Remain cool over Summer with the best portable air conditioners of 2023

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This guide was last updated on 16 October 2023. See more

Summer can be a brutal time of year in Australia. The unrelenting heat makes air conditioning essential, but installing expensive split or ducted systems isn’t always possible for everyone.

Fortunately, there are portable air conditioners that can provide sweet relief.

Whether you’re a renter unable to install a split system or just looking to cool down your back room, the best portable air conditioners can help.

That’s where we come in.

We’ve done some extensive research to try and determine the best portable air conditioners in Australia.

You can read how we did this below, but the end result is this list of the four best portable air conditioners in Australia for Summer 2023.

These are the best portable air conditioners in Australia right now:

Kogan SmarterHome 3.5kW

Recommended by 40% of review sites

Designed for rooms up to 30m², this model from Kogan is easy to setup and easy to use.

It offers an Air Flow volume of 400m³/h and a dehumidifying capacity of 1.2L/hr, making it a solid option for the home.

It also has integrated Wi-Fi, and support for both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa controls. This means you can ensure your room is the perfect temperature at a simple voice command.


De’Longhi Pinguino Air-to-Air 2.9KW Portable Air Conditioner

Recommended by 30% of review sites

The De’Longhi Pinguino Air-to-Air portable air con is comfortably the best model you can buy in Australia today.

While three of the referenced sites recommended the 2.9kW model, the 2.6kW and 3.3kW versions also got mentioned separately.

With a sleek design, separate sensing unit for customised cooling and wheels for easy mobility, the De’Longhi ticks all the boxes for a portable air conditioner.

Evapolar EV-500W evaCHILL

Recommended by 30% of review sites

It doesn’t come much more portable than the EV-500 from EvaPolar. Using evaporative technology, this compact cooler can cool your personal space by 5-14 degrees.

It’s lightweight on the power bills, using only 7.5W of power, and will filter out dust from your air as well.

With an integrated carry handle, it’s easy to move from room to room, so you can stay cool wherever you need to.


How we chose the best portable air conditioners

Review sites – including this one – are subjective by nature. Everybody has a different opinion of what is best.

So to try and counter the fact that every best guide on the internet has a different opinion of what is best, we approached our list by combining the results of some of the top sites recommending portable air conditioners on the market today.

To determine this list, we followed the same journey most consumers would follow: we went to Google.

We searched for “Best portable air conditioner” and identified the top 10 results. It’s important to note that Google results can change often. The full list of sites we referenced is outlined below:

The referenced sites

We listed out all of the portable air conditioners listed on each site, idying up any slight differences in spelling for consistency.

For portable air conditioners this is quite challenging. The same models come with different capacities and it isn’t always clear which one was tested. When we could, we identified the specific model referenced. When it doubt, we updated to reference the more popular model.

We calculated the frequency in which each product was mentioned across those 10 guides. The more frequently a product is mentioned, the more agreement there is between experts reviewing these products that it is one of the best products available.

We set a minimum of three mentions across all 10 guides to be eligible for inclusion here.

Before we created this page we took some time to remove products that are either unavailable, or difficult to find in Australia.

We also leveraged our own experience with products to ensure that we wouldn’t be recommending any product that doesn’t deliver.

Full list of products considered for this guide

Kogan SmarterHome 3.5kW
Midea Duo MAP14HS1TBL
LG LP1419IVSM
Evapolar EV-500W evaCHILL
De’Longhi Pinguino 2.9kW Air-to-Air Portable Air Conditioner
Shinco 7000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
Rinnai 4.1Kw cooling only portable air conditioner
Omega Altise OAPC10
Klika New Pronti evaporative cooler mist humidifier
Devanti portable air conditioner with dehumidifier
Devanti Evaporative Air Cooler Conditioner Water Fan 60L
Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner
Whynter ARC-12SDH Portable Air Conditioner and Heater
Whynter ARC-1230WN Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner
Teco 3.3kW Reverse Cycle Portable Air Conditioner
TCL 5P93C Smart Series Portable Air Conditioner
SereneLife SLPAC10 Portable Air Conditioner
Polocool Whisper PQ10C
Olimpia Splendid Comfort
Midea Duo MAP12S1TBL
Hyundai 4.1Kw smart portable air conditioner
Honeywell Portable Evaporative Cooler with Fan
Haier QPWA14YZMW
GE APCD08JALW
Frigidaire FHPW142AC1
Frigidaire FHPH142AC1
Excel Air 2.62Kw portable air conditioner
EWT 9L evaporative cooler
Evapolar evaLIGHT plus in white
EcoFlow Wave 2 Portable Air Conditioner
Dyson Purifier Cool Bladeless Tower Fan
Dimplex 4.5kW Portable Air Conditioner
DeLonghi PAC-UV Portable Air Conditioner
De’Longhi Pinguino Air-to-Air 3.3 KW Portable Air Conditioner
De’Longhi Pinguino 2.6kW Air-to-Air Portable Air Conditioner
Costway 7000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
Costway 12000 BTU 4-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner
Coolzy-Pro 3650BTU Eco-Friendly Portable Air Conditioner
Companion Maxi Evaporative Cooler
CARSON PA250 II 9000BTU portable air conditioner
Carson 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner 7000BTU
Black + Decker BPACT14WT
Black + Decker BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner
Show more +

Best portable air conditioner buying guide

one of the best portable air conditioners in a room

Portable air conditioners allow you to cool specific rooms or areas of your home, office or campervan at a fraction of the cost of a ducted or split system.

Whether you are looking for one of the models listed above or something different, the important things to consider when choosing the best portable air conditioner for your needs is the same.

Room size and placement

Like with an air purifier, the biggest consideration when choosing a portable air conditioner is the room (or rooms) it will be used in.

To find the best model for your needs, you’ll need the air conditioner to be powerful enough to cool the largest room you plan on using it in. Here’s an approximate guide for air conditioner size requirements to room sizes:

Room sizeAir conditioner capacity (approx)
Up to 15m²2.0kW – 2.5kW
15m² to 25m²2.5kW – 3.5kW
25m² to 30m²3.5kW – 5.0kW

It’s important to choose up to the largest room. You can always use lower settings if you do move it to a smaller room.

The other key consideration is where you will place the unit in the room.

Because all portable air conditioners need to be vented, you need to have a location that is within distance of a convenient window and a power point.

You may also need to drain out the water catchment, so it can’t be placed somewhere difficult to reach.

Reverse Cycle

Do you need your portable air conditioner to only cool in the warmer months? Or do you want a machine that can also heat when it’s cold?

You can buy reverse cycle models, which will allow you to stay comfortable all year around.

Dehumidifying function

The truth is that all portable air conditioners function as dehumidifiers as well. What you need to consider is how well they do it.

If you live in a humid part of the country, a portable air conditioner that can remove a higher amount of moisture from the air is going to make your life much more comfortable.

If you’re after a dehumidifier without the cooling function, look at our guide to the best dehumidifiers in Australia.

Water disposal

Portable air conditioners work by taking the warm air in your room and cooling it down. Cooler air is blown back out into the room, while hot air generated by the cooling process is pumped outdoors through the vent.

But during that cooling phase, moisture from the air is condensed and the water will need to be disposed of.

Some models have a drip tray that will need to be manually emptied periodically. Others will pump the moisture out with a hose.

More premium models feature a self-evaporation feature which will pump the moisture out of the vent with the warm air.

While self-evaporation is obviously the easiest method, remember that if your unit does have a drip tray, keeping it clean is important for hygiene.

Energy efficiency

Portable air conditioners can be expensive to run. With the cost of electricity skyrocketing, it’s important to consider the costs of running a portable air conditioner.

New portable air conditioners need to display a zoned energy rating label for air conditioners. However, most portable air conditioners typically don’t have any star ratings on these labels because they are actually not very energy efficient.

Volume

Portable air conditioners can be loud, particularly at the highest cooling setting.

While split and ducted aircon systems keep the noisy parts outside, portable units are all indoors, which can make them distracting.

Look at the noise output specs and try and find models with lower volume outputs.

Remote control and timer function

As we’ve already noted, portable air conditioners can be quite expensive to run due to the fact they aren’t overly energy efficient.

To try and manage this, ensure your unit has good control features like timers to turn off automatically.

Also look for something with a remote control so you can easily turn off the unit when it has done its job.

Wi-Fi and smart features

Some newer portable aircons feature integrated Wi-Fi and support for digital assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant.

These features aren’t necessary for the running of the machine, but can be nice to have. This is especially true if you’re looking to better integrate your portable air conditioner into an exist smart home system.

Price

Portable air conditioners are an attractive option as they are typically more affordable that ducted and split systems.

But that doesn’t mean they are cheap. Low energy efficiency and higher running costs mean that the money you save up front could cost you a lot more in the long run.

That said, if a portable machine is your only option, expect prices to vary from a few hundred dollars to a couple of thousand, depending on features and quality.


Update history
  • 15 December 2022 – First Published
  • 11 January 2023 – Updated the number of recommendations for products. Added Omega Altise 2.6KW Portable air conditioner.
  • 11 April 2023 – Updated the number of recommendations for products. Removed Omega Altise 2.6KW Portable air conditioner and Evapolar EV500W.
  • 16 Oct 2023 – Updated the number of recommendations for products. Removed Shinco 7000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner. Added Evapolar EV-500W evaCHILL.

Author

  • Nick Broughall

    Nick is the founder and editor of BTTR. He is an award winning product reviewer, who has spent the last 20 years writing, editing and publishing technology and consumer content for brands like Finder, Gizmodo and TechRadar.

    View all posts
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