An air conditioner that runs on a 12 volt outlet can work with a cigarette lighter in a car or on a car battery. It is also possible to use a 12 volt marine air conditioner on your boat.
12 Volt Air Conditioner – For the Budget Conscious
The most popular 12 volt portable air conditioner that you can find these days is the Kooleraire unit available from Amazon for about $40. This portable 12 volt air conditioner was designed by camping and boating enthusiasts who were looking for a way to keep cool during the sweltering summer months. It can cool spaces up to 25 square feet, ideal for boat cabins or tents.
The Kooleraire is indeed convenient. You attach the unit on top of an ice chest filled with ice, Blue Ice, or frozen water bottles. The Kooleraire unit is mounted on top of the cooler and circulates the cold air with its powerful fan. It pulls the hot air out of the room and then cools it in the ice chest.
According to Kooleraire, this unit can provide a 30-degree drop in room temperature. If you use this unit as a 12 volt auto air conditioner, Kooleraire advises you to keep the car windows slightly cracked to allow the hot air to escape.
In spite of its claims, the Kooleraire does not rate particularly well amongst users. In particular, reviewers claim that the unit does not adequately cool cars during summer months. Other uses argue that it is a pain to search for ice or frozen water bottles when out and about.
You can pick up at Kooleraire here.
A 12 Volt Portable Air Conditioner and Fan
With so many mixed reviews for the Kooleraire, perhaps a better choice is a 12 volt unit that is a fan.
The Fan-Tastic Endless Breeze unit (cost $70) is a powerful and highly-reviewed 12 volt fan that you can use in your tent, car, rv, or boat. It comes with three powerful fan speeds and can provide as much breeze as a wind clocking in at 10MPH.
This tiny unit is just over a foot high and runs on a 12 volt source. It also folds down for easy transport and weighs less than five pounds.
Reviewers tend to love this unit, commenting on its excellent quality, sturdy design, and quiet motor. Other users praise its low-energy consumption and state that this unit will not draw down your car battery very much.
You can pick up the Fan-Tastic here.
12 Volt Air Conditioner – The Bottom Line
You have two different options if you are looking for a 12 volt air conditioner to use when you are on the go, but users seem to like the Fan-Tastic Endless Breeze fan far more than the Kooleaire portable 12 volt air conditioner.