After analyzing 20 different units, which we then tested for over 100 hours, our recommendation for the best portable air conditioner is the LG – 12,000 BTU. It’s powerful, energy-efficient, quiet enough to allow you to sleep consistently and mobile enough to port around to any room without inconvenience. By the way, BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. BTUs are a unit of measurement that expresses the amount of energy used to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
What other brands crushed the competition? #2 Whynter – 14,000 BTU Double Hose #3 Haier – 12,000 Single Hose #4 Honeywell – 10,000BTU Single Hose Before going over our top-picks, you can check out links in the description below for more detail on portable AC units. There’s also a link there to the full review on our blog post. With a portable air conditioner review comes great testing responsibility. Not only did we explore each unit’s ability to properly cool various room types at various temperature types, but how quickly the units were able to do so.
We ran each unit on high for one hour and measured the temperature from start to finish. Other important features to note: control options like remote access and timers, energy efficiency, and the noise level during both start-up and while running, which is especially important during sleeping. We chose the LG – 12,000 BTU as our winner. It’s quiet, portable, powerful, energy efficient and not too pricey either. The LG was significantly quieter than the other finalists, especially in its ongoing noise level, generating 70 decibels at its highest point.
This was pretty impressive due to the fact that the LG was the most powerful unit.
So, no more awesome dream interruptions. The LG’s cooling power was most prevalent in our 175 square-foot office test, significantly outperforming the other finalists and actually left the room cold — something these units can rarely accomplish.
And don’t let the strange tube fool you — the LG was extremely portable for easy transport and is one of the lightest and smallest finalists as well.
Another great feature if you don’t want the unit to stand out too much.
The Whynter – 14,000 BTU Double Hose was a strong contender and our runner-up. Although it costs $80 more than the LG, it does back that up with additional features such as its ability to take on large spaces and doubling as a heater. The Whynter really shined in our 400 square feet test, averaging -0.051 degrees Fahrenheit per minute, which, in an hour, equated to one degree cooler than the LG.
We did fault the Whynter for its higher cost and being the loudest, enough to disrupt your peaceful dreams. The Haier – 12,000 Single Hose became one of our favorites due to its compact size and low noise levels, only being beat in performance by our winner, the LG.
While the Haier is pretty quiet, if you’re a light sleeper, be aware of the possibility of sleep disruption. The Haier also shined in moisture removal.
Consistently staying in the 101 and 100 range of pints per day respectively.
If you live in a humid environment, the Haier is probably the best all-around choice for you.
It’s also important to note that the Haier performed at the bottom of the pack in energy efficiency. Its EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio), which is barely above government mandates, but that still doesn’t mean it’s going to cost you a lot more. The Honeywell – 10,000 BTU Single Hose is a very popular choice.
With solid Amazon reviews and owning the low-end of cost in the market, the Honeywell as our budget pick was almost a no-brainer. However, by no means were we ecstatic with this product. Compared to the Hair and LG, it’s hard to move. In addition, in hotter environments, it really only functions as a cold fan, not an air conditioner.
Overall, it’s still a solid product for the price, but we’ll be sticking with the LG. Remember, the LG was significantly quieter, while still performing on the high-end in overall power, leaving our room cold — something these units can rarely accomplish. And to top it all off, its easy mobility and discrete design really makes this pick feel like an easy decision. Like the article?
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Check out the description for product links and we’ll see you next time on Your Best Digs.