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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Costway Portable Air Conditioner
Costway
Portable Air Conditioner
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Simple Yet Solid
Bottom Line

Compact and highly efficient, this little air conditioner works well for a variety of homes.

Pros

A lightweight air conditioner with excellent output and reasonably quiet operation. 8,000-BTU output and 57-decibel maximum noise. Self-evaporative. Customers love the easy setup and how easy it is to move around.

Cons

The window seal can be frustrating to get right and may not fit narrow windows.

Best Bang for the Buck
Rosewill RHPA - 18001 Portable Air Conditioner
Rosewill
RHPA - 18001 Portable Air Conditioner
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Bargain Pick
Bottom Line

At 51.8 pounds, this is a lightweight machine with excellent cooling power.

Pros

The 8,000-BTU cooling power works well for small apartments or cooling a single room. Comparable power to more expensive models. Self-evaporative and lightweight.

Cons

Some reports of leaks.

Shinco 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
Shinco
8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
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Most Comprehensive
Bottom Line

A reasonably priced model that stands out with its 3-in-1 functionality.

Pros

Works as an air conditioner, dehumidifier, and fan, making it a great choice for hot, humid climates. Installation is quick and straightforward. Cools small spaces rapidly.

Cons

The different modes cannot be used simultaneously.

Midea 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner
Midea
3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner
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Best for Small Spaces
Bottom Line

A highly affordable 3-in-1 unit that matches the power of more expensive models.

Pros

Built-in rollers make it easy to maneuver this portable unit. Cools rooms up to 300 square feet efficiently. Sleek design fits in well with most home decor.

Cons

Somewhat noisy. Not self-evaporative, and the water reservoir needs to be emptied frequently.

AireMax 10000 BTU 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner
AireMax
10000 BTU 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner
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Most Versatile
Bottom Line

At 10,000 BTUs, this is the most powerful model we considered.

Pros

The impressive cooling power is more than sufficient for rooms up to 300 square feet. Reasonably lightweight at 56.2 pounds. Self-evaporative function works well.

Cons

Fairly loud. Some customers reported a drop off in cooling capability over time.

HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

30
Models
Considered
60
Consumers
Consulted
8
Hours
Researched
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When summer arrives and the temperature is hot, almost everyone turns to ACs to help get them through the heat. But not everyone can afford central air and window AC units aren’t great if you want to move about in different rooms in your home. A portable air conditioner might be the best option in this case. They usually come on wheels and only need a window to vent out of to function (and some don’t even need that). Most air conditioners are rated by BTUs (British thermal units) and the higher the BTUs the more powerful the AC. Most portable ACs are somewhere between 3000 and 8000 BTUs. For the average room, 6000 BTUs is great.

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