How to Choose the Right Portable Air Conditioner for You

Your Guide to buying the best Portable air conditioners


A portable air conditioner is an ideal solution for those who want to cool a single room or area without having to install or purchase a larger, more expensive window unit. Portable air conditioners are very versatile and can be moved around the home or office to provide cool, comfortable air to any area. This buying guide will provide you with helpful information on selecting the right portable air conditioner, as well as tips for maintaining and getting the most out of your purchase. By the end, you’ll have a better idea of what to look for and which portable air conditioner is the best choice for you.

Key features

  • Size: Shoppers should consider the size of the unit, as well as its cooling capacity, when selecting a portable air conditioner. The size of the unit and its cooling capacity will determine the amount of space that the unit can cool effectively.
  • Energy Efficiency: Energy efficiency is an important factor when selecting a portable air conditioner. Look for an Energy Star-certified model to ensure maximum efficiency and energy savings.
  • Noise Level: Some portable air conditioners are louder than others. Check the manufacturer's specifications to determine the noise level of the unit. Look for a model with a low decibel rating for a quieter environment.
  • Installation Requirements: Portable air conditioners require some installation, such as the need to vent the hot air out of the room. Be sure to check the manufacturer's instructions for installation requirements.
  • Portability: Portable air conditioners can be moved from room to room, making them highly convenient. Check the unit's design for ease of portability.
  • Price: Portable air conditioners come in a variety of price ranges. Consider the features offered and shop around to find the best deal.

See the most popular Portable air conditioners on Amazon

Important considerations


  • Portable: Portable air conditioners are extremely convenient and easy to move around, allowing you to enjoy comfortable temperatures in any room of your home.
  • Energy Efficient: Portable air conditioners are energy efficient, meaning that they don't require a lot of electricity to run. This makes them a great option for those looking to save money on their electricity bills.
  • Quiet Operation: Portable air conditioners are known for being much quieter than window units, making them a perfect option for those looking for a more peaceful environment.
  • Flexible Installation: Unlike window units, portable air conditioners don't require any special installation. All you have to do is plug it in and start cooling down!
  • Cost-Effective: Portable air conditioners are often more cost-effective than window units. This makes them a great option for those looking to save money on their cooling costs.


  • Price: Portable air conditioners can be expensive and may not be the most cost-effective option for cooling your home.
  • Installation: Portable air conditioners require installation, which can be time-consuming and require additional tools and supplies.
  • Noise: Portable air conditioners can be noisy when operating, which can be a nuisance to those in the area.
  • Size: Portable air conditioners tend to be large and clunky, and can take up a lot of floor space.
  • Performance: Portable air conditioners may not be as effective at cooling a large area as a window unit or central air conditioner.
  • Maintenance: Portable air conditioners require regular maintenance, such as cleaning the filters and draining the condensate, to ensure optimal performance.

Best alternatives

  1. Portable Evaporative Coolers - These coolers are powered by electricity and use a fan to draw in hot air, which is then cooled by water evaporation.
  2. Portable Fans - These are small, lightweight devices that provide cooling by circulating air in a room.
  3. Portable Air Conditioners - These are larger, more powerful devices that cool a room through refrigeration.
  4. Ductless Mini Split Systems - These are permanent systems that use 2 main components. A compressor placed outside and an air handler placed inside the space.

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

  • Foam Insulation Panels - Used to insulate the walls and ceiling around the portable air conditioner unit.
  • Thermostat control - A device used to regulate the temperature of the room.
  • Vent hose - A flexible tube used to move warm air out of the room.
  • Remote Control - An electronic device used to control the air conditioner from a distance.
  • Air filters - Used to remove dust, pollen, and other contaminants from the air.
  • Water tray - A receptacle used to capture and remove condensation from the air.
  • Extension Cord - Used to extend the reach of the power supply.

Common questions

  1. What is a Portable Air Conditioner?
    A portable air conditioner is a self-contained cooling unit that can be wheeled from room to room and used to cool down a space. They are generally more affordable than traditional window air conditioners and can be set up in minutes.
  2. What are the advantages of owning a Portable Air Conditioner?
    The main advantage is that they are far more flexible than traditional window air conditioners. They can be easily moved from room to room and can be used to cool any space. Portable air conditioners are also typically cheaper to install than window air conditioners, and they can be set up in minutes.
  3. What factors should I consider when choosing a Portable Air Conditioner?
    When selecting a portable air conditioner, you should consider the size of the room you want to cool, the BTU rating of the unit, the energy efficiency rating, the noise level, and any features that you may want such as a remote control or timer.
  4. What is the BTU rating?
    BTU stands for British Thermal Units and it is a measure of the cooling capacity of an air conditioner. The higher the BTU rating, the more powerful the cooling unit is.
  5. What is the energy efficiency rating?
    The energy efficiency rating is a measure of how much energy an air conditioner uses to cool a room. The higher the rating, the less energy the unit will use.
  6. What other features should I look for?
    When selecting a portable air conditioner, you should also consider any additional features such as a remote control, timer, or auto shut off. These features can make your air conditioner more convenient and energy efficient.


Back in 2018, a portable air conditioner made headlines when an Australian man posted a video of himself playing a mini version of the game ‘Frogger’ on the back of the unit. The video soon went viral and was even featured on the show ‘Good Morning America’. The man was able to control the game's direction using the buttons on the back of the portable air conditioner - and managed to make it across the road without a single death. The story of his success was quickly shared across the globe and was a great show of creativity and ingenuity. Source:

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.