As spring heads into summer, and the air around us begins to heat up, many people may find themselves on the market for a new portable air conditioner. Portable air conditioners offer the advantage of flexibility: they can cool us down no matter what room we're in, and they don't require us to spend the sort of money on power bills that whole-home air conditioning does. So if you think a portable air conditioner might be in your future, we're here to help, with this expert-picked list of the best portable air conditioners of 2021.
This unit from Friedrich's ZoneAire Series offers up to a full 13,000 BTU of cooling capacity. With its modern 3-in-1 system, it also provides heating and dehumidification on demand. Its Unique Sleep Control function helps keep the temperature low when you head to bed and then gradually increases it two degrees every four hours, saving on energy costs. The control panel on the top of the unit features a large LED display, along with a simple-to-use rotary dial fan and temperature adjustment. Finally, washable antimicrobial dual filters keep the air that you breathe pure and fresh.
This 19-in. unit from Frigidaire also provides up to 13,000 BTU of cooling capacity, in addition to serving as a 7,600 BTU heater when desired. With Sleep Mode, you can go to sleep comfortably cool and allow the unit to gradually increase the temperature over the course of the night, saving you money on power bills. A programmable 24-hour On/Off timer makes it easy to set the unit's cooling schedule, so that you'll feel comfortable the minute you walk in the door from work, and three fan speeds along with a handy remote control give you the flexibility you need to maintain maximum comfort. And should the power ever go out, the unit will restart automatically when it's restored, so you can go on with your day.
This portable air conditioner from GE comes with 8,500 BTU of cooling capacity, making it an excellent choice for cooling rooms of up to 250 sq. ft. Three fan speeds along with a remote control help you maintain the perfect temperature with ease. The unit even offers a fan mode and dehumidifying capability for when cooler air isn't exactly what you need. A 24-hour timer allows you to set a cooling schedule for your space, so you don't have to worry about constantly turning the unit on and off. The digital thermostat is easy to control, and with auto evaporation technology, there's no water pan you'll need to deal with emptying. This unit also utilizes an eco-friendly refrigerant that does not harm the environment and can be treated safely.
This portable unit from LG offers up to 6,000 BTU of cooling capacity. As with many LG products, it's particularly notable for its quiet technology, operating at sound levels as low as 50 dB. With 3 in 1 Operation, you can choose from cool, fan, or dry modes, allowing you to recirculate or dehumidify air when cooling isn't exactly what you need. The LED display, simple control panel, and handy remote control make it extra easy to adjust settings and temperature to your liking, and with the 24-hour on/off timer, you can schedule the unit's operation according to your own habits. As a bonus, the auto- restart feature will turn the unit on again automatically when power is restored after an outage.
Offering up to 12,000 BTU of cooling capacity, this portable air conditioner from Emerson is great for cooling spaces up to 400 sq. ft. What's more, it seemingly has it all. Its smart capabilities allow you to interact with it from anywhere using Amazon Alexa or Google Home, and you can choose from three fan speeds and four modes: Cool, Dry, Fan, and Heat. A 24-hour timer allows you to set the unit's schedule and forget it, and a handy remote control lets you change settings or temperature from anywhere in the room. Auto-evaporation technology means no drip pan is necessary, and a washable filter keeps your environment healthy with minimal hassle on your part.
What should I look for when buying a portable air conditioner?
When deciding on a portable air conditioner, it will be important to choose a model that has enough power to cool your space effectively. You will also want to consider what ventilation needs the model has, and whether it will work with your space. You can see the amount of BTUs you need based on your space's size here.
Can I leave a portable air conditioner on all day?
Leaving a portable air conditioner on all day is not generally recommended because doing so can waste electricity and raise power bills unnecessarily. Portable air conditioners are meant mainly to cool spaces as needed.