The Best Portable Air Conditioners

Check out our favorite PACs so you can stay cool in your sleep all summer long.

By Katie Dyal

Say goodbye to those long summer nights you spend sweating in your sheets and say hello to a portable air conditioner.

You may wonder why someone would choose a portable air conditioner as the tool for cooling the temperature in their room, but there are many benefits it can bring to your sleep, comfort, and even your wallet.

As an alternative to a window unit, a portable air conditioner is a more convenient option for cooling your room without making many sacrifices. These mobile AC units can lower electric costs, reduce humidity/stuffiness throughout a home, and create a better sleeping experience.

Our Top Picks for the Best Portable Air Conditioners

Whynter portable air conditioner

Best Buy: Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner

The Whynter Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner is considered one of the best in the industry. It’s recommended for large rooms, and it has more capabilities than you expect. This 14,000 BTU AC Unit can work in three different modes: air conditioner, fan, or dehumidifier.

When using the air conditioning mode, this unit can cool up to 500 square feet in space and is designed with an eco-friendly CFC-free Green R-410A refrigerant, meaning it’s programmed to be energy-efficient and made with a sustainable mindset. The thermostat is shown on a digital screen and offers a 24-hour programmable timer, so that you can be in full control at all times. Due to the dual-hose, it works harder for less. Not to mention, it comes delivered with an activated carbon filter, a washable pre-filter, and remote control.

The fan mode offers three speeds settings, and the dehumidifier mode can remove up to a capacity of 101 pints per day. The Whynter Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner is one of Amazon’s Choice for best portable AC units, and it’s won several awards: Good Housekeeping’s “2019 Best Overall,” “Can Cool Down A Room Faster Than Other Portable Units,” and Consumer Report’s 2019 Highest Score Award.

  • Cooling Power: 14,000 BTU
  • Cooling Size Capability: 500 sq ft
  • Price: $480
Frigidaire portable air conditioning unit

Most Luxurious: Frigidaire Smart Portable Air Conditioner

The Frigidaire Smart Portable Air Conditioner is a little pricier, but its innovative and modern capabilities make it worth every penny. Cooling rooms up to 550 square feet in space, this 12,000 BTU air conditioning unit has all the bells and whistles.

This smart portable air conditioning unit can connect to your Wi-Fi through the Frigidaire smart app, which means you can turn on your AC unit before you’re even inside your home. It also is capable of syncing up to Google Assistant and Alexa. You have full control and access to your unit at all times. You can create custom scheduling and set reminders for filter replacements.

This portable unit provides refreshing air through a 360-degree airflow circulation. Not to mention, it also has a dehumidifying capability, absorbing up to 3 pints per hour. There are three cooling speeds, three fan speeds and a 24-hour on/off timer. It is EnergyStar-certified, ADA Compliant and comes with a one-year warranty.

  • Cooling Power: 12,000 BTU
  • Cooling Size Capability: 550 sq ft
  • Price: $549
  • Extras: App connectivity
Honeywell portable air conditioner

Best Recognized: Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner  

The Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner is the least expensive of our top picks, but it’s still highly recognized as one of the best on the market! This is the perfect portable unit for a bedroom or home office, and it’s specifically designed with an indoor evaporative air cooler that is best suited for drier climates. It tends to perform its best with humidity levels of 50 percent and higher and can capture 70 pints of moisture per day.

It’s not just considered a fan, but also an air cooler. It turns down the temperature through water evaporation and doesn’t require that much power. It offers five cooling speeds, as well as a low-energy-quiet mode feature. This proves it’s the perfect unit to have in your bedroom or office, making minimal noise, causing no distractions, while keeping the entire space cool!

  • Cooling Size Capability: 100 sq ft
  • Price: $143

Why Choose a Portable Air Conditioner?

A portable air conditioner is a good choice for those who are exhausted from the hassle and inconvenience of window air conditioners. If you’re looking for a way to increase the cool air in your bedroom without window venting, collecting dust on a fan, or adding large expenses to your energy bill, a portable air conditioner makes for a great purchase.

Types of Portable Air Conditioners

Most portable AC units are designed two ways: single hose and dual hose. It’s important to understand the functionality of the different hoses when picking out the correct PAC for you.

Single Hose

A single-hose AC unit uses the same hose to take air both in and out. A single-hose configuration requires more work, so they aren’t considered as efficient and proactive as dual-hose units. Single-hose units are cheaper for this reason, which could be something to keep in mind if you are on a budget. They do prove to be just as proficient in pumping out cold air in smaller spaces, which makes it perfect for an apartment or studio-type setting.

Dual Hose

A dual-hose AC unit has two hoes that intake on one and exhausts out the other. With two hoses working to pump out your air, it’s much more energy-efficient, as well as quicker at creating a cool circulation. They are recommended for circulating larger spaces or rooms.

How Portable Air Conditioners Help You Sleep

Window units can only circulate the air so much throughout a home. Depending on your living situation, it’s typical for your air conditioning system to overlook certain rooms throughout your home. Especially for those living in an apartment, the AC unit is usually within the common living area, and if you close your door off for privacy, your ventilation may not be enough to get the circulation of air you need to feel comfortable. A portable air conditioner in your bedroom will improve your sleep in various ways. 

Increases Comfort

Nobody wants to be woken up from their sleep by being too cold, or especially too hot. At least when you feel cold, you can layer on more clothing and bedding. When a room feels warm, it seems that there’s nothing you can do to get comfortable! Being able to set a specific temperature to circulate in just your room is going to guarantee that you will be restful all night long.

Prevents Moisture Accumulation

If your bedroom is not at an ideal temperature, that leaves room for humidity and moisture to seep in. Humidity and moisture, in moderation, are right for you and especially useful in dry climates, but it’s not good when it becomes excessive. It’s important for your sinuses to be moisturized throughout the night so you don’t wake up experiencing dryness and a stuffy nose. The problem with too much humidity is your body will start to lock in the moisture because it has nowhere else to release.

When this happens, your body will begin to sweat, resulting in discomfort. Nobody wants to feel sticky when they wake up in the morning. Not only that but also, when your room is trapping too much humidity, it opens the door for mold to form. Mold is extremely dangerous to breathe in regularly and can cause major health issues the longer it progresses.

It’s important to know which products are best before making a purchase. Portable air conditioners are a small, but a serious investment. Spending a few hundred dollars should always be worth your while.

Take note of how your climate affects your air regularly and choose a portable air conditioner unit with that in mind. Your home is meant to be cozy and comfortable, and with the right mobile AC unit, you can feel just that!

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