3 Simple Steps to Choosing the Best Portable Air Conditioner
When it comes to selecting a portable air conditioner unit the first thing you need to think about is the size of the room you want to cool. If you buy a unit that is underpowered for your room then you will end up with a unit that won’t have the air flow and cooling power to fully cool the room. However, if you choose a unit that is too powerful you might find that you are using too much electricity and wasting money on running costs. So it’s really important to get it right.
To help you ensure you get the perfect portable air conditioning unit for your needs I’ve created a simple 3-step process.
Lets get started! – Select the BTU value for your room size from the table below:
Top 5 10,000 BTU Reviews
Best 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioners
Summary: This is the No. 1 Best Seller in its category on Amazon.com and is also our best rated portable air conditioner. The 10,000 BTU model is ideal for smaller rooms such as a study, home office areas or a smaller bedroom up to around 350 sq/ft.
The Honeywell weight is just under 62lbs and it measures up at 15.2 x 18.1 x 29.4 inches. Simple but clear on-unit controls and a great remote makes it easy to use. The moving blade also means that it distributes air evenly around the room.
The 3M electrostatic filter offers enhanced air filtration but is still easy to maintain when required. A 5-year limited and 1-year full warranty provide peace of mind making this unit altogether a great buy.
Summary: This is a great value for money unit. However, just because it’s a cheaper air conditioner doesn’t mean it doesn’t pull its weight. Although still 10,000 BTU it’s only rated for rooms up to 300 sq/ft but cools rooms quickly and efficiently. Great as a stand-alone unit or can be combined with other types of central or window air conditioners to give your home a boost of clean cool air when the weather is really hot.
Wynter have made a real effort to focus on making this an eco-friendly unit and offer 3 operating modes so you can select the best mode for the current weather conditions and make sure you only use the energy to need to so there is less wasted cost.
It’s easy to maintain and comes with an upgraded antibacterial silver ion filter for enhanced air quality.
Summary of Shinco YPL310C: This is another low-cost 10,000 BTU unit from Shinco. Its slim design and gentle curves make it one of the more attractive units. It weights only 54 lbs and at 17in x 13in x 31.3in has a tall but thin profile. The manufacturer rates it as being best for rooms up to 300 sq/ft. Easy to maintain and with an excellent self-evaporation system that means you very rarely have to empty the water tank. The Shinco is ideal, if not probably the best, portable air conditioner for home gyms.
Summary of Whynter ARC-110WD: The 110 WD has outlet fans on the top of the unit and their design gives it an almost futuristic look and feel. Like the Shinco above it’s a slim but tall construction and has an excellent LCD display window to allow you to instantly see the status of the unit and its set temperature.
The two hose design is a real advantage when it comes to operating efficiency and this will mean you’ll get quicker cooling and a lower operating cost when compared to a single-hose portable AC unit.
The unit is more expensive and heavier than some of the other units in this review. However, it does have a slightly higher 11000 BTU and is rated for rooms up to 350 sq/ft. This makes it a great unit for workshops, hot garages and smaller family rooms.
Summary Review of the LG LP1015WSR: LG air conditioning units can be some of the best value units on the market and this 10,000 BTU unit is right up there as one of the better ones. Users report that it’s easy and quick to install and cools quickly, sometimes even more that the 300 sq/ft it’s rated for.
The controls are clear and easy to understand and in the main most users are very satisfied with the LG’s performance. It’s a simple but stylish unit that measures 12.8 x 16.9 x 27.4 inches so is one the smaller units in its class. It comes with a 1 year parts and labour warranty for peace of mind.
Top 5 12,000 BTU Picks
Best 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner Units
Honeywell MN12CES Review Summary: Honeywell has a stong track record in creating great portable AC units at a great price. The 12CES is no exception and vast majority of reviews on Amazon back this up.
It measures 15.7 inches wide, 16.5 inches deep and 29.3 inches high and weighs 68.3lbs. It has a quiet (for an AC unit) 53dbA operating volume and its 12,000 BTU cooling power easily deals with rooms up to 450 sq/ft.
The unit has an 3M electrostatic filter for extra clean, a decent set of castors for portability, and a fully functional remote control for extra convenience. The auto evaporation system greatly reduces the build up of water in the unit and virtually eliminates the need to empty the water container on a regular basis. This is our number 1 recommendation in the 12,000 BTU range.
Shinco YPF1-12C Review Summary: I’m a fan of the Shinco units. They tend to look a little more quirky than the run of the mill designs, are well built and are great value, often the cheapest in their class. This one is no exception. I’ve actually created an in-depth review of the YPF-12C here if you want to read more about it.
This unit has 3 cooling speeds and a 4-way air flow direction control which moves the air efficiently around the room. It cools areas of up to 400 sq/ft and weighs just over 52lbs so it’s very light for this type of device. In terms of size it measures 14.2 inches wide by 13.3 inches deep and is only 24.7 inches tall. This is the smallest in the 12,00o BTU range and is also smaller than some of the 10,000 and even 8,000 BTU models.
I felt the Honeywell just sneaked into top spot because it had been in the market longer and has a slightly lower operating noise (although the Shinco is by no means loud). A great purchase and well worth reading what others have said about it on Amazon.
Haier HPN12XCM Review Summary: Haier has created a very distinctive looking model. The black casing and silver panel gives a contemporary look. However, the on-unit and remote control buttons look chunky and a bit dated. There is an updated model which is called the HPN12XCR. This unit is lighter and smaller but it’s slightly more expensive and not getting the same great customer feedback at the moment as its older sibling. My recommendation would be to go with this tried and tested unit for now if you want to purchase a Haier.
It weighs 74.3lbs which is heavy, but not the heaviest in the 12,000 BTU class and has overall dimensions of 17.8in wide, 15.2 deep and 29.5 high. This is only slightly bigger overall than the Honeywell MN12CES. The 3 fan and 3 cooling modes give it plenty of flexibility, and window the kit is quick to install so you should be up and running in no time. A great value unit and well worth looking into in more depth.
Whynter ARC-12S Review Summary: The 12,000 BTU category has some very tough competition and this Whynter is another great model. This one has a commanding front air outlet grill and silver body that looks sleek and a little futuristic so might not instantly be a hit with everyone’s taste.
It has a long 60″ (5ft) hose which allows more flexibility when connecting to higher set windows (some unit’s hoses are only 48″). The air filter system on the Whynter is excellent and has a standard particle filter, but also includes a carbon air filter for additional filtration to increase your indoor air quality. This is useful if you live in areas where there are higher levels of air contaminants i.e. city centres locations or close to airports.
The ARC-12S weighs 62lbs, which is average for this type of device but is slightly larger-built than its peers at 15.5, 17, 31 inches wide, deep and high. It’s jam packed with Eco-Friendly features and won’t break the bank on running costs either. A very good value-for-money unit and often comes with a great discount so check out Amazon to see what the latest offer is.
DeLonghi PACN110EC Review Summary: It’s number 5 on the list but there is little separating these top 5 units so don’t let this put you off. The PACN110EC has a more expensive price point but does buy you a very well built, high-quality unit by arguably the top portable AC unit manufacturer. This is reflected in the feedback with close to three-quarters of buyers giving it a 4 or 5-star rating.
At 11,000 BTU it has a slightly lower power consumption than the other units but is still rated for areas up to 400 sq/ft so still offers the same volume of cooling coverage. The black design is smart and classy and it has a set of useful built-in handles and a set good castors to help move the 62.3lb unit around.
It can be set up in minutes, has a washable quick-change filter and auto evaporation feature so the set up is quick and the maintenance in low. The leaves you to get on with getting out of the heat and relaxing in cool, comfortable air.
One minor niggle is that the airflow is not adjustable. It is, however, directed up and into the room so you do get good circulation of cooled air.
Overall it’s another great unit. More expensive that other models but with that you do get your money’s worth in terms of build quality.
Top 5 14,000 BTU Best Buys
Best of the 14,000 Portable Air Conditioners
Whynter ARC-14S: The Whynter is a dual hose model. This design instantly makes it far more efficent than single hose designs. In other words you’ll get the same amount of cooling as a similar single hose design but quicker, and therefore for less running costs.
It’s also a great value for money unit and for the two hose design is surprisingly the best-priced unit out of the list. This is why we’ve classed it as our top pick.
The PAC unit is 35.5 by 19 by 16 inches (H x W x D) so taller but slimmer that some of the others in the top 5. It’s also jam-packed with Eco-Friendly features such as R-410A refrigerant and built using RoHS compliant components.
BLACK+DECKER BPACT14HWT: This is a well-built unit designed with simple clean lines and with excellent castors for moving around the home. Black & Decker are better known for their great hand tools but have now delivered an excellent range of portable air conditioning units that are some of the best on the market. In terms of size this 14,000 BTU unit measures in at 17.1 by 13.8 by 28.1 inches and is good for rooms up to 550 sq/ft.
The 14HWT also comes with an 11,000 BTU heat pump. A heat pump work in reverse of an air conditioning unit and takes hot air from outside the home and pumps it into your room to increase the temperature levels. This allows the unit to be used all year round, cooling in the summer and heating in the colder months.
LG Electronics LP1414GXR: LG have gone all out with this model. Like a growing number of portable air con manufacturers they have gone for a matt black design which is slim but tall (13 x 18.5 x 33.3 inches). All 14,000 BTU units tend to be heavier so at 71lbs it’s heavy for sure, but by no means the heaviest.
It has a massive 600 sq/ft cooling rating along with direction-controllable air blades which really help get the cool air circulating around the room. Three fan speeds and 3 cooling speeds give the unit flexibility so that you only need to use the right amount of power for the room size and air temperature you require so you can run it at an optimum cost, saving you money!
Honeywell MM14CHCS: Another unit that includes an integrated heat pump. Not as great value as the Whynter and only a single hose design means that we’ve popped this one in at number 4 on the top 5 picks.
A very capable unit, and the addition of a heat pump gives you the option to use it all year round. Honeywell are a well-established brand in this industry and provide some of the best selling portable AC units out there.
An upgraded 3M electrostatic filter is a great feature for improving the quality of the indoor air and there are a couple of neat design features such as a remote control holder, auto evaporation system and a low 53dbA operating noise that make the unit a worthy top 5 occupant and well worth buying.
Haier HPN14XCM: Too many users provided excellent feedback on this unit for it not to make the top 5! The Haier is a solid performer with a number of people claiming it’s one of the best units they’ve owned. The manufacturer claims the unit can cope with areas of up-to 700 sq/ft. It has a silver front panel which gives it an interesting look, although it might not be to everyone’s taste.
It’s easy to install, low-maintenance and has an air flow blade and well-designed castors for easy transportation over hard and carpeted surfaces. Measuring 55db from around 6ft it is also one of the quieter devices when operating, paticularly for the 14,000 BTU power rating.
Top 5 8,000 BTU Reviews
The Top 8,000 BTU Air Conditioners
BLACK-DECKER-BPACT08WT Review: Black+Decker have a long tradition in producing quality tools like drills, sanders, saws etc. They have now taken this experience into the portable air conditining market and have created a number of good quality products.
The BPCAT08WT is a classic design with a slightly off-white color, a simple and easy-to-understand and use control system. This unit is at the bottom end of the power ratings for a PAC and at 8,000 BTU has room coverage of 20 ft by 15 ft or 300 sq/ft. At 52.9 pounds it’s the second lightest unit in the range. In terms of size it measures up at 16.5 (w) inches by 11.5 (d) inches x 26 inches (h).
The quick-change filter for easy maintenance, sturdy castors, good mobility and excellent customer feedback make this unit our top pick in the 8,000 BTU category.
Della 8,000 BTU Review: Della is a fairly new brand but is already getting great customer feedback. It’s a tall but slim unit at 11.5 inches (W) x 14-25 inches (L) x 30 inches (H) so has a small floor footprint. With a rated coverage of 300 sq/ft it’s better suited to smaller room such as a home office, workshop or smaller bedroom.
In terms of everyday usability the unit has a straightforward remote control, clear on-unit controls, a useful cord tidy and a built-in handle should you need to move the unit around or lift it over a threshold or down some stairs. The unit is rated as 56db so isn’t the quietest unit on the market but is one of the quieter designs.
EdgeStar Ultra Compact AP8000W Review: This EdgeStar unit as been on the market for a few years now and has a good track record of providing compact and consistent cooling.
The unit measures up at 24.25 inches (h) x 19.25 inches (w) x 13.25 inches (d). This makes is shorter but wider than other units in the top 5. It cools up to 250 sq/ft and has a dehumidifying capacity of 50 pints per day. The self-evaporation system uses water taken from the air to increase the efficiency of the air con system but also expels most excess water through the outlet hose so the water tank won’t need to be emptied very often in all but the most humid of areas. There is also a direct drain option if you do find you are pulling a large amount of water from the air.
The hose and window unit are simple and quick to install and Edgestar claim you can be up and running for as little as a $1 a day running costs thanks to its built-in energy saving features. The unit is backed up by a 3-year limited warranty for peace of mind.
Whynter ARC-08WB Review: Whynter has a great range of portable air conditioners and has had at least one unit in all our top 5 reviews. The all-white design gives the unit an unassuming profile and this look will fit better into some homes than some of the bolder designs.
Its cooling capacity is rated at up to 250 sq/ft and it measures up at x 13.6 inches (w)x 17 inches (d) x 28 inches (t). It weighs 64lbs so isn’t the most lightweight of units but has a pair of built-in handles and 4 roller wheels for easy mobility.
The filter system on the Whyner is excellent, probably the best out of the top 5. They have included a silver-ion coated pre-filter and activated carbon filter to ensure you have healthy and clean indoor air quality.
SPT WA-8070E Review: The SPT is a solid performer and it’s light weight and great value for money, (probably the cheapest unit in the top 5), have pulled it into list of top units. At 51lbs it’s the lightest air conditioning unit in the top 5. It’s light weight combined with built-in handles and a good set of castor wheels give it excellent portability.
The unit dimensions are 15inches wide x 13.8inches deep x 29.5 inches tall giving it a slim but tall profile when standing in a room. The SPT has distinctive brown and cream coloured casing which is well-built but perhaps not the most modern of designs aesthetically. It has a good energy efficiency rating (for a PAC) of 8.9 and built with environmentally-friendly materials and chemicals to limit its environmental impact.
The 8070E has a long history of good customer reviews on Amazon so you can buy the unit with the confidence that plenty of people before you have loved it!