Best Portable Air Conditioners TechnoBuffalo 2021

A portable air conditioner is an efficient and effective way to cool down your home, or an individual room, on hot summer days (or even year-round in some places). You can place the unit and direct the airflow to exactly where you need it, and most air conditioners are quiet enough to hold a conversation while it is running.

Whynter portable AC

Best portable air conditioner: Whynter ARC-14SH

Staff Pick

With two hoses the Whynter ARC-14SH portable air conditioner cools down large areas - up to 500 square feet - very quickly. It collects over 12.5 gallons of moisture from the air each day and recycles it to both cool your home and eliminate the need to empty a collection bucket. You can control temperatures and program settings from the digital control panel or with the included remote control. This Whynter air conditioner doubles as a heater.

$537 at Amazon
portable AC

Best value air conditioner: Black & Decker BPACT10WT

This portable air conditioner cools a decent area, including small homes and apartments. Its lowest setting reaches 64 degrees Fahrenheit with both temperature and 24-hour programming easily set from the control panel or the included remote control. This Black & Decker air conditioner has a bucketless design so as it pulls moisture from the air; it allows it to evaporate rather than collect. The filter is removable and washable for easy care.

$450 at Amazon
portable AC

Best smart air conditioner: MIDEA 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner

The MIDEA smart air conditioner connects to your smartphone and Bluetooth enabled devices, like Amazon Echo, so you can control, set, and start this portable air conditioner. This unit cools up to 200 square feet of space and chills down your room to 62 degrees Fahrenheit. The window hose extends to almost five feet. The MIDEA air conditioner can be easily maneuvered out of the way because of the caster wheels it's set on.

$366 at Amazon
portable AC

Best for Large Rooms: Honeywell HL14CESWB

This air conditioner is a bit big but still compact enough to place out of the way. It has two filters that pull dust, hair, and other particles to help clear the air as it cools it. The Honeywell HL14CESWB chills large areas, up to 700 square feet and can be programmed with a 24-hour timer. The sleep mode lasts for 10 hours and runs this Honeywell air conditioner at a lower, quieter setting while still maintaining the cool air output.

$596 at Amazon
Ontel Arctic Air Portable Air Conditioner

Best Personal Air Conditioner: Ontel Arctic Air Portable Air Conditioner

The Ontel Arctic Air portable air conditioner requires water to be added for it to work and cool you down. When full, the Arctic Air cools continually for up to eight hours. It can also be used as a humidifier and air purifier. It stands only about 12 inches tall and weighs less than 3 pounds when empty. The vents move to help direct the airflow where you need it, and it has three fan speeds. It runs quietly and can be plugged into either a wall outlet or into a USB port.

$40 from Amazon

Bottom line

Before choosing a portable air conditioner, get an idea of how big the room is where the unit will be placed. The average size of a living room is 216 square feet while a bedroom is about 132 square feet and a kitchen between 240 and 360 square feet. Knowing this will eliminate several air conditioning models based on their inability to cool your home.

The Whynter ARC-14SH is the best and most flexible option because it is efficient enough to cool down most areas, including a studio apartment. It works in both humid and arid environments and will recycle moisture pulled from the air to help cool the air circulating through it. This means there isn't a collection bucket that needs to be emptied. You can set the thermostat down to 61 degrees Fahrenheit, but this unit can also be used as a heater. Settings can be controlled from the digital panel on the air conditioner or with the included remote control. The Whynter air conditioner is pretty big, weighing 80 pounds, and has a high price tag. But the amount of flexibility and the efficiency of its cooling, and heating, capabilities are worth the cost.

The Black & Decker BPACT10WT is also a good choice for a portable air conditioner. The Black & Decker works similarly to the Whynter, but chills a smaller area - 250 square feet compared to 500 square feet. Black & Decker, too, is bucketless, but allows collected moisture to evaporate rather than recycling it.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.