The Best, Most Convenient Portable Air Conditioners To Beat The Heat This Summer

by Hillary Swetz
portable air conditioner
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With record breaking temps already sweeping the country, many are shopping for portable air conditioners. Whether you’re going camping and need cool air to get you through the night, or need the extra A/C to get you through summer, period, portable air conditioners are typically a way more affordable (and energy efficient) option when it comes to additional or replacement A/C. Depending on how much you want to spend, we’ve got options for travel-friendly conditioners, as well as portable units that can cool down an entire office or bedroom. Don’t worry, it’ll be fall before you know it, and then you’ll find yourself shopping for outdoor patio heaters.

Traditional air conditioners use chemical refrigerant and function thanks to a complex process of coils, compressors, and condensers. It essentially creates cold and hot air at the same time, and pushes the hot air out so you’re left with the cold. Some portable air conditioners, like the Black and Decker version (see below), work this way, and use a hose you connect to your window to expel the hot air.

Many portable air conditioners, however, are actually evaporative air coolers. They work the same way your body does when you sweat; they produce a fine mist and blow it on you. The moving air pushes away the heat around you, and the cool water brings down the air temp. For bonus cooling, many of these portable air conditioners allow you to add ice to the water to really chilly down. However, if you live in a very humid environment, they won’t function optimally. For best results, you need a dry heat.

Whatever your reason you’re looking, there’s probably a portable air conditioner out there to fit your needs. Here’s the lowdown on all the best options.

Best Portable Air Conditioners

Best Small Portable Air Conditioners

Best Tent Air Conditioners

Best Mini Air Conditioners

Best RV Air Conditioners