Last Updated On March 8th, 2019
There are so many things to love about summer. BBQs with friends, days at the beach and balmy evenings to name a few. But what about all those hot days indoors? A hot stuffy room is no fun for anyone, especially if you’re trying to get work done. Luckily, using the best portable air conditioner in the UK is a great way to make your life more comfortable, fast.
Portable air conditioners offer a simple and convenient alternative to traditional installed ones. They can be simply wheeled into the room and plugged into the mains near a window – immediately working to bring you welcome relief from the heat.
However, if you’re on the hunt for the best portable air conditioner on the market, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the choice of models available. Don’t worry, we’re here to help!
In this article, we have rounded up 9 of our favourite portable air conditioner reviews, so you can start to enjoy summer again!
Our Favourite Portable Air Conditioners Compared
Best Portable Air Conditioner Reviews – Top 9 Picks
For us, this is the best air conditioning unit in the UK. Made by Air Conditioning Centre, it has a powerful Toshiba compressor. It’s a great choice for medium-sized rooms or smaller, thanks to its 9000 BTU output.
Although this is quite heavy, weighing in at just over 27kg, it comes with castors, so it’s easy to move between rooms on the same level, as needed. However, if you want a portable AC to use both up and downstairs, we think this one would be too heavy to carry between floors on a daily basis. Another slight impracticality is that the filter can be tricky to remove for regular cleaning.
Thanks to its internal condensation pump, the majority of the humidity from the air is pumped out, helping you to get cool and comfortable. On the other hand, it is rather noisy, but you can adjust the speed so that it cools a little slower but emits less noise.
The included remote control is handy, allowing you to operate it from your desk, or even from your bed if you like. A ducted exhaust hose and window mount are also included, making this a great economical purchase with everything you need to start cooling down your home or office.
Note – this mobile air conditioning unit is optimised for use with a sash window, although it is possible to use it with a regular side opening window too.
If you’re after the best air cooler in the UK, you’re probably looking for one which is multifunctional. The Manchester-based air conditioning manufacturer, Pifco, has created this portable AC unit that can be used three ways: as a fan, a dehumidifier or as an air conditioner. Although you will probably only use the air conditioning and fan functions during the warmer months of the year, the dehumidifier function can be useful all year round.
This portable aircon unit provides 7000 BTU which is sufficient enough to cool down a small sized room. Like the majority of portable air cooler units on the market, the compressor is quite noisy, which may be something to be aware of if you’re thinking of using it overnight in your bedroom. Thanks to its castors, it is easy to push from one room to another, although we don’t recommend moving it up and down stairs due to its 23kg weight.
It includes an exhaust pipe and window mount, as well as a basic remote control. However, at only 1.5 meters long, you may need to order an additional longer hose in order to reach your window. Hose length aside though, it is easy to install and quick to get up and running. There is also a handy 24-hour timer function, which can help you to save on energy costs.
This home air conditioning unit by ElectriQ is around 30% smaller than regular sized ones, making a perfect choice for very small spaces.
With an output of 9000 BTU, you can use it to effectively cool rooms up to 20 square metres, while its small size means it takes up less room and is easier to store.
Like other portable ac units, it can be rather noisy. It rapidly distributes cold air for faster cooling, so you won’t have to keep it turned on for long. Additionally, it comes complete with everything you need to get started including remote control, fishtail adaptor and an exhaust pipe. That said, depending upon your window height, you may have to buy another exhaust pipe since the one that is included is rather short.
Thanks to its size, castors and integrated handles, this mobile air conditioner is nice and easy to move around. The digital display is clear to read and there is also a useful timer function. It can also be used as a dehumidifier or a simple fan as desired.
This stylish looking portable AC unit by Igenix can be also be used as a fan or dehumidifier. It uses advanced technology to self-evaporate the majority of the water accumulated during the cooling mode, reducing the number of times you have to empty it.
With a 9,000 BTU output, it is suitable for cooling down an average sized room. It is easy to use featuring a touch control panel, a remote control, sleep mode, and a 24-hour timer. You will also benefit from its three fan speeds. It cools your room down quickly with rapid cold air distribution so that your room can reach a comfortable temperature faster. Unfortunately, like most portable AC units, it can be very noisy to use in cooling mode.
While we appreciate the good looks and ease of use, there have been some faulty batches of this particular model. Also, the exhaust pipe that is included is quite short and there is no window seal or mount sold with it. All in all, this is a decent choice as long as you don’t get unlucky with a faulty model that will need returning.
This portable air conditioning unit by Igenix is a good choice for your average sized room with a 9000 BTU output. At 30kg, it’s one of the heaviest ones that we’ve reviewed, but it does come complete with castors to help you move it around.
We were impressed with its 50 dB rating, making it a great choice for a quiet portable air conditioner in the UK. It is much quieter than other models we have seen, although if you’re a very light sleeper it may not be quiet enough to use as a bedroom air conditioner. As this is a self-evaporating model, you should be able to use it for up to 10 hours without having to worry about emptying it.
The included remote control makes it easy to adjust without having to get up from your seat, but you can also take advantage of the 12-hour timer function. The touch button LCD panel looks a little dated compared to some other models, but it is simple and intuitive to use nonetheless.
Unfortunately, you may find you’re limited as to where you can place it as the included exhaust pipe is only 1.5 metres long. There’s also no window mount or sealer included with this model, so you’ll have to get these separately.
This De’Longhi Pinguino portable air conditioner is quieter than many others with a 50 dB rating. However, it is not as silent as we would like. It has a maximum noise rating of 63 dB which in fact puts it at par with most other average portable air condition units. So, if you are thinking of purchasing it for quietness alone, you may be better off reconsidering.
This is a quality, well-made item, which is easy to use. It has a remote control and is suitable for medium-sized rooms or smaller, thanks to its 9800 BTU output. If you have allergies or are looking to improve your air quality, this model would be a good choice for you, as it contains an integral bio-silver air filter.
However, you would need to purchase a window seal separately to make proper use of this feature and to obtain efficient cooling. That said, it can also be used as a dehumidifier or fan and it can remove up to 24 litres of water per day from your home.
This AC unit is quite chunky and heavy. Also, the included exhaust hose is a little on the short side. If you have high windows or wish to place it at any distance from a window, you will have to buy an additional hose. On the whole, this is a good quality product that offers a superior cooling output and enhanced air purification.
The De’Longhi EX100 Pinguino Silent Air Conditioner is a cutting edge portable air conditioner that uses ‘Real Feel technology’ to ensure your room reaches optimal comfort conditions using a combination of dehumidifying and cooling. You can leave it to do its work and once it’s reached perfect conditions it will maintain them.
This model is a good choice for you if you’re looking for a hassle-free, easy to use installation that can do the work on its own to optimise your comfort. As you can leave the unit to maintain the ideal conditions, it doesn’t have a timer function. Although, it is good to note that it is rated A++ for energy efficiency, which makes it the only portable air conditioner in our selection to achieve this standard.
This stylish looking unit has an integrated remote control holder so you don’t have to worry about losing it down the back of the sofa. It also includes an integral bio-silver air filter to remove allergens and pollutants, making it a great choice if you’re an allergy sufferer, just be sure to seal your window too. While this product is marketed as silent, it is still quite noisy which is to be expected with a portable air conditioning unit.
This is a great purchase that is easy to use, looks great in any room and will purify your air. But a word of warning – it will, however, still be pretty noisy to run even if it is said to be one of the quieter options on our list. Note that if you purchase it, you may need to buy an additional exhaust hose as the included hose is rather short and severely limits where you can place the unit.
This portable air conditioning unit by Igenix can heat, cool and dehumidify for an all year round use. With a 9,000 BTU capacity, it is suitable for cooling medium-sized rooms or smaller. As a heater, it is a great complementary heat source. However, it is not powerful enough as a stand-alone heater over very cold periods. The display is easy to use and there is a remote control included for convenience.
The 12-hour timer allows you to pre-cool your room, or set the unit to cool your room for a limited time. It also includes an anti-bacterial water tray to prevent the build-up of mould, as well as a carbon filter to dispel any unpleasant odours. It is fairly weighty, but it has castors to help make it easier for you to move it between rooms when needed.
Like many others, this portable air conditioning unit is rather loud and you would probably not be able to use it overnight in your bedroom. Unfortunately, it can be tricky to fit the exhaust hose and it is rather short in length, limiting your placement options.
This model is one of the best cheap air conditioners for small offices or sitting rooms, as long as you don’t mind a little noise and you have additional heat sources for the cold period.
This three-in-one portable air conditioning unit from Igenix is Wi-Fi enabled and can be controlled via a smartphone app or with Amazon’s Alexa for voice commands. This makes it a good choice if you are looking for a new addition to your connected home or if you have any difficulty using conventional touch programming.
With a 9,000 BTU output, it is suitable for rooms up to 20 metres squared. And thanks to its 24-hour timer, you can pre-set your unit so your room will be nice and cool when you arrive home. The dehumidifier can remove up to 27 litres of water per day, while the fan function has three-speed settings. Like many other portable ac units we have seen, this one is quite noisy to run, especially on maximum cooling levels. The short exhaust pipe means you’re limited to placing it right in front of your window which could prove difficult if they are high up. It does not come with a window kit, although it is recommended that you purchase one for added efficiency.
This portable air conditioner is a good choice if you have a smart, connected home, yet little else really distinguishes this particular unit. If you’re not particularly bothered about using the app or Alexa, then you’d probably be better off going with another of our top portable AC units.
How Do Portable Air Conditioners Work?
Portable air conditioners are great appliances to have especially during really hot days. It works in the same basic manner as installed air conditioners, using refrigeration gases to cool the air and eject heat.
When manually switched on, or when the ambient temperature reaches the thermostats’ trigger point, the portable air conditioner will begin to suck the air in through an air inlet grille, usually through a filter.
Once the warm air is inside, it is circulated around a refrigerated coil. This cools the air by absorbing the heat present, turning it into a vapour. This heat is then forced through a compressor and condenser, which turns the vapour back into heat and water.
The heat is blown outside, while the water is usually collected in a drip tray. This cycle continues until the room temperature has reached a comfortable level.
Benefits of Using a Portable Air Conditioner
In this section, we take a look a some of the key benefits of using a portable air conditioner in your home or office.
1. Saves Space
A cheap portable air conditioner offers a great solution if you live in a small flat, or spend all day in a cramped office. Because they are so compact and portable, these air conditioners can easily fit into those rooms that cannot accommodate big bulky appliances.
This is also especially true if you have limited windows which you wouldn’t want to give up in exchange for an installed AC system. Portable air conditioners allow you to retain the vast majority of your window space, whilst still efficiently cooling the area.
One of the greatest things about portable appliances is their convenience. You can use them wherever you need. Mobile air conditioners are no different as they are easy to use in the office during a particularly hot spell and then take them home with you at the end of the day.
Portable air conditioners can also be used to keep you comfortable when you go away on holiday. Due to their small size and manoeuvrability, portable air conditioners make a great choice for use in campervans, tents and holiday apartments. Many models also have wheeled bases, so you can easily push them around to wherever some cooling air is needed.
3. No Installation
In contrast to central AC systems, portable air conditioners don’t require any installation to get them set up. All you need to do is plug them in, connect the exhaust to a window and you’re done! Thus saving you lots of time and unwanted hassle on a hot day.
Many portable air conditioners will double as dehumidifiers, enabling you to cool the air and reduce relative moisture. High-humidity can feel uncomfortably oppressive and is particularly unpleasant if you suffer from asthma, hay fever and other allergies.
In this regard, portable air conditioners act as two appliances in one, saving you both money and space. Some of the best home air conditioners offer fan and heating capabilities too, so they can be used all year round.
All of the above portable air conditioners would make great choices to help keep you cool on a hot, stuffy day. But if we had to pick our overall favourite, it would be the Air Conditioning Centre KYR-25CO/X1C that comes with a Toshiba Compressor.
Offering a powerful 9000 BTU output, this mobile air conditioning unit is capable of cooling small to medium-sized rooms easily. Although it is a little heavy at 27kg, you can effortlessly move it from one room to another as required, thanks to its built-in castors.
If humidity is bothering you, the KYR-25CO/X1C can deal with it. An internal condensation pump sucks moisture out of the air, leaving you feeling cool and comfortable.
As if that wasn’t enough, you won’t need to get up from your sofa or workstation to adjust the settings. This portable air cooler comes complete with a handy remote control so you can easily operate it from wherever you are in the room. Both an exhaust hose and window fitting kit are included too, so you won’t have to go out and buy extra parts separately.
After taking all this into consideration, we’re sure you’ll agree that the Air Conditioning Centre KYR-25CO/X1C is currently the best portable air conditioner in the UK.
Do you have some personal experience with portable air conditioning appliances? Shere it with us in the comments section below.