A portable air conditioner can be the best solution for cooling a single room. You can also use you portable AC unit to help out when your central AC is overwhelmed. The usual places where portable ACs are used are computer rooms, dens, bedrooms, and even garages.
Best Cheap Portable Air Conditioners List
- Onewell 2019 Portable Air Conditioner Fan
- GREATSSLY Humidifier Portable Air Conditioner Fan
- Evapolar evaCHILL New Personal Evaporative Air Cooler
- Shinco SPS5 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
- Enklen Portable Air Conditioner
- FRIGIDAIRE FFPA0822U1 Portable Air Conditioner
- MIDEA MPF08CR81-E Portable Air Conditioner 8000 BTU
- Global Air 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
- JHS 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
- LG LP0817WSR 115V Portable Air Conditioner
- BLACK DECKER BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner
Because these self-contained portable ACs usually sit on the floor and have caster wheels, you can move them from room to room as the need arises. This is a decided advantage over having a window air conditioner! Setup is usually quite easy with the installation kit that comes with the air conditioning unit.
Setting Up Your Portable AC Unit
Although setup will vary from model to model, the process is usually fast and quite painless. Because your portable AC unit takes hot air and moisture out of the room and adds cold air, they need to exhaust the warm air.
Set up will therefore include running an exhaust duct to an outside window using a kit that comes with the unit. The setup kit will include the exhaust hose and a window slider that the duct fits into.
Best Cheap Portable Air Conditioners – Comparison Table
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There are also units that exhaust to a drop ceiling or wall. As soon as you set up the exhaust hose, you can turn on your portable AC unit and start cooling off the room.
An obvious requirement when you go shopping for a portable AC unit is to know in advance how you intend to exhaust the hot air! This includes deciding where you will place the unit in the room so that the exhaust hose can reach the window.
Other options include air coolers that do not require an exhaust hose, don’t use the usual AC cooling system and are typically less expensive. There are many portable AC units on the market but you want the best you can get for the best price. Well, we are here to help. Here is our list of your best portable AC options, all priced under $150.
Best Cheap Portable Air Conditioners Under $150
The units on this list include one air conditioner and several cooling and humidifying units.
This portable unit is available on Amazon.com for as little as $36.99.
The Onewell 2019 is so quiet that you will barely notice it while working and it will not disturb your sleep.
This is a small unit that will fit on your nightstand or at your work desk. Best of all, it can be easily carried from room to room.
At $36.99, this is an inexpensive portable cooling appliance. And, because you only need to add water for cooling, you will not be servicing to replace an expensive coolant. Its energy consumption is also much lower than a traditional AC unit.
The Onewell 2019 cools, humidifies, and purifies the air with its NANO filter paper. It has six fan speeds for the level of cooling that you choose. You can direct the air flow as you wish and, when the water tank is empty the unit will automatically shut off.
The seven color lights in the air cooler are pretty and work as a friendly night light as well. This unit comes with a 12-month warranty and has a 30-day refund option. This is a very low-energy device.
Automatic Draining System: Not necessary
Humidifier: Built in
Programmable Thermostat: not part of this unit
This is a great portable cooling and humidifying device for only $42.99.
This is a very quiet device that will not disturb your work or sleep.
At less than 9 inches in height, this cooling unit is easily moved from room to room and fits on virtually any available surface. Nevertheless, it has good cooling capacity.
This is an inexpensive cooling device at only $42.99 and, because it does not need to have a coolant recharged, is inexpensive to operate.
This unit cools and humidifies at the same time. It comes with three speeds and a 400 ml tank for water. It will run for as long as five hours after you fill the tank and its LED lights are pleasant night lights as well! Because of its small size, it fits pretty much anywhere you want to put it.
Automatic Draining System: Not necessary
Humidifier: Yes. As its cooling is based on evaporation, it adds moisture to the air.
Programmable Thermostat: Not necessary
This excellent cooling and humidifying device is available on Amazon.com for only $79.
One of the best features of the Evapolar is that is is a quiet device that will not disturb your sleep or your work.
Move this portable cooling system easily from room to room. Its small size lets you place in on any available surface.
Not only is this portable cooler and humidifier inexpensive at $79 but it is cheap to operate and does not require replacement of an expensive coolant while it produces cool air every day.
You get cooling, humidification, and air cleaning with this portable device. It is safe in your home as it does not use Freon and its Eva Breeze evaporative pads are completely biodegradable and do not harbor bacteria.
It effectively cools an area of 45 square feet, about the size of a desk, bed, or couch! It has easy-to-use controls, a leak-proof system, and a water tank that allows for up to 9 hours operation.
Automatic Draining System: Not required
Programmable Thermostat: Not required
This is the first true portable AC unit on our under-$150 list.
This portable 8,000 BTU system is quiet while it does a nice job cooling up to 200 square feet for a room, cabin, or your camper. It is especially quiet once it is maintaining room coolness.
These portable ACs are set on wheels, so you can roll it around the room or room to room. However, you need to move the exhaust hose and window unit with it as necessary.
The cost of this item will vary according to the seller, but units are available for less than $150 on Amazon.com.
Cools up to 200 square feet with its 8,000 BTU rating and becomes very quiet once it is maintaining room temperature and is ideal for sleeping. The air outlet blows vertically for better air distribution.
Its three fan speeds allow for fine tuning and with a dehumidifying capacity of 60 pints it not only cools your room but keeps it dry as well. This unit is easy to operate with a clear LED display and simple controls on the panel for fan speed, temperature adjustment, and mode selection.
Its unique “self-evaporative” system uses moisture from room air to cool its condenser coils. This means less water building up in the tank and less-frequent emptying. The exhaust hose and the window kit are easy to install without any special tools in just a few minutes and the window kit fits in any 26.5 inch to 51 inch space.
Automatic Draining System: No
Humidifier: No, dehumidifies
Programmable Thermostat: Yes
These portable ACs are available on Amazon.com for a little as $54.99.
This lightweight air cooling device is pleasantly quiet as it cools your personal space by three to ten degrees Celsius.
Small and portable, this device fits anywhere and can be powered via a USB port!
At $54.99 this machine comes at a nice price and, because you do not need to recharge a coolant, it is cheap to operate at the recommended settings.
This cheap portable cooling device cools by blowing air through a curtain of cold water. It will keep your “personal space” cool for up to six hours.
And, you do not need an electrical socket to power this device as it will work off of a USB port as well. Use this unit to cool off your office, bedroom, or even a tent. You can even take it on vacation with you. It uses about 1 kilo watt per hour.
This is one of the best portable cooling unit as it comes with a lifetime warranty and a 100% satisfaction guarantee for 15 days. If you unit has a problem they will fix it, send you a new one, or refund your money.
Automatic Draining System: No
Humidifier: Part of its normal operation
Programmable Thermostat: Does not apply
Best Inexpensive Portable Air Conditioners Under $300
All of the units in this group are portable AC conditioners that do the best job for a very reasonable price. The lowest priced models are all 8,000 BTU but many have 12 000 BTU and 14 000 BTU options.
The Frigidaire FFPA0822U1 is an excellent portable air conditioner that is available on Amazon.com for a low price of $186.03.
This AC unit has a 52 DB noise level which is equivalent to a quiet street, an electric fan, or a running refrigerator.
This Frigidaire model is on wheels for easy moving around. You will need to change the single hose for exhaust if you move from room to room.
For the cheap price of $186.03 this is a low-cost AC unit. Its energy consumption is low which will keep your costs down as well.
A portable air conditioner for up to 350 square feet, this unit dehumidifies at 2.8 pints every hour. It comes with a handy remote control and its antibacterial filter reduces odors, airborne particles, and bacteria. However, its control does not work via Wi-Fi.
It is ENERGY STAR certified, which is the best energy rating for conditioners, and comes with a full warranty for one year and a five-year warranty for closed systems.
Automatic Draining System: No. But there is a light that functions as a warning when the tank gets full.
Humidifier: No. It dehumidifies
Programmable Thermostat: Yes. This functions nicely as the best way to save energy during the day and have your space cool when you come home in the evening.
Customers will that this best 8,000 BTU portable AC unit is available on Amazon.com for as little as $299.99 new and $123.24 used. It also comes in 12 000 BTU and 14 000 BTU capacity for more square feet of cooling capacity.
With a low noise level, this unit is excellent for both work and living spaces and for bedrooms.
With wheels, this unit can be moved without having to lift it.
This AC unit comes at a reasonable price when new and best price on this list when used and reconditioned. It has a low energy consumption with efficient and low-cost use every day.
You can cool up to 100 square feet with this unit while also dehumidifying. This makes it best for a bedroom or even a studio apartment. Its LED panel controls are easy-to-read and provide exact sleep settings and choice of cooling, dehumidifying, or fan-only modes.
It offers a temperature setting range from 62 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. And, when it is time to change the filter, an indicator light turns on.
It comes with brackets for windows from 26.5 to 48 inches wide and a 59 inch drain hose. The new model has a full year warranty on parts and labor.
Automatic Draining System: Yes
Humidifier: No. This is not an evaporation system. It dehumidifies.
Programmable Thermostat: It has a remote control for setting functions like temperature from 62 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and also comes in a model with Wi-Fi enabled!
This 10,000 BTU portable AC unit sells for as little as $269.99 new and $229.08 used.
This is a very quiet unit. However, if it is on an uneven or non-level surface, it may start making those. The recommended cure is to move it to a flat and level surface!
Set on wheels, this unit is easily portable and does not require any lifting. It only needs to be close to a window to exhaust its hot air.
Although you can purchase this AC unit at a very reasonable price, it also keeps saving you money over the years with very efficient operation and low energy consumption.
You can cool up to 300 square feet with the Global Air 10,000 BTU. Its four-way air direction and two-speed fan offer a nice degree of versatility and choosing how much cooling to direct just where in a room.
It has excellent digital controls for precise temperature control and a handy remote control. Because it has a self-evaporative system, it does not need a water tank. It has “over-cold” protection with a delayed restart.
Automatic Draining System: Not needed. Is self-evaporating.
Humidifier: No. It dehumidifies as wells as cools up to 300 square feet of living space.
Programmable Thermostat: No, but offers precise manual temperature control. there is no Wi-Fi function with this model.
The JHS 10,000 BTU is a portable yet powerful air conditioner that is available on Amazon.com for only $331.70 new and $246.39 used. And, if you need to cool more square feet, JHS has 12 000 BTU and 14 000 BTU models. It comes in white.
The noise level of the JHS 10,000 is comparable to that of a normal two-person conversation in a quiet room. And, when you are ready to sleep at night, the JHS 10,000 has an even quieter sleep mode.
Its all-direction castors made of stainless steel let you move this unit around the room very easily. It even has a handle on the top to make moving it easier whether is around the room to another room entirely.
The JHS 10,000 BTU portable AC comes at a nice low price and is available for even less if you purchase a used and reconditioned model. And, because its controls let you choose, fan, dehumidifier, or AC mode with different fan speeds, you can set this unit to consume less energy as well. Wi-Fi is not included.
The JHS 10,000 BTU does the best job cooling up to 300 square feet of living or work space. It is ideal for cooling or dehumidifying your office, bedroom, kitchen, dormitory, or even your garage.
The handy standard and remote control on this device let you run it in fan mode, as an air conditioner, or merely to dehumidify your space. Its timer programs for up to twenty-four hours for settings from 61 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit.
Its control are easy to understand and use and you can use the handy remote to change settings from anywhere in the room. Installation is simple, easy, and fast with this unit, taking at most ten minutes to be up and running. And, JHS is always available to help if you have any questions!
The 0.7 liter tank flashes a reminder when it is full. However, you can choose the auto drainage option instead of the manual option and not worry about draining the tank.
If you opt for the automatic drainage option, the drain hose comes with the unit and only take a minute or two to connect and set up. The automatic drainage on these models makes them as efficient as window units.
Humidifier: This portable AC unit removes up to 50 pints of water a day from the air (dehumidifies).
Programmable Thermostat: Yes. Has a timer that will set your preferred temperature anywhere from 61 degrees to 88 degrees Fahrenheit for the next twenty-four hours.
You can purchase this LG portable air conditioner on Amazon.com for just $299.27 for a new unit or buy a used and reconditioned AC unit for just $240.30. It also comes in 12 000 BTU and 14 000 BTU capacity.
The LG generates about as much noise as a refrigerator or a normal conversation between two people in an otherwise-quiet room.
Set on wheels, you can easily move this AC unit anywhere that you want in a room or from room to room.
The $299.27 price for a new unit is a good deal and you can get a used and reconditioned model for just $240.30. The savings continue when you use the handy remote control to adjust this unit to the best level of cooling and energy consumption using less power.
This excellent portable air conditioner comes with an auto-evaporation system and uses a standard 115 volt, 15 amp outlet. Its six foot power cord lets you place it where you want it even if your outlets are not conveniently placed.
You will be able to effectively cool a 150 square foot space and remove as much as 1.8 pints of water from the air every hour. When the water tank is full you will see a warning light turn on.
And, because the air outlet swings around and has an inclined vent, you can direct the unit to cool and “hot spots” in your space! This is one of the best portable air conditioners for this price range.
Humidifier: No, this unit dehumidifies your air.
Programmable Thermostat: Yes. This unit can be set for the next twenty-four hours for a given cooling temperature and to turn on or off when you are not there. When you leave for work in the morning you can set your bedroom AC unit to turn on half an hour before you expect to arrive home! Both the control panel and the remote are easy to operate.
You will find this excellent Black Decker portable AC unit on Amazon.com where you will spend only $219.87. If this unit does not do the best job for you in adding cool air to a hot room, look for one with 12 000 BTU capacity.
This Black and Decker AC unit makes about as much noise when running as your refrigerator does. You can reduce the noise generated by this unit by running at a low fan speed and a less-cold temperature setting. And, if you are getting vibrations, make sure the AC unit is placed on a firm, level surface.
Roll this AC unit wherever you want in your space or to another room.
This smart and cheap unit only costs $219.87 and because of its efficient operation, energy consumption is low as are your electric bills!
The manufacture says this unit will keep you “cool as a cucumber” in your bedroom, efficiency apartment, or dorm room. Small and portable at 15 x 20 inches, this powerful unit cools like a champ. Its air exhaust system works for any sliding or double-hung window but not with crank-open windows.
This unit blows air upward for dispersion throughout the space you are cooling. Its filter slides out easily for recommended frequent rinsing. And, its castors let you move it easily to wherever you want.
This efficient Black and Decker unit is simple to operate with its programmable LED control panel. Set the on and off timer for any time in the next twenty-four hours. And, use the sleep mode for a comfortable night’s rest. You can set this unit for anywhere from 64 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit for both the dry and cold modes.
This is a three in one device that can be used only with the fan, to cool your space,or dehumidify. And, it uses R410a which is friendly for the environment. The filter is washable and slides out easily.
This unit comes with a 4 foot 11 inch exhaust hose and window kit with clear instructions for installation. And, you can use the handy remote control to change settings from anywhere in the room.
Humidifier: This unit functions to cool and dehumidify the air in your living or work space.
Programmable Thermostat: Set this AC unit to go on or off anytime within the next twenty-four hours and be at the setting your pre-set for power level timing and temperature.
Portable Air Conditioner Buying Guide
It is relatively easy to find a portable air condition in a store or online. But, finding a unit that cools the space that you need cooled, dehumidifies, and does so economically, is another matter. Knowing a bit about air conditioners and especially portable air conditions comes in handy when you go to spend your hard-earned money.
In our buying guide for portable air conditions we address the important issues will help you make a smart decision when you make your portable air conditioner purchase.
For the average customer, features like a dual-hose setup, a long list of accessories, references to testing, and power consumption ratings can be overwhelming. We hope to make that a little easier for you and assist you in make in smart choice when looking for portable air conditioners.
Ventless vs Portable Air Conditioners
A portable AC unit is a compact air cooling device which you move from place to place. This is different from central AC or a window-mounted unit, neither of which are portable.
While you will need someone to install your central air conditioning and even a window-mounted unit, a portable unit simply requires that you run an air duct to a window to exhaust hot air.
On the other hand, if you do not have a way to exhaust the hot air from your space or would rather not, then you need a ventless portable air conditioner. These units also have less power consumption as they simply blow air across a moist screen or other device to cool air.
These are not portable air conditioners in the strict sense of the word but get the job done in the best way and by providing cool air with less power usage and a lower light bill! This is often a smart choice to follow up on when what you want is cool air at the best price.
Ventless Air Conditioners
This sort of device cools the air by evaporation and is technically not an air conditioner. An older name for this sort of device is a “swamp cooler” and more recently they are called evaporative air conditioners.
Because this unit does not exhaust hot air outside of the cooled space, it is not an air conditioner. But it may be the best and smart choice for you!
Why Are They Called Ventless?
This is simply because they do not exhaust or vent air to the outside. This sort of cooling unit does not have a compressor nor does it use a refrigerant, unlike a true portable air condition. Therefore, a ventless unit does not generate a lot of heat that needs to be removed from the room. And, it uses substantially less electric power!
How Does a Ventless Unit Cool a Room?
The water drips onto cooling pads or filter pads and a fan blows air from the room across these pads and back into the room. The passing air causes evaporation and cools the air.
A major advantage of this system is that it is much less complicated than refrigerant-compressor air conditioning and requires less energy. That means you will be paying less on your electric bill when you use one of these devices.
The downside of a ventless, evaporative system is that it cannot cool the air to the degree that a portable, window-mounted, or central air conditioning system can. You do not need to do a lot of testing to check this out. These are the best solutions in many cases and the smart way to cool a small space, especially in an arid climate.
What to Consider When Choosing a Ventless Cooling Device
The first thing to look at when picking the best device is the space that you want to cool. Then you need a unit with the cooling capacity to cool that space. When choosing a ventless air conditioner, make sure that the capacity of the unit matches the space you need to cool off.
Part of this is also the size of the water tank. An efficient unit will only cool your room as long as it has water in its reservoir! the best units have adequate reservoirs for several hours of operation.
Ventless Air Conditioner Features You Will Want
Modern units have remote controls, digital displays, auto-restart capability, and timers that you can program. Decide which of these you need and only buy a unit that has them. And, you will typically want a portable unit that you can move around a room or from room to room.
Because these cooling devices don’t need an exhaust hose or dual-hose, there is a lot less fuss and bother when you take them from room to room. If you will need to carry it up and down stairs, just having rollers is not enough.
If you need an extension cord, make sure that has the volt and amp capacity necessary so that it will not overheat! When you pick best unit with the best features like a hand remote, you will get the same cooling as window units or central air for the space desired. and for a lot less money!
A water tank capacity of seven gallons is enough so that you will not be continually refilling it.
These units are less noisy than a true AC unit. What you will want is something rated at 50 decibels or lower. and get a remote. It is the best way to make life a little easier in your air conditioned space!
Installation of Portable Air Conditioners versus Ventless Air Conditioners
Both of these devices are relatively easy to install. The ventless system only requires that you fill the water tank and plug it in. The portable air conditioner needs to be vented. These units come with the vent hose and attachment for venting through a window. Installation of these units rarely takes more than fifteen minutes.
BTU vs CFM
When you are shopping for a portable air conditioner you will see these terms. What do they mean?
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. Is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. For air conditioners, a BTU refers to the amount of energy needed to remove heat from the air. Air conditioners with higher BTU numbers are able to cool off larger areas than those with lower numbers.
How many BTUs you need will depend on the volume of space you want to cool, how well the space is insulated, the outside temperature, and just how cold you want a space to be. Portable air conditions will have BTU ratings and should have information about the space they can cool off.
Both units are important in choosing a portable air conditioner. However, looking at the recommended amount of space to be cooled will is the best way relieve you of the obligation to go too deeply into BTU and CFM calculations!
Noise of Portable Air Conditioners
There is more going on inside of an air conditioning unit than with an evaporative cooler. So, AC units tend to be noisier. Look for a decibel rating and it will tell you if your unit is going to be making a racket or not.
At 50 Db rating is usually OK as it is about the amount of noise you get from your refrigerator or a quiet street. Every ten Db increase is twice as loud. 40 Db is the level of noise in a quiet library and 60 Db is the amount of noise in a busy restaurant. Aim for 50Db or less and you will be happy.
The point of having a portable AC unit is that you can use it in more than one location. Having wheels or castors is important and having a handle on top is great. Of you are going to be lugging the unit up and down flights of stairs, size and weight are big issues.
Portable AC units can be very inexpensive and they can be quite pricey. We suggest that you always consider what you need in terms of space to be cooled and how cold you want it first of all.
Then consider features like programmable controls, ease of operation, maintenance issues, and cost of operation as opposed to how much the unit costs to buy.
The fact of the matter is that if you buy a cheap AC unit that does not do the job or that you find difficult to use, you will have wasted your money. When you have decided what you need to have, then shop for price.
Specific AC Features
Automatic Draining System
This is an issue for portable air conditioners and not ventless systems. A window mounted AC unit typically drains outside of the building and central AC systems have automatic draining.
If your office or bedroom has no place for the drainage tube (called a condensate line) to go, you will be paying for feature that you cannot use. Units that give you both manual (drain it yourself) and automatic options are ideal.
This applies to ventless systems. An evaporative air conditioning system in an arid climate will not only cool off your living space but add necessary moisture to the air as well. Standard air conditioning systems take moisture out of the air as they cool it.
This is really nice feature that you should look for in both portable AC units and ventless units. Coming home to a cool bedroom at the end of a long day can be fantastic.
But, having to pay for the AC running all day is not such a great idea. Many systems can be programmed twenty-four hours in advance both to turn on and off and for specific temperature settings. This is both a convenience item and an energy saving feature that is worth paying a little more to have.
Live Your Aloha Portable Air Conditioners Review
Portable Air Conditioners