Best Portable Air Conditioner and Heaters 2020 – Reviews & Guide
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Perhaps you live in an apartment with no central heating and air, or maybe you live in a house and need a little extra warmth or cooling in a particular room. Regardless, if you find yourself in a space that doesn’t reap the benefits of central heating and air conditioning, adding such a unit will help solve this problem. Alternatively, if you need supplemental help in a room, such as a bedroom or home office, a portable heating and air combo unit may be just what you need. We’ll guide you through our top 10 reviews of the best portable air conditioner and heaters.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Whynter ARC-14SH||1 Year||4.40/5|
|Black + Decker BPACT12HWT||1 Year||4.30/5|
10 Best Portable Air Conditioner and Heaters
1. SereneLife Portable Air Conditioner – Best Overall
The SereneLife SLACHT108 Portable Air Conditioner is a four-in-one model featuring a 10,000-BTU air conditioner, a 9,000-BTU heater, a dehumidifier, and a fan mode that can cover a room up to 350 square feet in size. The dehumidifying capacity is about 43 liters per day. The unit has an LED digital control panel, with the bonus of a remote control with a sleep key and swing setting to adjust the vent controlling the direction. It includes a window mounting kit for the heat exhaust pipe that can accommodate a window up to 60 inches wide.
Many may find this unit to be loud for a bedroom — noise levels vary from 52 to 56 decibels. The window mounting kit may not work for all windows, which makes it less portable. While on the heavy side, it does have wheels. This brand also offers a one-year warranty.
2. RolliCool Portable Air Conditioner – Best Value
The RolliCool COOL310-19 Portable Air Conditioner can work with a smart home setup. By downloading the available app for iOS or Android, this unit can pair with Alexa for easy voice command control to adjust the temperature or turn it on/off. You can also change the temperature with the included remote control. This unit has a 12,000-BTU air conditioner with heater, dehumidifier, and fan capabilities. For an eco-friendly touch, this model uses R410A refrigerant, and filters are washable and reusable. Two reusable dust filters and one carbon filter, not washable, are included with the package. The dehumidifying capacity is 26 liters a day.
This unit weighs about 62 pounds, and although it’s heavy, the casters assist with maneuverability. The unit comes with a window mounting kit for the vent hose. However, if you don’t have an appropriate window, you’ll have to make alternate arrangements for the drainage. Additionally, the mounting kit may not work for all windows.
The dehumidifying capacity is much less than our top choice, keeping it in our number-two spot. Overall, for this unit’s wireless availability and functionality, we believe that it is the best portable air conditioner and heater for the money.
3. Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner – Premium Choice
The Honeywell MM14CHCS Portable Air Conditioner is a four-in-one system with an air conditioner, heater, dehumidifier, and fan. With 14,000 BTUs for cooling and 11,000 BTUs for heating, it can heat or cool a room up to 700 square feet. It has a lighted control panel with a feather-touch digital display and a remote control for easy adjustments. This unit also has a self-evaporation system for drainless operation, although a drain system is available for use as a dehumidifier, with a 79-liter daily removal capacity. The included dust filters are washable and reusable.
Although it has wheels, this model is a heavy beast at 75 pounds, so if you need warranty work or want to return it, that won’t be easy. You may also be disappointed if you need to heat or cool a larger room. Ideally, 14,000 BTUs is sufficient for up to 500 square feet, but if your room is larger than that, it may not cool as well as you’d like.
All in all, with the higher price and BTU power, this unit is our premium choice.
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4. Whynter Portable Air Conditioner
The Whynter ARC-14SH Portable Air Conditioner received Consumer Report’s 2020 highest score and made Good Housekeeping’s list as one of the best portable air conditioners. It includes four operational modes for air conditioner, heater, fan, and dehumidifier and has a remote control. With 14,000 BTUs, it can heat and cool a room up to 500 square feet. This unit has a digital display, 24-hour programmable timer, a patented auto drain function, and a noise level less than 56 decibels. The auto drain function recycles the moisture collected to assist in the cooling process, while the dual hose operation helps it cool quicker. The system includes an extendable exhaust and intake hose, as well as a window kit for windows 20 to 46 inches wide. It also has a dehumidifying capacity of 48 liters per day.
This large unit weighs in at 80 pounds, so hopefully, it never needs warranty work. It’s top-heavy, so use caution when rolling it from area to area. While it may be considered loud, it’s still quieter than a traditional window unit. There are many complaints about the unit producing a great deal of heat off the back and inadvertently working against itself to cool down a room.
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5. Black + Decker Portable Air Conditioner
The Black + Decker BPACT12HWT Portable Air Conditioner works well in a room up to 200 square feet and has the four-in-one capabilities of an air conditioner, heater, dehumidifier, and fan. It has programmable controls, an LED digital display, 24-hour timer, sleep mode function, and remote control. It also includes a washable air filter, a window kit, and an exhaust hose. While this works with double-hung or sliding windows, it isn’t compatible with crank windows.
This choice is a loud model, up to 75 decibels at the highest setting. Like many other models, it’s heavy at 68 pounds.
6. NewAir AC-14100H Portable Air Conditioner
The NewAir AC-1400H Portable Air Conditioner is a 14,000-BTU unit that can cool a room up to 500 square feet. It has a programmable timer, sleep function, and remote control. While it’s 80 pounds heavy, there are casters for easier portability, and it also comes with a window kit and exhaust hose. The efficiency booster allows the compressor to cool with added water. The unit includes a self-evaporating system.
To optimize temperature, keeping the water reservoir filled for compressor cooling is essential; otherwise, the air will not cool down enough to satisfy the need for air conditioning. As a minor annoyance, the remote and unit aren’t intuitively in sync. Also, if you use the window kit, you may have to adjust to achieve an okay fit.
7. Friedrich PH14B Portable Air Conditioner
The Friedrich ZoneAire PH14B Portable Air Conditioner is a four-in-one model with an air conditioner, heater, dehumidifier, and fan with a reverse-cycle heat pump. As a dehumidifier, it can remove up to 120 liters of moisture per day. It cools with 13,500 BTUs and heats with 10,700 BTUs. The dual hose design can cool up to 40% faster than a single hose model, and the self-evaporating system uses condensate to cool the coils.
The model weighs approximately 100 pounds and has a hefty price to match. It does have casters for portability, but with such a bulky weight, you may want to leave it in one location. Like most units, it’s on the loud side, but that’s the compromise for having a portable system.
8. EdgeStar Portable Air Conditioner
The EdgeStar AP12000HS Portable Air Conditioner will cover rooms of up to 400 square feet with 12,000 BTUs. It includes a vent hose and a window kit for windows up to 56 inches wide. The dehumidifier function will remove up to 40 liters of moisture a day. The air filter is washable and reusable, and there’s also a carbon filter that will need replacing over time. This machine’s noise level ranges from 52 to 54 decibels. The self-evaporating system means that you don’t have to drain the unit of water manually. The control display includes a 24-hour programmable timer, and the remote gives you control without even moving.
While this model is on the lower end of the price spectrum, there are a few pitfalls. The exhaust doesn’t have the most secure connection and may disconnect on its own. Although the unit has a self-evaporating system, draining water accumulation may be difficult if you live in a high-humidity area.
This model works well for cooling, but as a dehumidifier, it may prove to be too frustrating.
9. Shinco SPS5 Portable Air Conditioner
The Shinco SPS5 Portable Air Conditioner delivers 14,000 BTUs for cooling and 11,000 BTUs for heating spaces up to 500 square feet. This unit is different in that it blows air vertically from the top instead of out the front. It is also a four-in-one model as an air conditioner, heater, fan, and dehumidifier. The dehumidifier can remove up to 50 liters of moisture a day. It has an LED control display with simple selections, as well as a remote control. It includes self-evaporating capabilities to cool condenser coils, ensuring better efficiency and less work for you. The included exhaust hose and window kit can fit windows from 26.5 to 51 inches. However, the kit won’t work with crank windows.
Many users note that the unit struggles to cool small spaces effectively. Its energy efficiency is also in question, as many saw a higher-than-expected increase in electric bills.
10. Rosewill Portable Air Conditioner
The Rosewill RHPA-18003 Portable Air Conditioner offers 12,000 BTUs of cooling strength with a self-evaporating system. It’s a four-in-one model as an air conditioner, heater, fan, and dehumidifier, appropriate for a room size of up to 300 square feet. It’s a user-friendly model with two LED digital touch-control pads, sleep mode, automatic on/off timer, and remote control. It weighs about 70 pounds and has wheels for room-to-room portability.
The Dry Protection function prompts a three-minute boot delay after the compressor turns off. This delay serves to increase the service life of the unit, but many users find it annoying. It also comes with an exhaust hose and window kit. Unfortunately, the window kit is awkward and frustrating, and the drain plug in the bottom of the unit is difficult to access when needed.
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There are many benefits to having an air and heating combo unit. For one thing, they’re portable — some are heavier than others, but all should have wheel casters. They don’t take up much space, and they’re ideal if you live in a dwelling that isn’t permitted to have a window unit. They can also provide heat. When considering a portable unit purchase, there are several considerations, such as heating and cooling capacity, unit weight, dehumidifying factor, and settings.
Heating and Cooling Capacity
A BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is the unit of measure for the amount of thermal energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. The output BTU measures the cooling or heat created by the unit. When shopping for a combo unit, you’ll want to match the output BTU to the room size. For a 200-square-foot space, get an output BTU of 8,000. For 300 square feet of space, get an output BTU of 10,000. 400 square feet of space needs an output BTU of 12,000, and 500 square feet needs 14,000. Following this recommendation will help you choose a model that isn’t too much or too little. Keep in mind that higher BTU output machines will be bulkier, heavier, and noisier.
Most, if not all, portable units are on wheels but are still quite heavy. When searching for a model, consider whether you need to move it around much or if it will be stationary in one room. Also, consider if it needs to move upstairs or downstairs. It’s ideal to use an exhaust hose that needs to be vented out a window, so make sure the space you need to cool or heat has an available window.
If you live in a humid area, pay attention to the amount of moisture that the machine can remove per day. You’ll also want to note if it has a self-evaporating function, so you don’t have to empty it as often.
Having a portable air conditioner and heater unit can provide extra comfort in your home. Choosing one can be quite a task when there are so many options. We hope that we’ve helped you narrow down your search with our reviews. Our best overall choice is the SereneLife SLACHT108 Portable Air Conditioner. It’s a heavy-duty unit, though a little pricey, that provides abundant daily moisture removal and 10,000 BTUs of cooling power. Our runner-up, the RolliCool COOL310-19 Portable Air Conditioner, works in tandem with Alexa — and your wallet — for those who love the convenience. The Honeywell MM14CHCS Portable Air Conditioner is our premium choice, with high BTUs for heating and air conditioning and a self-evaporating system. We wish you well on your search for a portable AC/heating combo unit to keep you comfy!
Featured Image Credit By: Rosewill RHPA-18003, amazon