Portable Air Conditioner Choice Reviews

Hello all,

I'm after a portable air conditioner because I fear that this summer would be really hot and I live in a rental apartment with no aircon. I was wondering if anybody with a Choice membership will be able to share the recommended portable air conditioners from this Choice review?


Thank you in advance.



    As someone who has purchased portable aircons in the past, all I can say is don't read too much into it. They all eventually fail especially if you're planning on running it every day through summer. It's just too much work for them. My opinion could be wrong with the high end tier as I've only ever spent up to $500.

    This is the last one I purchased that lasted more than a year (I've had it since early 2017), I don't use it outside of summer and in summer I've only ever used it for sleeping as I can deal with the heat throughout the day.

    My last advice to you is only use them when it's uncomfortably hot for you, this seems to increase the lifespan significantly.


    People say the local library usually has a subscription.


      Mine only has access to the magazines, not all the recent detailed reviews. The magazines only offer about 25% of the content.

  • +1 vote

    Better still. I just take a thermos and go spend the day in the library if it gets over 35. They've got the computers, the books.
    However, if you've got a balcony with a window, get a proper window air conditioner. They are just as effective as a split system and four times better than a portable. And you can take it with you.

  • +1 vote

    I have had a good portable reverse cycle unit, they are not that great. They are difficult to use as you are bound by where you have a window or door and if your space is a little big, then its almost pointless, while cool to stand in front of, they just cannot keep up.
    If you are in a smaller unit or perhaps in a bedroom, then probably works ok, would at least take the punch out of the heat.

    The main issue I had was being able to find an appropriate spot for it that would work with a window or door as you must vent it to the outside.
    Plus the extension pipe to evacuate the hot air it produces to the outside also gets quite hot.

    The other thing to look out for is whether it has a 'tap' to drain out the condensation water that they produce and where its located. The outlet on mine was on the base of the unit which made it very impracticable, I had to lift the unit up onto a solid box so the drain pipe could drain into a bucket, rather than the small dish it came with. They do have a small internal water holder, but you need to watch out that you do not let it over fill.
    Some units will have an auto de-condenser?? to remove/evaporate the water and do not need a drain to remove the condensation.

    When I first bought it I was in an apartment, open plan lounge/dining, leading into a small galley type kitchen.. vented it out the sliding glass door to the balcony, The property was not very big, there was a sliding door closing of the hallway and bedrooms etc. The design of your unit will make a huge difference in whether it works well or not, and not just the cooling, but also the placement, mine was a shocker which didn't help useability.


    The one that I picked from their top rated ones - because it was the least noisy of their top rated - was the Honeywell MN12CES. Didn't buy it but took a note of it.

    I see Kogan sells them.


    Choice puts less emphasis on the noise of the damn things, in all kinds of air cons, than I do.


    You could always join and not have subscribers pay your way.


    Do you have access to a sliding window? You need to be able to ventilate the exhaust. Don't cheap out with the aircon or you will suffer from buyers remorse.

    They're always loud, but they give reprieve. I bought a DeLonghi WE120HP that were about $950 (eventually went on clearance sale for $569). It does pretty well, and has a water reservoir which apparently helps in terms of efficiency.

    I live in Brisbane and have found the summers pretty brutal, this thing was a lifesaver but it's much too loud for sleeping with. Great for during the day, personally, but you may feel differently.


    I do have access to a window that slides up in my bedroom, I only plan to have the portable aircon in my bedroom to sleep well during the summer or at least cool down the bedroom before sleeping.

    I was thinking of getting a window unit but I don't have access to a balcony and I'm not too sure about mounting it on a rental without getting into trouble.

    Aldi does have a portable aircon for sale for tomorrow's special buys but there aren't many favourable reviews online.

    I will wait for a deal or sale on the mentioned portable aircon models from the comments and do some more research.

    Thank you for your help.


    It's definitely something that if you spend cheap you get crap cooling.
    Polocool is what you need if you want good cooling, i use a Polocool PC44 in my bedroom which has my Gaming PC and it cools my room perfectly on a 45c day in the middle of summer.
    Don't be scared by the Harvey norman pricing they can be picked up used cheap, i got the one in my bedroom for $200 few years ago i also have a 6KW version in the lounge room .


    Don't buy the Kogan 10,000BTU model. It's very loud and only cools the room by about 6C at best.


    I bought Dimplex from JB Hifi three years ago and it's still running.
    The good thing about this model is that you don't need pipe/hose for the water runoff.
    It has small water collection at the bottom but it rarely collect any water.

  • -2 votes

    They're all terrible. I'd rather suffer (and have been for 5+ years) without. Moving somewhere with aircon is basically on the bucket list at this point!

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