How to Get a Cheap Portable Air Conditioner

Finding a cheap portable air conditioner involves understanding key features and where to look. Here’s how to secure a reliable and efficient unit without overspending.

The Essentials of Portable Air Conditioners

Portable air conditioners are an excellent option for cooling individual rooms or small spaces without the need for permanent installation. They are especially useful for renters, those with limited space, or homeowners who want to avoid the high costs associated with central air conditioning systems.

Why Choose a Portable Air Conditioner?

  1. Flexibility: Easily move the unit from room to room.
  2. Ease of Installation: Typically only require a window for the exhaust hose.
  3. Cost-Effectiveness: Generally cheaper than installing a new central air system or window units in multiple rooms.

However, the challenge lies in finding a unit that balances price with efficiency, performance, and longevity.

Key Features to Consider

When shopping for a portable air conditioner, consider the following features:

  1. Cooling Capacity: Measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units), this determines the size of the room the unit can effectively cool. Generally, 20 BTUs are needed to cool one square foot of space.
  2. Energy Efficiency: Look for units with an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of 10 or higher. The higher the EER, the more efficient the unit.
  3. Noise Level: Portable ACs can be noisy. Check the decibel (dB) level to ensure it won’t be too disruptive.
  4. Additional Features: Functions like dehumidifiers, timers, and remote controls add convenience but can also impact price.

Finding a Budget-friendly Unit

1. Shop Off-season

Purchasing a portable air conditioner during fall or winter can often save money, as retailers reduce prices to clear out inventory.

2. Compare Online Retailers

Websites like Amazon, Walmart, and Home Depot frequently offer competitive pricing and customer reviews that help gauge product quality and satisfaction.

3. Look for Sales and Rebates

Keep an eye out for sales during major holidays or special promotions. Manufacturer rebates can also provide additional savings.

4. Consider Refurbished or Open-Box Models

Buying a refurbished or open-box unit from a reputable retailer can offer substantial savings. Ensure it comes with a warranty for peace of mind.

5. Check Energy Star Ratings

Units with Energy Star ratings may be more expensive initially but save money in the long term due to their higher energy efficiency.

10 Affordable Portable Air Conditioners Across the US

Here are ten budget-friendly portable air conditioners available across different regions in the US, along with their prices:

  1. Los Angeles, CA: LG LP0817WSR – 8,000 BTU, available at Best Buy for $279.
  2. New York, NY: Honeywell MN4CFSWW9 – 9,000 BTU, available at Walmart for $349.
  3. Chicago, IL: Black+Decker BPACT08WT – 8,000 BTU, available on Amazon for $299.
  4. Houston, TX: Haier HPP08XCR – 8,000 BTU, available at Home Depot for $320.
  5. Phoenix, AZ: Costway 10,000 BTU – available on eBay for $290.
  6. Philadelphia, PA: Emerson Quiet Kool – 8,000 BTU, available at Lowe’s for $319.
  7. San Antonio, TX: Midea MAP08S1BWT – 8,000 BTU, available at Sears for $310.
  8. San Diego, CA: AireMax APE08 – 8,000 BTU, available on Wayfair for $275.
  9. Dallas, TX: Shinco SPF2-08C – 8,000 BTU, available on Amazon for $310.
  10. San Jose, CA: Vremi 10,000 BTU – available on for $330.


Finding a budget-friendly portable air conditioner is feasible with the right approach. By understanding key features, shopping strategically, and taking advantage of off-season sales and online deals, you can find a unit that fits both your cooling needs and your budget. Always balance initial costs with long-term energy efficiency to ensure the best financial decision.