Below we review our choices for the best portable air conditioners. At the bottom of this article we have a spec comparison chart so you can easily compare one portable air conditioner versus another.
If you are looking to buy a portable air conditioner, the first thing you should be aware of is that no portable AC unit would rank as excellent in terms of cooling capability. They simply do not perform as well as window air conditioners and can even have trouble getting a room to the desired temperature. However, they have some advantages like obviously being portable and you are able to store it away when not it use.
One trait that you should look for that does help portable units work better is being able to dehumidify, because the more moisture that it can remove will help make a room feel cooler.
All portable air conditioners must be vented through a window. There are two main design types – single-hose and dual-hose systems which both mount into a window. The single-hose systems exhaust hot air outside, while dual-hose systems pull in air from outside in one hose and exhaust warm air out the other to avoid building up negative pressure inside. Dual-hose systems tend to have a slight performance advantage, but they tend to be more expensive, more difficult to install, and are often noisier.
We selected the $649 LG LP1419IVSM as the best portable air conditioner. Its standout feature is the variable-speed dual-rotor compressor which simply put means the LP1419IVSM is the quietest and most energy efficient portable air conditioner available. Other machine’s compressors are either on or off, but this one can run at variable speeds so it has the flexibility to more accurately match your desired temperature setting.
The LG LP1419IVSM can cool rooms up to 500 square feet while also removing up to 160 pints of moisture per day. It includes a remote, 24 hour timer, and is the only unit on our list that can be controlled by an app.
Overall we highly recommend the LG LP1419IVSM if you are shopping for a new portable air conditioner, although it is on the higher end of the price range.
It is also available at Amazon.
If you want a powerful portable air conditioner that can cool a room quickly then you should consider the $610 Honeywell MN12CEDBB. This unit uses a dual hose system and 12000 BTUs to cool spaces up to 550 square feet. An auto-evaporation system allows for dehumidifying up to 69 pints per day with no buckets to empty, although you may need to hook up a drain hose.
Some other features of the MN12CEDBB include digital LED display with touch controls, three fan speeds, washable filter, rolling castors, 24 hour timer, and remote control.
While it is not as energy efficient or as quiet as our number one pick, the Honeywell MN12CEDBB ranks high simply due to its cooling capability.
The 14000 BTU Whynter ARC-14SH sells for just under $550. It was ranked as the best portable air conditioner by the leading consumer magazine and is about as eco-friendly as a portable ac unit can be. It is one of the few models that also have a built-in heater for those cold winter months.
The ARC-14SH uses a dual hose operation to cool fast while also reducing moisture by exhausting condensate outside through the hose. It also is the only unit to have a carbon filter, while also having a washable filter. A digital display allows precise control, while other features include 3 fan speeds, 24 hour timer, and remote control.
Overall we think the Whynter ARC-14SH is an outstanding model. It’s biggest weakness is that it is the loudest air conditioner on our list.
It is also available at Amazon.
The Honeywell HL12CESWB is a solid ac unit that is maybe a bit pricey for its performance at $560. It uses a single exhaust hose along with a built-in humidifier that removes up to 86 pints per day and an auto-evaporation system.
You control the HL12CESWB with touch controls and an LED display or through the included remote control. It has 3 speeds, castor wheels, sleep mode, and overload protection. It also comes with everything needed to install including exhaust hose and window kit.
Overall the Honeywell HL12CESWB is reliable and works well enough, but it might be a bit overpriced for how well it actually performs.
The $680 Honeywell HL14CHESWK is the most expensive portable air conditioner to make our list. It costs a lot because it combines ac functions with a humidifier and heater. The single hose system operates with three fan speeds while removing up to 111 pints of moisture per day through an auto-evaporation system and drain hose.
The HL14CHESWK is a 14000 BTU model that will work for rooms up to 550 square feet. It actually works a bit better than the HL12CESWB, but costs quite a bit more.
The Honeywell MO08CESWK is a much more affordable model with a price of $330. We think it provides one of the best values for rooms up to 350 square feet, although it is not as powerful as the top 5 models on this list.
The MO08CESWK is quiet with a noise level that ranges from 48-53 decibels. It also has a partial auto-evaporation system, humidifier that can remove 44 pints per 24 hours, two speeds, and 24 hour timer.
If price is a concern for you than we recommend you take a deeper look at the Honeywell MO08CESWK.
The Frigidaire FHPC082AB1 has very similar specs to the Honeywell MO08CESWK, but it costs a bit more at $369.
Made for spaces up to 350 square feet, the FHPC082AB1 has a programmable timer, dry mode to remove excess moisture from the air, sleep mode, and a washable filter.
The LG LP1017WSR was the best selling portable air conditioner at HomeDepot.com, although we found it at the cheaper price of $369 on Amazon at the time of publication. It is not nearly as good or as energy efficient as the top LG model that we chose number one overall.
However, it can work to cool spaces up to 300 square feet and has most of the other standard features you will find on an ac unit in this price range.
The cheapest portable air conditioner on our list is the Whynter ARC-102CS which sells for $313.
Some user reviews for this model have been all over the place with some really negative opinions. While it is not the most impressive air conditioner on this list, it does a pretty good job for its price in smaller rooms up to 215 square feet (and would probably work in rooms slightly larger as well).
If space is tight for you, the Whynter ARC-102CS is the narrowest model at just 14 inches wide so that might appeal to some people.
The BPACT08WT works to cool room sizes up to 350 square feet while also removing up to 50 pints per day on moisture. Its actual cooling performance is not quite as good as some of the higher rated models on this list, but it is decent.
Black+Decker also offers a larger 14000 BTU model the BPACT14WT for $396 which is among cheapest and smallest 14000 BTU model you can buy.
Best Portable Air Conditioner Comparison Chart
|Rank||Portable Air Conditioner||Rating||Best Price||BTU/Hour||Max Coverage
Area (Sq Ft)
|Heater||Remote Control||Timer||Smart App||HxWxD (inches)||Weight
|1||LG LP1419IVSM||8.9||$649.00||14000||500||13?||44||53||Single||No||160.8||No||Yes||Yes||LG ThinQ, Alexa and Google Assistant||30.43 x 19.41 x 18.11||71|
|2||Honeywell MN12CEDBB||8.7||$609.99||12000||550||9.6||53||Dual||Partial||69||No||Yes||Yes||No||29.3 x 18.1 x 15.2||74.5|
|3||Whynter ARC-14SH||8.6||$547.22||14000||500||11.2||56||Dual||Full||101||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||35.5 x 19 x 16||80|
|4||Honeywell HL12CESWB||8.5||$559.99||12000||450||9.55||52||Single||Partial||86.3||No||Yes||Yes||No||31.3 x 18.9 x 15.7||72|
|5||Honeywell HL14CHESWK||8.5||$679.99||14000||550||10.3||52||Single||Partial||111.6||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||31.3 x 18.9 x 15.7||74|
|6||Honeywell MO08CESWK||8.4||$329.99||8000||350||9||48||53||Single||Partial||44||No||Yes||Yes||No||28.7 x 14.6 x 13.5||43|
|7||Frigidaire FHPC082AB1||8.4||$369.00||8000||350||9.1||49||52||Single||No||60||No||Yes||Yes||No||27.9 x 16.7 x 13.87||62.3|
|8||LG LP1017WSR||8.3||$369.00||10000||300||8||51||53||Single||Partial||127.2||No||Yes||Yes||No||27.36 x 16.93 x 12.8||65.2|
|9||Whynter ARC-102CS||8.2||$312.99||10000||215||10||51||Single||Partial||68||No||Yes||Yes||No||28 x 14 x 14.5||53|
|10||Black+Decker BPACT08WT||8.2||$319.99||8000||350||8.42||49||51||Single||Partial||50||No||Yes||Yes||No||26 x 16.5 x 11.5||52.9|