Not everyone is lucky enough to have air conditioning in their home, apartment, RV, or office, but there are ways around that! There are great portable air conditioners that you can plug in to help cool down any space, but sometimes they aren’t the greenest products out there. You’ll want to keep that in mind when you’re looking to cool down your space, but we’ve scoured Amazon looking for the most efficient portable air conditioners on the market. Let’s take a look at the most efficient portable air conditioners we’ve found, but first, we’ll share some highlights about why these are the best of the best.
Top 5 Most Efficient Portable Air Conditioners
Most Efficient Portable Air Conditioner: Whynter ARC-14S Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner – The Whynter ARC-14S Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner is constantly recognized by others as one of the best and most efficient portable air conditioners on the market today. It has dual hose operations and can act not just as an air conditioner but also as a dehumidifier and a fan. While more expensive than others, it is a great investment for the eco-minded.
Runner up: Black + Decker 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner – Nearly half the price of the Whynter portable air conditioner, the Black + Decker 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner is one of the most efficient portable air conditioners on the market, but this one is best for smaller rooms. It is very energy efficient, has similar settings and features, and is more cost-effective. So if you have a smaller room you’d like to cool, consider this the most efficient portable air conditioner for you!
Average Portable Air Conditioner: SereneLife Portable Air Conditioner – Average doesn’t mean bad in this case, it just means that the SereneLife Portable Air Conditioner does its job – cooling with fans or air conditioning, while also having the option to dehumidify a room. You won’t get a lot of fancy features with this unit, which is fine. It serves its purpose, so if you’re looking for a standard air conditioner that will do its job, working in medium-sized rooms, then this will be the most efficient portable air conditioner.
Best for Smaller Rooms: COSTWAY Portable Air Conditioner – The COSTWAY Portable Air Conditioner is really good and powerful for smaller rooms, up to 230 square feet. It has great features, like an automatic shut off if the external temperature is less than that which you set on the unit. This is an energy-efficient feature and just one of the reasons it’s among the most efficient portable air conditioners for smaller rooms.
Most customizable: Honeywell HL14CESWB Air Conditioner – The Honeywell Air Conditioner is energy efficient, and it is very customizable. There are great energy-efficient features – like a sleep mode that alternates temperature to conserve energy among others. It comes in multiple colors and is very adjustable. A perk is the great thermal overload safety feature that will help keep you safe while you cool down any room.
The above are just summaries of the picks for the most efficient portable air conditioners. Below, we’ll discuss in more detail why we made these choices. Some of the features are not exclusive; in some ways, a portable air conditioner is a portable air conditioner. Its intention is to cool down a room, and especially when you’re looking for the most efficient portable air conditioners, a lot of the features may look the same. However, there are subtle differences between each of them, and we’ve tried to capture why the choice was made. Let’s take a look!
Top 5 Most Efficient Portable Air Conditioners Reviewed
1. Whynter ARC-14S Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner – Most Efficient Portable Air Conditioner
The Whynter ARC-14S Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner is our pick for the most efficient portable air conditioner on this list. While it is not one of the most popular brand names on this list, it still packs a punch with its cooling and dehumidifying units on the market. This award-winning unit has been recognized by nationally known publications like Good Housekeeping and Consumer Report for its performance too, so with glowing reviews from customers and media outlets alike, you’ll want to check out the Whynter ARC-14S Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner as one of the most efficient portable air conditioners on the market.
It uses dual hose operation to cool up to 500 square feet of space. It has three speeds, and the airflow caries from 430 m3/h to 253 CFM with a dehumidifying capacity of 71 pints per day. In addition to the multiple speeds, there are also three operational modes: air conditioner, dehumidifier, and fan, so you’re getting a multi-purpose unit when you choose the Whynter ARC-14S Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner.
While more expensive than others, you get what you pay for with the Whynter ARC-14S Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner. It is an eco-friendly, CFC free Green R-32 refrigerant made of lead-free RoHS compliant materials. It comes with an energy guide commissioned by the U.S. government to share just how much it should cost you in a year. In this case, it is $402 with an estimated use of 3351 kWh. That’s just over $1 a day, which is a small price to pay for your comfort! The unit is 19” x 16” x 35.5”, so you’ll be able to slot this unit in any room for optimum cooling.
The Whynter ARC-14S Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner is both a mobile and a powerfully efficient portable air conditioner that you can control on the unit or by remote. You can also set a timer to make sure you’re not running it nonstop and only when you need it. You’ll feel good – and cool – when you’re using this eco-friendly unit because of its high environmental standards that reduce your energy consumption.
2. Black + Decker 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner – Runner Up
The Black + Decker 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner is another great portable air conditioner and a close second. It is Amazon’s Choice for energy-efficient portable air conditioners, and thousands of reviews back up that claim. At almost half the price, it is an attractive alternative to the Whynter unit. While not as recognized on national lists, it is by a great brand name that is well respected and trusted for putting out amazing products that their customers stand behind.
The unit is smaller – a compact portable air conditioner at 16.5 x 11.5 26 inches. It is quiet but powerful and can keep the air at least 65 degrees at the coldest setting. It can cool down 150 square foot rooms with ease, so if you have a small room like a dorm, apartment, or other room, this may be the unit for you! Not only is it a great efficient air conditioner, but it is also really easy to install. All you need to do is attach the hose and window adapter to a room window and plug it into an outlet. Your room will cool in no time, and you’ll feel better about using one of the most efficient portable air conditioners on the market.
There is a 24-hour timer you can set too, which is another way you can be more efficient. The Black + Decker 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner unites three different energy-efficient functions with cooling, fan, and dehumidifying settings. The filter, unlike others, is washable, so when you need to clean it, simply slide it out and rinse it under running water. No need to let it dry before putting it back either! It is recommended that you clean it twice a month.
The Black + Decker 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner uses an R410a refrigerant that is safe for the environment, and overall it is a strong, powerful unit that is one of the most efficient portable air conditioners on the market today for small rooms.
3. SereneLife Portable Air Conditioner – Average Portable Air Conditioner
Another three-in-one air conditioning unit, the SereneLife Portable Air Conditioner acts as an air conditioner, fan, and dehumidifier all in one. There aren’t a lot of special features with this unit, but it does come with different BTU sizes that you can choose from. This unit features 10,000 BTU, but there are also 8,000 and 12,000, with optional heat and WIFI features that you can also select. While a smaller unit standing at 17.4 x 13.4 x 31.1, this compact unit will fit easily in any room and cool between 350 and 450 square feet. Small but mighty, it features a cooler, fan and dehumidifier, a 24-hour timer, and a sleep mode. You can easily control all the features on the unit or via remote control.
The SereneLife Portable Air Conditioner is 1150W rated power, with an airflow of 290 m3 per hour. The dehumidifier boasts moisture removal at 1.5 liters an hour, and the noise while in use varies between 52 and 56 dB, though many users report that it sounds like a standard window unit. This unit is on wheels, so you can easily move it between rooms, helping you cool down rooms as you want to with ease. It has low power consumption and uses an estimated 700 watts and 1,100 watts depending on your setting, and all you need for installation is an accessible window and the SereneLife Portable Air Conditioner comes with everything else!
One of the most efficient portable air conditioners on the market, customers rave about how fast and efficiently it cools down a room in no time while others mention that it can be difficult to install initially if you have nonstandard windows. However, once it’s in, you’ll wonder how you lived without it!
4. COSTWAY Portable Air Conditioner – Best for Smaller Rooms
The COSTWAY Portable Air Conditioner is another great, energy-efficient unit, but it is best for smaller rooms of up to 230 square feet max. It is three-in-one, so it cools, dehumidifies, and fans all while remaining energy efficient. While there are multi-functions, there are only two fan speeds – high and low – that you can use with the fan function only. This unit can go as low as 60 degrees F and as high as 86 degrees F, though if your preference is to use Celsius, you can also use that unit.
The 24-hour timer has a great auto-shutoff feature, and there is an automatic temperature sensor that will sense changes in the temperature and shut off the unit when it reaches the temperature – this is a great energy-saving feature in the COSTWAY Portable Air Conditioner. It also has a water-full control and a warning that will help the unit from overflowing.
The COSTWAY Portable Air Conditioner has a high-quality compressor with a high-efficiency motor that uses R410A environmentally friendly refrigerant. It is fast cooling while still being energy-saving and quiet. It has a 380 m3/h airflow, and it is 12 x 13 x 30, making it a little bit bigger than others on this list. It has a LED digital display and a remote control that you can use to manage the features, like a 24-hour timer. There is a washable dust filter that helps keep your air cool and clean, and when it’s time to clean it, simply rinse it and put it right back. Not only can you move it with ease because of the wheels, but there’s also a handle on the unit to help you guide it to whatever room you want, whenever you want!
5. Honeywell HL14CESWB Air Conditioner – Most Customizable
Honeywell is another really trusted brand name with many years of experience under their belt, so it’s no wonder that the Honeywell HL14CESWB Air Conditioner is among the best and most efficient portable air conditioners on the market today. Yes, others are more efficient with better features, but it is still among the best and most efficient portable air conditioners on the market today – and as a bonus, not only can you cool down any room, but you can also choose from different color options to help it match the aesthetic of your room. Another portable air conditioning unit with various BTU options. Because of this, it is not only one of the most efficient portable air conditioners on the market, but it is also one of the most customizable!
This unit is best for mid-sized rooms between 350 and 450 square feet, and it is equipped with a thermal overload safety protection feature so you never have to worry about it overheating and causing an issue in your home. The design provides fast, even, consistent and efficient cooling for your room, while the dual filters help to protect your air from dust, hair, and other things. This will help to extend the life of your Honeywell HL14CESWB Air Conditioner. And, when you’re ready to clean the filters, simply rinse under running water and replace them.
The Honeywell HL14CESWB Air Conditioner has three fan speeds, a 24-hour energy-saving timer, and digital controls as well as a remote control. There is a sleep timer that will slowly increase the temperature when you are sleeping – the time of day when you are the least active – a great energy efficient feature on the Honeywell HL14CESWB Air Conditioner. The humidifier removes about 80 pints of water in a 24-hour span, and it also has auto-evaporation so you won’t have to empty it unless your area has high humidity. The kit has everything you need to install in either vertical or horizontal windows and you’ll be getting started in no time.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Most Efficient Portable Air Conditioner
The most efficient portable air conditioners don’t typically have a gold star on them. While there are energy star ratings to help guide you, not all products include these or are certified. Otherwise, you’ll have to dig to check out the best features for you and your room. Let’s take a look at some of the best features that all the above most efficient portable air conditioners have, so you can know what to look for.
You’ll want to keep in mind the size of the room. Some portable air conditioners are better for smaller square feet, while others are bigger and can cool larger rooms. Identify what rooms you would like to cool – there can be multiple since the units are movable – and see the square footage. Larger units cost more, so just keep that in mind.
All of the options on this list are three in one, so they can cool, dehumidify, and function as a fan. But there are other features like a timer, sleep setting, and more that you will want to keep an eye out for. These features are unique to the unit, so be sure to check them out. Some are more basic than others!
Depending on the size of your room, you will want to keep an eye on the dimensions of your portable air conditioner. You don’t want too big of a unit if your room is small or mid-sized. The dimensions for each air conditioner can easily be found on the product page.
Some units have a sleek design, while others are bulkier. There are different color options too, so keep in mind how you’d like it to fit into your room.
Most of these are easy to install; however, you may want to keep an eye on the type of window that you have. This may impact the installation depending on your unit.
Many of the units can act as a dehumidifier too, which means it removes water from the air, but where does the water go? Some auto-evaporate what is removed while others hold it in a tank. You’ll want to understand which type you have so you know how to prevent any potential leaks.
All of the units should have a filter, but you’ll want to keep in mind how often you have to replace it or if it is washable. Washable filters you can simply rinse and replace, while others you may need to purchase a new one, which will add up!
Frequently Asked questions
Now that you’ve seen some of our best picks for the most efficient portable air conditioners and examined some key features you will want to keep an eye out for, you might still have questions. Let’s look at some of the commonly asked questions so that you can pick out the most efficient portable air conditioner for you and your home, office, or anywhere else you want to cool!
What is BTU?
BTU is an energy measurement, so the higher the BTU, the more powerful the portable air conditioner. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, which measures the amount of energy required to increase the temperature of one pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.
Why should I get a portable air conditioner unit?
Because they are just what the name says – portable. These are better than window units in that you can move them with ease from room to room with little issue, or use them in a mobile home, RV, or house on wheels. If you don’t have a central air system or a room is particularly warm even with a system, this will help cool it down. The only thing that you need is to have a window in the space you’d like to cool.
Why should I care about energy efficiency?
The more energy-efficient the unit is, the less money it will cost you on your energy bill. So if you want to conserve energy and save money, you’ll want to get a portable air conditioning unit that is energy efficient.
I just want an air conditioner, but these are all multifunctional. Why?
The multiple functions on the most efficient portable air conditioners help make them more efficient. You don’t need multiple units to do different but similar actions. The cost isn’t really impacted by the additional features, so if you don’t need a feature then you do not need to use it.
How do I clean a portable air conditioner?
It depends! You’ll want to make sure that you clean the filter regularly, and many of them are washable. Otherwise, you’ll want to be sure to dust the unit so that you’re not recirculating musty, dusty air.
Hey there, I’m Stephanie! Growing up in an extreme climate led to my passion for cooling, heating, and air quality. Now it’s what I study and write about. I love sharing my expertise in air because I get to help people create their comfort zone. My other loves are cats, chickens, and goats!