Interested in purchasing a portable stand up air conditioner?
Let us help you find the right one.
A portable standup AC is the best solution for anyone who cannot or does not want to install a conventional window AC.
They are also a suitable option for people who want targeted cooling in areas a central cooling system cannot reach.
However, the term portable is deceptive because despite being portable, some stand up air conditioners weigh more than 80 pounds.
In addition, most require a ventilation set up, which makes it difficult to move once installed.
Despite these shortcomings, standup AC units have fast become popular both for their convenience and energy-efficient performance.
Check out our top picks for the best stand up air conditioner below.
What's in This Guide
In this guide we review the 8 best portable stand up air conditioners for 2022 that can be used for living and professional spaces.
We recommend and review specific models for the most common needs and follow it with a brief buying guide that addresses the factors to consider when buying one.
Best Stand-Up Portable Air Conditioners
- 1Best Overall: Whynter ARC-14S
- 2Runner-Up: DELLA Portable Air Conditioner
- 3Quietest Unit: Whynter Elite ARC-122DHP
- 4Most Energy Efficient: Ivation Portable Air Conditioner
- 5Best For Your Bedroom: hOmeLabs Portable Air Conditioner
- 6Best AC + Heater Combo: Ukoke USPC01W Portable Air Conditioner
- 7Best Budget Pick: Airo Comfort Portable Air Conditioner
- 8Best Wi-Fi Stand Up AC: Frigidaire Cool Connect Smart Portable Air Conditioner
16 x 19 x 35.5 inches
Up to 500 square feet
DELLA Portable Air Conditioner
19 x 16 x 28 inches
Up to 550 square feet
Whynter Elite ARC-122DHP
16 x 17 x 29.5 inches
Up to 400 square feet
Ivation Portable Air Conditioner
20.51 x 14.17 x 28.74 inches
350 square feet
hOmeLabs Portable Air Conditioner
Best For Your Bedroom
17.9 x 15 x 30.7 inches
450 square feet
Ukoke USPC01W Portable Air Conditioner
Best AC + Heater Combo
16.7 x 31.6 x 15.8 inches
400 square feet
Airo Comfort Portable Air Conditioner
Best Budget Pick
16.18 x 13.03 x 27.17 inches
200 square feet
Frigidaire Cool Connect Smart Portable Air Conditioner
Best Wi-Fi Stand Up AC
12.63 x 12.63 x 36.81 inches
550 square feet
1. Best Overall: Whynter ARC-14S
The Whynter ARC-14S is the best stand up air conditioner for solid cooling and air cleaning performance.
The device boasts a dual hose design for efficient performance. Plus, it has a high cooling output that is suitable for areas up to 500 square feet.
Dual hose design
A portable air conditioner with a single hose design creates slight negative pressure inside the room, allowing outside air to seep through cracks and holes.
The Whynter ARC-14S overcomes this problem with its dual hose design. The first hose brings fresh air from outside while the second one expels heat and moisture to keep up the efficient performance.
Dual air filtration
Another great feature of this device is its dual air filtration system. It features a washable pre-filter and an activated carbon filter for removing both solid and gaseous airborne particles.
The air blowing out of its vents is both clean and cool.
Limitations and Issues
The Whynter ARC-14S has a noisy operation, when it starts, which can be a disadvantage for some.
Plus, at 73 pounds, it is one of the heavier units on the market. So, keep that in mind.
2. Runner-Up: DELLA Portable Air Conditioner
The DELLA Portable Air Conditioner is a compact yet extremely powerful portable air conditioning unit.
Its 10,000 BTU output can cover areas as big as 550 square feet. Plus, the self-evaporation feature makes it very convenient to operate.
Self Evaporation Technology
DELLA Portable Air Conditioner is the best stand up air conditioner for its self evaporating capacity.
Instead of collecting the condensate inside a bucket, this unit evaporates it and uses the moisture to cool itself.
It then expels it out through the exhaust hose. This means that you don't have to handle the draining job manually.
Handy Remote Control
Although the unit has a user-friendly control panel across the top; this DELLA unit comes with a feature-rich remote control that enables you to control it from a distance.
It has a digital display for temperature readout and responsive buttons for customizing its settings.
Limitations and Issues
The DELLA Portable Air Conditioner has a single hose design which can create a slight negative pressure inside the room as warm air is sucked inside with the doors closed.
3. Quietest Unit: Whynter Elite ARC-122DHP
The uber-quiet Whynter Elite ARC-122DHP is the best stand up AC for people who can’t stand noise.
It can generate both heating and cooling for year-round performance. It has an activated carbon filter and an auto pump to expel extracted condensate.
The thing that makes this Whynter unit the best stand up air conditioner is its dual function.
The AC can produce both warm and cold air that will keep you comfortable all year round. It can also work in dehumidifier and circulation modes for convenient operation.
This unit is one of the quietest units out there. Even at its highest speed, it emits up to 52 decibels of noise which is not very irritating.
And when you run it at lower speeds, you won't notice the sound at all, making it highly suitable for bedroom usage.
Limitations and Issues
This stand-up unit's biggest limitation is its hoses. They are somewhat rigid and difficult to connect with the window kit.
4. Most Energy Efficient: Ivation Portable Air Conditioner
This Ivation Portable Air Conditioner is a smart and extremely energy-efficient standup AC model.
This Wi-Fi-enabled unit uses intelligent operating modes to lower energy bills while keeping you cool.
The Ivation Portable Air Conditioner is the best stand up air conditioner for its Wi-Fi connectivity.
The unit has a built-in Wi-Fi module that enables you to connect it with your smartphone. You can use the compatible My Ivation app to control its operation remotely.
The lightweight unit is one of the most highly portable stand up air conditioning units.
It weighs 58.4 pounds and is equipped with omni-directional wheels for easy mobility. Plus, it also incorporates a rear cord storage hook for added portability.
Limitations and Issues
Some users with sensitive ears have complained about this unit being a bit noisy.
Also, the instruction manual isn’t the most helpful, especially when it comes to trying to establish a WiFi connection.
5. Best For Your Bedroom: hOmeLabs Portable Air Conditioner
The hOmeLabs Portable Air Conditioner is the best bedroom air conditioner on our list because of its quiet operation and useful features. Even at its highest speed, the unit emits just 53 decibels of noise.
BTUs and Coverage Area
The hOmeLabs Portable Air Conditioner made it to our list for its quiet operation and powerful cooling output.
It generates about 12,000 BTUs per hour, which is enough to cool down any 450 square feet area effectively. It has a top vent design with adjustable louvers for equal air distribution.
Multiple operation modes
This unit boasts 3-in-1 functionality working as an AC, dehumidifier, or fan. On AC mode, it cools your room; and on dry mode, it extracts the moisture from the air to make it dry.
And in fan mode, it circulates the air without cooling it down. It also has an energy-efficient sleep mode on which it automatically adjusts the fan speed for quiet yet effective cooling operation.
Limitations and Issues
The biggest shortcoming of this device is its weight. At 82.7 pounds, it is one of the heaviest portable air conditioners on this list.
6. Best AC + Heater Combo: Ukoke USPC01W Portable Air Conditioner
Need to heat and cool your room? The Ukoke USPC01W Portable Air Conditioner is a sleek and stylish option for your bedroom. It can cover areas as big as 400 square feet with its 12,000 BTU output.
The Ukoke USPC01W Portable Air Conditioner is the best stand up air conditioner for its year-round operation.
It is an air conditioner that doubles up as a heat pump to produce heating. You can use it in both summers and winters.
Variable Fan Speed
The unit can produce cooling at three different levels. You can adjust the fan speed between high, medium, and low.
When you want instant cooling, set it on high, and when the room is cool enough, you can lower the speed to medium or low.
Limitations and Issues
A very noticeable inconvenience of the Ukoke USPC01W Portable Air Conditioner is the missing weather stripping. Without it, there is no way to airtight the window kit.
7. Best Budget Pick: Airo Comfort Portable Air Conditioner
The Airo Comfort Portable Air conditioner is an affordable and stylish model that has a sleek and portable design that looks great inside any decor.
The powerful cooling can cover smaller rooms up to 200 square feet.
This is the best stand up air conditioner for its affordability, compactness, and ease of maintenance.
It features a bucket-less design but comes with a drain hose for continuous drainage. The filter is also removable and washable, so there is very little you have to do for its maintenance.
The controls on this unit are pretty user-friendly. It has an LCD control panel complete with a digital display along the top.
It has power, temperature adjustment, timer, mode, and fan speed keys. The included remote control also has a digital readout and buttons for different settings.
Limitations and Issues
A shortcoming of this device is a flaw in its hose design. The exhaust hose efficiently pushes the hot air outside, but the hose itself becomes pretty hot.
8. Best Wi-Fi Stand Up AC: Frigidaire Cool Connect Smart Portable Air Conditioner
The Frigidaire Cool Connect Smart Portable Air Conditioner is the best stand up air conditioner for people who love maximum control over their appliances due its stylish design and Wi-Fi connectivity.
It features a cylindrical design that is not just aesthetically appealing but also quite efficient in its performance.
This Frigidaire unit is the best standup air conditioner for its sleek design and smart features.
The unit is Wi-Fi enabled allowing you to synchronize it with your smartphone. You can use the compatible Frigidaire App to adjust its settings remotely.
This unit features Frigidaire's take on the portable AC. It boasts a sleek cylindrical design with LED lighting, a modern mesh grill, and a sleek new shape.
Frigidaire Cool Connect is elegant enough to blend with any decor without looking out of place. Plus, the top vent makes for even cool air distribution.
Limitations and Issues
While we are in love with its design, the one thing we noticed is the hose design. The end is a bit big and bulky, whereas the vent is small, making it difficult to connect them together.
Buying Guide: Stand-Up Portable ACs
What is a Stand Up Portable Air Conditioner?
A stand up portable air conditioner is a type of air cooling device that you can move from one place to another.
Where the traditional window ACs or the mini-split require permanent installation, the standup variations come as standalone units with an exhaust hose that you can mount over a window or a sliding door.
This setup being semi-permanent, allows you to uninstall it from one room and reinstall it in the second one.
In fact, you can use this AC all over your house, taking it with you in whichever room you are in.
Most of these units are compact in size, lightweight, and have casters and handles for easy mobility.
They also come complete with the window ventilation kit that makes their installation a breeze.
Installing a Standup Portable AC Unit
Like any other air conditioning model, portable air conditioners also suck in the warm, humid air from the room, cool and dehumidify it before blowing it back out. The heat they extract is expelled via the exhaust hose.
In contrast, the extracted moisture is either evaporated to keep the system cool or is collected inside the condensate bucket that you need to empty once full.
Installing one of these is a fairly simple task. Here's what you have to do:
Choose a suitable Location
Your standup AC will need both an electrical outlet and a window to operate. So use a window with an outlet nearby.
Setting up the window installation kit
The next thing you have to do is set up the window installation kit. Now, most portable ACs include their window mounting kit inside the box. For some that don't, you'll need to purchase one separately.
First, take the sealing plate out and adjust its length according to the width of your window.
Slide the window open and place the plate along with the windowpane. Now take the bolts or screws to fix them to the desired length.
Setting up the exhaust hose
Depending upon its type, your portable AC may come with one or two exhaust hoses. The exhaust hose is extendable and flexible for simple installation regardless of the quantity.
All you have to do is attach one of its ends to the dedicated outlet on the back of the device. The other end will attach to the flat pipe nozzle included in the package.
Installing the exhaust pipe
Once the exhaust pipe is ready, you have to connect it to the window sealing plate. Make sure it is a snug fit. Otherwise, the hose will come loose.
Power up the AC
The last step is to plug in the power cord and switch the AC on.
Stand Up Portable AC Maintenance
A standup portable air conditioner is a self-contained device that maintains a comfortable indoor environment. They are a preferred choice both for their movability and low maintenance.
Here are some easy steps that summarize the maintenance protocol of a stand up portable AC:
Almost every portable air conditioner needs to vent the condensed hot air for proper operation.
They exhaust it out with the accompanying venting kit. A hose connects the unit to the window kit to expel the heat and moisture out of the room.
The most important step of portable AC maintenance is to ensure the unit is properly expelling the hot condensed air.
If venting it through a window is not possible, you should be connected to a sliding door, drop ceiling, or even through a wall for optimal performance.
Most portable ACs double up as dehumidifiers. Even in cooling mode, it condenses the airborne moisture to make the air dry and easier to breathe in.
This condensate is either collected in a bucket inside the unit, which you have to empty every time it is full.
Some units also have draining outlets that can connect with a hose to expel the water.
While others incorporate self-evaporating technology that enables them to evaporate the water and use it to cool the system down.
Regardless of the draining method, you should ensure that the unit drains the water properly.
Clean the filter
Most portable air conditioners are equipped with air filters designed to prevent various airborne particles from finding their way inside the system. These filters can be permanent or replaceable.
If yours is permanent, be sure to check its condition every few weeks. When it appears full, carefully remove the filter from the device and wash it under a running stream of water. After washing, dry it and reinsert.
And if the filter is replaceable, take the clogged one out of the machine and put it in the new filter.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Portable Air Conditioner?
A portable air conditioner is a self-contained device designed to cool the indoor atmosphere.
They come with a window exhaust kit that you can install on a window to ventilate the unit. Most of these units are highly portable, with wheels and handles for easy transportation.
Is portable AC worth buying?
Yes. They are suitable for people who cannot or don't want to install a traditional window or split AC model.
Do all freestanding portable air conditioners have to be vented out a window?
No, not all freestanding portable air conditioners have to be vented out a window. You can adjust the window kit to fit a sliding door or hook up the hose directly to a wall or ceiling.
How many BTU do I need for a 12x12 room?
A 12x12 room measures about 144 square feet in area. According to the EPA, you will need a 5,000 BTU air conditioner to cool such a room.
How long does portable AC last?
A portable AC can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years. Its longevity depends upon how well it is constructed and how carefully you maintain it.
Do portable AC units use a lot of electricity?
Most portable AC units use about a fraction of the total energy consumed by a central air conditioning system.
Most mid-sized air conditioners use about 2,800 watts of energy, while the larger ones can consume as much as 4,100 watts per hour.
What are the major disadvantages of a stand-alone air conditioning unit?
Despite having many apparent advantages, a stand-alone air conditioner is not free of disadvantages.
Some of the most widely reported flaws of a portable air conditioner include high noise output, limited cooling capacity, regular water draining, and higher weight.
How Do Portable Air Conditioners Work?
A portable air conditioner works in the same way as a refrigerator. It pulls in the hot air from the room, passes it over the cooling coils to remove heat and moisture.
The cold air is then circulated back into the room while the heat is pushed outside through the exhaust hose.
How Many BTUs Do You Need to Cool a Room?
It depends upon the size of the room. If your room measures 150 square feet, you'll need a 5,000 BTU air conditioner.
If it is 300 square feet in size, look into getting a 10,000 BTU unit. While a 15,000 BTU unit will cool areas as big as 700 square feet.
What's Better Window or Portable AC?
That depends upon your unique circumstances. A window air conditioner may be more affordable and efficient. If you have non-standard windows, a portable AC would be a better choice.
Can You Use a Portable Air Conditioner in a Room with No Windows?
Yes, you can use a portable air conditioner in a room with no windows. Even if it does not have any windows, you can use the doors to vent your air conditioner. It is also possible to vent it through the wall or a drop ceiling.
Final Verdict: What is the Best Stand-Up Portable Air Conditioner?
After careful research and assessment, we believe the Whynter ARC-14S is the best stand up air conditioner for most people. It features a dual-hose design with an activated carbon filter for cooler and better-quality air.
The Ukoke USPC01W Smart WiFi Portable Air Conditioner is your best bet if you want heating, too. It can cool your home during summers and heat it during winters. Plus, it has an auto pump to expel the water outside automatically.
Finally, if technology is your bag, then consider the Frigidaire Cool Connect Smart Portable Air Conditioner. It is a Wi-Fi-enabled device that you can integrate into your smart home system for convenient and hassle-free operation.
Happy AC shopping!