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A portable air conditioner is a non-permanent solution to those hot summer days. When you need a little extra help (or don’t have a permanent cooling solution), these convenient machines can keep you and your family a little more comfortable.

We’ve carefully curated this list of the best portable air conditioners in Canada. There is an option on this list for every space and lifestyle, so you’re sure to find what you’re looking for here!

Best Portable Air Conditioners in Canada

Best overall: Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner

Whynter’s 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner is the perfect solution for your living room, dining room, or kitchen. This extra-large air conditioner can handle rooms up to 500 square feet. The dual-hose system ensures that it cools down quickly, too!

This unit features full thermostat control, meaning you can set it to any temperature between 61F and 89F (16C to 31C). Adjust the temperature throughout the day using the 24-hour timer (if you want it to adjust based on the time of day), or the handy remote control.

While some portable air conditioners require a drainage system, this Whynter system features an auto-drain function. Condensation is recycled back into the cooling system, ensuring that you never have to empty drip pans or buckets again.

When you don’t want to use the air conditioner, it doubles as a high-powered fan or dehumidifier. It boasts three separate fan speeds and can remove up to 101 pints of water from your humid air per day.

It’s the perfect all-around solution to that oppressive summer heat. The washable pre-filter and activated carbon air filter also make your air better to breathe. Comfort isn’t out of reach with the Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner. Plus, it uses green refrigerant to reduce strain on the environment!

Features of the Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner

Three operations

In addition to being a portable air conditioner, this Whynter unit has a fan mode and a dehumidifier. The fan recirculates your interior air in three different speed settings, which you can change at will. The dehumidifier, on the other hand, is capable of removing 101 pints of water from your air per day.

Full thermostat control

This portable air conditioner allows you to control the thermostat within the temperature control. You can adjust the temperature from 61F to 89F, without arbitrary modes or levels to stop you from having full control.

24 hour timer

Some parts of the day are cooler than others. This unit comes with a 24-hour timer that you can program yourself. You can adjust the thermostat during certain hours, or even turn the unit completely off if it’s not needed at night.

Auto drain

While some portable air conditioners use a drainage tube or self-evaporation mechanism, this Whynter unit recycles any moisture produced by the cooling process. This condensation becomes part of the cooling system, helping the unit deliver cooler air.

What sets the Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner apart?

The Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner cools medium-sized rooms quickly and offers a host of convenience features to do it. It comes with a remote control that is simple to operate, and works well in spaces up to 500 square feet. If the power goes out, this portable air conditioner automatically restarts, so your room never has the chance to overheat.

  • Comes with a remote control
  • Works in spaces up to 500 square feet
  • Auto-restart if the power goes out

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Best power consumption: Danby 13,000 BTU 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner

Portable air conditioners can be energy-efficient, but worries about extra power consumption are valid. The Danby 13,000 BTU 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner only uses about 1000 watts to run, and it can keep a room up to 400 square feet cool and comfortable all day long. It features a single hose.

This portable air conditioner uses an eco-conscious R32 refrigerant as well. Combined, these features reduce the impact this until will have on the environment. It’s the perfect option if eco-conscious features are a must for you. When you aren’t using the air conditioning features, you can use three fan settings or the dehumidifier to maintain a comfortable temperature in your space.

Whether you’re using the air conditioner or the dehumidifier, the continuous drain system can be a great option. The drainage system continually removes condensation from the unit. You can use a bucket (which will need to be emptied occasionally), but a sink or bathtub is the best option to keep your air conditioner running smoothly.

Additionally, this Danby portable air conditioner features a programmable 24-hour timer, versatile LED display, and remote control. You can change settings without leaving your couch!

Features of the Danby 13,000 BTU 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner

Eco-conscious refrigerant

Since air conditioners have to use a refrigerant system, it’s best to be eco-conscious. This Danby unit uses R32 refrigerant, which is rated to be better for the environment than other options.

3-in-1 design

In addition to the air conditioning features, this Danby portable air conditioner also has a fan option and dehumidifier setting. The fan uses three different speeds, while the dehumidifier takes full advantage of the continuous drain system to keep your space comfortable.

13,000 BTU power

The 13,000 BTU rating allows this air conditioner to keep rooms up to 400 square feet cool. It’s one of the most powerful portable air conditioners at its price point.

Continuous drain

The condensation that results from the air conditioning feature must be drained. The continuous drain feature uses a drain hose to collect the condensation. You can position the drainage hose in a bucket, sink, or tub.

What sets the Danby 13,000 BTU 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner apart?

The Danby 13,000 BTU 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner is a powerful solution for medium-sized rooms and is particularly effective during the hottest summer days. It consumes just 1080 watts of power during operation, which is on the low end compared to other leading brands. The programmable timer helps you keep on top of changing temperatures, and the LED display and remote control make it convenient to adjust the settings.

  • Low power consumption
  • Programmable timer
  • LED display and remote control

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Best dual hose: Whynter ARC-122DS Elite Digital Portable Air Conditioner

Dual Hose portable air conditioners have a reputation for being faster and more efficient than single-hose models. The additional input hose allows the machine more access to airflow, creating a quicker exchange of hot air for cooler air.

As a result, the Whynter ARC-122DS Elite Digital Portable Air Conditioner is one of the most efficient on our list. The dual-hose design allows for quick, quiet operation, with a noise rating of only about 52 dB. You can run this air conditioner in the same room as your TV and you won’t have to bump up the volume. If you need to turn the temperature up or down, you can use the remote control to do so from the comfort of your couch.

A 12,000 BTU rating ensures that rooms up to 400 square feet will be perfectly comfortable. The machine is smaller than portable air conditioners with comparable BTU ratings, which means it won’t’ be in your way.

You won’t have to worry about drainage, either. This system recycles condensation and adds it to the cooling process, which means fewer trips to empty buckets or finding a drainage point. All the while, this system utilizes an eco-conscious refrigerant formula that reduces its environmental impact.

Features of the Whynter ARC-122DS Elite Digital Portable Air Conditioner

Three modes

No matter what the weather is like, this Whynter portable air conditioner can help keep your spaces comfortable. Choose between a fan or dehumidifier when you aren’t using the air conditioner. You’ll have access to three fan modes and multiple ways to keep your spaces cool.

12,000 BTU

This unit is rated for 12,000 BTU, which means it effectively cools spaces up to 400 square feet. Despite its power, it has a small footprint and won’t be out of place in any of your spaces.

Quick, quiet operation

The dual hose design means the unit has access to more air, allowing it to cool your room more quickly than single-hose units. It also works quietly. As it’s working, it only reaches about 52 dB, which is on the low end for portable air conditioners.

What sets the Whynter ARC-122DS Elite Digital Portable Air Conditioner apart?

The Whynter ARC-122DS has a surprisingly small footprint for a 12,000 BTU system. The dual-hose operation ensures that it runs quickly, providing continuous cooling for up to 400 square feet. The eco-conscious R-410A refrigerant is free of CFC, a chemical known to harm the environment.

  • Small footprint
  • Dual-hose system
  • R-410A CFC-free refrigerant

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Best remote: De’Longhi Portable Air Conditioner

De’Longhi’s Portable Air Conditioner features a Cool Surround remote. It uses Bluetooth to transmit information back to the machine, gauging temperature and humidity levels at its location. Since the machine expects you to keep the remote with you, this feature allows the machine to ensure that you are always comfortable.

In addition to this technology, the De’Longhi Portable Air Conditioner also uses Eco Real Feel Mode, an exclusive technology that optimizes the way the machine works based on environmental factors. Though you can always change the settings at will, this mode helps the machine run more efficiently, saving energy and keeping you comfortable.

This 12,000 BTU unit can keep rooms up to 500 square feet cool. There is a larger unit available with the same features if you need it, which is a great feature. Worried about noise while the machine is running? Activate ArcticWhisper Extreme and reduce sound on lower fan speeds to an almost imperceptible level.

This portable air conditioner features a dust filter to keep your air cleaner. You’ll also be able to control the flow of the air, redirecting it via the motorized air direction control feature. Now you can always have the machine pointing at you, even when you’re sitting off to the side.

This machine has a host of great features to help keep your spaces comfortable, including the multifunction mode. You can use it as a fan, or activate the dehumidifier mode to keep those fall days a little dryer. However you choose to use it, these features combine to create a great portable air conditioner.

Features of the De’Longhi Portable Air Conditioner

Cool surround technology

Instead of taking temperature readings near the machine, this De’Longhi air conditioner reads the temperature and humidity levels from the location of the remote. This allows the machine to keep you cool no matter where you are in the room.

Whisper-quiet settings

Though this De’Longhi portable air conditioner already operates extremely quietly, you can activate the ArcticWhisper Extreme technology to reduce fan noise at the lowest speeds. If you need quiet while you sleep or work, this is a great option.

Eco real feel mode

De’Longhi’s exclusive Eco Real Feel mode monitors your room for changes to humidity, temperature, and more. It uses this data to optimize the way that it runs. It uses less power and keeps you comfortable in the process.

Cools up to 500 sq. ft.

This De’Longhi unit is rated at 12,000 BTU and can effectively cool an area up to 500 square feet. There is a 700 square foot option available if you need a unit for a larger space.

What sets the De’Longhi Portable Air Conditioner apart?

The De’Longhi Portable Air Conditioner features a dust filter, which works to keep your air as clean as possible during the cooling process. It’s simple to set this machine up, as it doesn’t require dual hoses or an extensive drainage system. Motorized airflow control keeps air flowing in your direction, and you can adjust the angle via the remote.

  • Dust filter
  • Easy set-up
  • Air direction control

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Best quiet operation: Danby 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Some air conditioners can be extremely loud, and you might even need to turn up the TV to hear it over the sound of their fans. The Danby 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner is powerful, but it’s also quiet. The Silencer technology reduces its operating noise to about 50 dB, which is about the volume of a regular conversation.

This is a large, powerful unit capable of cooling up to 700 square feet effectively. It uses a thermostat remote to read the temperature where you are – or where the remote is located – and adjusts the temperature and fan speeds to accommodate that temperature. This way, you get the most accurate environmental readings possible.

The filters are all washable and reusable, which is particularly important in this unit. It’s the only portable air conditioner on our list that comes with an ionizer feature. An ionizer eliminates bacteria and odors in the filtering process, which is a natural part of an air conditioner’s operation. If you’d rather not use the ionizer, you can turn it off with the press of a button.

This Danby portable air conditioner can be installed in any window or patio door, and it comes with an extensive window kit to help fit the exhaust just about anywhere. You can even connect this portable air conditioner to your wireless network, allowing you to control it from your smart device with an app.

Features of the Danby 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Ionizer function

This Danby portable air conditioner features Clean Air Purification, which uses an ionizer to neutralize bacteria and odours as part of the cooling process. You can turn the ionizer off if you’d rather not use it.

Silencer technology

This unit’s Silencer technology reduces the noise output to about 50 dB, which is very quiet for a 14,000 BTU unit that is capable of cooling up to 700 square feet.

Wireless connection

This Smart portable air conditioner can connect to your home WiFi network. Download the app indicated in the user manual to effortlessly control your air conditioner from your smart device.

What sets the Danby 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner apart?

The remote that comes with the Danby 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner acts as a thermostat using Follow Me technology. This takes the temperature where you are, instead of using an onboard thermostat that may not be accurate. The air filters are washable and reusable. You can use a window or patio door to install this air conditioner, and it ships with a set for both uses.

  • Thermostat remote
  • Washable filter
  • Window and patio door kit included

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Best budget: BLACK+DECKER BPP05WTB Portable Air Conditioner

The BLACK+DECKER BPP05WTB Portable Air Conditioner is one of the best ways to stay cool on a budget. Despite the lower price point, this portable air conditioner includes a lot of features present in more expensive models.

It uses a self-evaporating drainage feature, which means that you never have to worry about emptying a bucket or drain pan. There’s no condensation drain at all, so it’s easier to set up and simpler to use. The only hose you’ll need is the single exhaust hose. The window insert for this hose can go in windows of just about any size due to the extensive window kit that comes with the machine.

There are three modes, including air conditioning, fan, and dehumidifier. The dehumidifier can remove up to 50 pints of water per 24 hours, and also doesn’t require draining. Three fan modes keep you cool even without the air conditioning feature. When you’re using the cooling mode, the auto-fan makes adjustments to deliver the perfect speed every time.

This 5,000 BTU unit cools rooms up to 150 square feet, so it’s ideal for smaller spaces. The Follow Me remote acts as a thermostat, so the temperature adjusts based on where you are (rather than using the thermostat located in the machine). The result is a more comfortable room overall.

Features of the BLACK+DECKER BPP05WTB Portable Air Conditioner

Includes extensive window kit

No matter what type of window you have, there are extensions and fittings in the extensive window kit that comes with this Black+Decker portable air conditioner. It includes everything you need to fit the insert into windows between 27.5” and 47.2”.

Auto-fan setting

While in the air conditioning mode, the auto-fan setting keeps the fan speed at the perfect level depending on the temperature in the room. You don’t have to worry about making micro-adjustments throughout the day.

Great for small spaces

This 5,000 BTU unit is perfect for smaller spaces, and it can effectively cool rooms up to 150 square feet.

Follow me remote

The Follow Me Remote uses an LCD display. The remote acts as a thermostat, allowing you precise control based on where you are – not where the machine is.

What sets the BLACK+DECKER BPP05WTB Portable Air Conditioner apart?

The BLACK+DECKER BPP05WTB Portable Air Conditioner packs a lot of features into a small package. It’s easy to install in just about any window, and the long exhaust hose makes it easy to install anywhere in your home. The self-evaporating drainage system means you don’t have to worry about emptying the drainage container.

  • Simple to install
  • Long exhaust hose
  • Self-evaporating drainage

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Best compact design: Danby DPA120B6WDB-6 Portable Air Conditioner

Having a smaller portable air conditioner is essential in smaller rooms. The Danby DPA120B6WDB-6 Portable Air Conditioner can cool larger spaces, but still offers a compact design that will fit just about anywhere. This 12,000 BTU unit is effective in spaces up to 550 square feet, ideal for most spaces in your home.

The small footprint also leads to low power usage. No matter which of the three modes you use, this Danby portable air conditioner only consumes about 676 watts during use. It’s better for your utility bill and it does a great job of keeping your space cool.

It uses 3 cooling and fan speeds to adjust to the temperature at your location. While other portable air conditioners read the temperature and humidity settings at the machine, this unit utilizes the included remote. The remote reads the temperature, acting as a second thermostat. The machine changes settings and temperature based on the readings.

This unit uses three different modes, including air conditioning, fan, and dehumidifier. The dehumidifier mode uses a direct drain system. If you have it set up correctly, you don’t have to drain the machine of excess water. It’s perfect all the way around!

Features of the Danby DPA120B6WDB-6 Portable Air Conditioner

Effective up to 550 square feet

The Danby DPA120B6WDB-6 offers 12,000 BTU, which is effective in spaces up to 550 square feet. It’s great for bedrooms, separate living rooms, and even home offices.

3 cooling and 3 fan speeds

Adjust the way that the portable air conditioner works with 3 cooling and fan speeds. These options help you adjust the temperature in the room, so you never have to worry about being too warm.

Follow me remote

While most portable air conditioners take temperature readings at the machine, this Danby air conditioner utilizes the Follow Me Remote. The machine reads the temperature at the remote (which is, ideally, near you). It uses this information to make adjustments to cool you off, so the temperature is always to your liking.

What sets the Danby DPA120B6WDB-6 Portable Air Conditioner apart?

Danby’s DPA120B6WDB-6 Portable Air Conditioner is small but mighty. Its 3-in-1 design features three different wants to cool off, and all operate on low power usage of just 676 watts during use. The small footprint makes it great for anywhere in your home. The dehumidifier mode features a direct drain, so you don’t have to constantly empty the machine (provided you have a drain nearby).

  • Direct drain dehumidifier mode
  • Small footprint
  • Low power usage

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Best for small rooms: Senville 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Senville’s 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner is great for small rooms. Its’ 10,000 BTU rating works well in rooms up to 300 square feet, so offices and small bedrooms are easily covered. You can adjust the temperature freely using the control panel or the included remote control.

The control panel itself includes large, textured buttons and a bright display. You can easily switch this portable unit between air conditioning, dehumidifying, and a fan mode with two speeds. No matter what your room is like, this air conditioner can help make it more comfortable.

It works quietly, with a noise output of just 42.5 dB. It’s one of the quietest options on our list, which is great for people who need quiet to sleep or work. Need to move it from room to room? Take advantage of the inset handles and lightweight design.

Whether you have horizontal or vertical windows, this Senville portable air conditioner has you covered. Its snap-together window insert works with both types of windows. You’ll get a proper seal no matter what!

Features of the Senville 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Multifunction system

This Senville Portable Air Conditioner can easily switch between the air conditioning function, a dehumidifier, and a fan with two speeds. These options make it easy to keep your space cool no matter the weather.

Remote control

Adjust the thermostat from all over the room with the easy-to-use remote control. The thermostat is completely adjustable on the control panel, too.

10,000 BTU

This 10,0000 BTU unit can effectively cool rooms up to 300 square feet, so it’s great for offices and small bedrooms.

What sets the Senville 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner apart?

Handles on the Senville 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner make this lightweight unit easy to move from room to room. It’s also simple to set up, with vertical or horizontal window pieces for exhaust. It’s also one of the quietest options on our list, outputting only 42.5 dB.

  • Handles make it easy to move
  • Works with vertical or horizontal windows
  • Quiet operation

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How to choose a portable air conditioner in Canada

A portable air conditioner is a convenient solution to the summer heat. They can come in handy in a variety of situations, especially if your standard air conditioning just isn’t cutting it. Below, we’ll look at portable air conditioner features, options, and benefits to help you choose the one that works best for you.

Why use a portable air conditioner?

A portable air conditioner is a freestanding unit that will cool rooms effectively. If you don’t have central air or a window air conditioning unit, a portable air conditioner is a great solution for keeping your home cool during the summer.

Portable air conditioners pack quite a punch – depending on the size and BTU rating of the unit, they can keep a room of just about any size cool. Most have wheels that help you move them from room to room, and some operate more energy efficient than window units.

If you can’t install a permanent solution, a portable air conditioner can come in handy. Having one on hand can help if your standard air conditioner is unreliable, or on very hot days where your permanent units are struggling.

Additionally, some portable air conditioners are multi-function. Some are year-round temperature solutions that also include space heaters. Others may have dehumidifiers, air purifiers, and more!

You might benefit from a portable air conditioner if you…

  • Don’t own a window or central air conditioner
  • Want to reduce energy costs associated with using a central air conditioner
  • Need to keep one room cooler than the rest of the house
  • Rent an apartment that doesn’t allow window air conditioners
  • Could use a unit with multiple functions
  • Want more programmable options than central or window air conditioners

How do portable air conditioners work?

Portable air conditioners work in much the same way as window units. However, they need a vent to access the outside of your home. To ‘install’ a portable air conditioner, you’ll need a window and a nearby electrical outlet.

A portable air conditioner takes warm air from your room, runs it over the same cooling coils and refrigeration system as a standard air conditioner, and produces cold air. Most modern units have a thermostat that allows you to specify how cold you want your air. The resulting hot air is vented through an exhaust hose.

Some units have a single hose, while others use a double hose.

Single-hose units connect to a special window insert. Hot air can vent outside, keeping your house cool and ensuring that the air conditioner works best. Double-hose units connect in the same way, but they have a vent hose and an intake hose.

The additional air that these units pull in from the outside ensures that they work faster. Some dual-hose units work about 25% faster than a single-hose unit, so they are particularly useful when you need to cool a room down quickly. Double-hose units also use a bit more power, though.

Choosing the right BTU rating

BTU, or British Thermal Unit, determines how fast your air conditioner can work. It’s a hard cap of how much a unit is capable of cooling per hour, based on the size of the space. Certain units only work well in small rooms, while you should reasonably expect units with a larger BTU rating to cool large rooms well.

To determine how many BTUs you’ll need to cool your space, you’ll have to consider the size of the room in square feet and the height of your ceiling.

For example, a room that measures 300 square feet and has an 8-foot ceiling is 2,400 cubic feet. A rating of 10,000 BTUs is ideal for a room of this size. The BTU rating is calculated based on standards that all companies adhere to, allowing you to get an accurate rating. Here are some common room sizes and the ideal BTU rating for each.

  • 150 – 300 square feet. Ratings between 7,000 BTU and 10,000 BTU are ideal for small rooms.
  • 300 – 700 square feet. Ratings between 11,000 and 14,000 BTU are ideal for medium-sized rooms.
  • 700 square feet. A rating of 14,000 BTU is recommended for larger rooms. Residential portable air conditioning units usually do not rate about 14,000 BTU. The largest rooms may require multiple units to stay cool.

Rooms with higher ceilings need a higher BTU rating. Many recommend increasing the BTU rating by 10 percent for rooms with higher ceilings. You might also need an increased BTU rating if more than one person shares the space, if the room is often sunny, and if you are using it in a kitchen with other appliances.

Setting up your portable air conditioner

Setting up a portable air conditioner isn’t difficult, even with the additional hoses and cords. Single-hose and dual-hose units connect in the same way, though some steps are different for self-evaporating units.

To start, make sure that you are choosing a portable air conditioner with a window insert to fit your windows. There can be some difference in the insert for standard sliding windows and windows that open outward, so make sure that you choose an adapter that fits your windows.

After the adapter is installed in your window and sealed properly via the instructions in the manual, connect the ventilation hoses. On end should fit securely to the machine, while the other vents outside – you might have to seal the openings with duct tape or another removable solution to ensure a proper seal.

Some portable air conditioners require drainage for condensation. Self-evaporating models don’t require drainage. However, if the machine comes with a drainage hose, attach it to the machine and put the other end in a sink or tub. You can also use a bucket if you aren’t near a sink.

Finally, plug the portable air conditioner into the wall outlet, configure your settings, and relax in your cool room!

Features to look for

Portable air conditioners come in a variety of sizes, types, and drainage options. Here are the basic options, what they mean, and which you should look for.

Hose configuration

As we discussed above, portable air conditioners come in two hose configurations.

  • Single hose air conditioners use a single exhaust hose. They don’t have an input hose, so they operate more slowly than dual-hose setups. However, they use less power overall. They are also simple to set up when you move the unit.
  • Dual hose air conditioners feature an input hose and an exhaust hose. The additional hose pulls more air into the unit, allowing for faster operation. Though they use more power, they are more energy-efficient. Because they cool faster, they spend less time getting your space comfortable.

The type you choose depends on how you will use the unit. You should also consider if you’ll be moving the unit, how fast you need it to work, and if you mind a little extra power consumption for efficiency.

Drainage

The air conditioning process creates condensation. Most portable air conditioners need some way to deal with this condensation, whether that means draining through a drainage system or self-evaporation.

Air conditioners with a direct or continuous drain system need an outlet for condensation. You can put the drainage hose in a bucket, sink, bathtub, or another drain to ensure that it is properly removed. If you put the drainage hose in a bucket or other container, you will need to empty it regularly to avoid spills and ensure that the air conditioner keeps running.

Machines with self-evaporating or auto drain features don’t have a drainage hose at all. Instead, they evaporate the water and vent the steam through the ventilation tube. This tube is already in use, venting hot air outside. Auto drain features on some models may even reuse the condensation in the cooling process.

Do you want to deal with the constant drainage of condensation? If not, choose a self-evaporating or auto drain unit. If you can connect the drainage hose to a water source or have a drain nearby, choose a direct or continuous drain system.

BTU

Above, we looked at the different BTU (or British Thermal Unit) ratings, the spaces they were best equipped to handle, and what they mean for you. Here, we’ll break it down by general room size to help you understand which BTU rating you should choose.

The BTU rating determines the rate that the machine can cool air, which will vary based on the room size.

  • Small rooms. 7,000 BTU to 10,000 BTU, usually suited for rooms between 150 and 300 square feet.
  • Medium rooms. 11,000 BTU to 14,000 BTU, usually suited for rooms between 300 and 500 square feet.
  • Large rooms. 14,000 BTU and up, usually suited for rooms between 500 and 700 square feet.

You should consider the size of your room before choosing a BTU rating that works best for the space. Due to additional considerations (room placement, level of natural light, number of people in the room, and ceiling height), you should choose an air conditioner with a higher BTU.

Power consumption

Power consumption is a concern for many portable air conditioner users. Some use portable air conditioners to offset the cost of running the central air conditioning constantly. Others want a less expensive option that will keep their immediate area cool.

Either way, a portable air conditioner can only be so energy-efficient. Most have energy-saving measures in place, particularly those certified by Energy Star. If power consumption is a concern for you, look for an Energy Star-certified portable air conditioner. Alternatively, look at the wattage it consumes during operation. Regardless of size, only air conditioners that operate at less than 1000 watts are truly energy efficient.

Temperature range

Regardless of the BTU rating, most portable air conditioners have an operating temperature range. This range represents the lowest (and highest) temperature you can set the machine to run at. Temperature can usually be adjusted on the fly to make your space more comfortable.

A range of between 60F and 90F (15.5C and 32C) is standard for most portable air conditioners. Try to look for a machine that fits into this range as much as possible. Larger temperature ranges are better, simply because they give you more options.

Air filter

The air filter on a portable air conditioner needs to be changed every few months, and more often than that during periods of heavy use. There isn’t a lot of variety when it comes to air filters. Some portable air conditioners have a pre-filter and a standard filter. Both should be washable for best results and extra longevity.

You can choose carbon or antimicrobial options to help improve your air quality. Some filters even have additional purification options to help keep your air clean. It’s always ideal to choose these options over more standard filters.

Display type

The display can help you program the machine, select your preferred temperature, interact with timers and modes, and more. It’s important to choose a display that is easy to read and simple to operate. The best portable air conditioners in Canada use a backlit LCD display to help you choose the options you want.

If you are worried about a backlit LCD display is too bright at night, look for a display dimming option. Though rare, this feature helps control the light when you need to get some rest.

Fan modes

Since a fan is just one component of an air conditioner, it makes sense that your portable air conditioner should have a fan-only mode. Some have a single pass-through fan mode that keeps it a little more comfortable in the room. This can be used when you sleep, particularly if you sleep with a traditional fan.

Some portable air conditioners have multiple fan speeds. That’s perfect for those cooler fall and spring days when you just need a little help keeping it cool. Plus, you won’t have to buy an additional fan!

Portability

Of course, portability is one of the most important basic features that you need in a portable air conditioner. All units should have rolling casters. Some are easy to set up, making them simple to move and set up in a different place.

If you plan on moving the unit a lot, look for a self-evaporating unit that doesn’t require drainage. You should also check how much the machine weighs, as some units will be extremely heavy and difficult to maneuver.

Further considerations

There are a host of other convenience features that can make a portable air conditioner a bit more appealing. Here are some of the popular features to look out for.

Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier can remove moisture from the air in your home, reducing humidity and making it more comfortable overall. Since air conditioners already perform this function, it’s no surprise that some portable air conditioners have a dehumidifier option.

When activated, the unit acts as a dehumidifier, removing humidity via the drainage system that you already have in place. Even when you aren’t using the air conditioner, you can use this feature to make your space more comfortable.

Heat blower

Some portable air conditioners double as space heaters, with a blower that pushes out the heated air. This allows you to use the unit all year round, perfect for every extreme temperature. When your portable air conditioner doubles as a heater, you won’t have to purchase additional heaters for the wintertime. You’ll save money and be comfortable no matter the season.

Remote control

You don’t want to get up to change the air conditioner every time you want to adjust the temperature. A remote control removes the need to get up to fix any of the settings. If you’re feeling a bit too cold, you can bump up the temperature from the couch, or turn it down if it’s getting too warm in the room. The remote can make your portable air conditioner even more convenient!

Noise level

All air conditioners are loud. Portable air conditioners are often operating closer to you, which may cause some issues when the noise exceeds a certain level. A noise level of about 52 dB to 56 dB is considered normal for a portable air conditioner.

Some machines have a silencer or noise-reducing feature. If noise is going to be a problem for you, consider choosing a unit that has these features. Most will state their noise level, so keep an eye out for the quietest option you can find.

Ease of use

Portable air conditioners look confusing on the surface, but the best portable air conditioners in Canada are simple to use. You want a portable air conditioner that has simple controls, easy set-up, and can be moved from room to room without too much hassle.

Programmable thermostat

Every portable air conditioner has a thermostat, but only a few of them can be programmed. Some have timers, auto-controls for overnight use, auto-fan mode, and other programmable features. Customizing the way the portable air conditioner works can make life a little cooler for you, no matter the time.

Wireless connection

While it’s still a new concept, some modern portable air conditioners can connect to your home WiFi. When you download the associated app, you can control the unit with your smart device. It essentially acts as a remote control, which is especially useful when the air conditioner doesn’t come with one!

Hose and cord length

Not all windows have an accessible power outlet nearby and vice versa. To realistically operate a portable air conditioner, you need to be able to reach both a window and a power outlet. Make sure to check the length of the hoses and cords to ensure that you’ll have enough room to move around.

Avoid buying the longest hoses and cords possible, unless you plan on using the air conditioner in a larger space. Excess cords and hose lengths can be intrusive and inconvenient, especially if you’re trying to get around a smaller room. Instead, consider the space where you’ll be using the air conditioner. Choose a cord and hose length that fits well in the space and provides plenty of slack.

Unit weight

A portable air conditioner needs to be portable. If you plan on moving the unit often, consider looking into how much the unit weighs. While most have rolling casters, it can still be difficult to move them around if it’s heavier.

Of course, units with a higher BTU rating are usually heavier due to increased capabilities. At some level, you will have to deal with the weight. However, choosing the lightest possible unit can be convenient.

Conclusion

Portable air conditioners can be a convenient way to keep your room cool – and in certain circumstances, they may be more energy efficient. Though they seem complicated, choosing one isn’t difficult. Keep the size of the space in mind, and look for any features that could make your life easier. We’re sure that you’ll find the best portable air conditioner in Canada for your home on our list!