Top 7 Affordable Portable Air Conditioners to Buy This Summer

The summer is approaching quickly, and many people without a central air conditioning system are already starting to dread the boiling hot air, the insufferable humidity, and the constant sweating. But affordable alternatives do exist, and you might be surprised by how great they work.
No, we’re not talking about window ACs, which are cumbersome to install, block your window, and may drip water outside—not to mention that not all windows support them to begin with. Instead, we’re talking about portable air conditioners, or PACs.

PACs are easy to install, can be taken from room to room without any hassle, and they are available with a cooling capacity of up to around 10,000 BTU, which is enough to keep a 450 sq. ft. room reasonably cool even during an extreme heatwave.

For your convenience, we’ve selected the best 7 PACs that you can buy right now to prepare for the upcoming summer season.

Honeywell MO08CESWK

Price: $250 – $299

As all Honeywell products, the MO08CESWK stands out with its excellent energy efficiency, compact size, and cooling capacity of 8,000 BTU, which is enough to maintain a pleasant temperature in a room up to 350 sq. feet large. The built-in dehumidifier can remove up to 44 pints of water from the air every 24 hours, and the continuous drainage system allows for extended unattended operation. For $299, you would be hard-pressed to find a PAC that offers a better value than the Honeywell MO08CESWK.

Top Features

Easy operation: This PAC features touch controls for easy operation, and it can automatically alert you when the washable filter needs cleaning.

Mobile: Portability is an important feature of all PACs, and the MO08CESWK from Honeywell can be effortlessly transported from place to place thanks to its swiveling wheels, and built-in grip handles. In fact, this is one of the lightest PACs in its class.

Self-evaporation system: Unless used in exceptionally high humidity rooms, this PAC doesn’t need to be manually drained at all.

Good to Have

Horizontal and vertical installation: The included window installation kit allows the Honeywell MO08CESWK to fit most horizontal and vertical windows, making it possible to place this highly versatile PAC in every room.

Whynter ARC-08WB

Price: $250 – $299

The Whynter ARC-08WB is a good alternative to the Honeywell MO08CESWK and other portable yet powerful PACs. Unlike our top pick, this PAC is designed to cool rooms only up to 250 sq. feet despite having the same cooling capacity of 8,000 BTU as the Honeywell MO08CESWK. It features three operational modes: air conditioner, fan, and dehumidifier, giving you a compelling reason to keep it plugged in even when there’s no heat wave coming your way.

Top Features

RoHS compliant: Because the Whynter ARC-08WB is RoHS compliant, you can rest assured knowing it doesn’t contain any lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, PBB, or PBDE.

Automatic restart: If you live in an area if frequent power outages, you will appreciate the auto restart feature, which ensures that you’ll never come back to a boiling hot house.

Self-evaporation system: Thanks to its self-evaporative system, the Whynter ARC-08WB automatically exhausts most condensation in typical environments.

Good to Have

Activated carbon filter: The Whynter ARC-08WB can capture unpleasant smells thanks to its activated carbon filter.

Sunpentown WA-8070E

Price: $250 – $299

The Sunpentown WA-8070E is a compact PAC with a traditional design, extensive features, and fantastic power efficiency. The cooling capacity of this PAC is 8,000 BTU, making it suitable for rooms of up to 250 sq. feet. With its four modes of operation, the WA-8070E can cool, dehumidify, act as a fan, or automatically switch between cooling and maintaining depending on the set and room temperature.

Top Features

Clearly labeled control panel and remote: The traditional design of this PAC might suit people who would feel uncomfortable with more modern displays and controls.

Efficient: The WA-8070E has an impressive Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of 8.9, which means that it consumes less energy than many other comparable PACs.

Self-evaporation system: Equipped with an auto-drain system that exhausts most condensate, the WA-8070E requires very little maintenance.

Good to Have

Fire-resistant plastic housing: Electronic components are known to fail unexpectedly and catastrophically, so it’s good to know that the housing of this PAC is fire-resistant.

LG Electronics LP0814WNR

Price: $250 – $299

This highly rated PAC from LG may not be as powerful as some of the other PACs featured in this article, but it can still cool rooms up to 200 sq. feet thanks to its 8,000 BTU cooling capacity. But raw cooling performance probably isn’t why you would choose this PAC in the first place since its main selling point is its compact, clean design. If you live in a cramped apartment with very limited space, a small PAC like the LG LP0814WNR can be a godsend.

Top Features

Sleek contemporary design: The LG product design team has done a marvelous job when working on this PAC. Unlike many other PACs in the $250-$299 price category, the LP0814WNR won’t be an eyesore in any modern home.

Top-mounted LED display panel: The LG Electronics LP0814WNR features a top-mounted LED display panel for easy adjustment for the programmable 24-hour on/off timer.

Self-evaporation system: This PAC can get rid of the moisture it draws out of the room air for you.

Good to Have

Multiple fan speeds: Either using the top-mounted LED display panel or the included remote control, you can switch between multiple fan speeds to achieve maximum comfort.

Haier HPB10XCR

Price: $250 – $299

With its 10,000 BTU cooling capacity and powerful dehumidifier capable of removing about 80 pints of moisture a day, the Haier HPB10XCR is perfect for rooms up to 350 sq. feet large. It comes with a convenient 46-inch exhaust kit and a remote control with timer functionality. Owners of this PAC praise its maintenance-free operation and simple controls.

Top Features

Smaller than most similar PACs: For a 10,000 BTU portable air conditioner, the Haier HPB10XCR is surprisingly compact and quiet. It can even be used in the bedroom or any other room where to much noise would be a problem.

Three cooling and fan speeds: This PAC has three cooling and fan speeds—low, medium, high—so you can easily choose one that works for you regardless of whether its 90 degrees outside or 100.

Powerful dehumidifier: The Haier HPB10XCR can remove up to 80 pints of moisture a day, making it suitable for very humid environments where lesser PACs might not be sufficient.

Good to Have

Clear backlit display: The clear LED display with backlighting greatly simplifies the configuration of the Haier HPB10XCR and remains readable even at night.

Shinco YPL310C

Price: $250 – $299

The Shinco YPL310C is a 3-in-1 portable air conditioner with an adjustable fan and built-in dehumidifier. Capable of maintaining a pleasant temperature in a room up to 300 sq. feet large, this 10,000 BTU PAC has no water tank for condensed water as it relies entirely on an efficient self-evaporative system.

Top Features

Maintenance-free: Because this PAC has no water tank and relies entirely on a self-evaporative system, it’s essentially maintenance-free and thus suitable for anyone who’s not keen on having to parent yet another appliance.

Over-cold protection: Apart from its self-evaporative system, the YPL310C also features an over-cold protection mechanism with 3 mins restart delay to give you the piece of mind you need to keep it running 24/7, even when you’re not at home.

• Multi-directional fan: To make it more efficient, the YPL310C has been designed to blow air in all directions.

Good to Have

Simple digital controls: Intuitive controls provide the ability to make precise temperature adjustments.

Midea AKP10CR4 Arctic King

Price: $300 – $399

The Midea AKP10CR4 Arctic King is the most expensive and most powerful PAC on this list. It can cool rooms up to 450 sq. feet thanks to its cooling 10,000 BTU cooling capacity. While incredibly powerful, the Arctic King is compact and stunningly elegant. It’s also highly energy efficient, which is something that is guaranteed to come in handy if you expect to keep it running at full blast 24/7.

Top Features

Elegant, modern design: The Arctic King fits any interior decor and has a small footprint despite being powerful.

10,000 BTU cooling capacity: As the only PAC suitable for rooms up to 450 sq. feet large, the Arctic King is more than ready to handle even the most extreme heat waves.

Large digital display with clear layout: Clear controls and a large readable displays are always welcome, and the Arctic King delivers big time in this regard.

Good to Have

Handles and wheels for easy transportation: With its easy rolling wheels and integrated handles, the Arctic King is extremely easy to transport.

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