Picking a Portable Air Conditioners

Knowledge Base

No matter what kind of fans you have nearby, there is no substitute for air conditioning when it comes to making a room habitable on a hot, humid day. Not only does an air conditioner circulate the air, but it also removes moisture and cools it down, making the room that you are in a much nicer place to be. While many homes and buildings have air conditioning integrated into the ventilation, sometimes you need to bring the AC with you. That’s where a portable air conditioner comes in.

Finding a Cheap Portable Air Conditioner

When you want to purchase a cheap portable air conditioner, there are a few basic characteristics to consider. Of course, the actual cooling power is the most important. But even other factors such as the ease of use can be important when you plan to operate the machine every day for cool and fresh air in your home.

BTU and Cooling Power

With cooling power between 200 and 450 square feet, the air conditioners in this class of affordability are typically recommended for small rooms and small apartments. They each come with their own cooling power and it should be the first characteristic to keep in mind when making a purchase.

But not all the air conditioners in this class come with such a measurable power output. For example, the air conditioners working with water and ice are typically smaller and made for on-the-spot cooling. Units placed on tables are typically a temporary option and are not powerful enough to cool entire rooms, but rather only small areas in the rooms.

Energy Consumption

An air conditioner’s energy consumption is an important indication of what you can expect on your electricity bills. Simply put, the more powerful the air conditioner, the more energy it requires. So if you plan to run the machine for hours each day, you need to expect high electricity bills.

But there are a few tips you can apply if you want to reduce these costs yourself. It is why you can choose the solutions that work the best when it comes to timed performance. You can even program some air conditioners to only run during a given time throughout the day.

Keeping windows and doors shut is another good way to ensure the best energy efficiency. At the same time, you also can choose a machine that can run with a low amount of energy, such as the USB-connected air conditioners. While they only cool small areas, they can be recommended if you are really concerned about energy bills.

Ease of Installation

The days of complicated installation are gone, at least with portable air conditioners. Unlike fixed alternatives, a portable air conditioner can be installed by the actual users. It is why you will see plenty of new designs that advertise tool-free installation. This simple solution is recommended when it comes to immediate cooling after the delivery of the machine.

There are a few tips you can apply when it comes to installing the air conditioner yourself. For example, if your machine is being delivered to your home, you need to know that you should keep it in a vertical position for a few hours before running it for the first time for safety purposes. At the same time, you should read the full user’s manual before installing the machine yourself.

Many air conditioners come with water tanks that serve for dehumidification purposes. All of them should come with off functions which shut down operation when the tanks are full. However, you want to ensure these tanks are actually placed correctly when installing the air conditioner to avoid water damage to your floors.

Running and Maintenance

Running an air conditioner should not be complicated. But with more health concerns than in the past, there are a few areas you need to consider. Filters are crucial for proper air quality. It is why the filters should be changed frequently. But at the same time, they should also come with practical designs. For example, some filters can even be washed and this ensures they are free from bacteria development in the long-term.

Operating an air conditioner should also be easy. A few buttons are typical to these machines and they include the buttons that switch running modes, fan speeds, or even the temperature display and its Celsius and Fahrenheit degrees.

The best air conditioners come with included remote controls. While not all remote controls come with the full set of adjustability options, most of them should allow you to run and operate the air conditioner from a distance for ultimate comfort. Most remote controls are powered by batteries, and in many cases, you will need to purchase them separately.


Since your home needs a portable air conditioner, the mobility of the machine is crucial. Built-in wheels are a must for the best air conditioners, even those which are made to be affordable. Since you may want to move it from room to room, you want to avoid lifting the machine when this is needed. It is why most air conditioners come with these 4 wheels for transport. But if you have hardwood floors, you should also pay attention to possible damages when moving the air conditioner.

Compact air conditioners are the best for mobility. Typically running on water and ice, these solutions can even be taken away from home. For example, if you go camping in a tent, such a small air conditioner machine can work to cool the entire area of the tent to add comfort away from home. At the same time, you should not worry about the power supply of these solutions as they can be connected to a laptop via USB.


Even a cheap air conditioner should be durable. All machines are covered by warranty and you should check the policy on your preferred product before making a purchase. But at the same time, you also can choose a solution that works great when it comes to at least a few years’ worth of use. With so many designs on the market, it is the solutions that require the least user intervention, which may last the most. It is why the best-rated air conditioners are actually the simplest to use and come with minimum functions as well.

But since many of them come with additional functions such as dehumidification, it is important to consider them as an all-in-one machine that can actually replace other machines. Many portable air conditioners also come with heating functions. With so many functions that can cover both summer and winter seasons, it is important to look at vulnerable areas such as filters. It is why you want to ensure you check your filters from time to time.


The adjustability of an air conditioner is typically minimalistic. With running modes that are based on temperature settings, you are really left with a few adjustments in terms of fan speed. At the same time, you also want to ensure you are actually up to date when it comes to the best overall performance, especially when you work with functions such as those made to remove humidity from the air. In this case, the adjustability can refer to the off-time or sleep time of the machine, which can often work for days if you want to reduce the humidity level in a room or a small apartment. 

Running Noise

Running noise is among the biggest complaints of the modern user. It is why you should always value the designs which are made with lower operating noise as the technology behind it implies considerable efforts. It is why the best machines are also the ones that operate at low running noise levels. If you have children, keeping them comfortable also implies they can sleep well even if the machine is running.

Final Thoughts

There are thousands of portable air conditioners on the market. But not all of them are actually made to be affordable. However, when you decide to purchase your own air conditioner, the price of the machine should not be the only concern. The capacity of the machine, its adjustability, and its extra functions can make a great purchase. It is why most people should purchase machines that are future-proof, with plenty of functions, and won’t need updating in the near future.