The 10 Best Cheap Portable Air Conditioner of 2020 – Reviews & Guides

With the arrival of the heat, perhaps you have noticed that your fan does not cool enough, or if you do not want to spend on installing air conditioning, and less on the electricity bill that will come to you at the end of the month. Well, maybe you can start to consider, a portable air conditioner. If you search for an affordable portable air conditioner then here is the solution. We spent lots of hours to review it manually to make the list of the best cheap portable air conditioner for you.

Our objective, in this small investigation, is to introduce you to some of the most important characteristics and details that you should take into account, so that you can choose the portable air conditioner that suits you best.

The 10 Best Cheap Portable Air Conditioner of 2020

First most important

  • The portable air conditioner is perfect or recommended when you are looking for a device that can provide you with cold air and you do not want to incur expenses or perform special or complicated installations, since you only have to find a hot air outlet.
  • They are also ideal for small houses or when you want to rent a house or rooms and do not want to invest in fixed or central air conditioners.
  • They are also a good option when the climates are not so hot but rather warm and that do not justify the acquisition of central or other air, much less the energy expenditure that these make.

Shopping guide

What are portable air conditioners and what are the advantages?

Portable air conditioners are one of the many variants that exist within the family of air conditioning systems, with the particularity that these are intended to be moved from one place or room to another without any additional uninstallation or installation.

They are generally equipped with wheels, which facilitates their mobilization, and at least one tube which must be placed through a minimal installation in a window, this so that, through this, the hot air removed from the room is expelled outside .

Having explained its operation, we will mention some of the advantages and disadvantages of these in the following table, since it is always important to know both:

Advantage

  • The device is portable to other environments or rooms because it is portable
  • It basically does not require installation, or at least not as complex, since it is only placed near a window to remove the air extraction tube
  • Cools small areas without generating such a high energy expenditure
  • Perfect for areas where installing a fixed air conditioner is impossible or has many complications
  • More modern models may include a heat pump (to be used as heating) or dehumidification systems

Disadvantages

  • They take up considerable space since you have to reserve a space to place it on the floor
  • Despite the fact that the newer models are more compact, we must place them near a window through the tubes, this is not always comfortable
  • It is not as efficient, since the tube that expels the hot air generally lacks insulation and therefore part of that heat circulates again in the room
  • Although the new models try to improve the noise they cause, they still tend to be somewhat noisy by having all their components in one device, which is of course the one that stays inside the house.

What’s the difference between a traditional and a portable air conditioner?

Unlike non-portable air conditioners, this one does not consist of two units, but only one, that is, it does not have an outdoor unit and all its components are inside the device.

What this device basically does is take air from inside the room, cool it and inject it back into the same room, while the heat extracted from the air passes through the exhaust pipe and is released outside.

Single or Dual Duct Portable Air Conditioner – What Should You Pay Attention To?

There are basically two types of portable air conditioners: those with a single duct or also known as “mono-ducts” and those with double ducts or tubes. In addition, some providers also make the distinction between portable heat pump and non heat pump air conditioners, but we believe this is more of a built-in feature.

Although there are not many differences between these, there are a couple that will be good to consider and know beforehand.

Single conduitDouble duct
They are the most common and basic that the market offers us and therefore cheaperNewer and more sophisticated model and much more expensive, but much more efficient
They have a single duct that is in charge of taking air from the room, cooling it, putting it back into circulation and removing the hot residueIt has an additional duct in charge of absorbing the outside air to cool it and another duct to expel the residual air to the outside

Purchase Criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different models of portable air conditioners

As with any device, there will be some functions and characteristics that you should know before making your purchase, since the quality, efficiency and functionality of the device you are going to purchase will be determined based on these. Therefore, we will mention and briefly explain some important factors to keep in mind so that you buy a good air conditioner for your home or office.

BTU

This is perhaps the most important feature or aspect when buying a portable AA, as this is the measure by which the power of the BTU / H air conditioner is measured; the higher this value, the greater the power , and there must always be a balance between the room to be cooled and the power of the appliance.

Currently you can find two types of BTU / h , being the BTU / H (ASHRAE-128 Standard) the oldest and most traditional, however, from 2017 a new BTU / H measurement was released (DOE 2017). Do not be confused if you are facing a device that reflects its respective power in both measurements.

The new BTU / H scale (DOE 2017) has tried to be more accurate to reflect the team’s current power and performance, although most teams are still under standard numbering. We could say that practically and approximately the DOE numbering falls to half that of the ASHRAE.

In this article, we are guided by the ASHRAE, because on the internet it is more common to find this numbering, but some of the suggested models have the new numbering on their file. We make the following recommendations regarding BTU / H (ASHRAE) necessary according to the desired area to be conditioned:

Up to 12m²: 6,000 BTU / H
From 12m² to 18m²: 10,000 BTU / H
From 18m² to 30m²: 14,000 BTU / H

For spaces larger than these, we recommend acquiring a fixed air conditioner in any of its variants, since portable air conditioners are more effective in spaces that are not very large.

In some products, although the tab holds that it covers larger spaces, you must bear in mind that most of the time, portable AAs fall short in their real scope, so you must take this with great importance and subtract a little space scope. The guide we have made is for reference.

EER (Coefficient of energy efficiency)

As we explained in our general guide to air conditioners , this is in charge of measuring the energy efficiency of the device, which will be more efficient as the EER is higher in relation to lower energy consumption. In this guide we recommend that the appliance be around 12EER.

In some devices we find this coefficient also designated by letters, generally from A to G, being clearly more efficient than A. If this is the nomenclature used, we suggest a device of category A or B that can translate into lower energy consumption 55% of the mean.

Built-in heating and dehumidifier function

Some more sophisticated models may include a heat pump, which basically means that your portable air conditioner also has the function of heating the air, like a heater.

In a practical sense to explain, the heat pump works the same as Air Conditioning, simply reversing the air cycle, so that it is the hot air that stays in the room, and the cold air is expelled to the outside.

On the other hand, they can also include the dehumidifier function, by means of which the excess humidity is absorbed from the room, generating a healthier and cooler environment.

Timer and remote control

It is always useful that your portable device has a timer function, since you can program it to work for a certain time and automatically turn off which, in addition to contributing to energy savings, is extremely comfortable.

The remote control or remote control also adds to the comfort because you can manipulate it from anywhere without having to get up and go to the device.

In addition to these characteristics that you should consider, we also recommend that you look for a portable AA with wheels or with little weight, because, although they are portable, some few models do not include wheels and can weigh a lot, making it difficult for you to transfer the device to another room.

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