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Best Portable AC in 2021: Top Portable Air Conditioners List

The summer is right around the corner. Do you want to feel hot and tired all day? With home office work on the rise and the enhancement of modern technology, it’s easier than ever to have a portable air conditioner at home. You can use them anywhere, from offices to bathrooms or your bedroom.

Now, we’ll let you know the best portable ACs that you can acquire right at this moment, and why you should take a closer look at them.

The Top 10 Best Portable ACs You Can Buy Right Now

We analyzed the top models in the market right now and determined the 10 Best Portable AC Units for you. All of these models offer a comfortable experience and have an excellent cost-benefit. However, some have specific perks that may attract you, so pay attention before you buy them.

  • Arctic Air Pure Chill
  • T10 Cooler
  • CoolFeel Max
  • IceBox Air Cooler
  • Blast Auxiliary Portable AC
  • Tundra Breeze AC
  • UV Cooler
  • CoolX
  • Glacier Air Cooler
  • Sleep Connection Cool Mist Humidifier

Arctic Air Pure Chill

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Arctic Air Pure Chill is a unique air conditioner with very strong cooling capabilities. This portable AC device is known for being a small design that works very well. The unit features a rapid cooling technology that can cool in just 30 seconds. The device uses a HydroChill method that adds water to the air and promotes cooler moisture. The unit can be used as a fan and even as an air humidifier, helping many users to add moisture to the air they breathe, helping with sinuses and other respiratory disorders. The device features adjustable vents to better direct air and changeable filters to clean and purify the air that goes through.

The Arctic Air Pure has a water tray that can hold up to 450ml of water for longer cooling. Starting at $89 per unit, the Artic Air manufacturer offers a discount for users who purchase multiple units at once, the bundle prices are:

  • 1 Arctic Air Pure Chill AC $89.99
  • 2 Arctic Air Pure Chill AC $179.98
  • 3 Arctic Air Pure Chill AC $202.99
  • 4 Arctic Air Pure Chill AC $247.99

To learn more about Arctic Air and all its features, visit the official website for all the details.

T10 Cooler

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The T10 Cooler model is an air conditioner that you can carry around easily and that uses a hydro chill technology to turn hot air into the coldest breeze possible. Essentially, it works by cooling and wetting the air, and it does so quietly, unlike most models in the market.

When using this product, you can pick from several colors and three fan options that will help you personalize it to your liking. It also has a battery in case you need to take it with you. Generally, the battery lasts for up to eight hours in normal conditions, but it may not last as long if you use it at the maximum potency.

You can grab a new T10 Cooler for $100 on online stores.

CoolFeel Max

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This innovative portable AC is great for carrying around. It’s the only one on the list that you can use around your neck, so it’s great for working out, especially during hot summers. It sprays cool air directly into your face, which will certainly create a refreshing breeze.

The main perks of this product are that you can adjust it to several temperatures and that it’s the model that is easiest to carry around when compared to the others we described.

CoolFeel Max is below the average price point in this ranking. You can acquire it for $60. This model also has a 30-day refund policy. It means that if you want to give it back, you can do it within a month, no questions asked.

IceBox Air Cooler

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This is one of the most interesting options for people who want to defeat the intense heat of the summer. It absorbs the heat while moisturizing the air and refreshing your room. It has some pretty unique features, such as an LCD screen and several options for setting the temperature of the room.

The IceBox Pro Air Cooler is also versatile, and you can use it during the night, setting the night mode to get low temperatures and no noise at all. Another perk is that the model offers a pretty good range of customization, which is bound to make some clients happy. You can pick different light colors, for example.

You can grab the IceBox Air Cooler right now for $100. While it’s more expensive than models like the Breeze Maxx, for example, the price decreases to as low as $60 if you order several units, which can be a win-win situation.

Blast Auxiliary Portable AC

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This is the perfect option if you want a small, powerful, and affordable AC with complete features that you can use during the summer. Blast Auxiliary Portable AC has a humidifier, a cord-free operation, and the capacity to really cool your home even during the hottest days of the summer.

The design is pretty straightforward, with only a few buttons, and a strap that you can use to carry the AC. It’s also powered by a USB cable, so you can easily charge anywhere, which adds to its mobility, and it allows you to move it if you ever need it.

You can acquire this fine model for $90, which is a decent price for a product with so many features.

Tundra Breeze AC

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This is one of the most attractive portable ACs on the list. It has both a cooler and a humidifier available, and the design is pretty straightforward and easy to use or carry around.

While Tundra Breeze would not probably win a beauty contest because of its blocky old-school appearance, this model uses a humidification system to cool the air and make it more pleasant during hot days. It has one of the best cooling abilities on the list, so you won’t regret it if you decide to purchase it.

Tundra Breeze AC can be found online for a price of $90.

UV Cooler

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This is a robust yet small portable air conditioner that will cool down a room and purify the air within minutes. It comes with a USB device that you can use to power it. Also, the UV Cooler has a filter that will help you to make the air in your home much safer than before.

In case you want to humidify the ambient, this product also offers that option. This is a patented project that offers the perfect level of humidity, even in very dry regions. After you purchase it, you will never need to worry about having problems like a sore throat anymore.

The UV Cooler costs $100 if you buy it online.

CoolX

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CoolX is a versatile air conditioner that you can use in any part of your home. You can either use it to diminish the heat during the day or to keep your room comfortable while you sleep. It has three different speeds, allowing the user to tune it as they see fit. Other features include a LED light that you can use to illuminate the room.

Like many similar products, it can also work as a humidifier or an air purifier, which makes it ideal for people looking for a solution that is not too costly but boasts versatility.

This top-of-the-market model comes out for $90, a decent price range for a product with so many perks.

Glacier Air Cooler

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Glacier Air Cooler is an option that stands out among the competition because it uses rechargeable batteries instead of only having a USB cable. This increases its portability considerably, and you can even take it with you to open spaces for hours without hassle.

This AC also has a very small size, and it can be used to light the area. If you want to carry it to the beach during the night in the summer, this will be perfect for you. We can’t fail to mention its stylish retro design as well. It’s very beautiful and you won’t regret it if you acquire it.

The price for portable AC is $94, around the average price that you’ll pay for a product like this.

Sleep Connection Cool Mist Humidifier

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The last item in our Top 10 is slightly different from the others. It’s a combination of a portable air conditioner and a humidifier. Obviously, it’s smaller than the other models, so it doesn’t cool as much as the others. However, this is perfect for having it near you while you sleep, and will aid you in having pleasant dreams.

You can use it easily because it doesn’t have a lot of buttons. Also, by adding water to it, you will get it to work as a humidifier as well. That’s a pro move when you live in a very dry region.

Sleep Connection Cool Mist Humidifier is by far the cheapest product in our ranking. It costs only $15. So, you can acquire it even if you don’t have a lot to spare right now.

Why Are These Air Conditioners Excellent? Our Criteria

Transparency is important whenever you look for a new product for your home, right? So, we’ll detail how we ranked these different products now and why we defend that they are better than most of the other ones that the competition is offering.

We used several aspects to rank the list of portable AC units. They are:

Cooling capabilities

The main requirement for any portable AC is to cool the temperature of at least a small or medium room efficiently. Unfortunately, most air coolers sold in the market will not do this very well, despite advertising otherwise. We selected the best units, the ones that really cool down a room without unexpected issues.

Humidification capabilities

Most of the time, these products offer humidifiers as well as cooling capabilities. So, we also reviewed them based on how their humidifiers function. Their effectiveness in doing well in this role were major points that decided whether a product would make the list or not.

Usability

We wouldn’t pick a model if it wasn’t very easy to use. Most people who want to purchase these products are not technology experts. So, having good usability for carrying the AC around, as well as not too many buttons and complicated features is actually a positive point in this situation.

Price

Everybody wants a good deal. Some have a lot to spend on a new portable AC, while others do not, so we picked products from all price ranges. All of our choices offer good value, though. A model that costs $100 is obviously better than one that costs $60, but each is equally useful for its price tag.

Additional features

We prioritized the portable ACs that offered the best perks. Several of them have ultraviolet lights that filter out bacteria, for example. So, the ones with additional features fared better on the list.

Customization

An excellent air conditioner works at any time of the day. So, we only reviewed models that offered at least some variety in their fan speeds. This way, you can decide whether you want a small breeze or a really strong chilling cold.

Main parts

The most important parts of a good personal AC are the ice tray, water curtain, and misting devices. They’re used to create the cold vapor that cools the room, and if they don’t work well, the whole thing won’t offer a good experience. We only listed ACs that fared better in this category.

Aesthetic and design

While this wasn’t an exceedingly important factor in our decision, we did take looks into account. Nobody wants an ugly portable AC, so we gave more points to the ones that looked good.

Transparency

We only reviewed companies that value transparency. All of these ACs provide a manual with instructions and honest information about what the device does. Any company that fails this category was automatically eliminated from the list.

Customer reviews

While these ACs were tested to see if they worked well, we also read reviews online. So, we prioritized the ones that have good reviews. Customers test these products in several extreme situations, so it’s good to read these stories and see how well the device fares.

Where To Use a Portable AC?

Portable air conditioners are pretty easy to use. Like their HVAC counterparts, they can be used to cool a room. The main difference between them and normal ACs, however, is that they’re often a better choice in case you don’t have such a large space. They’re easy to carry around, too. So, they’re a great choice if you want to invest in mobility.

You can use them in:

  • Offices
  • Dorms
  • Bedrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Dining rooms
  • Small homes
  • Any kind of small space

Most models are excellent for small spaces indoors, but you can pick one that will work for the outside, too, as long as you place it near you. In case the space is too big, a good idea is to buy a large model (with over 10,000 BTU).

How Do Portable Air Conditioners Work?

The portable air conditioners that we recommended mostly use their technology to cool temperatures in a small or medium room, passing the hot air via a water curtain that creates cold vapor.

Small models only cool down a small area, while the larger ones can even work efficiently in a big room. To measure the potency of these devices, companies use a measure named BTU. The higher it is, the more potent the effect will be.

Unlike HVACs, they don’t dry the air because the cooling process is essentially linked to water. HVACs don’t use water, but refrigerants and compressors that function together with a fan. This is a stronger process to cool air, but it makes the air drier.

The process of a standard portable AC is as follows:

  • The unit sucks in hot, dry air.
  • The air passes via the water curtain and perhaps an ice tray.
  • The water inside the curtain evaporates as the air passes. This diminishes the heat and expels cool air.
  • Internal fans blow the cool and moisture out of the device and into your room.

Advanced models can also use UV light, which filters out bacteria, viruses, and other harmful substances. However, this process is not needed for a personal AC to work.

Top 10 Advantages of Acquiring A New Personal AC

Portable ACs can offer a surprisingly high number of advantages when compared to other cooling systems. We listed the most important ten for you.

Save Money

Portable air conditioners are cheap. Not only are they smaller and therefore spend a lot less energy than a full HVAC system, but they are much cheaper to buy. An average portable AC uses a USB cable and batteries to work, not spending much more electric energy than a smartphone.

Most models won’t cost a lot more than $100, so they are the perfect choice if you are on a budget and you can’t spend too much money, but you don’t want to face the summer without any kind of protection.

You Don’t Need to Install Them

Unlike a full HVAC system, there’s no need to install a personal AC before you can use it in your home. You can just drop it in a room, turn it on and you will feel the effects pretty quickly.

If you used an HVAC, you would probably need to install pipes or other systems. Another drawback is that you would need outside space, something that is not necessary in this case.

Customizable Temperatures

Most personal ACs will let you customize their temperature. The options often range from three to five different levels of cold. The presence of options is especially important for portable air conditioners because you won’t be always using them in the same place.

So, you can pick different levels in distinct situations, which will increase your choices considerably. Some products even have options for outdoors or for sleeping.

They Are Surprisingly Efficient

While it’s undeniable that a portable air conditioner will not cool your house as much as an HVAC, it can be more efficient than you expect. The models we recommended have excellent cooling capabilities, and they do it at a much cheaper price point than their bigger counterparts.

You Can Move Them Around Easily

If you buy a big, cumbersome HVAC, you will be able to use it only in the room that you currently have installed. However, by picking a portable AC, you can get a lot of mobility and will be able to decide which room will get the effect at a certain time.

In case you have several rooms that you use during a hot day, the best choice is to pick the portable AC and take it with you wherever you go.

They Add Humidity, Not Remove It

One of the worst drawbacks of conventional HVAC systems is that they dry the air. Some people dislike this feeling, so they pick portable air conditioners with humidifiers instead. By doing this, you will get a much more humid sensation, and it will be easy to enjoy a moister summer instead of a dry one.

Portable ACs Filter the Air

You don’t want the air that you breathe to be dirty. That can cause several diseases. So, some portable ACs have filters that will help you to remove bacteria and other toxins from the air. Most of them use UV light filters. However, others use physical filters, which can be just as good in most cases.

No Electrical Grid Required

One of the advantages of portable air conditioners is their battery. Essentially all the models that we recommend either have a battery or can function using only a USB device.

This means that you won’t need more than a laptop to get them to work. You can also take them outside and they will provide comfort for as long as their battery lasts. The best models have batteries that last up to between eight to ten hours.

They Are Easy to Use

People with limited tech skills don’t need to worry about using these products. While most HVAC systems have remote controls that can be very complicated to beginners, portable ACs are as easy to handle as a fan. You just plug them, pick a speed, maybe a few other options, and you’re good to go.

Portable Air Conditioners Are Not Noisy

One of the main drawbacks of conventional air conditioners is how noisy they are. While a few people appreciate the noise, most do not. So, this turns into a huge drawback provided by this kind of product.

You can solve this by picking one of the top 10 models that we listed. They have multiple sound settings and can aid you in a good night’s sleep without any irritation from both heat and noise.

Personal Air Conditioners FAQ

Q: What is a portable air conditioner?

A: It’s a device that will lower the temperature of a room and that you can carry with you anywhere.

Q: How does a portable AC differ from a normal air conditioner?

A: Portable ACs are essentially small and handy objects that you can carry around. They may not be as powerful as a full HVAC system in most cases, but they got mobility and most of them have humidifiers.

Q: Are portable ACs safe to use?

Yes, all the units that we cited in the article are perfectly safe. We picked only the models that do not use any kind of toxic gases or vapors. They solely use water vapor to function, so you don’t need to worry.

Q: Can I cool my room without an HVAC?

A: Yes. If you do not have a proper HVAC system, you can always either buy a fan (which is not very effective) or use a portable AC instead (which is much more effective).

Q: How much space does a portable AC cover?

A: These products are designed to cover small areas such as bedrooms, kitchens, offices, etc. They can’t cool an entire house. However, be aware that specific models may cover smaller or bigger areas. The right move is to read the manual to get the exact numbers.

Q: What is the ideal size of a portable AC?

A: That depends on how large is the space that you want to cover. For example, a 7,500 BTU model covers 200 square feet, while a 10,000 BTU unit will be able to cover 300 square feet with a single device. The larger the room, the larger the portable AC needs to be as well.

Q: Do portable air coolers need outside access?

A: No. Unlike HVAC systems, you do not need outside access to use a portable AC. They work pretty well even in completely closed rooms.

Q: What is the price of a portable air conditioner?

A: Most products in our list cost around $90 or $100. You can find cheaper models, but they will be fairly small. There are more expensive models, too, but most of them are not worth the extra cost.

Q: Why do air conditioners dry the air in the room?

A: Most HVAC systems are effective to lower the temperature in a room, but they also remove the ambient moisture. If you leave them on for a long time, they will dry it out completely. However, the portable ACs in our list actually add moisture instead of removing it.

Q: Can using portable air conditioners increase my bills?

A: Yes, but the price increase will probably be lower when compared to a fully-sized HVAC. Therefore, they present a cheap option to make your summer more tolerable.

Q: Do portable ACs leak water?

A: The models we listed don’t normally leak water. They have well-made water curtains. So, they will only do it if it’s over-filled or there’s a defect with the product.

Q: Why do personal ACs use UV light?

A: According to researchers, UV light can help to remove bacteria, mold, pollen, and other compounds from the air. So, the manufacturers of these products use them to keep the air clean.

Q: How long will a portable AC last?

A: It really depends, but you can expect most of the models present in this guide to last for at least five years. Batteries may decline in efficiency as time passes, but you can always plug them into the wall or use a USB power cord.

Q: What is SEER?

A: SEER means Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. This is a number that shows how efficient household appliances such as an AC can be. You should aim for a value higher than 13. The best models often can go as high as 20 in their SEER ratings.

Q: What is the best portable AC?

A: That depends on many specific points, such as the size of the room and what special perks you need. Read our previous Top 10 ranking to see the overall best models.

Top Portable Air Conditioners in 2021 Conclusion

Thanks to the many improvements in technology, you can acquire an excellent portable air conditioner today for $100 or less. Most of these products do not have a high cost and will help you to avoid maintenance issues that normal HVAC systems often have. Also, you can change them without paying a huge amount of money.

So, you can get all the perks offered by normal ACs and pay a lot less. Be sure to buy our best-rated portable AC unit that will work perfectly for your situation.

More Like This: Arctic Air Pure Chill Portable Air Conditioner Review (July 2021)

Affiliate Disclosure:

The links contained in this product review may result in a small commission if you opt to purchase the product recommended at no additional cost to you. This goes towards supporting our research and editorial team and please know we only recommend high quality products.

Disclaimer:

Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely a substitute for sound medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider. Make sure to consult with a professional physician before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary as the statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


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