The Best Portable Air Conditioner

Whether you live in a dry, sweltering climate, or are simply gearing up for a ridiculously hot summer, it pays to invest in one of the best portable air conditioners. Because, while some smaller spaces can function well with powerful fans that cool like air conditioners, a portable AC is truly the best option if you're serious about turning your sweaty, balmy room into a comfortable and livable space.

As you investigate which option is right for you, keep in mind the size of the room you're looking to keep cool. Today's most popular models will clearly advertise a specific amount of square footage they're equipped to handle, and you'd do well to read the reviews to double check (I've got you covered here).

Further, consider the actual setup of the air conditioning system. Most portable air conditioners use an exhaust hose to pump the hot air out of your room through a window vent and bring cooler air in. But, if exhaust hoses aren't your thing or your room doesn't have easy access to windows, there are plenty of ventless portable air conditioners that can work well for you.

And if portability is the name of the game, you may want to opt for a mini fan air conditioner that is so small you can take it with you wherever you go. Regardless of what you're after, this roundup of the best portable air conditioners will have the perfect one for you.

1The Quietest Portable Air Conditioner: An Easy-To-Install AC With An Even Quieter Sleep-Mode Setting

Not only do reviewers of this portable AC from Quilo praise how quiet it operates, it also features an even quieter sleep-mode option so that you can rest comfortably while keeping cool at night. Available at three different power levels for three different-sized rooms (from 450 to 700 square feet), you can invest in the perfect size for you. A major plus for this option is that it is super easy to install. One reviewer commented, "It took all of 10 minutes to hook up and get going! I’m a 48 year old grandma! If I can do it you can."

2The Best For Small Spaces: This Slim AC Perfect For Smaller Rooms And Home Offices

With an exhaust hose you can attach through a nearby window and an affordable price tag, this portable air conditioner is a budget-friendly option that can handle a space up to 161 square feet. This model is also equipped with a digital LED screen and a remote control that you can use to adjust the temperature, fan speed, and timer from wherever you are in the room. With a slim design that measures 13 inches wide and 25 inches high, this smaller air conditioner can fit into even the tiniest of spaces. One fan raves that assembly was "intuitive and easy to manage," and "it appears to cool the room (larger than the advertised 161 sqft) adequately."

3The Best For Large Spaces: A Dual Hose Air Conditioner, Fan, And Dehumidifier

Able to cool up to 500 square feet, this dual hose portable air conditioner is the best option if you're outfitting a large room. This portable AC also performs triple duty: you can use it as an air conditioner, a fan, or a dehumidifier. With three speeds and an exhaust hose that can extend up to 5 feet, it has plenty of features that make it worth its price tag. Something to note about this model? It's on the heavier side, weighing in at 80 pounds, so if you're looking for a truly lightweight option, keep scrolling for more portable ACs on the lighter side. But with all of that weight, you get serious power from this model. The dual hose system works more efficiently (but requires more electricity) than a single hose system, so your space will get cooler faster and more efficiently. Ultimately this splurge is worth it. One fan says: "I feel this AC will last a long time, so it is definitely worth the price."

4The Best Ventless Portable Air Conditioner: A Lightweight AC On Wheels That's Great For Dry Climates

If you're looking to buy a ventless portable air conditioner (one that doesn't connect to the outside world with an exhaust hose), you're actually looking to buy an evaporative air cooler, like this one from Honeywell. Evaporative air coolers, or swamp coolers as they're also called, use the process of water evaporation to bring hot air in, and cool it with cooling water vapor before expelling it back into your space. Because this AC isn't attached to a wall or window, it's a versatile option that can be used indoors and outdoors during warm months or hot weather. This type of air conditioner is well-suited if you live in a dry area, as the cool air it pumps out is naturally moisture-rich and can help restore humidity in your space even in the driest of climates. This model has three speeds, an easy-to-use control panel, and over 500 five-star reviews that say it works wonders in small- to medium-sized spaces.

5The Best Mini Air Conditioner Fan: A Portable Fan That You Can Carry With You From Room To Room

If you're really looking for the tiniest portable AC you can tote around with you, this mini portable air conditioning fan is about as small as you're going to be able to find. While most of the above fans on this list are equip to handle larger rooms, this mini fan is perfect for personal use, and can be brought around with you as you move around your home during the summer months. This AC comes with a 4-foot power cord that you can plug in wherever you are. Simply put ice or ice water in the tray in the back, and wait as this powerful, pint-sized AC cools the air around you. One fan says, "really surprised by how well this worked... Great for car camping or your work space."

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