Finest Transportable Air Conditioners of 2022


In contrast to a heavy and extra everlasting window air conditioner, transportable AC models are designed to be simply moved between rooms. With the added mobility, you may keep cool as you progress between totally different areas all through the day. Most transportable air conditioners come outfitted with wheels, which makes them simple to maneuver from room to room, and whereas all models will aid you beat the warmth, there are a couple of totally different choices relying on the scale of the room and the particular options chances are you’ll want.

We examined six transportable AC models, ranging in value from $349 to $699, to see which of them stood out probably the most and what array of choices they provide so that you get a very good worth in your cash.  

Learn extra: Window Air Conditioners vs. Transportable Air Conditioners: Discover Out Which One Is Finest for You

GE Home equipment

In the event you’re looking for a transportable air conditioner to cowl small to medium areas, look no additional than the GE APCD08JALW. Designed to chill as much as a 350-square-foot room, the APCD08JALW is a wonderful selection for anybody in search of an AC unit that may deal with smaller bedrooms, workplaces and different dwelling areas with ease.

It carried out admirably in our testing, sustaining its lowest temperature almost 70% of the time. The opposite small models we examined — the Frigidaire FHPC082AC1 and the Whirlpool WHAP131BWC — weren’t capable of sustain with the GE unit on this check. It additionally did nicely within the second check, the place we see how persistently the unit maintains a set temperature of 68 levels Fahrenheit. Once more the GE APCD08JALW took first place. We focus on our check procedures in depth later on this article if you wish to study extra concerning the course of.

GE’s APCD08JALW has a cooling capability of 8,500 British thermal models and prices $479. Take a look at the chart within the part under for a extra in-depth have a look at how its options and specs examine with these of the opposite models we examined. 

General, this GE transportable AC unit is a good choice in case you’re in search of a smaller air conditioner at an affordable value. Bonus: At 62 kilos, this AC unit is among the lightest and subsequently probably the most simply transportable models of the bunch. That makes it a strong selection in case you plan to recurrently transfer it between rooms. Plus, its barely smaller dimensions would go well with house dwelling or work nicely for anybody in any other case restricted in house.


Not solely did the Midea MAP14HS1TBL excel in efficiency in contrast with the opposite bigger transportable air conditioners we examined, it additionally has loads of options and speciality choices. At $699, this unit is not low cost, however it’s a well-rounded luxurious AC unit with the whole lot you want — after which some.

To begin, the MAP14HS1TBL has the very best cooling capability of some other mannequin we examined. These 12,000 Btu turn out to be useful for cooling bigger areas as much as 550 sq. ft and it confirmed within the efficiency. The Midea mannequin beat out the 2 different bigger AC models on this record, the Haier QPWA14YZMW and the LG LP1419IVSM, in each of our efficiency checks. 

This mannequin additionally comes with a typical distant management and has sleep mode, timer and dehumidifier features, in addition to an app and help for Alexa and Google Assistant voice instructions. 

General, the Midea MAP14HS1TBL has all of the premium options and choices you’d anticipate for $699. Throw in its stellar efficiency and this unit is our high decide to chill bigger areas. Needless to say this air conditioner was additionally the heaviest unit we examined at 77 kilos, however, like the remaining, it comes with wheels for straightforward maneuvering.


The Haier QPWA14YZMW is a wonderful midpoint between the GE and Midea AC models. At round $590, its value sits in the course of one of the best small and greatest high-end air conditioners, but it provides related specs and efficiency to the Midea mannequin, simply with out among the superior options.

Particularly, this Haier AC unit has a 9,700-Btu cooling capability and may cool as much as a 550-square-foot room. Whereas its cooling capability is decrease than the 12,000-Btu Midea air conditioner, the Haier unit held its personal throughout testing. It managed to take care of a 68-degree set temperature over 75% of its operating time (in contrast with the Midea’s 85%). It additionally maintained its lowest temperature 70.9% of its operating time, after the Midea’s 80.1% and the Whirlpool’s 73.5%.

So far as options go, this unit has a distant management and timer and dehumidifier features. It additionally has an app, however you will not have help for voice assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant. 

General this Haier transportable air conditioner carried out nicely, however prices much less and has fewer options than the Midea AC unit. If you do not need all of the extras of the Midea, the Haier QPWA14YZMW is a strong various at an excellent worth. In the event you do not want a transportable air conditioner that may cool as much as 550 sq. ft, look as an alternative to our favourite smaller unit, the GE APCD08JALW.

The contenders

We examined six transportable air conditioners for this greatest record: the Frigidaire FHPC082AC1, the GE APCD08JALW, the Haier QPWA14YZMW, the LG LP1419IVSM, the Midea MAP14HS1TBL and the Whirlpool WHAP131BWC. Within the chart under, you will get an summary of every unit and the way they examine by way of pricing, specs and options. 

Transportable air conditioners

Frigidaire FHPC082AC1 GE APCD08JALW Haier QPWA14YZMW LG LP1419IVSM Midea MAP14HS1TBL Whirlpool WHAP131BWC
Worth $349 $579 $590 $699 $699 $526
Space it covers (in sq. ft) 350 350 550 500 550 350
Btu 5,500 8,500 9,700 10,000 12,000 8,000
Weight (in kilos) 50 62 71 71 77 75
Dimensions (HxWxD, in inches) 26.8 x 12.17 x 13.78 28.9 x 16.7 x 14.7 32 x 18.5 x 15.35 32.36 x 22.13 x 19.84 34.48 x 19.53 x 16.73 27.9 x 18.7 x 15.16
Particular options Distant management, timer, dehumidifier operate, sleep mode Distant management, timer, dehumidifier operate Distant management, timer, app, dehumidifier operate Distant management, timer, app, dehumidifier operate Distant management, timer, app, helps Alexa and Google Assistant, dehumidifier operate, sleep mode Distant management, timer, sleep mode

At a look, you may see we examined some models with related specs, whereas additionally protecting a variety of choices. Not solely do the costs fluctuate from $349 to $699, however half of the models are designed to chill smaller 350-square-foot rooms, whereas the remaining can deal with bigger areas as much as 500 or 550 sq. ft. Additionally they fluctuate by way of Btu, which vary within the models we examined from 5,500 to 12,000 Btu. 

It is price noting right here that there are at the moment two totally different requirements for figuring out Btu capability: the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ Btu ranking and the Division of Power’s Seasonally Adjusted Cooling Capability Btu ranking. For that motive, many producer websites record each the ASHRAE and the SACC scores of their specs. 

For instance, the Frigidaire FHPC082AC1 we examined has an ASHRAE capability of 8,000 Btu, whereas the DOE’s SACC ranking for a similar unit is 5,500 Btu. The SACC commonplace was developed extra just lately and is being broadly adopted throughout producers, so we use the SACC Btu capability because the default commonplace wherever we reference Btu capability on this record. Nonetheless have questions on this? Be taught extra concerning the SACC commonplace right here. (PDF) 

How we check 

To check transportable air conditioners, we warmth a climate-controlled room to 92 levels. After the room reaches 92 levels, we flip off the warmth and activate the transportable AC unit to chill mode, with a medium fan velocity and a set temperature of 68 levels. We run the unit for two hours and half-hour and repeat the identical check twice per AC unit. We then use the information collected in the course of the checks to measure two issues:

  • How persistently the transportable air conditioner stored the room inside 5% of 68 levels
  • How persistently it stored the room inside 5% of the AC unit’s particular person lowest temperature

As soon as we now have this info, we examine the outcomes throughout the models to see which of them maintained the set temperature for the longest time frame. We additionally have a look at which models maintained their particular person lowest temperature for the longest time. We did this in order that if a unit did not attain 68 levels within the allotted time, we had been nonetheless capable of observe how persistently it maintained the bottom temperature it did obtain. The upper the proportion, the higher the unit carried out. 

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When looking at performance, it’s important to note that the units we tested don’t have identical specs, so direct performance comparisons are not the only thing we consider when arriving at our list of best portable air conditioners. We also look at a unit’s features and other options in reference to its price and specifications to determine its overall value. 

We also don’t draw direct performance comparisons when looking at units of vastly different sizes and capabilities, say, the 12,000-Btu Midea MAP14HS1TBL versus the 5,500-Btu Frigidaire FHPC082AC1. For this reason, we compared performance results in two groups based on coverage area. Specifically, we compared the Frigidaire, Whirlpool and GE models (which all have coverage areas of up to 350 square feet) against one another and the Haier, LG and Midea models (which have 500-to-550-square-foot coverage areas) against one another.


Delving a little more into performance, you can see how long all six portable air conditioners maintained a temperature set point of 68 degrees. Again, because we aren’t comparing the larger units (the Midea, LG and Haier models) directly with the smaller ones (the GE, Whirlpool and Frigidaire), we’ve displayed the larger units at the top of the chart and the smaller units at the bottom, and used different colors to help you differentiate between them more easily.

Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET

The Midea air conditioner performed the best, maintaining the 68-degree set point for 85.4% of its runtime. The Haier model came in second with 75.5% and the LG model in third with 74.2%. For the smaller units, the GE air conditioner came in first at 39.7%, followed by the Whirlpool model at 25.2% and the Frigidaire unit at 15.2%. 

For the second test, we looked at how consistently the unit maintained its lowest temperature. Again, we divided the results in the chart below, with the larger units in green on the top and the smaller units in yellow on the bottom. 

Consistency comparison 2: Lowest temperature

Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET

The Midea air conditioner once again outperformed the other large units by maintaining its lowest temperature for 80.1% of its runtime. The LG model came in second at 73.5% and the Haier model in a close third with 70.9%. For the smaller units, the GE model performed extremely well, only closely trailing the larger Haier air conditioner at 68.9%. The Frigidaire model came next at 57% and the Whirlpool model came in third at 49%.

Overall the powerful Midea model knocked out the other larger units by coming in first in both tests. The smaller Whirlpool model outperformed its competition by maintaining the 68-degree set point longer in the first test, but the smaller GE unit dominated in the second test, maintaining its lowest temperature for longer than either Whirlpool or Frigidaire.

In addition, we made charts to track the temperature changes of each unit over time. The chart below focuses only on the larger units we tested. The Midea unit’s temperature dropped more quickly than the others and maintained the lower temperature for most of its run, whereas the LG and Haier units performed similarly throughout.

Temperature profile, large units

Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET

We also tracked the temperature changes for the smaller units throughout testing. The GE unit’s temperature dropped more quickly than the others, followed by Whirlpool, then Frigidaire, but they all ended up reaching and maintaining a similar temperature in the second half of their runs.

Temperature profile, small units

Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET

Portable air conditioner FAQs

Do portable ACs have to vent through the windows?

Yes. In order to have optimal performance for a portable air conditioner, you need to set up the included hose or hoses to vent outside. Without this step, the hot air and condensation won’t have anywhere to go and could hurt the unit’s ability to cool a room effectively. 

How do portable AC units work?

We go into more detail in our portable air conditioner buying guide, but they pull in air from your house, cool it and recirculate it back into the room or space of your choosing. Portable AC units plug into a wall outlet and feature one or two hoses. One-hose units vent exhaust out of the house. Two-hose units use one hose to vent the exhaust and the other to bring air in from outside.

What portable AC brand is best?

That depends. First consider your needs: What size room (or rooms) do you plan to cool? What is your budget? Are there any special features that you particularly want, like a remote control or a dehumidifier function? 

Based on how you answer the above questions, you’ll be able to narrow down your options a bit more. What might be the best portable AC unit or brand for one person might not be the same for someone else. For this reason, we provide more than one portable air conditioner recommendation above.


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