What is an energy efficiency rating?

All appliances have listed EER ratings. For air conditioners, the energy efficiency rating is based on how many BTU’s per hour are used for each watt of power it draws. Some portable air conditioner manufacturers participate in the EnergyStar program, which means they are supposed to have higher EER ratings.

An easy way to calculate EER

The EER of air conditioners is BTU divided by watts. If a 10,000-BTU air conditioner uses 900 watts, its EER is 11 (10,000 BTU/900 watts). The higher the EER of the air conditioner, the more efficient it is.

Is my energy efficient portable air conditioner worth the extra cost?

If you are primarily concerned by producing greenhouse gases, this will be important to you no matter what. But if you are purely driven by economics, you may want to know that the extra cost of the energy efficient machine will translate into savings you can put in the bank.

For example, you are choosing between two 10,000-BTU air conditioners; one has an EER of 7.5 and consumes 1,200 watts and the other has an EER of 10.5, consumes 1,000 watts and has price difference of $150.

To calculate the true cost difference, or payback for the more expensive unit, you need to know:
How many hours per year the air conditioner will operate

Cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in your area

For the sake of this example, you will use the air conditioner in the summer and heater in the winter, for about 7 months a year, and around 6 hours a day. We will use a cost of 10 cents per kilowatt hour for the cost of electricity.

Here is the math:

7 (mo.) x 30 (days) x 6 (hrs) = 1260 hours

[ (1260 hrs x 200 watts) / (1000 watts/kW)] x $0.10/kWh = $25.20

The more expensive unit costs $100 more, so it will take about four years for the more expensive air conditioner begin paying off. Unless you believe that it’s important to have energy efficiency, and then you buy the more expensive unit anyway knowing that by the end if it’s utility, you will have earned that money back.

Get the Right Size Unit

If your portable air conditioner is too small for your room, it will always work too hard and burn through more energy to get the right amount of cool. A unit that is too big will not remove enough humidity from the air and will cycle on and off all the time, which will kill the efficiency. A good rule of thumb is around 30 BTUs per square foot, but consider how exposed your room is to the sun or elements, how many people use the room, its size and level of insulation. So if you have a 300 square foot room that is very exposed to the sun, instead of purchasing a 10,000 BTU machine, you might consider 12,000 to get better results.

Proper Installation Improves Efficiency

Portable air conditioners suck in warm air and circulating cool air back into the same room. The venting kit expels the heat outside, but be careful to follow the instructions or you may get hot air dumped back into the room. Extra hot air equals extra energy to cool, which means less efficiency and more expense. it all over again

Best Energy Efficient Portable Air Conditioner

  • YPL310C
  • Brand: Shinco
  • BTU: 10,000
  • Dimension: 17 x 13 x 31.3 inches
  • Weight: 54 pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturers
  • BPACT12WT
  • Brand: Black+Decker
  • BTU: 12,000
  • Dimension: 17.1 x 13.8 x 28.1 inches
  • Weight: 59.5 pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturers
  • PACN110EC
  • Brand: DeLonghi
  • BTU: 11,000
  • Dimension: 17 x 16 x 29.5 inches
  • Weight: 62.3 pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturers
  • ARC-12S
  • Brand: Whynter
  • BTU: 12,000
  • Dimension: 15.5 x 17 x 31 inches
  • Weight: 62 pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturers
  • MN10CESWW
  • Brand: Honeywell
  • BTU: 10,000
  • Dimension: 15.2 x 18.1 x 29.4 inches
  • Weight: 61.7 pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturers

Shinco YPL310C 10,000 BTU

The Shinco YPL310C efficiently cools your space with 10,000 BTUs and manages serious cooling power in spaces up to 300 square feet at a reasonable 9.5 energy efficiency rating. Using the power of its self-evaporating technology, when the water is extracted from the air during cooling, it recycles most of that water to chill the cooling coils, thus making the unit operate even more efficiently.

On top of efficiency, the self-evaporative system means you don’t need to bother emptying the water. This is a large and relatively noisy air conditioner that can be a bit of a bother, but the digital controls and the remote provide precise temperature adjustments. An over-cold protection feature automatically restarts to prevent your from freezing.

The Shinco YPL310C is a 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner that weighs 54 pounds and 64.2 pounds in its shipping container. The product dimensions are 17 x 13 x 31.3 inches. This modestly priced unit comes with a warranty that covers 1 year of labor and parts and three years for the compressor and can be easily installed without a professional.

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BLACK and DECKER BPACT14WT 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Black and Decker is a hardware aficionados brand. This top-of-the-line portable air conditioner very effectively and quietly cools 500 square feet. In-motion louvers provides powerful and consistent airflow and provides quiet cool comfort at night and overnight for an undisturbed sleep.

There is no water bucket due to the very efficient auto-evaporation system and the removable filter is easily rinsed, providing you a constant stream of fresh air. The 24 hour on/off timer and sleep mode allows you to return home to a nice, cool environment and sleep in silence. This mid-range price tag is top performer in comparison to other models.

The Black and Decker BPACT14WT is a 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control. It weighs 83.7 pounds and 92.6 pounds in its shipping container. The product dimensions are 17.1 x 13.8 x 28.1 inches. This mid-range priced unit comes with a one-year labor and parts warranty and five-year warranty on the compressor and can be easily installed without a professional. The maximum length of the exhaust hose is 4 feet and 11 inches.

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DeLonghi PACN110EC 11,000 BTU 3 in 1 Portable Air Conditioner

DeLonghi calls this sleek, black cooling machine the Pinguino, because it effortlessly cools your bedroom or small office, ensuring your comfort and lowering your electric bills. This energy efficient unit uses eco-friendly R410A refrigerant gas and no “drip” technology that cleans the air, without requiring you to ever empty a water bucket. You get year round, energy efficient comfort with an easy 5 minute set up.

Three in one operation gets you Cooling, Dehumidifier and Fan in three seeds. With the dehumidifier activated, the Pinguino removes as much as 75 pints of days of humidity from your air. The BioSilver air filter traps dust, pollen, and bacteria, providing you cool, clean, dry and fresh air. In order to provide the most energy efficient operation, this unit consumes minimum power, which means you get more cool air for your buck

The DeLonghi PACN110EC is an 11,000 BTU 3 in 1 Portable Air Conditioner that weighs 52.3 pounds and 73.6  pounds in its shipping container. The product dimensions are 17 x 16 x 29.5 inches. The PACAN120EW is constructed with high quality material and it is durable. This modestly priced unit comes with a 1 year limited warranty and can be installed without tools.

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Whynter Platinum ARC-12S 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

This Whynter Platinum portable air conditioners delivers a serious chill for its relatively small size. This is a sleek and cool, platinum colored machine is environmentally friendly, CFC free and is specially designed for minimal energy consumption. This unit uses ozone-safe R-410A refrigerant and lead-free, RoHS-compliant components.

The odor-neutralizing carbon filter keeps the air fresh and clean. Like other Whynter models, this machine is works well in a server or machine room because of it’s condensation free operation. Not especially helpful are the air vents that only allow left-right adjustment, not up and down, nor do they oscillate. Also the hose sticks out from the back of the machine, which requires some extra space in your room, which is one reason this is such a popular unit for small offices, machine and server rooms.

The Whynter ARC-12S is a 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner and weighs 62 pounds and 76.8 pounds in its shipping container. The product dimensions are 15.5 x 17 x 31 inches. This lower priced unit comes with a one year limited warranty and three-year warranty on the compressor and can be easily installed without a professional.

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Honeywell MN10CESWW 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Honeywell knows how to make machines that are easy to use and sturdy. Still made in  Morristown, NJ these guys don’t worry about style, what they do it make things that work. The Honeywell MN10CESWW 10000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner is modestly-priced, easily cools up to 350 square feet while operating in a highly energy efficient manner. It provides a fast,  good chill while providing full on dehumidification.

This highly rated Portable Air Conditioner is environmentally friendly, come with a 3M electrostatic filter and auto-evaporation function that delivers hours of cool air with no water bucket to empty. Add to that a useful remote control and digital LCD with feather touch controls. The Honeywell MN10CESWW is a 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner that weighs 61.7 pounds and 74.5 pound in its shipping container. The product dimensions are 15.2 x 18.1 x 29.4 inches. This modestly priced unit comes with a 5 year limited warranty and can be easily installed without a professional.

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Shinco USA SPAZ10W-10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner, Compact

It’s small, takes twenty minutes to install and will cool you off in Vegas, baby. If it can work in the Las Vegas summer, it can work anywhere. It’s next generation self-evaporative design and energy saving operation, make this quiet machine that much more desirable. Oh yes, and it’s on the low-end of the price scale as well.

This is a lightweight portable air condition, hitting under 50 pounds on the scale, making it convenient to move around on its wheels. Auto-swing louvers output a wide angle of airflow, especially nice and quiet while you’re sleeping. This Shinco model has a self-diagnosis function, 24h on/off timer and the Compressor includes a protective function that will automatically restart after a 3 minute time delay. The Shinco SPAZ10W is a 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner that weighs 47 pounds and 56 pounds in its shipping container. The product dimensions are 14.2 x 12.6 x 23.8 inches. This low priced unit comes with a warranty that covers 1 year of labor and parts and three years for the compressor and can be easily installed without a professional.

Summary

Energy consumption is a major point of consideration in purchasing any major appliance, and especially an air conditioner. Portable air conditioners can consume a lot of energy, so you should know exactly what size unit you require and where it can be located to provide the most cooling with the least effort. You should also look carefully at the energy efficiency ratings of the unit you plan to purchase, which is why we’ve reviewed these models that deliver cold air and efficient operation.