A mom and child sitting on a couch next to a portable air conditioner and heater.

5 Portable Options to Heat and Cool Your Home

Portable Air Conditioner and Heater

Areas of a home that tend to get colder in the winter and hot in the summer may need a little extra help in regulating temperatures. This is where a portable air conditioner and heater unit comes in handy and can be used as a supplement to central air conditioning that doesn’t quite reach certain places of a home. Attics, basements, seasonal rooms and rooms that are poorly insulated can benefit from a portable air conditioner and heater.

When buying one of these portable units, you will need to pay attention to the listed British thermal units (BTUs). The BTUs determine how big of an area or room the unit can heat or cool. The new rating system for portable units put in place by the Department of Energy in 2017 is called SACC, which stands for seasonally adjusted cooling capacity. The SACC rating takes into account numerous factors that can impact how these portable units function.

You may see the BTU output listed as SACC/DOE on portable units. For example, a 4,000 to 6,000 SACC/DOE rating refers to the number of BTUs per hour, which would heat or cool a 125 to 250 square foot room. A SACC/DOE rating of 7,000 to 8,000 means that you can heat or cool a 300 to 350 square foot room.

Benefits of a Portable Air Conditioner and Heater

Many consumers reach for these portable air conditioning and heating units for their sheer convenience. Having this all-in-one unit sidesteps the frustration of switching out a heating unit for an air conditioner at the change of a season, not to mention the hassle of storing two clunky appliances. There’s also the added benefit of paying for one unit instead of shelling out the cash for two separate ones. Don’t forget about the portable part — the ease of transporting one of these units along with the setup and installation is much more modernized and user friendly.

The advantages:

  • Save money on one unit instead of needing to purchase two separate appliances.
  • Portable means easy to move around and quick to install.
  • No need to store two units, which is a major advantage to those with limited storage space.
  • Convenience of having one unit in terms of installment, maintenance and use.

The Best Portable Air Conditioner and Heating Units

1. Vremi 14,000 BTU Cooling + 13,500 BTU Heating

Price: $509.97 USD.

The Vremi is a solid entry in the air conditioning and heating market and a consumer favorite thanks to its powerful cooling and heating capacity. For cooling, the Vremi cranks out 14,000 BTUs, which cools a 450-square foot room. For heating, the Vremi’s BTU output is 13,500, heating a 500-square foot room. It’s extremely energy efficient, so you don’t have to worry about high energy bills when you are running it. It’s one of the most powerful portable units on the market and can heat and cool a decently sized room in a matter of an hour.

Why It’s the Best
The Vremi packs a punch and at a fair price of just around $500, depending on which retailer you purchase it from. Your dollar goes a long way thanks to its ability to heat and cool fairly large rooms. Plus, it is a compact unit and doesn’t take up much space. It picks up where a lot of other portable units fail — with the ability to cool as well as it heats, this strikes out a common imbalance of energy outputs most units suffer from.

2. SereneLife SLACHT108 Portable AC Cool/Heat Unit

Price: $401.69 USD.

The SereneLife portable AC and heating unit is a multi-functional appliance that not only heats and cools a room but also acts as a dehumidifier and fan. These four modes make this unit an easy runner up for portable AC and heating models. Its cooling capacity is 10,000 BTUs and heating capacity is 9,000 BTU, which means it can cool a 350-square foot room and heat up to 300 square feet respectively. If that is not enough, you can opt to upgrade to the higher capacity model that puts out 12,000 BTUs.

Why It’s the Best
The SereneLife is one of the most cost-effective models on the market, but you aren’t going to be sacrificing capacity or features with this model. It’s four modes make it an attractive purchase, with its dehumidifier feature removing up to six pints of moisture per hour. It’s easy to use and even simpler to move around thanks to its four caster wheels. The SereneLife is small, unnoticeable and effective — all without breaking the bank.

3. Whynter ARC-14SH

Price: $637.75.

Whynter is a well-known brand of portable units and for a good reason. Consumers go for Whynter models because of their sheer power, and the ARC-14SH is no exception. This model puts out 14,000 BTUs for cooling (up to 600 square feet) and 13,000 BTUs for heating (up to 500 square feet). So, for large spaces, the Whynter can certainly keep up. It has a modern, sleek design and the dual-hose system makes it extremely energy efficient.

Why It’s the Best
Although this model is one of the more expensive ones on the market, you won’t be sorry if you decide to purchase the Whynter ARC-14SH. If you need a workhorse of a unit that is able to crank out enough air conditioning and heating for a large space, this is the model for you. It’s why consumers have rated the Whynter ARC-14SH the best dual-hose portable unit on the market.

4. Black+Decker 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditoner with Heat and Remote Control

Price: $1,013.30 USD.

This Black+Decker portable model puts out 12,000 BTUs, which is effective for a 300- to 450- square foot room. It’s powerful, making this unit ideal for dorms, apartments, campers, office spaces and even garages or cabins. It’s also a four-mode unit, allowing the user to heat, cool, dehumidify, or use its fan-only setting. The Black+Decker also comes with a 24-hour timer, sleep mode and self-evaporating feature that doesn’t require manual draining when you are running it on its cool setting.

Why It’s the Best
It’s easily portable with its four caster wheels, has multiple settings, offers quality capacity that is perfect for small- to medium-sized rooms or spaces and is one of the more considerably lightweight models.

5. Turbo Greenland 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner and Heater

Price: $560.49 USD.

If you are looking for a single-hose model, the Turbo Greenland is among the highly-rated portable units on the market. Like other portable units, the Turbo has four modes: cool, heat, dehumidify and fan. Its dehumidifying setting isn’t lacking, as the unit is able to remove 81 pints per day. The Turbo also has an auto mode, timer, sleep mode and a turbo function for fast cooling. It’s user friendly, and with 14,000 BTUs it can easily handle a 400- to 550-square foot room.

Why It’s the Best
The Turbo Greenland is a no-fuss unit. The control panel, installation and usage are easy to understand, making it one of the more user-friendly portable units on the market. Its dehumidifier is powerful, as is its cooling setting, so you know you are getting the best bang for your buck with this model. Although users tend to review single-hose units as not as efficient as dual hose models, the Turbo Greenland does tend to challenge this belief.