Air conditioners make our lives easier and more comfortable, whether at home or in the workplace. When searching for the best portable air conditioner, it is essential to consider the features, size, and efficiency.
Nowadays, homeowners are more concerned with the energy efficiency of portable cooling units, mainly due to the benefits that it offers. The more energy-efficient an AC is, the more money it helps you save.
What’s more, having the most energy efficient portable air conditioner also helps to become aware of how energy is used, when it’s wasted, and how it can be used more effectively and efficiently to keep your room cool.
So, the question is what are some of the best energy-saving portable air conditioners? The main objective of this post is to help you identify ideal air conditioners since we’ll be reviewing them in detail with their pros and cons.
Best Energy Efficient Portable Air Conditioners
1. Black + Decker BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner
- QUIET & POWERFUL - Our 5,000 BTU DOE (8,000 BTU ASHRAE) compact air conditioner (16.5 x 11.5 x 26 in,) will keep you cool and comfortable all summer. An adjustable fan speed cools the air to 65°F at the coolest setting. Sleep mode makes it extra quiet while you rest
- PERFECT FOR SMALL ROOMS - This floor-standing portable AC unit provides steady, fast, effective cooling for rooms up to 150 sq. ft. It’s the ideal small air conditioner for dorms, apartments, cabins, campers, offices, bedrooms, or living rooms
- SIMPLE & QUICK TO INSTALL – Just wheel this portable air conditioner into any room with a double hung or sliding window. Attach the included hose (4’ 11”) & window adapter, & plug it in to an outlet! At the end of the season, just unhook & store
- EASY TO USE & CLEAN – The simple remote control & top-mounted LED display with 24-hour timer allow you to precisely control the air temperature. To clean the filter, just slide it out twice a month, rinse it thoroughly under running water, & put it back
- 3-in-1 FUNCTIONALITY - Combines 3 energy efficient functions for all of your cooling & ventilation needs with cool, fan, & dehumidifying modes all in one machine. Bucket-less, self-evaporating operation makes your living space cool, clean and dry
The Black + Decker BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner tops our list of the best energy efficient portable air conditioner. It’s a quiet and powerful air conditioner designed with 5,000 BTU DOE (8,000 BTU ASHRAE). The air conditioner measures approximately 16.5 x 11.5 x 26 inches.
The design is meant for small rooms of about 150 sq. ft. This means that it’s suitable for dorms, cabins, apartments, bedrooms, living rooms, offices, and campers. Simplicity is also another feature that makes the Black + Decker BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner unique.
It’s also simple to use and install, keeps air both dry and cool, prevents bacteria growth in steamy and hot conditions, and significantly reduces humidity in your room. When it comes to cleaning, the manufacturers designed it to make your work easier.
It has a simple remote control and top-mounted LED display with a 24-hour timer that enables you to control the temperature, clean the filter by sliding it out twice a month, rinse it thoroughly under running water then return it.
- Powerful and quiet
- Ideal for small rooms
- Easy to install
- Easy to clean and use
- It combines 3-in-1 functionality
- Bulk exhaust hose
- If the exhaust has a bend, it becomes loud
- Unreliable cooling abilities
2. Whynter ARC-14SH 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner
- 14,000 BTU (ASHRAE) / 9,000 BTU (SACC) cooling capacity
- Award Winning: 1. Good Housekeeping's "2020 Best Overall" and "can cool down a room faster than other portable units" 2. Consumer Report's 2020 Highest Score; UL listed
- Dual hose operation; Cools up to a 500 square feet space(ambient temperature and humidity may influence optimum performance); Dehumidifying capacity: 71 pints per day; Air Flow (at high speed): 430 m3/h / 253 CFM; 3 fan speeds
- Full thermostatic control (61°F - 89°F) with digital readout, 24 hour programmable timer; Eco-friendly CFC free green R-32 refrigerant; Patented auto drain function fully exhausts all condensate automatically in most environments
- Three operational modes: Air conditioner, dehumidifier, fan & heater; Cooling capacity 14000 BTU (ASHRAE-128 Standard) / 9500 BTU (DOE+ 2017 Standard); Heating capacity 13000 BTU (ASHRAE-128 Standard)/ 8200 BTU (DOE+ 2017 Standard); Maximum power consumption: Cooling 1300 W / 11.6 A; Heating 1000 W / 11.6 A
The Whynter ARC-14SH portable air conditioner is designed to offer mobility and power. Although it has a few drawdowns, such as high energy consumption and an unreliable compressor, if you have a small space that requires proper air conditioning, this is the ideal appliance to consider. It can adequately fit into any bedroom, server room, or office.
The unit also comes with advanced auto technology that typically uses and recycles collected moisture during the cooling process to exhaust hot air. It also features a dual hose operation that offers fast cooling. There are four operational modes included: air conditioner, heater, fan, and humidifier.
Another notable feature about the Whynter ARC-14SH portable air conditioner is that it improves the air quality through its washable pre-filter and activated carbon filter. The design and performance also make it suitable to have, and it also offers a hassle-free installation capability.
- Dual hose operation
- Four operational modes; air conditioner, dehumidifier, fan & heater
- 14,000 BTU cooling capacity
- Improves air quality
- Easy to install
- Excellent design and performance
- The compressor is not durable enough
- High energy consumption
- It may have cooling issues after long use
3. LG LP0817WSR White Portable Air Conditioner
- COOLS UP TO 200 square feet: Stay cool and comfortable when Mother Nature turns up the heat. This 8,000 BTU (5,500 BTU – DOE) portable air conditioner can cool rooms up to 200 square feet (10’x20’ room size).
- OSCILLATING AIR DISCHARGE: Inclined top air discharge swings up and down to sweep air evenly throughout the room, eliminating hot spots. Oscillation feature can be turned off using remote control.
- INSTALLATION KIT INCLUDED: Slide-together window bracket has click-lock connection point for exhaust hose. Other end of exhaust hose slides securely into place on the back of the air conditioner. Installation kit fits vertical and horizontal windows from 18” to 50”. Detailed installation instructions included.
- SLEEK TOUCH CONTROLS: The control panel on this LG portable air conditioner features sleek digital touch controls and an LED screen, making switching between the 3 modes and 2 fan speeds simple. An included LCD remote control reflects the unit settings from across the room.
- AUTO-EVAPORATION SYSTEM: The bucketless design of this LG portable air conditioner is thanks to the auto-evaporation system built into this model. Moisture created by the cooling process is evaporated inside the unit, allowing you continuous operation without having to regularly empty a bucket.
The LG LP0817WSR White Portable Air Conditioner perfectly fits into the description of a low energy portable air conditioner. Not only is this air conditioner portable, but it’s also easy to carry around and cool rooms of approximately 200 sq ft. With this conditioner, you can stay cool and comfortable wherever you go.
It includes an oscillating air discharge that swings up and down to evenly sweep air through the entire room and eliminate hot spots. You can turn off the oscillation using the remote control if you don’t want to use it. The LG LP0817WSR White Portable Air Conditioner features an installation kit that fits horizontal and vertical windows from 18 to 50 inches.
The kit has detailed instructions to help you install the air conditioner properly. Another beneficial factor about this air conditioner is its sleek touch controls and an LED screen that makes it easier for you to switch between the three modes and two fan speeds simple. There’s an auto-evaporation system that allows for continuous operation without the need to empty the bucket regularly.
- Cools rooms up to 200 sq ft.
- Features an installation kit
- Features an oscillating air discharge
- Sleek digital touch controls
- Pretty loud
- It takes 20 minutes or more to install, depending on how skilled you are.
- Terrible packaging
- It may leak after prolonged use
4. Honeywell MN10CESWW Environmental Appliance
- [POWERFUL, SAFE & DEPENDABLE] Cools rooms up to 350-450 square feet. Thermal Overload protection for added safety & peace of mind.
- [EASY INSTALL & MAINTENANCE] Washable Filter designed to protect from dust & hair to extend product life & performance. Filter cleans easily under a faucet for easy maintenance. Full set window kit included for quick & easy installation for vertical and horizontal windows (Max. hose length is 4 feet).
- [DESIGNED FOR COMFORT] Enjoy simple digital control with 3 fan speeds, 24 hour energy saving timer & remote control included
- [3-IN-1 APPLIANCE] Powerful cooling in the summer, Dehumidifier for humid days (removes up to 66 pints/ 24 hours with continuous drain option for long unattended operation), Fan circulates air for everyday comfort.
- 10000 BTU (ASHRAE-128 Standard) / 5500 BTU (DOE+ 2017 Standard)
Although durability is an issue with the Honeywell MN10CESWW Environmental Appliance, the manufacturer states that it is built to last. Therefore, this may vary from one user to the other.
This air conditioner includes a washable filtration system, which helps to protect and extend its life. There is also thermal overload protection on the compressor and motor, which offers extra safety precautions for additional endurance and peace of mind for users.
The washable filtration system filters dust, pet dander, and hair from entering the unit, and this helps to reduce air impurities, thereby making it easier to clean the air conditioner. All the accessories are included for quick installation on vertical or horizontal windows. Therefore, this saves you time when it comes to the installation process.
It’s also an energy-saving type of AC, since it reduces the whole house’s energy consumption, as you can set it up in the rooms that you only use. In terms of operation, this AC is essentially quiet due to its dual-motor technology that lowers the noise level. You can set it and forget, plus it’s relatively easy to maintain and store in your home or anywhere.
- Easy to install and maintain
- Easy to clean
- It offers comfort
- It saves energy and money
- Not durable enough
- It may encounter cooling issues
- Warranty issues with the manufacturer
5. DELLA 8000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
- COOLING- 8,000 BTU Cooling power (R410A refrigerant) cover up to 300-350 sq.ft. Great for using in bedroom, home living room, office, apartment, condo, dorm, garage, workshop and other indoor spaces.
- MULTI-FUNCTION - While cooling, this unit will function as a DEHUMIDIFIER. 2 Speed Cooling FAN keeps space cool during spring and fall.
- DISPLAY & TIMER - LED DISPLAY and simple easy select control panel features mode selection button, up/down temperature adjustments, fan speed selection and timer. TIMER allows you to turn unit on and off at desired.
- SELF-EVAPORATION - Automatic self-evaporation technology - no bucket to empty (except in some high humidity area) - Built-in dehumidifier removes up to 70 pints/24 hours with continuous drain option for long unattended operation.
- WINDOW KIT - Venting it by a simple three step process with WINDOW KIT (Included). Simply connect the vent hose to the back of the unit, remove the cap from the window vent kit and connect it to the exhaust hose.
DELLA is a notable brand that offers a wide range of modern products to customers. Their products provide a long-lasting impact on the tradition of the industry, and they are quite reliable. The DELLA 8000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner features a high-power cooling compressor that cools up to 3,000 sq ft of space.
It’s an energy-saving portable air conditioner that consumes minimum energy and comes with an expandable window that enables you to install it in any room easily. You can fully count on this AC when it comes to mobility since it features easy-roll caster wheels that help you move it easily from one place to another.
There are 2-way air directions in the AC that helps you spread the air evenly throughout the room, and a control panel has a complete set of selections right at your fingertips. It’s also a user-friendly appliance, as you can quickly access all the functions with one click of a button.
- 8,000 BTU power cooling system
- Dehumidifier with 2-speed cooling FAN
- Easy mobility
- Bright LED lights at night
- The vent tube lacks a screen
- Basic remote lacks light for night use
6. Global Air 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
- Digital controls offer precise temperature adjustments and the remote control lets you control the air Conditioner from across the room
- Self-evaporative system no water tank. The condensing water is recycled to improve the efficiency through cooling condenser
- Maximum room size up to 400 square feet. Over-cold protection three minutes restart Delay function. Wind blows upward and anti-frozen function under cooling
- Unit must be vented to the outside (use included window installation kit and follow detailed installation instructions in the Owner's Manual). Do not use extension cords
- Dimensions: 13" W x 17" D x 31.3" H | Product Weight: 62.20 lb
The Global Air 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner provides a cooling power that’s perfect for a large room of up to 300 sq ft. The AC is cool and comfortable with a 2-speed cooling and fan and 4-way air direction to spread the air in the entire room evenly.
It features digital controls that provide accurate temperature adjustments and remote control that lets you control it conveniently from across the room. The included self-evaporative system eliminates the need for a water tank. It condenses the water and recycles it to improve the efficiency of the cooling condenser.
The Global Air 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner also offers over-cold protection three minutes restart-delay function and keeps you cool throughout the warm summer season. It’s a portable air conditioner with a window installation kit with detailed instructions on how to set up and install.
- Includes remote control
- Self-evaporative system
- Easy to adjust
- User-friendly LED display
- Unreliable hose
- Inefficient fan when the speed is low
7. Friedrich ZoneAire PH14B Portable Room Air Conditioner
- 3-IN-1 SYSTEM - Air conditioner, dehumidifier and fan operated by a remote control
- SELF EVAPORATING - Self evaporation condensate system means no bucket to empty
- DRAIN PUMP - Built-in drain pump to remove condensate in heat pump mode
- PEACE OF MIND - Condensate overflow protection and auto restart after a power outage
- SPECIFICATIONS - 19.5 x 15.5 x 33.5 inches
If you’re looking for an easy-to-install and portable air conditioner power consumption type of AC, the Friedrich ZoneAire PH14B Portable Room Air Conditioner perfectly fits into this description.
It comes with a 4-in-1 system which includes air condition, heater, dehumidifier, and a fan that offers all-year-round air conditioning comfort. The installation of this AC is easy due to its portability, casters, and side grip handles.
There are about 3 fan speeds that you’ll find in this AC, a 24-hour timer, a 6-feet long power cord, and it easily plugs into a 115V outlet. It has a dual hose design that allows you conditioned air to return to the room instead of going out. Therefore, this helps to cool the room up to 40 percent faster than using a single hose design.
As you may know, sometimes it may be challenging to find the perfect storage space for an AC. However, the ZoneAire PH14B has an excellent design that makes it easier to store even in a minimum space. There are also switch to fan mode, remote control, and dehumidification features included in this AC, making it worth buying.
- Self-evaporation condensate system
- Built-in drain pump
- Auto-restart after a power outage
- 4-in-1 system
- You need to remove the hose to dehumidify
- It can break down faster after prolonged use
Before you buy any product, it’s always recommended to consider various factors, which may help you prove whether it’s suitable for you or not. In our buying guide section, we’ll offer you essential insights and answer crucial questions to help you buy an AC that completely meets your needs.
How to Read an Air Conditioner’s EnergyGuide Label
When buying an AC, it’s important to remember that it comes with an energy guide label that can significantly help you save on energy costs if you keenly understand everything that has been outlined in it.
- EER – This means Energy Efficient Ratio. It refers to the number of electrical watts an appliance uses to achieve the cooling output.
- SEER – This means Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and it’s usually included in central air conditioners. Like the EER, having a higher SEER value means that it offers excellent energy efficiency and savings. Most of the older air conditioners tend to have SEER system values of 6 or less.
- The label’s top has the list of the manufacturer, model number, appliance type, and capacity.
- The middle of the label shows the line scale, which helps you differentiate how a specific model compares energy efficiency.
- The annual operating cost is shown close to the bottom of the label.
When you’re reading an AC’s energy guide label, note that you’re not looking for a specific number. Instead, you’re looking for a unit score compared to the other units in its class or state. That means you need to spend time researching the energy-efficiency of an air conditioner and how much it translates to saving money on the home cooling costs.
Some companies may extend rebates to buyers that purchase appliances with high efficiency. Therefore, it’s advisable to call the local utility provider and determine if your unit qualifies for a rebate to see if you can save money.
How to Choose an Air Conditioner Size
It’s also important to choose the right size of an air conditioner that will be suitable for your home or anywhere you want to use it. The size of an air conditioner highly contributes to its efficiency.
Most of the large air conditioners consume more electricity and leave your home’s air with excess humidity. Smaller air conditioners, on the other hand, don’t cool your home comfortably.
Therefore, you need to implement some basic math to choose the right size air conditioner. When buying an energy star portable air conditioner, the first thing you need to do is to measure the length and width of the room where you’ll keep it. Record those measurements somewhere, like on a piece of paper. But what happens if the room is not square or rectangle?
Well, in this case, you can divide the room into sections made of squares and triangles derived from the measurements you have. After you’ve done that, calculate the room’s square footage, and if it’s a square or rectangle, you can multiply the length by the width.
If your room is neither a square nor a rectangle, you can find the square footage of the triangular sections by multiplying ½ length by width, and then sum each of the square and triangle sections to find the total square footage of the room.
Ensure you calculate the square footage of every room of your home if you’re buying a central air conditioner. You also need to determine each room’s cooling capacity, and you should note that they are usually measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour.
You can find these guidelines on the United States Department of Energy Star’s website. They provide measurements for BTUs per sq ft.
Some of the things you need for the measurements include; steel measuring tape, pencil, and paper. A crucial factor to consider is excluding the rooms in your home that will not be cooled when calculating the sq. ft of the home.
Window AC vs. Portable AC vs. Mini Split Systems
Window ACs, portable ACs, and mini-split systems tend to vary in terms of features and usability.
Window AC is a single unit type of air conditioner that can be installed seasonally or permanently. It is located in a pre-existing window and is mostly poorly insulated.
Window AC units are easy to find, affordable, quiet, and drain to the outside. Their drawdowns include being challenging to insulate, they aren’t pretty, not all windows support them, and they are a hassle to move.
A portable AC is also a single unit, it’s quick and easy to set up and move from one room to another. The good thing about a portable AC is that it doesn’t require insulation, unlike the window AC.
The disadvantages of portable AC units include being less efficient, noisy, and expensive.
Mini Split Systems
On the other hand, the split AC has two units – one indoors and the other one outdoors. It can be permanently installed, and the installation only requires minor construction. The mini-split AC is also very well insulated.
Split AC units also have disadvantages, such as being difficult to install, costly, noisy, large, and intrusive.
Each of these AC units has its advantages and disadvantages, but they serve various purposes. Therefore, it’s up to you to decide the ideal type of AC you want to buy before making that move.
What to Look for When Buying the Most Energy Efficient Portable Air Conditioner
Before buying an energy-efficient portable air conditioner, there are various things that you need to look for to ensure you get the best deal and an appliance that satisfies your needs.
Check out these factors to consider below.
When choosing an air conditioner, size is a significant factor to consider. If you want the best energy-efficient portable air conditioner, avoid choosing a large AC.
An oversized unit will cool the air in your room and leave it clammy or damp. A smaller unit, on the other hand, will need to overwork to maintain the appropriate temperature. Therefore, you need to choose the right size that will match where you’re placing the AC.
The benefit of most ACs nowadays is that they come with digital displays to help you set the right temperature and even schedule the time you want the AC to turn off. Therefore, you need to check on the programmable temperature settings before purchasing an AC.
Will the air conditioner you want to buy save you energy and minimize electricity cost? This is a crucial question you need to ask yourself before any AC. Look out for an AC that saves on energy.
EER and SEER Ratings
These two ratings help measure the energy efficiency of an AC in BTUs, and they are also important factors to check before buying a unit. A good air conditioner has a higher rating than any of these two measurements since it will offer you high efficiency.
Energy Star Certification
When buying an AC, try as much as possible to look for the blue “ENERGY STAR” certification because it is a sign that the unit meets or exceeds the high-efficiency standards.
Some air conditioners are WIFI-enabled, and you can adjust them with your smartphone. These are known as smart portable air conditioners, and they offer so much convenience to users.
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Ways to Maximize Your Energy Efficient Air Conditioner
There are several ways that you can implement to maximize the energy-efficiency of your air conditioner. They include:
- Set your AC to 78 degrees during the summer to manage the cooling costs properly.
- Turn off all the unnecessary appliances and lights since they generate heat removed by the air conditioner.
- Program the thermostat to increase the temperature by a few degrees when there’s no one at home. This will help to decrease your AC’s workload.
- Use ceiling fans to circulate the air efficiently than the AC can. They tend to use less energy.
- Insulate and seal points where the AC unit enters your home.
- Clean all window units monthly by wiping down the vents and rinsing them afterward.
- Properly clean all your ducts if you happen to have a central air conditioning system in your home.
The search for the best portable air conditioner can be a long and tedious process. However, with the right insights, you can purchase a high-quality AC that will serve you for a long time. There are many ACs out there from different manufacturers that compete to outdo each other.
Due to this, you may find yourself overwhelmed with all the information provided by experts and consumers alike. The most important thing you need to keep in mind is choosing a high-efficiency portable air conditioner requires the utmost scrutiny and research.
Hopefully, you’ve learned something from this portable air conditioner buying guide to help you buy the right AC for your home. Please feel free to ask any questions or offer valuable insights in the comment section below. You can also shoot me an email, and I’ll be happy to respond as soon as possible.