Best Portable Air Conditioner in Australia

By Ivan Bezbradica | Updated 24 September 2021

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On those hot Aussie days you need some extra help to keep cool. That's why in this guide we are uncovering the best portable air conditioners in Australia. Portable air conditioners are perfect for people looking for a cheaper way to cool. They're ideal for cooling single rooms, renters, or for buildings that don't allow the installation of expensive split systems.

Our picks are chosen after many hours of research, comparing expert reviews, user opinions, and hard data. It's time to chuck away that desk fan and upgrade to a portable air conditioner.

Best for most (quite)

De'Longhi Pinguino 

The De'Longhi Pinguino is our pick for the best portable air conditioner. This is because it has the ability to rapidly cool a room and then change pace to quietly maintain it. It comes in both black and white models.

OUR
PICK

Best budget air conditioner

Shinco 7000 BTU

If you are looking for a sub $300 air conditioner, then the Shinco is the best choice out there. It's a no frills air conditioner perfect for giving you that extra boost of cold air in the summer months.

Smart Home 

Kogan SmarterHome

The Kogan allows you to control your air conditioner with your smart phone. It is compatible with Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Kogan SmarterHome.

Best for desks and side tables

Evapolar EV-500W

The Evapolar is ideal for personal use. It's a small aircon designed to be placed on your desk or side table. Turn it on to get cold air blown directly onto you. 

How We Decided

Deciding on the best portable air conditioner in Australia involved a lot of research. We started out by researching what consumers needed portable air conditioners. The Aussie government website Your Home said that portable air conditioners are ideal for homes that can't install traditional air conditioner units and are best suited for single rooms (1).

We then visited popular forums and sub-reddits to see what types of air conditioners Aussies used in their home (2). We then cross referenced these picks with other consumer review websites to see what air-cons they recommended that are available in Australia. After this we narrowed down our picks to air conditioners that meet the needs for particular uses, reviewed each unit individually, then created our top list. 


Best Portable Air Conditioners Australia


Best for most and quite

De'Longhi Pinguino

What we like 

Powerful and quiet

Great design 

Specifications

Cooling power: 3300W
Cooling area: 23m2
Dimension: 39 x 44.5 x 80.5
Noise level: 47-50B 

OUR
PICK

When looking for the best Australian portable air conditioner we looked for an air con that was quite and cooled down a room quickly. After reviewing the contenders the De'Longhi Pinguino was the best choice. This is because it powerful enough to quickly cool down a room, and then change pace to maintain the temperature while keeping noise as low as possible.

What you will find is that most portable air conditioners are loud due to the nature of their design. They work by sucking out air from the conditioned room and replacing it with cool air. This can be a noisy task. The De'Longhi has been engineered to keep this noise down to a minimum while also being equipped with smart technology to maintain temperature. 

What we like

Quite

The Pinguino noise level varies between 47 to 50db. Safe Work Australia compares this level of noise to be between quite radio music and a normal conversation (3). So it's very quite! Making it ideal for daily and nightly use. One user said that bought the Pinguino said "It's great. While it's not silent you can still sleep with it on" (4).

Size & style

The Pinguino is a good sized air conditioner. Most portable air conditioners are very large. The De'Longhi is comes in at 39 x 44.5 x 80.5cm, which is comparably a small foot print in the air con space. It also comes in both white and stylish black models that allows you to match the air con with your room. 

It's got power

The Pinguino has 3300W of power behind it to cool down rooms. It is ideal for rooms that are up to 23m2 in size (e.g. 5m * 4.8m) . This will cool down a good sized bedroom and most people's living's rooms. 

It has a "sensing unit" 

The Pinguino has a sensing unit that allows it to track humidity and temperature around you. If the temperature or humidity changes, the air conditioner  can auto adjust its settings to maintain your desired temperature.

Who's the De'Longhi Pinguino for?

The Pinguino is the ideal portable air con for the Aussie that wants a quite cooling system that is powerful enough to cool down most rooms. This machine is on the slightly expensive side, but with this extra money you get a quite and powerful machine. If you are looking for a cheap way to keep cool, below is our budget pick that you can consider.  


Budget pick

Shinco 7000 BTU

What we like 

Low cost
It's both an air con and a dehumidifier

Specifications

Cooling power: 2050W
Cooling area: 12 to 14m2
Dimension: 37 x 35 x 69cm
Noise level: 57dB

If you are looking for a no frills portable air con to keep cool then look no further than the Shinco 7000 BTU. The Shinco is a cheap air con that you can get for sub $300.00. It's designed to cool a small room and will give you that extra hit of cold relief during summer months. 

What we like

Cheap!

The Shinco is a very affordable portable air conditioner and is the main reason you would want to get this machine. It's powerful enough to cool a room up to 14m2 (e.g. 4 * 3.5), making it ideal for small living rooms and bedrooms. If your room is bigger than this or you need more power, the Shinco has two more powerful units with 2650W and 3500W of power and they are only $50 and $100.00 more expensive that you can see here

Dehumidifier included

The Shinco is not only a portable ac unit but also a dehumidifier and air purifier. If you live in the more humid areas of Australia like Queensland or Northern Territory, this is an extra perk that you should consider.

What we don't like

It is loud compared to our top pick

Since this is a cheaper air conditioner compared to our top pick, there are compromises to be had. The main one being the noise it makes. It is on the louder side. But for its price point this is not a deal breaker. 

Who's the Shinco for?

The Shinco is perfect for the person looking for a low cost portable air conditioner. It is ideal of a renter or for a person that needs an extra hit of cooling air without breaking the bank.


For smart homes

Kogan SmarterHome

What we like 

Link with smart phone
Great for cooling single rooms

Specifications

Cooling power: 3500W
Cooling area: 30m2
Dimension: 42 x 36 x 74cm
Noise level: 65dB

These days every home appliance is becoming smarter and portable air conditioners are no different. If you have a smart home or like hooking up your appliances with your phone, then the Kogan SmarterHome is the air con for you.

What we like

Smart home pick

You can connect the Kogan with Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Kogan SmarterHome. This allows you to control the features of this machine from your smartphone. There are several benefits to this besides not needing remotes.

Since this air con is connected to your Wi-Fi you can control it when you are out of the home. For example you can turn the air con on before arriving home to make sure your room is cool on arrival. And if you think you've forgotten to turn the machine off, you can simple double check on your phone. A great time and money saver!

Powerful

The Kogan has 3500W of power behind it (even more than our top pick!). Meaning it can cool rooms up to 30m2 in size (e.g. 5 * 6m). 

Ease to move around

The Kogan has wheels on its base that makes it easy to move around your home. 

What we don't like

Noise once again

Since this machine is more powerful, it means that it does give out more noise. However this is the compromise with every portable air conditioner. 

Who's the Kogan SmarterHome for?

The Kogan is the ideal air con for the person who is looking for a power Australian portable air conditioner with smart home capabilities. 


Perfect for desks 

Evapolar EV-500W

What we like 

Perfect for personal use

Modern design & portable

Specifications

Cooling power: 500W
Cooling area: 4.18m2
Dimension: 17 x 17 x 17cm
Noise level: 25-50dB

The Evapolar is a very different air con compared to the others on this list. This is because it is not designed to cool down a room, rather it is meant to be used as a personal cooling device.

What we like

Perfect for desks and side tables

The Evapolar is designed to be positioned on your work or study desk during summer months. It will blow cold air directly onto your face much like a car's air conditioner does while driving. As long as the machine is on it will keep you cool.

Cheap!

The Evapolar is the cheapest portable air conditioner on this list because it is the least complicated machine and has a very small profile. It's only 17 x 17 x 17 cm in size and designed to cool one person. 

Super quite!

This is actually the quietest portable air conditioner on our list. It is even more quite that our top pick, the Pinguino. This makes sense as it's designed for personal use rather than cooling an entire room. It sound varies from 25-50dB. 25dB is the same noise level as a whisper according to Safe Work Australia.

What we don't like

Temporary relief 

The Evapolar does not provide long lasting cooling effects to your room. This is because it is not designed to do this. It is designed to produce instant cooling air. As long as you understand what this machine is designed for then this is still a good option. Just don't think it is going to cool down your entire study or office as it won't.

Who's the Evapolar for?

The Evapolar is designed for personal use and to be placed on a desk or side table. If you need some extra relief while working away in your study or office, then this is a great cheap portable air conditioner. 


Portable Air Conditioner Buying Guide

Now that we've reached the end of our portable air conditioner reviews, we hope you've found a unit that will meet your needs. If you're still undecided, we've created the below buyer's guide that outlines the key features you should look out for when buying a portable air con.


How Big of A Room Do I Need to Cool?

The first question you need to ask yourself is how big a of a room you need to cool down. This will allow you to quickly filter down the best portable air con for your needs. As there is no point buying a super powerful air con when you only need to cool down a small bedroom. This will allow you to save money and get the most energy efficient machine.  When comparing air conditioners you need to compare its cooling surface area. We have listed the cooling area on each one of our recommended portable air conditioners. 


What's Your Budget?

The next question you need to ask yourself is what your budget is. Since you now know what sized room you need to cool down you can now compare prices and features to find value for money. We find that you need to spend at least $300 to get a portable air con to cool down a room. If you are looking for a machine that is on the quite side you need to spend more than $600.00. 


Is Noise A Issue For You?

Portable air conditioners are unfortunately loud. There are some models like our top pick that are on the quite side. But most are not. We recommend you take notice of how loud the manufactures say their machines are. Noise is measured by decibels (dB). In order to get a good understand of how loud something is we recommend checking out Work Safe Australia's noise guide (5). 


What's the Air Con's Energy Consumption 

Portable air conditioners are not the most energy efficient way of cooling down a room (6). Because of this it is important to compare the energy consumption of each machine to avoid nasty bill shock. Luckily the Australian government has now created energy efficiency standards for portable air cons (7). Most air conditioners will also list how much energy they consume per use and will have the Australian energy rating listed on them. 


What Features To Look Out For

There are several features to look out for when buying an Aussie air con that will impact on the cooling ability of the unit. If you spend more money the more features the machine tends to have. Below are some key features you can compare between machines

Exhaust duct length and window kit

You want to make sure that your machine has a long enough duct to reach your window to exhaust the warm air from the room. Most machines will also come with a window kit to allow you to close the window but allow the exhaust host to go through.

Smart home features

If you are looking for an air con that can connect with your phone, then you want to look out for a unit that can connect to your wifi and phone like the Kogan smart portable air conditioner that has wi fi connectivity.

Timer

Want to be able to pre-set when you air con turns on to make sure your home is cool before you get home? Then you need a timer for that if the air con does not have smart home features.

Remote control

Most portable ac units have remote controls that allow you to control the cooling capacity from a distance. Some cheaper models do not however, so it is important to check if it comes included in the box. In alternate you can consider getting a smart portable air conditioner that allows you to control the temperature from your phone. 

Sleep mode

Sleep mode is a handy feature to have if you only want your portable unit to be on while you are falling asleep. This is ideal for smaller rooms that cool down quickly. There is no point using that cooling power if you can't feel it. 

Movability and power cord

Portable air conditioners can be heavy. Most units can be 30kg. So you want to make sure the unit has features that allow you to move it around the room like wheels and handles. Many reviews also say it is important for it to have a decent sized power cord to allow you to reach your window and power socket.

Adjustable louvres

Most portable air cons have manually adjustable louvres (which are the bits of plastic that direct air flow). Some cheaper models don't allow you to do this. So you want to make sure you are able to direct the air of your air con. 

Cooling capacity

One of the most important features to look for is the cooling capacity of the machine. Larger rooms need more power while small rooms not as much. Most machines will list the square metres it is able to cool or kilowatts of power it has. Fan speeds are also something to look out for. You want your air conditioning unit to be able to cool your room rapidly and then maintain the temperature. 

Evaporative cooling or refrigeration cycle air conditioner 

There are two types of units you can choose from. Evaporative is the most common that pump air from the outside and uses a reverse cycle system to draw the hot air from the room and replace it with cold air. Refrigeration cycle machines use a cooling unit built within it to cool the room, this is not as common. 

Ease of use

You want to examine how the machine operates and its ease of use. Does it come with a remote control? Does it have a clear interface or phone app? These are important to consider. 

Operating functions (cool, heat, dehumidify, fan mode etc)

Make sure you take note of what function modes your unit has. Most air cons now allow you to do more than just cool, like dehumidify or turn on fan mode. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some common questions people ask about portable air conditioners. If you have a question you want to ask, please get in touch with us and we will add it onto our list. 

How do portable air conditioners work?

Portable air conditioners work by sucking in warm and humid air and then blowing back cold and dehumidified air back into the room. Most units have a duct that blows out the hot air outside of your home through a window.

Are portable air conditioners worth it?

Portable air conditioners are worth having when your home does not allow you to use other cooling methods or are on a budget. 

Are portable air conditioners energy efficient?

Portable air conditioners are not energy efficient compared to in built and split system air conditioning units. However they have the benefit of being portable and cheap. 


Sources

1. https://www.yourhome.gov.au/energy/heating-and-cooling

2. https://www.reddit.com/r/australia/comments/7sq2mp/need_help_choosing_a_portable_aircon_unit/

3. https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/noise

4. https://www.reddit.com/r/australia/comments/6l5f9f/portable_airconditioners/djriu49?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

5. https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/noise#identifying-hazards

6. https://www.sylvane.com/blog/introducing-new-portable-ac-btu-guidelines/

7. https://www.energyrating.gov.au/products/portable-air-conditioners

8. https://www.choice.com.au/home-and-living/cooling/portable-air-conditioners/buying-guides/portable-air-conditioners