What is the best smart portable air conditioner, wifi ready and easily controlled by an app on your phone that you can buy right now in stores and online? What?
If you live in an older building or an apartment without central air conditioning, chances are you're already using a window AC in each room or if you can afford it, a mini-split AC. If you can't afford either of these or you don't have anything more than a fan to blow warm air at you, you're probably considering getting a portable air conditioner that you can move from room to room as you do.
Conventional portable coolers come in all sizes and power ratings and most have a remote control so you can operate them without getting out of your armchair.
However, there is a more technologically advanced version of this type of cooler that you don't even need a remote for... That's if you have WiFi in your place, like almost everybody does these days.
If you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about right now, don't worry. I'll explain it all as we go on as you're likely going to be very curious to know all about this new breed of cooling device.
Let's start the ball rolling by letting you in on the not-so-well-kept secret in the HVAC world. I'll answer some common questions as I explain what these devices are, how they work and why you're totally going to want one (or more) in your home!
What is a Smart Air Conditioner?
If you're following the commercials on TV like most of us do, you're probably already perfectly aware of smart devices that can be controlled by an app on your phone of tablet. Things like smart TVs, cookers, microwaves, fridges, washing machines, dishwashers etc can all be programmed via an app to run when you want them to and how you want them to.
So it may come as no great surprise to learn that you can also have smart air conditioning systems that you can similarly program via a phone app. Well, it's not just big central AC systems that can be controlled this way.
You can also get smaller, individual AC units that are WiFi connectible and controllable via an app!
Right down to certain portable air conditioning units that can be set up to run at certain times, you can turn them off at other times, change the fan speed or the thermostat setting as you wish. This puts total control and full monitoring capability in your hands and you don't even need to be at home to do it!
How Do Smart Air Conditioners Work?
These devices work in a similar way to most other ″smart″ devices. They have an on-board computing chip connected to a WiFi port that simply hooks up to your home WiFi, connecting your AC to the Internet on one end while your phone or tablet is connected at the other end.
A dedicated app created by the device manufacturer contains all the controls and monitoring functions and you simply download it to your phone or tablet. Once the app is installed, you can go through its functions and set your AC unit to do whatever you want it to.
Except it can't cook you a meal... you need a smart cooker for that!
What is the Best Smart Portable Air Conditioner to Buy?
Now that you know what it is and how it works, my guess is you probably want one.
Go on, you know you do!
The only thing left to do now is figure out which product is the right one for your needs and which manufacturer makes the best model.
I can tell you that there are a few very well known manufacturers of portable AC units that produce high quality, reliable and efficient models and it is the best of these that I feel compelled to recommend here.
The first thing you should decide is how much cooling power you need. That is generally dictated by the size of the largest room you want the cooler to cool, measured in square feet (assuming a standard height ceiling).
The power output is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units) and the lower numbers relate to lower power output, while large numbers relate to higher output. Check out the handy BTU chart on the right to get a general idea of how much power you will need to cool your room.
You'll see from the chart that a 14,000 BTU device will comfortably cool a room up to 700 sq ft, but as this is generally the highest output portable generally available on sale, for larger spaces you may need two units to manage the temperature levels effectively.
(Information for chart taken from Energy Star)
Also be aware that because this is fairly new technology, smart AC units are going to be more expensive to buy than conventional (non-WiFi enabled) units. But don't let that put you off, as the extra cost is, in most cases, not much more than its non-smart equivalent.
Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
My Top Recommendations: Smart Portable Air Conditioner Reviews
Below are my two top recommended models.
Note: Be aware that when you choose to buy any air conditioner unit that once installed, you must leave it to sit for two hours before turning it on to allow the refrigerant gas to settle and any bubbles to dissipate. Failure to do this may result in poor performance.
PS: I have come to hear about many perfectly working devices being returned because new owners were impatient and turned them on right away, then wondered why they didn't work properly!
De'Longhi 4-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner
One of the best Wi-Fi ready portable air conditioners for not only providing cold air in summer but also warm air on winter is this 4-in-1 unit from popular manufacturer De'Longhi.
Providing you with a compact, 12500 BTU unit that can cool (or warm) a room up to 500 sq ft, this multi-function AC unit does it all!
Its smart function makes it easy to connect to your WiFi and be controlled either via a phone app or with Alexa or Google Home devices for incredible flexibility. You can easily set it up to turn on and off when you want, set the temperature and power setting to provide you with just the right climate when you're at home and save energy by turning off when you're not there.
The 4-in-1 features are cooling, heating, dehumidifying and fan-only modes for all-year round comfort. It also employs exclusive ECO Real Feel technology that is designed to provide an unmatched level of comfort, with an ideal balance between temperature and humidity.
This amazing device also incorporates its own BioSilver filter for cleaner air while helping to prevent mold and mildew accumulating on the filter to reduce odors.
If all that isn't enough, it also incorporates no-drip technology that automatically recycles condensation inside the unit to improve efficiency and help prevent leaks. That makes it a fully self-evaporating air conditioner that won't need to be drained like a conventional portable AC.
You can buy this unit online right now at Amazon, where customer reviews give it 4 stars overall with almost half the owners giving it 5 stars. Click the image above right to view the product page and get further details including a very attractive price!
Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Frigidaire 12,000 BTU Cool Connect Smart Portable Air Conditioner
For those that don't need a heating function, this AC from Frigidaire provides plenty of cool for rooms up to 550 sq ft while looking great in any situation.
It is multi-functional including a powerful dehumidifying function that is capable of removing up to 3 pints per hour from the air!
What sets this unit apart from the rest is its eye-catching cylindrical design that allows it to provide 360 degree airflow to effectively circulate air all around the room more evenly than conventional, front-facing airflow units.
This AC is fully smart connecting to WiFi and controllable via Frigidaire phone app (available on Apple iTunes or Google Playstore) for full controllability of on-off settings, temperature, fan speed and control modes. It also works with Amazon's Alexa and settings can be scheduled to suit your personal needs perfectly!
This Energy Star certified unit has a power rating of 12,000 BTU making it powerful enough to cool up to 550 sq ft if needed and comes with a window fixing kit to connect the flexible exhaust hose to a convenient window (will fit horizontal or vertical opening sliding windows). The kit is low profile so you only have to have the window open a small way.
It can be bought from Amazon and I have provided a handy link direct to the product page in the image above. Click it to view the product and see additional detailed information and customer reviews as well as price and delivery information.
WiFi Air Conditioner Control
The technological marvel that is WiFi enables all your smart devices to connect to the Internet wirelessly in a home network that you set up using your home computer or tablet/phone.
The same network that connects your laptop to your tablet to your TV to your dishwasher also connects to your new air conditioner!
Not only that, but if you have a smart speaker like Alexa or Google Assistant, you can set them to control your AC for things like setting the AC to turn on when your lights turn on as you are arriving home from work, for example.
How to Control an Air Conditioner with a Phone?
Each air conditioning equipment manufacturer has its own dedicated app for the various types of phone or tablet that can be used to control its cooling devices remotely. These will be available for iPhone, Android and other mobile device operating system, providing owners with access to the right app for their phone or tablet.
There will be instructions on how to download the app, install it and then use it for each manufacturer's equipment in the literature when you purchase a smart air conditioner. The unit will generally have an automated WiFi connection that activates as soon as the device is turned on.
Once the app is installed on your phone, you simply follow the instructions provided to personalize the settings to suit your needs.
Don't worry if you don't think you're technically minded enough to figure out how to use it, because you can be sure the manufacturer will have made it as simple as they can for people to use. After all, they rely on their customers enjoying the experience of owning and using their products, so it's in their interest to make sure their app is hassle-free and easy to use!
Do Smart Portable AC Units Need to be Vented?
Like all conventional air conditioners, smart units must be vented using the flexible exhaust hose that comes with the unit to connect to the window fixing kit (also supplied). These units may be smart, but they still need to get rid of the hot, moist air that is produced by the refrigeration process and that is done via the exhaust hose.
While some of these units are self-evaporating (reducing or eliminating the need to drain excess water from a tray), please don't confuse them with the kind of ventless portable air conditioner that I explain about in that linked article. They are two very different products as you will see.
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