Best Portable Air Conditioners in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update May 27, 2020
Looking for a cost-effective and efficient air conditioner that will be easy to set up when the heat comes and easy to store away when the heat goes? Then your best choice is a portable air conditioner. Effective and good on energy, portable air conditioners are a solid choice to suit any space. Read our reviews for the best portable air conditioners on the market today. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Cooling Capacity
Dehumidifying Capacity
Cooling Area
Weight
Max Power Consumption
Energy Efficiency Ratio
Filter
Usability
Warranty
 
PROS
The Real Feel tech reduces the temperature and controls the humidity levels at the same time. The moment the unit reaches an optimal comfort level, the technology will begin regulating the fan speed and the unit's compressing action to maintain the conditions. 
CONS

The assembly instructions are not the clearest.

OUR VERDICT

The De'Longhi PAC AN98 will cost you some but the unit will also more than earn its keep. Without fiddling with multiple settings variations, this portable AC will allow you to make the dampest rooms cosy and comfortable, even when the temperature outside turns unbearable.

detailed parameters
Cooling Capacity

10700 BTU

Dehumidifying Capacity

36 litres per day

Cooling Area

Up to ~30 m²

Weight

30 kg

Max Power Consumption

2700 W

Energy Efficiency Ratio

A

Filter

Washable filter

Usability

Automatic condensate evaporation system, Silent technology, 3-speed fan, Only-fan function, 1-24 hour timer, Remote control, Durable castor wheels, Handles

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The ambient temperature display is perfectly visible in the dark. The unit's dehumidifying capacity is excellent, able to accumulate 27 litres of moisture per day. The model is Wi-Fi enabled. You can control it through Amazon Alexa or via just about any other smart device using the proprietary Igenix application. 

CONS

The model gets a little noisy at the highest speed setting. 

OUR VERDICT

If you're looking for not just a portable air conditioning unit but an actual modern device with modern-day functionality, the Igenix IG9901WIFI is the best bang for your buck. It is just as effective and efficient as the next AC unit but quite a bit more versatile.

detailed parameters
Cooling Capacity

9000 BTU

Dehumidifying Capacity

27 litres per day

Cooling Area

Up to 20 m²

Weight

23 kg

Max Power Consumption

N/A

Energy Efficiency Ratio

A

Filter

Washable filter

Usability

Self-evaporating Wi-Fi enabled (Control via Igenix app through all smart devices), 3 speed settings, 24-hour programmable timer, Sleep mode, Ambient temperature display, Adjustable louvres and rolling casters

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The remote lets you decrease and increase temperature, switch between standard, fan-only, dehumidify-only modes, set multiple timers, choose between the fan's three speed settings, and more. Because the unit's self-evaporating, there's no water tank to empty. 

CONS

The hose is difficult to assemble. 

OUR VERDICT

As long as you have the means, the De'Longhi PAC N82 is an easy decision to make: the unit looks good, the construction is sturdy, its coverage is excellent relative to the model's energy consumption, and the noise levels do not go much above 50 decibels.

detailed parameters
Cooling Capacity

9400 BTU

Dehumidifying Capacity

32 litres per day

Cooling Area

Up to ~ 30 m²

Weight

30 kg

Max Power Consumption

900 W

Energy Efficiency Ratio

A

Filter

Washable filter

Usability

Automatic condensate evaporation system, Silent technology, 3-speed fan, only-fan function, 1-12 hour timer, Remote control, Durable castor wheels, Side carry handles

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The remote controller features an LED screen that allows you to adjust the temperature and manage the model's settings without scooching next to the unit. The screen is also backlit, so you'll be able to do so during nighttime without turning on the lights.

CONS

The unit is pretty heavy. 

OUR VERDICT

The Inventor Magic Portable Air Conditioner will be keep you warm throughout cold winter days and cool during hot summer days. With the automatic swing mode, the unit will be regulating both the heat and the fan, making sure that the room does not get too hot or cold.

detailed parameters
Cooling Capacity

12000 BTU (cooling)

10000 BTU (heating)

Dehumidifying Capacity

78 litres per day

Cooling Area

Up to ~30 m²

Weight

34.4 kg

Max Power Consumption

1350 W (cooling)

1045 W (heating)

Energy Efficiency Ratio

A / A+ (cooling / heating)

Filter

Washable filter

Usability

Self-evaporating system, 3-fan speed, 24-hour timer, Sleep mode, Auto swing, Auto error diagnosis

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The unit weighs 23.5 kilogrammes and measures 33 x 33 x 70 centimetres, enabling easy mobility. The black console complements the polished all-white housing, allowing the budget product to sit comfortably within upscale décors.

CONS

There are only two fan speed settings. 

OUR VERDICT

Thanks to its A+++ energy efficiency rating, the Burfam Portable Air Conditioner will cost you around 25 pence/h to run. Despite its reduced cooling capacity though, the unit's cooling area reaches 30 square metres, not unlike its more expensive peers'.

detailed parameters
Cooling Capacity

9000 BTU

Dehumidifying Capacity

20 litres per day

Cooling Area

Up to ~30 m²

Weight

23.5 kg

Max Power Consumption

1000 W

Energy Efficiency Ratio

 A +++

Filter

Washable filter

Usability

Self-evaporating system, Built-in timer, 2-speed fan, sleep mode, Automatic restart in the event of power outage, Remote control, Durable castor wheels, Handles

Warranty

2 years support package

De'Longhi PAC AN98 ECO

Real Feel Technology

The De'Longhi PAC AN98 will ask you to open the pocketbook nice and wide but, considering everything that the unit is packing, the request seems reasonable. The appliance has no noticeable appearance flaws, its cooling capacity, capping at 10700 BTU, is considerable, and the output management facilities are extensive. Going from these broad statements to the nitty-gritty details, the biggest reason behind the model's elevated price tag is the Real Feel technology.

Reducing the room's temperature and controlling humidity levels simultaneously, this tech raises the comfort levels above anything that most portable ACs can do. Once the perfect comfort level is reached, Real Feel starts regulating both the compressing action and the fan speed, keeping the conditions stable and consistent. Where standard ACs will have you choosing between cooling and dehumidifying, this unit does both automatically, without you tinkering with the settings.

For the most part, this product is pretty straightforward, except that the assembly instructions are somewhat convoluted, so we would recommend checking out online tutorials as those are abundant and easy to follow.

Review of De'Longhi PAC AN98 ECO Real Feel Portable Air Conditioner

The Silent One

Where the controls are concerned, the unit's console is not necessarily different from its predecessors. In the middle, you'll find transparent and constant updates on the room conditions. The orange light will describe uncomfortable conditions, the green light will suggest that the conditions are acceptable, and the blue light will tell you that the unit has made the conditions optimal. To the right, the AC will let you choose between the standard feature lineup, including an only-fan function, three fan speed settings, and the timer. You can use the touch buttons to navigate these features. You can also use the remote, standard stuff.

Now, the Silent technology, while not new to the company's products, is not standard compared to portable air conditioners from different companies. Go with the regular working mode or settle for minimum speed, the tech will guarantee low noise emissions all the same. Even when you select the highest speed setting, the unit caps at 52 decibels noise-wise so that its operation is not enough to disturb a good night's sleep.

Bottom line, the De'Longhi PAC AN98 has arrived and is here to stay, featuring the tech that its predecessors pioneered and offering new solutions to turn any environment into a comfortable habitat.

De'Longhi PAC AN98 ECO Real Feel Portable Air Conditioner in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Igenix IG9901WIFI

WiFi-Enabled Control

The Igenix IG9901WIFI is so much more than it lets on. Looking at the specifications, the model doesn't look too shabby.

Its cooling capacity standing at 9000 BTU is nothing to scoff at. The cooling area capping at 20 square metres stacks up really well against any portable air conditioner in its class. With it, you'll be able to reduce the temperature to 15 degrees Celcius in practically any home or office environment. The model's energy efficiency ratio is up there with the best of them.

Last but not least, the unit's dehumidifying capacity is excellent, able to accumulate 27 litres of moisture per day. All of these things make this portable air conditioner look relatively attractive but not necessarily outstanding in any regard. But, again, the Igenix IG9901WIFI is more than it lets on.

For example, the model is Wi-Fi enabled. You can control it through Amazon Alexa or via just about any other smart device using the proprietary Igenix application. It gives you remote access to the unit's various functions, including but not limited to auto, fan, cooling, dehumidifying, fan speed settings, temperature, and timer. The app's interface is clear, simple, and fairly intuitive. You don't have to be a tech whiz to figure it out and manage the air conditioner.

Review of Igenix IG9901WIFI Portable Air Conditioner

Control Your Environment

Of course, you don't have to bloat your smartphone with yet another app if you don't feel like it. Combining style and functionality, the model incorporates a convenient and practical touch-control panel. As you'd imagine, it is even easier and more straightforward than the aforementioned app. With it, you can just as well switch between cooling, heating, fan, and dehumidifying modes. This way, you'll be able to create an ideal environment, not just through those exhausting summer months but any other day of the year too.

The ambient temperature display is perfectly visible in the dark. One of the buttons below the display will allow you to control the adjustable louvres and change the airflow direction.

As per usual, the model comes equipped with a programmable 24-hour timer that you can use to pre-cool/pre-heat the room or make the conditioner adapt to the temperature changes. The sleep mode is there as well and so are the rolling casters that will allow you to move around the relatively lightweight (23 kilograms) unit.

As far as we're concerned, that's about all there is to it. So, if you're looking for not just a portable air conditioning unit but an actual modern device with modern-day features and functionality, the Igenix IG9901WIFI is the best bang for your buck. It is just as effective and efficient as the next AC unit but quite a bit more versatile.

Igenix IG9901WIFI Portable Air Conditioner in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

De'Longhi PAC N82 ECO

Clean and Polished

The De'Longhi PAC N82 sports this sleek, streamlined profile that looks polished even compared to its predecessors. With clean lines and smooth curves, the unit is able to blend into most modern environments. Besides that, featuring rounded edges, this portable air conditioner can be put in a room with pets and children without worrying about safety.

Considering the portable part though, this unit is not as lightweight and compact as you'd expect, measuring considerable 30 kilogrammes and 44.9 x 39 x 80.5 centimetres. Needless to say, these numbers do not necessarily enable easy relocation. Even with the side carry handles, moving 30 kilograms is no small feat. Of course, with the castor wheels on the bottom, you do not have to carry the unit to move it. Plus, on the bright side, you would not want to transport the unit often anyway because, with its so-called Silent package, the model does not go above 52 decibels, meaning that you can even put this thing in bedrooms without disturbing light sleepers' nights.

Most people will be able to assemble this portable air conditioner within minutes since all the necessary parts come with the unit and no tools are required to piece these parts together. That being said, the hose might take you some time to assemble and connect.

Review of De'Longhi PAC N82 ECO Portable Air Conditioner

The Whole Package

More often than not, portable ACs are not that effective compared to stationary models, with coverage area limited to ~15-20 square metres. You cannot say the same about this unit though. While its cooling capacity is pretty standard, reaching 9400 BTU, the model's able to keep sizable premises (~30 square metres) fresh and comfortable. Drawing less than 1000 watts, that's impressive showing.

The unit's not cheap, so the company's trademark features and signature tech are to be expected. You can have only the dehumidify mode running and the AC will be able to remove ~32 litres per day, protecting the home/office environment from excessive moisture. You can also have only the fan running when the temperature is acceptable and so the humidity levels but you want to feel that nice little breeze anyway. The fan's equipped with three speed settings, so you can make that breeze as mild/tough as you want.

The remote's not the biggest part but sells this product almost as much as the AC, with only six buttons and this large LCD screen that lets you access and manage the temperature, switch between different modes, fan settings, timer, and more.

To sum up, the De'Longhi PAC N82 is the whole package, with appearance, performance, and functionality all coming together to form an excellent product.

De'Longhi PAC N82 ECO Portable Air Conditioner in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Inventor Magic

Top-Notch Cooling and Heating Facilities

The Inventor Magic Portable Air Conditioner is fairly magical in its own right. Sure, when you look at the components, the tech behind the unit, and the features, the magic starts dissipating and all you're left with is the most capable portable AC within its price bracket. Is that disappointing? We're inclined to believe otherwise.

First, there's nothing disappointing about its 12000-BTU cooling capacity, enough to manage any room that does not measure above 30 square metres. Second, there's also the 10000-BTU heating capacity, pretty enormous too. When extra-warm sunny days are long gone and the cold season is already upon you, the unit will be able to aid the existing heat sources and keep most rooms comfortable enough.

See, the issue here is not even with the model's performance and operation and more so with its construction. To secure and maintain its excellent cooling and heating capacity, the people behind this product raised the unit's weight. Measuring almost 35 kilogrammes, this is one heavy AC, even though the omni-directional casters enable easy relocation, allowing you to move the unit between rooms without facing and overcoming substantial challenges. Now, you can remove them too but considering that the notches on the sides barely qualify as side handles, we would not recommend doing so. Also, despite its excess weight, AC is not as bulky as you would expect, standing at 39.7 x 46.7 x 76.5 centimetres, so you will not be forced to sacrifice ample space.

Review of Inventor Magic Portable Air Conditioner

Even the Remote has a Screen

Not unlike most portable air conditioners, this unit puts the console and the controls atop its body. These controls include three speed settings, Sleep mode, the usual suspects. In addition to these proverbial suspects though, the appliance is offering an automatic swing mode that will be regulating the heating and cooling outputs to prevent the room from turning too cold and too hot. Though the touch buttons that manage these settings are nothing to complain about, the remote is where it is at, featuring not only comfortable separation between the buttons to prevent misclicking but also an LED screen with backlighting that allows you to manipulate the settings even inside the darkest rooms.

Adding the included window kit and the Auto Error Diagnosis feature to the mix, the Inventor Magic Portable Air Conditioner becomes too attractive to disregard, especially if you live in an area where the winters get cold and the summers can be scorching hot.

Inventor Magic Portable Air Conditioner in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Burfam Portable

A+++ Energy Rating

The Burfam Portable Air Conditioner banks on different attributes. Generally speaking, portable ACs hide behind the cooling and dehumidifying capacities since these are the numbers that, to some extent, assess the unit's value. This is not always the case though.

With this AC, measuring 9,000 BTU from the cooling capacity angle and reaching only 20 litres per day from the dehumidifying perspective, the unit does not appear too attractive initially. Plus, there are only two fan speed settings, not three, not the biggest issue but some might see that as the product adding insult to an already considerable injury. Despite these middling numbers, the AC from Burfam easily earns its spot on this list.

Before anything else, the model's able to not only earn but solidify its spot thanks to the A+++ energy efficiency rating. Consuming less than 1000 watts, the AC costs you ~25 pence per hour to run. Because this product is already affordable to begin with, selling for less than 300 quid at the moment, the cost reduction adds up and, throughout years, you're saving hundreds compared to more expensive portable air conditioners that do not go above the "A" energy efficiency mark.

Review of Burfam Portable Air conditioner

Space-Saving Profile

Setting the model's energy efficiency aside, the biggest selling point is its dimensions. Standing at 33 x 33 x 70 centimetres, the unit's space-saving design will allow you to fit this appliance even inside the smallest flats. Plus, weighing 23. kilogrammes, the AC will not present any transportation challenges, featuring comfortable wheels underneath the unit and roomy handles on the sides. While the wheels will be enabling comfortable mobility between rooms, the handles and the reduced weight will allow you to move the AC between different premises when necessary.

On the appearance front, the model's all-white housing (aside from the black console) will sit comfortably within most interiors, from budget living spaces to upscale decorative schemes. The controls on the above-mentioned console are nothing new compared to most ACs, counting the timer, the Sleep mode, and the two fan speed settings that we have addressed before. What's somewhat new is that the unit will automatically restart in the event of a power outage.

To summarise, the Burfam Portable Air Conditioner confidently lands among the most attractive budget options you can find today, saving you money from the get-go and in the long run.

Burfam Portable Air conditioner in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

What Is a Portable Air Conditioner?

At this time of a year, an air conditioner is one of the most popular and frequently sold appliances people use to survive the summer heat. Knowing that some people, mostly those who live in rented flats, cannot afford to install a proper air conditioner, manufacturers started to produce its portable version - a portable air conditioner. 

The notable advantage of portable units is that they usually have great appearance making them blend easily in any design concept and that they can be moved from one room to another so you can cool different parts in your home. Furthermore, portable air conditioners are easy to set up. All you need to is to attach a bent pipe to a window and then connect it to the grid. That's it. Easy to set up, easy to switch off. 

So, if, for any reason, you couldn't purchase yourself an air conditioner yet, you can safely opt for a portable one. Just like a conventional conditioning system, this one ensures effective cooling and can be used to cool comparatively large areas. Besides that, they come in many different designs and sizes, so you can easily pick one that will fit your place best.

If the air in your home is not only stuffy but also heavy, it means only one thing - it's time that you buy an air purifier. And if you'd like to further improve the quality of the air, we'd recommend that you get some essential oils and an oil diffuser.

What Features to Compare

Performance

When you decide to purchase an air conditioner, performance is one of the most important features that need to be considered. It goes without saying that performance is a key factor in creating a proper indoor climate. This primarily depends on 3 essential functions: cooling capacity, ventilation, and dehumidification.

The cooling capacity determines how much and how fast a unit can cool a room. It is measured in BTU (British thermal unit), where BTU is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. When used in relation to an air conditioner, BTU means the cooling capacity of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. For example, a model with a cooling capacity of 10.000 BTU can efficiently cool an area of 350 square feet.

When it comes to the heating capacity, it is directly proportional to the cooling capacity. The ventilation is used to circulate and cool the air. The air flow is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). For example, in a room with an area of 32 square meters and a 3-meter ceiling height, an air conditioner with the air flow of 200 CFM can force the total air volume through the system within 18 minutes. The higher the CFM is, the faster the air is cooled or heated in the room. The dehumidifier helps reduce indoor humidity to the desired level. It is measured in pints of moisture accumulated for a specific period of time, normally during a day. If an air conditioner is used in a humid climate, it is better to choose a model with a dehumidifying capacity of more than 43 litres per day.

The power consumption is another important feature. Energy efficiency of the unit is determined by performance-to-consumption ratio. The higher this ratio is, the more efficient an air conditioner is. If the EER value is over 10, an air conditioner is considered to be energy efficient.

Mobility

Since air conditioners are portable devices, their mobility is one more essential feature that should be taken into account. Primarily, you should decide whether you will use the device to cool a single room or multiple ones. If you plan to use an air conditioner as a stationary unit, then it's worth paying attention to the window kit and the vent pipes length. It should be taken into consideration that the longer the pipe is, the easier it is to place a unit. On the contrary, the shorter the pipe is, the less heat will come to the room from the outside. If you constantly move your device from one room to another, you should consider its weight, size, wheels and side carry handles for easy transportation.

Usability

Usability features include an automatic drain system, a remote control, programmable 24-hour timer to set on/off time, and other little extras making the use of the device more convenient.

Did you know?

The driving factor for inventing an air conditioner

The first air conditioner was created by Willis Carrier in 1902, not for comfort. He worked at a New York publishing company and wanted to protect his papers from expanding/contracting due to varying humidity levels. Thanks to his invention, the ink would dry faster and without smudges.
Willis Carrier called it the “Apparatus for Treating Air”. It cooled the coils and removed humidity from the air.

What was before?

Prior to the invention of air cooling units, people kept things cool with blocks of ice. So, when air conditioners were created, their output ratings were measured in “Ice Power” (how much ice the unit would need to produce the same cooling power).

The first car with air conditioning

The automobile manufacturer introduced a car with optional air conditioning system in 1939. The car wasn’t very popular though since it was too pricey and too bulky because of the cooling system.

Summer blockbuster

Cinemas were among the first public places where air conditioning systems were used. Pretty often, people would flock to see a film during hot summer months to cool themselves off. Thus, movie heaters released their biggest films in summer. Actually, air conditioners helped coin the ever-popular term “Summer blockbuster”.

The first air-conditioned house

The air-conditioned mansion was built by Charles Gates in Minneapolis, in 1913. Unfortunately, Gates died on a hunting trip before the house was fully completed.

The country of air conditioners

About 88 % of houses built in the U. S. in 2011 included an air conditioning system. Nowadays, America consumes as much amount of energy for air conditioning annually as Africa uses to power the entire continent.

Air conditioning saves lives

The environment is now easy-controllable thanks to an air conditioner, which gives an opportunity for scientists to create medicine at certain temperatures. The same goes for doctors - they can cure various diseases in chilly hospital wards.

They cost a fortune in the middle of the 20th century

A basic window air conditioner cost around £300 in the 1940s, which now equals almost £3,000. Only very rich people could afford air cooling units.

Air conditioners breathed life into the South of America

Air conditioners really helped grow populations in states like Florida, Arizona, Texas, and Nevada in the 1960s-1970s.

We're losing heat tolerance

Different studies have shown that living in a cool air-conditioned environment lowers our natural tolerance for heat.

Fans don't cool

Many people still believe that fans can drop the temperature in a room, but that's not so. A fan just creates wind, and moving air feels cooler on our skin, especially if it's a bit sweaty.

FAQ:

Q: Do all portable air conditioners need to be vented?

A: Yes. Almost any air portable conditioner should be vented in some way. Portable AC pulls in warm air, cool it, and then expel the cooled air into your room and pull the remaining warm air outside. The easiest way to vent a portable AC unit is through an open window. That's why most models come with a window kit.

Q: How loud is a portable AC?

A: Most portable conditioners are somewhere between 48 dB and 60 dB. They are so noisy because they contain both a compressor and fan.

Q: What is BTU?

A: BTU is a unit of heat. Actually, it's the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. This number shows how powerful the AC is. The higher the BTU number, the larger area the portable AC can cool.

Q: What air conditioner (BTU level) do I need?

A: Portable air cooling units with 7,000 BTUs - 10,000 BTUs are ideal for small rooms up to 27 square meters. For medium-sized spaces (32 - 65 square meters), opt for models with 11,000 - 14,000 BTUs of cooling power. And for very large rooms or commercial use, choose 15,000+ BTUs units.

Q: Can a portable AC work for multiple rooms?

A: It depends on its cooling performance. Note that the cold air won't travel through narrow doorways or down the hallway. For additional cooling coverage, you can use fans.

Q: Can I vent a portable air cooling unit out a dryer vent?

A: In theory, you could. However, this is not recommended by manufacturers. A standard dryer vent is 10 cm, while portable air condition units usually have 13-cm exhaust hoses.

Q: Are portable air coolers safe?

A: Like other common household appliances, portable air conditioners are pretty safe to use. Of course, you should use it following all manufacturer's recommendations.

Q: Will water collect in a portable AC? How often will I need to empty water tank?

A: Portable conditioners remove moisture from the air and exhaust warm air outside. So, what happens with the moisture? Actually, there are a few types of portable air conditioners that operate in different ways. Self-evaporative models are very popular owing to a hassle-free operation and low maintenance. They automatically evaporate moisture out the exhaust hose. If you get this type of conditioner, you'll rarely (or never) deal with the condensed water. As for standard portable air conditioners, they have buckets that must be emptied periodically (from every 8 hours to once a month) depending on your humidity level and time of use.

Q: Can I lengthen the exhaust hose?

A: No. You mustn't lengthen the exhaust hose of a portable AC, as this might void a warranty or even cause an air conditioner to overheat.

Sources:

1. Kristen Hicks The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Portable Air Conditioner, CompactAppliance. July 7, 2016.

2. 5 Things to Consider When Buying a Portable Air Conditioner, Sylvane. 

3. Portable Air Conditioner Buying Guide, Sylvane.

4. Andrew Moseman I Bought a Portable Air Conditioner. Should You? Popular Mechanics. May 31, 2016.

5. Carl Laron Portable Air Conditioner Buying Guide, ConsumerSearch. June 8, 2017.

6. How to Buy an Air Conditioner, Appliances Direct

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Publish Date: 2018-01-18 14:33:02