The hottest portable air conditioners to cool you down

Don't get sucked in to buying the wrong air conditioner for you. Use our guide to choosing the right air conditioner that works for your home (and energy bill).

Cooling or heating your home has never been so affordable. We have a look at some of the top brands on the market today, and you can find out about where to get them too. But before you buy, you must learn about what to look for to pick the best portable air conditioner for you. We’ve covered the essential air conditioner features to look for in our portable air conditioner buying guide.

Popular portable air conditioners

Here are some of the most popular portable air conditioners available for online retailers and popular Australian department stores.

ModelPrice rangeWhere to buy?
Levante Tango$700 - $1,000The portable air conditioner from Levante can be purchased online or in-store.
Polocool$700 - $1,200Polocool have a number of models. Some are available in-store only from retailers like Harvey Norman and websites.
Dimplex$400 - $700Dimplex portable air conditioners are widely available online and in-store.
Délonghi$500 - $1,500Délonghi make more than a handful of portable air conditioners, you may have to look between websites and retailers to find the model that’s right for you.
Omega Altiese$500 - $800Omega Altiese portable air conditioners can be purchased from a number of outlets.
Kogan$200 - $ is the place to buy this portable air conditioner.
Honeywell$300 - $600Honeywell portable air conditioners are available online and in-store.
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Why did we have a look at these models?

These portable air conditioners were selected from the most popular units available in the following popular retailers and websites. The following popular retails sell a range of portable air conditioners. Some units are only available online. There are cheap portable air conditioners to buy online as well as in-store.

Where to buy portable air conditioners?

Popular retailers

  • Harvey Norman
  • Good Guys
  • Bing Lee
  • Target

Buy portable air conditioners online

  • Kogan
  • Appliances Online
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Air conditioner buying guide

Each type of air conditioner has strengths and weaknesses, we’ve summed up the key features so you can quickly compare.

Comparison of air conditioner type main features

Have a look at this table for a quick comparison of the features of different types of air conditioner.

MountPriceCooling areaParts & installation Pros Cons
Fixed in window$400 - $1,400Up to 50 sq. metersSingle unit.Usually placed in a window.Price vs performance - Great value for money.Availability - Going out of fashion and fewer units than split system and portable air conditioners.
Portable$30020 - 40 sq. metersNo installation.Convenience - Move the unit to where it’s needed most.Exhaust system - You need to run a hose outside so the warm air can escape.
Fixed on wall$500 - $3,000Up to 60 sq. meters.Must be installed by a licensed air conditioner installerInverter technology - Quite a few modern split system air conditioners make use of inverter technology. This allows the compressor to run more efficiently.Split systems - Can add additional air conditioners to cool more rooms in your home.The look - Unlike ducted systems, split systems must be installed on the wall of your home (not in the wall).
Central heating$5,000+Entire homeCostly installation requirements.Home climate control - You can even split your home into climate zones for the perfect temperature in every living space.Expensive set up costs and high running costs.

What are the different types of air conditioners?

Portable or fixed? Window or wall? There’s a little bit more to think about than temperature. Read our air conditioner buying guide to find the best air conditioner for your home.

  • Portable air conditioners - These types of air conditioning unit can be installed anywhere but you need to run a hose outside to get the best result. Portable air conditioners are popular in Australia. there are many models to suit most budgets.
  • Fixed window/wall air conditioner - This type of air conditioner is usually installed in a window. It sucks in hot air and blows out cool air. All the parts for a window/wall AC are in the box and some of them can be plugged into an electrical socket.
  • Fixed split system air conditioners - A split system is a 2 or more piece air conditioning unit with a section inside and outside the house. This type of air con is popular in Australia, this system requires installation by a professional. Split system air conditioners can give some of the best results if you afford it.
  • Central air conditioning systems - Also referred to as ducted systems, central air conditioning is built into the house. It’s the most expensive and it can be problematic for larger houses. central home air conditioning is right for specific types of homes.

How do portable air conditioners work?

You’ll find that most portable air conditioners in Australia are made to cool a room. You can find reverse cycle portable air conditioning units if you require heating from your portable air conditioner; however, this may cost you more than a cooling only unit.

A portable air conditioner cools a room by pumping cold into a space and removing the hot air. Portable air conditioning units have a hose that vents hot air away from the room you’re trying to cool. The hose is usually placed in a nearby window.

While these types of air conditioners are called ‘portable’, there’s a limit to how far you can place the unit from the ventilation point. And if you try to extend the hose, you can void the warranty.

What portable air conditioner features are there?

Every smart consumer who buys a portable air conditioner has a read up on the features of these units

Feature Description
Cooling and heating?Reverse cycle portable air conditioners can heat or cool a room when you change the settings.
DehumidificationSome portable air conditioners are also dehumidifiers. A dehumidifier removes moisture from the air, and can help some health problems and stop mould growth. A portable air conditioner may not be able to work as well as a dehumidifier compared to specifically designed dehumidification units.
Drip trayIf the portable air conditioner has a dehumidifier setting, it may have a drip tray or water tank. A drip tray holds the condensed water that has been removed from the atmosphere. Some expensive units may have an evaporation system instead.
Air purificationPortable air conditioners can remove pollutants and allergens from the air if they have an air purifier. An air purifier can also function to remove odour.
Airflow speedHow hard do you want the air conditioner to blow out cool or warm air? Different portable air conditioner units have different fan speed settings.
ExhaustThere are no portable air conditioners that don't need to be vented outside. A large hose must be attached to a window (ideally) so the unit can vent hot air from the room. A window kit it provided so the hose can be attached to the window.
Window kitA window kit helps secure your portable air conditioner exhaust hose to a window.
TimerA timer lets you set the time of day when you want the portable air conditioner to start and stop. This feature lets you set a time for when you want to air conditioner to turn off after you go to sleep.
Remote controlThis is a standard feature that allows you to control the portable air condition unit from afar.
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What are the pros and considerations around portable air conditioners?

Buy a portable air conditioner and be comfortable in your home all year round. A portable air conditioner can:

  • Cool the air of a room.
  • Remove odours and smoke from the air.
  • Take the moisture out of the air.
  • A portable air conditioner can generate noise that disturbs the ambiance of a room, especially small rooms. Other types of air conditioners have the noisy part of the unit outside the home.
  • Although portable air conditioners are smaller than other air conditioner types, they’re still a noticeable inclusion to the room.
  • A portable air conditioner must be placed in a suitable place for ventilation. The exhaust hose can be large and can run hot under heavy use.

How to find the best portable air conditioner

Looking to find the best portable air conditioner? Read about the following to make an informed decision about your needs.


BTU’s stands for ‘British Thermal Units’ and refers to the cooling power of an air conditioner. If you have too many BTUs for a small room, the air will cool too quickly and the portable air conditioner dehumidifier will not work properly. Not enough BTUs and your portable air conditioner will work overtime to get the temperature you want.

You can use an online calculator to find out approximately how much heat is generated by a space per hour and find a portable air conditioner with the BTU specifications to match.

Factor in the following variables when you calculate BTU's needed to cool a room.

  • The size and type of room.
  • Whether the space is insulated.
  • Natural light.
Where’s it going?

The type of room you want to cool plays a big role in finding the best portable air conditioner for your needs.

  • How many square meters? Portable air conditioners have an effective range of 20 - 40 square meters. For every 10 square meters of space, the portable air conditioner needs an extra 1-1.5 kiloWatts to work properly.
  • How tall are the ceilings? Cold air is heavier than hot air. An air conditioner unit installed in a small room with high ceilings will have a different effect than if the same unit was installed in a large room with low ceilings. Ceilings can be between 2.4 - 2.7 meters tall. Add 10% more BTUs for rooms with an unusual design.
  • What is the room used for? Kitchens need more cooling and a living room is where people relax — body heat can be a factor.
  • Other room features - Consider the size and direction of the windows. Are the walls insulated? What’s the weather like in the area you’re living in? It takes an air conditioner with more BTUs to cool a room in a warmer climate. Each unit also has a recommended outdoor temperature operating range.

*To find out how many square meters your room is, just multiply the width of the room and the length of the room.

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is how much bank you get for your buck. The energy efficiency of the a portable air conditioner factors in how much power the unit draws to operate. Single-duct portable air conditioners may not be as energy efficient as other types of air conditioner, that is — they cost more to operate. But portable air conditioners are cheap, and sometimes they are the only option to cool a space.

No star rating

Portable air conditioners do not have an energy rating like other household appliances. They’re not included in the Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS) and energy rating program. Some manufactures include information about energy efficiency, but the lack of a star rating makes it difficult to compare the energy efficiency of portable air conditioners. offers a side by side comparison of air conditioning units and their energy efficiency.

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Glossary of terms

Read on for an explanation of some of the jargon we’ve used on this page.

  1. British Thermal Unit (BTU) is a measure of the amount of heat a portable air conditioning unit can remove from the air of a room every hour.
  2. This is the amount of power the portable air conditioner uses.
  3. An old term used to describe the speed of the motor of an air conditioner.

Split system. This is a type of air conditioning unit. One part of the air conditioner is inside the house and the other part is outside.

Inverter systems. A type of air conditioning technology that regulates the temperature of a room to maximise energy efficiency. Inverter technology is common in most split system air conditioners.

Frequently asked questions

Read answers to some of most frequently asked questions about portable air conditioners below. You can also ask us a question by submitting a comment to — A team member will be in touch shortly to help you with your question about portable air conditioners.

Shirley Liu

Shirley Liu is a program manager at finder, formerly the publisher for Banking and Investments. She is passionate about helping people make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    francisling68October 25, 2015

    I brought a honeywell Btu 10000 portable air con the original hose is 1 metres can I extend the hose to 2 metres because the hose to the window not enough long pls advice Thanks

    • Staff
      StephanieOctober 28, 2015Staff

      Hi Francis,

      Thanks for your question.

      According to the Honeywell store, it is not recommended to increase the length of the exhaust hose – however it can be shortened. Using an extension cord with a portable air conditioner is also not recommended.

      You can find more details under the FAQs and Manuals section on this site:

      Hope this has helped,


    • Default Gravatar
      mikeyNovember 17, 2015

      Hi there, where can i buy Honeywell Extension Bracket Model: A5700-530 part for model Honeywell – MN12CES here in Australia?

      I don’t mind ordering it from the states if i can get it delivered.

      My window is too big so there’s always a gap at the top whilst using the unit.

    • Staff
      StephanieDecember 7, 2015Staff

      Hi Mikey,

      You might be able to find one on an auction site like eBay. Alternatively, you can purchase one from Sylvane (

      If you are unable to find the correct bracket, you might like to contact Honeywell direct ( who will be able to assist you with a list of stockists.

      Hope this has helped,


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