6 Best Portable Heat Pumps – (Reviews & Buying Guide 2020)

Simple, mobile, and incredibly energy efficient portable heat pumps continue to grow in popularity each day. Rather than large, expensive furnaces that are difficult to install and maintain, homeowners are choosing to invest in plug-and-play portable units, some of which don’t even require installation. The best part is that portable air conditioner and heater combos can be moved from one spot to another with ease!

In this guide, we discuss everything you need to know about the best portable heat pump systems to help you decide whether they would be the solution to your heating (or supplemental heating) needs. Let’s begin with a review of some of the best portable air conditioner with heat pump.

Best Portable Heat Pump Reviews 2020

Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Whynter ARC-14SH 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable AC + Heat Pump

Sale
Whynter ARC-14SH 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air...
  • 14,000 BTU (ASHRAE) / 9,000 BTU (SACC) cooling capacity
  • Award Winning: 1. Good Housekeeping's "2020 Best Overall" and "can cool down a room faster than other portable units" 2. Consumer Report's 2020 Highest Score; UL listed
  • Dual hose operation; Cools up to a 500 square feet space(ambient temperature and humidity may influence optimum performance); Dehumidifying capacity: 71 pints per day; Air Flow (at high speed): 430 m3/h / 253 CFM; 3 fan speeds
  • Full thermostatic control (61°F - 89°F) with digital readout, 24 hour programmable timer; Eco-friendly CFC free green R-32 refrigerant; Patented auto drain function fully exhausts all condensate automatically in most environments
  • Three operational modes: Air conditioner, dehumidifier, fan & heater; Cooling capacity 14000 BTU (ASHRAE-128 Standard) / 9500 BTU (DOE+ 2017 Standard); Heating capacity 13000 BTU (ASHRAE-128 Standard)/ 8200 BTU (DOE+ 2017 Standard); Maximum power consumption: Cooling 1300 W / 11.6 A; Heating 1000 W / 11.6 A

Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Rated the “Best Portable AC to Buy in 2019” by Good Housekeeping, the Whynter ARC-14SH, which also holds Consumer Report’s 2019 Highest Score for air conditioners, is a four-mode HVAC system that operates as an air conditioner, heater, fan, and dehumidifier.

The unit offers full thermostatic control (61F – 89F cooling)/(61F – 77F heating), with digital readout and is designed for spaces measuring around 500 sq ft. In addition, it is eco-friendly, uses R410A refrigerant, and comes with a patented auto drain function that fully and automatically drains all condensate. 24-hour programmer, remote control, activated carbon filters, washable pre-filter, three fan speeds, and quiet operation are other features of the Whynter.

The heat pump comes with a complete installation kit that includes a 60-foot extended exhaust and intake hose and window kit.

Pros:

  • Remote control
  • Full installation kit
  • Three fan speeds
  • CFC free, lead-free

Cons:

  • Professional installation required

2. Black + Decker BPACT12HWT Portable Air Conditioner + Heat Pump

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Black + Decker BPACT12HWT Portable Air...
  • PORTABLE A/C HEATER COMBO UNIT - Our 6,000 BTU DOE (12,000 BTU ASHRAE) dual compact air conditioner & heater will keep you cool & comfortable during the summer, & toasty warm in the winter. An adjustable fan speed cools the air up to 55°F, and heats up to 81°F
  • HEATS & COOLS SMALL ROOMS - This portable heat & AC unit provides steady & fast cooling and heating for rooms up to 250 sq. ft. It’s the perfect air conditioner & heater for dorms, apartments, cabins, campers, offices, bedrooms, garages, or living rooms. Ideal to use in spaces that cannot support traditional window-mounted AC units
  • HEATS & COOLS SMALL ROOMS - This portable heat & AC unit provides steady & fast cooling and heating for rooms up to 250 sq. ft. It’s the perfect air conditioner & heater for dorms, apartments, cabins, campers, offices, bedrooms, garages, or living rooms. Ideal to use in spaces that cannot support traditional window-mounted AC units
  • EASY TO USE & CLEAN – The simple remote control & top-mounted LED display with 24-hour timer allow you to precisely control the air temperature. To clean the filter, just slide it out twice a month, rinse it thoroughly under running water, & put it back.
  • 4-in-1 FUNCTIONALITY – Combining 4 energy efficient modes in one small unit (17.1 x 13.8 x 28.1 in.), the COOL, FAN, HEAT & DEHUMIDIFY settings meet all of your home cooling, heating, & ventilation needs. SLEEP, MAX & AIR SWING functions control airflow.

Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Suitable for spaces in the 150 to 250 square feet range or any 10 x 20-foot rooms when cooling and 200 to 325 square feet or any 15 x 22 space when heating, the Black + Decker BPACT12HWT is another AC + Heat Pump option. It’s vertical motion creates powerful airflow for consistent indoor temperatures, with the slide-out filter designed for easy rinsing under the faucet.

The BPACT12HWT’s top features include; precision programming, electronic controls, an LCD digital display, Sleep Mode, and a 24-hour timer. The 4-in-1 bucket design allows for cooling, heating, dehumidification, and fan-only operation. Performance is noiseless throughout.

The BPACT12HWT package includes a 4-foot, 11-inch exhaust pipe, window kit, and a manual guide. The unit packs 6,000 BTU when cooling and 12,000 BTU when heating.

Pros

  • Precision programming
  • Electronic controls
  • Easy to wash, slide-out filters
  • 4-in-1 bucket design

Cons

  • Ideal for smaller rooms

3. EdgeStar AP14001HS Portable AC + Heat Pump

EdgeStar 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air...
  • 400 - 525 sq. ft. ideal room size (depends on heat load)
  • Window kit (34" max) with extendable exhaust hose up to 49" included
  • Maximum noise level: <56dB, 24 hour programmable timer; Dimensions: 35" H x 18.75" W x 15.75" D
  • Thermostat can be programmed to temperatures from 61°F - 89°F and be displayed in either Fahrenheit or Celsius
  • Please note* The heating function of this unit is for supplemental use with a separate heater only. The effective square footage that this unit can heat is less than that of the area it can cool.

Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

One of the bigger (BTU-wise) options on this list, the EdgeStar AP14001HS is a 14,000 BTU (ASHRAE-128 Standard) / 8,800 BTU (DOE 2017 Standards) AC + Heat Pump designed for spaces up to 525 square feet.

It’s an impressively quiet unit, producing less than 56 decibels at maximum fan speed. Small and compact at 35” H X 18.75” W X 15.75” D, it has a 24-hour programmable timer. The thermostat can be programmed from 61F to 89F. You’re allowed to choose whether you want the temperature displayed in Celsius (C) or Fahrenheit (F).

The package includes a window kit (34” max) and an extended exhaust pipe measuring 49 inches (or, just over four feet). You’re advised to use the heat function for supplemental heating only as the unit heats a smaller area than it cools, even at full speed.

Pros

  • Three fan speeds
  • Automatic restart
  • Installation kit included
  • Casters for easy mobility

Cons

  • Requires professional installation 

4. Honeywell MM14CCSBB 14,000 BTU Portable AC + Heat Pump

Honeywell MM14CHCS 4-in-1 Black&Silver Portable...
  • Your purchase includes One Honeywell MM14CHCS Portable Air Conditioner, installation accessories and remote control.
  • 4-in-1 Honeywell Portable AC with Heating, Fan & Dehumidifier that covers rooms up to 500 sq. Ft with 14,000 BTU. Heats rooms up to 400 sq. ft Automatic vertical wind motion helps distribute powerful cool/warm air evenly for fast & consistent cooling/heating
  • Specifications: Dehumidifier removes up to 86 pints per day | Adjustable cooling temperature – 61° F to 77° F | Adjustable heating temperature – 60° F to 77° F | Exhaust Hose length – 12" to 47" | Hose diameter – 5” | Window bracket min Width – 20" - 47"
  • Dual filters designed to protect from dust & hair to extend product life & performance. Filters clean easily under a faucet for easy maintenance
  • Thermal overload protection for added safety & peace of mind. Dual Dust Filtration extends product life and performance by keeping internal system clean

Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’ve used a Honeywell appliance before, you’ll know well what the MM14CCSBB heat promises. Sturdy, safe, and dependable, the heat pump (which also works as an AC) is ideal for rooms between 550-700 square feet and comes with thermal overload protection for added safety and peace of mind.

The unit is relatively easy to install and fitted with washable filters designed to protect you and your loved ones from dust and other particles. With three fan speeds, 24-hour energy-saving timer, and remote control, you’re guaranteed comfort round the clock. A front-facing, feather-touch control panel and display that are unique to the Honeywell Classic Series and quiet operation at under 54 decibels are other noteworthy features.

The 14,000 BTU (ASHRAE – 128 Standard) and 7,500 BTU (DOE + 2017 Standard), AC + Heat Pump, comes with a full window kit included. The kit works for both horizontal and vertical windows.

Pros

  • Dual-washable filtration system
  • Thermal overload protection
  • Full set window kit included
  • 24-hour energy-saving timer

Cons

  • More expensive option in its category

5. RolliCool Alexa-Enabled 10,000 BTU Portable AC with Heater

Rollibot ROLLICOOL Portable Air Conditioner w/App...
  • Voice Control with Alexa – Control your home’s climate with quick and easy voice commands by pairing your room air conditioner with Alexa
  • Control via Mobile App – Download the RolliCool app to control your home air conditioner from anywhere in the world straight from your smartphone
  • Long-Lasting Luxury – This versatile 10, 000 BTU air conditioner can cool, heat, dehumidify, and fan spaces up to 450 sq. ft. to keep your home feeling fresh all year round. (Note: On COOL mode, exhaust tube must be installed properly to vent heat air out through window / wall. )
  • Roll Your Cool to Any Room – This standing air conditioner includes casters and a moveable window kit for easy transportation into living rooms, bedrooms, offices, and more
  • Refrigerant – Go green and stay cool with this small air conditioner’s R410A refrigerant and reusable filters. Wash* the filters, pop them back in, and enjoy a cozy, odor-free environment. *The included carbon filter is not washable.

Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re shopping for an AC + heat Pump that integrates with smart home devices, this Alexa-enabled RolliCool is a great candidate. Efficient and ultra-silent, the AC pairs easily with Amazon Alexa, making it possible to give instructions to the unit via voice commands.

The 10,000-BTU air conditioner that can cool, heat, dehumidify, and fan spaces up to 450 square feet guarantees round-the-year comfort, with two additional operation modes, Sleep and Auto, added to give you complete convenience. The best part is – you can perform all these controls from the RolliCool app on your phone. The app is downloadable from both the Android app store and the Apple app store.

The kit contains a remote control, drainage hose, screw fastener, window panels, and everything else you need for fast and easy installation. The RolliCool includes casters for smooth movement.

Pros

  • Environment-friendly performance
  • Designed with casters for smooth movement
  • Long-lasting luxury design
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa
  • Washable filters that pop right back

Cons

  • Professional installation required

6. Haier HPND14XHT 14,000 BTU Dual Hose AC with Heat Mode

Haier HPND14XHT 14, 000 BTU 115V Dual-Hose...
  • Cools at 14,000 BTUs per hour
  • Heats at 10,000 BTUs per hour
  • Recommended to cool up to 600 square feet
  • Digital time and temperature display
  • Caster roller wheels for easy portability

Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Finally, the slim, beautiful Haier HPND14XHT makes another worthy option for anyone looking for round-the-year cooling and heating. A 14,000 BTU (when cooling) unit that also delivers 10,000 when heating, the easy to install AC is designed for spaces up to 500 square feet and sits nicely in any living area or even in the bedroom.

The Haier has four operating speeds; Cool for cooling during the warm season, Heat for warming up the indoor air during the cold season, Fan-only whenever you need that nice fresh feel of circulating air, and a Dehumidify mode to reduce indoor humidity. You also get to choose from three fan speeds (high, medium, and low) and three heating speeds (high, medium, and low).

Every item you need for the installation, including the window venting and exhaust pipes, is included in the kit. The Haier uses a digital control panel and has a 24-hour timer and digital thermostat for easy control and efficient operation.

Pros

  • Heats at 10,000 BTU/hour
  • Recommended for up to 600 Sq. Ft
  • Caster roller wheels for easy mobility
  • Digital time and temperature display

Cons

  • Need to improve the window-mounting accessories

Portable Air Conditioner and Heater Buying Guide

So, now that you know some of the best portable heat pumps out there, it’s time to learn how to pick the right one for your home.

What is a Heat Pump?

Heat pumps are an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners. Like a refrigerator, a heat pump makes use of electric power to move heat from low to high-concentration areas.

During the heating season, a heat pump moves heat from the cool outdoors into your warm house. In the warm weather (cooling season), they move heat from your cool indoors into the warm outdoors. As you can see, they work against the laws of conduction that state that heat, naturally, moves from high concentration areas to low concentration areas. This partly explains why a “pump” is needed.

The most important takeaway here, though, is that heat pumps don’t generate heat; they move it. Unlike furnaces and electric heaters that use various energy sources to generate heat, heat pumps only “move” the heat that already exists in a space.

As such, heat pumps can be incredibly energy efficient. The average heat pump can provide enough space conditioning at as little as one-quarter of the cost of running a conventional HVAC system.

What is a Portable Heat Pump?

3d of a portable heat pumpA portable heat pump is simply a heat pump that’s small enough to be moved around the house at will.

This category of heat pumps contrasts with fixed or larger heat pumps that cannot be moved around. A whole-home furnace, for example, is a stationary unit that’s permanently installed and becomes part and parcel of the home. If you decide to move homes, you cannot move with it.

Some of the larger heating systems, meanwhile, can be moved, but not at will. You’d been to uninstall the unit in one place and install it in a different spot – a tedious and, often, costly process.

Portable heat pumps are designed to be moved around as frequently as you wish and even come with handles for easy carrying.

Check the best quiet portable air conditioners

How Portable Heat Pumps Work

Heat pumps can be put into three broad categories based on how they work; air-to-air, water source, and geothermal. Simply put, air-to-air heat pumps collect heat from the air, water source pumps collect heat from the water, and geothermal pumps collect heat from the ground (soil). As you can guess, portable heat pumps are air-to-air models that draw heat from the air.

Portable air conditioner/heater operate under the same principle as air conditioners, only that the process is reversed. In a standard air conditioner, the indoor air handler pulls warm air from your room and passes the air through refrigerant tubes in the condenser unit.

Here, heat in the warm air is extracted, leaving the air cool and fresh. The cool air is then blown into your rooms while the heat is dumped outside the house.

In heat pumps, the process happens the other way round. Warm air is pulled into the unit from outside the house and passed through refrigerant lines where it is extracted. The heat is then dumped into your rooms while the cold air (from which the heat was extracted) is blown outside the house. It’s a lot more complicated than that, but essentially, that’s how portable ac and heater combo work.

Advantages of Portable Heat Pumps

The air-to-air heating mechanism used in portable heat pumps comes with several advantages over traditional home heating. These include;

  • Dual function heating and cooling: portable air conditioning heating units are rarely heating-only appliances. Although primarily designed to add heat to the home, they almost always double up as air conditioning solutions that can be used for home cooling during the warmer/hotter months.
  • Low installation costs: Since these units are portable, they don’t require installation. Therefore, you save not only on installation costs but also on the costs of installation material and equipment.
  • No need for heat distribution systems: Most home heating systems require ductwork to distribute heat throughout the room. Whether it’s under-floor heating or a radiator, you’ll need some form of an air distribution system. Portable air conditioners with heaters don’t need any heat distribution systems.
  • Easy to use and maintain: Modern portable ac heat units are equipped with thermostats and remote control features, making them easier to control than other home heating systems. They are also easier to clean and maintain.
  • Negligible fire and burn risks: Fire pits and furnaces, in particular, are a considerable risk. Extreme caution is required to prevent people from getting burned or something from catching fire. Portable ac and heater pose negligible burn/fire risk.
  • Energy-efficient: Unlike other heat sources that consume large amounts of energy to generate heat, heat-pumps only need to move heat, thus consume considerably less energy.

Potential Concerns When Buying Portable Heat Pumps

small portable heat pump on wood floorsDespite the impressive list of advantages, even the best portable heat pump also comes with a few concerns that you may want to keep in mind when making a decision. These include;

Performance is dependent on ambient temperatures: Since the heater only extracts heat from outdoor air, the amount of heat it can add to rooms heavily depends on outdoor temperatures. In extremely cold conditions, the units alone might not deliver sufficient amounts of heat to raise indoor temperatures to comfortable levels.

The units might introduce dust/dirt into your home: Most heat pumps utilize innovative, antibacterial filters to prevent this. But it remains a possibility. If the filter is ineffective, there’s a risk of dust particles and microorganisms entering your home aboard the warm air, potentially triggering allergic reactions and airborne diseases.

Factors to Consider when Buying a Portable Heat Pump

Since portable heat pumps come in all shapes and styles, it’s essential to consider a variety of factors before making the final decision. Some of the top factors to consider include; the following;

1. Size

Size is critical when choosing heat pumps, especially the size-rating of the appliance relative to your home/space. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to determine the right heat pump size for a given area unless you’re a professional. A 400-Sq. Ft. room, for example, would need a one-ton (12,000 BTU) heat pump. But, if the area is poorly insulated or if it’s an old home, you may need slightly more heat. To avoid guesswork, it’s best to hire an HVAC professional to help.

2. Single-Stage vs. Two-Stage Compressors

There are two broad categories of heat pump compressors – single-stage and two-stage. Single-stage compressors only let the heat pump heat (or cool) in full blast – it’s either ON (at full thrust) or OFF. Two-stage compressors have more than two operational levels.

Between OFF and MAX operation, there are several other settings, such as Medium and Low. Two-stage compressor heat pumps are better because they use less energy (at lower settings). Also, since they can adjust to higher or lower temperatures as necessary, they guarantee greater indoor comfort.

Check the best dual house portable air conditioners

3. Blower Motor Type

Heat pumps also have different kinds of blowers; Single/Fixed-speed, multiple-speed, and variable-speed. Single-speed fans are either ON or OFF. Multiple-speed blowers have multiple speeds, but you have to manually adjust to higher or lower speeds (similar to car gears).

If you’re at level ONE and would like to change to speed TWO, you have to select speed TWO either from the control panel or the remote control. Variable-speed blowers, which are the best option, also have multiple operating speeds. But, unlike multiple-speed fans, the system automatically detects indoor conditions and auto-adjusts to higher or lower speeds.

4. Energy Efficiency

Finally, it’s also imperative that you take into consideration the energy efficiency of the unit. That’s because although portable heat pumps are generally very efficient, some are more efficient than others.

The easiest way to determine the efficiency of a heat pump is to check its Heating Seasonal Performance Rating (HSPF). Most energy efficient air conditioners have HSPF values in the 7.7 to 10 range. Try to find a unit rated 8 or higher.

Since the pumps also work as air conditioners, you should also check the cooling rating of the appliance. Cooling performance is determined by the appliance’s Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) and Seasonal EER (SEER). Aim for 17+ SEER ratings.

Wrap Up

From this portable air conditioner and heater combo reviews, you can tell that they are a great heating option, especially for low-load applications. They are affordable, easy to install, and very easy to maintain.

If you already have a central heating system, they would be an excellent supplemental heat source. But, it would help if you got the size right. Also, it’s advisable to get a high-efficiency, two-stage compressor heat pump with a variable-speed blower motor.