6 Best Window Air Conditioners (2022): Portable, Budget, Quiet

Portable air conditioners are not very energy efficient or effective at adequately cooling a room. They are much more expensive than our window air conditioning units and are often louder. They’re also, uh, not very portable. We haven’t tried many, but these two are solid options, if you do must have one

EcoFlow Wave for $1,499: The Wave (4,000 BTU) has done a pretty fantastic job cooling my partner’s 150 square foot office during the most recent heat wave. Standing directly in front of the exit is much cooler than the whole room, but it made the whole space much more comfortable. You’ll definitely want to install the exhaust pipe and point it at a window, otherwise the heat it generates will override the cold air. You can plug it into any AC outlet, use it with the extra EcoFlow battery when the power runs out (or if you’re out glamping), or plug it into a solar charger. (At maximum settings, the battery provides about two to three hours of cooling.) There’s an app you can use to control it remotely, and at 39 pounds, it’s reasonably portable. It produces excess water when it cools, but the Wave pours it into its internal condenser to evaporate it. I’ve never had to drain any water, but if you’re in a high humidity environment, you may need to use the included drain tube to direct it elsewhere.

Zero Breeze Mark II for $1,499: At 2,300 BTUs, you won’t get the same cooling power as the EcoFlow Wave, but the Zero Breeze (7/10, WIRED Review) is much lighter at 17 pounds. This pack includes a battery that will make the whole thing weigh about 30 pounds, but you’ll get four hours of use without needing to be anywhere near an outlet. Like the EcoFlow, you get a few vent pipes to direct the exhaust and direct fresh air to a specific area, but unlike the EcoFlow, you can’t charge the battery and use the AC at the same time.

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