Only Buster Poindexter – in his 1987 song “Hot, Hot, Hot” – relished a room on fire. The rest of us crave a room that’s cool, cool, cool. But when the central air isn’t giving its all or on days when the temperatures are climbing out of the stratosphere, a portable air conditioner is often the best answer.
Mind you we’re not talking about window units; these are cooling machines that can be rolled from room to room and quickly installed to vent the hot air out the window while simultaneously blasting a much-needed arctic chill into the indoor inferno.
Here are a few portable units we think can help you chill out on even the hottest days.
Cool down faster
This portable air conditioner checks a lot of boxes. It has dual hose construction, which lets it cool down a room faster than the competition. There’s a remote controller, auto-drain function and CFC-free refrigerant. It auto-starts after a power outage and includes a pre-filter that washable and reusable.
Easy to install
The biggest knock on portable air conditioners is the noise level. This model from Black & Decker aims to reduce the ruckus. It has a sleep mode for night and it’s more compact, making it a wise pick for smaller rooms, home offices and apartments. It includes a 24-hour timer and easy-to-follow installation instructions. Bottom line: It can cool a room down to 65 degrees, so stop sweating.
For up to 215 square feet
This portable unit feature 8,000 BTU cooling power, making it the perfect pick for rooms up to 215 square feet. It’s also quieter than many competing portable units, so it’s ideal for use in a bedroom or home office. It includes a built-in dehumidifier and three operating modes that can be changed using the remote control.
Uses water or ice
Let’s face it: We don’t always have the space – or the budget or patience to install – many popular portable air conditioners. This number from NEXGADGET is designed for a home desk or nightstand. It runs on a built-in rechargeable battery that an provide up to four hours of cooling time. Simply fill it with water – purified water is recommended – turn it on and get some instant relief. You can also add ice to the water chamber for extra cooling power.
Of all the units we’ve used over the years, this 12k BTU model really impressed us with its ability to cool off a hot room lightning fast. We set it up quickly and painlessly and felt the room chill down in minutes. Better yet, it’s quieter than others with this capacity. Instead of feeling like you’re in a wind tunnel, the Ukoke unit purrs along at a reasonable 53 dB level. Turn it on and off with a start phone, tablet or have Alexa do it for you. When you need to relocate it to another room in the house, the four wheels on the bottom allow you to make it a one-man moving job.
Steve Spears is editor of Florida Travel & Life, an online brand that inspires active, affluent travelers, providing them with insider information on discovering the best of Florida. Informative and engaging, the website showcases travel destinations, arts and cultural venues, vibrant dining scenes, recreational activities, the great outdoors and the revitalized real-estate market. He is based in Orlando and counts St. Augustine, Key West and the Gulf Beaches among his favorite destinations in the state.