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Best Portable AC 2021 Review Top Mini Air Conditioning Units

Portable air conditioning units are incredibly helpful for individuals that want to be able to stay out of the heat as much as possible this summer. Considering that many states have already experienced highs of 100 degrees or more, this need cannot be understated.

These types of units are typically designed for a medium space, dropping temperatures quickly to a more comfortable level. These devices can run anywhere in the home, but the users won’t have to pay nearly the same costs that they would for a traditional unit. They are much less expensive, much quieter, and much more customizable.

During this guide, consumers will see which products on the market today can properly serve their need for portable air conditioning units. They will also see what factors decide how effective these units can be to help them choose more wisely.

The Top Rankings of Air Conditioning Units

After hours of research and analysis, the top portable AC units on the market today include:

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

Read on below to learn about the way that each of these units can help users.

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Blast Auxiliary Portable AC

At $90, the Blast Auxiliary Portable AC offers a small yet affordable option for cooling off the home. There are no cords that users have to fiddle with, and the design is incredibly easy for any new user. Plus, users could even add a humidifier option to the device if they desire, giving users a little bit more control about what they’re doing.

This device is primarily advertised as a way to keep a home cooled off during the warmer temperatures that the average person experienced outside constantly. Users just need to connect it with the USB cable to charge it, and it can be run whether it is plugged in or not. It has a filter, a humidifier, and other important features but often aren’t available with the less expensive options.

Learn more about the Blast Auxiliary Portable AC here.

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Arctic Air Pure Chill Portable Air Cooler

Arctic Air Pure Chill is also available for $90, though it earns a place on this list for the unique description as a “nano air conditioner.” Ultimately, this term is simply a way for users to understand that the small design does not mean this is less powerful. It keeps the air cooled off as it extracts the bacteria and other pollutants in the air that can irritate the user’s lungs. The majority of the other products on this list only can cleanse the air, but this filter is incredibly powerful.

This AC unit is lightweight, making it even easier to move from one place to another with the cordless design. It weighs just 1.5 pounds, and it is incredibly quiet so that it can run in the background at any point of the day.

Learn more about the Arctic Air Pure Chill here.

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CoolX

For $90 as well, CoolX is another portable option that can even be used in the car. Users can choose between seven different color options for the LED light, making it ideal for a night light as they cool in their room at night.

There are already three speeds set for this device, though users can choose between any one of them to get the cooling that they want. It doesn’t take long for these devices to change temperatures, and it works as an air conditioner, air purifier, and humidifier as it runs. It cleans the air in the space, but it also delivers moisture that keeps temperatures even lower.

Learn more about the CoolX here.

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IceBox Air Cooler

At $100, the IceBox Air Cooler brings in the hot air and replaces it with the cool air that is expelled from the other side. It can easily work in any dorm room or office, but the reason this cooler got a place on the list is that it is rather unique from the other models available. Along with the clear LCD screen, users can choose the temperature range that they want to remain between, which is not afforded to them with most portable coolers. It is also incredibly quiet and features seven different light settings to set the mood with the five coolness levels. All of these customization options give users exactly the experience that they want, though it is not exclusive to the cooling it offers.

Users that want to save on this product can bring the cost down to $60 each if they’re ordering multiple devices at once.

Learn more about the IceBox Air Cooler here.

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Glacier Air Cooler

The Glacier Air Cooler is available for $94, providing users with an external battery that can easily be recharged to take anywhere the user wants to go. It is both a Lantern in an air cooler, making it perfect to bring along for long journeys while camping or even sitting at the beach. Plus, it only requires the speed added to the unit to create the extremely cold temperatures that it boasts.

Though the aesthetics of this design are a little more old-fashioned, it can still work well with many styles of decor.

Learn more about the Glacier Air Cooler here.

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Sleep Connection Cool Mist Humidifier

For a significantly cheaper device, there’s the Sleep Connection Cool Mist Humidifier for $15. This portability is complemented by the humidifier feature and aesthetically pleasing look. It is easy to use this device to improve sleep at night or to keep the user cooled off during the day.

There is a mood light to create a certain ambiance while running this device, making it a little bit more attractive to consumers that prefer to get more out of a cooler than its main function. Plus, it is the cheapest option on the list for individuals that may not want to spend a lot of money to keep cool.

Learn more about the Sleep Connection Cool Mist Humidifier here.

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UV Cooler

The UV Cooler is a little more expensive at $100, but its performance is incredible. A keeps the error in any room cool, but it also helps to purify it for easier breathing. Rather than simply relying on a filter, this portable cooler exposes the room to ultraviolet light to sanitize the water as it attracts particles from the air. It traps the toxins and bacteria that naturally float around, but it is also incredibly lightweight to bring along anywhere.

Learn more about the UV Cooler here.

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T10 Cooler

The T10 Cooler is also $100, though it is primarily used for the ability to move the cooler wherever the user goes. It is ideal for car use, though it can also create enough coolness for the bedroom, a small garage, or even a studio apartment. It takes in the hot air as it passes through a water curtain that is soaked with cold water. This device is incredibly quiet, which users will discover to be a benefit for nearly any cooler on this list.

To customize the experience, users have three different fan options and seven LED colors that they can use to make their experience more pleasant. Plus, users can keep this device running for up to 8 hours before they need to refill the water.

Learn more about the T10 Cooler here.

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CoolFeel Max

For a drop in the price, consumers might want to consider CoolFeel Max at $60. The cooling system is only available through PopularHiTech, but it comes with a 30-day return policy for anyone who may not get what they want from it. Instead of being sat down on a desk or another table, it is carried by the user around their neck to constantly keep their temperature ideal. Plus, users will feel a mist of cold air on their face for the entire time they wear it.

This is the only unit on the list that specifically is worn on the user’s body, rather than set down to run.

Learn more about the CoolFeel Max here.

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Tundra Breeze AC

Tundra Breeze AC is the last cooler on this list, priced at $90. Even though it is not quite as stylish as the other options, it is incredibly effective in keeping the air in a room cold. Users will add both cold water and ice to the water tank as the heat is pulled from the rest of the room. It won’t dry out the user’s skin or sinuses, and it uses a water curtain to keep the room humidified.

Learn more about the Tundra Breeze AC here.

How the Rankings Were Decided

Considering the many different models on the market today, portable air conditioning units may seem the same at first glance. Every unit is focused on the way that it can cool off its beans, claiming to lower temperatures without taking up much space on its own. Each one is different in its own right, which makes it all the more important to differentiate between their benefits to show which one is the right match.

There were metrics considered in creating this list of the top portable AC units, which included:

How affectively the unit could cool the space. The fact is that not every unit will work the same way. Devices that can create the cool temperature desired by the consumer earned a priority on this list above others. The entire purpose of this type of machine is to keep the space cooled off, which is why any unit that could achieve this feat was included.

Effectiveness in humidity. Part of the reason a portable air conditioning unit is so helpful is because it introduces humidity into the air that a traditional model does not. For a portable air conditioner to be effective, the ability to introduce humidity is important.

Appearance and design. Even though it was not one of the top reasons to approve or eliminate any of the products on this list, the style and aesthetics played a factor. Consumers want to cool off their room without disrupting their entire decor. By having a more complementary unit, it is easier to integrate.

User-friendly interface. Any portable air conditioning unit needs to be easy for the average consumer to use, even if they have no tech skills whatsoever. The majority of these items only require a little upkeep by filling up the water tank or adding ice before plugging it in.

Bonus features. Every single portable AC needs to be able to keep a room cooled off, but other features like humidity, air circulation, and air filtration earned a spot as well.

Return policy. If consumers are not happy with the product that they choose, they need to be able to send it back for a full refund. Unfortunately, there are many companies with highly restrictive return policies but make it difficult to send it back.

Customization options. Consumers often like to adjust the cooling to whatever they feel is the best for them at that point. Some people prefer to be cool throughout the nights, while others prefer to keep temperatures low in the daytime. All of these factors played a role in the presence of that particular model on this list.

Mechanism of delivery cooling vapor. The majority of the air conditioning units on this list include a water curtain or ice tray that can help set the cool temperature of the vapor that emits from these devices. Dry air goes over the device from one end, and the right mechanism is important to ensure that cool air is blown through the other side.

Good prices and good value. Some people like to spend very little to get the cooling benefits that portable AC units offer. Others are willing to spend much more to see if the extra money pays off. Every single price point of these cooling units how to provide users with good value for the money they’re spending.

The opinions of customers. Customers are the people that each of these devices is meant to serve, so the reputation that each one has amongst the people that buy it is important. Many customers test out their units in different weather conditions and temperatures to ensure that they work. While the testing of a company plays a big role, the reviews of customers also do.

Transparency. Every company needs to be upfront to earn a place on this list. Some brands won’t even provide the user with the size of the water tank they are purchasing before submitting an order. Luckily, many companies provide even the user manual before an order is placed.

Where is the Best Place to Set Up an Air Conditioning Unit?

The beauty of a portable air conditioning unit is that it can be set up almost anywhere. While larger systems may require some access to outdoor air, the majority of them are made specifically to work wherever the user wants to place them. Many options from this list require no direct power while they’re running, working off of a charged battery instead.

Smaller units are ideal for a small space like an office or a bedroom, while larger units are more fitting for an outdoor area or a larger shared space. Most often, consumers prefer to set up their portable cooler in a bedroom, small apartments, office, dorm room, and other areas that are similar in size. Larger units may be more equipped for outdoor areas and small homes, even if there is no electrical outlet nearby.

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The Benefits of Using a Portable Air Conditioner

The purpose of using any cooler is to make the air in the room more welcoming and comfortable. However, many benefits come with the use of this type of system. Saving money is often a priority for many consumers, and using a portable AC is much less expensive than an entire HVAC system. Since this type of device only cools off the area that it is placed in, most consumers find but it won’t require nearly the amount of power that a larger system does. Many systems simply require charging or access to a USB connection to run the battery.

While a large HVAC system requires an entire area to be supported with one predetermined temperature, a personal cooler also helps consumers to create the ambiance they want for their personal space. The majority of the models on the market today give them approximately 3 or more temperature levels to choose from. Even though it is not possible to set a specific degree for these coolers, the variations allow users to get more comfortable with their particular preferences.

One of the biggest complaints among individuals who use a typical air conditioning system in their home or office is dryness. Since these systems eliminate humidity from the home, it is much more likely that those users will experience dry skin and even retinas and their sinuses that make it difficult to protect the body from illness. A portable air conditioner introduces more moisture into the air, keeping it cooler for longer. While the humidity is introduced, the water curtain acts as a filter for any of the bacteria, toxins, and other compounds that may be irritating to the user’s health. If not, having a physical filter that the air circulates through is common as well.

Unlike a traditional air conditioning unit, the portable AC doesn’t actually require any installation because it isn’t a permanent fixture in the home. While it is completely fine to leave these units in one place, the benefit is that the portable AC is exactly that – portable. There’re no tubes or hosing that have to go through the windows, but users should be aware that the tank will need to be filled with water for use. Because of these simple requirements, portable AC units are known for how easy they are to run. Advanced technical skills are not required, and the advice of an electrician is not needed to set it up. Anyone can set up this type of device in their home, especially because they require so little to keep running.

For individuals that want the mobility that a portable unit allows, many options require no electrical outlet at all. The majority of these types of coolers focus only on the use of a charged battery, which means it can be run on a desk, a bedside table, or even outdoors during the picnic to create a better ambiance. Most of these units don’t way very much either, which makes it easy to carry around wherever the user wants to be more comfortable. Even if the device is larger, the majority of these products will also include wheels to make mobility a non-issue.

As inexpensive as the device is to run, it is also inexpensive to purchase an AC unit. An average of $100 is typical, though many of the units on this list are below that amount. With a typical air conditioning unit that is not portable, installation and the cost of a unit combined can be well over $10,000.

Unlike a fully installed AC unit or HVAC system, these systems aren’t loud at all. While a traditional unit may keep consumers awake throughout all hours of the day and night with the sudden click as it activates, portable coolers are much smaller without the same mechanisms. There is no need for the fan to make a bunch of noise because it only needs to circulate the air in a small area. It is ideal for anyone who wants to keep their cooler running through movies, meetings, and more.

Their small size is not an indication of how effective they are. These devices can be placed anywhere in a home or office for the amount of cooling that the user needs. While it won’t necessarily provide the same level of cool air that a fully installed system might, it offers a customized approach it is not available otherwise.

How Do Portable Air Conditioners Work?

Depending on the particular model, portable air conditioning units can work in many different ways. The models found in this list use no more than basic technology as a way to create the ambiance that consumers want in their home with a pleasant coolness. The technology pushes air through the water curtain, creating the calming breeze that makes an entire room feel substantially better. These devices are well equipped to handle an area as big as a bedroom or even a small apartment.

Some models are significantly more advanced in the way that they cool a room, making it possible to chill an entire space at once. These types of coolers often have a single or dual hose design, allowing the device to pull from the outside air to circulate through the room. Advanced models include a refrigerant to keep the air cool, as well as a fan to circulate the air, and a compressor to compress the refrigerant.

Ultimately, these advanced options are much like the systems that consumers will find installed in homes and other permanent fixtures. However, the noise they create can be quite overwhelming for some consumers. Some customers even say that they drive up their electric bill unnecessarily, and they even cause incredible dryness in the air that can be difficult on the sinus is and on the rest of the body.

An air-cooling system is not quite the same. Instead of creating dryness, they increase the amount of moisture in the air to make it easier to cool. Even though they still pull the heat out of the room, there is no refrigerant or compressor needed. When these systems cool the air, they often go through the same process from one device to the next.

The device pulls in the hot and sometimes dry air from outside of the home.

The air is processed through the AC unit, which has a water curtain for the air to go through. This water curtain is cold and saturated with water, though it is typically connected to both an ice tray and a hydration chamber that maintain saturation and coolness.

The water on the curtain slowly evaporates as the air goes through it, reducing the amount of heat in the air to create the cool temperature that the user wants.

The fan mechanism inside pushes out the moist and cool air from the opposite side to create a more welcoming temperature.

Additional features may be included with the device, like a UV light or a bacterial filter, to improve the way that it cools and cleans the air.

FAQs About Portable Air Conditioners

What is a portable air conditioner?

A portable air conditioner is a device that is typically used to reduce temperatures in a home to fight against heat. They are often rather lightweight, making them easy to bring from one place to the next. A typical air conditioner is not portable.

How is a portable air conditioner different from a regular air conditioner?

There are many differences between a portable air conditioning unit and a regular air conditioner. Portable air conditioning units are meant to be moved from one place to the next, while a regular air conditioner stays in one spot. The technology used in a portable air conditioner is slightly different from that which is used in a regular air conditioner. Instead of using a compressor and a refrigerant, a portable unit can use many different methods, including evaporation technology, water curtains, or ice trays that blow out of the cool air.

How much room can a portable air conditioner cool off?

The units found on this list are not meant to cool more than a small area at a time, like a bedroom or office. They cannot provide enough support for an entire room, so users may need to purchase multiple devices for the areas that they want to cool off.

How big of a portable air cooler do users require?

The user should base the size of their air cooler on the amount of space they want to keep cold off. For instance, a device with 7,500 BTU can be used to cover 200 square feet of space.

Will the portable air cooler need to be near a window or have outside access?

Not necessarily. This type of device doesn’t require this type of access, but it will stimulate the flow of cool air with the use of a water curtain and/or an ice tray. There’s no need to use a tube or a hose to introduce air from outside the home.

Is a portable cooler safe for everyone?

Yes. These types of devices don’t include any chemicals that could potentially release the air like freon or refrigerant. No matter the type of home, a portable cooler only creates vapor from the water it contains so that cool humidity can be spread throughout the space.

Which model is the best portable air conditioning unit?

Any of the models listed above are excellent choices. The best unit for the particular user will depend on the size of the space that they want to cool off.

Will consumers have to worry about seeing a major surge in their electric bills?

No. In fact, the cost of running a single portable air conditioning unit in a room is significantly less than the cost of electricity to run an entire HVAC system for the same building. If the user has multiple portable units running at the same time, the electricity bill may rise slightly.

Will these portable units lead to water leakage?

The technology behind portable air conditioning units is not the same as other methods of cooling. Even though they contain a water curtain and sometimes an ice tree to create low temperatures, they won’t leak.

Why does the air conditioner include a UV light?

UV light and other filtration systems are sometimes used to eliminate the bacteria and other components from a room. The American College of Allergists states that about half of the illnesses that exist today are perpetuated with indoor pollution. By adding a device with a UV light, it is possible that the AC unit can attract and capture the mold, pollen, viruses, bacteria, and other toxins that put consumers at risk.

However, not all devices use UV light at all. Consumers that prefer to have a UV light will need to choose a model that offers that benefit.

How long will a portable cooler continue to provide the user with the right performance?

The majority of high-quality products will last for at least five years before they need to be updated or replaced. However, it is important to maintain these products properly to get the most out of their performance.

What is SEER?

SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency rating. This rating shows consumers how effective their device will be as they use it. While the average unit typically ranges from a 13 to a 16 for their rating, some units can rate as high as 20 or beyond.

What can users do to keep their homes cooled off without a cooler?

While it can be difficult to keep a home cool off, using a portable unit is ideal for small spaces or individual rooms for individuals who do not want to deal with the costs of an entire HVAC system being installed.

What does a central air conditioning unit do to keep a home cold?

The average air conditioning system uses a compressor to circulate refrigerant, though it also removes the heat that has built up in the home. The heat is removed with a cooled indoor coil which ultimately drops the air temperatures all the hot air is pushed outside as well.

Why is it possible for air conditioners to dry out the air?

While the temperature can easily be dropped, this system often removes moisture from the air as well. Without any moisture, the air feels much drier than it previously was. Dry skin is rather common for individuals with this type of system already built into their homes. A portable AC unit introduces more moisture into the air, which means users do not have to worry about dry skin, dry eyes, and irritation.

What is ENERGY STAR?

This program was originally created by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, providing consumers with information that can help them choose products that are efficient and effective. The ENERGY STAR label indicates that the user is buying an item that is efficient with its energy consumption.

How much will it cost consumers to purchase a portable air conditioning unit?

The units on this list come in a wide range of prices, starting at $15 and going up to $120.00. However, this is much more cost-effective than installing a full air conditioning system in a home or office, which can cost thousands of dollars.

Final Thoughts

The technology behind portable air conditioning units has changed significantly in just the last decade. Even though these systems used to cost well over $1000 for a small unit, they can now be purchased for less than $100 with the same effectiveness. Despite their small package, they can reduce the temperature in an area for the user comfortably without having to sacrifice tons of money in the process.

Individuals that want to learn more about the type of products that they can get can review the options on this list for the top air conditioning units on the market today.

More Like This: Blast Auxiliary Portable Ultra AC Review – Scam or Worth the Money?

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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