Best Smallest Portable Air Conditioners 2020 (Expert Guide)


Portable air conditioners provide you with the convenience of easy installation and portability so you can move it and use it in any room you want be it at home or in the office. But their size also plays an important role in terms of cooling power and the space they occupy in a room. If you have a small room, then a small portable air conditioner is your best bet for getting the efficient cooling you deserve. This detailed guide on choosing the best smallest portable air conditioners 2020 has been created to cater to those who want to cool a small room at home effectively and efficiently without getting any hot spots.

Why is it a smart move to choose a small portable AC? Well to be honest, most of the portable ACs weigh in at about 50 to 80 pounds. And while they can be moved with ease from room to room, the setup process is usually not that easy. The weight combined with the setup time and effort means that most portable ACs only stay in one place as needed.

But if you choose the smallest portable AC, you can cool a small room more efficiently and the unit will occupy only a small amount of space in your room. In fact according to the U.S Department of Energy, an air conditioner that’s too big for an area that it’s supposed to cool will perform less effectively and efficiently than a smaller and properly sized unit suitable for the room you want to cool. A small AC will also cool down a room comfortably without using unnecessary energy.

With all this in mind, here are our top 8 picks for the best smallest portable air conditioners in 2020. Simply choose any unit reviewed below and cool down your room effectively, efficiently and comfortably during those hot summer months.

Best Smallest Portable Air Conditioners 2020

1.Honeywell MO08CESWK Compact Portable Air Conditioner

Honeywell MO08CESWK

The Honeywell MO08CESWK portable air conditioner includes everything needed to start cooling a small space. You get a lightweight air conditioner, along with an installation kit, and remote control.

If you want to temporarily cool a room or office, take a closer look at the Honeywell MO08CESWK compact portable air conditioner.

Overview of the Honeywell MO08CESWK

The Honeywell MO08CESWK includes multiple operating modes, fan speeds, and a built-in dehumidifier, for complete control over your comfort, along with these features:

  • 8000 BTU air conditioner
  • Designed for rooms up to 350 square feet
  • Measures 14.6 x 13.5 x 27.7 inches
  • Weighs about 43 pounds

The MO08CESWK portable air conditioner is lighter and more compact compared to most options. It also includes side handles and rolling caster wheels for easy transport.

Operating Modes and Dehumidifier Options

With the Honeywell MO08CESWK, you get the normal operating modes, including cool, fan, and dehumidify. It also features two fan speeds and a smart digital humidistat for more accurate and efficient cooling.

The dehumidifier is equipped with an auto-evaporation system and allows you to connect a drain line for continuous draining. When used in a room that does not exceed the recommended size, it can remove up to 44 pints of moisture from the air each day.

Pros and Cons of the Honeywell Portable AC Unit

This portable air conditioner from Honeywell includes most of the standard features that you expect. It is equipped with three operating modes, a digital display, and wheels for easy transport. However, it does include a few extra advantages, including:

  • Effective dehumidifier
  • Quiet operation
  • Easy to install

Most AC units can remove moisture. However, this Honeywell portable air conditioner is effective at evaporating the collected water. Unless your home is very humid, you should not need to frequently empty the water reservoir.

The Honeywell MO08CESWK is also relatively quiet compared to other air conditioners in the same category. Even when using the highest settings, the air conditioner should not produce enough noise to create a disturbance.

Portable air conditioners are notorious for being difficult to install. They use window installation kits that require you to connect a hose from the AC unit to the window to vent warm air. Luckily, the installation kit works easily with most types of windows.

One issue that some customers have with this unit is the discharge vent. The adjustable louvers do not allow you to direct the air flow more toward the ceiling or ground.

Another potential drawback is the placement of the digital display. Instead of placing it on the front of the unit where it is easily visible, the display is on top of the unit. You need to stand above the air conditioner to view the display.

Is the Honeywell MO08CESWK a Good Buy?

The Honeywell MO08CESWK provides a convenient solution for cooling a small space. The only issues are related to the design of the portable air conditioners. The discharge vent is not as adjustable as some options and the digital display is on top of the unit.

Despite a couple of design issues, the Honeywell MO08CESWK is still a top choice for rooms measuring up to 350 square feet. The portability, quiet operation, and overall performance help it stand out from comparable portable air conditioners.

2.EdgeStar AP8000W Portable Air Conditioner

EdgeStar AP8000W

The EdgeStar AP8000W Portable Air Conditioner is a compact unit designed to cool rooms measuring up to 250 square feet. It is one of the most compact portable air conditioners and provides several features. If you want to stay cool this summer, you should explore these features in more detail.

Overview of the EdgeStar AP8000W Portable AC Unit

With the EdgeStar AP8000W portable air conditioner, you receive 8000 BTUs of cooling power, which is intended for use in small rooms. The manufacturer recommends it for rooms between 150 and 250 square feet. Other details to consider include:

  • Measures 13.2 x 19.2 x 23.8 inches
  • Weighs 56 pounds
  • Comes with a remote control

The provided window install kit allows you to set up your air conditioner in just minutes. You simply connect the hose to the air conditioner and the window kit before placing the window vent in your window.

Cooling Modes and Additional Settings

The EdgeStar AP8000W portable air conditioner includes cool, dehumidify, and fan modes, along with three fan speeds. Other settings include a 24-hour programmable timer and adjustable air discharge louvers.

As with most portable air conditioners, you may switch to the dehumidifier mode to reduce the humidity in your room. It can remove up to 50 pints of moisture per day and most of the liquid gets evaporated through the auto evaporation system.

This portable air conditioner also includes an automatic restart setting. With this feature, the air conditioner stores your current settings. If the power goes out, the air conditioner will resume using these settings when the power comes back on.

Pros and Cons of the EdgeStar AP8000W Portable Air Conditioner

Along with the standard features that are included with the EdgeStar AP8000W, you get a few extra benefits to help keep your room comfortable on a hot day:

  • Compact design requires less space
  • Uses two filters to help clean the air
  • Energy efficient operation

The EdgeStar AP8000W is one of the most compact units designed for 250-square-foot rooms. It only requires 13.2 x 19.2 inches of floor space and stands just 23.8 inches tall.

This portable air conditioner may also help eliminate pollutants from the air in your room. It includes a washable pre-filter and a replaceable filter. The pre-filter is a silver ion coated filter, while the replaceable filter uses activated carbon to clean the air.

Another benefit is the energy efficiency of this unit. You can operate the EdgeStar AP8000W for less than $1 per day. It offers an affordable option for staying cool throughout the summer without increasing your energy costs.

There are no disadvantages to this unit, other than the noise level. Some customers find this air conditioner to be a little bit noisier than other portable air conditioners.

Who Should Consider Buying the EdgeStar AP8000W Portable AC Unit?

The EdgeStar AP8000W is recommended for anyone that needs an affordable air conditioner for a small room. It works best in small spaces measuring up to 250 square feet. It is also a great option for those with limited space, thanks to the compact design.

Overall, the EdgeStar AP8000W may offer the best solution for energy efficient cooling in an apartment, office, or small bedroom.

3.Whynter 8000 BTU Eco-Friendly Portable Air Conditioner

Whynter 8,000 BTU Eco-Friendly

The Whynter 8000 BTU air conditioner is a portable unit with three standard operating modes and lead-free refrigerant.

For those searching for an effective portable air conditioner, explore the main features of the Whynter 8000 BTU Eco-Friendly Portable Air Conditioner.

Overview of the Whynter 8000 BTU Air Conditioner

With the Whynter 8000 BTU portable air conditioner, you should have no problem keeping a small room cool on a hot day. You may also enjoy the following details:

  • Designed for rooms up to 250 square feet
  • 8000 BTUs of cooling power
  • Measures 17 x 28 x 13.6 inches
  • Weighs 64 pounds

This portable air conditioner includes a standard window install kit and a single hose to vent warm air out of your room. When properly installed, the air conditioner should easily help cool small rooms.

Available Operating Modes and Settings

The Whynter 8000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner offers three operating modes – cool, dehumidify, and fan. There are also two fan speeds and a 24-hour on/off timer.

The dehumidifier helps to remove up to 45.6 pints of moisture from the air each day. It also includes an auto evaporation system to help limit the number of times that you need to empty the water reservoir. While you have the option to install a drain line, it does not come with a hose for continuous draining.

Pros and Cons of the Whynter 8000 BTU Portable AC Unit

Besides the various operating modes and auto evaporation system, the Whynter 8000 BTU air conditioner offers a few important advantages, such as:

  • Effective cooling for small rooms
  • Quiet operation
  • Compact design
  • 2-in-1 washable filter

The Whynter 8000 BTU air conditioner includes a compact design that makes it easy to transport and position in your room. It is also incredibly effective. While it is intended for rooms measuring up to 250 square feet, you may consider using it in rooms that slightly exceed this recommendation.

Compared to other portable air conditioners, this Whynter AC unit is relatively quiet. If you are a light sleeper, you should not have any problems trying to sleep while this air conditioner is operating. It produces less than 53 decibels, which is quieter than many AC units with the same cooling power.

This portable air conditioner also includes a washable filter. While most AC units include a filter, this is a 2-in-1 filter. It includes a silver ion coated washable pre-filter and an activated carbon filter, allowing you to clean and cool the air in your room.

One potential disadvantage of this portable air conditioner is the cost. The Whynter 8,000 BTU air conditioner costs a little more than some of your other options. However, with this increased cost, you are getting an efficient air conditioner.

Conclusion – Is This the Best Portable Air Conditioner?

The Whynter 8000 BTU air conditioner may not be the best overall portable air conditioner. However, it does offer the best value. It is relatively affordable and provides efficient cooling that may allow you to exceed the recommended room size of 250 square feet.

4.LG LP0817WSR 115V Portable Air Conditioner

LG LP0817WSR 115V Portable Air Conditioner

The sleek LG LP0817WSR is a portable air conditioner that should blend right in with the other décor in your room. This unobtrusive appliance is built for small spaces, but provides a variety of advantages that you may not get from other air conditioners.

Overview of the LG LP0817WSR Portable Air Conditioner

The LG LP0817WSR is a small, easy to transport portable air conditioner. It includes many of the features that you may expect. You get multiple operating modes, a remote control, and a washable filter. However, it also offers the following:

  • 8000 BTUs (5500 DOE 2017 standard)
  • Measures 23.7 x 18.7 x 16 inches
  • Weighs 71 pounds
  • Available in white or graphite gray

This 8000 BTU unit is only intended for rooms measuring up to 150 square feet. If you need to cool a larger space, this same air conditioner is available in larger sizes, including a model designed to accommodate rooms up to 500 square feet.

Operating Modes and Dehumidifier Options

With the LG LP0817WSR portable air conditioner, you can switch between cool, dehumidify, and fan. There are also two fan speeds, a 24-hour on/off timer, and an auto evaporation system.

The dehumidifier includes a water reservoir which requires occasional emptying, even with the auto evaporation system. However, you also have the option of connecting a drain line for continuous draining.

Pros and Cons of the LG LP0817WSR Portable AC Unit

The LG LP0817WSR is a compact unit and designed for smaller rooms. However, it does provide several benefits that you may enjoy on a hot day, including:

  • Automatically adjusted louvers
  • Simple installation process
  • Remote control with LED display

The discharge vent is placed on the top of the unit, along with the LCD display. It also features automatically adjusted louvers, which adjusts the direction of the air flow to help eliminate hot spots. When used in a room that does not exceed the size recommendations, you should get even cooling.

Installing this unit is also easy. Like most portable air conditioners, it includes a window installation kit. It should work with most windows with widths or heights between 18 and 50 inches.

Another useful feature is the provided remote control. While many of these portable air conditioners include remote controls, this one includes an LED screen to display the current settings and temperature. As the LCD display on the unit is on the top of the appliance, this allows you to view the current settings without getting up from your seat.

The LG LP0817WSR portable air conditioner does not have any major drawbacks to be concerned about. However, it does offer limited cooling power. It is intended for rooms up to 150 square feet, which is a very small space. If you exceed this recommendation, the efficiency of the unit decreases.

Conclusion – Why Should You Buy This Air Conditioner?

The LG LP0817WSR is a small portable air conditioner that is built for very small rooms. It is also affordable, easy to install, and includes a remote control with an LED display. In the end, it is one of the best portable air conditioners for those with a limited budget and a small room.

5.NewAir AC-10100E Ultra Compact 10000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

NewAir AC-10100E Ultra Compact 10,000

The slim NewAir AC-10100E portable air conditioner is designed to take up as little space as possible, while also effectively cooling your room. With 10,000 BTUs of cooling power, this compact machine should work in rooms measuring up to 325 square feet.

Overview of the NewAir AC-10100E 10000 BTU Air Conditioner

The main details to consider when selecting a portable air conditioner include its portability, ease of use, and overall performance. The NewAir AC-10100E offers quality results in each of these areas, thanks to the following features:

  • 10000 BTUs of cooling power
  • Measures 12.13 x 15.13 x 29.75 inches
  • Weighs 48 pounds
  • LCD display
  • Washable filter

This portable air conditioner is designed for easy installation and includes a window kit that works with windows measuring up to 42 inches. If you have a larger window, there are window spacers that you can purchase separately to get a good fit.

Cooling Options and Extra Features of the AC-10100E

With the NewAir AC-10100E air conditioner, you have complete control over the temperature in your room. It includes the standard operating modes, along with a sleep mode and a 12-hour programmable timer.

Like most portable air conditioners, the AC-10100E includes an auto evaporation system. However, you may still need to empty the water reservoir, depending on the humidity levels in your region.

Pros and Cons of the NewAir AC-10100E Air Conditioner

Why should you think about getting this air conditioner? The NewAir AC-10100E provides the following benefits compared to other units in the same price range:

  • Efficient cooling
  • Easy installation
  • Easy to transport

You do not need to wait long for the NewAir AC-10100E to start cooling your room. As soon as you turn the appliance on, it starts blasting cool air. It also has a high-efficiency rating. The Energy Efficiency Ratio (ERR) is over 11, which means that you spend less to keep your room cool.

This NewAir portable air conditioner is also easy to install. The provided window kit works with most windows and the hose is easy to connect. Due to the slim, lightweight design, this portable air conditioner is also easy to carry and store.

The most common complaints include the design of the display panel and the discharge vent. On the display panel, the buttons feature icons instead of labels, which may confuse some users.

The discharge vent also lacks angle adjustments for directing the air flow upward or downward. For some users, this may result in hot spots.

Last Thoughts on the NewAir AC-10100E Air Conditioner

The NewAir AC-10100E portable air conditioner is one of the top choices for those that want reliable cooling for rooms up to 325 square feet. It is one of the easier portable air conditioners to install and the small frame is not too difficult to carry.

Keep in mind that the discharge vent does not offer vertical adjustment. You can only direct the air flow to the sides. However, it remains incredibly efficient and effective for cooling a small room in your home or office.

6.Haier HPP08XCR 8000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Haier HPP08XCR 8000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Haier is a trusted manufacturer of portable air conditioners and their HPP08XCR is one of their better products. For those that need to cool a medium or large room, this stylish appliance may provide a suitable solution.

Overview of the Haier HPP08XCR Air Conditioner

With the Haier HPP08XCR 8000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner, you should find it easy to stay cool. It is built for rooms measuring up to 525 square feet. However, before buying this unit, you should review its main features, including:

  • 8000 BTU unit
  • Measures 33.7 x 19.5 x 15.7 inches
  • Weighs about 73 pounds

You get everything needed to set up this portable air conditioner in your home or office, including an installation kit. The window kit should work with most windows measuring between 32 and 56 inches.

Operating Modes and Extra Features

The Haier HPP08XCR offers the typical operating modes. You can switch between cool, fan, and dehumidify.

With the dehumidifier mode, this appliance can remove up to 86 pints of moisture per day. It also includes an auto-evaporation system to help eliminate the need for frequent emptying.

It also features a dual hose design. Instead of installing an exhaust hose, you have exhaust and intake hoses, which helps improve the performance of the portable air conditioner.

Pros and Cons of the Haier HPP08XCR Portable AC Unit

The Haier HPP08XCR possesses several advantages that help make it one of the best overall portable air conditioners in its class. These advantages include:

  • Fast cooling
  • Intelligent mode
  • Powerful compressor

This combination of features helps you easily cool rooms up to the recommended size of 525 square feet. With the dual hose design, there are separate intake and exhaust hoses, helping to provide more effective, faster cooling. The powerful compressor also ensures that your room stays cool once it reaches the set temperature.

The intelligent auto mode is another useful feature. It automatically adjusts the fan speed and other air conditioner settings to provide energy efficient cooling.

One issue that some users have is the weight of this unit. The Haier HPP08XCR weighs 73 pounds, which is difficult for most people to carry without assistance. While it does include caster wheels, these small wheels do not help you carry it on a set of stairs.

Who Should Consider Buying the HPP08XCR Air Conditioner?

When you need to cool a large room, the Haier HPP08XCR air conditioner is a great option. It is efficient and powerful. However, it is also heavy and difficult to transport.

Due to the size of this unit, the Haier HPP08XCR air conditioner is best suited for people that do not need to transport their air conditioners a great distance. If you live on an upper floor of an apartment building, you may struggle to get this unit into your apartment.

Despite the size issue, the HPP08XCR is still a wonderful solution for homes and offices measuring up to 525 square feet. The dehumidifier includes an effective auto evaporation system, while the air conditioner itself is powerful and efficient.

7.LG Electronics LP0814WNR 115V Portable Air Conditioner

LG Electronics LP0814WNR 115-volt Portable Air Conditioner

Do you want to stay cool this summer? You may want to examine the LG Electronics LP0814WNR portable air conditioner. It includes a slim design, remote control, and effective cooling for small rooms.

Overview of the LG Electronics LP0814WNR

With the LG Electronics LP0814WNR, you are getting a portable air conditioner designed for rooms up to 200 square feet. You also get the following features:

  • 8000 BTUs of cooling power
  • LED display and remote-control operation
  • Measures 11.8 x 13.9 x 29.8 inches
  • Weighs about 48 pounds

The LG Electronics LP0814WNR portable air conditioner is a compact unit. The first feature to stand out is the slim design, which only requires 11.8 x 13.9 inches of floor space. You should have no problem finding a spot near a window for this compact air conditioner.

Primary Features and Operating Modes

With this unit, you get the standard operating modes, along with several other features. It includes a large LED display panel with easy-to-read buttons and a remote control. This air conditioner also includes a 24-hour on/off timer.

The dehumidifier mode includes an auto-evaporation system, which is designed to evaporate the moisture that is collected by the dehumidifier. Instead of needing to frequently empty the water reservoir, the water should be automatically evaporated.

This unit also includes an auto restart option. With the auto restart, the air conditioner stores your settings. In case of a power outage, the air conditioner will resume the same settings when power is restored.

Pros and Cons of the LP0814WNR Portable Air Conditioner

Most customers agree that this compact air conditioner is effective at cooling small rooms. As mentioned, it is built for rooms up to 200 square feet. If you exceed the recommended size, it may not provide the results that you want. Other benefits include:

  • Slim design requires little space
  • The unit is easy to transport
  • The auto evaporation system works

The compact design allows you to place this unit almost anywhere. It is also lightweight and includes caster wheels and side handles, which makes it easy to transport.

Another benefit is the auto evaporation system. Unlike most auto evaporation systems, this unit delivers on the promise of not needing to empty the water reservoir.

While most people love this air conditioner, there are a couple of common complaints. Some people find that this air conditioner is louder than other options. Due to the compact size, you are also more likely to have hot spots, especially when used in a room that exceeds the size recommendations.

Conclusion – Should You Get This Portable AC Unit?

The LG Electronics LP0814WNR portable air conditioner is best suited for those that need to cool a small bedroom, cabin, or other tiny space. While it is built for smaller spaces, it does provide efficient cooling when used properly.

The main strengths of this compact unit include its small design that requires very little floor space, along with its overall performance. When used in a small room or office, you can use the dehumidifier mode all day without needing to empty the water.

In the end, if you want an efficient portable air conditioner that is easy to install and operate, the LG Electronics LP0814WNR belongs at the top of your list of options.

8.Koldfront PAC802W Portable Air Conditioner

Koldfront PAC802W Portable Air Conditioner

There are many options for cooling a small room in a home or office, including the Koldfront PAC802W Portable Air Conditioner. This 8,000 BTU AC system includes everything needed to enjoy cool temperatures, including a remote control and a window installation kit.

Overview of the Koldfront PAC802W Portable Air Conditioner

The Koldfront PAC802W Portable Air Conditioner is built to cool small spaces of up to 250 square feet. It includes the standard cooling modes, along with the following features:

  • Digital display and control panel
  • Three fan speeds
  • Washable pre-filter
  • Measures 34.5 x 18.75 x 15.75 inches
  • Weighs 57 pounds

The window installation kit is designed for windows with a width between 26.5 and 48.4-inches. This should accommodate most vertical opening windows, including the windows commonly found in apartments and office buildings.

Operating Mode Settings and Controls

The Koldfront PAC802W Portable Air Conditioner includes three operating modes with multiple fan speeds for the cool and fan modes. It also includes a powerful dehumidifier that can remove up to 61 pints of moisture per day, along with an auto evaporation system to help exhaust most of the condensation.

This compact air conditioner also includes a couple settings to help conserve energy. You get a sleep function and a 24-hour programmable timer. The sleep function slowly increases the set temperature for four hours before turning off.

Pros and Cons of the Koldfront PAC802W Portable AC Unit

While the Koldfront PAC802W air conditioner includes many of the standard features, it offers a few useful advantages. If you want to stay cool this summer, you may enjoy the following advantages:

  • Easy installation
  • Quiet operation
  • Effective cooling

The window installation kit that comes equipped with this portable air conditioner allows you to set up your AC system within minutes. It even includes extra foam to ensure that you get a solid seal around the window opening and the ventilation panel.

After turning the unit on, you will find that it cools small rooms quickly. It is an effective air conditioner when used in well-insulated spaces that do not exceed the size recommendations. It is also one of the quieter portable air conditioners, which is great if you plan to place it in your bedroom.

Along with these advantages, the Koldfront AC unit has a couple of disadvantages. Before purchasing this unit, you should know that it has a temperature range of 62 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperatures exceed 90 degrees, you may have trouble properly cooling your room.

The Koldfront portable air conditioner is also a little bit bigger than other AC units in the same size range. It stands close to three feet tall, making it one of the tallest 8,000 BTU portable air conditioners.

Should You Buy This Portable Air Conditioner?

The Koldfront PAC802W is a reliable portable air conditioner designed for small rooms. While it may be a little tall and heavy, it is good for cooling rooms up to 250 square feet. However, on extremely hot days, this air conditioner may not be as effective.

Despite two minor drawbacks, the Koldfront PAC802W is a great buy. It is an affordable choice with easy installation and energy-efficient operation.

Portable Air Conditioners Buying Guide – How to Make a Choice

The air in a home can become stifling if you do not have the proper indoor ventilation. You may live in a small living space and do not have central air. If this is your situation, or you wish to fully cool an area, you may want to buy a portable air conditioner to keep cool on those hot and insufferably humid summer days.

Before you buy a portable model; however, you need to learn how to make an informed buying decision. Doing so will keep you from investing your money into an air conditioner that only provides minimal comfort or produces too much noise.

Are Portable Air Conditioners Worth It?

Yes! They are definitely worth the investment if you know exactly what features and functionality to look for in a portable AC. However, if you don’t do your due diligence before purchasing your AC, you might end up with a model that doesn’t fit your needs as far as efficiency, portability, performance and reliability are concerned. That’s why we’ve explained the features you need to look for in a portable AC so that when you eventually buy one, you don’t feel as if it was a waste of money. Below are the important features to consider:

Cool, Comfortable, and Convenient

The idea behind buying an air conditioner—one that is transportable—is to find a device that adequately cools a living space and does not distract you by chilling you to the bone or making too much of a commotion when it is in use. In addition, because the air conditioner is portable, you want it to live up to its name. After all, it is no fun trying to transport an AC device if it is too heavy to navigate.

BTU Ratings

To make a good choice for a portable air conditioner, you also need to make sure the device you select can cover the area that you want to cool. For example, AC experts recommend to match the BTU with the room size as follows:

  • An 8,000 BTU air conditioner will cover up to 200 square feet
  • A 10,000 BTU devices will cover up to 300 square feet
  • 12,000 BTUs can cover an area up to 400 square feet
  • 13,000 BTUs allows for coverage of up to 450 square feet

The more BTUs that the unit features, the greater area of coverage. However, if a unit has an increased BTU rating, it will also be heavier and bigger. You need to keep that in mind if portability is a concern. Besides the BTU rating, you need to review the model’s EER. EER is short for energy efficient ratio. An EER that is higher indicates that your air conditioner is more energy efficient.

How the Device Works

A portable air conditioner works by taking in the air in the room and directing the air flow back into the room. It does this by venting the warm outside air through a hose that is installed in a window. The unit features controls that permits users to adjust the speed, temperature, and the unit’s fan.

Easy to Install

A portable air conditioner is considered a versatile option to window air conditioners and central air. Because it is designed to cool one room, it is fairly simple to install and, again, is a good option, for a room that does not have another cooling alternative. You can also use it in an area that does not need cooling frequently. Use the air conditioner to support a larger air conditioning unit or in a rental or apartment where a permanent unit cannot be installed.

Where Do You Want to Install the Device?

This type of air conditioner features wheels for transport and, again, an easy setup, which adds to its adaptability and versatility. However, with that being said, you still want to make sure that the window where you install the air conditioner is compatible with the unit’s design.

These types of air conditioners are made to fit various window sizes and, therefore, may be configured for single-hung, double-hung, or sliding windows. The units are not made to work with casement type windows, which swing outward when they are opened. Keep this additional fact in mind when you are making a selection for this type of device.

Selecting a Size

The right model air conditioner should cool your room efficiently without difficulty. Therefore, you want to avoid selecting a model that is undersized or oversized. While an undersized air conditioner will not sufficiently cool a room, a model that is oversized will not remove enough humidity. In turn, your room’s air may feel damp or musty.

To find just the right size portable air conditioner for your home, you need to measure the area’s square footage. This is done by taking the measurements for the room’s lengthy and width and multiplying the two. As mentioned, you also need to know the BTU rating for the air conditioner that you are considering.

Once you determine the room size or square footage, you can review the portable air conditioners by their EER and BTU and take a closer look at the amenities. The idea is to seek features that add to the device’s versatility and convenience. Many portable air conditioners feature a multitude of features besides cooling alone.

For example, you may want to choose an air conditioner that features a dehumidifier. This mode on an air conditioner removes moisture in the room without the need for cooling. Most of the portable models display a fan function. The fan merely ventilates and circulates the air to get rid of unpleasant smells or circulates stagnant air.

Keeping Your Living Space Comfortable Year-Round

Some of the portable models that are featured online provide a heating component. By choosing this type of unit, you can keep a room comfortable year-round. Just make sure you plan for each mode you choose. For example, the cooling mode will need a warm air exhaust hose while a model with a dehumidifier will require an access drain to get rid of the moisture the machine collects.

Some Features to Consider

If the portable air conditioner features a heater, review the BTU rating for the heater. The room size that the BTU rating matches may be different than the BTU rating for the cooling mode. Other available features include the following:

  • Self-evaporation. This type of air conditioner cools a room while removing the moisture content. Instead of needing a drain, the water collects inside the unit. Therefore, you do not have to configure the unit for drainage.
  • A programmable timer. This feature enables you to set the air conditioner on and off for certain times. A programmable timer is an attractive features, as it can help you reduce energy. You only operate the unit when it is necessary.
  • A remote control. This added feature allows you to switch on the air conditioner conveniently from across the room.
  • A lamp-off component. This feature permits you to switch off the unit’s lights so they are not distracting when the lights are off at night.

When making a selection for a portable air conditioner, you also need to consider the maintenance and service the unit will need. Instructions for maintenance and cleaning are provided by the manufacturer and come with the manual for the machine. You can also find out about cleaning and service by reviewing customer reviews about the product online. Pay special attention to the review so you know what to anticipate in this respect.

Where Do You Want to Install the Device?

When making a choice for this type of air conditioner, you will also need to review the area where you wish to add the device. Usually, it is best to select an area near a window close to an electrical outlet. Some units are made for direct plug-in without the use of an extension cord. This is done for safety purposes.

Setup normally entails the need of a screwdriver for the installation of the device. Installation usually includes adding the equipment’s adjustable window panel and connecting the hose. Before you operate the air conditioner, allow it to stand upright for about 60 minutes.

Basic Maintenance

While you should always follow the exact instructions for maintenance offered by the manufacturer, the following basic maintenance should be employed.

  • Drain water from the air conditioner, when required. Some self-evaporating units do need to be drained even if they do not require a drain for use.
  • Clean the filter about every two weeks for the unit, or the time directed by the manufacturer.
  • Wipe the unit with a damp cloth regularly to get rid of any dust. Use a dry cloth to remove excess moisture.

Reviewing the Hoses

When making a selection for a portable model, you also need to consider the type of hose. AC units features both single-hose and dual-hose designs. A single hose is used as both an intake and exhaust for the air. Therefore, it needs to work more heartily than a double-hose design. The dual hose features an intake hose and an exhaust hose. Choosing this hose design is more energy efficient, as it cools a room about 40% quicker than if the unit features a single hose. If you ultimately want to save money on energy, experts recommend the double-hose design. If you have a larger-sized room to cool, the double-hose works more proficiently.


Noise, in some cases, may become an issue. However, that being said, most units do produce some sounds. Whether the air conditioner is a portable, ductless, or window model, it will make some noise. In most instances, most of the portables today do make background type noise that is hardly noticeable. If it is important that you choose a quieter model, carefully peruse the customer reviews. If you see a number of complaints about the noise of the product, you should take it off your buying list.

Will the Machine Be Easy to Use?

Most of the portables that are featured in the marketplace are user friendly. However, you still need to make an assessment when regarding the controls. For instance, are the controls on the machine’s panel intuitive? Do you know how to set the device so it will cool an area or dehumidify it? What are the ongoing maintenance requirements? What will you have to do to keep the hose or hoses clear of debris? Most of the units also feature an air filter that will need to be replaced periodically. After all, you do not want to compromise the air quality in your home.

How Does the Machine Look?

Because a portable air conditioner takes up some space in a home, it should have a nice and integrative appearance. While it is definitely important to consider function, you also need to review the unit’s design. If you want to select a unit that is aesthetic and functional, you need to shortlist your choices, based on these two defining qualities.

Portable air conditioning units are designed in various visual styles. Therefore, you can find just the right unit for your living space. In addition, the units come in different colors. Most are colored white, black, or grey, with some featured in vibrant hues, such as purple, red, or royal blue.


The condensate type for a portable air conditioner refers to the AC’s ease of use. A drip air conditioner deposits condensate into a bucket internally that will periodically need to be dumped. Some of the buckets fill up quickly, which can turn into a time consuming and unwanted task. A partial drip air conditioner requires that you inspect the pan and dump the water every now and then. Unlike a drip model, you do not have to frequently check the device.

The easiest option to choose, with respect to condensation, is the no-drip model. This type of air conditioner releases all the condensate through the exhaust via evaporation. Therefore, you never have to empty a bucket or check the device from time to time. Naturally, no-drip models make it easy for you to narrow your choices with respect to a selection. Choose an auto drain system on your AC so you never have to empty anything.

Make the Most of Your Investment

To make the most of your investment, it is also wise to choose an AC that doubles as a heater. In turn, you do not have to buy a separate heater for your home. Use the machine year-round to keep an area comfortably cool or warm.

In Conclusion

That wraps it up for this detailed and informative guide on choosing the best smallest portable air conditioners 2020. As you can see, you need to consider a number of factors when you buy a portable air conditioner for a living space. However, when you finally use the product on a hot and humid summer day, you will be glad that you explored your options and chose the best machine for your needs and budget. Any questions about portable Air Conditioners can be left in the comments section below and we’ll get back to you with our thoughts as soon as possible.


2 thoughts on “Best Smallest Portable Air Conditioners 2020 (Expert Guide)”

  1. Thank you so much for such a fantastic post. I saw your books previously, however
    this one I consider the ideal. How did you find so many details?
    I enjoy how you organize everything, because it’s actually simple to read.
    All in all, I will recommend this guide to everybody who’s interested in that topic.

  2. Hi, first time reader of Fresh Air Guru and great stuff, thank you.

    Have you ever heard of, or have you seen and used an AC unit that can fit into a small travel suitcase, but still cool 14 to 18 m2? Does anyone make such a device? There are units advertised as air-conditioners of such a diminutive size, but i think only a fan/water disbursement system, with no condenser unit.
    I would like to find a unit that I can travel with and pack in a small suitcase, any ideas? I’m from US, but living in SE Asia and working as a volunteer in usually remote tropical areas, but do have access to electricity part time, but usually at 0.25 to 0.30 US cents per KwH, and sometimes higher and so something that is energy efficient would also be helpful, but size obviously is most important determinant.


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