How to pick a portable air conditioner

Shopping for a new portable air conditioner? Find out what you need to look out for when buying.

A portable air conditioner, by its very nature, should be small, handy and easy to operate. But in addition to the extremely obvious aspects, there are number of other things you into account when choosing one to buy.

The unit’s power capacity

The performance of any electric appliance is dictated by its power capacity. Although portable aircons are small by design, it does not mean that you should settle for a substandard power capability.

If a unit is not powerful enough to cool the space you are using it for, you will have wasted your money. But equally, if it is too strong for the space, you will find yourself constantly cold, not to mention wasting money on excessive energy bills! 

When picking a portable air conditioner look out for features such as:

  • Smart functioning, particularly of the thermostat. Intuitive appliances are often the ones that will save you the most money in the long run. 
  • Indicator lights that tell you when to change the filter. No-one wants to breathe in old gunk caught in a filthy filter!
  • Optional fan functionality for days that cooling is not a requirement. 
  • Silent operation and variable speeds that will simplify a lot of the system’s functioning. 

Will it stand the test of time? 

Everybody likes a good deal, but going for a known brand name that has some reputational stability will highly likely save you from annoying repairs and long-term frustration. Well known and respected brands are less likely to break or burn out and will give you much better performance.

So do some research before committing to your portable air con unit and check out customer reviews to help guide your decisions. 

In spaces where built-in air conditioners are not an option, portable units can be a lifesaver. Remember to always look for a unit that can vent out the hot air it takes in. 


Nothing talks more than money, but nothing burns quite as much as wasted money. This is why it is so important to know what you are buying before actually handing over your hard earned cash.

There is no need to believe that only top of the line will do the job, either. It is very possible to find a budget-friendly version, as long as you’ve done all the necessary quality checks. 

The trick is to find a system that answers all your needs for the right price. One that has the features and capacity you need, but won’t blow your budget (or your power bills)!


Anything portable needs to also be a convenient size. While it is perfectly possible to lug around a large, clunky air con unit, it is neither fun nor practical. Avoid injuries to your back by choosing a unit on wheels, or one that is light enough for you to carry easily. Small but useful additional features, like carry handles, can also come in handy.