Portable Air Conditioners

Newair Energy Efficient Air Conditioner

Electric fans are the most efficient cooling devices. Fans use far less power than air conditioners (see our recent review of the most efficient portable fan). But in hot and humid weather, air conditioning is a great relief. Cooling an entire house uses a lot of energy — it’s much more efficient to only cool the areas where you are sleeping or working, by using a portable air conditioner.

The one of most efficient portable air conditioner we seen is the Newair AC-12000E (pictured above). It has an EER of 14.4. An EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) of 12 or above is considered very efficient. You can read a detailed explanation of EER ratings here. The Newair AC-12000E is available from Amazon for $389.95

Smallest Made Air Conditioner

The 7000 BTU Haier HPE07XC6 is one of the least expensive portable air conditioners available.

Reviewers say it does a fine job in very small rooms of about 150-square-feet or less. Since most of the condensed water removed from the air is expelled through the main exhaust hose, you don’t have to empty the water-collection cup too often. The only complaint about this AC unit is that it’s a bit loud, one buyer on Amazon says:

This air conditioner is excellent for the heat of living in the valley near Los Angeles. But it gets really loud, especially when changing over from cool to fan mode ( when it reaches the desired temperature). However, it is not much louder than the multiple fans I had to use before, so I would rate this as excellent.

This air conditioner has an EER of 8.2. It measures just 21″ x 17″ x 34″.

Available from Amazon for $353.

Comments 15

  1. Diesel needs cooling?? Check for 2 things: 1- AMPS, not Watts. (match demand with output, carefully). 2- Most vehicle inverters produce a SQUARE wave. The electronics in a high-tech controller board (as is in these portable A/C units) require a SINE wave (cleaner) output. PS – Where R U going 2 vent it? An open window could defeat the capacity of the A/C…. Good luck.

  2. Here’s a question? I have a older diesel truck with no a/c. If I bought a portable a/c unit and ran it off my inverter (3000 watt) and vented it through the rear of the cab wall so it just pulled in air with no leaks. I would think that would solve my problem while driving. also 7,000 btu ought to make the cab pretty KOOL! it’s a diesel….so noise isn’t an issue! and I could also use it in my travel trailer when I wasn’t traveling!

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  4. Cool portable air conditioners. more efficient to cool the areas where you are sleeping and working by using a portable air conditioner. it give a thumb up!!

  5. I recently purchased a used portable ac at an estate sale. Brand is WindChaser, 9,000 btu. I love it! It only has one hose to vent the hot air out. I don’t see how two hoses positioned side by side in a window can draw cool air in when the hot air hose blowing out is right beside the “supposed” cool air hose. Seems to me like you’d still be sucking in hot air.

    Been using it for 2 weeks now and don’t have a single complaint about it.

  6. Don’t buy one of these machines unless they have two hoses. One to draw air from the outside and one to blow out the heated air. Otherwise a vacuum in the room you are cooling is created and drawing air in from werever like crackes in windows from the outside and now you pay to cool outside air also. A 10,000 BTU cooler may only be able to cool a 150 sq room not the claimed 450 feet most say wasting lots of power. Never buy the single exhaust portable air conditioner. These things only help melt the Polar Ice Caps

  7. Thanks Matt. So it sounds like this will only work using double-hung windows that will shut down on the adjustable piece you mentioned.

  8. An air conditioner is a heat pump – it moves heat from one substance to another. In order to cool down air it needs to warm up something else. This is why there’s a vent needed – it warms up air, and dumps that air outside.

    Generally portable A/C’s have a vent pipe and an adjustable piece that is designed to be closed in a window. Just sticking the pipe in an open window will leak warm outside air into the room, which is why this adjustable piece is important.

    You certainly shouldn’t drill a hole in your wall – that kills the whole idea of making it portable!

  9. THis may be a dumb question: Do all portable A/Cs have to be vented to the outdoors? If so, do you need to drill a vent hole through your wall? Or just stick a vent pipe through an open window? What if you have casement windows?

  10. Hold on a second. That 14EER although technically accurate, is absolutely bogus.
    An air conditioner removes heat from an area where it is not desired(the room), and places it in an area where it is not objectionable(outside).
    The greater the difference between the outdoor temperature and the indoor temperature, the more energy is required to push the heat up that thermodynamic hill.
    Normally the EER is measured with specific indoor and outdoor temperatures so that all air conditioners are on equal footing. Portable air conditioners exhaust some of the indoor air that you just used electricity to cool, to cool their condenser coils and move heat to the outdoors. This air is made up for by the fact that warm air from outside will flow in through leaks around doors and windows.
    Using this pre-cooled air allows the air conditioner to run at a lighter load, but it must run for a much longer period of time to make up for air that it has forced to be sucked into a room.
    An EER8 window unit will use far less energy than an EER14 portable unit to cool the same room.
    My neighbor found this to be true when he used his kill-a-watt meter to compare the power used by his old, yard sale purchased window shaker, to his new high efficiency portable unit. He was trying to show his wife how much electricity they would save with this new unit, but he ended up proving just the opposite.

  11. Thanks for posting this. I had no idea these existed. I live in the Colorado mountains where the summer days are typically hot and the nights are typically cool, except for late July, and August, where even the nights can be unbearable. I have been shopping for portable air conditioners, but now I’ll be looking for a fan. Thanks again.

  12. 14 EER is awesome!

    With the 14EER for $380 and the 8 EER for $350, why would anyone buy the 8 EER model?

  13. I like portable air conditioners because they save the consumer money by providing relief that you can move from one room to another instead of buying more than 1 unit for each room.

    With window units you have to buy one for each room because moving those just isn’t practical since they’re bolted into the window.

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