Portable air conditioners are a great solution for small spaces or for homeowners that want to cool one room at a time. This prevents them from wasting money to cool spaces that aren’t being used. Portable AC units are available in sizes ranging from 5,000 BTU to 24,500 BTU or more, so there is a unit to fit every need. We’ve evaluated consumer reviews and industry testing to determine the best portable AC units for 2013. They are listed in size order.
1. American Comfort ACW200CH 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
This unit will cool about 250 square feet and can remove more than 8 gallons of moisture per day. It uses eco-friendly R-410A refrigerant. Its two-speed fan can be operated by remote control, and a 24-hour timer prevents excessive use. The compressor is backed by a five-year warranty which is above average for the industry.
2. Friedrich ZoneAire Series PO9B 9,300 BTU Portable AC
This is one of the most popularunits produced by Friedrich, which is a top-rated brand. It can cool more than 200 CFM and 300 square feet of enclosed space. It and features a 3-speed fan, LCD remote control, and 24-hour timer. There is no drip pan and it uses eco-friendly R-410A refrigerant. The unit provides superior dehumidification, at an outstanding 15 gallons per day.
3. Danby Premiere Series DPAC12012P 12,000 Portable Air Conditioner
This unit features a three-speed fan, full remote control, and an electronic LED display. It also has a handle and casters for easy movement. It uses eco-friendly R-410A refrigerant. It offers below-average dehumidification at about seven gallons per day due to the single hose design.
4. LG LP1311BXR 13,000 Portable Air Conditioner
This unit can cool a large, 500 square foot room and has 250 CFM of air flow. It is high quality and high efficiency at 9.7. It comes with one of the industry’s best warranties and cools with eco-friendly R-410A refrigerant. Dehumidification is below average at 9.6 gallons per day. It comes with a digital remote, electronic thermostat, LCD display, oscillating louvers, three-speed fan with fan-only mode, and a 24-hour timer for efficient use.
5. Sharp CV2P13SX 13,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner with Ion Technology
This unit will cool up to 500 square feet of enclosed space. It has Plasmacluster Ion Technology to release positive and negative ions into the air. It also features eight-gallon per day dehumidification, four-way directional, oscillating louvers, three-speed fan for cooling or fan-only mode, full-function digital remote, and timer. It has very low noise output at 41 decibels.
6. Friedrich ZoneAire Series PH14B Portable Air Conditioner
Overall, this is our top-rated portable air conditioner. It is high quality and has outstanding performance. The unit has true heat pump technology to cool and heat by reversing the flow and function of the refrigerant. It has a 10,700 BTU heating mode, dehumidification-only mode, 24-hour timer, dual hose design for increased performance, and an outlet drain that you don’t have to empty.
7. Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose ARC-14SH Portable AC with Heater
This unit can treat up to 500 square feet and remove 12.5 gallons of humidity per day. The dual hose design prevents fresh air from mixing with exhaust for a faster cooling and dehumidification. Eco-friendly R-410A refrigerant won’t harm the ozone. It also has multidirectional casters for easy movement.
8. Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose ARC-14S Portable AC – No Heater
This unit has no heater, so you’ll save $25 to $100 on up-front costs. It has the same cooling and dehumidifying capacities as the ARC-14SH. It drains into an exhaust hose so there isn’t a tank to empty. Features include a three-speed fan, remote control, and a 24-hour timer.
9. Koldfront PAC1401W Ultracool 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
This is one of the most popular-sized portable AC units. This unit can cool 500 square foot and offers a dehumidification-only mode for damp days. It features a three-speed fan, digital controls, a 24-hour timer, remote, caster wheels, and an internal condensate removal system. The unit’s washable pre-filter and a replaceable carbon filter can remove particulates and odors from the air.
10. MovinCool Classic Series Classic 18 18,000 BTU Portable AC
This is a high-powered unit that can be used in a commercial or residential setting. It has a powerful 1,180 CFM fan for outstanding air flow. The condensate tank has five-gallon capacity and an automatic tank shutoff to prevent overflow, although a hose attachment is included for easy draining. Total dehumidification is more than 24 gallons per day.