10 Best Portable Air Conditioners in 2022


Portable air conditioners are great cooling machines as they are very convenient to use. However, there are hundreds of portable air conditioners available to choose from. So, which are the best ones and how can you decide on the best portable air conditioner for your room?

Every person has different preferences when it comes to shopping for a portable air conditioners. Hence, I not just do ranking on the 10 best portable air conditioners but also separate them by different category, budget, capacity and application.

This will be a comprehensive guide on choosing the best portable air conditioner in 2022. So, without further ado, let's get started.

Best Portable Air Conditioners by Category

At a glance, there are 6 categories which portable air conditioners can be ranked for. These are the ones that most people are concerned when buying a portable air conditioners.

In 2022, the overall best portable air conditioner is LG LP1419IVSM. The best quiet portable air conditioner is Frigidaire GHPC132AB1. The best dual hose portable air conditioner is Whynter ARC-14S. The best small portable air conditioner is LG LP0621WSR. The best heating portable air conditioner is Black+Decker BPACT14HWT. The best cheap portable air conditioner is Midea MAP05R1WWT.

Below is the best portable air conditioners by category:

CategoryBest Portable Air Conditioner
Best OverallLG LP1419IVSM
Best QuietFrigidaire GHPC132AB1
Best Dual HoseWhynter ARC-14S
Best SmallLG LP0621WSR
Best HeatingBlack+Decker BPACT14HWT
Best CheapMidea MAP05R1WWT

Best Portable Air Conditioners by Budget

Many people shop for a portable air conditioner based on their budget so that they can better control their expenses.

From the budget standpoint, the best portable air conditioner under $500 is Whynter ARC-14S. Next, the best portable air conditioner under $400 is Black+Decker BPACT10WT. Finally, the best cheap portable air conditioner is Midea MAP05R1WWT.

Below is the best portable air conditioners by budget:

BudgetBest Portable Air Conditioner
Under $500Whynter ARC-14S
Under $400Black+Decker BPACT10WT
Under $300Midea MAP05R1WWT

Best Portable Air Conditioners by Capacity

People also choose portable air conditioners by capacity. They calculated the cooling capacity needed for a specific room and proceed to find the best portable air conditioner from there.

When based on the cooling capacity rated by DOE/SACC, the best 10,000 BTU portable air conditioner is LG LP1419IVSM. Then, the best 8,000 BTU portable air conditioner is Frigidaire GHPC132AB1 and finally, the best 6,000 BTU portable air conditioner is LG LP0621WSR.

Below is the best portable air conditioners based on DOE/SACC rated cooling capacity:

Cooling Capacity (DOE/SACC)Best Portable Air Conditioner
10,000 BTULG LP1419IVSM
8,000 BTUFrigidaire GHPC132AB1
6,000 BTULG LP0621WSR
5,000 BTUMidea MAP05R1WWT

However, people sometimes confuse the cooling capacity of portable air conditioners in DOE/SACC with ASHRAE. Generally, we should be looking at the DOE/SACC rated cooling capacity. Nonetheless, below is the best portable air conditioners based on ASHRAE rated cooling capacity:

Cooling Capacity (ASHRAE)Cooling Capacity (DOE/SACC)Best Portable Air Conditioner
12,000 BTU8,000 BTUFrigidaire GHPC132AB1
14,000 BTU10,000 BTULG LP1419IVSM
15,000 BTU10,000 BTULG LP1419IVSM
18,000 BTU12,000 BTULG LP0621WSR x 2
20,000 BTU14,000 BTULG LP1419IVSM + LG LP0621WSR

Best Portable Air Conditioners by Application

Portable air conditioners are commonly used in certain applications. Hence, some people like to buy portable air conditioners based on their needs.

When based on applications, the best portable air conditioner for apartments is LG LP0621WSR. Then, the best portable air conditioner for large rooms is LG LP1419IVSM. Next, the best portable air conditioner for the bedroom is Frigidaire GHPC132AB1 and finally, the best portable air conditioner for camping is Black+Decker BPACT08WT.

Below is the best portable air conditioners by application:

ApplicationBest Portable Air Conditioner
ApartmentLG LP0621WSR
Large RoomLG LP1419IVSM
BedroomFrigidaire GHPC132AB1
CampingBlack+Decker BPACT08WT
GarageLG LP1419IVSM
RVFrigidaire GHPC132AB1

Most people rely on reviewers to decide which portable air conditioner to buy. However, people who have doubts can choose to learn how to find the best portable air conditioner for themselves.

Review of the 10 Best Portable Air Conditioners

To review the best portable air conditioners in 2022, I did research from analyzing reputable reviewers and Amazon's customer ratings to comparing the specifications of various portable air conditioners.

So, here are the 10 best portable air conditioners in 2022:

LG LP1419IVSM
10,000 BTU (DOE/SACC)

Best Overall

LG LP1419IVSM is one of the most recommended portable air conditioners in 2022. It is nominated as one of the best portable air conditioners by 6 reputable reviewers such as Wirecutter and The Strategist. More than 70% of the customers had given LG LP1419IVSM a 5-star rating on Amazon. LG LP1419IVSM consumes about the same amount of power as many other portable air conditioners that have lower cooling capacity which makes it one of the most efficient portable air conditioners on the market. Despite being larger in cooling capacity, the noise produced by LG LP1419IVSM at the highest fan speed is lower than most portable air conditioners. When operating at the lowest fan speed, LG LP1419IVSM is one of the quietest portable air conditioners.
Value
Quietness
Efficiency

My Advise

I believe LG LP1419IVSM is the best portable air conditioner in 2022. LG is a reputable brand and I trust their quality. However, it is expensive. Besides, LG LP1419IVSM is a 10,000 BTU model. So, don't buy it for the sake of getting the best one if you don't need so much cooling power. In addition, LG sometimes have shipping issues where the packaging is damaged upon arrival. However, their customer service is responsive. Hence, if you unfortunately get a damaged unit, replacement should be quick and hassle-free. Overall, it is a good portable air conditioner to consider.

4.5

Frigidaire GHPC132AB1
8,000 BTU (DOE/SACC)

Best Quiet

Frigidaire GHPC132AB1 is one of the quietest portable air conditioners on the market. Wirecutter, a reputable appliances reviewer quoted that “this is the quietest portable AC we’ve ever tested”. It receives a remarkable 4.1 out of 5 star ratings for its quietness on Amazon. Most customers agreed that Frigidaire GHPC132AB1 is quieter than most portable air conditioners. Frigidaire GHPC132AB1 operates at around 49 dB at the highest fan speed which is even quieter than LG LP1419IVSM. Other portable air conditioners may have a lower noise level at low fan speed but Frigidaire GHPC132AB1 is still quiet even at maximum load.
Value
Quietness
Efficiency

My Advise

Frigidaire GHPC132AB1 is an expensive portable air conditioner at its cooling capacity. It also doesn't have the best rating on Amazon. However, it is a very quiet portable air conditioner, especially at high fan speed which is important because that's when you get the full cooling power. Be mindful not to confuse its cooling capacity at 13,000 BTU. It is actually a nett 8,000 BTU model. Unless you really need a very quiet portable air conditioner, there are other acceptably-quiet options out there.

4.2

Whynter ARC-14S [Dual Hose]
9,500 BTU (DOE/SACC)

Best Dual Hose

Whynter ARC-14S is recommended by 4 reputable reviewers including Popular Mechanics and The Spruce. On par with LG LP1419IVSM, Whynter ARC-14S is also one of the market's most valuable portable air conditioners. Because Whynter ARC-14S is a dual hose model, it is also one of the best dual hose portable air conditioners. Whynter ARC-14S has almost the same cooling capacity as LG LP1419IVSM but it is significantly less expensive.
Value
Quietness
Efficiency

My Advise

Whynter as a brand is recommended by many reviewers. However, I have doubt on the quality of their portable air conditioners. Compared with LG and Black+Decker, only about 60% of the customers had given it a 5-star rating for Whynter ARC-14S on Amazon. Furthermore, most critical reviews on Amazon are on quality issues. The biggest downside of Whynter ARC-14S is its noise level. Despite having a smaller cooling capacity, Whynter ARC-14S is noisier than LG LP1419IVSM. However, at about the same cooling capacity, Whynter ARC-14S is significantly cheaper than LG LP1419IVSM. What's more, it is a dual hose model. Hence, I think Whynter ARC-14S is worth considering.

4.2

LG LP0821GSSM
8,000 (DOE/SACC)

Runner Up Overall

LG LP0821GSSM is a high efficiency and affordable portable air conditioner. It is significantly more affordable than its elder brother LG LP1419IVSM and runs at about the same efficiency. Two reputable reviewers, including Good House Keeping nominated LG LP0821GSSM as one of the best portable air conditioners in 2022. It is the only highly-rated portable air conditioner that comes in a beautiful modern matt-black finish.
Value
Quietness
Efficiency

My Advise

LG LP0821GSSM is the portable air conditioner to go for if you need 8,000 BTU of cooling power. It is significantly cheaper than Frigidaire GHPC132AB1 while being one of the most efficient portable air conditioners on the market. But, it is nosier. Perhaps, not suitable for the bedroom. In the end, if you like the look of LG LP0821GSSM, it is a good choice.

4

Whynter ARC-122DS [Dual Hose]
7,000 BTU (DOE/SACC)

Runner Up Dual Hose

Whynter ARC-122DS receives the most nomination for being the best portable air conditioner of the year 2022. It is selected as one of the best portable air conditioners by 8 reputable reviewers including The Strategist and Forbes. Whynter ARC-122DS is an affordable portable air conditioner with balanced performance. It is the second best dual hose portable air conditioner after its elder brother Whynter ARC-14S.
Value
Quietness
Efficiency

My Advise

Whynter ARC-122DS is the best dual hose air conditioner to consider if you don't need so much cooling power. It is quieter than Whynter ARC-14S due to its lower cooling capacity. However, it has the same issue with being inconsistent on quality. Nonetheless, it is a dual hose model. If you need fresh air ventilation, Whynter ARC-122DS is worth considering.

3.8

LG LP0621WSR
6,000 BTU (DOE/SACC)

Best Small

LG LP0621WSR is a quality and affordable portable air conditioner. It is one of the best portable air conditioners nominated by The Strategist, a reputable reviewer. Given its cooling capacity and efficiency, it is one of the best value for money portable air conditioners.
Value
Quietness
Efficiency

My Advise

LG LP0621WSR is a good portable air conditioner at 6,000 BTU. Because it is cheaper than most portable air conditioner of the same size, it is noisier. However, LG doesn't compromise on the efficiency of LP0621WSR thereby further reduce the total cost of ownership. Hence, I think it is a great portable air conditioner for small rooms.

3.7

Black+Decker BPACT10WT
6,000 BTU (DOE/SACC)

Runner Up Small

Black+Decker BPACT10WT is one of the best portable air conditioners nominated by Forbes, a reputable reviewer. Black+Decker as a brand receives a lot more reviews on Amazon compared to other brands where about 70% of the customers had given it a 5-star rating.
Value
Quietness
Efficiency

My Advise

Black+Decker BPACT10WT is considered a budget portable air conditioner. Hence, don't expect it to be quiet and efficient. However, due to the sheer amount of positive reviews on Amazon, the probability of Black+Decker BPACT10WT being a good buy is very high. So, I would suggest to consider it if you're looking for small cooling.

3.5

Black+Decker BPACT14HWT [Heating]
7,700 BTU (DOE/SACC)

Best Heating

Black+Decker BPACT14HWT is nominated by 4 reputable reviewers including Forbes and Good House Keeping as the best portable air conditioner with heating. Black+Decker BPACT14HWT heats under the ambient temperature of 50°F (10°C). Its noise level and price is comparable to some of the lower-capacity portable air conditioners despite having an additional heating function.
Value
Quietness
Efficiency

My Advise

Black+Decker BPACT14HWT is another budget portable air conditioner but with a heating function. If you're looking for a portable air conditioner that does both heating and cooling, Black+Decker BPACT14HWT is a good choice. However, don't expect it to be quiet and efficient.

3.3

Midea MAP05R1WWT
5,000 BTU (DOE/SACC)

Best Cheap

Midea MAP05R1WT is nominated as one of the best portable air conditioners in 2022 by Popular Mechanics and The Spruce. It is one of the Amazon's choice for portable air conditioner. MAP05R1WT is the product of Midea who is one of the largest air conditioner manufacturers in the world.
Value
Quietness
Efficiency

My Advise

Midea's air conditioners are generally cheap but work. However, the downside is they are not refined. Hence, Midea MAP05R1WT is noisy. However, it is affordable and does well for the job it's intended to do. So, it is a good budget portable air conditioner to consider for small cooling.

3.2

Black+Decker BPACT08WT
4,000 BTU (DOE/SACC)

Runner Up Cheap

Black+Decker BPACT08WT is nominated by The Strategist, a reputable reviewer as one of the best portable air conditioners. Many customers have also given a high rating for Black+Decker BPACT08WT on Amazon.
Value
Quietness
Efficiency

My Advise

Black+Decker actually produces good quality portable air conditioners. However, most of them are strive for low price and thus, they are noisier and inefficient. Nonetheless, I believe Black+Decker BPACT08WT is slightly quieter than Midea MAP05R1WT.

2.8

How to Find the Best Portable Air Conditioner?

There are hundreds of portable air conditioners on the market. Even after many rounds of reviews, there are still more than 20 portable air conditioners listed as the “best” portable air conditioner. So, how do you find the one that is best for you?

Brands

The first factor to consider when finding the best portable air conditioner is the brand. Generally, there are 5 major brands that sell portable air conditioners:

  • LG
  • Whynter
  • Frigidaire
  • Black+Decker
  • Midea

A good rule of thumb is to buy a portable air conditioner from a reputable brand like the ones listed above. These brands have a higher probability in producing better products than others.

Cooling Capacity

It is very important to select the right size portable air conditioner for your room. Oversized portable air conditioners can cause high humidity issues and undersized ones simply can't provide enough cooling.

However, there are two cooling capacity ratings stated on every portable air conditioner; one is based on ASHRAE and the other one is based on DOE/SACC.

Most of the time, you want to calculate the size of the portable air conditioner you need based on DOE/SACC rated cooling capacity because it accounts for the heat gain from outside as the portable air conditioner constantly exhausting out hot air.

Many people size their portable air conditioner based on the stated cooling capacity which is mostly based on ASHRAE and not accounted for the heat gain mentioned earlier. Hence, they suffer undercooling problems.

Special Needs

There are many types of portable air conditioners available on the market. Particularly, you want to pay attention to portable air conditioners that have dual hose and a heat mode.

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As the name suggests, dual hose portable air conditioners come with two hoses; one for the intake air and the other one for the exhaust air. This type of portable air conditioner allows you to circulate fresh air into your room which provides ventilation and improves air quality.

On the other hand, portable air conditioners with heat mode give you both heating and cooling capabilities. So, you may not need to buy a separate space heater.

However, portable air conditioners with these two features are less common and more expensive.

Noise Level

Portable air conditioners by nature are noisy compared to other types of room air conditioners such as mini splits. Nonetheless, choosing a portable air conditioner that creates noise on the lower end can help.

Most of the time, you want to get a portable air conditioner that produces a noise level of around 52 dB when operating at the highest fan speed. Anything below that is considered very good and those units can be more expensive too.

Other Features

As we don't interact with portable air conditioners very much, their features don't really matter. However, it is nice to have a few ones as follow:

  • Super low fan speed mode – Further reduce the noise level in exchange for lower cooling power.
  • Remote controller – More convenience.
  • Sleep mode – Turn off gradually to save power.

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Portable air conditioner recommended by 6 reputable reviewers. Low noise operation and high efficiency. More than 70% 5-star rating on Amazon.

  • Low noise at 44 dB
  • High efficiency
  • 2022 best portable AC

Yu Chang Zhen

I enjoy working on air conditioners and ventilation fans because Malaysia is a very hot country.

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