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Portable air conditioner reviews

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Last updated: 06 October 2018

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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Brand

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List of brands we tested in this review.

Price

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Recommended or typical retail, as of October 2018.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 309 and 1349

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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 1 between 0 and 0

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.

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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.

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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.

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Specifications

Length of cord (cm)

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The power cord should be long enough to let the unit reach the window. Extension cables are not recommended as they may overload.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 110 and 240

Length of duct (cm)

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The hose that directs air from the unit to the window.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 110 and 190

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  • Overall score
  • Recommended
  • Cooling score
  • Energy efficiency score
  • Ease of use score
  • Measured cooling power consumption (kWh)
  • Running costs
  • Noise of fan on high (dB)
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Availability
  • Price
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Claimed cooling capacity (kW)
  • Claimed heating capacity (kW)
  • Automatic mode
  • Fan speeds
  • Sleep timer / with auto temperature adjustment
  • Remote control
  • Oscillating 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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