The Best Portable Air Conditioner of 2019

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The Whynter – ARC-122DS Elite is the best portable air conditioner for blazing summer heat waves, see it on Amazon:

The LG 12,000 BTU is the best portable air conditioner for more moderate climates. See it on Amazon:

We spent three summers researching and testing eight different portable air conditioners. We used them in bedrooms, living rooms and offices. We tested in controlled conditions using space heaters, and also in real summer heat waves.

If you have a slide-down window that can fit a window air conditioner, install one of those instead:

Many of us can’t install window units, though, either because we have slider windows or because of fire code. If you’re about to suffer through one more increasingly hot summer without relief, a portable unit can help.

1:41 – Why should you get a portable AC?
3:02 – Single vs. dual-hose units
4:57 – How many BTUs do you need?
6:32 – How we selected finalists to test
7:17 – How we tested
9:05 – The best single-hose portable: LG – 12,000 BTU
10:36 – The best for heat waves: Whynter – 12,000 BTU
11:53 – The bottom line

Our picks for the best portable air conditioner:
• Whynter – ARC-122DS Elite:
• LG – LP1218GXR:
• Whynter 14,000 BTU:
• LG – 2015 model (old winner):
• Frigidaire 12,000 BTU:
• LG – 2017 model:
• Honeywell – 10,000 BTU:

When purchasing a portable air conditioner, the top features to consider are:
• Performance: portables aren’t as efficient as window units, so make sure you’re getting something that works for you
• Noise: monster-sized 14,000 BTU models are better at cooling a room, but they can be unbearable to sleep beside
• Portability: We also picked models that are lighter and easier to move around
• Controls: remotes, sleep modes, and timers go a long way to helping you use an AC more efficiently

After testing, The Whynter – ARC-122DS Elite is our pick for best portable air conditioner. Learn more at Amazon:

Our site:

Our team for this review included:
Video production: Cara Brown
Video editor: Cara Brown
Writer and host: Daniel Jackson
Managing editor: Bryan Vu
Photography: Daniel Jackson, Kimberly Lostroscio


Your Best Digs says:

Our picks for the best portable air conditioner:
• Whynter – ARC-122DS Elite:
• LG – LP1218GXR:
• Whynter 14,000 BTU:
• LG – 2015 model (old winner):
• Frigidaire 12,000 BTU:
• LG – 2017 model:
• Honeywell – 10,000 BTU:

Ken Ki says:

Thanks for the review. One question, how do you select which models to test? Would like to see how the ones from Costco & Sams Club stand up because that’s likely where I’d buy an appliance from.

Anna Tello says:

Thank you for this thorough review!

Aldo Carroll says:

I am thinking of buying this portable air conditioner by the price, reviews and ratings it looks like its the best!

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