No matter what part of the world you are in, you’re going to come face to face (or body to air) with hot temperatures. The invention of the small air conditioner is the most magnificent invention known to man as we know it. Before we jump into what’s best and more in-depth about the small portable air conditioner, it’s best to know the basic understanding of how an A/C functions.
Everything You Need to Know About A Small Air Conditioner
It doesn’t matter which type you buy; their operation runs on the same principle: to cool down a home or apartment uses a conversion process that takes a liquid and turns it into a gas (cold air). This liquid is refrigerant and is your lifesaver during the cooling process.
Does a Small Air Conditioner Make Noise?
Unfortunately, some models make noise, but it’s mostly the small window air conditioner units that do. Portable ones are much quieter due to their components working more compactly with the air around them. They mostly sound like a fan.
How Easy is Installation?
Wall units can be challenging and more anxiety-ridden to install. As some of them are heavier (despite being not-so-bulky), those who are on higher floors than the first level or apartment may be scared to open up the window and try to put it in. For window units, you’ll need an extra set of hands.
Portable units are much more convenient, as they merely sit on the floor, plug in, and they’re ready to go! The ease of use is one of their selling points as they can be mobile and move room to room with ease. Of course, there’s more to an air conditioner than how easy it is to install.
BTU: The AC Unit of Power
BTU is an acronym that stands for British Thermal Unit. This unit of measurement is specifically designed to gauge the amount of heat the air conditioner is capable of removing from the air. Although for other appliances, BTU’s are measured to figure out how much heat the unit is generating.
Just because a small portable air conditioner has a higher BTU, doesn’t mean it’s better and that it will cool your room better. It may, but there’s a good chance that it might not. The BTU rating not only directly relates to the number of people occupying a space, but the size of the area itself. Here is a quick guide for ROOM (not apartment) square footage and optimal BTU’s:
- No more than 225 sq. ft. – less than 8,000 BTU’s.
- Between 225-300 sq. ft. – Between 10,000 and 12,000 BTU’s.
- Between 300-425 sq. ft. – 12,001 – 14,000 BTU’s.
- Above 425 sq. ft. – 14,0001 BTU’s.
This small list is for portable air conditioner units only and will differ from wall units. We have the basics covered, so now let’s discuss the best small air conditioners.
Find the Best Small Air Conditioner for Sale
I love the new age of technology. Wishing that we had these types of air conditioners in the 80’s and 90’s, especially living in Florida for my childhood! The LG Electronics Portable Air Conditioner is a mini dream come true.
Features of this Small Portable AC Unit Are:
- 10,000 BTUs
- 2-speed fan
- Removes up to 2.6 pints of moisture from air
- 24-hour timer
This small air conditioner can cool up to 300 sq. ft. But it’s meant for one room, not the entire home. The 2-speed fan allows you to choose how cold you want it and where you want it with its directional feature. Our favorite feature has to be the dehumidifier, though, as living in a hot climate can also mean living in a humid environment. Often, humidity is worse than the heat itself, and the fact that this little powerhouse can remove that moisture is a real blessing from the ice gods.
There’s not much wrong with the LG Portable Air Conditioner other than the amount of BTU’s may not match up to what you need or desire! Other than that, this unit is a total dream come true, and I highly recommend. The fact that it removes an extreme amount of moisture from the air will do those wonders in a tropical climate! The LG portable air conditioner also has the option for a 3-year protection plan.
Honeywell MN12CESBB Portable 12,000-BTU Air Conditioner with Remote Control and Protective Cover, Black
The Honeywell portable air conditioner follows our guidelines and presents optimal cooling in a sleek little appliance. The top three features of this air conditioner include are bountiful.
Perks of this Small Portable Air Conditioner
- The ability to cool rooms up to 550 sq. ft.
- Three fan speeds for precise airflow
- Includes a timer and remote for even more convenience
With the capacity to choose a 3-year protection plan, you won’t have to purchase a new air conditioner for a long time! The Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner not only has a long lifespan but is extremely convenient. For those who cannot move well, or just don’t want to, there is a timer and remote to control when you want it on and when you want to turn it off.
Not all of our bodies require the same amount of cooling, which is why the three fan speeds are fantastic for diversity in how we like our air. This unit can cool a room up to 550 sq. ft. If you have a small studio or one bedroom, this may be your dream appliance.
This device also has a dehumidifier function and a heat pump. The only reason this could be a downside is that it has more than someone needs, but even so, you’re getting a 4-in-1 portable air conditioner! I highly recommend this for those on a budget who live in an area with a temporarily sticky climate!
Frigidaire FFRE0833Q1 Energy Efficient 8,000-BTU 115V Window Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner with Temperature Sensing Remote Control
While so far we have only mentioned small portable air conditioners, we thought we’d also suggest wall units for those who want a bit more power and stability.
This small window air conditioner has many features including:
- 8,000 BTU’s
- 8-way air directional
- Full function remote and thermostat
- Anti-bacterial filter
Let’s face it, getting up in the hot weather is not ideal and may not be possible for many. Thankfully, this unit comes with a full function remote AND thermostat for convenience. Let’s not forget to mention the elephant in the room: the 8-way air directional! Many that you will see on this list today barely reach 4 or 5 directions, and eight is staggering (and face melting).
We also want to mention the anti-bacterial filter as it’s CRUCIAL. You don’t see many air conditioning units pushing for “cleaner” air per say, even though manufacturer booklets highly recommend regular maintenance on air filters. The anti-bacterial filter gives added security to those who do like to clean their screens for fresh and cold air. This unit can cool a room up to 300 sq. ft.
The only issue that would be a deal breaker on the Frigidaire Portable Air Conditioner is the fact that it is a window unit. Those looking for a portable air conditioner are looking for them for a reason. Those who just want a general suggestion may be more inclined to pick up this wall unit. We highly recommend this for larger homes in more tropical settings, rather than settings that get cold in the fall and winter.
We’re switching gears back to small portable air conditioner units, and Global Air Products created this small air conditioner. Upon first glance, it may seem identical to the first two mentioned on the list, but individual make it stand out.
Perks of this Small Portable Air Conditioner
- 10,000 BTU’s
- 4-way air direction with two fan speeds
- Timer and remote
- Window installation kit included
Being able to cool rooms up to 350 sq. ft., this cute little unit has everything you could want and more. With a tremendous 4-way directional, it’s half the size of many wall units but can turn into one! The window installation kit allows for optimal versatility in how you use it. Let’s not forget the fantastic convenience of the timer and remote.
The only issue I have with this is that it doesn’t come with a more extended protection plan. Like every other on this list, it should have a 3-year guarantee, right? Nope! The protection plan for this model is only two years, unfortunately. Even so, I would purchase this solely because of the dual usage with the window installation kit! I can save space one day and turn it into a wall unit or enjoy it right next to me when I’m sleeping.
Frigidaire FFRL0633Q1 Energy Efficient 6,000-BTU 115V Window Mounted Low Profile Air Conditioner with Full-Function Remote Control
Perks of this Small Window Air Conditioner
- 24-hour timer
- Quiet operation of 51.0 DbA
- Removes 1.3 pints of moisture out of air per hour
- 6,000 BTU’s
My favorite feature of this small air conditioner is the fact that it’s a window unit that boasts about how quiet it is. At such a low decibel level, you can still be comforted by the relaxing sounds of the air conditioner while not being woken up from it. This wall unit functions as a portable device and removes moisture from the air, reducing humidity. With a 24-hour timer, this is perfect for quaint and cozy rooms.
The one issue this would present is the lack of BTU’s and it only being able to cool something that’s 250 sq. ft. Depending on the odd shape of the room, this may do nothing or everything. If your room isn’t over 250 sq. ft. and doesn’t have odd corners that block airflow, this is the perfect window unit for you, and I actually recommend it! Not only is it economically friendly, but you won’t be using unnecessary air. Also with a 2-year protection plan, we definitely think this is worth the purchase.
The Best Small Air Conditioner for Sale
Even though there are many great units on this list, both small and portable as well as window units, I have a favorite that I’ll recommend to anyone. In my humble opinion, the best unit on this list is the Honeywell portable air conditioner. This unit provides an extreme amount of coolness, with more fan speeds than others, and even has a remote. It’s small, quiet, and does the job with more power than most small portable air conditioners.