When central air isn’t an option, portable air conditioner units can cool your home and help you keep your home or apartment cool, with the ability to move between rooms and reduce not only the heat but also the moisture in the air.
Portable air conditioners are ideal for use in homes that don’t have central air and aren’t configured or allow for window units, with many apartment buildings banning window units for their residents.
Portable air conditioner units require a location that is close to a window so that their exhaust can be placed outside the window, allowing for space where the hot air that is being pulled in by the unit can be released. Typically, these units are on casters and can be moved between rooms depending on where the cooling is needed, but it’s essential to keep in mind that where the air conditioner moves, it must still be close enough to a window to be able to work.
While portable air conditioners can work quickly to cool rooms, it’s necessary to take other steps to keep your space comfortable. Fans can help to keep the air circulating in a room, which is vital to reduce the feeling of ‘stuffiness’ that can come from stale air. Window shades, including blackout curtains, can also go a long way in decreasing the amount of sun and therefore heat that is allowed into a room, which also helps your air conditioner to not have to work as hard.
All three options we’ve included below are not only portable AC units, but they also pull double duty as dehumidifiers. This will help to ensure your home won’t be susceptible to mildew, mold, and will decrease the chance for dust mites.
If you’re ready to cool your home without investing in central air, check out the three best portable air conditioner units below.
1. Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner
It’s got three different operational modes including air conditioner, fan and dehumidifier, a 24 hour programmable timer and uses an eco-friendly R-410A refrigerant to operate.
It’s remote control activated for convenience, has an activated carbon filter for protecting the air you breathe and an auto drain function that fully exhausts all condensation in most environments. It’s a high-quality machine that will keep you comfortable all year long.
Pros: Fastest AC unit on our list, wide range of temperature control, three different operational modes and built-in carbon filter that ensures the quality of the air you breathe while cooling you down.
Cons: This AC unit is one of the heavier ones available at 80lbs.
2. Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner
Dual motors keep this unit running quietly as it cools down rooms up to 450 sq ft in size. It’s got a washable filter designed to rid the air of dust, hair and other irritants that cleans easily under the faucet. This unit also has a thermal overload protection for added safety and three fan speeds for optimal comfort.
It’s got a 24 hr energy timer and the three different operational modes allow you full control over your environment while choosing between the air conditioner, dehumidifier and fan. The Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner is an excellent option for people with pets or children in the home.
Pros: Three different operational modes with customization within them, installs easily, 24 hour energy saving timer.
Cons: The Honeywell is the only unit that requires batteries, although two AA batteries are included with purchase.
3. BLACK + DECKER Portable Air Conditioner
This portable AC unit from BLACK + DECKER is perfect for customers who need to cool a small space and don’t want a large unit taking up valuable real estate. It can easily be moved to the hottest area of the home thanks to casters and carry handles and clearly displays temperature and mode on an LED screen.
It’s got an air filter that cleans easily in the sink and the simple programming controls give you full agency over the temperature and environment in your home.
It’s a three-in-one machine that combines the functionality of a fan, AC unit and dehumidifer into one quiet, noiseless operation. It also includes a remote control so you can change the settings from afar.
Pros: Compact and easy to use, the BLACK + DECKER features a remote control, digital display, reusable slide-out filter, and powerful cooling. Environmentally friendly with a R410a refrigerant like the Whynter.
Cons: The BLACK + DECKER is the smallest unit on our list and can only cool half the area of the next biggest unit, which is the Honeywell. The BLACK + DECKER isn’t at quiet as the Honeywell, running at 75dB compared to Honeywell’s 54dB.