Best Windowless Portable Air Conditioners 2019 | HowtoHome

Best Windowless Portable Air Conditioners

Best Windowless Portable Air Conditioners
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Single/Dual-Hose Dual Hose
BTU 12,000 BTU
Weight 60 lbs
Dehumidification 3.2 pts/hr
Dimensions 17 x 29.5 x 16
Noise Level < 52 dB
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Single/Dual-Hose Single Hose
BTU 10,000 BTU
Weight 52.9 lbs
Dehumidification 2.32 pts/hr
Dimensions 16.5 x 11.5 x 26
Noise Level < 75 dB
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Single/Dual-Hose Single Hose
BTU 10,000 BTU
Weight 64 lbs
Dehumidification 3.33 pts/hr
Dimensions 18.9 x 15.7 x 31.3
Noise Level < 52 dB
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Single/Dual-Hose Dual Hose
BTU 12,000 BTU
Weight 93 lbs
Dehumidification 6 pts/hr
Dimensions 15.5 x 19.5 x 33.5
Noise Level < 53 db

Portable air conditioners provide a convenient and cost affordable way to stay cool in the summer months without paying costly fees to add in central air conditioning to all those extra spaces, like sheds, home extensions, or bonus rooms. Portable air conditioners are also more versatile than their window-mounted, split, and multi-split cousins. Using just an outlet and a single or dual hose array in the window, you can easily install a portable air conditioning unit with very few tools and without any outside help. You can also move the unit in just a few minutes, which is highly convenient for those with multiple rooms that need air conditioning but want to save money.

This article reviews some of the best windowless portable air conditioners in the market today. We’ll also be going over the various terminology you need to know before purchasing one of these units as well as some of the differences between a dual- and single hose setup. Hopefully, by the end, you’ll have the information necessary to determine which one of these windowless portable air conditioners would be best for you.

Whynter’s dual hose portable air conditioner quickly cools rooms and offers a host of features that make it easy to program and operate the unit. Quiet operation and some fairly quick dehumidification round out the features on this quality portable AC.

Pros

  • Dual hose design quickly cools rooms
  • Quick dehumidification
  • Quiet operation
  • Easily programmable
  • Remote control included

Cons

  • Unit is somewhat large
  • Dual hose assembly somewhat difficult to install
  • Low airflow when compared to other units

Features

  • Activated carbon filter
  • Auto drain fully exhausts condensate
  • Premium casters for mobility
  • Warranty: 1-year Limited

The Whynter Elite ARC-122DS is one of the many Whynter units that have earned the company a reputation for some of the best portable ACs on the market. This unit utilizes a dual hose assembly, which uses hoses for intake and exhaust to produce a more reliable cooling process. As a result, this unit cools rooms faster than most other units on our list and still comes with easily programmable settings that aid in ensuring your rooms are cooled before you enter them.

While the fan is less powerful than we’d like, all other features are reliable, and the auto drain ensures you won’t be having to manually take out the condensate. Coming in at 12,000 British Thermal Units (a measurement of the cooling power of the unit), this is both one of the most reliable and powerful in its price point.

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Single Hose | 10,000 BTU | 52.9 lbs | 2.32 pts/hr | 16.5 x 11.5 x 26 | < 75 dB

Black & Decker’s portable air conditioner is lightweight, compact, and best for use in multiple rooms or in locations that require lots of mobility. We’re big fans of the price point, but operating at 75 decibels means this unit isn’t the best for bedrooms or similar spaces.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Perfect for small rooms
  • Programmable via LED display
  • Easy-access washable filter
  • Long exhaust hose for increased mobility

Cons

  • Loud operation
  • Takes time to cool rooms
  • Ineffective in larger spaces
  • Somewhat weak build quality

Features

  • Vertical motion produces consistent airflow
  • Large front vented airflow outlet
  • 24 hour on/off timer
  • Warranty: 2-year Limited

One of the many reasons why people may seek out a portable air conditioner is the ability to swap rooms relatively quickly. This is perhaps the strongest selling point of this Black & Decker portable air conditioner. This model comes with the consistency you may expect from the brand and a helpful LED display.

This model works well for smaller rooms, but don’t expect to cool large spaces with this unit. Likewise, while this unit is less expensive, it is also considerably louder than some of our other picks and is best in rooms where noise won’t pose much of a problem. Taking all of the above into consideration, though, this is a formidable unit for those who need to switch rooms more often or for first-time portable AC unit owners who want a more affordable option.

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Single Hose | 10,000 BTU | 64 lbs | 3.33 pts/hr | 18.9 x 15.7 31.3 | < 52 dB

Honeywell’s uniquely-shaped Contempo unit is one that offers excellent filtration and powerful operation for larger rooms. The heavier weight and small ineffective casters make us wonder if the portable operation was really considered in the design choices.

Pros

  • Great for larger rooms and big spaces
  • 3 fan speeds offer greater control over comfort
  • Dual filters provide fresh air
  • Remote control included
  • Quiet operation

Cons

  • Heavier than most units
  • Difficult to push on weak casters
  • Frustrating condensation removal

Features

  • Vertical motion produces consistent airflow
  • 3 fan speeds and sleep mode built into the unit
  • Dual filters for strong performance
  • Warranty: 1-year Parts & Labor, 5-year Compressor

The Honeywell Contempo HL10CESWW is a great option for those who want a portable AC unit that’s stylish and attention-grabbing. This unit aims to cool air in allergy-sensitive rooms. The dual filters are quite effective in ensuring that all cool air produced by the unit is free of pet hair or other allergens. The operation is also one of the quietest on our list, and with control over the fan speed, you can ensure that this unit doesn’t bother light sleepers or sensitive ears.

These benefits, however, seem to have come at the cost of portability. At well over 60 pounds, this unit is a bit of a beast to move around on it’s small, hidden casters. There is a lot to love here, but be sure that you won’t need to move this unit too much. Beyond this limitation, there’s little else to worry about with this consistent and well-warranted unit.

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Dual Hose | 12,000 BTU | 93 lbs | 6 pts/hr | 15.5 x 19.5 x 33.5 | < 53 dB

Excellent dehumidification and powerful cooling strength are the two main focuses of this Friedrich product, which houses lots of features in a simple design. This unit is far heavier than most, though, and somewhat difficult to install and move.

Pros

  • Powerful dehumidification perfect for humid environments
  • Quiet operation
  • Dual hose design quickly cools rooms
  • Easily programmable
  • Best for larger rooms
  • Self-evaporation

Cons

  • Very heavy and bulky
  • Somewhat dated design
  • Little control over operation
  • Dual hose assembly somewhat difficult to install

Features

  • Self-evaporation condensate system means no emptying of pans
  • Cools 40% faster than single hose designs
  • Warranty: 1-year Parts, 5-year Compressor & Tubing

The second and final dual hose portable AC unit on our list is one that skips aesthetics in favor of a more effective cooling process. Using a self-evaporating system, you won’t need to worry about emptying out any condensation pans. And since this unit can remove up to 6 pints of water an hour from the air, dehumidifying a room is quicker than with any other unit.

Coming in at over 90 pounds, though, this product is heavy, and while the casters are more effective here than on the Honeywell unit, this does put somewhat of a dampener on portability. Still, with quick cooling and fairly quiet operation built in, this Friedrich unit overcomes any perceived flaws and is a must-have for humid environments that need their rooms cooled as fast as possible.

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Windowless Portable Air Conditioners Buyers Guide


There are many different metrics to measure portable air conditioner units. While we’ve mentioned a few of these points before, we think it’s important that you keep the following in mind before committing to one of these four units:

Single Vs. Dual-Hose AC Units

You may have noticed that the single hose units are generally more affordable and lighter than their dual hose brethren. And while accessions to this rule exist, this is because of the more complex tubing required to operate a dual hose system.

How do they differ? The answer has to do with negative air pressure. Single hose units create negative suction thanks to the single source of obtained air. This suction probably won’t be noticeable for you, but if the room you’re trying to cool is adjacent to warmer rooms, this suction might result in a slower cooling process. Dual hose units may be bulkier and cumbersome as a whole, but they resolve the negative air pressure problem and can cool rooms nearly twice as fast.

Whether or not you need a single or dual hose unit is entirely dependent upon your needs. We generally feel that dual hose setups are better for rooms that need to be cooled quickly or are in humid environments, while single hose units are best for affordability and ease of use.

Volume & Features

When it comes to portable air conditioning units, volume is a major consideration. As we’ve noted here, volume for air conditioning units is measured in decibels, which can provide a clear objective measurement to the loudness of the unity. It is important to remember, however, that decibels are exponential, not linear. For example, an air conditioning unit that runs at 50 decibels is half as loud as the one that operates at 60 decibels. This is why you need to ensure that you’re comfortable with the decibel level of your unit before purchasing it.

Other features that come with air conditioning units are unnecessary, but can help sweeten their best qualities or minimize their worst. Easily programmable units are also preferable for those who keep a set schedule and don’t want to worry about messing with the unit on a daily basis. Features like self-evaporation as reported on the Friedrich unit are also handy for a hands-off experience.

Dehumidification

Finally, there’s the issue of dehumidification. Removing the humidity from the air of a room is going to result in condensation. For central AC units, this process is generally unseen by the end user, but when it comes to portable units, this process often results in periodic pan emptying. The dehumidification of an air conditioner can be automatic as well, which can simplify your experience. For those who live in more humid environments, you’ll also want to consider the amount of dehumidification you can expect from your unit, which is measured in pints per hour.

The cooling power of the unit itself (measured in British Thermal Units) is also worth considering for a good dehumidifying portable AC unit. A combination of a high pints per hour metric along with a high BTU is going to mean a unit that isn’t afraid of a little humidity.

Final Thoughts

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to portable air conditioning units: aesthetic design, volume, dehumidification, British Thermal Units, hose assembly, and more. If you’re still not sure which of the above units is best for you, consider the strengths of each unit.

The Whynter Elite unit is probably the best overall product for quick cooling, dehumidification, and easy programming. The Friedrich unit provides similar functionality with a stronger focus on dehumidification, but both units come with the pros and cons associated with dual hose assemblies.

The Honeywell Contempo is a great pick for larger rooms and a stronger focus on aesthetic design, while the Black & Decker unit is the most affordable and possibly the simplest to use.

In any case, each of these four portable air conditioning units can make quick work of outside rooms and make even the most uncomfortable of locations just a little bit cooler. We strongly recommend any of these four products to make sure that you never have to fear warm weather again.