5 Best Cheap Air Conditioners Portable of 2022

Do you want to stay cool during the summer without spending a lot of money?

Are you looking for a cheap portable air conditioner that you can move from room to room easily?

A compact air conditioner that cools air to 65°F on the coolest setting, and makes it extra quiet while you sleep, Black + Decker’s 8,000 BTU portable air conditioner will keep you cool and comfortable all summer long.

Over thirty thousand five-star reviews can’t be wrong, check it out. $309.99 See Amazon Reviews. Efficient cooling & ventilation all in one machine.

You’ve come to the right place.

Our guide will help you find the cheapest portable air conditioner for your home.

These best cheap portable AC unit reviews can help you find the best cheap portable air conditioner if you’re on a budget.

This guide reviews cheap air conditioners

This chart shows the top cheap air conditioners and gives you an idea of what’s available and how they compare.

Best Cheap Portable Air Conditioners List

1. BLACK+DECKER Portable Air Conditioner

BLACK+DECKER Portable Air Conditioner

As for controls and air conditioning, this model has almost all of the same features as the LG portable air conditioner, except for a slightly higher cooling capacity.

There is a 250 square foot coverage area with this air conditioner, not 200 square feet as with the LG model.

As a result, it’s a better deal for anyone who needs to cool a medium-sized room. Plus, the price difference is only $30.

For small to large rooms, there are also additional models available.

BPACT08WT covers 200 square feet, BPACT12WT covers 300 square feet, and BPACT14WT covers 350 square feet.

Simply choose the portable AC unit that is the right size for your cooling needs.

Buy on Amazon

2. Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner

Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner

You will not find a better deal on a portable air conditioner than this ventless unit.

This compact and lightweight air conditioner cools rooms up to 175 square feet with very little power.

It is therefore very cost-effective and perfect for small rooms and personal cooling.

The ventless design of this portable air conditioner reduces temperature through water evaporation rather than using a hose to expel hot air.

This AC unit doesn’t require a window, nor is there a drip tray to worry about. You can place it practically anywhere in a room for cooling comfort.

As a humidifier, this inexpensive air conditioner can be used to help warm the air during colder months by adding moisture to it.

You won’t find an Activated Carbon filter in many other portable air conditioners, so that’s something unique about this unit.

It helps improve the indoor air quality by reducing odors in the room by cleaning the air as it passes through the unit.

The low water alarm will alert you when the water tank needs to be refilled, and an ice pack can even be thrown into the container to make the air more cold.

Furthermore, a remote control and energy-saving timer are included for your convenience.

You can see that this cheap air conditioner is perfect for small rooms.

Buy on Amazon

3. Honeywell 470-659CFM Ventless Air Conditioner

Honeywell 470-659CFM Ventless Air Conditioner

In our second budget air conditioner review, we reviewed a ventless AC unit which steps up a notch.

In addition to the same air conditioning options, it also comes with a larger control panel.

It even comes with an Activated Carbon filter that helps reduce household odors and improve air quality.

This affordable portable air conditioner has an ice compartment in addition to the smaller unit.

It allows you to blow colder air on extremely hot days by filling your air conditioner with ice.

The upgrade is well worth it just for that feature.

With a cooling capacity of 300 square feet, this air conditioner is ideal for medium-sized rooms in any home.

Buy on Amazon

4. Arctic Air Portable Air Conditioner

Arctic Air Portable Air Conditioner

Perhaps you need a portable air conditioner that’s small and affordable for personal use.

This is one of the best cheap portable air conditioners you can buy.

Water is added to a reservoir and blown in your direction using this device.

The directions do not specifically mention adding ice to the compartment, but you can do so to experience even colder air.

On a single fill, the water tank provides about eight hours of cold air.

The USB port or standard wall outlet can be used to plug it in.

This portable air conditioner is actually intended to be used as a personal AC unit and covers about 45 square feet.

You should place it on a desk or table between three and five feet away from you for best results.

A remote control is not included, but the push-button controls are easy to operate.

As a final feature, this cheap portable air conditioner has three fan speed settings.

Buy on Amazon

Cheapest Portable Air Conditioners Buying Guide

This guide has covered a lot so far, so you should feel confident buying a portable air conditioner for your home, apartment, or office.

Our goal is to save you countless hours of research by narrowing down the top choices for the cheapest portable air conditioners.

With the budget portable air conditioners, you’ll get the best value for your money, no matter what you choose.

Our guide includes the most common questions and answers people have about these devices so you know how to choose the right one.

Why a Cheap Portable AC Unit is a Good Choice

A portable air conditioner can benefit everyone in their home.

As well as keeping you cool inside, they also reduce your energy costs and help you save money during the summer.

It is expensive to run a central air conditioning unit in your home if you currently have one.

It’s because central air conditioners force you to lower the temperature of the entire house (and can’t target specific rooms) that they are so expensive.

A portable air conditioner is a great way to make sure the room you spend most of your time in is kept at a comfortable temperature.

If you install a cheap air conditioner, you’ll cool down faster and keep certain rooms colder longer without having to worry about your utility bills.

To compare, portable air conditioners use about one-eighth of the electricity a central air conditioner does to cool down your home, as explained in our article on portable air conditioner cost.

It costs about $6-15 per month to run the best small AC unit versus $100-200 for central cooling or even $50 for mini splits.

For a more comprehensive comparison of portable air conditioners and window units, check out our portable air conditioner vs window unit page.

It’s important that you get a portable air conditioner that suits your specific needs and space requirements before going off and buying a cheap one.

Here are a few important factors to consider before making a purchase, so you can make the best choice.

Important Factors to Consider in a Cheap Air Conditioner

You shouldn’t purchase a portable air conditioner only to discover it doesn’t do half of what you expected it to. This can then make you wonder, are portable air conditioners any good?

It is unfortunate that not all inexpensive air conditioners work the same way.

Air conditioners use a variety of methods to cool the surrounding air, and your goal should be to find one that meets your needs.

The following list of things will help you ensure that your new budget air conditioner is something you will enjoy.

Condensation Method

Your air conditioning unit’s ability to handle condensation will have a huge impact on how easy it is to use.

When you’re shopping for a cheap portable air conditioner, you should consider three types of condensate.

In general, the cheaper it is, the more work you’ll have to do to maintain it (except for the products in this guide).

  • You have to empty the inner bucket of drip air conditioners regularly if the bucket doesn’t hold a lot of water.
  • A partial drip air conditioner also has an external hose as well as an internal collection bucket. Several of the condensates drip into the bucket and the rest is filtered out through a window-mounted hose. The bucket needs to be emptied periodically, but not as often as drip-only air conditioners.
  • It’s the most convenient AC model to own, since it releases all its condensates directly into the surrounding air. The condensate is never emptied.

We reviewed affordable portable AC units that use evaporation to remove condensates, allowing them to be easy to maintain and use for extended periods of time.

Portable vs Ventless Design

There are two types of inexpensive portable air conditioners that you can choose from:

  • Portable
  • and Ventless

It is important to know the differences between these two technologies in order to avoid being disappointed with your purchase.

Here are some things you should know…

Portable air conditioners are more restrictive than they appear.

Here are the basics of how portable AC units work:

The hot air is expelled out of a room through a hose during the cooling process.

The “portable” AC design requires it to be placed near a window so the hot air can be released.

Although the unit is technically portable, its length and inclusion of a hose limit where it can be used. Portable air conditioners can be vented in a number of ways that do not require access to windows, such as up a chimney, through a drop-ceiling, or out a doorway.

The placement of a ventless AC unit is not restricted and it doesn’t require a hose.

A ventless portable air conditioner works as follows:

A fan cools air through evaporation, which is like a fan but much stronger and colder.

A water tank cools the hot air as it passes through the unit.

A fan then pumps the cold air into the room.

As a result of this design, “ventless” air conditioners are fully mobile and much more portable than “portable air conditioners.”

Ventless air conditioners have no window restrictions, and can be installed anywhere in a room.

So, Should You Get a Ventless Air Conditioner? Maybe Not…

You may be thinking, “Why would I choose a portable unit over a ventless air conditioner?”

You should consider the humidity level in your area when choosing an AC.

The best portable air conditioner for humid climates is one that pulls moisture out of the air and cools it.

It is best to use a ventless unit in dry environments, since evaporation adds cold water vapor back into the atmosphere.

It’s possible to end up with a room that feels hotter if you purchase the wrong type of air conditioning for where you live.

Inside your home, you should aim for a relative humidity of 50-60%.

A portable AC is a good option if it’s usually higher than that. A ventless AC is a good choice if it’s normally lower.

In the United States, you can use the map below to quickly determine which budget air conditioner type is best for you.

Comparing Cheap Portable AC Units vs Ventless AC Units

The chart below helps you spot the differences between the two versions of air conditioners we discussed above.

BTU and CFM Explained

When looking for the best cheap portable air conditioner, you’ll notice its power output will be described by an acronym and number.

You can expect to see things like 8,000 BTUs and 470 CFMs.

For portable air conditioner models, manufacturers use the term “BTUs”, while ventless AC units use the term “CFMs”.

It is important to remember that portable air conditioners can cool more space if they have a higher BTU or CFM rating.

The BTU stands for British Thermal Units, which indicate the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. This measurement applies to air conditioners, which remove heat from rooms.

A CFM measure measures the amount of air moved by the air conditioner’s fan in cubic feet per minute.

In addition to these technical numbers for BTU and CFM, some manufacturers now list the maximum square footage the unit can effectively cool.

Our product reviews above include the square footage rating so you don’t have to look for it.

ASHRAE is an industry association that tests the efficiency of air conditioners and helps to determine BTU ratings.

A SACC (Seasonally Adjusted Cooling Capacity) rating is also calculated for AC units by the Department of Energy (DOE). The SACC represents the weighted average performance of a portable air conditioner in a number of test conditions and is then adjusted to take into account the effect of infiltration air and duct heat transfer. In addition to air conditioning, humidity is also important.

As a result, the DOE SACC BTU rating is usually about 50% below the ASHRAE BTU rating. For instance, the DOE SACC rating is 5,000 BTU and the ASHRAE rating is 10,000 BTU.


Between $150 and $300 is the price range for cheap portable AC units.

The final cost of a unit is determined by a variety of factors, but power is one of the most important.

If you’re looking to cool a larger room, you’ll have to pay more for a portable AC unit than one that’s designed for a small area.

A cheaper product will not cool a large area, but will be more cost-effective and concentrated.

Therefore, if the lowest price is your top priority, you shouldn’t expect it to cool down a large basement or entire first floor.

As a result, we let you know what your budget allows so you can set realistic expectations.

The best stand up air conditioner units for every room size are reviewed in our review.

You can also do a lot of portable AC repairs yourself as long as you are willing to do some troubleshooting if you own these types of air conditioners.

You shouldn’t encounter very many problems as long as you maintain your portable AC properly.

Features to Look For in a Cheap Portable Air Conditioner

The following are a few key features you should look for when choosing an affordable portable air conditioner after you understand the basic factors you should consider.

Automatic Drainage System

  • A cheap portable air conditioner with an automatic drainage system is a great thing to have because it turns all condensation liquid into exhaust. If you do not want to empty a bucket of collected water or it overflows, then you should not worry. These products are usually low maintenance and mess-free because they have automatic drainage systems or use evaporation.


  • The built-in humidifier of your air conditioner can help you control humidity levels in your home. This feature may not seem necessary year-round, but it can prove useful during the cooler months. As humid air retains more heat than dry air, a humidifier can help keep a room warm during the winter months.

Programmable Thermostat

  • It is essential to have a programmable thermostat if you wish to set your AC to turn on and off when the room reaches a particular temperature. A programmable thermostat ensures that you’re always cool and comfortable. Some cheaper portable air conditioners cut costs by not including this function, so you’ll have to adjust your AC unit manually throughout the day.


  • It is also a great idea to look for a cheap portable AC unit that has a remote. With the remote, you can adjust the temperature and turn it on and off without getting up.

Common Questions About Cheap Portable AC Units

Is it cheaper to run a portable air conditioner?

The cost of running a portable air conditioner is lower than that of running a central air conditioner.

Spot cooling with portable air conditioners can be more effective than air conditioning the entire house.

In this way, you can keep your central system from running too often while maintaining a comfortable indoor climate.

Can you run a portable AC unit all day?

It is possible to run a portable air conditioner all day long, but you may not want to do that.

Your electric bill will increase if you use your portable AC unit all day.

It’s best to use this air conditioner only when you’re in the room.

The unit should be turned off if you are leaving for an extended period of time.

Do you have to empty water from a portable air conditioner?

It is usually not necessary to empty the water from your portable air conditioner.

Condensation exhaust systems are used in most portable air conditioners to exhaust water vapor collected during dehumidification and cooling.

In some cases, a water tank may need to be emptied if the humidity is too high for evaporation or if a drain line has to be routed to a floor drain to prevent standing water.

Does a portable AC unit use a lot of electricity?

A portable air conditioner uses about one-eighth as much electricity as a central air conditioner.

As a result, they are much cheaper to run.

Keep in mind that bigger air conditioners use more electricity to operate. Cheap AC units, on the other hand, use the least amount of power.


The following guide will help you purchase the best cheap portable air conditioner.

This article was intended to provide you with all the information you need to make the right decision when choosing a cheap AC unit for your home, apartment or office.

This list should help you find the best cheapest portable air conditioner for your needs and enjoy the cold air it produces for years to come.

In this article, you learned you don’t have to spend much money on a budget air conditioner to get relief from the heat.

Especially if you’re just cooling a small space.

Affordable air conditioners do exist!

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