An air conditioner is an important house appliance, especially during those intolerably hot summer months. Although the central heating system might work in regulating the temperatures in your house, sometimes you want an air conditioner that you can move around with. Luckily for you, there are several portable air conditioners on the market. More good news is that you do not have to break the bank to acquire one of these very useful appliances. With less than $200, you can get a cheap portable air conditioner, which will do an excellent job of keeping you and your loved ones cool during those hot summer days. However, with so many choices in the market, you might be wondering which is the best cheap portable air conditioner under $200?
In this in-depth review, we shall highlight the:
- Benefits of Portable Air Conditioners
- Review the Cheap Portable Air Conditioner Under $200
- Highlight the Key Considerations Before Buying Portable Air Conditioner
- Finally, we shall answer some frequently asked questions about Cheap Portable Air Conditioner Under $200
Therefore, strap in and enjoy the ride.
Benefits of Portable Air Conditioners
- Price: One of the greatest benefits of a portable air conditioner is the price. Due to their portable nature, most conditioners in this category are pretty affordable. They are cheaper than window air conditioners. It is important to note that some high-end portable air conditioners might be more expensive than some low-end window air conditioners. Generally, though, portable air conditioners are cheaper.
- Ease of Installation: Another great advantage of portable air conditioners is that they do not require any installation. This means that you can get your unit and start enjoying your air-conditioned environment as fast as possible. You do not need to involve the services of a professional to get the machine going; all you need to do is switch on the machine, and voila, the machine starts working. As good as that sounds, you however need to find an exhaust that exits to direct the hot air out of the room.
- Portability: Another great advantage of a portable air conditioner is, well, its portability. Most of these units come with wheels, which makes it extremely easy to move with the air conditioner from one room to the other. Additionally, most of them are lightweight and therefore easy to carry from one location to the other. The portability makes the units very convenient too.
- Energy Efficient: Energy efficiency is also another strong point for portable air conditioners. In comparison to a central heating system, the portable units consume way much less power. Additionally, with the portable air conditioner, you can cool a specific room instead of the whole house, this makes the units versatile.
- Additional Features: Another great advantage of PACs is that they have additional features. One of the cool additional features of these portable units is the dehumidifier. A dehumidifier sucks out excess humidity from the room making the environment more comfortable. Some PACs have a dehumidifier only feature which means that you can dehumidify the room without necessarily cooling it. Some also have air filters that ensure that the air in the room is as clean as possible. Also, some serve as dehumidifiers, heaters, fans, air cleaners and air conditioners all in one!
10 Best Cheap Portable Air Conditioner Under $200
1.SPT SF-612R: Evaporative Air Cooler with 3D Cooling Pad
The very first cheap portable air conditioner under $200 on our review is the SF- 612R evaporative cooler. The air conditioner is not only lightweight but also very economical as well as versatile. In order to distribute the cool air evenly, the evaporator has oscillating louvers. Additionally, you can set the louvers on or off depending on the intensity of the heat.
The SF-612 evaporative cooler cooling sucks in the hot air and releases cold air through a process called an endothermic reaction. To ensure that the unit performs its function to the maximum, it features a technology known as a 3-D Honeycomb Cooling Pad. It also comes with remote control.
The portable air conditioner is made from very durable material to make sure that it is long-lasting and you will not go back to the shops any time soon. Its internal parts are also made with antiriot technology which prevents the growth of bacterial or algae.
- It has a remote control for easier operation
- Having a LED display control system
- It is very energy efficient
- Lightweight therefore easily portable
- Uses oscillation louvers to cool the air
- It leaks at times
2. COSTWAY Evaporative Cooler, Portable Cooler with Fan & Humidifier
The second unit on our review is the COSTWAY Evaporative Cooler. COSWAY is a company that has been in the industry for a very long time and as such, has made a name for manufacturing high-quality products. This unit from the company confirms the notion.
The unit comes with a three-speed evaporative setting. You can either set the air conditioner at low, medium, and high speeds. The speeds help the unit to cool the air in the room accordingly. If the temperatures are very high, you should set the unit at high speeds, if the temperatures are medium, set the machine at medium speeds. When it is not very hot, you can set the unit to low speeds.
To ensure that you are as comfortable as possible, the air conditioner also has a humidifier that regulates the humidity of the rooms. To ensure that the air is cooled evenly, the air conditioner blades swing automatically. The swinging motion of the blades makes sure that the cool air is distributed evenly in the room.
The air conditioner is also very economical in terms of electricity consumption. To ensure that you save on power costs as much as possible, the unit has a timer. You can set the timer to stop 8 hours after you switch the machine on. It is also easily portable thanks to its wheels.
- It has three adjustable speeds
- Also acts as a dehumidifier
- Its blades swing
- The unit has a timing function
- Has a 6L capacity water tank
- The instruction on how to use the unit are not clear
3. Evapolar EvaSMART Personal Evaporative Air Cooler, Purifier and Humidifier
The third cheap portable air conditioner under $200 on our list is the Evapolar Eva SMART Personal Evaporative Air Cooler. One of the very first things which strike you with the unit is its unique design. The design is bound to add or complement the décor of any room that you place the portable air conditioner.
Apart from its aesthetic appeal, the air conditioner is also very versatile since it is a smart device that you can control with an app that you install into your phone. The device is an air conditioner and also a cooler all in one. As such, it cools the temperature and as well as purifies the air in the room.
The air conditioner is also very portable since it is extremely lightweight. It also does a surprisingly good job for its compact size.
- It is very compact therefore does not occupy much space
- Very versatile as it is a cooler and an air purifier
- It is very aesthetically appealing
- It’s Smart which means you can control it with your phone
- The effectiveness of its cooling ability is dependent on the humidity in the air.
4. FCSFSF Portable Evaporative Cooler, Air Conditioner Fan with Remote
The FCSFSF Portable Evaporative Cooler, Air Conditioner is a unit that cannot miss in our review for a number of reasons. To start, the unit uses the Adopt Ice Crystal Refrigeration technology to cool the air. The technology makes the air conditioner very effective in lowering relatively high temperatures in a short period of time.
To make sure that you remain cool, the air conditioner has a 4L capacity tank which means that it can keep on spraying cold air for several hours without the need to refill the tank. For better results, you can instead put an icebox in the water tank.
As effective as it is, the FCSFSF Portable Evaporative Cooler, Air Conditioner is also easily portable thanks to its four wheels. This means that you can easily move it from one room to the other without much fuss. Additionally, the air conditioner is also a humidifier and an air cleaner. It also has 3 adjustable speeds, which means that it will serve you well even when the temperatures are high.
- Has three adjustable speeds
- It is easily portable
- Having a timer which means it will save you on energy costs
- Has a 4L capacity water tank
- Has 3 adjustable speeds
- Comes with a remote control
- The design makes it difficult to place on a table or desk
5. Evapolar Personal Evaporative Air Cooler and Humidifier / Portable Air Conditioner, White
Just like the Evapolar EvaSMART, the Evapolar Personal Evaporative is also very versatile. The two units are very similar because they are made by the same company. The Evapolar Personal Evaporative air conditioner is so-called for it has a cooling effect on a space of 45 sq. feet.
However, the unit is very versatile as it also acts as a humidifier and also air cleaner, which means that you will be cool and also enjoy very clean air. You do not have to fumble with countless knobs and buttons in a bid to get the machine working for it is pretty easy to set up. All you need is to add water into the tank and power on the device. You can power it either through a socket, using a power bank, or even using your computer.
Due to its compact size, you can comfortably place it on the desk, or on a stool near the bed. It is also lightweight thus easily potable. You also do not have to worry about your electric bills skyrocketing since it consumes very low power.
- It is a three in one device
- Highly portable
- It is compact
- Very power efficient
- Easy to setup and use
- Its construction materials are not very durable
6. Hessaire MC18M Portable Evaporative Cooler – Gray, 1300 CFM, Cools 500 Square Feet
The Hassaire MC18M is a very impressive unit for a number of reasons. First, the air conditioner is very portable thanks to its four double casters which make it very easy to move around. Additionally, the air conditioner can comfortably cool a 500 sq. feet area which makes it very ideal both for indoor and outdoor use.
The air conditioner has an output of 1,300 cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) which is pretty impressive for a unit that measures 28 by 22 by 12 inches and weighs 16pounds when it is not filled with water. The air conditioner is also extremely easy to operate and maintain. The machine comes with 5-speed adjustments to make sure that you remain as cool as possible in all weather conditions.
- Has four double casters which make it extremely portable
- It is compact yet very powerful
- It is very easy to operate and maintain
- Has 5 speed setting
- It is a bit loud
7. hOmeLabs Evaporative Cooler – Portable Cooling Fan with 3 Wind Modes
The hOmeLabs Evaporative Cooler is another great option when it comes to cheap portable air conditioners under $200. The unit is very efficient when it comes to cooling a room even on those hot summer days. It has the capability of lowering the temperature in a room measuring 200 sq. feet. Additionally, you can easily fill its 10L capacity water tank to provide that extra cooling effect.
Operating the unit is a breeze as it comes with remote control. You can set the swing direction, speed, temperature, and mode without moving from your position via the remote control. Is the summer too hot that the air in the room gets overly dry? Well, you are in luck since the hOmeLabs Evaporative Cooler is also a humidifier.
- The air conditioner has an auto shut off feature to help you save on energy
- Its air filter mesh is washable
- It is also a humidifier
- Easily portable
- It is extremely easy to control
- Some of the unit’s components are not well fixed
8. Honeywell Portable Evaporative Cooler with Fan, Humidifier & Remote
Another great option if you are looking for a spot cooler is the Honeywell cheap portable air conditioner. The machine from Honeywell is not only elegant, it also very versatile and does its job of cooling your small area perfectly.
A spot cooler should be portable, and this unit is extremely easy to move around since it is lightweight. To make sure that the water does not run out on you, the unit has a water level indicator light. It is also easy to fill the tank with water and also has washable air filters to ensure that your room stays as clean and as cool as possible.
The Honeywell portable air conditioner also acts as a fan and a humidifier. This means that if the air is extremely dry, the air conditioner will add just the right amount of water vapor into the room. You might also opt to switch on “fan mode” if you want to experience a cool breeze.
- It has a remote control for easier operation
- It is compact thus very portable
- Easy to maintain
- Has three in one functionality
- It is very energy efficient
- It is a spot air conditioner therefore not suitable for larger areas
9. NewAir AF-1000R, Portable Indoor Tower Fan with Evaporative Air Cooler and Humidifier
You do not want to be in a room where the air gets extremely dry which is what happens mostly on hot summer days. Thankfully, you can have the New Air AF-1000R, which is an excellent air cooler as well as a humidifier.
The device is also very easy to operate since it comes with a remote control to help you set it to your liking. It also comes with a timer so you can set the machine to turn off at a particular time. The NewAir portable air conditioner is not only versatile but also durable which means that you will not go back to the shops any time soon.
- It is made from durable materials
- It is also a humidifier
- Extremely easy to operate
- It is very versatile
- It is durable
- Its red color might not auger well with some customers
10. COSTWAY Evaporative Cooler and Heater, Portable Air Cooler with Fan & Humidifier
This list would not be complete without including the COSTWAY Evaporative Cooler and Heater. The air conditioner is very versatile since it is a 4- in-1 unit. It functions as a humidifier, fan, cooler, and heater. It cools the air through water evaporation and warms the room through the heater.
The air conditioner has an 8-hour timer where you can set it to switch off when you are satisfied that the room temperature has gone down to your desired level. It also comes with 3 fan speeds and modes to make sure that the cooler can adequately regulate the temperature even on hot days.
It has a LED display screen that lets you know the speed, timer option, and mode you set on the unit. To add more convenience, the air conditioner has a remote control with which you can control the wind settings, power, and timer from the comfort of your couch.
- It is lightweight and compact
- Has Led display screen and a remote control
- It is a cooler, heater, fan and humidifier
- Has an 8-hourtimer
- It is not very long lasting
Key Considerations Before Buying Cheap Portable Air Conditioner
One of the top considerations when buying a portable air conditioner is size. Why does the size matter? The size matters because oftentimes, the larger the air conditioner, the more space it can cool. Generally, larger air conditioners cool more space since they are more powerful.
Additionally, the size of your living area will also determine the size of the air conditioner. If you have limited space, you would want to get a compact air cooler that will not occupy too much space.
Some portable air conditioners require more maintenance than others. Depending on the method of cooling the air, some air conditioners require you to fill in the water regularly. Others require you to clean the air filters.
Therefore, you should go for an air conditioner that does not require too much maintenance or one which you can maintain without issues. It is important to note that you can significantly increase the shelf life of your machine with regular and proper maintenance.
Different models of portable air conditions have different noise levels. Some are considerably noisier than others. If the noise does not bother you, you can go for the noisier options. However, if you have a small child, or you do not fancy adding more noise into your house, you should go for the quieter models. The noise level of a portable air conditioner is determined by the decibel rating. The higher the rating, the nosier the unit.
Various air conditioners use different filters. Some use charcoal filters, while others use antibacterial filters. It is therefore important to enquire about the type of filters that the air conditioner uses before making the purchasing decision. Air conditioners that use antibacterial filters might be more expensive than those that use charcoal filters.
Another factor that you should consider when buying a portable air conditioner is efficiency. The efficiency level of an air conditioner is measured by the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). The higher the EER ratio, the more energy-efficient and environment-friendly the unit.
It is important to note though that PACs generally use a lot of energy. However, as earlier stated, it is possible to find energy-efficient units which have a high ERR rating. To save more on electric costs, buy air conditioners with timers that automatically switch off when the units reach your set temperature. Finally, make sure that you clean and maintain your PAC so that it is in top-notch working condition.
It is essential for all PAC units to be able to release hot air as that is how they cool off the room. To make sure that the hot air gets out, position your air conditioner unit near a window, or make sure that the hot air gets out in one way or the other. If you are to use the window to vent out the air conditioner, you need a window venting kit. The good news is that the kit comes with an air conditioner.
Dual-Hose Vs. Single Hose
There are single-hose portable AC which are less effective, and Dual Hose Portable AC which are more effective. The single hose portable AC uses a single hose to expel the heat from the room as well as draw in cold air into the room. As a result, they release effectively. The dual hose PACS on the other hand has two hoses whereby one pulls in the cold air while the other expels the hot air from the room. As a result, they are more effective.
Portable air conditioners do not have a lot of installation requirements. Mostly, you only need to install a window kit. The window kit installation process is relatively easy as it comes with the installation instructions.
Ease of Use
Generally, PACS are extremely easy to use. Some though have more features that can complicate things a little bit. What you should check to determine if the Air conditioner is easy to use are the controls and the required maintenance.
Another factor that you should consider when buying an AC unit is the brand. Some brands have been in the market for a while now and as such have created a reputation for being reliable. Some brands are new entrants in the market but have equally well-functioning AC units.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Do portable air conditioners use a lot of electricity?
The electricity use of portable air conditioners mainly depends on their Energy Efficient Rating(ERR). The higher the energy rating, the less electricity the unit consumes. Additionally, to save on electricity costs, go for PACs with thermostats that switch off the units once they reach the temperature you have set.
Do all portable air conditioners have to be drained?
No., not all portable air conditioners need to be drained. Most of the units have a drainage system that expels the water from the unit. However, should the water drainage system block, you will need to drain the AC unit. Additionally, should there be a blockage, you should unclog the pipe as soon as possible to prevent the mound from forming.
How often do you have to drain a portable AC?
As earlier stated, most AC units do not need to be drained. However, you need to unblock the drainage system in the occurrence that it blocks. Therefore, the frequency of the AC drainage will depend on how often the water expulsion system clogs.
Do portable air conditioners work without a window?
Yes, it is possible for portable air conditioners to work without a window. One of the most important aspects is that you find a way of venting the pipe outside the room you are cooling. You can vent it through the floor, ceiling or through another room. It is therefore not necessary for all Air Condition units to work only through a window.
Can you run a portable AC all day?
You can run a portable AC all day but doing so might increase your electricity bill significantly. Additionally, running the AC all day might damage the unit because it is overworking. For these reasons, it is prudent to set the AC on a timer.
Is a portable AC better than a window unit?
The choice of using either a portable AC or a window unit mainly depends on your needs. On one hand, a window unit is generally quieter and also hangs outside which reduces clutter in the house. Window units are also more energy-efficient.
On the other hand, it is extremely easy to move the portable AC units from room to room and their installation process is quite easy. Therefore, the best option between the two depends on your specific needs.
What electrical requirements do portable ACs have?
For most PAC units, the normal 115/120-volt home electricity is efficient to operate units. However, the BTU requirements of the conditioner might mean that they need a higher voltage to operate.
Will Portable Air Conditioners Produce Carbon Monoxide?
Fortunately, a portable AC unit does not produce carbon monoxide because it uses electricity to operate. However, if there is a machine that uses fuel on the other side of the conditioner, then the AC unit might suck in the carbon monoxide that the machine is releasing which can be fatal.
How long should a portable AC last?
The time that a PAC will last depends on a number of factors like the model and the maintenance of the unit. Generally, though, a PAC should last for 10 years.
Portable air conditioners are very convenient units when it comes to lowering the temperatures during hot summer dyes. The best thing about the units is that they are very easy to set up and they are also portable. There are many cheap portable air conditioner models under $200 in the market all with different features and cooling abilities. You should however check on the features of a PAC unit to make sure that it will serve your purpose well. It is important to note that some units use a lot of power so you should select one with a high energy efficient action.