Beat The Heat With The Best Small Air Conditioners Of 2022
Need to cool down your living room, bedroom, or office space, but don’t want to invest in a central AC unit? No problem – that’s what small air conditioners are for. Available as window air conditioner units or portable AC units that you can move from room to room, small-space air conditioners are affordable, compact and easy to set up, and can help you stay cool and comfortable in your home or office without spending a small fortune.
When shopping for a small air conditioner, there are a couple of things you want to pay close attention to. The first one is the British Thermal Unit rating (BTU for short) which measures a unit’s cooling capacity. This will help you decide what air conditioner size is best for your room. The second thing to check is the unit’s energy efficiency rating. Even the best portable air conditioners are less energy efficient than central air, so we recommend sticking to models with high energy rating labels. Other features you may want to consider include the size of the unit itself, temperature settings and timer, filters, and noise level.
Ahead, we’ve rounded up some of the best small air conditioners – window air conditioners and portable units included – that will help keep you cool and comfortable no matter where you are. Now is also the perfect time to get a small air conditioner as many are enjoying discounts as Fall approaches.
- Best Wall-Mounted AC for Medium-Sized Rooms: LG 8,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
- Best Portable AC For Medium-Sized Rooms: Black + Decker 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
- Best Window AC for Smaller Rooms: Midea 5,000 BTU EasyCool Window Air Conditioner
- Best Smart Portable AC: Midea Smart 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner
- Best Smart Window-Mounted AC: hOmeLabs 6,000 BTU Smart Control Window Air Conditioner
- Quietest Window-Mounted AC for Small Bedrooms: Frigidaire 5,000 BTU Window-Mounted Air Conditioner
- Easiest Window Air Conditioner to Install: GE 5000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
- Most Powerful Portable AC: Whynter ARC-14SH 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner
- Best Evaporative Personal Cooler: Evapolar evaCHILL Portable Conditioner
The Best Small Air Conditioner
The LG 8,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner is ideal for medium-sized rooms, up to 340 square feet. It comes with three fan speeds, and with its removable and easy-clean air filter, you can rest assured that the airflow will always be fresh and healthy.
While this is not a smart window AC that you can control and monitor via your phone from anywhere, it does come with an old-fashioned full-function remote, allowing you to easily control it across the room. The unit has a programmable timer as well, so that it can turn off exactly when you plan it to. Importantly, the LG Window Air Conditioner also meets the standards of the energy star program (12.1 energy efficiency ratio), which translates into electricity savings.
For more excellent products like this, check out our list of the best smart air conditioners on the market right now.
Cools up to 340 square feet
4-way air deflection
Energy saver function
Full function remote
53dB in low mode
- Weight58 Pounds
Washable, reusable filter
Easy to install
Excellent value for money
Somewhat louder than other portable air conditioners in this guide
Perfect for smaller rooms, the Black + Decker 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner comes with an adjustable fan speed and cools the air to 65°F at the coolest setting. Roll this portable air conditioner in, feed the hose out of the window with the window adapter, plug it in, and enjoy the cool air. It comes with an LED display, remote control, and a timer so that you can have precise control over the temperature.
The hose of this portable AC unit is almost five feet long, so you get a bit of flexibility with positioning the unit once set up. In addition to its pretty impressive cooling capabilities, this Black + Decker model works as a fan and dehumidifier to keep your living space cool and dry. We’re also big fans of the Sleep Mode which makes the unit very quiet and auto-controls the air temperature at night.
Cools up to 250 square feet
3 fan levels
Window venting kit included
- BrandBLACK + DECKER
- Weight26 Pounds
Compact and easy to move from room to room
Quiet and powerful, quickly cools down a room
Multifunctional, cools and dehumidifies
Easy to use and clean
The exhaust tube could be longer
Quieter than some models, but still noticeably noisy
The Midea 5,000 BTU EasyCool Window Air Conditioner has seven temperature settings, along with two levels of cooling and two fan speeds, all of which are controlled by mechanical dials. As a lower-powered air conditioner, it’s meant for rooms under 150 square feet and is lighter than many other window air conditioners and easier to install.
Many reviews highlight how quiet this unit is, so it could be ideal if you are a light sleeper. It comes with a washable mesh filter to reduce bacteria, odor, and airborne particles, keeping the air cleaner. The unit has an efficiency rating of 11.0 which helps reduce the energy costs to save you money throughout the year. If you’re looking for a relatively lightweight, quiet window unit to cool a smaller room, this air conditioner is a great choice.
7 temperature settings
2-way air direction
Dual operation modes
Wide range of BTU options
- Weight42.9 Pounds
Small but powerful
Easy to install
No remote control
The icons on the controls are tiny so difficult to see
This small but mighty portable AC unit from Midea has built-in smart technology that allows you to control it from anywhere via an app. You can also pair it with Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant for truly effortless voice control. But smart tech is just the tip of the iceberg – the Midea Smart 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner is rated at 10, 000 BTU, so it’s ideal for medium-sized rooms, plus it allows you to choose a temperature between 62 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Midea portable AC unit has three modes to choose from — air conditioner, dehumidifier, and fan only mode — so you have complete control over the air in your room. To use this portable unit, set up the exhaust hose and window kit, and turn it on. Then you can roll it out of the way when not in use. For rooms larger than 200 square feet, this unit will fall short, however, there are models rated at 12,000 BTUs and 14,000 BTUs available as well. Overall, one of the best, if not the best portable AC in the smart category and this price range.
10,000 BTUs, for spaces up to 200 sq. ft.
SmartCool system with Wifi and voice control
Easy-to-read LED display
Washable air filter
3 operation modes
Remote control included
- Weight67.9 Pounds
Effortless remote control via app or voice commands
Small but efficient at cooling medium-sized rooms
Easy to set up and use
Excellent value for money
Not terribly loud but still quite noisy on medium and high mode
Effortlessly cool down rooms up to 250 square feet big with this smart window air conditioner from hOmeLabs. Pair it with the accompanying app and take control of your air conditioning via your phone. It also works with Alexa and Google Assistant if you prefer voice control. Equally important, the hOmeLabs 6,000 BTU Smart Control Window Air Conditioner is energy efficient and CEC, DOE, and CSA certified. Prefer old-school technologies? No problem – you can operate this unit using the included remote control.
The hOmeLabs window air conditioner is also quite multifunctional. Aside from the Cool mode which allows you to efficiently cool a room, it has Dry mode for reducing humidity, and Fan mode for getting rid of stale air. Of course, it also has a 24-hour timer and Eco mode. Overall, one of the best small window units around!
For more must-have products for the summer, make sure to browse our list of best-selling pedestal fans at the moment.
6,000 BTUs, up to 250 sq.ft.
62 °F to 89 °F. with 5 cooling settings
Reusable, washable filter
Energy Star certified
52 dB to 56 dB
23-36 inch window mount kit
- Weight36.5 Pounds
Effortless smart monitoring and control
Small, fits the vast majority of windows
Cools down even bigger rooms fast
The Frigidaire’s 5,000 BTU Window-Mounted Air Conditioner is perfect for small rooms, up to 150 square feet. As one of the most best-rated window air conditioners on the market, it comes with a fantastic cooling capacity and user-friendly temperature control: it maintains a preset room temperature so you can remain comfortable at all times.
This Frigidaire unit has a washable, reusable dust filter and is compatible with the brand’s mounting bracket and side panel for easy installation. It also comes with an extra long power cord so you can say goodbye to your extension cord. All in all, a pretty basic but great-quality window AC that’s best suited to small spaces. Be sure to also check out our selection of the most reliable wall AC units.
5,000 BTUs, up to 150 sq.ft.
Washable dust filter
Maintains preset temperature
51.3 dBA noise level
Manual control panel
Adjustable side panels
- Weight35.3 Pounds
Tiny but powerful, ideal for small rooms
Blows very cold air, cools down room fast
Easy to install
No remote control
No eco mode so not the most energy efficient
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, easy-to-install window air conditioner for small rooms, offices and spaces, look no further than GE 5000 BTU Window Air Conditioner. Designed to cool 150 square foot rooms, this small air conditioner delivers a 5,000 BTU cooling capacity for maximum comfort. While pretty basic, it comes from a reputable brand, is efficient and relatively quiet.
This window AC comes with a mechanical thermostat, but that’s generally not an issue for such small air conditioners since they’re designed for smaller spaces and are an arm’s reach away, so are still easy to adjust. The unit has two cooling modes and two fan speeds as well as 10 temperature settings for flexible and optimal room temperature. It installs easily in double-hung windows with included EZ Mount window kit and fixed chassis. Here are some top-rated mini split ACs you may be interested in, as well. Be sure to browse them.
5,000 BTUs, up to 150 sq.ft.
2 cool and fan modes
10 temperature settings
Window installation kit included
- Weight36 Pounds
Ideal for smaller rooms
Quick and easy to install
No remote control
Enjoy ice-cold air with the Whynter ARC-14SH 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner. This little beast of a dual hose AC provides magnificent cooling capacity for large rooms – up to 500 square feet large, to be precise. Dual hose portable ACs use both an intake hose and an exhaust hose, so they’re more efficient than other portable units and the Whynter ARC-14SH definitely falls in this same heavy-duty cooling category.
This portable AC unit is also multifunctional with four modes – Cool, Heat, Dehumidify, and Fan. It’s equipped with a washable pre-filter and activated carbon filter so it provides fresh and cool air at all times. It also has digital and remote control, a timer, and an auto drain function. While heavy (80 pounds!), it’s compact so it doesn’t take up much floor space. All in all, one of the best portable air conditioners currently on the market. We just wish it had the capability to sync with an app!
14,000 BTUs, up to 500 sq.ft.
CFC free GREEN R32 refrigerant
Dual hose configuration
Pre-filter and activated carbon filter
4 operational modes
Timer and auto-drain function
Around 56 dBA noise level
- Weight80 Pounds
Excellent cooling capacity, ideal for larger rooms
Very cold, does not create negative pressure
Versatile and efficient 4-in-1 design
More energy efficient than similar ACs
For the price, the unit could have the capability to sync with an app
If clean, fresh and cool air is what you’re after, an evaporative cooler (also known as a swamp cooler) like Evapolar evaCHILL is a fantastic choice. This small portable conditioner cools and humidifies the air using evaporative cooling technology, while the cartridge catches dust particles. Unlike other cooling systems, this one doesn’t have exhaust tubes or intake tubes – it simply uses evaporative technology to cool a space, making it ideal not only for indoor but outdoor use and travel, as well.
The Evapolar evaChill portable conditioner has a 27-ounce water tank which you need to refill every couple of hours or so, and can cool your personal space by 9-25 degrees Fahrenheit by blowing a pleasant, cool breeze. It also consumes only 7.5 W to 12.5 W so it’s incredibly energy-efficient. Mind you, this nifty machine is not designed to cool a large room – only a small personal space. This makes it ideal for keeping you comfortable while you work, relax in your tent, or cook for example, but don’t expect it to cool your entire room.
Uses evaporative technology
Cartridge made from basalt fibers
27 oz (800ml) water tank
Consumes 7.5W to 12.5W
Weighs 1.6 Pounds
- Weight16 Ounces
The most energy-efficient portable AC out there
No Freon-like liquids, only natural fibers
Ultra-portable, ideal for travel
Cools only a small personal space
Not suitable for humid climates
Why Trust Us
To give you the very best small and portable air conditioners, we spent three days researching the market, comparing the best-sellers, and reading customer reviews. If you're looking for a compact, easy-to-install, efficient and reasonably priced portable AC or window air conditioner, you're guaranteed to find this guide useful.
Who This Is For
This guide is for anyone looking for a quality small air conditioner. Whether you're looking for a unit to cool down your bedroom, work space, living room, or even your camping tent, you'll find it here.
How We Picked
We checked out both old and new best-rated portable AC units, read dozens of verified customer reviews, and compared the tech specs for each model (Seasonally Adjusted Cooling Capacity ratings, BTU ratings, energy star ratings, etc). To find the best models for varying needs and preferences, we made sure to include both portable AC units and window air conditioner units in our selection.
Features To Look For In Small Air Conditioners
Type of the air conditioner — There are a few different types of small air conditioners. One of the popular ones is a window-mounted AC. These usually do the best job of cooling down an entire room. While they are often easy enough to install, they are large and not convenient if you plan to move them around a lot.
If you’re looking for a portable option, one you can move from room to room, opt for a portable air conditioner. These units usually come with wheels and use a hose to funnel hot air out of the room. Most people use a window, and many units have an included adapter so you can use the hose in a window.
There are also personal or tabletop air conditioners that can provide cooling without the aid of a window. These models are usually smaller than window units or portable air conditioners, and may not work as well if you are trying to cool an entire room but are great for cooling your personal space.
Cooling power — Cooling power, measured in BTUs (British thermal units), is a key factor to pay attention to. The size of your room will affect how many BTUs you should look for in an air conditioning unit. An air conditioner typically needs 20 BTUs for each square foot of living space, so if you're buying a portable AC for a 150 square feet room, you'd need a unit with at least 3,000 BTUs. In general, the larger the room, the higher the BTU rating.
Energy efficiency — Many portable AC units are not particularly energy efficient which is why it's important to stick to models with good energy ratings (we made sure to pick only energy-efficient models for this guide!). Whichever model you choose, we recommend a rating above D.
Noise level - If you're a light sleeper, keep an eye on the noise level. Conveniently, many brands advertise energy consumption and the number of decibels generated by their units. For example, many white noise machines have a volume of 45 dB, so we recommend sticking to models with a noise level between 45 to 55 dB.
Extra features — Pay attention to any additional features your air conditioner comes with as well, such as its ability to work as a fan, as a humidifier or a dehumidifier, and if it comes with added features like remote control, timers, or Wi-Fi compatibility. While these features do not make or break a small air conditioner, they can make using it easier and more pleasant.
Warranty and support — Finally, keep an eye on the warranty and support available for the model you plan to buy. There’s nothing worse than making it halfway through summer and having your air conditioner break with no way to repair it.
Small Air Conditioner FAQ
Q: What is a small air conditioner?
A: A small air conditioner is an AC unit that can cool one room at a time. Many are not fixed units and can be installed or moved around whenever you want, but there are small window air conditioner units available, too. Portable models can be carried from room to room and most can be installed by one or two people and then stored away during cold months.
Q: What’s the smallest AC unit?
A: While there will be trade-offs between size and cooling power, you can find some pretty small AC units on the market. If you're really tight with space and you cannot or don't want to bother with the installation, you may want to consider a personal evaporative cooler. These units are smaller than many fans and can help cool you down more effectively than a standard desktop fan.
Q: Can I use a portable air conditioner in a room without a window?
A: You do not exactly need a window to use a portable air conditioner. You can choose to connect its hose to a vent out of the room through a door or wall. However, that is much trickier to set up. In this case, it may be easier to use a personal cooler or even a fan as these do not require a vent.
Q: Is it safe to use an air cooler?
A: Air coolers can cool you down through the evaporation of water and the use of a fan, which is great for dry climates. There is a misconception that air coolers are harmful to your health since they add moisture to the air, but they also purify the air and, if you live in a dry climate, they are likely beneficial to help humidify and cool your room.
- How to Vent A Portable Air Conditioner Without A Window - American Home Water & Air
- The Different Types Of Air Conditioning Systems - ActronAir