10 Best Smallest Portable Air Conditioners to Buy in 2021

When you have a small home office, garage or don’t want to cool the whole house on a hot summer night, a small portable air conditioner for room will come in handy. Mobile, easy to set up and reliable, the best mini air conditioner can turn any room into a comfort zone in minutes. They, however, come in many shapes, sizes, and the key to a happy purchase is to pick one that matches your specific needs.

Here, we present a review of the top 10 best smallest portable air conditioners in the market, showcasing their specific features, strengths, and weaknesses. We follow this up with a detailed buying guide outlining all the important information you need to get the best value for your money.

Top 10 Best Smallest Portable Air Conditioners For Room

Last update on 2024-04-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. BLACK + DECKER BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner

BLACK+DECKER 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner up...
  • Portable AC: Use this personal air conditioner (15.3” x 14” x 24.8”) in rooms up to 350 sq. ft. Stay cool in the hot summer months and sleep well with this BLACK+DECKER ac unit for bedroom.
  • 3-in-1: Our 4,100 BTU DOE (8000 BTU ASHRAE 128) air conditioner also functions as a dehumidifier & fan. This portable air conditioner (45.8 lbs.) has a convenient remote control & top mounted control panel with LED display.
  • Impressive Features: Set the temperature just right with this ac portable air conditioner. Our ac unit portable also has a slide-out washable filter, auto water evaporation, & 24-hour timer.
  • Easy Mobility: Thanks to casters on the bottom and side handles on both sides of the small air conditioner, this air cooler can be moved from room to room without any hassle.
  • Installation Kit: When it comes to fans that blow cold air, this indoor ac unit includes an easy-to-install window kit. A large, vented airflow outlet ushers in cool air. Cools a room approximately 15' x 20'

Last update on 2024-04-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The 8,000 BTU Black + Decker BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner lives up to the promise of the iconic brand. Manufactured by the Maryland-based conglomerate established in 1910, the personal air conditioning unit combines three functions in one reliable unit for air conditioning, dehumidifying and fan.

Its innovative vertical internal motion creates constant, powerful airflow and consistent temperature across rooms approximately 100 to 150 square feet.

Besides the simplicity and precision of its programmable controls, clarity of an LED digital display and a 24-hour on/off timer and sleep mode, the unit also features a “Max” mode that sets the fans and the thermostat to the highest setting at the touch of a button for immediate relief.

The fans of the BPACT08WT, however, do not swing from side to side, which may leave hot zones in your room. Though the curved shape of the front-facing vent offsets this drawback to some extent by widening air direction across the room, it might take a little longer to get the room temperature just right.


  • Comparatively more compact and lightweight
  • “Max” mode setting for quick relief
  • 3-in-1 functionality
  • Auto water evaporation
  • Environmentally friendly R410a refrigerant


  • Fans do not oscillate

2. Global Air 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Global Air 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner, 10,000...
  • Stay cool and comfortable wherever you go with our portable air conditioning unit. With 10000 BTU (ASHRAE) / 6,000 BTU (SACC) cooling capacity, it can cover rooms up to 300+ sq ft, saving you time and money. Enjoy the perfect temperature with ease and convenience at your fingertips.
  • 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner - AC, Dehumidifier, and Fan: Our portable AC unit not only cools but also serves as a dehumidifier and fan with 3-speed settings. Its convenient remote control makes it easy to switch between modes to achieve the ideal indoor environment.
  • Designed to fit seamlessly into any environment, this small window air conditioner boasts a 3-in-1 functionality with AC, dehumidifier, and fan modes. With low noise levels of only 52-56 dB, you can enjoy a luxurious and quiet experience in any room. Its versatile design makes it a perfect fit for your home, office, bedroom, living room, meeting room, garage, and more. Plus, its easy-to-use remote controller makes switching between modes a breeze.
  • The Global Air portable AC unit for rooms offers a wide range of features to make your life easier. It comes equipped with an automatic swing mode, a built-in 24-hour timer, and both a remote control and push-button control panel, giving you complete control over your indoor air conditioning.
  • Setting up your portable air cooler for a room is a breeze. With the window mount exhaust kit and exhaust hose, installation takes just a few minutes. Plus, the removable air filter can be washed with ease, ensuring that your unit runs smoothly and efficiently.

Last update on 2024-04-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Another option for the 10,000 BTU range is the Global Air portable air conditioner cooling/fan engineered to cool rooms up to 300 sq. ft. The unit features 2-speed cooling and fan settings while a 4-way air direction helps spread cool air evenly throughout the room.

Digital controls offer precise temperature adjustments, which can also be accessed using a remote control. The appliance incorporates a self-evaporative system, over-cold delayed restart feature and an anti-freezing function.

A 24 hour on/off timer lets you preselect a cooling schedule to save electricity while a washable air filter saves money on replacements. The unit is also energy efficient with an EER A-class rating.

The compact air conditioner, however, may require a drain hose in humid areas. Another issue is the fairly loud sound it produces when running on high settings. You may have to reduce the fan speed to keep the noise down when using it in your bedroom at night.


  • 4-way air direction helps spread the air evenly throughout the room
  • Self-evaporative system
  • Over-cold protection features 3-minute delayed restart function
  • Anti-freezing feature
  • “Max Cool” mode switches the unit to the highest cooling settings


  • Requires drain hose in highly humid areas
  • Operates quite loud

3. EdgeStar AP8000W Portable Air Conditioner

EdgeStar AP8000W - Portable Air Conditioners
  • This Certified Refurbished product is manufacturer refurbished, shows limited or no wear, and includes all original accessories plus a 90-day limited hardware warranty.
  • Finish: White
  • Manufactured By: EdgeStar
  • CFM: 100, 123

Last update on 2024-04-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Manufactured by Texas-based EdgeStar brand founded in 2004, the AP8000W Ultra Compact Portable Air Conditioner can quickly cool a room 250 sq. ft. for less than a dollar a day.

Weighing only 56 pounds and measuring only 24.75” x 19.25″ x 13.25″, the 8,000 BTU model can dehumidify up to 50 pints per day and exhausts most or all condensate automatically depending on the climate. The compact air conditioning unit incorporates standard features such as a fully functional remote control and 24-hour programmable timer.

The unit showcases an auto restart function that can store your settings and pick up where it left off when power is restored. This mini air conditioner uses non-ozone-damaging R410A refrigerant and is made with all RoHS-compliant components that are free of harmful chemicals.

The appliance, however, occupies a larger room space as its design requires it to be 20” from the wall behind it. Some customers have also complained that the unit is a little bit noisy.


  • 8,000 BTU cools 150 to 225 sq. ft.
  • 24-hour programmable timer
  • 3-speed fan with directional air discharge louvers
  • Dehumidifier function absorbs up to 50 pints/day.
  • Auto restart function restores settings.
  • Washable filter with 1 replaceable carbon filter included


  • Has to be located 20” from the wall behind it
  • Operates quite loud

4. MIDEA Portable Conditioner 8000 BTU Easycool AC

MIDEA Portable Conditioner 8000 BTU Easycool AC...
  • Midea Portable Air Conditioner
  • Package Height is 34.25 inches
  • Package Length is 18.98 inches
  • Package Width is 17.09 inches

Last update on 2024-04-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Midea EasyCool has spiced up your regular 8,000 BTU compact air conditioner with the latest high-tech features. While other players offer the standard 24-hour timer, auto restart or full remote control features, the unit has gone several steps further with functions that promote health, ease of use, and hygiene.

A Fortune 500 global home appliance expert established in China in 1968, Midea offers the SleepWell function, which automatically adjusts the temperature throughout the night to align with your body’s natural sleep cycle. The FollowMe feature, on the other hand, incorporates a proximity sensor in the remote control to adjust cooling based on your distance from the unit. EasyCool also ensures air quality with an indicator light that tells you when to clean the internal filter.

Several reviews, however, have pointed out the relatively loud noise produced by the unit while some consider its fan not strong enough to spread the cool air around the room.


  • High-tech features SleepWell, FollowMe, and clean filter
  • 8,000 BTU cools rooms up to 350 square feet
  • 3-in-1 functionality
  • Features sleep setting and timer
  • Full-function LED remote control.


  • Operates quite loud
  • Not enough fan power to move cool air around

5. Shinco SPF2-08C 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

No products found.

If you are looking for a unit with basic standard features, then the Shinco SPF2-08C 8,000 BTU ultra-compact air conditioner may be the ideal choice. Best suited for small spaces like an apartment bedroom or camper. The unit packs three functions comprising air conditioning, fan and a dehumidifier that absorbs 60 pints per day.

An LED display and full-featured remote control allow easy setting of its multiple air flow directions, 24-hour timer or 2-speed fan. The small-room air conditioner is built with self-evaporative cooling technology that cools the condenser coils with water from the air. This not only increases cooling efficiency but also reduces the water that collects in the tank. As such, you won’t have to empty it as often.

The Shinco SPF2-08C, manufactured by Jiangsu Shinco Appliance, which was founded in China in 1992, boasts of a comparatively low-noise operation. This, however, can only be achieved by setting the unit in the lowest operating level when the desired temperature has been achieved.


  • Compact yet delivers fast cooling for spaces up to 350 square feet.
  • 3-in-1 functionality
  • Dehumidifies 60 pints per day
  • Self-evaporative cooling technology cools condenser coils with water from the air.
  • Simple LED control panel, full-feature remote, 24-hour timer


  • Have to set to a low fan setting to avoid getting distracted by the noise

6.Honeywell MM14CHCS 14000 BTU Portable AC

Honeywell MM14CHCS 14000 BTU Portable AC,...
  • [POWERFUL, SAFE & DEPENDABLE] Cools rooms up to 550-700 sq. ft. Thermal Overload protection for added safety & peace of mind.
  • [EASY INSTALL & MAINTENANCE] Washable Filter designed to protect from dust & hair to extend product life & performance. Filter cleans easily under a faucet for easy maintenance. Full set window kit included for quick & easy installation for vertical and horizontal windows (Max. hose length is 4 feet).
  • [DESIGNED FOR COMFORT] Enjoy simple digital control with 3 fan speeds, 24 hour energy saving timer & remote control included
  • [4-IN-1 ALL SEASON APPLIANCE] Powerful AC cooling in the summer, Heater in the winter, Dehumidifier for humid days (removes up to 66 pints/ 24 hours with continuous drain option for long unattended operation), Fan circulates air for everyday comfort.
  • 14000 BTU (ASHRAE-128 Standard) / 7500 BTU (DOE+ 2017 Standard)

Last update on 2024-04-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you have a relatively big room that needs cooling in the summer and heating in winter, then the Honeywell MM14CHCS 14000 BTU portable air conditioning unit may be a good fit for you. The 4-in-1 model combines a portable heat pump, AC cooling, fan and dehumidifier into one all-season appliance that can cool or warm a room as big as 700 square feet.

Despite its powerful output, the portable ac unit’s dual motor technology allows it to operate below 55 dBA, or like carrying out a normal conversation in a quiet room. With more than 130 years of innovative expertise, US-based Honeywell has equipped the MM14CHCS with advanced features such as a remote-controlled smart digital thermostat system and thermal overload protection.

Such powerful features, however, come with a relatively high price tag. Another drawback is that the MM14CHCS might require an optional drain tube in humid areas as it can dehumidify up to 79.2 pints a day.


  • 4-in-1 functionality
  • Powerful at 14,000 BTU for cooling/13,000 BTU for heating
  • Cools big rooms of up to 700 sq. ft.
  • Dehumidifies up to 79.2 pints per day
  • Operates quietly below 55 dBA


  • A bit pricey
  • May require a drain tube in highly humid areas

7. Haier HPC12XCR Portable Electronic Air Conditioner

Haier HPC12XCR 12000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
  • Electronic controls with full function remote control
  • Digital time/temperature display and control with 24 hour on/off timer
  • 3 cooling and fan speeds
  • Dehumidify mode
  • Cools rooms 350-450 square feet

Last update on 2024-04-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are want to buy a portable air conditioning unit for a smaller room, the size of a two-car garage around 400 square feet, then the Haier HPC12XCR portable electronic air conditioner may be the perfect unit for you. By just focusing on only cooling, fan and dehumidifying functions, the China-based, 35-year-old consumer electronics company has been able to offer a 12,000 BTU air conditioning unit at a competitive price point for its range.

The HPC12XCR features three cooling and fan settings that help oscillate cool air around the room, which it does quietly. The compact ac unit comes with standard features such as full remote control, digital display and a 24-hour timer. Being a tad smaller unit than its 14,000 BTU counterpart, however, has its disadvantages as some customers have reported that the unit takes more than the 5 minutes mentioned in the user guide to cool the room.


  • Competitive price for its range
  • 3-in-1 functionality
  • 12,000 BTU can cool rooms up to 450 sq. ft.
  • 3 cooling and fan settings
  • Quiet operation
  • Electronic controls with full remote control
  • Digital time/temperature display and control with 24-hour on/off timer


  • May take time to reach desired temperature

8. Friedrich ZoneAire PH14B Portable 4-In-One Air Conditioner

Friedrich ZoneAire PH14B Portable 4-In-One Air...
  • Auto restart: automatically restarts the motor in the event of a power failure or a power outage. Once the power is restored, the air conditioner will resume operation in the last Programmed setting
  • Easily portable: durable castor wheels and side handles make moving room-to-room easy. Cooling Amps: 10.8. Heating Amps: 10.8
  • 3 fan speeds: find your ideal temperature by selecting 1 of 3 fan speeds
  • Air Circulation- 250 cubic feet per minute. Moisture Removal- 5 pints per hour
  • 13500 Btu cooling and 10700 Btu heating ZoneAire portableheat pump has an EER of 9.5 for rooms up to approximately 700 sq ft.

Last update on 2024-04-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

With an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EFF) ratio of 9.5, ZoneAire PH14B is among the most energy efficient portable ac in its class. The secret is in its innovative dual-hose design which provides 40% faster cooling and greater energy efficiency than the traditional single-hose units.

From an American company focused solely on air conditioning products for nearly 140 years, ZoneAire PH14B provides four distinct functions in one convenient unit: air conditioning, dehumidification, fan and heating at a price lower than the competition.

The unit features self-evaporative condensate system, condensate overflow protection, and auto restart after a power outage. This is on top of regular features such as full remote control operation, 24-hour timer, and three fan speeds.

Measuring 15.5 x 19.5 x 33.5 inches, the unit, however, occupies a relatively large floor area.


  • 4-in-1 functionality
  • Highly innovative yet competitively priced
  • Dual-hose design allows 40% faster cooling
  • Condensate overflow protection
  • Auto restart after power outage


  • Occupies a relatively large area in the room

9. LG LP0817WSR 115V Portable Air Conditioner

LG LP0817WSR 8,000 BTU, 115V Remote Control in...
  • COOLS UP TO 200 square feet: Stay cool and comfortable when Mother Nature turns up the heat. This 8,000 BTU (5,500 BTU – DOE) portable air conditioner can cool rooms up to 200 square feet (10’x20’ room size).
  • OSCILLATING AIR DISCHARGE: Inclined top air discharge swings up and down to sweep air evenly throughout the room, eliminating hot spots. Oscillation feature can be turned off using remote control.
  • INSTALLATION KIT INCLUDED: Slide-together window bracket has click-lock connection point for exhaust hose. Other end of exhaust hose slides securely into place on the back of the air conditioner. Installation kit fits vertical and horizontal windows from 18” to 50”. Detailed installation instructions included.
  • SLEEK TOUCH CONTROLS: The control panel on this LG portable air conditioner features sleek digital touch controls and an LED screen, making switching between the 3 modes and 2 fan speeds simple. An included LCD remote control reflects the unit settings from across the room.
  • AUTO-EVAPORATION SYSTEM: The bucketless design of this LG portable air conditioner is thanks to the auto-evaporation system built into this model. Moisture created by the cooling process is evaporated inside the unit, allowing you continuous operation without having to regularly empty a bucket.

Last update on 2024-04-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Measuring only 23.7 x 18.7 x 16 inches and weighing below 56 pounds on caster wheels, the LG LP0817WSR is the ideal portable air conditioner if you intend to use in multiple rooms.

At 8,000 BTU, the unit can cool and dehumidify a room 150 square feet, which is excellent for your one-car garage, bedroom, small office or supplementing the central air conditioning unit.

Produced by LG, a South Korean consumer electronics giant with 61 years of technological experience, the unit has gained many positive reviews for its performance.

Besides its cooling function, the LP1017WSR can also dehumidify 1.8 pints per hour. The unit is a good value for money as it comes with all the standard features such as LCD remote control and 24-hour timer, including auto restart, water-full indicator, and washable air filter.

Designed with its vents pointing upward, some users find the unit less effective in cooling a room compared to front-venting portable air conditioners. Moreover, some users find the LP0817WSR a bit loud on high settings.


  • Compact design allows easy mobility
  • Good reviews on performance
  • 10,200 BTU cools up to 300 sq. ft.
  • Dehumidifies at 2.5 pints/hour
  • Auto restart
  • Water-full indicator


  • Does not cool the room as well as front-venting units
  • Can be loud in high settings

10. Luma Comfort EC110S Portable Evaporative Cooler

Luma Comfort EC110S Portable Evaporative Cooler...
  • TOWER FAN - This evaporative cooler and tower fan with remote control offers two types of cooling
  • FEATURES - With 3 fan speeds, wide-angle oscillation, and a timer, this air humidifier has it all
  • ECO-FRIENDLY - Instead of freon and other chemicals, get climate control that uses clean evaporation
  • QUALITY - This portable air conditioner is made with quality materials, to keep you comfy all day
  • LUMA COMFORT - Quality products and excellent customer service: Luma Comfort is a name you can trust

Last update on 2024-04-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you do not yet have the budget for a compact air conditioning unit but are in dire need of cooling from more than what a standard fan can offer, then you might like to try the Luma Comfort EC110S portable evaporative cooler.

Using as much energy as a standard light bulb, the unit allows air to pass through a wet evaporative pad before blowing it out into a cyclonic fashion. The process does not use Freon or any chemicals harmful to the environment.

A California-based company founded in 2010, Luma Comfort incorporates features such as an energy-saving timer, three different fan speed and wind settings, high-efficiency rigid cooling pad, remote control, and digital display.

Although Luma Comfort claims the unit can lower the temperature by 20 degrees in rooms as big as 250 sq. ft., this may not be the case in humid places. Despite their nickname, “swamp coolers” are designed to work best in hot, dry environments.


  • Cools better than traditional fans
  • Plug and use, no installation required.
  • Affordable
  • Natural evaporative process does not use chemicals harmful to the environment.
  • Low energy costs
  • 3 cooling speeds and air modes
  • Programmable timer
  • Utilizes cyclonic cooling technology


  • Performs effectively only in dry climates

Why It’s Smart To Go Small

Driven by innovation and a growing commercial and household segment, the demand for portable air conditioning units across the world is expanding. Market research specialist Acumen Research and Consulting, for instance, estimates the global market for portable air conditioning appliances to reach around US$1.7 billion by 2025, for a CAGR of 11% in the 2018-2025 period.

A growing number of consumers can’t be wrong. Indeed, the ever-increasing interest in compact air conditioning units is understandable. Some reasons for choosing a small-sized ac over its bigger counterparts or window-type units are quite apparent as we’ve pointed out below.

  • Mobility
  • Easy installation
  • Occupies less space in the room
  • Easy storage when not in use

Consumers, however, choose small room air conditioning units for more compelling reasons.

Energy efficiency

The US Energy Department states that using an ac unit too large for the intended room will result in less efficient cooling performance. This is because the AC will likely cool the room to the desired temperature even before the proper humidification has been achieved, thus, leaving an uncomfortable clammy feeling in the room.

In addition to this, low-watt units are more energy efficient as they can be used to cool particular rooms without the need to turn on the central unit or they can supplement the central unit in areas where cooling is still needed.


Another attraction of small space air conditioners is the exponential development in innovation. With constant investments spent by manufacturers on R&D, the market has come up with more and more features that increase the benefits of using small ac units.

Our product reviews earlier showcased units that feature dual motor technology that cuts noise during operation. Moreover, dual-hose exhaust technology provides 40% faster cooling while some models can run for only a dollar a day. For convenience, some portable ac brands have also incorporated sensors into the remote control to make the portable ac unit automatically adjust its thermostat settings depending on where the user is located in the room.

Factors To Consider When Choosing the Smallest Portable Air Conditioner

The growing number of air conditioner brands available to consumers has made purchasing a unit more challenging. Since air conditioners for small enclosures come in all shapes and sizes with varying capabilities and features, narrowing down your choices and finally deciding on the best one has become far more challenging.

Here, we outline the crucial factors you need to consider.


While most reviews do not include a discussion on brand, we feel that it is a crucial factor to consider when buying a portable ac. This is because the units are only as good as the manufacturers behind them. The brand is the culmination of all the years of experience, passion, and R&D the manufacturers have put into their products.

For that reason, companies with plenty of experience and a solid reputation are likely to create a reliable and innovative range of products.

In this same light, a company that focuses solely on making portable air conditioning units are most likely to know more about this vertical than those manufacturing a complete range of consumer products.

This, however, is not always the case as companies who have years of experience making a full product range also benefit from the synergies in know-how created by having R&D across different product groups.

Checking out the brand at the onset, therefore, can help you narrow down your choices to only a few manufacturers that have built a reputation.

Indeed, if you look at the customer reviews, you will notice that manufacturers that have ample experience and resources to invest in R&D activities are those that are most likely getting the positive feedback from consumers.

Brand name doesn’t mean the AC must be expensive. In fact, we have reviewed some portable air conditioners under $200 from very reputable companies.


You also need to consider the features you prefer your portable air conditioner needs to have. While most units come with a dehumidifying function on top of the standard cooling and fan features, only a few of the larger ACs come with a dedicated heat pump. It is wise to determine early on if you need a cooling unit or a 4-in-1 appliance you can use the whole year round.

Cooling Power

The ac unit you need will also depend on the size of the room you want to cool. An AC that is too small for the space you want to cool will be money down the drain as you won’t be able to achieve the expected results.

The cooling capacity of an ac unit is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Unit). It is a measurement of an HVAC system’s cooling or heating capacity and is used to calculate the amount of energy a unit can deliver.

One BTU is equal to the amount of energy used to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. The higher the BTU number, the more heat the unit can produce.

Air conditioners are a little bit different. The BTU number on a cooling appliance refers to the amount of energy used to remove the heat from the air. The larger your room is, the higher the BTU you will need.

Once you have determined the size of the space you need to cool, you can then multiply this figure by 20 to get the bare minimum BTUs you need. Let’s say you’re buying a portable air conditioning unit for a 400-sq.-ft. room, then you’ll need at least 8,000 BTUs. That is, 400 sq. ft. multiplied by 20.

It is important to note, however, that you need to consider other factors besides room size in determining the BTU you need. This is because the cooling capacity you require will also depend on several other factors such as:

  • The type and quality of insulation in your room, the type and size of your windows, height of your ceilings and location of your room.
  • If the room is located in a sunny place, you need to adjust your BTU requirement by about 10%, according to Energy Star.
  • If more than two people regularly occupy the room, you have to add 600 BTUs for each additional person.
  • The government agency also advises to increase the cooling capacity of the cooling unit you want to buy by about 4,000 BTUs if you plan on installing it near the kitchen.

Missing out on these necessary adjustments when determining the right BTUs could lead you into buying a unit that’s not capable of delivering the cooling comfort you need.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency guide for Portable ACsAnother crucial factor to consider is the unit’s energy efficiency, which is measured by the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). It is computed as the cooling power in BTU divided by the amount of electricity the unit consumes.

A 10,000 BTU air conditioner that requires 1,200 watts of energy to operate has an EER of 8.3 (10,000 BTU divided by 1,200 watts). The higher the EER, the more energy efficient the unit is.

The EER can come in handy when you have to decide between two units with the same BTU cooling capacity and features.

Let’s say you have to pick between two ACs both at 10,000 BTU. One consumes 1,200 watts while the other requires 800 watts to operates. Computations would show while the first unit would have an EER of 8.3, the second unit would be more energy efficient at an EER rating of 12.5.

To ensure that you pick the most energy-efficient portable air conditioning unit, see to it that you choose one that is Energy Star rated. This means that the appliance meets the government’s requirements for energy efficiency and environmental protection.

Noise Level

The noise produced by a portable air conditioner is another factor to consider given several circumstances. If you are a light sleeper or intend on using the unit in a very quiet place, like the bedroom, then this factor may be an important thing to look into.

Measured in weighted decibels (dBA), the sound produced by a portable ac unit can range from less than 50 to 80 dBA. What does this mean? A measurement of 40 dBA is equal to murmurs inside a library, while 60 dBA is similar to the sound made by conversations inside a restaurant.

Keep in mind that most of the air conditioners are louder than the advertised noise level. It would be wise to also read through the product reviews regarding the noise the products make instead on solely relying on the information indicated in the product specifications. We reviewed some of the quietest portable air conditioners by Decibel rating.

Warranty and Support

Since all air conditioners require maintenance, you need to consider the type of warranty the unit carries. The good news is most reputable manufacturers offer various customer service and support options.

Most of the models we’ve reviewed, for instance, have a warranty period spanning one to five years. While some provide full coverage, others offer limited warranty to cover only specific issues and components.

Extra Features

smallest portable air conditioner with programmable timerOnce the above factors are sorted out and still left with a few products on your list to choose from, you might want to check for some extra features. A few products showcase some fresh innovative features.

These include a programmable timer that can be pre-set to match your sleeping pattern throughout the night. Some brands have also incorporated a sensor in the remote control allowing the unit to adjust its thermostat automatically depending on how far you are from it.

Other new innovations include an indicator that lights up when you need to remove and clean the washable filter. This ensures that unit always provides the best performance in terms of cooling efficiency and hygiene.

Some ACs come with an anti-freeze function, water-full indicator, restoration of settings after a power restart and a “Max” mode that sets the unit to the highest setting for quick comfort.

Features of a Good Small Portable Air Conditioner for Room

When shopping for a portable air conditioner, it’s wise to check if it has unique features that would either improve efficiency or user experience. We have listed some of these features below.

  • Dehumidifier
  • Automatic restart after power outage
  • Washable filter
  • Automatic water evaporation system
  • A noise level of less than 55dBA
  • LED display
  • Full-function remote
  • Sleep function
  • 24-hour timer
  • Caster wheels
  • Complete installation kit

Some features are so innovative that they deserve to be noted.

Single Vs Dual-Hose System

Single hose portable air conditionerThe primary function of an AC is to cool the air in the room. During the cooling process, moisture is also removed from the air. The unit collects the condensation and drains it using a hose.

Depending on the model you have, the hose may empty this water into a bucket, or expel it to the outside using a window exhaust. Some units are self-evaporating, so the hot air exhaust is used to evaporate the water that is collected.

Some portable air conditioners are equipped with two air hoses: one that pulls air into the unit and one that removes hot air from the room.

These AC are what are known as dual hose portable air conditioners. It’s always a good idea to choose dual-hose portable air conditioners because they provide up to 40% faster cooling and greater energy efficiency than single-hose units. However, the cost may be higher due to increased efficiency.

Interesting read: Best Portable Air Conditioners Without Hose

Installing a Small Portable Air Conditioner for Room

Now that you have bought and have your portable ac delivered, the final step is to install it. This should be the least of your worries since mini air conditioners are easy to install and comes with complete window adapter kits.

You would first need to decide on the ideal location for the unit.

  • It should be a place in the room that is both near the window and an electric outlet.
  • The portable air conditioner should also be placed on a firm floor to minimize noise and vibration.
  • For safe and secure positioning, place the unit on a smooth, level floor strong enough to support it.
  • Ensure also that there will be no obstacles around the air inlet or outlet and allow at least 12” of space from the wall with the window for efficient air conditioning.
  • The unit must also be placed in a location with low foot traffic to prevent people from knocking over it.
  • Also avoid placing the portable ac near a fire source, flammable liquids and where water can be projected.

To install the window kit that comes with the unit, you would most likely need the following tools.

  • Screwdrivers
  • Tape measure or ruler
  • Knife or scissors
  • Saw (If the window kit needs to be shortened in case the window is too narrow for direct installation)
  • Duct tape or sealant

Here are the necessary steps to follow when installing a portable air conditioner.

  1. Attach the window adapter kit to the window sash and adjust the length of the window kit according to the width of the window. Shorten the window kit if the width of the window is narrower than the kit. In case the window kit is shorter than the window width, you can augment the kit using Plexiglas or any hard flat material. Close the window securely against the window kit.
  2. If you have Andersen crank out windows, or the ones that swing outwards to open, you can take the hose attachments to a local glass shop together with one of the Andersen window screens to use as a template. The shop can then fabricate a polycarbonate window of the same size. To install the exhaust hose, remove the screen and insert the polycarbonate window and hook the portable ac to it.
  3. Using the hose connectors that come with the unit, attach one end of the hose to the opening in the window kit and the other end to the back of the AC. Make sure that the hose is not bent as this may block airflow and cause the unit to malfunction.
  4. Apply sealant or duct tape to plug any holes in the window kit.

Before finally turning on the unit, it would be wise to go through the following safety checklist

  • Go over the user’s manual to see how long you need to let the refrigerant settle before turning on the unit for the first time.
  • Do not operate the unit with a damaged plug or loose wall outlet.
  • Do not use an extension cord. If you have to, consult a registered electrician.
  • Do not place objects on the unit or sit on it.
  • Do not pinch the wire in the door or pull it along edges or sharp corners.


Best Low Profile RV Air Conditioners

Best Small RV Air Conditioners


With the growing advantages of using portable air conditioners, the market continues to match the interest of consumers with an expanding variety of features and innovations.

While such a broad range of selection presents more challenges, the smallest portable air conditioner for your home will ultimately depend on your particular needs.

We have presented above a concise review of the best small portable air conditioner for room in the market and a buying guide to give you all the necessary details to make an informed decision.


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Ronald Watford, the owner of Quality Home Air Care, is a qualified HVACR technician and manages the team of expert writers on this site. He believes that educating homeowners about HVAC systems is one of the most impactful aspects of his job.