In this guide we’ll take a look at the best portable air conditioners for the UK market.
I’ve compared performance, speed, efficiency and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What Is The Best Portable Air Conditioner?
More Detailed Portable Air Conditioner Reviews
The De’Longhi PAC AN98 ECO Real Feel Portable Air Conditioner is the best portable air conditioner featuring a thermostat, humidifier and an electronic timer.
As well as providing efficient cooling, this air conditioner also measures and controls humidity, either adding or removing moisture from the air when necessary. It uses its real feel technology to measure the air and determine the balance between temperature and humidity to make you as comfortable as possible. Most air conditioners remove water from the air and after prolonged use, this can lead to a very dry, uncomfortable environment.
For the winter months, the unit will work as a dehumidifier only and this can reduce levels of condensation and prevent damp and mould.
The air conditioner has three speed settings for the fan. On the highest setting, it is very powerful and also quiet, and on the lowest setting, it is virtually inaudible. This allows you to balance performance with noise. The unit produces 10,700 BTU maximum cooling.
The unit has an electronic timer that can be used to program when it turns off. It also has a thermostat built in so you can set the desired temperature and it will work to achieve it.
All the settings can be controlled via the top control panel or by the included remote control. This unit comes with a window kit for venting, so it is ready to set up and use with no additional components required.
The De’Longhi PAC AN98 ECO Real Feel Portable Air Conditioner is great for if you need to cool a large room as well as control humidity levels.
The Sealey SAC9001 Air Conditioner/Dehumidifier is efficient, adjustable and can be used as a dehumidifier and air conditioner.
This unit provides powerful cooling and is rated at 9000 BTU. The unit has both low and high fan speeds and a dehumidifier function. The unit can run as a dehumidifier which can reduce the effects of damp and condensation. The unit has a programmable target so you can set the temperature between 17-30 degrees and it will automatically work achieve this. The unit can be controlled via the panel or the included remote control.
The unit comes with a window hose and window kit so is ready to use out of the box.
This is a powerful air conditioner that can also be used as a dehumidifier to reduce condensation.
The Pifco P40013 Portable Air Conditioner, 9000 BTU has a range of settings to provide a comfortable environment whatever the weather.
This unit is rated at 9000 BTU and the temperature range is 18-32 degrees. This unit has 2 fan speeds and a breeze mode. The breeze mode simulates a more natural breeze which makes a room comfortably cool rather than providing an icy blast.
This portable air conditioner features a 24-hour timer programmable in increments. All these settings can be controlled via the top panel or included a remote control. The unit has easy glide rolling wheels making it very convenient if you have multiple rooms you want to cool down.
The air conditioner comes with an included window hose kit making it ready to use straight out of the box.
This is a great portable air conditioner that produces efficient cooling with a natural breeze setting.
The VonHaus Portable air conditioner is a good unit, with powerful cooling and oscillation mode.
This air conditioner is rated at 9,000 BTU and has two speed settings. It also features oscillation mode to help circulate air around the room evenly. Oscillation mode is not often seen on portable air conditioners, but it does provide a more even distribution of air.
The unit features a sleep timer and a 1-24 hour timer. This unit weighs just less than 24kg and has good quality rolling wheels making it easy to transport around your home or office.
This unit comes with a preinstalled with a flexible exhaust duct making it ready to use with a window kit.
This is a good portable air conditioner that oscillates to provide a good distribution of cool air.
The Jack Stonehouse Air Conditioning Portable Cooling Air Conditioner offers great value for money as well as versatility and quality.
These are inexpensive options relative to most portable air conditioners. The model comes in 5000 BTU or 8000 BTU models allowing you to choose the appropriate size for your room to get the best value for money and the right amount of cooling. The unit is still of good quality and built well. It has three fan speeds to choose from, 24-hour timer mode and is ready to use out of the box. The settings are controllable from the LED touch panel or included remote control.
This unit is perfect for someone looking for an inexpensive option that is still of good quality.
The Igenix IG9901 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner has three fan speed settings as well as a dehumidifier.
This unit is rated at 9000 BTU and has three fan speed settings to enable you to find the perfect level of cooling. It also has a fan only mode as well as a dehumidifier mode that can be used independently of the compressor. Its programmable 24-hour timer is adjustable in increments and all the settings and timers can be controlled via the front panel or remote control.
This air conditioner comes ready to use with a 1.5m exhaust hose that can be used to vent the unit through a window.
This is a good air conditioner with a dehumidifier function and a fan only function that makes this unit useful all year round.
The Klarstein Maxfresh is a good alternative to an air conditioner as it cools via the evaporation of water.
This product is classed as an air cooler and works by passing the intake air over water cooling the air via evaporation of the water. This product is also a humidifier as it increases the moisture content of the air.
The product needs to be filled with water but has a 6-litre tank meaning it doesn’t need to be refilled too often. To increase the cooling performance of this product ice can be added to the water tank. This product also has a filter on the intake to remove particles from the air. This product is more of an assisted fan and won’t cool as well as a portable air conditioner.
This is a good product if you want an alternative to an air conditioner. It is cheaper to buy and run and won’t dry out the air.
Portable Air Conditioner FAQs
How does a portable air conditioner work?
Portable air conditioners contain a gas similar to the gas in a fridge. This gas can move from low to high pressure and change between a gas and a liquid at high speeds. This gas is moved around the interior of your air conditioner.
The gas works through the air conditioner doing different jobs in each section. Firstly, it collects the heat from the room. The gas that has collected heat is then passed through condenser coils to cool the gas and turn it into a liquid which removes heat from the gas. Then it passes over evaporator coils dropping the temperature rapidly and turning the liquid back into a gas ready to start the process again.
While this process is happening, the air conditioner is removing the heat and moisture. The water will go to its internal tank while the heat is pumped out of the hose.
What is the BTU rating of a portable air conditioner?
BTU – British thermal unit is a measurement of energy and power. Knowing your air conditioner’s BTU is useful because this can be used to calculate the size of air conditioner you need for your room.
Calculating the size air conditioner is easy once you understand this. Firstly, work out the square footage of your room. Then simply times it by 20 to work out your required BTU to effectively cool your room.
As an example, I will do the inverse. Our top reviewed portable air conditioner the De’Longhi PAC AN98 ECO Real Feel Portable Air Conditioner has a rating of 10,700 BTU. If we divide this by 20 we know that this air conditioner can cool up to a 535 square foot room.
With portable air conditioners is it important to get the size right. If your air conditioners don’t have a high enough BTU rating it will not be able to adequately cool your room. Inversely if you BTU rating is too high the air conditioner will reach cooler temperatures faster and turn itself off. This sounds great but, if this happens the air conditioner won’t have had time to remove moisture from the air so the room will remain very humid.
How to vent a portable air conditioner without a window?
Many air conditioners come with window venting kits so you can vent the unit through a window. These kits allow you to open the window enough to pass the ventilation tube through and then seal the rest of the window to prevent warm air from coming in.
If you do not have a window available for your air conditioner you will have to vent it differently. The best way to do this is by installing a wall vent in the same way as you would vent a tumble dryer.
You should buy a well vent kit suitable for venting an air conditioner. You will then need to cut a hole through a suitable outside wall. The venting kit will have a vent cover to fix to the outside wall and a hose attachment on the inside. You simply slide the extraction tube of you air conditioner over this to allow it to vent outside.
It is a good idea to fit a wall vent even if you have a window available. This is because by venting it straight outside rather than through a window you make the air conditioner more efficient. When you open a window to vent the air conditioner, hot air will come in through the window. Even if you use a venting kit some heat may still come in. So, by eliminating the need to open a window you increase the performance of your air conditioner.
How to empty water from a portable air conditioner?
Portable air conditioners remove moisture from the air. As the air conditioner is cooling this moisture ends up as water that is stored in a tank inside the portable air conditioner. When this tank is full the unit will no longer be able to cool properly so it is important to empty this tank.
Most portable air conditioners have a draining tap on the bottom or the back of the unit. This can be turned to release the water from the tank. Either take the unit outside and allow it to drain or drain it over a container.
Another option is to attach a hose to this tap. This is a useful solution if you have already installed the vent for the unit and want it to be easy to empty. Installing the hose will allow the unit to automatically drain the tank, however, bear in mind it relies on gravity to move the water to the bottom of the hose, so the bottom has to be lower than the top. You could also create another small hole in the wall next to your venting hole to put the hose through so that your air conditioner runs without any maintenance