Best Portable Air Conditioner

Summer is here. Amazon is a convenient place to get a good portable air conditioner. But, there are more than 50 portable ACs listed as Amazon’s best sellers. So, which one is the best for you?

Right off the bat, if I’m shopping for a portable air conditioner on Amazon, I will buy the Midea MAP08R1CWT 3-in-1 portable air conditioner for my 150 sqft room. Midea MAP08R1CWT 3-in-1 portable air conditioner was ranked #1 as the best seller on Amazon.

While I was researching for the best portable air conditioner on Amazon, I realized that there are so many best sellers. I thought the best ones should be a handful of it only. Thus, I shortlisted my top 5 picks:

  • Best Seller: Midea MAP08R1CWT 3-in-1 5300 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
  • Powerful yet Affordable: BLACK+DECKER BPT06WTB 6000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
  • Highest Satisfaction: BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT 5000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
  • Most Portable One: Vremi 6000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
  • Quality Korea Brand: LG 6000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

To pick my favourite one, I have to read all the product specifications, customer comments, product user manuals and visit the brand official website where available to get more information. As expected, I found some of the little things that matter but not shown on the product page.

Portable ACsPower Cord LengthHose LengthNoise LevelSuitable Window Size
Midea 5300 BTU
(My Pick)
6.2 ft5 ft51.5 – 55 dB26.5″ – 48″
6000 BTU
5.9 ft5 ft50 – 54 dB20.5″ – 50″
5000 BTU
7 ft5 ft49 – 51 dB20.5″ – 59″
Vremi 6000 BTU5.1 ft5.6 ft51 dB20″ – 53″
LG 6000 BTU5 ft5 ft50 – 53 dB18″ – 50″

Many portable air conditioners don’t show the power cord and hose length clearly on their produce page which both of the metrics are always asked by customers because they want to know how far they can pull it. Furthermore, the noise level I feel like manufacturers are a bit “hidy” (if I can create that word). They don’t like to show the noise level because it is the major disadvantage of portable ACs.

Here is my impression on each of the portable ACs after the research:

Portable ACsWhat I LikeWhat I Don’t Like
Midea 5300 BTU
(My Pick)
Nice looking, good China brandSide vent direct blow sometimes is not comfortable
6000 BTU
A lot of features! Especially the child-lockMany comments on the problem of window kits installation
BLACK+DECKER 5000 BTULow price but very good customer ratingsVent doesn’t look like can close, insect may go inside
Vremi 6000 BTULong hose length, more flexibleFront bright LED light is disturbing at night
LG 6000 BTUGot filter reminder, so coolNot much information on the product

Product Line Up and Specifications

5300 BTU
(My Pick)
6000 BTU
5000 BTU
6000 BTU
6000 BTU
53.7 lb53.9 lb52.9 lb53.9 lb54.2 lb
CEER 6.5CEER 6.51CEER 6.51
Remote ControlRemote ControlRemote ControlRemote ControlRemote Control
Auto Mode
Cool ModeCool ModeCool ModeCool ModeCool Mode
Dry ModeDry ModeDry ModeDry ModeDry Mode
Fan ModeFan ModeFan ModeFan ModeFan Mode
Sleep ModeSleep ModeSleep ModeSleep Mode
Turbo ModeTurbo Mode
Follow MeFollow Me
Filter Reminder
White ColorWhite ColorWhite ColorWhite ColorWhite Color

List of Modes and Features:

  • Auto mode – Select cool/heat/dry/fan automatically based on the set temperature.
  • Cool mode – For cooling only.
  • Dry mode – Dehumidification.
  • Sleep mode – Save energy while you sleep by manipulating the temperature.
  • Turbo mode – For fast cooling.
  • Timer – Schedule on/off.
  • Follow me – Switch to control based on the temperature around the remote controller.
  • Filter reminder – Show indication when the filter needs to be cleaned.

Some of the specifications I listed above are not shown on the product page. If you want to know more about them, you’ll need to view the user manual available on the product page. If it’s not found, try google the brand and model and check on their official website.

What Size Air Conditioner Should You Use?

Portable air conditioners have two cooling capacities listed on their product specification. The ASHRAE cooling capacity is determined just like other air conditioners. However, it was discovered that the ASHRAE rated cooling capacity is not suitable for portable air conditioners.

Because portable air conditioners throw out hot air, it creates a negative pressure in a room which the outside air naturally infiltrates back into the room. Thus, a new testing method was developed to indicate the actual cooling capacity. Therefore, the SACC cooling capacity was introduced in 2017.

Hence, we should always refer to SACC cooling capacity when looking at portable air conditioners (all capacity written in this article is SACC). Below is the capacity guide from Energy Star:

Room SizeCapacity Needed
100 – 150 sqftHeavily Shaded = 4500 BTU
Normal Shade = 5000 BTU
Very Sunny = 5500 BTU
150 – 250 sqftHeavily Shaded = 5400 BTU
Normal Shade = 6000 BTU
Very Sunny = 6600 BTU
250 – 300 sqftHeavily Shaded = 6300 BTU
Normal Shade = 7000 BTU
Very Sunny = 7700 BTU
300 – 350 sqftHeavily Shaded = 7200 BTU
Normal Shade = 8000 BTU
Very Sunny = 8800 BTU
350 – 400 sqftHeavily Shaded = 8100 BTU
Normal Shade = 9000 BTU
Very Sunny = 9900 BTU

“If more than two people regularly occupy the room, add 600 BTUs for each additional person. If the unit is used in a kitchen, increase capacity by 4,000 BTUs. Consider where you install the unit. If you are mounting an air conditioner near the corner of a room, look for a unit that can send the airflow in the right direction.”

Energy Star, Buying Guidance

Final Thought

BLACK+DECKER is a very good company that produces some of the best portable air conditioners. However, I still prefer the Midea MAP08R1CWT 3-in-1 portable air conditioner mostly due to the nice square looking, to be honest. Not only that, it has more features than others.

Midea is the brand name of the Midea Group which is a China public listed company that founded in 1968. Midea is one of the top manufacturers of air conditioners. Their air conditioners are very popular in Southeast Asia and many countries in the world.

My rule of thumb when buying air conditioners is always go for the popular brand, it’s hard to screw up.

Yu Chang Zhen

Yu was working in the air conditioning industry for the past 7 years, covering from design to installation and maintenance. Yu wish to share all the things he learned with the people around the world.

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