The Best Portable AC Units for the apartment are perfect for lowering temperatures in apartments, bedrooms, office cubicles, and personal spaces.
With an incredibly compact design also make these units the ideal cooling solution for areas with limited floor space.
These devices work as three appliances in one – air conditioner, fan and room dehumidifier, all in one compact unit. Some models also feature the 4th mode – heater mode.
There is no better cooling solution than a portable conditioner, with no permanent installation, when the weather starts to heat up and installation of a central conditioning system is out of the question.
Cool out the home with these top-rated portable air conditioners!
Table of Contents
- Essential Features of Air Conditioner
- Portable vs Window Conditioner vs Evaporative Air Cooler vs Oscillating Fan
- How Powerful AC Do I Need?
- Dual Hose vs Single Hose Portable Air Conditioners
- Other Air Quality Improvement Devices
Essential Features of Air Conditioner
The conditioning unit that stands out with performance and efficiency has the following features:
- Power (in BTU per hour) – more powerful units can cover larger room
- Single Hose vs Dual Hose Conditioners – dual hose portable AC units work better than single hose units. Why? Because they have this second vent that exhausts the warm and humid air out of the room.
- Airflow direction – you would want to have an ability to direct the airflow where you need it – vertically or horizontally.
- Well designed controls – large and uncrowded buttons, clear labeling, digital temperature readouts — much easier to use.
- The timer gives you much freedom – the conditioner can be turned off when you’re out or set to turn on just before you expect to get home.
- Energy-efficient design allows you to save energy and makes using the conditioner cheaper in the long run.
- Dehumidifying mode will dehumidify the air in your room on humid but cold days in spring and fall.
- Fresh-air intake or exhaust setting provides ventilation without cooling.
Portable vs Window Conditioner vs Evaporative Air Cooler vs Oscillating Fan
If you will decide to check out the best selling portable AC list on Amazon (you will find a link to Amazon Top 10 list below) please keep in mind one thing.
The Amazon’s list, in fact, contains not only portable AC units but also Window Conditioners, Air Coolers, and other devices. Always carefully read product name and description!
You will see these types of items on the Amazon list.
Models like Frigidaire FRA052XT7 – they are not portable at all because you have to install them in your window.
Machines like KuulAire KA50 and SPT SF-609 Portable Evaporative Air Cooler with Ionizer – they use water to cool the air.
Gadgets we are discussing in this review.
Tower Fans and Cooling Tower Fans
Likes of Lasko 4916 Desktop Wind Tower Oscillating Fan – they are just a type of a bit more advanced fan.
How Powerful AC Do I Need?
Here is a table with room sizes and corresponding AC powers in BTUs.
|Room Size sq ft||Room Size cu ft @ 8ft Ceilings||AC Power BTU|
Dual Hose vs Single Hose Portable Air Conditioners
Part of a generation where we cannot live without the comforts of a conditioner, technology has brought us portable AC.
As the name suggests, one could easily carry it around with them wherever they wish to. Most of them require a window or open space where the system releases its exhaust. Differing by size, brand, configurations, conditioners are mainly divided into two types:
- Dual hose conditioners
- Single hose conditioners
Coming in handy in small or large places, these conditioning units are used about everywhere from garages to commercial areas. They carry the ability to cool any place efficiently in a short time. Cost-effective products, owning one of these ACs come in handy.
Two hose conditioner could be modified into a single vent conditioner anytime. They are said to be bulkier in comparison, but more useful, due to the presence of two hoses instead of one. Although the one vent AC is comparatively cheaper.
In single vent machines, one pipe is vented to the outside of the conditioner. The unit contains a compressor/condenser that is cooled with air. This air is taken from inside the room itself. The other type of conditioner also has a hose, which is also known as the exhaust hose. This vents out the air after it has cooled the condenser.
On the other hand, AC units with two hoses contain a condenser which is cooled by drawing air from outside, through just one of the tubes. The second tube expels exhaust outside. These types of machines have two hoses vented to the outside of it.
One hose ACs consume lesser energy and are lighter. Hence, they are easier to move around from place to place. However, 2 vent conditioners do not produce a negative pressure within the room and could thus cool a space faster than 1 hose systems.
For users who have a small place to cool, the single vent machine could be their pick. That would allow them to maneuver the conditioner from time to time too. If you have an ample space to cool, you should probably opt for the dual vent AC unit. Despite being heavier and consuming more energy, it will work more efficiently for the larger spaces.
I have explored different ways of venting the portable AC in my article.
Dual Hose AC Units
One of the types of ACs is the two vents portable conditioning unit. As the name suggests, these appliances have two venting hoses. They are generally bigger and noisier, compared to the single tube AC units.
Double vent portable conditioners include some features, some of which are as follows:
- There are up to five types of operational modes: automatic, fan, dehumidifier, energy-conserving and heat. The dehumidifier option dehumidifies the air in the room without cooling. The fan mode circulates air in the room and allows up to four fan speeds to choose from.
- Has an auto-drain function: It removes all moisture from the air and recycles it into clean air. Excessive condensation is prevented so that there are no accumulations inside the system.
- High power supply
- Maximum power consumption
- Digital control of the thermostat
- Washable air filters: To wash the filters, the user has to remove them from the unit and rinse or vacuum the dust.
- Adjustable louvers
- High cooling power
- There is a 24 hour on/off timer too: This timer is programmable.
- They can cool an area faster than the 1 hose conditioners
- Dual vent coolers are more efficient
- Negative pressure is not created inside the room, as it has two separate hoses: one for intake and one for exhaust
- Also, they can cool areas larger than the 1 hose AC
Single Hose AC Units
The other type of mobile conditioning unit is the AC with one hose design. Probably invented before the double vent portable conditioner, this machine has much straightforward construction. Although it functions quite differently from the double hose portable ACs.
Single tube ACs offer many features, a few of which are:
- Self-evaporating system: To remove exhaust from the system, air condenses into water inside the appliance. As this machine has a self-evaporating, auto-drain system, maintenance is more straightforward.
- Digital control of the thermostat
- The option of programmable timers or continuous operation
- High cooling power
- Up to 4 types of operational modes: fan, dehumidifier, automatic, cool. The fan mode has up to four different speeds.
- Makes use of ozone-depleting refrigerant
- Clever auto-restart: The 1 hose AC unit is smart and remembers the settings done by the user. In case of a power outage, this appliance will restart at the previous function when power resumes.
- Energy Efficiency: This means that less energy is consumed compared to other portable conditioners.
- Control panel which is easy to operate
- Washable air filters: These filters are quick and easy to wash, getting rid of any accumulated dirt.
The EdgeStar Koldfront PAC8000S I have reviewed belongs to this type.
- These machines require lesser electricity to run, compared to dual hose ones. This is due to double hose units containing two internal fans
- They are lighter and hence, more comfortable to carry from place to place
- One vent conditioners may be a little more efficient comparatively. This is explained by the weakened efficiency of two hose appliances resulting from using warm air to cool its compressor
- They cost less than the dual hose systems
Other Air Quality Improvement Devices