You don’t need to be a scientist researching on climate change to know that temperatures on the planet have been going up every single year. I mean, you can try to go camping every summer. It would be hard to deny how hot it gets every year.
Fortunately for our campers, there are portable air conditioners that we can bring along to the next trip to the mountains or beach. With these modern machines, you don’t have to bring out a folding chair outside to escape the heat inside the RV.
Portable air conditioners are also great additions to any households. You can roll them inside bedrooms, garages, offices and other rooms where there’s lack of ventilation. And most of them can make your rooms cold enough for you to snuggle with someone in a double sleeping bag.
Moreover, portable air conditioners are ideal for rooms where window space is limited or in buildings where room ACs are not allowed.
Portable air conditioners are also very easy to set up. You don't have to use any tools to install them.
How to choose a suitable air conditioner
Portable air conditioners are rated according to BTUs or British Thermal Unit. This is the unit used in measuring the cooling power of an air conditioner.
The rule of thumb is pretty simple -- the higher the BTU of the portable air conditioner, the higher surface area that it can cool.
Just to give you an idea, portable air conditioners with 5000 to 8,000 BTUs are ideal for small rooms. These are rooms measuring less than 250 square feet.
Medium-sized rooms, or those from 250 to 350 square meters, would benefit best from portable ACs that have 10,000 to 12,000 BTUs.
You will need portable air conditioners with 12,000 to 14,000 BTUs for cooling rooms with the surface area of 350 to 500 square meters.
What to look for in a portable AC
One of the criteria in choosing a portable air conditioner is the noise level of the unit when in operation.
We all know that air conditioners are quite noisy but do you what the normal noise level that a typical portable AC makes?
Well, you can consider a noise level between 55 and 70 decibels as the norm. If the unit makes noise higher than that, then it may not only bother you but also your neighbors. It is thus imperative that you look into the noise level of the portable air conditioner before buying it.
You may also find portable air conditioners that have a silent option. This is a very handy feature as the unit can cool your room without being much of a distraction.
The power cord is another factor that you have to consider in choosing a portable air conditioner. You'll want one that has at least a 5-feet power cord because manufacturers do not recommend the use of an extension cord with portable air conditioners.
Plus, portable air conditioners are power hungry that using an extension cord may pose overheating. Thus, it is important to get a unit with a long cord.
You would also want a unit with a remote control. It's a handy way to adjust the settings of the portable air conditioner.
Speaking of settings, I suggest that you look for portable air conditioners with different operating modes like cool, heat, dry, automatic and fan. An on/off timer is also desirable.
Finally, you might want to get a portable air conditioner that is reversible. This means that the unit can be used to produce heat when needed. An air conditioner with reversibility function would prove to be useful all year long and not just in the summer months. However, units with this function are quite expensive.
Top Five Portable Air Conditioners Available On The Market Today
Now let me recommend five highly rated air conditioners available right now. Any of these models can help you cool your RV. At the end of this article, I will tell you which one of these units is my favorite.
#1 Honeywell MN10CESWW
This unit has a rating of 10,000 BTUs so you can use it to cool down rooms with a maximum floor area of 350 square meters. It measures 15 inches long, 18 inches wide and 29 inches tall.
This unit has electronic controls that can be accessed in the electronic panel. Each function will start in less than 3 seconds so that you can enjoy the breeze as quickly as possible. And if you’re too lazy to go near the unit, you can access all those functions with the remote control that comes with this portable AC.
You don’t need pro help in installing this unit. You just need an electrical plug as well as an outlet for the air exhaust hose.
Its noise level is around 70 decibels, so it’s still a good choice if you are concerned about the noise level it makes. It also has a fairly long electric cord that measures 5 feet long.
#2 LG LP0817WSR
With a rating of 8,000 BTUs, this is another air conditioner that can cool small rooms and RVs. It can cool rooms up to 200 square meters in size.
Measuring 23 inches by 18 inches by 16 inches (LxWxD), this portable air conditioner has a sleek contemporary design. There is a conveniently placed LED display panel on top of the unit. You can also access the functions of the unit with the remote control.
It has two fan speeds and two cooling speeds. The portable air conditioner does a very good job of cooling rooms without causing too much noise. The unit’s highest noise level is 63 decibels thus this is a good portable AC to get if you’re concerned about the noise it produces.
#3 Global Air 10,000 BTU Portable AC
With a rating of 10,000 BTU, this portable AC is more than capable of cooling a 300 square feet room. It features a two-speed cooling and fan plus a four-way air direction designed to spread the air more evenly across a room.
This unit has digital controls designed for more precise temperature adjustments. And yes, it has a remote control, too, that allows you to adjust the settings from across the room.
It is a fairly compact portable AC measuring 17 inches long, 13 inches wide and 31 inches tall. As for the noise level, it emits noise of around 68 decibels, so it’s still fairly quiet by any standard.
#4 Whynter 14,000 BTU Portable AC
With 14,000 BTUs, this is the portable AC that you need if you have a large room. This unit features three operational modes with its thermostatic control ranging from 61 to 89 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a 24 hour programmable timer, too.
What I like about this portable AC is that it isn’t as loud as the other air conditioners I have encountered. Its noise level is pretty low at 62 decibels.
It also has a bright LED display up front although some reviewers online found it to be distracting especially at nighttime.
#5 Black+Decker BPACT14WT
Like the item that precedes it, this unit has a 14,000 BTU rating. It is thus a good choice if you need to cool a large room or one with a size of 350 square feet.
It has a LED digital display from which you can adjust the programmable and electronic controls. The unit features a 24 hour on/off timer as well as a sleep mode. And just like the other units in this list, it has a remote control.
You can easily bring this solidly built unit in and out of a room as it has handles and castors. Just be ready to find a good spot for this unit as it is big, measuring 17 inches by 14 by 28 inches.
So what’s my pick on this list? I would say that the Global Air 10,000 BTU Portable AC
is my favorite. It has the perfect combination of cooling power, precise controls, and portability. It isn’t that noisy, too, which certainly helps its case.