Our Pick of the Best Portable AC Units After 2015
Portable AC units are ideal for people living in apartments or older homes without central heating and cooling. While window units are also an option, portable units can easily be moved from room to room and don’t take up the entire window.
Honeywell MN10CESWW 10
Our favorite for 2017
A very close runner-up
Honeywell MN12CES 12
Provides powerful air flow and quiet operation
But just like any other home appliance, shopping for a portable air conditioner can be difficult. We’re going to share some of the top models on the market to make your decision a little easier. Here are some important features to consider when comparing models:
- BTU Rating: The number of BTUs will determine how much space the AC unit can cool. A 10,000 BTU unit, for example, can cool a room up to 350 square feet. It’s important to remember that this type of unit is not meant to cool the entire home, so 350 square feet should more than suffice for most rooms. If you need to cool a bigger space, opt for a unit with a higher BTU rating.
- Size: The size of the unit should also be a consideration. While designed to be portable, some models can be quite large. If you’re short on space, this should be one of your top considerations.
- User Feedback: Like other major home purchases, buying a portable AC unit is not something that should be rushed. Take the time to research the product and look for user reviews to determine which models are best suited for your home and needs. Pay close attention to both the positive and negative comments to really weigh whether or not the air conditioner will work well for your home.
The Top Portable AC Reviews for 2017
Honeywell MN10CESWW – From a trusted name in heating and cooling, the Honeywell MN10CESWW is a 10,000 BTU portable AC unit that can cool up to 350 square feet of space. This is the top rated portable air conditioner, and it’s easy to see why.
The no-drip, no-bucket design of this unit is an added convenience. The MN10CESWW uses a simple auto-evaporation system.
A digital LCD display makes it easy to adjust the temperature and other settings, and a full remote control is also included for ease of use. The unit also offers dehumidification of up to 70 pints per day.
Four caster wheels make it easy to move this unit from one room to the next. And no permanent installation is required.
If you’re looking for a portable AC that doesn’t require water drainage, the MN10CESWW is a smart choice.
Honeywell MN12CES – The MN12CES from Honeywell is another excellent portable AC unit with a sleek modern design and a little more power. This is a 12,000 BTU unit that can cool up to 450 square feet of space.
And just like the previous Honeywell model, this unit has a no-bucket, no-drip design. It can also provide dehumidification of up to 79.2 pints per day.
A digital LED display allows you to see the exact temperature setting, while the remote control is full-function and allows you to make adjustments from all the way across the room.
This portable AC unit features three speeds as well as an automatic on/off timer, which you can set anywhere from 1-24 hours.
If you’re looking for a quiet but powerful portable AC, the MN12CES is the ideal choice.
Shinco 10,000 BTU Portable AC – Shinco’s 10,000 BTU AC unit can cool up to 300 square feet of space, and features digital controls for precise temperature adjustments. A remote control is also included for convenient adjustments no matter where you are in the room.
With a self-evaporation system, there’s no need for a water tank. All of the condensing water is reused for maximum efficiency.
The unit features two-speed cooling as well as a fan and four-way air direction to spread the cooled air evenly throughout the room. The air blows upward to keep the room cool no matter how warm the outdoor temperature.
Lightweight and easy to move around the home, Shinco’s portable AC is ideal for smaller homes.
EdgeStar Ultra Compact 8,000 BTU AC – EdgeStar offers an ultra-compact portable AC unit that won’t take up much space in your home. With a BTU rating of 8,000, this unit can cool up to 225 square feet of space.
Rolling casters make it easy to move this unit from one room to another, while the 24-hour programmable timer allows for hands-free control over the room’s cooling.
A three-speed fan allows for even cooling, while the digital thermostat ensures precise temperature control. A dehumidification function is also built in for up to 50 pints per day.
EdgeStar includes a 55” max window kit and an extendable hose. A washable pre-filter is also included as well as a replaceable carbon filter to keep the air clean.
With dimensions of 19-1/4” W x 24-3/4” H X 13-1/4” D, this unit is perfect for smaller rooms.
Haier HPN12XCM – The HPN12XCM from Haier is a powerful AC unit that can cool up to 450 square feet of space, depending on heat load. With a BTU rating of 12,000, this model is ideal for larger rooms and homes.
A digital time and temperature display allows you set just the right temperature for your personal preference. A remote control is also included, so you can change the temperature from anywhere in the room.
The HPN12XCM features three cooling settings and three fan speeds. A 24-hour on/off timer and dehumidify mode is also built in for added convenience. And installation is a snap thanks to the Quick-Install Window Kit.
Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Best Portable Air Conditioner for You
Most portable AC units look the same, and many offer nearly identical features. It’s no wonder you’re left scratching your head wondering which model is the right choice for you. But there are a few details you can look at to better judge which unit will work best in your home.
- Window Kit: Nearly all portable air conditioners come with a window kit, which is required for exhausting through a window in your home. Some kits have a maximum (or minimum) size, so you’ll need to look for this number to ensure that the kit will fit in your window. This is a crucial part of the unit and is needed for safe operation, so check to ensure the unit is compatible with your window size.
- Mobility: How heavy is the unit? Does it have wheels? Some units, like the last one on the list above, can weigh as much as 75 pounds. Others can be as light as 50 pounds. If you plan on transporting the unit between various rooms, you’ll want to ensure that you can move it easily.
- Temperature Control: How is the unit’s temperature adjusted? Digital controls are typically preferred because they allow you to set a precise temperature. Many units also come with remotes that allow you to adjust the temperature from across the room. If the unit will be placed far from where you’re sitting, you may prefer a model that has a remote.
- Cost: Naturally, the price of the unit is important and will likely be the ultimate deciding factor. But do take into account quality over pricing. You want a unit that will last, so ensure that you choose a durable, well-made AC unit. All of the models we’ve reviewed are from well-known, high-quality brands.