Are inexpensive portable air conditioners worth it?

Based on 1,181 opinions
Our winners are
1 of 5

Are you searching for an inexpensive option to keep the home more bearable throughout the hot summer? Are you wondering whether you can get away with spending less? Buzzrake collected thousands of user reviews and comments from around the web to answer these very questions. We looked at portable units priced at $250 or less, and analyzed user opinions about them.
The results aren't promising...
Inexpensive air conditioners are typically much smaller with much smaller cooling areas. They have less power and lower BTUs as well.
There are several areas where these portable AC units fall short. Users report that cheaper portable ACs tend to have lesser quality, lower customer satisfaction scores and aren't nearly as quiet as larger units. Users aren't pleased with their cooling ability and design features either. Overall, users rate these units below average for almost everything.
If you're still keen on keeping your costs low, check out the list of inexpensive units below. These are ranked the best of the <$250 group.

The Best Inexpensive Portable Air Conditioners

#1 rated in inexpensive portable: Air - 5.3-Gal. Portable Evaporative Cooler, scored 86/10085

1. Air - 5.3-Gal. Portable Evaporative Cooler

Users rank the Air - 5.3-Gal. Portable Evaporative Cooler the #1 best affordable portable unit. When it comes to user-friendliness, using it takes almost no effort. assembling the unit to working order is easy. In addition, online opinions reveal that this air conditioner's quality is quite good.
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#2 rated in inexpensive portable: Honeywell Portable Indoor Evaporative Air Cooler, scored 80/10080

2. Honeywell Portable Indoor Evaporative Air Cooler

The Honeywell Portable Indoor Evaporative Air Cooler is rated the #2 best affordable portable unit. The Honeywell Portable Indoor Evaporative Air Cooler is a machine that has a BTU capacity of 0. It is able to cool indoor areas of 100 sq. ft. Or less. Opinions show that users are somewhat displeased with the model and wouldn't necessarily recommend it to their friends. Noise may be an issue with this unit. Most buyers may possibly not find it to be quiet enough. Perhaps for this reason, apartment inhabitants in particular were not especially enthused about this air conditioner. However, assembling the air conditioner to working order is not easy.
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#3 rated in inexpensive portable: Living Basix LB400 Portable Evaporative Air Cooler with Remote Control, scored 80/10079

3. Living Basix LB400 Portable Evaporative Air Cooler with Remote Control

According to users, the Living Basix LB400 Portable Evaporative Air Cooler with Remote Control is the #3 best inexpensive portable unit. It is said to perform well. Opinions show that users are somewhat displeased with the machine and wouldn't necessarily recommend it to a friend. However, this unit is a little noisy. Most users may possibly not find it to be sufficiently quiet. Naturally, apartment dwellers in particular were not especially enthused about the model.
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#4 rated in inexpensive portable: Honeywell Portable Indoor Evaporative Air Cooler, scored 78/10077

4. Honeywell Portable Indoor Evaporative Air Cooler

The Honeywell Portable Indoor Evaporative Air Cooler is rated the #4 best affordable portable unit. The Honeywell Portable Indoor Evaporative Air Cooler is a machine featuring a BTU rating of 0. Rooms of 100 square feet or less can be cooled quickly. It is said to perform well. When it comes to user-friendliness, it is easy to use. However, assembling the air conditioner to working order is not easy.
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#5 rated in inexpensive portable: KuulAire PACKA44 350 CFM Portable Evaporative Cooling Unit with 175 Square Foot Cooling Capacity, scored 73/10072

5. KuulAire PACKA44 350 CFM Portable Evaporative Cooling Unit with 175 Square Foot Cooling Capacity

Users chose the KuulAire PACKA44 350 CFM Portable Evaporative Cooling Unit with 175 Square Foot Cooling Capacity as the #5 best inexpensive portable unit. With that kind of capacity, it is able to cool rooms up to 175 square feet in size. This model's quality is quite good according to buyers. Its performance does not meet buyers' expectations. However, when it comes to user-friendliness, it is not easy to use.
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