It’s summertime and you know what that means? No, not spending time on the beach or doing just about anything you want outdoors (you could as long as you observe social distancing). It means sweltering days and hot sweaty nights. If you don’t have the money for centralized air conditioning and hate the fact that window-mounted air conditioners can only cool one room, you could get yourself a portable air conditioner. You can stay cool regardless of where you are at home and they won’t break the bank. We’ve scoured Amazon and Best Buy and found the Black & Decker BPACT08WT, GE APCA09YZBW, and hOmeLabs 12,000 BTU portable air conditioners on sale for as low as $300.
The Black & Decker BPACT08WT’s cooling capability is a bit underwhelming, but its 3-in-1 functionality is very enticing. The problem is the uninsulated exhaust pipe which works against the perfectly fine cooling function. Best wrap a blanket around it. This portable air conditioner is rated at 5,000 BTUs, which means it’s suitable for small rooms up to 150 sq ft. Underneath it are four caster wheels which make it very easy to wheel around the house. It also has integrated handles so carrying it up and down the stairs won’t be a problem, although we advise you to be careful as it weighs roughly 50 pounds. As mentioned, aside from the ability to cool a room down, the BPACT08WT also works as a dehumidifier and air circulator. It has the power to extract up to 50 pints of moisture per day, which isn’t that powerful but is perfectly reasonable for a 3-in-1 machine. By the way, the air circulating function is just a fancy way of saying “it blows air around like a fan.” For a versatile and affordable way to beat the summer heat, get the Black & Decker BPACT08WT for just $300 instead of $350 at Amazon.
If you’ve got a medium-sized room that’s in dire need of cooling down, consider the GE APCA09YZBW instead. This portable air conditioner delivers 8,500 BTUs, making it ideal for rooms up to 250 sq ft. And just like the Black & Decker BPACT08WT, this machine has built-in dehumidifying and fan capabilities. Featuring Auto Evaporation Technology, the GE APCA09YZBW has the power to evaporate the water under most conditions with no bucket to empty. This eliminates the need to throw away a heavy bucket of water regularly. The GE APCA09YZBW comes with a digital thermostat which is very easy to operate. Through it, you can control the temperature and set up the 24 Hour Timer, or you can use the remote control. While the portable AC itself seems quite durable, the window inserts that it comes with are made of flimsy-looking plastic. It can also get rather noisy during operation, but that’s sort of expected of any AC unit. For cooling medium-sized rooms without having to spend a small fortune, get the GE APCA09YZBW for $330 (down from $370) at Best Buy.
Last on our list is the hOmeLabs 12,000 BTU. As its name suggests, this portable air conditioner can cool down large rooms that are up to 450 sq ft. And just like the first two models, the hOmeLabs 12,000 BTU not only keeps the summer heat at bay but also has the power to remove 100 pints of water from the air (this is very powerful by portable AC dehumidifying standards) and comes with multiple fan modes. The hOmeLabs 12,000 BTU works by drawing in ambient air in a room and filtering the air as it’s cooled which also keeps your room smelling fresh. The standard washable filter can be easily removed from the back and it works remarkably well, based on the surprising amount of dust it gathered, although it does not include a HEPA filter. Temperature settings, switching between cooling and dehumidifying modes, and programming the 24-hour timer can be done from the comfort of your bed using the remote control. Finally, unlike other portable and window air conditioners, the hOmeLabs 12,000 BTU is very quiet as it’s designed to operate with a noise level of not more than 53 dB so it won’t disturb you while you sleep. For whisper-quiet and cooler summer nights, get the hOmeLabs 12,000 BTU for $400 instead of $30 at Amazon.
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