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:
|Category||Best Portable Air Conditioner|
|Best Overall||LG LP1419IVSM|
|Best Quiet||Frigidaire GHPC132AB1|
|Best Dual Hose||Whynter ARC-14S|
|Best Small||LG LP0621WSR|
|Best Heating||Black+Decker BPACT14HWT|
|Best Cheap||Midea 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:
|Budget||Best Portable Air Conditioner|
|Under $500||Whynter ARC-14S|
|Under $400||Black+Decker BPACT10WT|
|Under $300||Midea 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 BTU||LG LP1419IVSM|
|8,000 BTU||Frigidaire GHPC132AB1|
|6,000 BTU||LG LP0621WSR|
|5,000 BTU||Midea 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 BTU||8,000 BTU||Frigidaire GHPC132AB1|
|14,000 BTU||10,000 BTU||LG LP1419IVSM|
|15,000 BTU||10,000 BTU||LG LP1419IVSM|
|18,000 BTU||12,000 BTU||LG LP0621WSR x 2|
|20,000 BTU||14,000 BTU||LG 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:
|Application||Best Portable Air Conditioner|
|Large Room||LG LP1419IVSM|
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:
10,000 BTU (DOE/SACC)
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.
8,000 BTU (DOE/SACC)
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.
Whynter ARC-14S [Dual Hose]
9,500 BTU (DOE/SACC)
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.
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.
Whynter ARC-122DS [Dual Hose]
7,000 BTU (DOE/SACC)
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.
6,000 BTU (DOE/SACC)
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.
6,000 BTU (DOE/SACC)
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.
Black+Decker BPACT14HWT [Heating]
7,700 BTU (DOE/SACC)
5,000 BTU (DOE/SACC)
4,000 BTU (DOE/SACC)
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?
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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- Low noise at 44 dB
- High efficiency
- 2022 best portable AC