Units that use refrigerant to keep the air cool are better suited for cooling small rooms, while evaporative units typically work better in cars without a built in air conditioning system.
We’ve tested two different types of portable air conditioner for car options: the The Original Handy Cooler Small Fan & Mini-Air Conditioner, Black and the Kooleraire 12 Volt Portable Air Conditioner.
The Kooleraire received pretty mixed reviews from our team. While they liked the idea behind the unit, it did not offer great cooling.
The Handy Cooler was a cheaper and easier solution to keeping the car cool.
Though we didn’t actually test it, we’ve also heard good things about the GoCool 12V Portable Semi Truck Cab Air Conditioner For Camping Tent & RV Camper. The price on this one is a bit steep, though.
The average portable air conditioner for a car is usually more energy efficient than the typical room cooler so it is less expensive to operate. In fact, you can run most of them off of batteries or through your cigarette lighter. The simple construction of these units features outlet openings, a heat exchanger, a fan, an inlet pipe and a cover that provides insulation.
An evaporative cooler transfers heat to a water reservoir using a 12-volt power converter that is built into the system. These units require no outside venting but the user must remember to refill the reservoir to ensure optimum performance.
When purchasing an AC unit for a vehicle, you should consider those with special features such as high quality purification filters and dehumidifiers. Filters remove germs and other pollutants from the air while the dehumidifier maintains a 45% humidity level inside the vehicle. You will find a variety of models made by different manufacturers and should compare the various features and prices to find the best deal available before making a final purchasing decision.
Portable cooling units offer consumers many benefits. These systems are simple to operate and unlike many window air conditioner units designed for cooling air in buildings, they are quiet and operate without vibration.
One of the most important advantages is the ease with which these units can be relocated. When necessary, they can cool a small bedroom or other living space. Some consumers may find that they can use the air conditioner they purchase for their car inside the home as well saving the need to purchase multiple units for use in different locations.