Since energy-saving and space-saving go hand in hand, did you know that you can cut your electricity bill in the summer by 40% if you get the smallest portable air conditioner? You will also space plenty of room inside your home because the unit is mobile and has modest dimensions.
It is pointless to discuss that people constantly strive for making things simple but more effective and getting such an AC is a sure sign of this. Follow our guide below and see what exactly a small portable AC is. Explore our top picks and see if any of them will be good for your home.
Don’t forget our expert sections in which we will present you with interesting facts and answers to all your questions. See the comparisons that we’ve drawn and once you are happy with the info you have gained, then you are just a click away from getting the desired AC unit.
Why is a Small Portable AC a Good Idea?
So you have come here collecting opinions and trying to decide which cooling appliance will best take care of your needs. Our goal is not to give you arguments but facts instead. This is why we will highlight some of the main reasons why people opt for a small window air conditioner or a little portable one.
If you have a room of about 150-200 square feet why would you need huge energy-consuming AC? Always try to buy a device of the right size for your room. This will save you space and will also affect your electricity bill positively. Besides, when you have the proper size of AC you will also have low humidity in the room. So if you are looking for a nice appliance for your bedroom or office space, a small ac price will not set you back a lot.
Lightweight and Space-saving
Portability has 2 essential requirements – weight and mobility. When you get one of those cool little ACs you get both of these things. Most of them will even have caster wheels so that you can slide them to another room without having to lift them. There will also be a handle on each side on most units allowing you to carry them if you have to. The same goes for window ACs as they can be quite light too especially since you need to balance them on a window.
Space-saving is one of the main reasons why people don’t opt for large units. In that sense, a portable one is often not the best choice because of the hose(s). Buying a window AC will allow you to use all your floor and wall space efficiently. We will cover this extensively below.
Since you have smaller components here, the noise that they produce is also not a lot. This is not to tell you that portable ACs are barely audible but they can get pretty silent. In fact, you can easily become familiar with the quietest portable ACs on the market. At least in comparison to full-sized AC, you will find those little gadgets to be rather quiet.
Window ACs are generally even quieter but it has to be noted that they will also be a little less effective. Sleeping when your AC is on is no longer a huge problem. Sometimes the light of the LED display is the only thing that stops people from putting such an AC in their bedroom.
You will likely spend at least 6 months of each year not needing your little AC. Taking good care of it is essential as it will prolong its lifespan. You need to learn how to properly clean your portable AC but you also have to find out how to store it. The best thing is that when it is time to store it, you can also do a complete cleaning and thorough maintenance of your portable AC.
Fortunately, moving it from a spot to spot doesn’t require much. All you need to do is detach the body from the hose or from the window and carry it to a basement or a shed. Since the dimensions of a portable AC unit aren’t large, it will also take up little space in your basement. Just make sure you find a blanket or a piece of cloth large enough to cover it.
Smallest Portable Air Conditioners Comparison Chart
Frigidaire 12 000 BTU Cool Connect Smart Portable AC
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Koldfront PAC1402W Portable Air Conditioner
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Honeywell Contempo Portable Air Conditioner
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3 Smallest Portable Air Conditioner Reviews
The first 3 reviews are going to be about the smallest portable ACs that are worth your time. Check them out but don’t overlook the next section as well.
1. Frigidaire 12 000 BTU Cool Connect Smart Portable AC
Small doesn’t have to mean ineffective and this is exactly the case with this Firgidaire Smart AC. This is among the smallest available ACs on the market with its 12 inches of height. However, all of its components are of high quality. We are talking about a LED display, a top-class fan with 3 speeds, a timer function, and a slick mesh. Since you get a small AC for the portability, you will be happy to find out that you can use it in a vertical sliding window.
Frigidaire also has its own mobile app allowing you to gain full control over the unit. The good news is not only that the AC isn’t loud but that it will also cool off areas larger than 550 square feet. The exhaust hose is not included but it is also not needed. That’s a huge advantage but keep in mind that you get just 3 pints of dehumidification per day.
2. Koldfront PAC1402W Portable Air Conditioner
You have the opportunity to select between 2 versions here as the PAC802W is, in fact, the smallest AC in that class. It will give you 8000 BTU which according to the manufacturer is good for a 300 square feet room. Since the maximum power output is 1575W, you need to be mindful of your electricity bill because all of that energy will go only for cooling. It is a convenience that the unit comes with the vent hose. Another great advantage is the fact that condensation is exhausted automatically.
You can expect 107 pints of dehumidification a day which is rather impressive for a unit so small. Needless to say, you get a digital display, a washable filter, and remote control. The fan has 3 speeds which are more than enough. Of course, there is a timer function and the power cord is about 4 feet long. This isn’t a lot, so consider getting an extension cord.
3. Honeywell Contempo Portable Air Conditioner
The options you got here are almost endless. So you can get a truly small AC if you opt for the 10 000 BTU version. On the other hand, you can get a very decent portable air conditioner with a heater if you are willing to spend more on the 14 000 BTU version. Whatever you choose you will still have the Dual-filter system at your disposal. The Honeywell Contempo AC has filters which are easily cleaned at the sink. Among the functions, we can list sleep mode, energy-saving timer, remote control as well as easy to handle digital controls.
Don’t forget about the Auto Evaporation technology which saves you the hassle of getting a bucket for your small AC. The built-in dehumidifier something that shouldn’t be overlooked. Bear in mind that when the unit is functional, the hose will get very hot. Window sealing kit is also provided in the set when you buy your AC.
Smallest Window Air Conditioner Comparison Chart
Friedrich Chill Window Air Conditioner
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LG LW6017R Window Air Conditioner
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Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
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Frigidaire FFRE0833S1 Window-Mounted AC
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hOmeLabs Window-Mounted Air Conditioner
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7 Smallest Window Air Conditioner Reviews
And now we will focus on the smallest window ACs as they provide you with plenty of functionality but can be quite space-saving. See our expert picks below.
1. Friedrich Chill Window Air Conditioner
We kick off our smallest window AC reviews by looking at a unit that can actually also be built-in a wall. Don’t expect its numbers to blow you away but you can rest assured that Friedrich has really done their homework. With this unit, you will be able to keep a room of 250 square feet cool and nice. The max BTU that you will get is 6000.
An important trait here is the auto-restart function which “remembers” your last set in the event of a power outage. To many folks’ surprise, this AC can also protect your home from intrusion. It features the EntryGard technology which secures the body of the AC so that kick0in entry can be prevented. This very model is also Energy Star qualified which renders it exceptionally efficient. The fan will turn on only when cooling. In addition to its thin profile, the Friedrich Chill AC is also a quiet one making it perfect for a bedroom.
2. LG LW6017R Window Air Conditioner
Why not go for a name brand with great traditions in this field? The LG LW6017R is a small window AC that can help you cool off a room up 260 square feet. Similar to the previous unit we reviewed, this one also has 6000 BTU. The direction of the flow will always be front and up. Even though you have louvers, no flow will go down. A slight drawback is that the filter change indicator might keep glowing even after you have cleaned the unit thoroughly.
The small size here isn’t the only advantage. Installation is fairly easy as well – just follow the instructions. The side panels that you need in order to seal the unit in the window are included in the set. You will be happy to find out that the wattage of this AC is very low – 520W. The noise level stands at 52dB which is definitely not the quietest.
3. Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
There’s a good chance that you will find the best value for your money with this unit right here. When we talk about value, we also put the size in this category and this unit is pretty compact. The Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 will give you a simple design as there are just 2 dials on the left side of the front panel. For better or worse, these mechanical rotary controls are your only way of controlling the unit. There’s no remote control included.
You can cover a room of about 150 square feet although the unit will be powerful enough to take care of as 200 square foot rooms. 5000 is the max BTU you will get. Installation isn’t hard as the AC will not require a support bracket. You can’t have it wall-mounted because the exhaust needs to be outside. The unit is not noiseless although you will be happy with how the fan works for that price.
4. Frigidaire FFRE0833S1 Window-Mounted AC
This is a more expensive model coming from the same manufacturer as the unit above but here we also have a few more perks. First of all, there is a digital display giving you more information and allowing you to have more control over the AC. You get to select an exact temperature and the unit will keep it that way. Even though the unit is labeled as “compact”, it will still be able to cool a room of up to 350 square feet thanks to its 8000 BTU.
People with allergies will be happy to see that this Frigidaire small window AC also has an ionizer thus removing many of the impurities from the air that we breathe. As far as noise goes, you can hope to get something in the range of 50 dB. The power output is 700W which is pretty good. And finally, the thermostat will allow the temperature to go as low as 60 degrees.
5. hOmeLabs Window-Mounted Air Conditioner
The manufacturer might call this unit a “heavy-duty” one but it truly isn’t. This small window air conditioner will be good for а 150 square feet room. With its 5000 BTU, you can expect efficiency from that unit as well as effectiveness. A huge upside is that you got everything needed to mount the AC. The set includes side panels, hose, filter, support bracket, and seal foam.
Even though the analog control panel might look simple but it will give you a number of great fan settings. In fact, you get to choose between 7 speeds. There is also a two-way airflow which will allow you to significantly reduce the temperature of the room in just 10 minutes. As far as the filter goes, it is a reusable one that can also be washed. The six feet long plug will aid you when it comes to portability.
6. Frigidaire FFRE0533Q1 Window-Mounted AC
This compact and small window AC unit is not hard to lift and mount as it weighs only about 40 lb. However, an important thing to mention here is the tilt of the unit. Since the water will evaporate through normal operation, it must not flow back inside. A slight drawback is the sensor buttons which get worn out easily over time. Looking at the components, nothing is really impressive but it’s good that they are all there.
First off, there is a dehumidifier that will give you 1.1 pints per hour meaning about 26 per day. If you want to plug the unit in a 220V circuit, you will need an adapter. Another not so advantageous thing is the noise of the AC – it can reach about 62 dB which might leave some people unhappy. This can be taken as a big downside given the fact that the Frigidaire FFRE0533Q1 produces just 5000 BTU.
7. Haier ESA405P Energy Star Window AC
If you opt for the Haier ESA405P you will also get a Quick-Install Window Kit. Thanks to that you will be able to mount your AC easily and without any completely hassle-free. The side panels can easily fold and will fill the remaining gap. Another thing which is easy is cleaning and maintenance. This is a truly small window AC with its dimensions of 12 x 14 x 16 inches. The control panel upfront is very easy to use and it is also informative.
The same goes for the remote which has a very simplistic design. You can also choose a specific temperature and have the unit maintain it. The maximum output is 5100 BTU and this will be good for any room smaller than 200 square feet. The huge upside is the silent work of the AC making it perfect for a bedroom installation.
Deciding Between a Portable and a Window AC
People often go for the smallest air conditioner on the market for a number of reasons and we will look at some of them later on. It is clear that mini air conditioners for the room are less energy hoggish. What we will do now is to draw a comparison between portable AC similar to the ones that you saw in our small portable AC reviews above and some of the finest little window air conditioners.
There are plenty of misconceptions regarding how these devices work and we simply need to compare them in order to make things clear. We will share a few words on portable ACs first but after we describe some of the pros and cons of the window ACs, we will draw some conclusions as well.
Portable AC Challenges
There are also some problems concerning portable air conditioners. Noise is an important factor and you will definitely have some no matter which type of AC you select. The compressor which in fact cools the room off will make a sound. The good thing is that noise levels are usually related to people’s preferences. What’s noisy for someone can be very quiet for someone else.
As we move on, we will focus on the hose that most micro air conditioners for small enclosures have. There’s no way you can operate a portable AC without a hose. Sorry to burst your bubble but venting is a must. In that sense, you will surely have an exhaust hose sticking out through your window.
What most people won’t realize prior to making the purchase is that the hose actually takes up a lot of room. You can’t see it in the picture because it shows you just the tip of the hose behind the unit. Be aware that it will eat up a lot of real estate in your room because it shouldn’t be bent. Just because the hose has to stay relatively straight, you will likely have it some 3 feet from the window. Add the size of the unit itself and you need quite the space to run a portable AC.
So despite the fact that they call these appliances “space-saving”, they really aren’t. Going back to the noise, you need to be familiar with the fact that the fan will keep running even when the compressor is off. So even when you don’t want to get any cooling, some noise will remain. What’s worse is that this fan will suck the cool air out of your room.
This will lead to the compressor turning back on quicker than anticipated. The noise might wake someone up but the oft functioning of the compressor will also lead to a larger electricity bill. You have one way to fix this problem. You can get a unit with a dual-hose system. The first hose is used strictly for venting while the other one is used for intake. Of course, you might not like the smallest air conditioner price in that case. Additionally, you will have 2 hoses taking up space.
What About Window ACs?
As far as the smallest window air conditioners go you again, have the noise troubles. In this case, the compressor isn’t going to be as loud because these devices are typically not as powerful. On the other hand, for such little BTU, the compressor can be considered to be quite loud. So if you want to buy the best and quiet window AC you get a lower BTU device.
A huge advantage of window-mounted devices is that they take up very little space. Among all other advantages of having a window air conditioner unit, this one is pretty important. Since nothing sits on your floor or your wall, you pretty much have the whole room at your disposal. On the downside, your window will be completely blocked.
Not only that you won’t be able to see through the window but the backside of the AC will stick outside. This is where you want to always get the smallest window air conditioner on the market. Such a device will not have a bulky body and it will barely stick out. If that’s not the case, here’s what you have to do.
More often than not brackets will be needed. Your window AC will resemble an external body of a split AC. If you are on a higher floor, this might turn out to be problematic because mounting a bracket isn’t always easy or safe.
What you want to keep in mind before you purchase a window AC is the way your windows open. If they open left and right, then perhaps you will not be thrilled about what needs to be done next. In this case, you will need to get rid of one of the windows and seal it completely using some sort of a panel. In other words, you will lose your whole window because of the AC.
If your windows slide up and down, then you are in a better situation. Here you can have the window opened just enough for the unit to fit in there. You will only have to seal the sides using the panels. Also, when the summer is over, you may want to winterize your window air conditioner to prepare it for the season.
Buying What’s Best For You
At the end of the day, we aren’t going to surprise you when we tell you that it all comes down to preference. It really depends on which AC is better and your particular needs will likely determine that. Both devices will cool a room nicely. Their effectiveness is not questioned. Many folks will argue that putting the AC in a window is better as it is space-saving.
That’s great but if you have plenty of room, you might not want to block your nice window view. Condensation is also something to consider because portable AC will typically come with a drip pan which will collect water. This will make your life easier as you will be required to only empty the pan and return it.
Window ACs will not have so much condensation but this is because there aren’t good at removing moisture from the room. Looking for a small portable air conditioner for camping for example will usually lead you to get a portable unit with castor wheels and just a single hose.
Hey, and let’s not forget that you might also want to have some heating. A window AC or a desktop air conditioner will not be able to give you that and your best option is a portable one.
Some Small Portable Air Conditioners FAQ
Before we wrap it all up, we will summarize the most distinguished reviews in the form of small air conditioners frequently asked questions.
Do small ac units need venting?
When we take a look at the best heating and cooling systems on the market today we find one huge difference. Heaters use resistors to heat a room while air conditioners require warm air which they convert into a cooler one. This means that a vent hose is always required. The same amount of cool air that you get inside is blown out under the form of hot air.
What about the moisture from the air?
When you get a high-end product, it will likely come with a water pan. You only need to empty it. Very rarely you will need to get a bucket and drain the unit yourself. Window ACs will generate less condensation because they get less moisture from the room.
How noisy are small ac units?
This is a subjective matter but we can say that a relatively quiet AC will generate between 35 and 51 dB.
Well, there you go. By now you have surely seen all the merits of the smallest air conditioners. While you can also find a number of drawbacks, owners of smaller houses will surely benefit from possessing such a device.
Our hope is that we have helped you gather sufficient information on the exact type and model that will best fit your needs. Let us know if you liked the article and share it with your friends and family. Leave us a comment with a recommendation if you feel like it. Thanks for reading and as always – stay put!