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Best portable air conditioners for summer 2024: Are you ready for the next heatwave?

Portable ac units are a simple way to beat the heat! From De'Longhi to AEG, here's our list of the best


best portable air conditioners
Karen Silas
Senior Lifestyle Editor
Updated: June 24, 2024
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With temperatures reaching record highs more and more each summer, some of us are going to extreme lengths to keep ourselves cool – like resorting to making ice cold ‘hot’ water bottles or covering yourself in freezing towels (sound familiar?) and experts are predicting 2024 has some more heatwaves in store.

If you were someone who struggled during the last heatwave, it could be time to start thinking about investing in a portable air conditioner for one or more of the rooms in your home.

It's true that portable air conditioners can be pricey, but heatwaves can be uncomfortable, and, especially if you spend a lot of time at home, they might be a worthy investment for an easy no fuss solution. Fantastic for bringing down the temperature in a room, this type of AC can be either a standalone cooling fan (a less expensive but often less effective option)  or a full AC setup with window hose included.

How does a portable air conditioner work?

Unlike fans, a portable air conditioner physically sucks up the hot air inside the room and expels it out through a window, via an exhaust hose, replacing the hot air with cold air. They're ideal for those really warm days or if you're looking to cool down a larger room. Many can also be used as a portable heater, fan or dehumidifier, and come with clever features like timers and smart controls. 

What should you consider when looking for a portable air conditioner?

Georgette Beacham, heating & air conditioning expert at BigDug.co.uk, explains that portable air conditioners are becoming more and more popular. But what should you look for when considering buying one (or more) for your home? 

“While budget will help determine the appropriate option for you, it's important to consider the spaces that the air conditioner will be cooling, i.e. how big are the rooms? Look out for helpful ratings that indicate the cooling capacity, such as BTU (British Thermal Unit) or the watts – higher BTUs or watts are typically more suitable for larger rooms, and lower for smaller rooms

"Sometimes the recommended room size might be specified, too. The ‘maximum airflow’ is also a great indicator of how effectively the volume of air can move or circulate."

What are the pros and cons of a portable air conditioner?

Trying to decide whether to splurge on a central air system in your home or go the portable air conditioning route? Well, if you are considering portable air con, Georgette explained that there are some factors that you should consider before deciding whether to invest.

Portable air conditioner pros:

  • Easy installation: "The minimal installation and ability to be mobile makes an air conditioner a great solution for keeping cool."
  • Ease of use: "The increase in sales for portable air conditioners has allowed the evolution of their design to be refined, now becoming more efficient, modernised, and user-friendly, ultimately resulting in the cost becoming more competitive and therefore making them even more appealing."
  • Flexibility: "Portable options provide targeted cooling in individual rooms rather than the whole home, offering great flexibility while being more cost-effective than central air systems."

Portable air conditioner cons:

  • Noise: "They can be noisy! The compressor of a portable air conditioner is inside the unit, and therefore inside the room that you’re cooling."
  • Energy use: "Portable units can use more energy compared to other types of air conditioners, but this tends to be fairly minimal and varies from model to model."
  • Maintenance: "Be aware of maintenance too, as portable options typically require their filters to be cleaned and water trays to be emptied."

How we chose the best portable air conditioner units

  • Top-rated: We've only included bestselling air conditioner units that are well-rated with balanced, verified customer reviews.
  • Type: Many portable air con units require a window hose, but I've also included non-hose cooling fans that just require ice and water.
  • Price: Everyone wants a good deal, so we've found the portable air conditioners available at the most competitive prices, some of which are currently on sale. All of them represent great value for money.
  • Trusted brands and retailers: Every portable AC is from a well-known top brand, such as Meaco, Delonghi, and Pro Breeze and available either straight from the brand or at familiar retailers like John Lewis and Amazon.

1/7

AEG 9000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

AEG air con

The Details

  • Star rating: 4.4/5
  • Dimensions: 85 x 51.6 x 42.2 cm
  • Weight: 31.5 kg
  • Cooling power: 9000 BTU
  • Noise level: 63dB
  • Features: Dehumidifier, Sleep Mode, LED display, Digital control panel
  • Extraction hose & window kit included? Yes

Editor's note:

"This versatile portable air conditioner can be used with or without a hose so you can wheel it wherever you need it most. Despite its small size and sleek minimal design, it's powerful enough to cool down rooms up to 21 m². When used as a fan it has three different speeds and when used as a dehumidifier, you can take advantage of the advanced self-evaporative system, which means minimal emptying."

2/7

Pro Breeze 12,000 BTU 4-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner & Heater with Smart App

probreeze portable ac© ProBreeze

The Details

  • Dimensions:  360 x 430 x 730mm
  • Weight:  29.5 kg 
  • Cooling power:  12,000 Btu
  • Noise level: 54 dBA
  • Features:  Cool, Fan, Dry, Heat modes, 3 speed settings, 90° motor-driven horizontal oscillation, Google Assistant & Amazon Alexa compatible, 
  • Extraction hose & window kit included?  Yes - Window Kit Included

Editor's note

"Pro Breeze has dubbed this 12,000 BTU powerhouse ‘heatwave essential’ and it’s easy to see why. Designed for medium to large spaces (a 30m2 / 322ft2 coverage area) it has four operational modes and can be operated using a free smartphone app. Shoppers say they’re ‘really impressed’ with the cooling efficiency and the only complaint is that it can be on the louder side.”

3/7

De'Longhi Pinguino PACES72 Classic Portable Air Conditioner

De'Longhi air con

The Details

  • Star rating: 4.2/5
  • Dimensions: 29.6 x 36.1 x 69.8 cm
  • Weight: 25.5 kg
  • Cooling power: 8300 BTU
  • Noise level: 65dB
  • Features: Dehumidifier, LED display, Remote control, 24-hour timer, Thermostat
  • Extraction hose & window kit included? Yes

Editor's note:

"If you're looking a small air conditioner, this one is compact but powerful. It's rated Class A in energy efficiency and uses a R290 gas that ensure it's 99.9% more environmentally friendly than equivalent portable ACs.

It has three different speeds when used as a fan and also works as a dehumidifier. Other features include an LCD display with touch controls, a handy remote control, and integrated handles and castors wheels for easy movement."

4/7

HONMICON Air Cooler, 4 IN 1 Portable Air Conditioner

honmicon air cooler© Amazon

The Details

  • Size: 29 x 63 x 26 cm
  • Weight: ‎4.94 kg
  • Features: Remote control - Batteries included, LED Display
  • Voltage: ‎220 Volts
  • Sound level: ‎40 dB
  • Included: 1 x Portable Air Cooler, 2 x Ice Packs,1 x Remote Control, 4 Wheels, 1 x Manuals
  • Water tank capacity: 4.5L (10 hours of cooling)
  • No window hose necessary

Editor's note: 

"If you just need cool air but don't want a full window hose set-up, I recommend an air cooler, which is basically a glorified fan – you fill up the water tank and add the ice packs that come with the device – but does wonders to help beat the heat. This model on Amazon is getting rave reviews, with over 2.7k five-star ratings. Plus, there's a 20% off coupon, so it's even less of a a drain on your budget.

I have a similar one in my home and it's great but it does make the room quite humid, making it not very suitable for small spaces, so that's something to keep in mind when purchasing."

5/7

MeacoCool MC Series Pro 14000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

meacocool portable air conditioner© Meaco

The Details

  • Star rating: 4.6/5
  • Suitable for: Rooms between 25-35m²
  • Dimensions: 762 x 353 x 470 mm
  • Weight: 31 kgs
  • Cooling power: 14000 BTU
  • Noise level: 51.5 dB
  • Features: App control, remote control, sleep mode, wheels,
  • Extraction hose & window kit included? Yes 

Editor's note:

"Meaco is one of the leading names in air cooling and dehumidifier products. This popular air conditioner unit, new for 2024, is energy efficient, with a rating of A. It has multiple window kits included, as well as castors fitted to make it easy to move from room-to-room. It's also one of the quietest options we've found with an average pressure level of just 51.5dB. All Meaco units come with a two-year guarantee."

6/7

KGOGO 9000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

KGOGO portable air conditioning unit.© Amazon

The Details

  • Star rating: 4.4/5
  • Dimensions: 35 x 38 x 88 cm
  • Weight: 22.5 kg
  • Cooling power: 9000 BTU
  • Noise level: 65dB
  • Features: Dehumidifier, Cooling mode, Dark Light mode, Remote control, Smart timer, Child & pet lock
  • Extraction hose & window kit included? Yes

Editor's note:

"Thanks to its advanced air compressor, this popular KGOGO air con unit comes in a compact size but is still super efficient. It has cooling, fan and dehumidifying functions, plus dark light which dims the lights of the control panel, letting you sleep well if you want to leave it on through the night. It's ideal for family homes at it has a child and pet lock included."

7/7

BLU-09 9000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

BLU-09 9000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner.© Amazon

The Details

  • Star rating: 4.6/5
  • Dimensions: 30.6 x 80.5 x 36.2 cm
  • Weight: 26.5 kg
  • Capacity: ‎26 kg
  • Cooling power: 9000 BTU
  • Noise level: 49dB
  • Features: dehumidifier, R290 eco-friendly refrigerant, Remote control, Self evaporating
  • Extraction hose & window kit included? Yes

Editor's note: 

"BLU's portable air conditioner comes with a 1.5m expandable exhaust hose and a complimentary Window Sheet suitable for UK windows, so everything is ready to go. It also has a self evaporation function which allows the unit to run more efficiently. 

It uses a natural high efficiency gas (propane R290) which is non-toxic and has no greenhouse emissions. It also offers energy savings."

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