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Portable air conditioner reviews

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Last updated: 11 October 2020


Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

A portable air con could be the solution if you rent or are on a budget. We test and review the leading brands on the market to help you buy with confidence.

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Use this report to find out:

  • our picks for the best overall performers
  • which models are comparatively most energy-efficient
  • which models are easiest to install and use
  • which models cost the least to run in hot weather.

Our comprehensive test also gives detailed stats for those who like to drill down, and good and bad points for each portable air conditioner. Our Recommended list helps you quickly see which portable air conditioners come out on top. 

This test includes some discontinued models which may still be available second hand. To view them, select 'Discontinued' under 'Related products'.

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List of brands we tested in this review.


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    Recommended or typical retail, as of October 2019.

    enter value/s in increments of 1 between 309 and 1395

    Recommended products

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    Member only

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    Noise description

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    How noisy this model is compared to the others in the test.

      Cooling score

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      Our test is performed by an accredited laboratory. Portable air conditioners are tested in a 4.5m x 4m room with a 2.4m insulated ceiling.

      enter value/s in increments of i between 45 and 90

      Energy efficiency score

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      Based on power used vs the temperature drop achieved in our test. Portable air conditioners don't currently have energy star-rating labels and can't be compared to split systems. The higher the score, the more energy efficient the air conditioner is compared with others on test.

      enter value/s in increments of i between 42 and 90

      Running costs

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      Approximate cost of operating the unit at maximum capacity for four hours per day for three months in hot weather, based on 30c/kWh.

      enter value/s in increments of i between 69 and 199

      Ease of use score

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      Testers look at stability, portability, installing the window kit, removing and refitting the air filter, water drainage, controls (including remote controls) and instruction manuals.

      enter value/s in increments of i between 54 and 83

      Included in this review

      Members-only access
      • Wi-fi app
      • Buy now
      • Overall score
      • CHOICE buy
      • Cooling score
      • Energy efficiency score
      • Ease of use score
      • Measured cooling power consumption (kWh)
      • Running costs
      • Noise of fan on high (dBa)
      • Noise description
      • Good points
      • Bad points
      • Availability
      • Price
      • Brand
      • Model
      • Claimed cooling capacity (kW)
      • Claimed heating capacity (kW)
      • Fan speeds
      • Sleep timer / with auto temperature adjustment
      • Remote control
      • Louvres
      • Weight (kg)
      • Dimensions (cm, H x W x D)
      • Length of cord (cm)
      • Length of duct (cm)
      • Maximum length of window kit (cm)
      • Accessories supplied
      • Contact


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