Portable air conditioning units for every room

Stay cool, even when your landlord won’t let you have a window unit.

Woman lying in a bed
Portable ACs for your home or office.Amazon

Portable air conditioning units target only the spaces you actually need to cool, which helps cut down on utility costs. These devices are a great option for spaces that don’t have central air and for which wall-mounted or window models aren’t an option.

Most portable AC units are rated in BTUs (British thermal units); more BTUs mean a more powerful appliance. Shoot for at least 6,000 BTUs for an average-sized room. Here are three portable AC options with key features and efficiency ratings that stand out.

Evapolar evaCHILL Personal Evaporative Air Cooler and Humidifier Portable Air Conditioner Fan
Easiest to take around with you. Amazon

At just under 2 pounds, this is the most truly portable AC unit on the list. It also does triple-duty as an air purifier and humidifier. It’s charged through a USB port, which makes it a particularly good option if you already have a portable battery pack (you can also charge it from your laptop). It also doesn’t require any type of window hook-up, unlike more powerful models. This is a great option to keep on your desk or even to bring camping.

Honeywell 10,000 Btu Portable Air Conditioner
Mid-size and on wheels.Amazon

This is a great mid-sized model that can cool a room as big as 450 square feet. It has three fan speeds and reusable air filters that trap dust and don’t need to be replaced. This model is also on a set of four wheels so it rolls from room to room rather than needing to be carried. Just note that it does need to be hooked up to a window, which could be tricky in below-ground basements or kitchens where the only windows are above a countertop.

Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner, Dehumidifier, Fan with Activated Carbon Filter Plus Storage Bag
Energy-efficient.Amazon

This Whynter AC unit packs a whopping 14,000 BTUs and can keep a 500-square-foot room cool. The best thing about this model is that it has a built-in dehumidifier that can pull up to 71 pints of water from humid air every day, sucking up some of that sticky heat. Like the Honeywell unit, this one’s also on wheels for easy transport to any room with a window.

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