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Best Portable Air Conditioners in the UK 2022

Air conditioning units are essential in hot countries where they’re fitted as standard to many homes, flats and apartments. 

But, as British summers get hotter, air-con units are growing in popularity across the UK and could even become the new norm.

Fans can be sufficient, but air-con is much more effective for directly reducing the temperature. Air conditioning units have been scaled down into portable packages, ideal for home use.

Many also have ‘sleep modes’ for night-time use and they’re small enough to be moved between various rooms in your house. 

Therefore, whatever type of air conditioner you’re looking for, there’s something for everything.

In this article, we will cover the best portable air conditioner brands in the UK and what to consider when buying a portable air conditioner.

Disclaimer: Price This Please is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

 

Best Overall – Inventor Chilly 9000BTU Portable Air Conditioner

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An excellent air-con unit by leading brand Inventor, the Inventor Chilly 9000BTU Portable Air Conditioner is small and compact.

It’s no slouch, though, and with 9000 BTU of cooling power, it will easily cool larger rooms, small floors or flats/apartments. 

Like many other newer air-con units, the Inventor Chilly 9000BTU Portable Air Conditioner uses eco-friendly R290 refrigerant and has an Energy Class A rating, which ensures a decent level of energy efficiency when used over long periods of time. 

A small, upright unit that measures 34.5 x 35.5 x 70.3 centimetres and weighs 24kg, this is a truly portable air-con unit that should be easy to wheel around the house courtesy of 4 omni-directional smooth casters. 

The Inventor Chilly 9000BTU Portable Air Conditioner is a powerful unit, and is loud during peak operation, but does have a particularly good ‘sleep mode’ for quiet, smooth cooling during the night.

It ranks amongst the quietest 9,000 BTU air-con units, so is a solid choice if operating volume is an issue for you. 

The Inventor Chilly 9000BTU Portable Air Conditioner has a remote control and top-mounted LED control panel.

You can select the desired temperature, mode and timer from the remote but will only change fan speed from the unit, which is hardly a problem but worth pointing out. 

Overall, a superb compact but powerful air-con unit thanks to its hefty 9000 BTU of cooling power. 

Features

  • 9,000 BTU
  • Cooling and fan-only modes
  • Measures 34.5 x 35.5 x 70.3 cm
  • Weighs 24kg
  • LED display
  • 24-hour timer
  • Wireless remote control
  • Omnidirectional easy-roll casters
  • Eco-friendly refrigerant 
  • Energy Class A
  • Sleep mode
  • Comes with window duct kit

Pros

  • Powerful for a compact unit 
  • Eco-friendly credentials
  • Wireless remote 
  • Quieter than most models 

Cons

  • No heating mode 

Bottom Line

A tall but slimline and powerful air-con unit. The Inventor Chilly 9000BTU Portable Air Conditioner packs all your usual features and 9,000 BTU ensures it can efficiently cool larger rooms and apartments. The sleep mode is particularly quiet, perfect if you find this an issue with fans or other air-con units. 

Runner Up – Inventor Magic 12,000BTU Portable Air Conditioner

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The Magic 12,000 BTU Portable air conditioner has a 5-in-1 cooling system that takes advantage of the new-generation R290 refrigerant. 

The 12,000 BTU rating of this portable air-con unit is considerable, enough to efficiently cool an entire average-sized floor, flat or apartment. R290 possesses excellent thermodynamic properties but chiefly, it has a very low environmental impact. 

In terms of functionality, this air-con unit has Auto, Cool, Dry, Fan and Heat features. Automatic mode monitors the ambient temperature and automatically adjusts to maintain the chosen ambient room temperature.

Cool will reduce the temperature of a room, Heat provides heating, Fan operates the fan only and Dry will dry out a room to reduce moisture/humidity. You can also choose from 3 fan speeds. 

This is a fairly compact unit measuring 46.7 cm x 39.7 cm x 76.5 cm, and it weighs 34kg, which is reasonable for a 12,000 BTU unit.

Omni-directional easy-roll casters simplify moving the Inventor Magic 12.000BTU Portable Air Conditioner around. It’s also equipped with a remote control, 24hr timer and LED control panel. 

This is an Energy Class A product, so is remarkably cheap to run for long periods of time. A 1.5m window kit duct is included. 

Overall, a superb all-rounder that will efficiently cool extra large rooms or even an entire floor of a flat or apartment. It is capable of both heating and cooling. 

Features

  • 12,000 BTU
  • 5 multi-functional cooling and heating settings with adjustable fan speed
  • Measures 46.7 cm x 39.7 cm x 76.5 cm
  • Weighs 34kg
  • LED display
  • 24-hour timer
  • Wireless remote control
  • Omnidirectional easy-roll casters
  • Eco-friendly refrigerant 
  • Energy Class A
  • Comes with window duct kit

Pros

  • Small, compact but powerful design
  • Uses new-gen R290 refrigerant 
  • Comprehensive remote and control panel 
  • Timer and remote control 

Cons

  • On the heavy side (but still easy to move)

Bottom Line

The Inventor Magic 12.000BTU Portable Air Conditioner is an exceptionally good portable air-con unit. It boasts stand-out performance but is also greatly enhanced by its ability to heat as well as coo, which is rare for a unit of this price. A high-quality portable air-con unit suitable for a diverse range of uses.

 

Best Budget Air Cooler – Pro Breeze 10L Portable Air Cooler#

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Where an air-conditioning unit is not necessary, an enhanced fan system like the Pro Breeze 10L Portable Air Cooler with 4 Operational Modes is an excellent, low-cost option.

To be clear, this isn’t an air-conditioning unit and doesn’t use refrigerant to cool the air, but uses an innovative water cooling system instead. 

It has a large water tank that can be filled with cool water or icepacks to greatly cool the water passing over it. This is pretty reliable and reviewers report it to be effective, despite having to change the ice packs regularly on a hot day.

The tank itself is 10L and the unit comes with 2 ice packs. Water-cooling doubles up as humidification which combats dry air. 

Unlike an air-con unit, the Pro Breeze 10L Portable Air Cooler with 4 Operational Modes doesn’t require ventilation, which is a bonus as it can be set up anywhere in a home.

The 4 modes include air-cooling, fan only, nighttime and natural. There are 3 fan speeds; high, medium and low. 

The unit is lightweight at just 9.82kg and is very easy to manoeuvre courtesy of 4 casters. Overall, this is an excellent air cooling unit that is more energy-efficient than an air-con unit and boasts several convenient advantages.

Features

  • Water-cooling system 
  • Measures 44.5cm x 38cm x 84cm
  • Weighs 9.82kg
  • 4 modes for standard and nighttime cooling
  • Energy efficient 
  • Comes with 2 ice packs

Pros

  • More energy efficient than most air-con units
  • Lightweight and easy to move 
  • Easy-to-use water cooling system
  • Doesn’t require ventilation 

Cons

  • Not technically AC

The Bottom Line

A rock-solid choice for all-purpose cooling and one of our recommendations if you’re looking for portable cooling on a budget. 

Great Value AC Alternative – Amazon Basics Portable Air Cooler

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Amazon’s own branded portable air conditioner is a great choice if you’re looking to cool your room down without spending as much compared to the other brands and don’t mind that you aren’t getting a strict portable AC unit. 

You could say it’s somewhere between a fan and a portable AC unit, without the high costs. You can use just the fan and for some, that will be sufficient. 

But if you add water and the ice packs, it operates like an AC unit and can produce some seriously cold air for those really hot days.

It’s relatively quiet and strong enough to cool large rooms. It has 3 fan speeds and various fan styles. These include a natural mode that randomises the breeze that is produced.

It can also be programmed to run for a certain time.  All these functionalities can be done remotely or via the LED interface at the top of the machine.

In terms of portability, it can be wheeled around and locked into place with the wheel castors it comes with. Only two are lockable, meaning it’s a good idea to put the lockable ones at the bottom so you can rotate the cooler to wherever you want to focus the air on.

Features

  • 3 fan speeds (fan, cooling, humidifier and air purifier)
  • 7-hour programmable timer
  • Auto shut off
  • LED display
  • Remote control functionality
  • 4kg weight

Pros

  • Lots of modes and functionality
  • Powerful fan good for larger rooms
  • Multi-functional 
  • Remote control over all functions

Cons

  • No heater option
  • Some extra setup required
  • Some less than optimal design choices

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to get through a heatwave at a budget price, this is for you. It may be somewhat basic, but it has everything you need to keep your room cool.

Well-Reviewed – Igenix IG9911 Portable Air Conditioner

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A slimline 9000 BTU portable air conditioner, the Igenix IG9911 Portable Air Conditioner is a lesser-known but still well-reviewed choice. 

It works both as an air-con unit, fan and dehumidifier. The dehumidifier is powerful and effective, absorbing some 27 litres of moisture on any given day.

9,000 BTU is pretty hefty and should adequately cool rooms in excess of 24m/2, suitable for flats and apartments. 

This unit is fairly tall but thin, measuring 88.5 x 43 x 40 cm, and weighs just 24kg. It’s worth mentioning that the dehumidifier can be used independently of the air-con itself, so you’ll be able to dehumidify the air even when you don’t want/need additional air-con – suitable for colder months. 

You can select from 3 varying fan speeds and everything is fully controllable via wireless remote.

Like most air-con units, the Igenix IG9911 Portable Air Conditioner comes with a window duct kit. It’s rated Energy Class A, so is as power-efficient as other air-con units on the list. 

Overall, a slim, effective and easy-to-use air-con unit with a built-in independent humidifier.  

Features

  • 9,000 BTU
  • 3-in-1 with fan, cooling and dehumidification
  • Measures 88.5 x 43 x 40 cm
  • Weighs 24kg 
  • LED display
  • 24-hour timer
  • Wireless remote control
  • Energy Class A
  • Comes with window duct kit

Pros

  • Slimline design 
  • Energy efficient 
  • Independent dehumidification 
  • Decent BTU rating

Cons

  • No heating

Bottom Line

Yet another slim, effective air-con unit. The Igenix IG9911 Portable Air Conditioner benefits from an independent dehumidifier that is capable of removing 27L from the air each day. 9,000 BTU is no slouch either, a solid choice for large rooms, flats and apartments. 

Best Premium – De’Longhi Pinguino PACN82 Eco | Portable Air Conditioner 9,400 BTU

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By trusted global brand De’Longhi, the PACN82 is an A-Rated, highly efficient portable air-conditioning unit. 

9,400BTU of cooling power will easily suffice for very large rooms and apartments. It’s an elegant-looking unit but packs plenty of high-tech features like a 3-speed fan with extra-silent running volume for nighttime use and Real Feel technology that vastly improves air circulation and cooling efficiency. 

Like most other modern portable air-con units, the De’Longhi Pinguino PACN82 makes use of R290 refrigerant to improve operational and energy efficiency.

It has an easy-to-use, intuitive LED control panel that sports all the usual functions like a 24hr thermostat, timer, etc. A remote control is included, as is an exhaust pipe extendable to some 1.5m.

The unit also doubles up as a dehumidifier, though it’s worth mentioning that it doesn’t feature any heating capability. For the summer and warmer weather, this is a superb unit that has earned itself a strong reputation.

It’s clearly modern and well-made by a top brand – looks the part – but packs ample 9,400 cooling power and all the key features you need. The best portable air-con unit overall. 

Features

  • 9,400 BTU
  • Measures ‎44.9 x 39.5 x 75 cm
  • Weighs 30kg
  • LED display
  • 24-hour timer
  • Wireless remote control
  • Eco-friendly refrigerant 
  • Energy Class A
  • Real Feel technology 
  • Comes with window duct kit

Pros

  • Trusted brand
  • Excellent BTU rating
  • Energy efficient 
  • Ultra-quiet

Cons

  • No heating mode

Bottom Line

A superb air-con unit from a trusted brand, the De’Longhi Pinguino PACN82 packs 9,400BTU of cooling power which makes it suitable for multi-room operation. A sophisticated unit that is A-Class energy rated and features Real Feel technology to improve the circulation efficiency and draft of the fan.

Highly Recommended – Pro Breeze 4-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner 7000 BTU

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By Pro Breeze, this 4-in-1 portable air-con unit packs 7000 BTU of cooling power, making it suitable for single rooms or small apartments/flats. 

It’s a very small unit, measuring just 31 x 31 x 64 cm, which means it will easily fit in most rooms – it’s lightweight too at 22kg. Omni-directional high-quality casters mean it’s super-easy to roll round around your home. 

The 4-in-1 features include cooling, dehumidifying, automatic mode and fan-only settings. The fans can be set to disperse cool air over a wide or narrower area.

There’s no heat mode, so this air-con unit is only suitable for cooling down interior spaces during hot weather. It comes with a window duct unit for easy installation. 

An Energy Class A unit that uses the new-generation R290 refrigerant, this air-con unit is eco-friendly and energy-efficient, keeping energy bills down. It can cool rooms down to as low as 15C, which is ideal on exceptionally hot summer days. 

Whilst the unit is reportedly quite loud, it does have a sleep mode that will slowly cool a room until you fall asleep, and also lowers the operation volume. A 24hr timer allows you to set-and-forget the unit if you go out/go to work, etc. 

The Pro Breeze 4-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner 7000 BTU is a brilliant all-rounder with plenty of features and at just 22kg, it’s one of the more portable air-con units on the list. 

Features

  • 7,000 BTU (9,000 BTU model also available) 
  • 4-in-1 cooling with adjustable fan speed
  • Measures 31 x 31 x 64 cm 
  • Weighs 22kg
  • LED display
  • 24-hour timer
  • Wireless remote control
  • Omnidirectional casters
  • Eco-friendly refrigerant 
  • Energy Class A
  • Comes with window duct kit

Pros

  • Compact unit
  • Energy-efficient and eco-friendly refrigerant 
  • Timer and remote control
  • Sleep mode for nighttime operation 

Cons

  • Probably best for small rooms 

Bottom Line

A compact unit for small to medium-sized rooms, the Pro Breeze 4-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner 7000 BTU is an excellent option for cooling purposes only. It has plenty of controls including adjustable fan direction and speed and is capable of cooling rooms right down to 15C – perfect for serious heatwaves. 

Portable Air Conditioner Buyer’s Guide

Portable air-conditioner units all have one thing in common; they’re small and portable. They don’t need to be installed permanently into your home. 

The vast majority come with window duct kits, which are essentially tubes you connect to the unit and place outside of your window. The unit will replace the hot air inside of your room with cooled air, whilst blasting that hotter air out through the window – simple but smart. 

The max weight of a portable air-con unit is probably around 35 to 40kg, but most have casters for easy transportation between rooms. 

There are other features to be aware of:

Cooling Power (BTU)

Air-con units have a BTU rating. 

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and has become the go-to measure of ‘cooling power’. A higher BTU means that an air-con unit can efficiently cool a larger space. 

For example, most living rooms in the UK are around 200 square feet (18m2). 

  • A one-bed home or large one-bed flat is around 500 square feet (46m2). Smaller flats can be as small as 30m2.
  • To cool a space of around 200 to 300 square feet, you’ll need to choose an air con unit with around 4,000 to 6,000 BTU.
  • For larger spaces of around 400 to 600 square feet, you’ll need a unit rated between 10,000 and 15,000 BTU.

This will vary depending on how well insulated your home is, the number of windows you have and other factors. 

As a rule of thumb, in the UK, you’re looking at 10,000 BTU+ to cool flats or entire floors of a small house. 

For single rooms, you can get away with much less. 

Dehumidification 

Many air-con units also come with dehumidifiers, perfect for when humidity is also a problem. 

Dehumidifiers will need to be maintained periodically, as they’ll collect water in a reservoir that needs to be emptied (usually very simple). 

Air Filtering

Air-con units may also have built-in air filters to remove chemicals and harmful pollutants from the air. 

Filters may use a blend of physical filtering (e.g. activated charcoal) and ionic filtering. 

Energy Efficiency 

Portable air-con units will be given an energy efficiency rating. The scale ranges from G (the least efficient) up to A (the most efficient). Grade A is also split into three additional grades; A+, A++ and A+++.

Most portable air-con units (including every unit in this list) are rated at least A. 

Heating

Some air-con units double up as heaters. 

Air-con heating is ideal for rooms that aren’t covered by radiators, e.g. garages, sheds, out-houses and conservatories. They’re very effective at circulating hot air around a room. 

Refrigerant 

Air-con units use refrigerants to cool the air. Refrigerants have been traditionally hard to dispose of due to their high environmental impact. 

The newest refrigerant is called R290, which you should look out for if you’re concerned about the environmental impact of your air-con unit. 

To Sum Up

There are some great air conditioning units for all price ranges. Whether you’re looking for a premium, top-of-the-range model or something on the cheaper end, there’s no reason you have to put with being too hot in your home.