Portable air conditioners are the ideal option for people who don’t have central AC and need to quickly cool a medium-sized space. These units offer a convenient cooling solution, particularly if you are unable to install the traditional AC due to building restrictions or design limitations. Portable AC devices are also an excellent option if you are looking for a versatile, mobile cooling unit that you can move between different rooms or even store away when not in use.
Best Portable AC Devices
- Arctic Air Pure Chill Portable AC
- Breeze Maxx
- Blast Auxiliary
- UV Cooler
- Cool Mist Humidifier by Sleep Connection
- IceBox Air Cooler
- T10 Cooler
- Glacier Air Cooler AC
- Tundra Breeze
- CoolFeel Max
Similar to any trendy device, the increased popularity of portable AC units has meant that there are numerous sizes, types, and designs available. Below is a list of the best portable AC units that can help you to escape the heat and deliver maximum comfort.
Arctic Air Pure Chill
Arctic Air Pure Chill Portable AC is a convenient air cooler design to provide comfortable temperature levels on the go.
According to the official website the devices use HydroChill technology, a method that aims to utilize evaporative cooling, by adding water to the air to moisture and cool.
Arctic Air can be used to cool individual spaces In the hot summer, the device features a tray that holds up to 450ml of water for maximum long-lasting cooling. Additionally, the unit features adjustable vents to direct the flow of air and multiple speed options to adjust as desired. Another feature of Arctic Air is the use of silver filters, to cleanse and purify the air. The device is fast and easy to set up and aims to improve indoor experiences during the summer.
Customers can purchase one or multiple units from the official Arctic Air Pure Chill website, the price breakdown is as follow:
- 1 Arctic Air Pure $89.99
- 2 Arctic Air Pure $179.98
- 3 Arctic Air Pure $202.99
- 4 Arctic Air Pure $247.99
To learn more about the #1 portable cooling device of 2021, visit the official Arctic Air Pure website for more information.
The first portable AC on this list is the uniquely designed Breeze Maxx nano air conditioning unit that goes for $90. The nano feature means that it has a super compact size to increase portability while still delivering effective, instant cooling.
Breeze Maxx also offers extra benefits like filtering bacteria, viruses, and pollutants from your immediate environment. While other portable AC units simply purify the air, Breeze Maxx goes a step further and filters common viruses and bacteria from the air. Most consumers liked the fact that this AC was lightweight, cordless, and highly convenient for carrying around when switching to different rooms or even traveling. Breeze Maxx also runs silently and its compact size means that it doesn’t interfere with your décor.
Blast Auxiliary Portable AC
The Portable AC unit from Blast Auxiliary represents a strong, cost-effective, and compact device. This unit has all the key features that you would expect from portable air conditioning systems. The convenient cordless design, humidifier feature, and overall user-friendly system make it ideal for most homes and offices.
Consumers can quickly charge this device using a regular USB cable, and the included batteries mean that you can use it both with and without power. With a filter, humidifier, and various other top features, this portable AC offers great value for only $90.
With $100 you can buy the innovative UV Cooler to purify and cool down any space in your property. Charging is done via an included USB cable and the device uses ice and water to produce cold airflow. The innovative and distinctive part about this UV Cooler unit is that it sanitizes the water using ultraviolet light. It eliminates bacteria and toxins from the water to ensure the water vapor around your house is always safe and free of any toxicity. Furthermore, the remarkably small size of this AC makes it perfect for maintaining cool temperatures while you are moving around.
CoolX was designed to be used in a wide range of environments, ranging from home and office use to even your vehicle and any other spaces where you need cool air. This portable AC device features an appealing LED configuration that adds more charm to the overall design. CoolX is also quite versatile and it can work as either an AC unit or a cool night light for your room. This unit comes with three varying fan speeds, a straightforward design, and powerful cooling abilities. If you want a portable unit that can rapidly cool your space, then the $90 CoolX is worth a look. This convenient AC can work as a purifier, humidifier, and AC in one portable package.
Cool Mist Humidifier
The $15 Cool Mist Humidifier by Sleep Connection features a mix of a humidifier and AC that are packaged into a stylish unit. This is definitely among the most visually appealing portable air conditioning devices featured on this list. It delivers the expected humidification and cooling abilities in an attractive design. The manufacturer states that using this humidifier every night will give you better breathing, deeper sleep, and a significant boost in your overall health. Using this product is quite easy as you only need to add water and flip on the switch. Moreover, the inbuilt mood light enhances the ambiance in your space, thus making it ideal for adding a tasteful touch to your space. The inbuilt mood light improves the ambiance and mood of your bedroom or space. The $15 price tag also makes it highly affordable.
IceBox Air Cooler
Another $100 portable AC is the IceBox Air Cooler that sucks dry and hot air from one side and expels a chilling breeze from the opposite side. This device allows you to relax in your office, bedroom, or any space without worrying about the uncomfortable summer heat. The IceBox AC also comes with some innovative features that are not too common in other portable air conditioning units, which include an LCD display to configure your preferred temperature. It also has a convenient sleep mode that you can use at night to get cooler temperatures while the device works as silently as possible.
The IceBox offers a wide range of configuration options including varying coolness levels and mod lights for more customization. Even though the IceBox AC seems costly, you can still get it for around $60 per device if you go for the package with multiple portable AC units.
The other notable $100 portable AC is the highly versatile T10 Cooler that can be used in indoor and outdoor spaces where you need cool air. This unit uses a custom hydro chill method to transform hot air to cool air. The hot air is passed through a cool water curtain to add moisture to it and make it cooler. Even though most AC units are quite noisy, this T10 Cooler features a silent operation system. In addition, there are three fan settings and seven color options that make it highly customizable. Similar to other units mentioned in this list, you can expect at least eight hours of use from this T10 Cooler before it needs a recharge.
Glacier Air Cooler
This portable AC uses an external battery that charges up quickly to increase its mobility. Once the battery is fully charged, you can take your Glacier Air Cooler anywhere you like and enjoy a cool breeze. This device also works as an effective lantern that can brighten up any room. You can utilize this handy lamp when you are out camping and you need a reliable source of life. The manufacturer recommends adding ice to this device to create cooler temperatures in any space you desire, whether it is your bedroom or the living room. Other notable features of the Glacier AC include its attractive retro design and highly compact build for extra portability.
Tundra Breeze Air Conditioner
Tundra Breeze offers an effective portable AC unit for only $90. However, it is worth mentioning that the design of this particular portable AC isn’t the most appealing on this list. Looks aside, this AC provides cool, arctic level temperatures through the conventional water curtain humidification system. Simply add cold water or ice to your Tundra Breeze and start relishing in the moist and cool air.
One of the cost-effective portable AC devices on this list is the CoolFeel Max and it goes for only $60. The device is sold by PopularHiTech and all orders are covered by a one-month refund policy. The product itself is quite unique as it was designed to be used as a wearable device around the neck. Once you place it on your neck, the unit provides refreshing cool temperatures regardless of your location. You can opt to use it to rejuvenate your body during a workout or when you want to relax at home. The affordable price tag, user-friendly features, and unique frame that fits on different sizes of necks make CoolFeel Max worth checking out.
Tips for Choosing a Portable AC
All portable air conditioning devices claim to offer generally similar benefits of providing a cool source of air to enhance your space while featuring a portable and compact design. Here are a few key tips to ensure you are investing in the best quality portable AC:
While some portable AC models can deliver cool and chilly temperatures, there are others that simply aren’t effective. Hence, the most important consideration when choosing a portable AC must be the unit’s cooling power. The units featured in this list can help you to achieve the refreshing cool breeze you desire on those hot summer days.
Most of the consumers who are interested in portable AC are keen on both the air temperature and the humidity. A top-quality air conditioning unit should include a humidifier function. Furthermore, you should also ensure that the humidifier works effectively and is not just included as a marketing term.
General product design
Even though the overall design of a portable AC device may not be quite important, it is still worth considering for a buyer that wants a device to enhance their décor. There are some very stylish portable AC units featured above that can help you compliment or enhance the interior design of your space. In contrast, some devices look bland and unappealing.
Most people will not have any issues with using portable AC devices as they are generally quite straightforward and do not require extensive technical knowledge. Most devices only require some ice or water to start operating.
The main goal of buying a good quality portable AC is to improve the comfort in your space by providing a breeze of cool air. Nevertheless, most portable AC devices will also include extra features like air purification and humidifier benefits.
While most portable AC devices work quite well, some may end up breaking down while in use. If you are unhappy with your portable AC at any time, the manufacturer should offer a way of addressing your concerns, particularly by initiating a full refund. Most reputable AC manufacturers offer generous return policies to increase customer confidence and ensure clients are getting the most value from their portable AC devices.
Different times of day will typically require varying levels of low temperatures. For instance, some users prefer having chilly temperatures in the middle of the day and a cool and relaxed temperature at night. The portable AC device you choose must allow for easy customizability to allow you to pick your desired fan and cooling settings.
Customer reviews are another essential factor that can help you choose your ideal portable AC. Customers use and test these devices in wide-ranging conditions and they can help you find out whether a certain model is effective for the kind of need you have. So, ensure you check out the ratings and feedback for your potential portable AC models to help you to make a better decision.
Value and price
The final consideration when choosing a top-quality portable AC is the price. You can find different portable AC models at varying price points, depending on the features and cooling capabilities. Make sure that whichever portable air conditioning unit you buy offers you great value for your investment.
Best use cases for portable air conditioning devices
You can conveniently use portable air conditioning systems in various settings and spaces, ranging from your bedroom and living room to your office and other small spaces. Some units even work outdoors and can help cool down your patio or backyard area. Moreover, most portable AC devices don’t need to use direct power, which means you can run them nearly anywhere once you have fully charged the battery.
Here are examples of ideal places to use your portable AC:
- Small house
- Condos or apartments
- Dorm rooms
- Outdoor areas like patio or backyard
- Small offices
Benefits of buying a portable AC
There are several benefits that consumers can get when they buy portable air conditioning units instead of using other cooling systems. Here are some of the top benefits to expect when you invest in a portable AC for your space:
One of the key drawbacks of running an entire HVAC unit for your home is that it often comes with significant costs, right from the purchase and installation to operation and maintenance costs. In contrast, your portable AC will only work in the specific spaces you desire. Furthermore, these portable units are typically quite small and do not use up lots of energy. You can easily run a portable AC from a battery or a conventional USB port as they use up similar low power as a smartphone.
Most of the top portable air conditioners featured on this compilation come with plenty of customization options that allow consumers to set their preferred temperature settings. Some models feature up to seven different temperature settings, allowing you to finely customize your cooling temperatures.
Many people often suffer from cracked and dry skin during summer due to the use of conventional HVAC units. These traditional HVAC systems typically remove all humidity from your internal spaces, which can result in various negative reactions. If you are looking for cooler and moist air, then it is worth investing in portable air conditioning as most of these devices also come with an extra humidifying benefit.
The various portable AC devices featured here all come with air filters that help eliminate toxins, bacteria, and various other pollutants from your indoor air. Some products have both physical filters and ultraviolet filters for extra filtration. A good quality product will remove all unhealthy compounds from your indoor air and enhance the air quality significantly.
Quick to set up
A notable benefit of using portable AC devices is that they are very quick to set up. Unlike a regular HVAC unit that requires professional installation, you can buy and start using your portable AC within a few minutes. The only thing you need to do is to add ice or water to the tank and then switch it on to start getting a cool, refreshing breeze.
Nearly anyone can use a portable AC regardless of their experience or technical knowledge. That is because portable ACs typically use a straightforward design with simple, easy-to-understand layouts and switches.
Convenient battery power
Most of the top-quality portable AC devices featured above use either micro-USB or rechargeable batteries. You can easily run your portable AC anywhere you like, whether besides your desktop, outdoors, or your bedside table without requiring a power outlet nearby.
Lightweight and portable
These portable AC devices are lightweight and compact, which means you can carry them and cool specific areas of your office or home. Rather than wasting resources and cooling all the rooms in your house all day long, you can carry a portable AC device and reduce the temperature in specific rooms.
Buyers interested in portable AC devices also don’t need to spend too much money as you can get decent products for less than $100. In contrast, traditional HVAC systems can end up costing thousands of dollars to buy and install. If you’re keen on saving money, then it makes sense to invest in portable air conditioning.
Most conventional HVAC units are noisy as they have to use a lot of power to keep your entire home cool. Portable AC devices offer a similar cooling capability but without making lots of noise and disrupting your environment. Most of these small units feature silent operation, even when running on the highest setting.
Overall, portable air conditioning is a solid option for people looking for a way to maintain cooler temperatures in specific rooms at home, in the office, or outdoors. Even though they cannot necessarily replicate the benefits of having a traditional whole-house HVAC unit, these portable devices can help you maintain cooler temperatures and comfortable environments at a more affordable price.
How portable ACs work
Most portable air conditioning devices use the same technology to generate cool temperatures. That means they pass hot air through their water curtain systems to produce cold vapor. These units are made for use in small spaces like bedrooms, offices, and smaller apartments.
You can also find other advanced portable AC devices that can handle much larger rooms. For instance, some units need to connect to external air with a hose. Those units can either have one hose or two hoses to bring in the external air.
Advanced air conditioners work by using multiple systems including the refrigerant, compressor, and fans. These units work in the same way as conventional HVAC systems. These devices take external air and run it through the refrigerant and compressor to adequately cool it and then the fans help to circulate air in the home.
The use of advanced air conditioning systems is ideal for cooling large spaces and homes. Nevertheless, these large devices are also known for using lots of power and being quite noisy. Additionally, advanced HVAC units will often reduce the humidity in the air, which creates drier air quality in your space.
In contrast, the portable AC systems featured here work in a unique way since they are able to add moisture and humidity to your space rather than eliminating it. Consumers can, therefore, benefit from cooler temperatures without sacrificing good air quality. These portable devices are still able to cool down the air without using compressors or refrigerants.
Below is a simple process in which portable air cooling units create cooler temperatures for your space:
- Phase 1: The portable AC device draws in the hot and dry air in your space.
- Phase 2: The hot air is driven through custom water or ice curtain to cool it down. Most water curtains are connected to either a water tank or ice tray.
- Phase 3: In this stage, the air passing through the unit’s water curtain starts to evaporate, which helps to reduce the temperature. The result is cleaner and much cooler temperatures.
- Phase 4: In the final stage, the moist and cooler air is released from the opposite side using a fan. You can now enjoy the chilly temperature in your room.
Portable AC FAQs
Q: What are the key differences between regular AC units and portable AC?
A: There are many differences between traditional and portable AC devices. Some of the most notable differences include the fact that portable air conditioning can be moved and used in different places, and also the fact that these units use evaporation and water curtains to generate cooler, moister temperatures.
Q: What is the expected coverage area with a portable AC?
A: Most of the products featured above are compact, lightweight devices that were made to cool down the small areas in your home, like your bedroom or a dorm room. These products are not made for cooling down your whole home, but they work well in small spaces.
Q: What is the ideal portable AC size to buy?
A: An air conditioning device that is rated at 7,500 BTU should cover at least 200 sq. ft. while the range moves to 300 sq. ft. when you use an AC with 10,000 BTU. If you want more coverage space, then you can get a device with 14,000 BTU. In general, the portable AC products shown above are typically rated below 7,500 BTU and that is why they are best used in small rooms.
Q: Can a portable AC work without access to a window or external air?
A: Portable AC devices work independently of any source of external air. That means you can use them even if your room doesn’t have a window. These devices don’t come with hoses or tubes that you have to connect to external air. Instead, they all use a mix of ice trays and water curtains to cool down your air.
Q: Are portable AC devices safe to use?
A: Portable air coolers are completely safe to use. They don’t produce any toxins that could harm the members of your household. Instead, some products actually contain filters that can remove bacteria and other toxic air pollutants from your environment.
Q: What is the top portable AC device?
A: The products featured above are all excellent candidates if you are looking for a top-quality AC unit for your space. Any of these products can give you remarkable cooling benefits.
Q: Will a portable AC increase my energy costs?
A: A huge advantage of using portable AC devices is that they have low power requirements, particularly when compared to the traditional HVAC system. You can get much lower electric bills when you switch to portable AC units.
Q: Do portable AC devices leak water?
A: Most of the portable AC devices shown above use ice trays and water curtains to produce cooler temperatures. There is no risk of water leaks when using a portable air cooler.
Q: What is the reason for having ultraviolet light on a portable AC?
A: Some top brands of portable air coolers use advanced filtration systems that include ultraviolet light. Research shows that most airborne diseases are caused or aggravated by polluted or poor indoor air quality. The air in your space can be full of viruses, toxins, bacteria, pollen, and various other pollutants. Fortunately, UV light can purify the air by eliminating toxic compounds to give you better quality, safe air.
Q: What is the average lifespan for portable air conditioners?
A: The top-quality AC units like the ones featured in this compilation should last you for at least five years before requiring a replacement. Most of these devices will have a longer lifespan if you maintain them properly. However, you should expect a slight decline in battery life and usage time as your device gets older.
Q: How can I get cooler temperatures without a central AC?
A: Investing in any of the portable AC products mentioned above is the best way to get cooler temperatures if you don’t have a central HVAC system. These products are much more affordable than buying a new HVAC unit.
Q: What is the SEER rating for portable AC devices?
A: The SEER rating for air conditioners determines their effectiveness in delivering cool air to your room. Air conditioners with high SEER ratings are generally more efficient. The best AC devices typically feature SEER ratings of above 20, while average units will be around 15.
Q: How does the conventional HVAC system work?
A: In a standard central HVAC unit, the system lowers your indoor air temperature by running the air through a refrigerant to eliminate moisture and heat. The resultant cool air is then distributed across your home. This system also pumps out hot air and circulates the cold air inside your property.
Q: Does a regular air conditioner produce dry air?
A: Most modern central HVAC systems work by removing both heat and moisture from the indoor air. That is the reason most homes will often feel dry during summer due to running the air conditioner for an extended period of time. The dry air leads to various side effects including skin conditions. In contrast, all the portable products shown above help to add moisture into your indoor air to create better air quality.
Q: What is the ENERGY STAR label?
A: The EPA created the ENERGY STAR program to help consumers get access to efficient electronic devices. That is why nearly all modern air condition systems will include this label on their products to verify that they are offering energy-efficient devices.
Q: What is the average price of portable air conditioners?
A: The average cost of portable AC units shown in the list above ranges between $15 and $120, with the average price being around $90. Most of these prices are highly affordable, especially if you consider that traditional HVAC systems can cost thousands of dollars.
Top Portable Air Conditioners Conclusion
The portable AC space has experienced significant growth in technology and products over the last few years. Consumers now have multiple product choices with different features like humidifiers and purifiers for less than $100. These air conditioners offer convenient cooling abilities within a compact, lightweight, and highly portable package. If you want effective air conditioning at an affordable price, then you should consider investing in any one of the best portable AC units shown above.
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