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Portable air conditioners can be a great way to stay at roughly the correct temperature if fans aren't cutting it.
Our team has examined portable air conditioners from brands like De'Longhi, Advwin, Devanti and TCL to pick the best products based on key features for you.
The De'Longhi Pinguino Air-to-Air 3.3 KW Portable Air Conditioner is our pick for the best overall portable air conditioner. With 3.3KW of power and a user-friendly operation to boot, it has earned a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and The Good Guys.
This powerful 3.3KW portable air conditioner is the perfect solution for large spaces. It uses natural and non-toxic gas and features self-evaporating technology so you're cooler for longer. There is also an ECO Real Feel feature that the brand claims to provide the best comfort level.
For added convenience, there's a 24-hour electronic timer and thermostat so you can adjust the unit's temperature the way you want it. The LED control panel is also intuitive and has a light indicator for ease of use.
Finally, this unit features carry handles and pre-assembled castors for better portability. Some may find it too bulky for smaller areas but this seems to be a minor concern.
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If you're in the market for a portable reverse cycle air conditioner, give the Teco 3.3kW Reverse Cycle Portable Air Conditioner a look. It's our pick for the best option in this category. On Harvey Norman, it also has a rating of 5 out of 5 stars.
Compact and easy to set up, this reverse cycle portable air conditioner features a 3.3kW cooling capacity and a 2.9kW heating capacity to fit any of your needs. It also dehumidifies small areas and comes with a timer control for up to 24 hours for added convenience.
There are also 3 fan settings including an auto mode and Wi-Fi connectivity so you can better control the unit using your smartphone. And while it's bigger than other portable air conditioners, it's still easy to move around because of its roll-on castors. It also comes with a 1.5m exhaust hose and window kit for easy set-up.
With its special Silent Technology to keep noise pressure levels between 47dB and 50dB (for context a normal conversation is 60dB) the PAC CN93ECO is a great choice for a quiet AC unit.
Operating it is a breeze using the soft touch buttons or remote to adjust the temperature, fan speed, timer and cooling. All modes are displayed on a sleek LED panel at the top.
Castors are attached to the base for easy portability. It's capable of cooling rooms of up to 90 metres squares though, so it's unlikely you'll need to move it much.
There's a 24-hour timer for efficiency and a dehumidifying mode to reduce excess moisture in your home. As a nice touch the PAC CN93ECO uses a Condensate Recirculation System which reduces the need for constant draining.
Customers love how quiet it can run, how quickly it cools rooms and how few times you need to empty the water.
If your room doesn't have a suitable window to support a hose for venting air into your machine then a ventless air conditioner is a fantastic solution. Also known as evaporative air coolers, they are much more portable than vented ACs and use ice and stored water to cool the air in your house.
One of the best we've found is the Devanti Evaporative Air Cooler. It's a commercial-sized machine that can hold 60 litres of water and cool rooms of up to 50m2. The sizable tank means you can go hours without having to top it up. For more rapid cooling you can also add ice into the top compartment.
A 12-hour timer lets you pre-set it to run throughout the day when it's needed. Run it overnight in sleep mode for a cool and quiet night's sleep.
You can lock the castor wheels for safety and there's a swing mode to cool rooms evenly.
Pitching up a tent in the warmer weather? A 12 volt air cooler such as the Companion Rechargeable Maxi Evaporative Cooler is a lightweight, energy efficient solution that can keep you cool.
Designed for camping, it's 3.02kgs and compact enough to throw into the boot or back seat. It offers AC and DC charging for if you have a power source. Otherwise an internal 7.4-volt lithium battery is included which has a runtime of up to 5.5-hours.
Two fan settings give you the option to run it as a fan or as a cooler. Like most other 12 volt conditioners it uses evaporative cooling, which is best against dry heat. It comes with a respectably sized 1.2 litre water tank and a substantial 250m3/hr airflow.
If you're searching for an air conditioner that's light on the wallet but still capable of cooling down an entire room (or small apartment) we recommend the CARSON Portable Air Conditioner 9000BTU.
On marketplace websites such as Kogan it'll cost you under $400. And while it may not be a big brand name, it has all the functionalities of one, including a 24-hour timer, sleep mode, castor wheels and a remote control.
It swings both horizontally and vertically for even cooling plus it doubles down as a fan and dehumidifier to reduce moisture in your home.
It's best for areas under 20 sqm which is roughly the size of a large master bedroom and just shy of a standard living room. Customers say it's compact and easy to use.
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When it comes to all-Aussie portable ACs, the Coolzy-Pro is our top pick. It's incredibly user-friendly, requiring no complex installation or additives like ice to run. Just wheel it into a room, plug it into a 240V power source and you're set.
The Coolzy-Pro has a unique approach to cooling, focusing on individuals rather than entire rooms. This allows it to run at an energy-efficient 340 watts. In addition to being good for the environment and your electricity bill, the low wattage also helps reduce operation noise.
According to Coolzy, the Coolzy-Pro is the quietest A/C on the market. We were unable to verify these claims but can confirm it isn't noisy - even at the highest setting, the sound it makes is comparable to an average pedestal fan.
The only drawback is that hot air has nowhere to go. This isn't an issue for larger spaces, but if you're setting it up in a small room you may need to purchase the optional exhaust hose or igloo tent which cost $50 and $99, respectively.
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For this list, we looked into hundreds of portable air conditioners listed in various online retailers like Amazon, Bing Lee, eBay and The Good Guys. We evaluated models from the following brands:
We narrowed down our choices based on customer ratings and reviews (as of May 2023). We also considered each model's key product features, including size coverage, ease of use, price and energy efficiency. We came up with what we believe are the 7 best portable air conditioners available online.We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. However, Finder may receive compensation when you click some links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners and why you can trust our guides.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHIAA) was rated the best air conditioner at this year's Finder Customer Satisfaction Awards. It received top scores for performance and ease of use and product features.
There are several types of portable models available:
Before deciding on your chosen portable air conditioner, consider the following key features:
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-store before purchasing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 come with a remote control, letting you set automatic modes and on/off times too.
Check whether your model offers a heat (reverse cycle) setting, a dry setting (to dehumidify), automatic settings or a fan-only setting. Dehumidifying is important for particularly humid spaces to reduce mould and mildew production. Smart or energy saver modes could help you to set the temperature when you're out, when a change in room temperature is detected or to turn off or turn down the unit for a comfortable quiet sleep.
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. Consider your room layout and find a model that directs the air flow where you need it the most.
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 often.
How your unit condenses and collects water will affect how easy it is to maintain it. 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 3 condensation types:
The Finder Customer Satisfaction Awards is an annual national survey conducted in partnership with research firm Dynata. With over 30,000 real shoppers participating, the awards serve as a reliable reflection of Australian consumers' preferences and opinions.
Here are the scores for air conditioner brands from 2023.
|Brand||Cleaning and maintenance||Ease of use||Overall||Performance||Product features||Value for money||Recommended||Total Score|
|Mitsubishi Eavy Industries||4.5||4.6||4.6||4.7||4.6||4.6||98%||4.6429|
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