Best Air Conditioner 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Air conditioners are an easy to install and effective way to lower the temperature of a single room in your home.

They work by removing the heat and expelling it out of the room. This differs from ordinary fans, which only move the hot air around the room. They operate until the temperature in the room reaches the desired degree, and then they often turn themselves off, operating again if the temperature rises again.

Most only require an electrical supply plus external ventilation. This can be via a hose either placed outside a window, or through a vent in the wall.

They are ideal if a central air conditioning system is not a practical solution, or if you will only want to cool one room at a time as opposed to the whole house.

All of the air conditioners we have featured below are portable, so can be moved between the rooms in your home:

The Best Air Conditioners – Our Top Picks

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Challenge 5K Air Conditioning Unit
  • Output: 5000 BTU
  • Dimensions: 61.5 x 32.9 x 31.8cm
  • Weight: 25kg
  • Energy Rating: A
  • Noise Level: 65dB
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De’Longhi PAC EX100 Pinguino Silent Air Conditioner
  • Output: 10,000 BTU
  • Speed Settings: 3
  • Dimensions: 38.7 x 44 x 80.6 cm
  • Weight: 35kg
  • Energy Rating: A++
  • Noise Level: 53dB
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AEG ChillFlex Pro AXP26U338CW Air Conditioning Unit
  • Output: 9000 BTU
  • Speed Settings: 3
  • Weight: 31.5kg
  • Energy Rating: A
  • Noise Level: 64 dB
  • Dimensions: 71 x 47.6 x 38.5cm
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Best Air Conditioners

AEG ChillFlex Pro AXP26U338CW Air Conditioning Unit

Even on the hottest days (as rare as they can be), the 1000W output from this handy air conditioner can cool your room right down.

This doesn’t come at a price though, as the A energy rating makes it a very efficient appliance when it comes to cost. There are three speeds to choose from so whether you need a little breeze or a complete wind tunnel, you have the choice at your fingertips.

If you need the cool air, but you also need a dehumidifier to rid the room of excess moisture, then the dedicated mode will have you covered. This saves you having to purchase and store two separate appliances. A remote control will let you switch between modes and also boost the power if need be.

It is perfect for any rooms up to 18 m³, and the timer function will allow you to safely keep it running overnight or get it going before you arrive home from work. There are two filters which you need to regularly clean with water and dry fully, and at the back, there are two water tanks which will need emptying if using the dehumidifier setting. Other than that, it is hassle-free and simple.

Specifications

  • Output: 9000 BTU
  • Speed Settings: 3
  • Weight: 31.5kg
  • Energy Rating: A
  • Noise Level: 64 dB
  • Dimensions: 71 x 47.6 x 38.5cm

+ Downloads

AEG ChillFlex Pro AXP26U338CW Air Conditioning Unit User Manual

Download

We like

  • Quiet
  • Powerful at work
  • Looks good

We dislike

  • A little on the bulky side

Final Verdict

It doesn’t only perform well, but it also looks sleek and modern

De’Longhi Pinguino PACEX120 Air Conditioning Unit

A 1050W output, energy rating of A, and Real Feel technology to properly assess the atmosphere and make any fine adjustments of it’s own accord. This is a clever unit which won’t cost the earth to run, while still keeping you cool.

The comfort light indicator will let you know in an instant which settings are chosen, and there’s a remote so you can control it without moving a muscle. It can cope with rooms up to 110 m³ in size, while still giving out a cooling capacity of 11500 BTU/h and maintaining a 64dB noise level, which makes it one of the most powerful and efficient air conditioners on the market at the moment.

There are also little extras like silent mode, and the condensation recycling system means it keeps running costs low, and is better for the planet too. Plus it is black, which makes a nice change from the usual whites.

Specifications

  • Output: 11500 BTU/h
  • Dimensions: H80.5 x W44.5 x D39cm
  • Weight: 32 kg
  • Energy Rating: A
  • Noise Level: 64 dB
  • Speed Settings: 3

We like

  • Looks very modern
  • Low running costs
  • Comes with a wall bracket if you want to mount it

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

It costs a bit more outright, but with low running costs, it should save money in the long run. Plus, it feels very sturdy and capable - we'd say its going to be with you for a long, long time

De’Longhi Pinguino PACCN92 Air Conditioning Unit

This is a very clever air conditioning unit despite the fact it looks relatively unassuming. The standout pointer is the intelligent Condensation Recycling System, which collects condensation while the unit is in use, and recycles it to help cool the condenser. This is probably part of the reason why it has an A+ energy rating.

Soft touch controls allow you to select the desired speed and setting for the atmosphere, and there is a choice of three fan speeds or dehumidifying. A handy remote control will allow you to switch the settings or ramp up the power from the comfort of the sofa or your bed, and there’s a timer option in case you want it to turn off once you’re peacefully asleep.

Talking of a peaceful sleep, there’s a Silent Mode option which will allow you to nod off without disruption, yet doesn’t reduce the power so you still get the good effect.

Specifications

  • Output: 10000 BTU/h
  • Dimensions: H75 x W45 x D39.5cm
  • Energy Rating: A+
  • Noise Level: 62 dB
  • Speed Settings: 3
  • Weight: 30kg

We like

  • Nice soft touch controls
  • Very energy efficient

We dislike

  • Hose isn't very long

Final Verdict

One of the most energy efficient options out there as it recycles the moisture, and you don't even pay that bit more up front for the privilege. A winner if you want low running costs

De’Longhi PAC EX100 Pinguino Silent Air Conditioner

The first domestic air conditioning unit to achieve an A++ energy efficiency rating, this Pinguino model will run effectively without making too much of a dent in your energy bills.

It is also a great improvement in technology compared to its predecessors. The climate light indicator gives the user a constant update on the conditions of the room via the LED display. There are also three light stages – orange for uncomfortable conditions, green for acceptable and blue for optimal.

You can use this unit on dehumidify-mode only, making it versatile for whatever you need. Handles and castors also make it very easy to move around, despite it being on the heavier side.

The included bio-silver filter will remove pollutants and allergens from the air, making it ideal for hayfever sufferers in the summer months.

Low noise emissions are guaranteed even when it is on the maximum setting, so if you want to leave it running overnight, it will not disturb your sleep. The maximum cooling capacity is very high, so it won’t leave you struggling in the heat.

It is the most expensive of our picks by far, but if an air conditioner is vital and you want the best of the bunch, then this is your top pick.

Specifications

  • Output: 10,000 BTU
  • Speed Settings: 3
  • Dimensions: 38.7 x 44 x 80.6 cm
  • Weight: 35kg
  • Energy Rating: A++
  • Noise Level: 53dB

+ Downloads

Download De'Longhi PAC EX100 Pinguino Silent Air Conditioner User Manual

Download

We like

  • Amazing energy rating
  • Low noise
  • Great all-in-one

We dislike

  • Price
  • Hose could be longer

Final Verdict

The most innovative and advanced air conditioner in a long time. A must for those who rely on these appliances.

Challenge 5K Air Conditioning Unit

Recycling warm air into cold air, the Challenge 5K provides enough power for a room size up to 7~10m².

The self-evaporative system will draw excess moisture from the air, helping to keep the ideal temperature. Omni-directional castors make it easy to move between rooms, so you have complete freedom wherever you wish to spend your day.

Controlling the appliance is made easy with an LED display, 1-hour timer function and remote.

It is supplied with a 150cm hose, which should be long enough for most windows and external ventilation options.

Specifications

  • Output: 5000 BTU
  • Dimensions: 61.5 x 32.9 x 31.8cm
  • Weight: 25kg
  • Energy Rating: A
  • Noise Level: 65dB

+ Downloads

Download Challenge 5K Air Conditioning Unit User Manual Here.

Download

We like

  • Good price

We dislike

  • Noisy

Final Verdict

More expensive options may have more settings and be quieter, but this is great for a more affordable option.

AEG PX71-265WT Air Conditioning Unit

While air conditioners aren’t bought for their fancy style and aesthetic purposes, for some people it may still be nice to have a model which isn’t bulky and ugly to look at.

This model doesn’t only look the part, but it performs too. 1000W of power noticeably drops the temperature in the room, and there are three speeds as well so you can always leave it ticking over to maintain the coolness.

Like the pressure to be taken off a little? With auto-mode, the temperature will automatically be monitored, so the fan speed is adjusted to suit without you having to lift a finger. You can even control it when you are in the supermarket or on the train home from work thanks to the Wi-Fi capability, which lets you make adjustments to keep everything perfect for when you get home.

You also get a dehumidify setting as a bonus, so if it is so stuffy in your home that condensation is starting to build up, you can give this option a boost for a few minutes and then switch back once everything is clear.

It is at the very high-end of the price scale, but it does look great. And it is packed with features which make it the perfect accompaniment to helping your home atmosphere and keeping things ticking over comfortably.

Specifications

  • Output: 9000 BTU
  • Speed Settings: 3
  • Dimensions: 95.5 x 38.8 x 38.8
  • Weight: 35.3 kg
  • Energy Rating: A+
  • Noise Level: 64dB

+ Downloads

AEG PX71-265WT Air Conditioning Unit User Manual

Download

We like

  • Design
  • App available
  • Instructions easy to follow
  • Rounded shape as opposed to bulky cube

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

Quiet, stylish and incredibly high performing. Perfect if you know you want something which is going to last years

AEG ChillFlex Pro AXP26U558HW

When the heatwave hits, it can take more than just a fab to make you feel cool yet refreshed. This is where an air conditioner comes in, and this AEG model is a brilliant pick.

It has a 1000W power output, which essentially means it can make light work of the hot, stuffy room. No matter the size, it can be brought down to a comfortable level in a matter of minutes.

Unlike a few other air conditioners out there which guzzle energy, it has an A+ energy rating, so you can rest easy knowing that creating comfortable living conditions isn’t going to cost you a pretty penny, and it is also kind to the environment.

There are three fan speeds, so whether you want it ticking away in the background or need a boost when coming home to a house which has been unattended all day, you can find that perfect balance. Or, why not make use of the timer, setting it to come on and off at the ideal times of the day so you can be comfortable without even thinking about it.

There’s also a dehumidify function which will rid the room of any excess moisture. After all, there is nothing worse than a room which is too hot but also feels moist.

The control panel is nicely positioned at the top of the unit, but you also get a remote control if you prefer to make the adjustments from the other side of the room or when you’re sat having dinner.

Specifications

  • Output: 9000 BTU/h
  • Speed Settings: 3
  • Dimensions: 79.6 x 49.3 x 42cm
  • Weight: 34.5kg
  • Energy Rating: A+
  • Noise Level: 61 dB

We like

  • Incredibly easy to set up
  • Quiet so can run overnight
  • Quick to start up when you need it the most

We dislike

  • Short hose

Final Verdict

A fabulous buy. The price is very reasonable to say you get a very effective unit which is quiet and starts working almost immediately

De’Longhi PACAN98 Air Conditioning Unit

This air conditioner is a clever bit of kit which takes a lot of the effort out of trying to perfect the conditions of your home.

With Real Feel technology, it will automatically assess both the temperature and the humidity in your room, adjusting the settings accordingly to match with your desired atmosphere. If you just want to cool the room rather than sapping out the moisture, there is a fan-only option which should freshen things up.

A comfort light indicator has a bright display, so you will know straight away if you have picked the right settings without having to get up close to the unit. There’s three fan speeds to choose from, so whether you need a quick blast or soothing air while you sleep, the right option is at the press of a button.

Specifications

  • Output: 1200 BTU/hr
  • Speed Settings: 3
  • Dimensions: 71 x 47.6 x 38.5cm
  • Weight: 33.5kg
  • Energy Rating: A
  • Noise Level: 62dB

We like

  • Powerful for size
  • Mid-priced option
  • Reasonably quiet - about the same as an ordinary fan

We dislike

  • Pipe isn't very long at around 1.5m

Final Verdict

The pipe is a bit short and the light can't be dimmed if you're sleeping, but it does the job it is designed to do which makes it well worth the cost and risk

AEG ChillFlex Pro AXP34U338HW Air Conditioning Unit

An appliance which will create the perfect conditions in your home, this AEG model can tackle any issues to boost your climate.

You can either control everything fully by yourself or leave it up to the appliance to best determine what needs to be done. It can automatically sense the temperatures and conditions to change the fan speed. This will keep you comfortable without having to constantly adjust everything.

Because of the size, it is perfect for moving around the house and cooling down the rooms as it goes. It can also be used all year round, as it can even make your home warm when winter temperatures hit or dehumidify a muggy environment.

When you are watching a movie and don’t want to miss a scene, you can use the remote to turn the appliance off or change the settings, so you don’t have to move. An LCD display will let you know which temperature it is aiming to get your room down to. Lights will also let you know which settings it is currently working to.

There is also a sleep option, a timer, a swing option to cover a wider area and a warning light which will let you know when the filter needs clearing or replacing.

It may be pricier than AEG’s other options out there. But it combines so many various products all into one device which is perfect if your home is constantly facing all of the climate issues throughout the year. It is also rated A for energy efficiency, so once it has been purchased, running costs are going to be low. Worth it for a more comfortable atmosphere.

Specifications

  • Output: 1200 BTU/hr
  • Speed Settings: 3
  • Dimensions: 71 x 47.6 x 38.5cm
  • Weight: 33.5kg
  • Energy Rating: A
  • Noise Level: 62dB

+ Downloads

AEG ChillFlex Pro AXP34U338HW Air Conditioning Unit User Manual

Download

We like

  • Plenty of functions
  • Multi-use
  • Clean, modern design

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

One of the best in terms of adaptability, and the 1000W power output will get your room cooled in no time

De’Longhi PACN82 ECO Air Conditioning Unit

To transform your warm, muggy home into a cool, relaxing oasis, you need an air conditioner which is both powerful and able to cope with a lot of moisture. It can act as both an air conditioner and a dehumidifier, so the ideal settings are well within reach.

There’s three speed settings, so whether you want an immediate relief when you get home from work or want it to tick over when asleep, you can pick the right level. There is also a timer option, so you can leave it to run for an hour before you go to bed so you’re comfortable when you’re tired.

It comes with a remote control too, so if you wake up in the middle of the night needing a bit of a fresher room, you don’t have to crawl out of bed to get the job done. You also get a fan-only function if you want a mild fresh feeling, and there are handles which should make it easier to carry from room to room or up the stairs.

Specifications

  • Output: 9.4 BTU/h
  • Speed Settings: 3
  • Dimensions: H75.0 x W39.5 x D44.9cm
  • Weight: 30kg
  • Energy Rating: A
  • Noise Level: 65dB

We like

  • Remote control
  • Three speed options
  • Also dehumidifies

We dislike

  • Slightly on the noisier side

Final Verdict

Noisy if you are used to complete silence when asleep, but you will feel the difference which is worth that bit of sound

Igenix IG9704 Portable 4-in-1 Evaporative Air Cooler

A good 4-in-1 product if you want to spend your money on an item which can not only cool the room in summer but also heat it in winter.

On top of this, there is a humidifier/air purifier function, which can tackle that stuffy, muggy feeling and also rid the room of any pollutants and allergens. This makes it a great all-rounder for getting your room in perfect condition.

An alarm will let you know when the water is running low, so you can top it up – no need to keep checking on it every 15 minutes or risk it all going wrong. A 7.5-hour timer can also be set, which is ideal if you want something overnight but don’t want to worry about it being left on as you dash out for work, or if you want it to come on for a few hours before you get home.

There is also a sleep mode, so you can set it to boost its cooling power until it gets down to a reasonable temperature, and then only turn on again when it is needed.

It will make an impact in rooms up to 15m2, and if there are windows which can be opened to prevent humidity building up when used as air con. We will, however, say that if it is primarily an air conditioner you are after, then this isn’t actually the strongest function with this model.

Cooling is what it is best at, especially if you use cold water and ice to get it going. Still, the multi-use function will come in handy for anyone just wanting something to tide them over. It can be bought for slightly less without the heating function too.

Specifications

  • Output: 300 m³/h airflow volume
  • Dimensions: 33.6 x 25 x 65.7cm
  • Weight: 8.8kg
  • Energy Rating: N/A
  • Noise Level: N/A
  • Speed Settings: 3

+ Downloads

Igenix IG9704 Portable 4-in-1 Evaporative Air Cooler User Manual

Download

We like

  • Portable and small
  • Not too noisy

We dislike

  • Requires a lot of setting up if cooling

Final Verdict

Not the absolute best, but the 4-in-1 function will come in handy for anyone short on space

Air Conditioner Buying Guide

How Can I Find The Best Air Conditioner For Me?

Finding the right unit for your needs will take in a lot of factors.

  • How big is the room you will be aerating?
  • Where will you be placing the air conditioner?
  • How long does the hose have to be?
  • Do you want the unit to be able to do anything else as well as remove heat?

Room Size

Some devices are better equipped to deal with larger rooms than others. Don’t just think about the main room the appliance will be in, especially if you are planning to take advantage of the fact it is transportable.

Placement

Most of the air conditioners featured are square in shape, but there are some which are more slimline and therefore taller. Think about where you will be placing the appliance. Do you mind it being visible?

Consider the fact that it will have to be near both a plug socket and external ventilation, such as a window.

Other Functions

Some air conditioners have an added benefit of also being able to act as dehumidifiers or lower the risk of allergens in your home.

You will likely pay the price for these added extras, but they are great to consider if you are mindful of these factors. While they are expensive, it could be cheaper than buying two or three separate devices.

Modes

Most air conditioners will have two or more different modes. These are commonly a selection of air conditioning, dehumidifying, fan only or heating.

Think about what is best for your home, as purchasing an air conditioner which can do all of the above could save you having to invest in separate appliances and will be usable all year round.

FAQs

Why Do All Air Conditioners Need An Air Tube?

Home air conditioning systems work more effectively than an ordinary fan appliance. This is because, rather than pushing warm air around the room, they expel the air through the hoses.

So, while all of the air conditioners we have featured are portable, they require external ventilation. This can most commonly be through an open window or an air duct.

Which Brands Make The Best Air Conditioners?

Inventor, De’Longhi, VonHaus, Trotec and EcoAir are the five leading manufacturers of these appliances.

Each brand offers a range of individual models, and it is best to assess what you are looking for in an air conditioner before you look into specific models.

What Is BTU?

The output of most of the fans we have featured is in the form of British Thermal Units, or BTU.

Essentially, this is a unit of measurement for energy. One BTU is the amount of energy used to lower the temperature of the room by one degree (in other words, the amount of heat removed from the room).

How Do You Convert From BTUs To Watts And Vice Versa?

As mentioned, air conditioning systems and units are generally rated in British Thermal Units (BTU), but some may be in watts (w) or kilowatts (kw) depending on the origins of the manufacturer/seller. You may also have one of these measurements in mind. The following should help:

1 BTU = 0.293 w
1 watt = 3.413 BTU
1 kw = 3413 BTU