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Best Portable Air Conditioners Android Central 2021

A portable air conditioner is an efficient and effective way to cool down your home, or an individual room, on hot summer days (or even year-round in some places). You can place the unit and direct the airflow to exactly where you need it, and most air conditioners are quiet enough to hold a conversation while it is running. The Whynter ARC-14SH is the best portable air conditioner for most people. It cools areas up to 500 square feet to a chilly 61 degrees Fahrenheit. Part of what makes this unit work so well, and quickly, is its dual hose system and auto drain feature. Plus, it doubles as a heater on colder days.

Best Overall: Whynter ARC-14SH

With two hoses the Whynter ARC-14SH portable air conditioner cools down large areas - up to 500 square feet - to 61 degrees Fahrenheit very quickly. It collects over 100 pints, or 12.5 gallons, of moisture from the air each day and recycles it to both cool your home quicker and eliminate the need to empty a collection bucket. You can control temperatures and program settings from the digital control panel or with the included remote control. This Whynter air conditioner is eco-friendly because it's lead-free and uses CFC free refrigerant.


  • Cools 500 square feet
  • Dual heater and cooler
  • Auto drain
  • Washable filter


  • Pricy
  • Heavy at 80 pounds

Best Overall

Whynter ARC-14SH

Cools quickly and efficiently

This air conditioner cools 500 square feet by using a dual hose system and moisture in the air. It includes a reusable filter and can be used as a heater.

Best Value: Black & Decker BPACT10WT

This portable air conditioner cools a decent area, including small homes and apartments. Its lowest setting reaches 64 degrees Fahrenheit with both temperature and 24-hour programming easily set from the control panel or the included remote control. This Black & Decker air conditioner has a bucketless design so as it pulls moisture from the air; it allows it to evaporate rather than collect. The filter is removable and washable for easy care. All window mounting and installation brackets and supplies are included.


  • Good value
  • Reusable filter
  • Bucketless


  • Louder than other units

Best Value

Black & Decker BPACT10WT

Cool down with a markdown

This budget air conditioner chills a 250 square foot area. It collects and evaporates moisture from the air, so this unit doesn't have a dump bucket.

Best for large rooms: Honeywell HL14CESWB

This air conditioner is a bit big but still compact enough to place out of the way. It has two filters that pull dust, hair, and other particles to help clear the air as it cools it. The Honeywell HL14CESWB chills large areas, up to 700 square feet and can be programmed with a 24-hour timer. The sleep mode lasts for 10 hours and runs this Honeywell air conditioner at a lower, quieter setting while still maintaining the cool air output.


  • Cools 700 square feet
  • 24-hour timer and 10-hour sleep mode
  • Dual filters


  • Bulky
  • Expensive

Best for Large Rooms

Honeywell HL14CESWB

Lots of chill for lots of space

This air conditioner cools 700 square feet. The dual filters clean the air as it cools. You can set a timer, and it has a sleep mode that lasts 10 hours.

Best for apartments: EdgeStar AP8000W

The EdgeStar AP8000W air conditioner is small but still cools up to 250 square feet of space, making it a good option for cooling apartments or small rooms. It has three fan speeds and direction air discharge to ensure airflow is pointed right where it is needed. This portable air conditioner also acts as a dehumidifier and pulls up to 50 pints of moisture from the air each day, but is also a bit loud compared to other units. The filter is removable, washable, and reusable.


  • Directional air discharge
  • Dehumidifier
  • Compact


  • Doesn't cool large rooms
  • Loud

Best for Apartments

EdgeStar AP8000W

Compact cooling for small areas

The AP8000W cools up to 250 square feet and works as a dehumidifier. Its design lets you set it out of the way while benefiting from its cooling.

Best personal air conditioner: KUUOTE Personal Space Cooler

The KUUOTE works like an evaporative air, or swamp cooler, and requires water and ice to be added for it to cool you down. When full, the KUUOTE cools continually for up to five hours or can be used for personal hydration. It stands only 9 inches tall and has a flat bottom to sit on a desk or table easily. You can use this personal air conditioner as a table fan though it doesn't tilt or osculate. The vents do move to help direct the airflow where you need it. This unit has LED mood lighting with seven colors to choose from.


  • Easily portable
  • Personal hydration
  • Sits on table


  • Doesn't cool rooms
  • Doesn't osculate

Best Personal Air Conditoner

KUUOTE Personal Space Cooler

No need to share

This air conditioning cools down personal space. It required water and ice in its tank to work properly and can be used as a personal humidifier.

Best Alexa enabled: MIDEA MAP08S1BWT

The MIDEA MAP08S1BWT connects to your smartphone and Bluetooth enabled devices, like Amazon Echo, so you can control set and start this portable air conditioner from another room or while away from the house. This unit cools up to 100 square feet of space, which isn't a lot. It does chill down this area to 61 degrees Fahrenheit. The window hose extends to almost five feet, and MIDEA includes all the brackets and mounting tools you need to install it properly. The MIDEA air conditioner is compact, about the size of a kitchen trash can, and can be easily maneuvered out of the way of traffic while still cooling down the room.


  • App and Bluetooth enabled
  • Includes installation kit
  • Compact


  • Won't cool large rooms

Best Alexa Enabled


Alexa, turn on a/c

The MAP08S1BWT can be controlled from Bluetooth devices, including Amazon Echo. It cools up to 100 square feet and includes a five-foot window hose.

Bottom line

Before choosing a portable air conditioner, get an idea of how big the room is where the unit will be placed. The average size of a living room is 216 square feet while a bedroom is about 132 square feet and a kitchen between 240 and 360 square feet. Knowing this will eliminate several air conditioning models based on their inability to cool your home.

The Whynter ARC-14SH is the best and most flexible option because it is efficient enough to cool down most areas, including a studio apartment. It works in both humid and arid environments and will recycle moisture pulled from the air to help cool the air circulating through it. This means there isn't a collection bucket that needs to be emptied. You can set the thermostat down to 61 degrees Fahrenheit, but this unit can also be used as a heater. Settings can be controlled from the digital panel on the air conditioner or with the included remote control. The Whynter ARC-14SH is pretty big, weighing 80 pounds and has a high price tag. But the amount of flexibility and the efficiency of its cooling, and heating, capabilities are worth the cost.

For a more budget-friendly option, check out the Black & Decker BPACT10WT. It works similarly to the Whynter ARC-14SH, but chills a smaller area - 250 square feet compared to 500 square feet - and is much cheaper. Black & Decker also is bucketless but allows collected moisture to evaporate rather than recycling it. Plus, it cools to 64 degrees Fahrenheit. This Black & Decker air conditioner model is pretty loud, around 75dB. This is about twice as loud as a refrigerator and 50 percent louder than the Whynter ARC-14SH.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide


Nicole Johnston is a staff writer for Techno Buffalo with over 12 years of research and writing experience in both the public and private sectors. She has a keen eye for pinpointing good product solutions for consumers and businesses. Before joining Techno Buffalo, Nicole spent six years researching and testing consumer and business products for Top Ten Reviews.

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