Best portable air conditioners Australia

We read reviews from real customers and compare key product features to find the best portable air conditioners you can buy right now.

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The best portable air conditioners in Australia

How did we pick this list?

Our editorial team chose the portable air conditioners on this list using real customer reviews. We extensively researched the features that matter when you're comparing portable air conditioners. We then weighted those features, consumer ratings and price to pick the best products for each category.

Read our full methodology below.

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Best overall portable air conditioner: Rinnai RPC41WA C4.1kW Cooling Only Portable Air Con

Pros

  • Cools rooms up to 25 square metres
  • Also has a dehumidifying mode

Cons

  • A bit pricey
  • Some users complain about noise levels
Price (RRP): $999
eBay price: Check site for current pricing
Buy at Ebay

Why we chose it

Offering plenty of practical features and positive reviews from customers at The Good Guys and Appliances Online, the Rinnai RPC41WA is our pick as the best overall portable air conditioner.

Boasting 4.1kW of cooling power, the Rinnai is designed to cool rooms of up to 25 square metres. Suitable for bedrooms and smaller living areas, it comes with a convenient remote control and delay timer. Other features include adjustable temperature control, a dehumidifying mode and carry handles for increased portability.


Best cheap portable air conditioner: Vostok 2.9kW Portable Air Conditioner

Pros

  • Plenty of change from $500
  • Compact and portable

Cons

  • Loud
  • Not a widely recognised brand
Price (RRP): $349
Buy at Ebay

Why we chose it

If you have less than $500 to spend, the Vostok 2.9kW Portable Air Conditioner is certainly worth a look. With an average score of 4.2/5 from 90 customer reviews on Kogan, it has been well received by consumers.

Designed to cool rooms of up to 15 square metres, the Vostok offers 3 modes of operation – cooling, fan and dehumidifier. It includes a built-in 24-hour timer with sleep mode, comes with a handy remote control and offers 10,000BTU of cooling power.


Best quiet portable air conditioner: De'Longhi PAC CN86 Silent Pinguino Air-to-Air Portable Air Conditioner

Pros

  • Quiet operation
  • Also has a dehumidifier function

Cons

  • Some users point out that it's quiet but not silent
  • Some reviews says that it struggles in high temperatures
Price (RRP): $649
Buy at Ebay
Buy at The Good Guys

Why we chose it

Boasting quiet operation and plenty of positive customer reviews, the De'Longhi PAC CN86 is our pick as the best quiet portable air conditioner.

Featuring a 2.5kW cooling capacity, the Pinguino uses a honeycomb design that maximises airflow and minimises noise. There are 3 fan speeds based on your cooling needs, while the appliance can be operated via a soft-touch control panel or remote control.

This model operates at a noise level of 47dB(A), so is recommended for bedrooms. It also offers a dehumidifier function and can collect up to 30 litres of water a day.


Best portable air conditioner for small rooms: Rinnai RPC35WA 3.5kW Portable Air Conditioner

Pros

  • Sleep mode
  • Convenient carry handles

Cons

  • There are cheaper options available
  • Some users complain about noise levels
Price (RRP): $849
eBay price: From $559.00 to $699.95
Buy at Ebay

Why we chose it

The Rinnai RPC35WA scores an average of 4.5/5 on 20 customer reviews on The Good Guys and has also earned generally positive feedback from Appliances Online customers and on productreview.com.au. The reviews combined with its ease of use and handy features make the RPC35WA our pick as the best portable air conditioner for small rooms.

Offering 3.5kW of cooling power, this model is designed for bedrooms, home offices and even smaller living spaces of up to 24 square metres. It comes with a sleep mode, a delay timer and a handy remote control, while there's also a dehumidifier function to help improve comfort levels on those sticky days.


Best portable air conditioner for large rooms: Polocool PC Series 6.0kW Cooling Only Portable Air Conditioner

Pros

  • Cools rooms of up to 42 square metres

Cons

  • Not cheap
  • Some users complain about noise levels
Price (RRP): $1,395
eBay price: From $698.00
Buy at Ebay

Why we chose it

With generally positive reviews from Harvey Norman customers and on productreview.com.au, this 6kW model from Harvey Norman is our pick if you need an air conditioner for a large room.

Designed to cool rooms of up to 42 square metres, the Polocool offers a 20,000BTU cooling capacity. It comes with a window kit for simple installation and features a 3-speed fan so you can adjust it to your needs. Other features include manual/auto operation and a built-in timer.


Best reverse-cycle portable air conditioner: Kogan SmarterHome 5.2kW Portable Air Conditioner (Reverse Cycle)

Kogan SmarterHome 5.2kW Portable Air Conditioner (Reverse Cycle)

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Can be controlled via app

Cons

  • Some users would like a more detailed operating manual
  • Some buyers criticise reliability
Price (RRP): $599
Buy at Kogan

Why we chose it

With plenty of positive customer reviews and an affordable price tag, the 5.2kW SmarterHome model from Kogan takes the win here as the best reverse-cycle portable air conditioner.

Designed for rooms of up to 35 square metres, this model can heat, cool, dehumidify and provide a fan function. With built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, it can be controlled via the Kogan SmarterHome app. You can also control the air conditioner using the LED display or remote, and the unit comes with wheels to enhance portability.


Best smart portable air conditioner: Kogan SmarterHome 5.2kW Portable Air Conditioner (Reverse Cycle)

Kogan SmarterHome 5.2kW Portable Air Conditioner (Reverse Cycle)

Pros

  • Affordable price tag
  • Wi-Fi connectivity

Cons

  • Some users report reliability issues
  • Some users say it's better suited to smaller spaces
Price (RRP): $599
Buy at Kogan

Why we chose it

Our choice as the best reverse-cycle option is also well worth a look if you're looking for a smart portable air conditioner. Thanks to its ability to connect to your home Wi-Fi network, you can download the free Kogan SmarterHome app to your mobile device and use it to control your heating and cooling.

Add in all the features that make it a popular reverse-cycle air conditioner, including multiple control options and an affordable price tag, and there's a lot to like about the overall package.


Best portable air conditioner for fast cooling: Olimpia Splendid AirPro 18 Portable Air Conditioner

Olimpia Splendid Airpro 18 Portable Air Conditioner

Pros

  • 18,000BTU
  • Night mode

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Some users criticise noise levels
Price (RRP): $1,099
Buy at The Good Guys

Why we chose it

With 18,000BTU of cooling power and generally positive customer reviews, the Olimpia Splendid AirPro 18 is our choice as the best portable air conditioner for fast cooling.

Offering a 5.2kW cooling capacity, the AirPro 18 offers airflow up to 4 metres high and up to 3 metres wide. It features a touch display that you can use to cycle between auto, fan, night, turbo and dehumidification modes as well as a remote control for easy operation. If you don't like excessive noise when sleeping, the quieter night mode will also come in handy.


Amazon prices last updated on 6 December, 2021 at 11:02 pm
eBay prices last updated on 6 December, 2021 at 04:05 pm

Methodology

20+
Brands considered
40+
Products compared
7
Best products chosen
  • We compared portable air conditioners from more than 20 leading brands.
  • We based our findings on reviews from real customers and key product features.
  • The products on this list are chosen by our editorial team and are not selected based on commercial relationships.

Best Portable Air Conditioners

Best Rated Portable Air Conditioners Brand: Goldair

Goldair took out this year's portable air conditioner award, with top scores for cleaning and maintenance and value for money.

Quick facts about portable air conditioners

  • Portable air conditioners are ideal for renters and those living in small spaces, those wanting to cool a specific room or those wanting to supplement their existing air con in extreme hot weather.
  • They work the same way as a built-in air conditioners by sucking in warm, humid air, then dehumidifying and cooling it before finally circulating air back into the room.
  • Prices range from around $300 to $1,400 or more depending on the brand, make and model.

Types of portable air conditioners

Portable air conditioners are most suitable for apartments, smaller spaces and those who want to suplement their large air conditioner in the middle of summer. If you want to cool a larger space, check out our guide to large air conditioners.

There are several types of portable models available:

  • Single duct portable. This is the main type of portable air conditioner. It draws air from the conditioned space, which is cooled and then exhausted through a single duct to the outside. Note that dual-hose portable ACs, while potentially more energy efficient and ideal for cooling larger rooms, are not available for sale in Australia (though these are often available in the US and other markets).
  • Spot coolers. A spot cooler is generally only meant for specific commercial or industrial use and doesn't have any duct or connection to the outside.
  • Reverse-cycle. Usually, a portable air conditioner will cool only, however, some manufacturers do offer reverse-cycle models that have heating capabilities too.

How to compare portable air conditioners

Before deciding on your chosen portable air conditioner, consider the following key features:

Noise

Portable air conditioners can be quite loud and disruptive to your sleep, normal activities or conversation, particularly on full power. You may want to test out the noise levels of the unit in the store before purchasing.

Room size

Make sure to choose the right air conditioner for your room size. If the air conditioner is underpowered, it will overwork itself trying to cool the room, causing faster burn out. If it's overpowered, it will use more energy than needed to cool the room, racking up your electricity bill in the long term. Generally, look for 125 watts per square metre of area you're cooling.

Energy efficiency

Consider the energy star rating of your unit before purchase. The more stars, the more efficiently it uses energy, and the cheaper it will be to run. Reverse cycle models display both a blue and a red star rating, for cooling and heating respectively. A more energy-efficient model may be more expensive up front, but can save you money in the long run.

Ease of use

If you're planning on moving your unit from room to room, choose a model that you can comfortably manoeuvre with easy grasp handles, sturdy wheels and decent clearance between the floor and the bottom of the unit.

Length of power cord

Manufacturers don't recommend using an extension cord with a portable air conditioner, as it increases the risk of overheating and may void the warranty. Consider where you'll place your unit in relation to the power socket to make sure the cord is long enough.

Controls

An easy-to-read, large LED display with a touchpad, comfortably sized buttons, clear labels and a digital temperature reading could make your life easier. Some models may come with a remote control, letting you set automatic modes and on/off times too.

Operating modes

Check whether your model offers a heat (reverse cycle) setting, a dry setting (to dehumidify), automatic settings or a fan-only setting. Smart or energy saver modes could help you to set the optimal temperature even when you're out, to switch modes when a change in room temperature is detected and to turn off or turn down the air conditioning for a comfortable, more quiet sleep.

Louvres/air vents

Generally, portable air conditioners come with manually adjustable louvres (some may have fixed louvres instead). Ideally, look for automatically oscillating louvres for more even air flow circulation, as these allow the cool air to be directed more widely instead of in a fixed direction. Consider your room layout and find a model that directs the air flow where you need it the most.

Air filter

Most air conditioners utilise air filters that can help remove odours, bacteria and smoke from the air. For those who have asthma or allergies, you may want to purchase a unit with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. To keep your unit working properly, you'll need to clean your air filter from time to time too.

Water collection

How your unit condenses and collects water will affect how easy it is to maintain your portable air conditioner. You'll want to think about where the best place to put your unit is so that you can manage potential water puddles easily. There are three condensation types:

  • Drip air conditioners. All water (also known as condensate) is collected in an internal bucket that you'll need to manually clear on a regular basis. For some models, you may find that this has to be done frequently to avoid spillage.
  • Partial drip air conditioners. Most of the water is drained via an exhaust hose, however, some water may be deposited into a drip pan. You'll have to check the pan and drain it from time to time, but this won't be as frequently as you would with a drip model.
  • No-drip air conditioners. All the water is released into the air, meaning you won't have to empty anything.

What to watch out for

While a portable air conditioner can be installed without actually renovating your apartment, it can be quite heavy (up to around 40kg) and, unlike a fan, difficult to move from room to room. There is also a tradeoff between noise and cooling speed: a more powerful air conditioner will be louder, larger and thus less portable.

What's more, you'll need an exhaust tube to vent the hot air out of the space you are cooling. The exhaust will have to go through a window, duct or door, which will affect where you place the unit and how your room looks.

Best rated portable air conditioner brand award breakdown

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