to install.
Installation is pretty simple, with an extendible pipe which fits snuggly at the back of the unit and extends to fit into the socket of the hard plastic window panel. The panel is adjustable and fits any sliding or opening window frame. Although the plastic pipe is unattractive, it is a necessity and a small price to pay for your comfort.
There is no Air Conditioner that can claim to be completely silent, especially the portable ones that have the motor inside the room. With the Honeywell 10,000 BTU, most reviews said that the unit is very quiet and that the noise levels are totally acceptable and after a few nights, you forget that it is in the room. Some suggested that if you place the unit on a carpet or rubber mat it would help in insulating the noise even further.
As with all appliances, the Honeywell unit needs to be maintained for optimum efficiency. The air filter which is situated at the back needs to be cleaned at least every two weeks. Turn off the appliance before removing the filter and rinse with lukewarm water. Dry thoroughly before reinserting. If you are going to store the unit for an extended period of time make sure that you drain any leftover liquid that might be in the unit or the hose. There are a drain plug and shallow pan to collect the water should you wish to do this. Run the fan mode for 30 minutes to dry out excess moisture before storage.
Honeywell MN10CESWW 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner is an excellent choice if you are looking for a compact easy to use and maintain the unit.
Nice looking and compact
Very efficient cooling
Fan only function
Easy to move castors
5 year warranty
Airflow one directional
Exhaust hose could be longer for high windows
3. LG LP1215GXR 12,000 BTU
The LG LP1215GXR 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner is a powerful unit that is capable of cooling a medium to a large room of up to 400sq ft. This unit is a little bit more complicated to install but has more features than the average Portable Air Conditioner in this category. If you are renting premises or move around often, a Portable Air Conditioner of this caliber is a good investment to take along with you. The unit is described as black, but in reality, it is more dark gray, which shouldn’t be a big problem because it will blend in with most home decors.
The LG LP1215GXR 12,000 BTU comes with oscillating air vent technology that circulates the air more efficiently and also has 4 settings, Cool which is AC + Fan, Fan only, Dry is Dehumidifier and Energy saver which switches the unit off when it gets to the selected temperature.
The Led Display also indicates the temperature which can be changed from Fahrenheit to Celsius. Additional features are the Auto Clean, which helps remove moisture from the heat exchangers and keep odors away, this function can only be activated from the remote control The other function is the Auto Swing which is a great feature because you can choose the direction of the air flow improving air circulation in the room. This function can be activated on both the unit and the remote control. Additionally, there is an Auto Restart Function that will activate on its own if there is a power outage. The unit will restart with the settings that were in place before the power went off.
Installing the LG 12,000 BTU requires a few steps but is relatively easy. The unit comes with all the components needed for the installation which includes, a flexible venting hose, window vent panel with 3 extension panels, 3 different sizes of foam seals, a security bracket and three different sized screws for attaching. For best performance, the instructions say that the unit must be at least 20 inches away from the window and walls. Full instructions are given in the Owner’s Manual as to how to go about installing the unit.
This LG model has a catch tank or draining unit at the back which is easily accessible. Once this is full an indicator will flash FL on the LED display informing you that it needs to be emptied. The amount of moisture collected will depend on the humidity in your home, it may turn out that this will take a few months to fill up. When this needs to be done follow the instructions given on how to remove the drain outlet. The air filter is situated at the back and needs to be cleaned every couple of weeks. If heavily soiled it can be washed with warm soapy water.
All in all an excellent Portable Air Conditioner, the LG LP1215GXR is a superb unit that delivers on what it promises.
Easy to install
Power cord too short
Remote hard to read in the dark
Instruction manual poor english
Need to buy extended warranty
Color does not match description
4. Whynter ARC-12S 12,000 BTU
The Whynter 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner differs from others in this range because it has two hose connections at the back, an intake, and an exhaust vent. Operationally the advantage of a dual hose is that it will cool the room faster and help minimize the negative air pressure in the room. Powerful enough to cool medium to large rooms of up to 400sq ft., the Whynter Portable Air conditioner has unique built-in features. This powerful unit is CFC-free, lead-free, and energy efficient. This is considered to be ECO- Friendly and uses ozone-safe R-410A refrigerant and lead-free, RoHS-compliant components. All these together with the carbon filter keep air fresh and clean.
This sleek Platinum colored unit can be used as an Air Conditioner, a Fan or a Dehumidifier, or a combination of all three. With four fan speeds to choose from this is one of the few Portable Air Conditioners that gives you the option of heating the room in winter. In heating mode, the heat pump reverses the cooling sequence and produces heat instead of cooling the environment. The unit is also fitted with a timer switch which you can set from 1 to 24 hours. The Auto Restart function restarts the previous settings when electricity is restored after a power outage. All these functions can be set and changed on the LED display as well as the Remote Control.
During the process of cooling, some water will be extracted from the air into the unit. If the unit is operated in high humidity or a low-temperature environment, water will be collected in the reservoir inside the unit. If the reservoir is full, an indicator will flash and the compressor will stop until it is emptied. You have the option of disposing of this water in three ways, Manual Drainage were you simply remove the container and empty it out by removing the drain plug, Continuous Drainage which works with an additional drain hose which is sold separately and inserted into the drain plug, or Auto Pump Drainage which entails using the condensation pump feature to drain water through the included drain hose. In this case, you would have to place the end of the hose to a drain area.
The Whynter 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner is equipped with a washable filter and an Activated Carbon Filter. The filter removes large particles like dust and hair from entering the unit and the Carbon Filter removes smoke and other odors from the environment. It is advisable to change the Carbon Filter every 2 – 3 months. Instructions on how to change and clean the filter and cartridge are clearly shown in the Owner’s Manual.
Even though this unit has dual pipes, the installation is not difficult. Full instructions are given in the Owner’s Manual and the unit comes with a Window Kit which has all the necessary fittings needed for a faultless installation.
Although all the different features in the Whynter 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner might sound daunting, it is well worth considering if what you are looking for is a unit that also purifies the air.
Four speed fan
Activated carbon filter
Hose is too short
Exhaust hose heats up
Drain hose sold separately
Vents cannot go up and down
5. Honeywell MM14CCS 14,000 BTU
Bring out the BIG guns with this powerful 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner from the well-known Honeywell brand. With the capacity to cool more than 550 sq. ft. and heat up to 400 sq. ft. the Honeywell MM14CC is a multifunctional unit which does not need permanent installation and is ideal for people who rent or move around a lot. All you need to do is unplug and take this unit wherever you want. This particular model is in an attractive black and silver color combination that is modern looking and will fit in with most home décor.
The 3-in-1 technology is a bonus because you can use this Portable Air Conditioner to cool, heat, and dehumidify. It also has a fan only function which is great when you just need a little fresh air. The Digital LED display has touch control buttons that allow you to adjust the settings according to your preference. The Mode control allows you to set on cool, dehumidify and fan, the Speed control has 3 settings. The unit also has an Auto Timer which you can set for between 1 – 24 hours. The Honeywell MM14CC can be used all the year round as it also has a Heating Mode. Warning lights are in place to let you know when condensed water has accumulated and the unit will switch off automatically if the internal tank is full. The choice to change between Celsius and Fahrenheit is also a plus if you do not live in the US. The Remote Control is fully functional and you can control everything from the comfort of your chair.
The Auto-evaporation system can run for hours without any water condensation. How often you have to empty out the two water retention tanks will depend on the humidity in the air and what settings you use. The drain for the lower tank is just above the floor which can make it a bit difficult to empty out without making a mess. The second tank is in the middle of the unit at the back and is easier to empty out. When using the unit in Dehumidifier mode it is recommended that you uses continuous drainage. A shallow pan is placed under the lower drain plug and a ¾ hose which is not included is connected to the drain plug.
The Honeywell MM14CCS has two pipes that need to be connected to the window bracket, an intake, and an exhaust vent. The unit comes with a Window Bracket Kit which has everything you will need for installation. Follow the instructions in the Owner’s Manual carefully and you will not have any problem with installation.
The Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner will need regular maintenance in order to keep the appliance working at optimum efficiency. The Air Filter should be removed and cleaned every two weeks. If the appliance will not be used for an extended period of time make sure that you drain any left over water condensation and wash and dry all parts before storage.
For people with larger rooms who are looking for a powerful Portable Air Conditioner, the Honeywell MM14CCS comes highly recommended with mostly favorable reviews.
Auto evaporation system
Digital led display
3 speed control
Fully functional remote control
Two water retention tanks
Intake and exhaust vents
More suitable for horizontal opening windows
Castors not strong enough
No handles to assist moving
Difficult to move window panels
6. EdgeStar Ultra Compact 8,000 BTU
The EdgeStar 8,000 BTU is one of the smaller Portable Air Conditioners available in this category. The white unit will fit in with any décor and it is suitable for small rooms or offices up to 225sq. ft. The advantage of this smaller unit is that it easy to move around and easy to store. Without all the features that bigger units have, the EdgeStar is very easy to install and to operate.With a single exhaust hose and a window kit that has what is needed for proper installation, the EdgeStar is very easy to install. The adjustable window plate will fit most horizontal or vertical windows. The best window to choose is the one closest to an electrical socket. The Owner’s Manual that comes with this unit has very clear images and instructions on how to install the unit successfully.
With a single exhaust hose and a window kit that has what is needed for proper installation, the EdgeStar is very easy to install. The adjustable window plate will fit most horizontal or vertical windows. The best window to choose is the one closest to an electrical socket. The Owner’s Manual that comes with this unit has very clear images and instructions on how to install the unit successfully.
The LED Display control panel allows you to control the different modes, Cool, Dehumidify or Fan only and there are 3-speed control settings. You also have a choice of a Timer setting which will start and switch off the unit as programmed. In the event of a power failure, the Air Conditioner will restart when power is resumed on the exact program that was set. A warning light will turn on if the internal reservoir is full and the unit will automatically switch off. The unit comes with a carbon copy remote control that allows you to control the unit from the other side of the room. The LED display shows the temperature of the room and you can decide whether you want to read this in Celsius or Fahrenheit. Make sure that the front vents are open for the air to be able to circulate adequately.
The EdgeStar Ultra Compact 8,000 BTU claims to have an energy-efficient operation with noticeably low power consumption. Designed to be Eco-friendly, no ozone-damaging R410A refrigerant are used and is made with all RoHS compliant components that are free of harmful chemicals.
Like all Portable Air Conditioners, the EdgeStar also need the pre-filter cleaned every couple of weeks. The filter on this unit is in the front, unlike most of the others were it is situated at the back. There is an activated carbon filter which is basically a paper thin strip that can be inserted into the filter, this will need to be changed every so often. If you are not going to be using the unit for an extended period of time, make sure that all the water and condensation is removed and thoroughly dried. It is always a good idea to operate the fan on its own for a few hours to make sure that all the moisture is removed before storage.
For those that are looking for a small, uncomplicated basic Portable Air Conditioner, the EdgeStar 8,000 BTU is a good choice. The company is so confident in their product that they offer a 3-year limited warranty, so you cannot go wrong.
Compact & light
Easy to install and operate
Led display control panel
3 speed settings
Automatic switch off
Activated carbon filter
3 year limited warranty
The fan is always on
Screws for attaching hose not supplied
Window panels soft plastic
Vent needs to be opened manually
Carbon filter not adequate
7. Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU
The Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner, is a highly effective powerful unit that promises to give you cool, clean air anywhere! This unit comes in black and white which is sleek and fits in with most home décor.
With 14,000 BTU strength, this unit can cool spaces of up to 500sq. ft. and the unique built-in features promise, CFC- lead-free, energy-efficient, quiet operation. The unit is also ozone-safe, R-410A refrigerant free, and only uses RoHS-compliant components. All these together with their carbon filter, allows Whynter to lay claim to their slogan, “cool, clean air anywhere!”
The Whynter ARC-14S uses a two hose installation system, which helps to cool your space quickly and efficiently. By drawing warm air from both inside and outside, it is possible to convert the warm air into the cool and clean air, while expelling the warm and humid air through the exhaust hose at the same time.
This creates improved airflow and efficient cooling. The unit comes with a non-permanent, easy to install venting kit, which includes an adjustable window slide bar that fits most standard vertical or horizontal opening windows. The two extendable hoses come with all the components needed to attach them to the air conditioner.
The LED Display and Remote Control provides easy touch control on all functions of the unit. With 3 MODES to choose from, COOL, DEHUMIDIFIER and FAN and 3 SPEED CONTROL the unit also allows you to set the TEMPERATURE which is constantly displayed and use the AUTO TIMER to set the unit to go on and off at set times which can also prove to be energy efficient. This unit is capable of displaying set temperatures in Fahrenheit or Celsius.
The safety features that are included in the Whynter 14,000 BTU unit include an auto restart function which will automatically restart the unit at its previous setting and a Leakage Current Detection and interruption plug which reduces the risk of fire and damage to the unit.
The Whynter ARC-14S is fitted with an Auto Drain Technology which draws moisture from the air and recycles to produce cool and clean air. This technology allows the unit to be used for long periods of time without having to empty out internal reservoirs of accumulated water. The unit has a built-in safety feature which detects when the reservoir is full and switches off the machine. There is a draining port at the bottom of the unit which needs to be unplugged for the water to be drained.
The Whynter ARC-14S is equipped with a washable filter and an Activated Carbon Filter. The filter removes large particles like dust and hair from entering the unit and the Carbon Filter removes smoke and other odors from the environment. It is advisable to change the Carbon Filter every 2 – 3 months. Instructions on how to change and clean the filter and cartridge are clearly shown in the Owner’s Manual.
The Whynter ARC – 14S is a well-rounded, highly efficient and easy to operate Portable Air Conditioner. With all the necessary components in place to offer cool and clean air, this unit is definitely worth considering.
Four speed fan
Activated carbon filter
Draining spout at the bottom of unit
Hose is too short
Exhaust hose heats up
Drain hose sold separately
Vents cannot go up and down
Needs insulation tape
Which One to Choose?
Stand alone, portable air conditioners come in a range of designs, with a selection of features. The first thing to consider is the size of the space you want to cool.
What are BTUs? The standard by which all air conditioners are measured is BTU which stands for ‘British Thermal Unit’. This rating is an indication of how much the machine is capable of cooling, the higher the BTU rating the larger area and volume of air, it can cool.
How portable is portable, exactly? Although the units have castor wheels and are easy to move around, you still have to disconnect the window kit and hose that acts as an exhaust and removes the hot air from the room, every time you want to move it to another room. So completely portable, they aren’t! But they are great if you move around a lot because you can disconnect and take it with you wherever you go.
Installation is quite simple as all Portable Air Conditioners come with a window kit which has everything you need, including an Owner’s Manual with clear instructions, to ensure a faultless installation. Just make sure that your windows are suitable and open vertically or horizontally to fit the extendable frames that need to be attached.
Features can include 3-in-1 technology which basically means that the units can cool, dehumidify and be used as a fan. Some even have a heating mode for winter use. With the capability of changing mode and speed, the units also have built in timers and safety features. Fully compatible remote controls also make life a lot easier!
What comes in must go out! Although some units have a self-evaporating system, most need some way to remove the condensation that will collect in the unit. In most cases, water will collect in some kind of reservoir which needs to be drained manually.
When fitted cooling systems like split units are not an option, Portable Air Conditioners are the next best thing for keeping cool and comfortable in the hot summer months.
WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A PORTABLE AIR CONDITIONER
How do they work?
Portable air conditioners work basically the same way as for split units. They draw in warm and humid air, cool and dehumidify it, then expel it out of the room. Single-duct models, vent heat out of the room through the window connection and can be very effective at cooling the area.
The double duct models are more efficient because the one acts as an intake vent and the other as an exhaust. For larger spaces, the dual hose is a better choice because it eliminates the negative air pressure and operates a lot faster. This off course also means that electricity consumption will increase dramatically!
Size and Appearance
The Air Conditioners effectiveness will depend on the size of the room and how powerful the unit is. All units have an indicator in BTU “British Thermal Unit” which gives you an idea of what size to buy. The right one for you will be the one that can cool the area of your room efficiently. Regarding aesthetics, most units come in white, black, and silver, or a combination of all three colors, which will fit in with most home décor.
They are usually small and compact, so don’t take up a lot of space. The only unattractive part of the Portable Air Conditioner is the coiled vents that need to be attached to a window kit to extract the hot air. Whatever you do, it is difficult to conceal the pipes, so take into consideration that this is a necessary evil, if you want to keep cool!
Location and Installation
To get the most out of your unit, it needs to be properly installed and placed near a window that is centrally situated so that it will cool the room evenly. Installation is relatively easy and most units come with all the necessary parts and clear instructions on how to put it all together.
The kits usually consist of an adjustable, plastic window panel, which fits vertically or horizontally on your window. The panel has a hole which fits an extendible pipe, which stretches and locks into the back of the unit.
All the screws and bolts are included for securing the parts together. You also need to make sure that the unit is near an electrical socket as it is not advised to use extensions or double adaptors for safety reasons.
Features and Functions
All Portable Air Conditioners have an adjustable thermostat. This is essential as it gives you complete control, to set the temperature at the optimum level that suits your needs. A timer is also important if you want to preset the unit to start and end at specific times.
This is also an important energy saving feature. Mode settings will depend on the brand you buy, but most give you the option of choosing between COOL, DEHUMIDIFIER and FAN. Some even have the option of HEAT MODE which is useful if you want to use the unit in winter.
The SPEED CONTROL usually has three settings, low, med and high. Other features that higher end Portable Air Conditioners have include, Auto Restart, Auto Clean, Energy Saving and controlling the direction of the air flow. Most have manually adjustable louvers, while other models have automatically louvers, which enable the cool air to be directed more widely rather than just in a fixed direction.
The LED Display controls on the units and remote control give you the luxury of controlling the unit from the other side of the room. Some also have unique built-in features and claim to be CFC-and lead-free, they are also Eco-Friendly and use ozone-safe R-410A refrigerant and RoHS-compliant components. These are all important features for the health conscious whose priority is the environment and the air they breathe.
Drainage and Maintenance
During the process of cooling, some water will be extracted from the air into the unit. If the unit is operated in high humidity or low-temperature environment, water will be collected in the reservoir inside the unit.
If the reservoir is full, an indicator will flash and the compressor will stop until it is emptied. You have the option of disposing of this water in three ways, MANUAL DRAINAGE were you simply remove the container and empty it out by removing the drain plug, CONTINUOUS DRAINAGE which works with an additional drain hose which is sold separately and inserted into the drain plug, or AUTO PUMP DRAINAGE which entails using the condensation pump feature to drain water through the included drain hose.
In this case, you would have to place the end of the hose to a drain outlet. All Portable Air Conditioners will come with some sort of filter which will need regular cleaning. These are usually fitted at the back of the unit and simply slide out for cleaning. Some of the fancier models have an Activated Carbon Filter which is great at removing unpleasant odors from the environment.
Carbon filters will, however, need to be changed every couple of months. Make sure that the filters are easy to remove and replace as this will have to be done often.
ARE YOU READY TO BUY ONE?
A lot of research has gone into this buyers guide and we hope that it will help you decide which brand to buy.
Basically you get what you pay for, and if you can afford to pay that little bit extra it is best to go for the well-known brand that offers exactly what you are looking for, and a bit more, there is no harm in getting better than expected, you can only be pleasantly surprised at how well a Portable Air Conditioner can work!
What do you think? Please share your opinions with us.
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1 thought on “Best Portable Air Conditioner 2021 – Buyer’s Guide and Reviews”
Very thorough reviews! Portable air conditioners are excellent alternatives to HVAC systems. Thanks for the post!