What Is the Best Portable Air Conditioner to Buy?

best portable air conditioner for wine cellar
Knowing what is the best portable air conditioner to buy is not that hard at all. Portable ACs have increased in popularity over the past few years. Lots of people use them. There are some people who still use them in spite of the fact that they already have a central air system. This is because of their excellent cooling power for the cost. The costs are substantially lower for using these great little machines.

Our favorite portable ac is the Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner (ARC-14S). This is a great unit that can be used year round since it comes with a heater in addition to its cooling capability. You really cannot go wrong with the Whynter.

Here are a few of the pros and cons involved with mobile AC units.

Portable ACs are self-contained units. They are generally around 30″ tall and weigh approximately 80 lbs. One really great benefit is that the require NO INSTALLATION. They stand on the floor without any need to fit them into a window space or mount them onto a wall. Most of them come on casters or wheels for easy moving.


1. A great benefit to portable ACs is being able to move them wherever you want them. It saves the costs involved with putting in a window air conditioner unit for each individual room.

2. When you use a portable AC to cool a room that is being used, it saves money when compared to having to turn on the central air to cool just the one room. The cost savings are amazing.


1. One drawback, if any, is in the cost of a portable AC unit. They can run a bit higher than a normal window unit. However, they save it back plus over time.

2. When compared to the central air conditioning units and the split ac systems, where a compressor outside is necessary, portable ACs can be loud. If noise will be an issue in your home, then you should shop around for one that is as quiet as you can find. Some are more quiet than others. Check out a few reviews online. Some retail stores will let you start one up before buying, to check out the noise levels.

Are Portable ACs Effective for Cooling Large Rooms?

The answer to this will depend on how big of a unit you buy. You have to match the machine with the job. The means knowing how much space you want it to cool. The smaller portable units that have a capacity of around 8000 BTUs, will easily be able to handle a room that is about 300 square feet.

The larger units, like a 24,000 BTU conditioner (like the MovinCool Classic Plus 26 24,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner With Dual Fan Speeds), can handle a room that is approximately 1,000 square feet. It is important that you get the right size for the job. Always remember that the size of the unit does not necessarily mean it is better. Using an AC that is too big for the job leads to consuming more energy than is necessary, thus adding to the costs of running it. You want to maintain efficiency at all times.

Portable AC Energy Efficiency

We all know that an air conditioner can eat up lots of energy. Efficiency is a huge topic in regard to ACs. Today there have been great technological developments improving on the efficiency of ACs. Only a few years ago the acceptable energy efficiency ratio (EER) was around six or seven, but today the standard has gone up to twelve or above.

Today’s modern portable ACs like match up head to head with the likes of window units and the mini-splits. When shopping for an efficient model be sure to check out what its EER is. The higher this is, the better. Another good tip is to select a unit that is carrying an Energy Star. This means it has met the energy efficiency guidelines laid out by the EPA and the DOE.

How Affordable Are Mobile ACs?

It might surprise you to find out that these units are totally affordable. Prices have come down significantly in the last few years. Today you can purchase a really nice unit for around $300. The larger and more powerful the unit, the more it will cost. The good news is, after using a unit for a while, whatever costs you put out are going to come back to you plus in energy savings.


If you are without an air conditioner, and really don’t want to invest in central air, the these portable AC units are great alternatives. Even if you DO have central air already, investing in one of the portables can save you a nice chunk of change if you use it effectively.

Related posts: