The 5 Best Portable Air Conditioners in Canada in 2024

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Portable air conditioners are an increasingly popular choice for people who don’t want to go through the trouble of installing a window AC. Portable ACs are much more convenient to install, look much better in your home, and work almost just as well as their window-mounted counterparts. 

The caveat is that portable ACs can vary significantly in price and quality. For that reason, it’s important to understand a few key specs in order to make sure the unit is compatible with your space. There are also some features that can make a portable AC more pleasant to spend the summer with. 

Keep reading to learn more about portable air conditioners and what to look for when choosing one. We’ll also highlight the best portable AC in Canada in 2024.

Our Top Picks:

We’ve analyzed dozens of portable air conditioners to provide you with a list of the best-performing models.

Here are our reviews of the best portable air conditioners in Canada in 2024:

Midea Duo Portable Air Conditioner

With its dual-hose system and powerful inverter compressor, the Midea Duo is one of the most efficient and effective portable ACs you can buy. It also operates quieter than most portable ACs, with a noise level of just 49.5 dB. The AC offers excellent cooling performance for rooms up to 450 square feet. It cools using less energy and making less noise than similar models. 

You might be wondering what an inverter compressor means for this AC. Basically, instead of operating at the highest speed, the Midea’s inverter compressor operates continuously at a variable speed. This allows the AC to adapt to a wider range of temperatures and humidity levels. 

As a smart portable AC, the Midea Duo can be controlled using a remote control or a mobile app. It can also be controlled by voice commands via Google Assistant or Alexa. 

Why we like it

  • Quietest portable AC
  • Highly efficient with two hoses 
  • Energy efficient with a SEER rating of 12.3 

What can be improved

  • Must be installed directly in front of window 

Eco-Air Smart Portable Air Conditioner

The Eco-Air Smart Portable AC is one of our favourite portable ACs due to its versatility. It can be used as an air conditioner, a 3-speed fan, and a dehumidifier. With a 14,000 BTU rating, the AC can efficiently cool large spaces up to 700 square feet. As a smart portable AC, it can also be controlled via a mobile app or voice commands through Alexa or Google Assistant.

The Eco-Air has a few unique features worth noting, including a FollowMe function that controls the temperature based on your distance from the unit. It also features sleep mode (“SleepWell”) which lets you program overnight preferences. 

Overall, if you’re looking for a multifunctional portable AC, the Eco-Air is worth considering. 

Why we like it

  • Can be controlled via a mobile app 
  • Convenient FollowMe and ECO function 

What can be improved

  • Noisier than other models 

SereneLife SLPAC8 Portable Air Conditioner

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly portable air conditioner for small rooms, the SereneLife SLPAC8 is for you. Costing just $399, it has most of the features of higher-end air conditioners, but at a fraction of the cost. Although marketed as an air conditioner, it can also be used as a dehumidifier or a fan, which comes in handy for humid Canadian summers.

In terms of cooling performance, the SereneLife does an excellent job of cooling rooms up to 215 square feet with its 8,000 BTU cooling power. If you have a larger space to cool, SereneLife also offers a 10,000 BTU 12,000 BTU version of the same model. When used as a dehumidifier, the unit removes 1.2 L of moisture per hour.

In terms of portability, the SereneLife AC is easy to move around thanks to its built-in wheels. It’s also very lightweight at just 53 lbs.

Overall, the SereneLife SLPAC8 is one of the best budget portable air conditioners for small spaces on the market in Canada. The only sacrifice you’ll have to make is noise-level. With a noise level of between 55 and 57 dB, it’s louder than the other portable ACs on this list.

Why we like it

  • Excellent value
  • Lightweight and highly portable

What can be improved

  • Noisier than other models 

De’Longhi EX390LVYN Portable Air Conditioner

If you’re looking for a portable AC for efficiently cooling large rooms, the De’Longhi is an excellent choice. With a BTU rating of 14,000, the AC can cool rooms up to 700 square feet. It also functions as a dehumidifier and a fan.  With a noise level of 52 dB, it’s also quieter than most portable ACs. 

The feature we appreciate the most about the EX390LVYN is its Cool Surround feature. Smart Cool uses an external temperature and humidity sensor to make sure you’re kept cool, no matter where you are in the room. This is not only convenient, but it helps save up to 30% in energy consumption. 

The main downside of the De’Longhi EX390LVYN  is its weight. It weighs about 83 lbs. However, it arrives with preassembled wheels, so you won’t even have to worry about installing them. 

Why we like it

  • External temperature and humidity sensors 
  • Excellent at cooling large rooms
  • Wider range of features than most portable ACs

What can be improved

  • Quite heavy, weighing over 83 lbs

Whynter ARC-14S Portable Air Conditioner

The Whynter ARC-14S is another excellent dual-hose portable AC. With a BTU rating of 14,000 and a SEER rating of just 7.68, it’s powerful and efficient at cooling rooms up to 500 square feet. Similar to most models on this list, it can be used as an air conditioner, 3-speed fan, or dehumidifier. Its dehumidifier has a capacity of 40 litres per day.

The ARC-14S is easy to control with an LED digital display or remote control. Its temperature ranges from 61 °F to 89 °F. It also has a 24-hour timer that can be programmed up to 24 hours in advance. In terms of noise level, the Whynter has a noise level of 56 dB, which is average. 

One of the biggest advantages of this model is its auto-draining system. Instead of collecting water inside the unit, the moisture gets reused for cooling the air. This means you don’t want to worry about emptying a water tank or any leaks. 

The main downside of the ARC-14S is its size. It’s quite tall (35.5 inches) and weighs around 80 lbs. It does have wheels to help, but if your floors are carpeted, keep this weight in mind.

Why we like it

  • Very energy-efficient with a SEER rating of 7.68
  • Convenient auto-draining system 
  • Easy to control using a remote

What can be improved

  • Quite heavy, weighing 80 lbs
  • Pricier than other models

The Benefits of Portable Air Conditioners

Portable air conditioners are a convenient choice for cooling small to medium-sized rooms. Here’s why:

Easy to install/uninstall 

The main benefit of opting for a portable AC is that they’re quick and easy to install. They’ll come with a window adapter kit and any screws needed to install it in your window. The installation process normally takes about 15 minutes, which is significantly less than the several hours required to install a window AC unit

Modern & Less bulky 

Since they’re designed for inside the home, portable air conditions tend to be more minimal and aesthetically appealing. They come in many shapes, sizes, and colours, so you can pick the right model for your needs. 

Another perk is that portable ACs barely take up any window space. This means you can still capture some sunshine in your home. Your plants will thank you!

Bypass Municipal Bylaws or Condo Regulations 

Whether it’s a municipal bylaw, lease agreement term, or homeowner association regulation, window-mounted ACs are sometimes prohibited in Canada. For example, window ACs are banned from certain buildings in Toronto

Since they’re not sitting outside the window, portable air conditioners pose no threat to by-walkers and don’t hinder the physical appearance of a condo.

Easy to Move Around

Portable air conditioners are designed to be easy to move around, as opposed to fixed in a window. They’re almost always mounted on wheels, so regardless of the unit’s weight, moving your AC from room to room shouldn’t be a difficult task.

In order to relocate your portable AC to a new room, you’ll simply need to uninstall its window adapter kit and reinstall it in a new window. 

How to Choose The Best Portable Air Conditioner

Here are a few factors to consider when choosing a portable air conditioner for your home. 

Size & Capacity

The capacity of a portable air conditioner is rated in terms of British thermal units (BTUs). Portable ACs with higher BTU ratings are ideal for cooling larger rooms, while models with lower BTU ratings are ideal for cooling small rooms. 

To avoid wasting electricity (and money), it’s important to choose a portable AC that’s designed for the size of your space.

Here is an idea of how many BTUs will be necessary to cover different room sizes, with standard 8 ft. ceilings. 

  •  8,000 BTUs for a 200 sq. ft. space
  • 10,000 BTUs for a 300 sq. ft. space
  • 12,000 BTUs for a 400 sq. ft. space
  • 14,000 BTUs for a 500 sq. ft. space

Keep in mind that if your home has tall ceilings, you’ll need an AC with an even higher BTU rating. 

Noise Level

Similar to a window AC, portable ACs are known for being noisy. While noise is impossible to completely avoid, there are some models that are quieter. When shopping around for a portable AC, we recommend comparing the decibel levels (dB) generated by different models.

A lower dB level indicates that the AC produces less noise. To avoid purchasing a loud portable AC, opt for a model with a dB level below 50 on its highest setting.

Energy Efficiency

For the sake of the environment and your energy bill, efficiency is an important spec to look into. The best way to figure out the energy efficiency of a portable AC is to look at its Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). The EER rating basically tells you how many BTUs are used for every watt of power. 

A portable AC with a higher EER rating means that the unit will provide more cooling for every watt of power used, making it more efficient. 

Smart or Not

There are some benefits to opting for a smart portable AC, but not everyone needs these  additional features. For example, a smart portable AC can be controlled remotely using a mobile app, while a standard portable AC can only be controlled inside your home by a remote. Some Smart ACs can even be controlled by voice commands using Alexa or Google Assistant. 

In addition to a wider range of control options, the mobile apps of smart ACs can provide you with useful insight into your portable AC. For example, it might notify you when your filter is ready to be replaced.  

Number of Hoses

Most portable ACs on the market have a single hose. If you want a more powerful portable AC, opt for a model with two hoses.  

Dualhose portable ACs are generally more energy efficient and quicker at cooling spaces than their single-hose counterparts.

Useful Features

While some people prefer a simple portable AC with temperature control, others may prefer a feature-rich AC. Here are some features that can come in handy:

  • Dehumidifier Mode: Many portable air conditioners double as dehumidifiers. This is quite handy for people living in humid parts of Canada. 
  • Sleep/Night Mode: Sleep mode is a useful feature for ACs that are located in bedrooms. Sleep mode typically allows you to schedule a time to cool your room, rather than running the unit all night. The AC will also normally operate more quietly when in Sleep mode. 
  • Fan Speeds: In addition to the temperature in your space, you want to be able to control the intensity of the fan. Most portable ACs will have three fan speeds to choose from, but some are even more customizable. 
  • Control Options: While all portable ACs will have some kind of control panel, not all will come with a remote control. Remote controls are convenient since you can control your AC without having to get up (or get out of bed).
  • Timer Options: Many portable air conditioners will have a 24-hour timer that allows you to program an auto-start and end time. This is useful if you want to start running your AC automatically an hour before waking up in the morning. 
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