Best Portable Air Conditioner for 2020: In Depth Review & Buyers Manual

To determine the best portable air conditioner for your money in 2020, we started by researching online to find the most popular models and then we took it one step further and purchased the top 20 for hands-on testing. After we received the air conditioners, we turned off any other units or central air systems we have and let the summer heat sink in. As we let the portable AC units cool our space down, we measured key factors like noise levels and cooling capacity. We even considered ease of installation and power saving functionality.

After all the hot days and all the cooling down, we found that the Honeywell Contempo HL10CES Air Conditioner is the best at keeping you cool. Its portable and compact design doesn’t sacrifice cooling power. This powerful little unit will keep you cool without making too much noise or taking up too much space. Keep reading to learn more about our #1 portable air conditioner and the other top models we tested.

Top Portable Air Conditioners Comparison

gr5-table__imageHoneywell HL10CESWK - Portable Air Conditioner
  • Dimensions -18.9 x 15.7 x 31.3 inches
  • 2 AAA batteries required
  • Cools rooms 350- 450 sq. Ft.
  • Dual filters
  • Stress-free auto evaporation
gr5-table__imageWhynter Elite ARC-122DS Portable Air Conditioner
  • Dimensions -17 x 29.5 x 16 inches
  • No Batteries Required
  • Three operational modes
  • Maximum power consumption: 1000W / 9.0A
  • Full thermostatic control (61°F - 89°F)
gr5-table__imagehOmeLabs 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
  • Easy to Install
  • Built-in Dehumidifier Function
  • Washable Air Filter
  • Intuitive Remote Control
  • Digital Display
gr5-table__imageWhynter ARC-143MX - Portable Air Conditioner
  • Dimensions -16 x 19 x 35.5 inches
  • No Batteries Required
  • 14,000 btu cooling
  • Dual hose operation
  • Three operational modes
gr5-table__imageLG Electronics LP1414GXR
  • LCD Remote Control
  • 12,000 BTU
  • 1.2 pints per hour dehumidification
  • Cools a room up to 600 sq. ft
  • Easy movement

Table of Contents:


#1 Pick Honeywell Contempo HL10CES Air Conditioner

honeywell portable ac
The Honeywell Contempo may not win any awards for power, but it’s still a great buy for smaller rooms and apartments.

Price: $349.00 | Features: 10,000 BTU, dual-filter, quiet operation

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: The Honeywell Contempo HL10CES air conditioning unit may not have the best cooling power, but it’s dirt cheap and features whisper-quiet operation to compensate.

#2 Pick Whynter ARC-122DS Elite 12000 BTU Dual Hose Digital Portable Air Conditioner

whynter portable air conditioner
The Whynter ARC-122DS keeps a ton of power packed under its petite hood.

Price: $479.00 | Features: 12,000 BTUs, extra light, dual-hose exhaust

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: The Whynter ARC-122DS is able to pack a ton of cooling power into a petite package.

#3 Pick hOmeLabs Portable Air Conditioner

The hOmeLabs Portable Air Conditioner is ultra quiet and super powerful, perfect for larger living spaces.

Price: $449.99Features: 14,000 BTU, capable of cooling a 500 sq. ft. room

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: The hOmeLabs portable air conditioner has enough power to cool down any size home.

 #4 Pick  Whynter ARC-143MX Dual-Hose

what is the best portable air conditioner on the market?
Its design may be offputting to some, but personally I love the Whynter AC143MX’s aggressive machinistic style

Price: $514.49Features: 14,000 BTU, auto-drain exhaust, CFC-free refrigerant

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: The Whynter ARC-143MX is a beatly powerhouse of a portable A/C.

#5 Pick LG Electronics LP1414GXR

LG lp1414gxr quietest portable air conditioner
The LG LP1414GXR’s small stature really puts the “portable” in “portable air conditioner”

Price: $489.05 | Features: 12,000 BTU, 1.2 pints per hour dehumidification, LCD remote control

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: If you’re cramped for space, the LP1414GXR fits nicely in any home.


Note: Other portable ACs that did not make this list but are still worth mentioning include the Stalwart fan blower that’s committed to providing the best price and value, with customer satisfaction guaranteed. There’s also the Max Storm Durable Lightweight Air Mover Carpet Dryer Blower with 3 operating angles, 2-speed settings, 25 feet power cord with a cord wrap, and is available in 3 colors Another portable AC, the LG LP 1419IVSM features a large easy to read control panel, a quiet BDLC motor, and a dual inverter compressor that makes it the most quiet air blower. The dual inverter system also changes the compressor speed so that the AC can change its power to match the temperature of its surroundings. And finally, there’s the Frigidaire Gallery 12,000 BTU Cool Connect Smart Portable that is not very powerful, but is stylish and has a very unique design.

How Air Conditioners Work

Window vs. Portable – Which is Better for You?

Portable A/C Units: Single-Hose vs. Dual-Hose

Key Factors and Features to a Good Portable Air Conditioner

Mistakes to Avoid

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Chris Stobing

Chris Stobing is a writer and blogger from the heart of Silicon Valley. Raised around tech from birth, he's had an interest in PC hardware and networking technology for years, and has come to Gadget Review to contribute his knowledge on both.

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    1. MrCooper, we’re very sorry to hear that. We’re you able to get a return label processed from the vendor since it likely falls within their return window? If it’s Amazon they should pay for return shipping, just mark the product as defective during the process.

      That said, we do our best to vet all the products that we pick. But you just never know when you’re gonna get a dud :(. Of course this doesn’t make your pain any less, especially when it’s 90 degrees + outside.

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