We all know and love the mobility of a floor fan, but in maximum outdoor temperatures of 45°C and above, even the coldest fans can’t do much indoors. Enter portable air conditioners; Roll these handy units from room to room to save on the bills and expense of having a permanent in-wall solution. Suitable for small spaces, a portable air conditioner provides targeted cooling for different parts of the house at once, as long as the unit is placed near a window.
Gulf News asked Tomcy Aloysius, co-founder of Aura Cool Air Condition Trading Co. LLC in Dubai, about the cooling capacity of a portable unit. He said: “Most portable air conditioners weigh a ton, which is the starting capacity in the UAE market. One ton means the air conditioner can cool 12,000 British Thermal Units (BTU) in one hour. A one ton air conditioner is good for an area of 100-120 square feet, so it’s a very small room. A studio will need a 2 to 2.5 ton air conditioner”.
The higher the tonnage of a portable air conditioner, the more hot air it will recycle in an hour. Some brands like Super General also offer 1.5 ton air conditioners in their mobile range.
How do portable air conditioners work?
Portable air conditioners rely on capturing some of the ambient warm air inside a room, cooling it and then pumping it out to lower the temperature of the area. One caveat is that the unit needs an outlet for all the hot air it removes and produces during the process.
“These units have an exhaust from the condensing unit to expel hot air outside the room. The exhaust pipe should be outside a window to draw in air and expel it said Mahaboob Basha, Mechanical Engineer at Masterminds Electromechanical Works in Dubai.
So make sure the area you want to spot cool has an opening.
Which portable AC is best for me?
According to Aloysius, your choice of AC brand will depend on the length of use. He explained, “We usually suggest Midea and Gree portable air conditioners to our customers because their airflow efficiency is better than most and they are also nice to look at. But if you’re looking at a long-term investment, go with Gree, or Super General will do for a year’s use.”
Basha says a mobile air conditioning unit works best as a seasonal solution for the warmer months, June through October, in the UAE. Since they are limited in capacity, they cannot operate year-round like central air conditioners. But it’s important to note that, just like with central and window air conditioners, the higher the ambient temperature in the room, the faster the unit’s compressor or motor will tire – so there are general limitations to take into account.
Here you can find some of the best-selling portable air conditioners below to keep you cool this summer wherever you are at home. Installing the unit on your own can be risky, especially with exhaust pipe attachment and placement, so call AC technicians through Amazon Home Services when purchasing a unit. Make sure you’re a Prime member to take advantage of free next day delivery.
1. Best Overall: Gree Portable Air Conditioner, C’matic-R12C1
- Remote control adjusts temperatures using a sensor
- The fan automatically cleans the moisture on the device
- Uses environmentally friendly R410A refrigerant
- Weighs 39 kg
- No automatic balancing
Operating at a quiet 49 decibels, this one-ton Gree portable air conditioner is as sophisticated as it looks. It’s built with the ability to remove up to 1.6 liters of moisture from the air, while cooling the room at 12,000 BTUs per hour using three fan speeds. In turbo mode, you get even faster results. Besides its reliable timer function and child safety lock, its best feature is the remote control – a smart sensor that takes note of the ambient temperature and tells the device to adjust accordingly.
Prime: Buy with zero percent installments and pay Dh129.08 for 12 months with select banks. Add professional installation for Dh522.
Guarantee: The manufacturer offers a five-year warranty on the product.
2. Best for Cooling and Heating: Electrolux Portable Air Conditioner
- Cools and heats
- Antiallergic and antibacterial filters
- Seems outdated
- Does not have vertical auto swing
A close second, with rave reviews, is the one-ton portable air conditioner from Electrolux. From providing heating and cooling to dehumidifying the indoor climate, the unit does it all. Any moisture collected evaporates on its own, so you never have to empty the bin. In addition, it is equipped with an antibacterial mesh filter and an antiallergic pollen filter to pump in as much fresh air as possible. And you don’t have to worry about the next maintenance cycle since it self-diagnoses by checking the filters.
Prime: Buy with zero percent installments and pay Dh108.25 for 12 months with select banks.
3. Ideal for medium-sized rooms: 1.5 ton super general portable air conditioner
- Also works as a cooling fan
- Compact size
- Complete installation kit included
- Higher tonnage
- Customer service is unresponsive, according to reviews
Super General’s 1.5 ton portable air conditioner is slightly more powerful as it cools 18,000 BTUs in one hour. It has an attractive all-white build to blend in with your decor without issue, and its cooling capacity can easily take on a medium-sized room. The SG P184T3 model comes with strong copper tubing, an eco-friendly refrigerant and six air knives – the unit also functions as a cooling fan, which can be a refreshing alternative to AC power when you you train. While other air conditioners come with the included hose, your Super General air conditioner comes with all the installation accessories, from the window connector to the funnel.
Prime: Buy with zero percent installments and pay Dh130.58 for 12 months with select banks.
4. Best Budget: 1 Ton AUX Portable Air Conditioner
- 4D airflow for even cooling
- Self-diagnosis function
- Antibacterial filter
- Lightweight at 20kgs
- Value for money
Portable air conditioners generally expel air two or three ways, but the one-ton AC AUX is a little different. It uses 4D airflow technology that diffuses cooling even to the farthest corners of the room, so there are no random hot spots. The rest of its features offer the same comfort as other brands – the device clearly communicates the temperature via its sleek digital display, has a timer function and an antibacterial filter as well as the ability to troubleshoot itself in case of errors.
Prime: Buy with zero percent installments and pay Dh93.67 for 12 months with select banks.
Guarantee: The manufacturer offers a one-year parts and service warranty and a five-year compressor warranty.
5. Best for Energy Savings: Crownline Portable Air Conditioner
- Water cooling technology
- Antifreeze function
- Easy storage at the end of the season
- Activated carbon filter to eliminate odors
Crownline’s One-Ton Portable Air Conditioner claims to cool a 425 square foot area using commercial-grade components. There’s more to this budget buy – it saves energy by working as an air cooler, a kind of cooling unit that evaporates water to lower the temperature. All you have to do is add water to the included reservoir, sit back, and let the AC power save you energy. Thanks to its activated carbon filter, recirculated air will always smell clean and fresh – never stale. It even removes up to 1.4 liters of moisture per hour from the air around you.
Prime: Buy with zero percent installments and pay Dh99.92 for 12 months with select banks.
Guarantee: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh69 and a two-year warranty for Dh97.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by the editors of Gulf News. If you decide to purchase through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission because we are part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates program.