By its name, a portable car air conditioner represents a moveable AC with the same cooling power as a fixed-position AC. This is why portable ACs are coveted car accessories during the summer months. In addition, a portable AC unit or small portable air conditioner has become more common in cars, trucks, camping tents, and many homes today since it can be moved from one place to another.
A portable air conditioner for vehicles cools down and dehumidifies simultaneously. It is common for these small ACs to come with a water reservoir that assists in dehumidifying the air and reducing temperature and humidity inside the vehicle. These portable air conditioners prevent bacterial growth, eliminate foul odors, circulate fresh and clean air, and improve productivity.
As a result, when you buy a reliable, top-rated, and best portable air conditioner for cars, you get cooling properties and a host of other advantages that make your summer road trips more pleasant.
Table of Content
- 1 How Do Portable Air Conditioners Work?
- 2 Different Types of Portable ACs
- 3 Best 5 Portable Air Conditioners for Car
- 4 Buying Guide for portable air conditioners for car
- 5 Pros & Cons of having a portable ac for your Car
- 6 How To Install A Portable Air Conditioner
- 7 Best Portable Air Conditioners For Car - Video
- 8 FAQs
- 9 Conclusion
How Do Portable Air Conditioners Work?
Portable ac for cars converts 12-volt DC power from the vehicle’s battery to 120-volt AC power. This is the same type of power that is in your home. The portable air conditioning unit has a small fan that pulls in the hot air and blows cold air out. The unit also has a condenser coil that cools the hot gas created by the compressor.
Window central and portable air conditioners all work on the same principle. Every portable car ac has these major components:
– Expansion valve or capillary tube
– Thermal overload protector
The difference between window and portable air conditioners is that the portable ac unit must have a place to discharge the hot air. A window unit exhausts the hot air into the room.
Different Types of Portable ACs
There are three types of portable air conditioner units to choose from when looking for one to use in your camping trips according to the power source.
- The 12 volt portable AC – 12 volt portable AC unit plugs into the cigarette lighter in your car and uses the power from the car battery to run. This is the most common type of portable AC unit and is the most affordable.
- Battery power air conditioners for cars – These types of Air conditioners for cars are directly powered by your car’s battery.
- AC Adapter portable air conditioners – AC adapter portable air conditioners plug into the wall outlet in your car and use the power from the car’s battery to run. This is the most expensive type of portable AC unit, but it is also the most powerful.
Best 5 Portable Air Conditioners for Car
We have done a thorough research and presenting you the best portable air conditioners for your car you can buy in 2022 to beat the heat.
Arctos Portable AC
Image Credits: walmart
This powerful, lightweight, affordable personal air conditioner provides much-needed relief from the summer heat. Depending on the user’s preferences, it can reduce the temperature of any private space to the lowest possible level. As a result, you can remain comfortable and relaxed on hot summer days.
|Dimensions||8.25 x 7.47 x 7.07 Inches|
|Product weight||ABS Material|
|Cooling Power||For long hours|
|Noise Level||68 DB|
|Water Tank Capacity||500 ml|
|Maximum hours capacity||Up to 8 hours|
|Charging Time||Takes significantly less time for complete charging|
|Special Features||7 colors LED, three fans year, adjustable vents to directional flow|
Using evaporative cooling technology, it stores water in a tank and moves air over it. You can also use it as a regular fan for your car and humidifier. Arctos air conditioner adds moisture to the air to combat the dryness of summers, unlike traditional air conditioners that dry your skin and throat. Besides producing a cooler and moister atmosphere, the device makes the environment pleasant.
|Affordable & Convenient to use||Little Pricey|
|Easy to replace the filter|
|Easy to set up|
Evapolar evaChill Portable AC
Image Credits: amazon
The evaCHILL air conditioner cools, humidifies, and refreshes the air for healthier breathing. It takes only one button to control the airflow, and you can enjoy the fresh air for up to 4-6 hours. However, the evaCHILL air conditioner consumes only 7.5W power, making it the most energy-efficient cooling method. In addition, it creates a personal microclimate wherever you are with its portable, USB-powered design.
|Dimensions||6.77 x 6.99|
|Product weight||1.65 lbs|
|Material||80% ABS Plastic, 15% Electronic components, 5% EvaBreeze material|
|Noise Level||25-50 DB|
|Water Tank Capacity||800ml/ 27oz|
|Maximum hours capacity||4-6 hours|
|Charging Time||Minimal time|
|Special Features||Handy handle, Rotating features, Rotating grill, One button control, LED light, Funnel for easy filing, cartridge with eve breeze inside|
You can also enjoy the coolness effect if you connect evaCHILL to an electrical source – a socket, a power bank, a laptop. Ensure good air quality by replacing your cartridge at least once every three to four months (depending on the quality of your water and air). Thanks to its long-lasting biodegradable basalt fibers, which are placed in the cartridge, it will help to breathe pure and fresh air.
|100% safe for living|
TSKLooy Portable AC
Image Credits: amazon
TSKLooy is a lightweight portable AC that is specially designed for individual use. It is effortless to carry and takes significantly less space. You can use it anywhere in cars, offices, trips, dorms, etc. It has a large water tank and a waterless indicator that alerts you when the tank is dry. However, the misting fans come in seven soft colors. You just need to press the button longer to turn off the Led light.
|Dimensions||7.44 x 7.24 x 7.24 (Packaged Dimensions)|
|Product weight||1.8 lbs|
|Cooling Power||Running for up to 8 hours|
|Noise Level||Very low|
|Water Tank Capacity||Large water tank|
|Maximum hours capacity||Enjoy coolness up to long hours|
|Charging Time||Very less time for 100% battery|
|Special Features||7 soft color misting fan|
Thanks to its remarkable features, which make it multi-functional for you, a desk fan, LED moonlight, and air humidifier. In addition, this USB charging Air cooler enhances the charging efficiency. This is why charging by a car charger, computer, or power bank is effortless.
|Lightweight & Cost-efficient||Little cooling timeframe as compared to others|
|Cools fast with three different modes|
Pignr Portable Air Conditioner
Image Credits: Amazon
Pingr mini air conditioner differs from other static air conditioners. It comes with a fantastic set of features that supports 60°/120° oscillation. As a result, it provides a broader cooling area to keep yourself cool on hotter days. Moreover, it is fitted with a 5000mAh built-in rechargeable battery, which offers a maximum of 9 hours of seamless cooling.
|Dimensions||3.93″D x 5.5″W x 9.4″H|
|Product weight||2.25 lbs|
|Cooling Power||Up to 8 hours|
|Noise Level||Less noisy|
|Water Tank Capacity||600 ml|
|Maximum hours capacity||Long hours|
|Charging Time||Take few hours for 100% charging|
|Special Features||7 kinds of colors changing LED light|
In addition, you can select different fan speeds and cooling levels depending on your needs. This personal air conditioner humidifies the air around and purifies the air just by removing the small particulates. A simple touch-screen makes operating the air conditioner easier with just a few clicks.
|Easy to use||A little weighty|
|Rainbow gradient lights|
Ontel Arctic Air Ultra Evcoate
Image Credits: Amazon
Enjoy calmness anywhere with a personal air conditioner to breathe clean. Also, Ontel cools down and purifies the air that is humidified and filtered. Its whisper-quiet fan features three fan speeds and a multi-directional air vent that provides cool winds to beat the summer. Its efficient cooling comes with hydro chill technology, which pulls in hot air via evaporative air cooling. However, the multi-directional air vent can easily adjust to point the air to your desired area.
|Dimensions||10.15 x 11. 1 x 12.9 in inches|
|Product weight||2.7 lbs|
|Cooling Power||Up to 10 hours|
|Noise Level||Less noisy|
|Water Tank Capacity||Enough capacity|
|Maximum hours capacity||Up to 10 hours|
|Charging Time||Few hours for complete charging|
|Special Features||Hydro chill technology|
It is straightforward to use; you just need to add water to the top, fill the water tank, and press the button. However, the Arctic Air ultra can run up to 10 hours per fill. As a result, you can use it whenever you need it.
|A good choice for your space and cars||A little noisy compared to others|
|Humidity & temperature control|
|Good water tank capacity|
|Metrics||Arctos||Evapolar evaChill||TSKLooy||Pignr||Ontel Arctic|
|Weight||ABS Material||1.65 Lbs||1.8 Lbs||2.25 Lbs||2.7 Lbs|
|Cooling Power||For long hours||100W-350W||up to 8 hrs||Up to 8 hrs||Up to 10 hrs|
|Dimension (in inches)||8.25 x 7.47 x 7.07||6.69 x 6.77 x 6.69||7.44 x 7.24 x 7.24||3.93 x 5.5 x 9.4||10.15 x 11. 1 x 12.9|
|Noise level||68 dB||25-50 DB||Very low||Less noisy||Less noisy|
Buying Guide for portable air conditioners for car
When it comes to keeping cool in your car, a portable car air conditioner is a great way to go. Not only they do provide relief from the summer heat, but they also work well to combat humidity. However, before you buy one, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
- Size of the air conditioner – The size of the unit is an important consideration. Some portable air conditioners are small enough to fit in a backpack, while others are larger and need to be mounted on the window. Make sure you choose one that is the right size for your car. As a smaller and more powerful AC is best suitable for your car.
- Power requirements – Most portable air conditioners run on electricity, so you need to make sure your car has a working outlet. If your car doesn’t have an outlet, you may need to purchase an adapter. Most cars have 12 Voltage outlets.
- Efficiency – Not all portable air conditioners are created equal in terms of efficiency. Some use more energy than others, so you’ll want to choose one that is energy-efficient.
- Noise level – Another consideration is the noise level of the AC. Some portable air conditioners are much louder than others. If you’re someone who likes to listen to music or talk on the phone while driving, you’ll want to choose an AC with a low noise level.
- Duration of use – How long do you plan on using the AC? Some portable air conditioners only last for a few hours. If you are planning to use the air conditioner for a long time you need to choose it accordingly.
- Size – Finally, you’ll want to consider the size of the AC. Some portable air conditioners are larger than others. Choose one that is the right size for your car.
- Cost of the air conditioner – Cost is always a factor when purchasing anything. Make sure you are aware of how much the AC costs and whether or not it is worth the price.
- Size of the vehicle – You will also want to take the size of your car into account. Some portable air conditioners are really large and won’t fit in smaller cars. If you have a bigger space you won’t be getting that much cooling. you need to calculate how much area you need to cool and according to that, you need to choose the air conditioner. To cool down one sqft of the area you need an Air conditioner to generate almost 20BTU. For example, if your car’s internal space is around 200sqft you need to have an ac that can generate 4000 BTU.
- Installation efforts of air conditioner – If you are not handy, you might want to avoid air conditioners that need to be installed using screws and holes. Some portable air conditioners come with a window kit so they can be attached to a window. If your car doesn’t have any windows, or if you don’t want to drill any holes in it, you will need air.
Pros & Cons of having a portable ac for your Car
- Convenience – One of the best things about having a portable AC unit for car is how convenient it can be. If you’re traveling and it gets too hot, you can just set up the AC and cool down your car quickly.
- Money-saving – Another great thing about having a portable AC unit is that it can save you tons of money. If you’re traveling and the hotel or Airbnb you’re staying at doesn’t have air conditioning, you can just set up your portable AC unit and cool down the room.
- Versatility – Portable AC units are also very versatile. You can use them in your car, but you can also use them in your home, office, or any other small space.
- Size – One thing to consider when buying a portable AC unit is its size. Make sure you buy one that is not too big or too small for your needs.
- Work as a humidifier – Portable AC units also work as humidifiers, which is a great feature to have in the summertime when the weather is hot and muggy.
- Improves visibility when it’s foggy outside.
- Lowers the risk of accidental animal ingestion.
- Makes the air in the car feel cleaner and less polluted.
- The temperature inside the car can be preselected and automatically maintained by the air conditioner.
- No need to worry about gas prices if you own a hybrid car.
- Can be expensive to operate – Portable AC units can be a bit more expensive to operate than regular window units.
- May does not work well in very hot climates – If you live in an area where the temperatures regularly exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit, a portable AC unit may not be the best option.
- Noise complaints – Some people find portable AC units to be noisy, so if you are particularly sensitive to noise, this may not be the best option for you.
- Unit must be emptied of water after each use – If you live in an area with high humidity, you will need to empty the water collected by the unit after each use.
How To Install A Portable Air Conditioner
When the temperature starts to rise, it is important to have a reliable way to cool down. One of the best ways to do this for your car is by installing a portable air conditioner. This blog will teach you how to install such an appliance.
First, you need to find a location for the air conditioner in your car that has a 12-volt power port. This can be done by looking under your dashboard. You also need to find a place where there is at least 1 inch of space between the unit and the back seat.
Overhead 12-volt power port where you can plug in the portable air conditioning system. Minimum of 1 inch between the back seat and air conditioner. You also need to think about how you will secure it in place once installed. The best way to do this is by using velcro.
However, you should be careful to make sure that the unit does not have sharp edges or it could puncture your seat material. Once you have all of the tools you need and all of your materials, you can do your installation.
I will cover the individual steps in more detail below:
1. Go under your dashboard. The port is usually located on top of the steering column below the overhead light switch (if present). It is a small black plug with a socket that can be used for 12-volt accessories.
2. Find a spot behind the back seat where you can run the air hose from your portable air conditioner. It is better to run the hose behind the rear seat rather than underneath it. This will keep your backseat area less cluttered and will still allow you to use it when you are not using the air conditioner.
3. There are several different types of vents so there may be a couple of different ways that you can install your new unit. If there is one vent that has airflow, follow these steps:
a) Turn the air conditioner on high to get maximum airflow out of the vent .
b) Push the hose over the vent of your choice and secure it with duct tape or zip ties.
If there are multiple vents that do not have airflow (this is common in most GM vehicles), follow these steps:
a) Remove the vent grille.
b) Cut a hole big enough to fit your air conditioner hose through by using a razor blade or utility knife.
c) Run the air hose through this hole before putting back the vent grille.
4. Work from the interior of your vehicle and have a friend run around to the outside with the hose to make sure that it is in the correct place.
With your air conditioner installed, you will be able to drive through hot weather comfortably and keep your cool throughout the summer season.
Best Portable Air Conditioners For Car - Video
Is it worth buying a portable AC?
You can use portable air conditioners to keep hot spots comfortable if your central air does not work well in some rooms or your car while traveling—an excellent supplemental system, especially in small spaces that can be sealed off. A decent night’s sleep and comfortable travel (during summers) are all you need.
What is better, window AC or Portable AC?
A portable air conditioner differs from a window air conditioner. A mobile unit sits on the floor and has an exhaust vent connected to a window, ceiling, wall, or door. A portable air conditioner provides utility flexibility and savings. The units offer a quick solution for either temporary or long-term air conditioning in a room.
Do portable car air conditioners use lots of electricity?
Is the widow AC more noisy than the portable Air Conditioner?
Well, we have talked about the portable car ACs at a great length. After considering all the features and aspects we think Icy Breeze V2 Pro Portable air conditioner is the best of the lot. The first thing is its amazing performance. It’s a time-tested brand. It is better than its competitors at a cheaper price. It stands out on Amazon with 4.3 ratings.
Before looking for the best portable AC for your cars and hitting the Buy Now option, always remember to consider your requirements.
Finally, I hope, we have helped you out with this article. Good luck with your portable car AC.