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Best Portable Air Conditioners 2020 Personal AC Review Guide

best portable ac
Portable air conditioners are one of the hottest selling consumer goods this summer. Review the top 7 portable AC units for personal air cooling in 2020 today.

Air conditioning units are the easiest way to get a reprieve from the damage that heat can cause the body. However, there are actually many homes and apartments that do not have a traditional AC unit, leaving consumers to turn to options of their own. Portable ACs offer a little more flexibility, and they aren’t nearly as expensive as their stationary counterparts. But which is right for you?

Staying Cool in 2020: How to Buy The Best Portable AC

The summer season is here, and it is taking its toll as temperatures reach record highs. As temperatures rise, so too does the need for high-quality, cost-effective, and portable air conditioners. This should come as no surprise. These devices are highly convenient because they can be used anywhere at any time. More importantly, they can also quickly cool any room while saving consumers from the heat in the process.

To save you hours of window shopping, virtual or otherwise, we've taken the time to find some of the best personal air conditioners. This guide should provide readers with everything they need to purchase the best portable air conditioner for them. It's often difficult for the average consumer to figure out which devices are right for their needs.

Read on to learn a little bit more about how to choose the right air conditioner, as well as our picks for the top portable air conditioners of 2020.

Why Personal Air Conditioners are Essential in 2020

Portable Air Conditioners have rapidly become a must-have product for people looking to beat the heat, all thanks to technological advances over the past decade. With COVID-19's impact on both office and school, resulting in millions staying/working and studying from home, air conditioning is even more important. It's a recipe for disaster to have an entire family stuck at home as temperatures sore and cooling devices fail.

As a result, personal and portable air conditioners have become the best solution for those who want to avoid all the logistical and financial hassles of installing a traditional AC unit. Traditional air conditioning systems are notoriously difficult to install, and hiring professionals to install central air can be extremely expensive.

Portable ACs, as their name would suggest, are highly convenient, readily portable, and far less stressful than bulkier, commercial-size AC units. The best thing about them is their portability, meaning that users can take them wherever they go. For households that simply cannot afford bulkier models, portable AC's are a great, cost-effective product, since they don't consume as much electricity as bigger models.

Being highly compact, lightweight, and powerful, they can easily provide cooling to people and rooms no matter how hot the summer gets. No matter what kind of heat you experience in your part of the world, portable air conditioners can be genuine life-savers. Sometimes, besides cooling a room, a portable AC can also provide purification and humidification. So, it's really no surprise that more and more magical cooling devices are being bought every day, especially around the summer.

The summer heat shouldn't hold people back from special plans; portable AC units can be incredible for those looking for a solution at a competitive price.

The heat can reach unbelievably high temperatures during the summer, and to most people, these hot days can be anything from uncomfortable to fatal. During summer, people are more likely to develop heat exhaustion or heat strokes and experience higher levels of fatigue and dehydration.

The best thing about air conditioners is that, while they vary in price, there's a unit for any price range. Even if you only have $50 to spare or a budget of $500, you can easily find a portable air conditioning unit.

Research and Review the Top Portable AC Units

Summertime is here, and there’s no ignoring it. States like Arizona are already hitting temperatures above 100 degrees daily, leaving consumers everywhere, becoming desperate for a way to cool off. While a good swim in a pool would be nice, regulations through each state still have quite a few restrictions for public swimming pool areas.

A portable air conditioner provides a reprieve wherever consumers want, alleviating the cost and complications of an expensive installation. They help in homes and buildings that can adjust to a typical window AC, but finding the one that caters to the user’s needs is essential.

Contents

Blaux Portable AC

Well known for its lightweight build, high portability, and reliability, the Blaux Portable AC is rightfully one of our picks. In addition to being a reliable AC, it also serves as a humidifier, which means that buying a Blaux gets you two solutions in one. What makes it so useful is that it's completely cordless, letting you take it wherever you go.

The cost may be one of the negatives to this model, however. With a price tag of $125, it's significantly higher than other brands out there. It compensates for this by having a broader array of special features.

One of these being that its cooling system provides filtration, making it a great model for cooling, humidifying, and cleaning the air. These benefits are immensely valuable for those living with children with sensitivities to allergens. So, despite it boasting a higher cost, the Blaux Portable AC is one of the best models out there.

In addition to these, customers can also take advantage of its latest model – the Blaux Wearable AC.

Learn More About the Blaux Portable AC

Blaux Wearable AC

Technological advances in the field of air conditioning have also led to the creation of mobile and now highly wearable AC units. One of the best examples of this is the Blaux Wearable AC, which serves as a cooling and air purifying system.

Once worn around the neck, it can filter and condition 1.9 cubic feet of air per minute. The Blaux Wearable also uses a thermoelectric cooling plate to cool the vicinity, ensuring fresh, high-quality air for the user. The device also contains an ionizer that removes allergens from the air around the user.

The Blaux Wearable also provides a lot of flexibility for a highly mobile device. With its 5-degree flex fit, people can choose to feel the air directly or indirectly. No matter if you're a man, woman, or child, the Blaux wearable AC is incredibly size friendly.

The Blaux Wearable AC is a highly advanced, yet cost-effective personal AC solution and Ionizer, with 3-speed modes. Also, it boasts an incredibly reliable battery, can run for 30 hours on a single charge, and can be charged in the same way as a conventional smartphone – via USB-C.

Learn More About the Blaux Wearable AC

Glacier Portable AC

If you're looking for a highly portable air cooler, Glacier Portable AC is one of the most popular personal air cooler solutions. The Glacier AC Air Cooler is a compact solution that takes warm air in from any room and efficiently converts it into cold air. It does this by filtering the air while using an evaporative water filter and humidifying the surroundings.

It's thanks to this system that the. Glacier Portable Air Conditioner can easily cool and clean the air in any room. And, in keeping with this list, it takes up minimal space thanks to its size.

It is important to note that small and multi-functional models like these are great for small areas only. Being compact in size, it's not effective in larger rooms for cooling. But, for what it requires to cool a small area (water and a bit of electricity), the Glacier Portable Air Cooler is incredibly energy-efficient if you need cooling for a small area.

Price: $90

Learn More About the Glacier Portable AC

UV Cooler

Much like the previous models referenced, the UV Cooler provides the same range of features. While being able to cool down any room, it can also purify them, while being the cheapest unit listed.

Using a system based on water and ice, it cools incoming air and produces cold air.

On a single charge, the UV Cooler can last up to 12 hours of mobile use. As a result, it is one of the most versatile products on this list for if a power outage happens.

The company's advertisements about the UV Cooler also highlight its ability to purify rooms through UV-based filtration easily. Thanks to UV filtration, its user can be assured that they're receiving only clean air, free from bacteria and allergens.

It's also one of the most physically and visually appealing units on the market and list.

Price: $90

Learn More About the UV Cooler

ArcticBreeze

The ArcticBreeze portable air conditioner has three functions: cooling, cleaning, and humidifying. These settings are great for those that only want cool air, but specifically conditioned humid or clean air. While the settings appear to be exclusive, users can easily make use of all three.

Equipped with a 380ml water tank, the ArcticBreeze can operate for eight hours on a lower setting, and three hours when working on high. Meaning that its user can take it anywhere.

Along with being easy to use on a single charge, it's highly portable compared to other models. The ArcticBreeze portable AC is a standard, mid-sized cooling solution that offers a great deal of support by its own merits.

Price: $100

Learn More About the ArcticBreeze

CoolAir

Another good personal cooler is the CoolAir, which lasts up to eight hours on a single charge. Much like the other conditioning units, it has three speeds, an in-built water tank, and a USB charging port. Just like other conditioning products on this list, it can cool, humidify, and purify the air.

CoolAir does boast one clever feature, which lets it stand out among its competitors: it supports a mood light setting and seven color options.

Price: $90

Learn More About the CoolAir

Turbo Tuuli

turbo-portable-ac

Last but certainly not least, the Turbo Tuuli portable AC unit is one of the top personal air coolers on the market due to its wide range of functionality and simple to use nature. Hailed as a lightweight, compact mini desktop portable air conditioner, the Turbo Tuuli is a three in one unit that not only cools the air, but adds back in moisture and can also purify the air as well.

With three fan speeds and adjustable multi-directional air flow capability, the personal Turbo Tuuli AC unit offers maximum portability for users this summer. With a detachable water reservoir that holds 380 ML capacity and is leak-free, the washable water curtains can last up to six to eight months and works perfectly right out of the box after adding water into the tank.

Price: $90

Learn More About the Turbo Tuuli

How Do Portable Air Conditioners Work?

To understand the advantages of a portable air conditioner, it is important to know how they are different from traditional window units. Rather than being a fixture in one of these openings, a portable air conditioner is much more like a tower fan, standing on their own so they can be positioned at any place in the room. Most of these units also use a hose as a way to vent out the moisture that keeps the home.

With most portable units, a venting kit is included with the rest of the equipment, providing the users with everything they need to attach the hose to the window without leaving open holes for heat to get in. The system itself usually plugs into a nearby power outlet, so it can cool off the air around the device and push it out to the rest of the room. Many of these systems also include a water reservoir, which eliminates humidity from the rest of the room.

Single-Hose ACs

Single-hose air conditioning units have the distinct advantage of being more cost-efficient and energy-efficient than a dual-hose unit. It pulls the air from the room, cools it off, and re-circulates it with only one hose.

Dual-Hose ACs

A model with two hoses pulls in fresh air from outside, rather than circulating the air already in the home. The process is about the same as the cooling of the air and redistributing it indoors. However, the main difference is that this unit is often more costly, and works harder to cool the home.

What to Consider Before Buying a Portable Air Conditioner

The key to getting the right model is to plan for the air conditioner. There are a few factors that consumers should consider before they go shopping and bring home any portable AC.

Location

Part of planning is knowing exactly where the user plans to put the air conditioning system. While these devices are portable, consumers will need to find places with a window that can open for venting and an electrical outlet. Some models in the market operate entirely with a single charge, so not all models need to be plugged in.

Cost

Like any big purchase, the cost of the air conditioning unit will play a role. As much money as consumers can save with this type of system over a traditional AC, they still aren’t exactly cheap. It is possible to get a relatively small portable AC for around $50 if the user just wants to keep themselves cooled. However, if these units are needed to cool a whole room, then the price will be around $200 and up. There are sales through the colder months, so the costs can lower for consumers that want to shop before they need the device.

Size

When it comes to choosing an air conditioning unit, the size is crucial to find a model that will be able to cool off the room effectively. There are multiple sizes available, and the size of these machines will also impact their price.

For a small room of up to 300 square feet, users should seek out a 7,000 BTU to 10,000 BTU unit. More significant places around 700 square feet will likely need about 14,000 BTU, which is about as big as these portable ACs get for residential use. Any space above 700 square feet should look into a commercial or industrial size portable AC to effectively cool the space.

Extra Features

With all of these factors considered, consumers can move on to all of the features that make each of their portable air conditioning unit options unique. Some machines feature a timer that stops circulating cold air by a particular time of day, while others can control their settings with remote controls. There are also devices with automatic features that can streamline all of these functions.

Many portable ACs are equipped with dehumidifying technology, eliminating the moisture in the air that can make the space more stagnant. By removing this humidity, the device can cool off a room much faster, or users can turn to an oscillating fan to keep the breeze.

Maintenance on Portable Air Conditioners

No matter what model the user purchases, the only way to make sure that it is money well spent is by keeping up with necessary maintenance. Portable units often use an air filter to create cleaner air as they cool it, and this filter should be washed and sanitized every other week.

Since these air conditioners are also designed to eliminate excess moisture from the air, draining the collection tray is a necessary evil as well. If the unit has a water collection tray (which is common with a single hose system), it should be drained regularly. Dual hose models often push out the excess humidity with the secondary hose, so the user will want to read their specific model to see the best way to clean it.

Other than these two changes, regular dusting and wiping down the unit should be all that the user needs to do to keep the cooler looking brand new. If users are willing to do a little planning, summer heat may not be a problem at all.

Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Portable Air Conditioners

Although portable AC units have been around forever, most consumers still struggle to find viable information about the growing seasonal industry. This section will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about portable air conditioners.

Q: What is a portable air conditioning unit?

A: As the name suggests, portable air conditioners are identifiable by their limited size. These conditioners range from smaller models, which can be moved around the house with ease, to highly mobile units that can even fit in a pocket. Portable conditioners don't require any unique wall or building fixtures in order to function properly. They can be easily moved anywhere they're needed. Portable air conditioning units can easily cool a room while providing greater flexibility and convenience for their users.

Q: Do portable air conditioners save energy?

A: Great personal air conditioning units will be easily recognizable thanks to their high energy efficiency. To ensure that their chosen portable air conditioner is energy efficient, consumers should make sure that the packaging and website boast the Energy Star logo. Those products without the Energy Star logo will likely be less energy efficient as they lack the coveted Energy Star certification.

Q: Do personal air conditioners need to be vented?

A: The common association with portable air conditioners is that – cheaper and lower-end conditioners don't require venting, while higher-end versions do. While this is the case with some models, it can vary significantly. Those interested in knowing whether this is the case for their brand of choice should consult the company.

Q: Do portable air conditioners really cool rooms?

A: Absolutely, personal ACs are reliably able to cool rooms. What this does depend on is the size of the room, along with the unit's capacity, power, and size. A small AC unit can cool a small room, while a medium-size unit can cool a larger room. You shouldn't rely on a small/portable air conditioner to cool an entire house, however.

Q: What is a window vent kit?

A: A window vent kid usually comes alongside any portable air conditioner. These are plastic kits that are used on windowsills. They work by supporting the release of exhaust from the air conditioner.

Q: How does a portable air conditioner work?

A: As for how exactly a personal air conditioner works depends a lot on the specific unit you're using. Conventionally, these devices work in the same way that regular ones do; by capturing hot air and moisture before converting it into cold air.

Q: What is a wearable neck portable air conditioner?

A: Like the name of these devices suggests, wearable portable air conditioners are wholly portable and wearable conditioners. The downside to this portability is that wearable air conditioners simply cannot condition a whole room. They are often worn around the neck and used when the consumer is outdoors.

Q: Does a window mount need to be installed to support a portable AC unit?

A: This, of course, depends on the air conditioning unit you're after. Some models of personal ACs come equipped with window mount kits. However, most portable ACs simply don't need to be fitted to a window, considering that users but them to be portable.

Q: Can a portable air conditioner cool multiple rooms?

A: Portable air conditioning units are best suited to cooling smaller rooms as opposed to multiple rooms. However, basic cooling across multiple rooms can easily be done by having the right kind of setup, should a user want to do this. Multiple units should generally be used to facilitate heating across more than one room.

Q: How large of a room can personal AC units cool?

A: Conventionally, a personal AC unit can cool a space of up to 500 square feet. Owning a medium to high-end portable air conditioner units can mean cooling an entire kitchen space or living room. We generally don't recommend portable AC units for spaces larger than 500-750 square feet.

Q: What happens if a portable AC unit isn't vented?

A: Nothing bad will happen if a portable AC unit isn't properly vented. The downside to not doing so, however, will be a significant drop in its efficiency over time. As a result, it's best to select a personal or portable air conditioner that doesn't require any kind of venting. No-vent systems are far easier to manage over time.

Q: Can a dryer vent be used to vent-out a portable air conditioner?

A: The answer to this question depends on both the model of the AC unit and the specs of the dryer vent. Most of the time, dryer vents are smaller than most portable air conditioner hoses, so it may not be viable for users. If the dimensions of both the portable AC and dryer vent are the same, then it can be used to vent an AC unit.

Q: How long is a portable Air Conditioner's exhaust hose?

A: Typically, a personal/portable air conditioner comes with a three to four-foot exhaust host. If this length isn't sufficient, you can easily obtain a longer hose or extender from a range of hardware stores.

Q: What's the difference between a dual and single hose unit?

A: It's quite simple. A single-hose unit in a portable air conditioner uses just one hose to move air in and out of the device. In contrast, dual hose systems use two to do the same things. The advantage of a single-hose system is that it's more energy-efficient, but comes at the price of having a lower cooling power. On the other hand, a two-hose cooling unit, while consuming more energy, it provides more powerful cooling.

Q: Are portable air conditioners safe?

A: All air conditioners are safe, so long as the outside air they draw in is not toxic or bad. Users should only be concerned about the safety of their unit if they plan to draw air from a dangerous outside environment.

Q: Is carbon monoxide released by portable air conditioners?

A: No, personal ACs do not release carbon monoxide. Some media “reports” about the dangers associated with portable air conditioners have been released in recent years. These are almost always unsupported by scientific evidence.

Q: What's the difference between an evaporative cooler and a portable AC?

A: Evaporative coolers use water to cool the room, while portable ACs do not need water. Portable air conditioners generally require users to place the device near a window to evacuate air heated during the cooling process.

Q: Are personal air conditioners loud?

A: All air conditioning units make noise, and portable versions are certainly no exception to this rule. Because of their decreased size, portable AC units will generally make less noise than their larger counterparts. Consumers who are put-off by loud noises should make sure to pick a device with a low minimum fan power.

Q: How can users reduce portable AC noise?

A: To lower the noise output for a portable AC unit, users just need to lower the fan speed or place it on a softer surface. If this does not work, users should consult the operational manual for their portable air conditioner.

Q: Will a personal air conditioner cool a garage?

A: It is not advised to use portable air conditioning units in places like garages. This is because their cooling capacity may not be sufficient for that kind of space. If it's a smaller garage, then is it possible that a portable unit can cool it. The answer to this question depends on the quality of the device and the size of the room.

Q: Are portable air conditioners worth the money?

A: For consumers looking for a higher level of flexibility, energy efficiency, and mobility, portable air conditioners are almost always an excellent decision. Some expensive models may not be worth the extra money, but even the highest-end devices on the market are often more cost-effective than central air options.

Q: Where can personal air conditioners be purchased?

A: Portable air conditioners are available in appliance stores physically and virtually. Many new portable air conditioners will be sold exclusively on their official product website. We've linked readers to the appropriate places to buy the top portable air conditioners in 2020 above.

Q: How much is a portable air conditioner?

A: Prices of portable air conditioners start at around $90. Some devices can exceed hundreds of dollars. And others can be even less expensive than $90.

Q: What happens to the moisture in the air?

A: Usually, the moisture that any portable air conditioning unit takes from the air is evaporated. Some product versions and units do come with an extractor pan which stores any moisture captured in the air. Consult the specific use instructions and specifications on a given product to know how it works.

Q: Can a portable air conditioner be used without a window?

A: All air conditioning units need a way to release heat, so find a way to release that heat using a small vent or a longer hose. Some units may use an internal water cooling system, but most devices need some kind of way to release the heat built up by the cooling process.

Final Thoughts

With the summer season taking its toll on all of us, knowing just what kind of portable air conditioner you should get is critical. Under the circumstances created by COVID-19, portable air conditioners have become a must-have for any household. We hope you use this guide to find and pick out the best possible AC unit for your needs.

As always, carefully weigh your options before picking any portable AC unit. While some devices are relatively cheap, others are considered hefty expenditures. Bargain shopping and extensive research can prevent you from making a costly mistake.

As more innovation and advancements continue to transpire in the portable air conditioner industry, TheHealthRadar will continue to update this portable AC review guide with all of the latest updates and research about personal air cooling units.

About the author

Andy Yogi

Andrew, aka Andy, is one of the finest journalists in the TheHealthRadar family and has contributed to dozens of different media publications in his near decade-long career as a professional writer. Based in Calgary, Canada, Andy specializes in investigating trending topics, researching through scientific literature and helping conceptualize new medical announcements through his detailed analysis guides from years of experience inside the health and wellness industry.

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