The Best Portable Air Conditioners

best portable air conditionersConsumerSearch recently released its guide to the best portable air conditioners, and I’m excited to report the results. But first, let’s review the basics:

What is a Portable Air Conditioner?

Portable air conditioners, also known as spot coolers or sometimes swamp coolers, can be moved from room to room to cool and dehumidify the air. They are freestanding, mobile, and convenient – ideal for apartments and other locations where you cannot install a window unit.

Spot coolers don’t need to be installed in window frames, but they must be placed near a window so that a hose can exhaust hot air to the outside. Some units, like many Soleus Air spot coolers, also feature built-in heaters to keep you comfortable year-round.

Now, without further ado, here are the ConsumerSearch awards for the best portable air conditioners (PACs):

Best Small PAC: Haier

Haier portable air conditioners are inexpensive and easy to use. They’re a good option for small rooms. These units come with a collection cup for condensate, but since most of the condensed water is expelled through the main exhaust hose, you don’t have to empty the collection cup very often. While they’re ideal for small spaces, if you’re concerned about sound, Haier spot coolers are not the quietest available…

Best Quiet PAC: Royal Sovereign

Royal Sovereign portable air conditioners win the award for quiet operation. They’re also a favorite among customers because they feature an electronic control panel plus a remote control. As with the Haier units, the condensed water flows out of the exhaust hose, so you don’t have to empty the collection cup too often. Royal Sovereign coolers work best in rooms up to 400 square feet. You may also want to consider a Sharp portable air conditioner.

Best Budget PAC: Amcor

Amcor portable air conditioners win the award for value. I recently received a call from a U.S. Army purchaser who decided to buy Amcor units because of their value and reliable performance. Most models feature digital controls and remote controls. The largest Amcor spot coolers also feature a built-in heater, and you never have to empty a collection cup because all condensed water is dispersed by an atomizer.

Best Large PAC: Sharp

Sharp has been a leader in electronics for nearly 100 years, and their portable air conditioners are right on the cutting edge. Sharp portable ACs feature remote controls and a dehumidify-only mode. They’re stylish and easy to use with a bucket-free design. There’s no condensate bucket to empty because all water is expelled through the exhaust hose.

Sharp CV-P12LX portable air conditionerConsumerSearch commends the Sharp CV-P12LX in particular: “For larger rooms, the Sharp CV-P12LX gets the best reviews as the quietest portable air conditioner in its size class.”

Finally, I’d like to add one more category to the ConsumerSearch list:

Best Commercial-Grade PAC: Movincool

Movincool air conditioners are the monster trucks of PACs, capable of cooling up to 2000 square feet! They’re ideal for cooling large server rooms, telecom rooms, healthcare facilities, industrial settings, and other large spaces.

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