Best Portable Air Conditioner Unit For Sleepless Nights

Temperatures all over the country are increasing every year, this is even more noticeable throughout the summer months. UK homes are traditionally well equipped to deal with cold weather, but when it comes to warmer weather the average house does not have the necessary solutions.

The majority of UK homes have central heating but only a small minority have air conditioning built in to their home. AC units allow for temperature control meaning that throughout the hot summer nights you will not lay there for hours on end sweating and overheating wondering when you will finally fall asleep.

AC units are not a well marketed product within the UK and many people wouldn't even know where to start when deciding which one to purchase. We have made this detailed beginner friendly guide so you can easily find out the best air conditioner unit and what to look for in your next buy.

Model

Image

BTU

Rating

Price

Igenix 3 in1 Air Conditioner

igenix3in1

9000

£££

EcoAir Artica Air Conditioner

EcoAir

8000

££

Igenix IG9900 Air Conditioner

igenixIG990

9000

££

Trotec Portable Air Conditioner

trotec

7000

££

HomegearAir Conditioner

Homegear

9000

££

What is a portable air conditioner unit?

​Although you can buy static units that can be built into walls, we will be focussing on portable air conditioner units that allow you to move them from room to room and also are considerably more affordable than their static counterparts.

How do portable air conditioner units work?​

In simple to understand terms, when the conditioner is first activated and switched on, it draws air from the room in through its built in vents which passes over a cold evaporator coil.

During this process it is cooled and most of the moisture is removed.​ The new cooler air is then recirculated around the room which results in the overall temperature and humidity reducing.

Whilst this is happening, the unit has an inbuilt chemical refrigerant that absorbs the heat from the warm air within the unit. As this air begins to cool, the water is then released into the air conditioner unit.

Depending on the unit you purchase, this is then emptied either via an external drain system or is collected and stored in a connected tank that you can easily disconnect and empty when it becomes full.

Why you shouldn't ignore the summer heat

​Most of us enjoy the increase in temperature over the summer months, but whilst we encourage you to enjoy it, you shouldn't ignore the potential health risks and hazards that accompany it. 

When you body begins to feel warm and increases in temperature, your brain is intelligent enough to compensate this by perspiring which cools down the body. However there is only so much your body can do, and when the external temperature and humidity is high, sweating isn't enough to cool you back down.

​Heat can cause several types of illnesses and conditions if you don't take action, and many don't have any warning signs until its too late. For instance, if you begin to sweat too much then heat rashes may begin to form on your body.

Heat exhaustion is a more serious condition that can arise which is caused by excessive sweating which increases the speed of your breathing resulting in your pulse weakening. This then leads to a heat stroke which can be deadly as your brain may begin to function ineffectively and your organs such as the kidneys and liver become dysfunctional.

Research by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that up to 760 deaths could be attributed to the UK heatwave that occurred in 2013​, and this figure only covers a 9 day period so this number is likely to have increased further. The most at risk age groups are young children and the elderly who often don't know the risks that a heatwave can bring.

Who needs an air conditioner unit?

If you have existing sleeping issues

An air conditioner unit is a fantastic solution if you suffer from an ongoing sleep related issue such as insomnia, hot flashes or you find it difficult to stay cool throughout the night. This is the most effective solution for this as it will provide a consistent stream of cool air which will make you more comfortable and relaxed leading to a higher quality of sleep.​ 

Of course there are other solutions such as a standard fan or cooling pillow, but they are less effective and if you've tried those alternatives then a portable air conditioner is the perfect solution.​

Tenants

​The majority of people who purchase air conditioner units are tenants, usually because the landlord doesn't already have a static unit built in and they refuse to install one. Some landlords will not allow air conditioner units to be installed into the walls of the house even if the tenant pays for it. A simpler and quicker solution is to purchase a portable version as a remedy especially because you might have to move house again soon so it would be a waste of money paying for an in built solution.

Home Owners

The option of installing an inbuilt air conditioning system is much more viable for a home owner, however a portable unit should be used if you plan to move homes in the near future or if you only need air conditioning for one or two rooms, whilst the remaining rooms remain unoccupied. An entire in built unit would just be a waste of time and money.

Office Workers/Work from home

Office environments have developed massively over the last few years, and most already have in built air conditioning units. This uptake was increased now that its well known that warmer temperatures worsen work productivity and work accuracy.

However if you work alone, from home, or in your own office room that has not air conditioning, then a portable air conditioner unit could be the solution for you.

Benefits

Easy to install

​If you want to install a traditional static unit, you most likely can't perform the installation yourself and all you can do is choose a HVAC contractor to complete the job. This will cost you additional time and money as you need a professional.

In an ideal world the installation will be straight forward and simple, but there can quite easily be complications. For instance you may find out halfway through the process that your existing electrical system can't handle the power needs of the air conditioner unit. Not only will this slow down the process, but it also means that you now have to go out and hire an electrical contractor. 

Now picture the situation if you purchase a portable air conditioner unit. You can easily install the unit yourself and there are going to be no electrical problems that arise because the air conditioner units plug into a standard socket that you find in your home.​

Some portable units require an exhaust vent to be installed, but a portable unit comes with easy to follow instructions that anybody can follow so it is highly unlikely that you'll need to hire an expert.​

Portable

​Air conditioner units, by design are portable and can be moved from place to place. It must be noted that some units are slightly on the heavier side so it may take a little more effort to move them around the house. But even with this in mind, its still easier to move than the tradition built in air conditioner systems.

Portable units will allow you to move it to wherever you require cooling to be performed. Some are light and compact or even have built in wheels and side handles so they are easier to move. This can be useful if you spend the daytime in one room but then you sleep in another room, so you will not need to buy two separate units.​

Also if you have an issue with a built in air conditioner, you will need to hire a professional to come out to your home to asses the situation. With a portable unit you can bring it to any repair store at a cheaper cost to get the unit fixed.​

Cheaper​

Understandably, most of us are price conscious and are working to a budget which is one of the most important factors to consider. This is especially relevant to those that don't want to spend the excessive cost of regular air conditioning unit, and have just about enough to cover the price of a portable air conditioner unit.​

Portable units are considerably cheaper and require less additional professional help and support. Built in units may also need to you to upgrade your home electrical capabilities which then costs additional money.​

Health

An air conditioner unit allows you to avoid all the potential health risks that come with rising summer temperatures, by keeping a constant cool environment allowing your body to continue to function efficiently. ​

Also air conditioners circulate filtered air around the room, and this air is free of dirt and dust particles, micro organisms, bacteria and smoke which creates a healthy environment inside the room and leads to your health improving over time. Remember you spend around a third of your life sleeping. so you need to make sure you are sleeping in the most healthiest environment.

Air conditioner units will allow you to regulate the temperature of your room while you sleep, allowing you to get higher quality sleep​ leaving you feeling more refreshed and revitalised in the morning.

Noise​

Many people think that the noise made by air conditioner units may be loud, but this depends on the type of unit you purchase. Different units make different amounts of noise, but generally they are fairly quiet. It should be noted that when you use a portable unit, you can now keep the windows closed so you no longer have to hear all the external noise such as traffic, planes, people and wildlife that can keep you awake.

These noises are definitely more disturbing than an air conditioning unit, and with the windows closed you can create a more relaxing environment to provide you with a calming sleep.

Higher work capacity​

Research has proved that when humans are in more comfortable ​conditions, their work capacity increases. If the temperature of a room is too high then a person will become uncomfortable and will struggle to concentrate leading to tiredness and a decrease in productivity.

In more comfortable conditions created by an air conditioner unit, a person can concentrate and perform more work. So if you work from home, this is even more important.

Drawbacks​

Energy Usage

The main drawback for air conditioner units is it requires a constant stream of electricity to power, and they will often be on for a number of hours especially if you plan to sleep with it on. They're not exactly green energy friendly, but it must be understood that technology is improving all the time and AC units are becoming more and more energy efficient in their use. Using a portable unit will still require significantly more energy than a static in built unit.

Buying Guide​

There are several factors to consider before committing to purchase as they play a large role in how effective a unit will be:​

Cooling Ability

This of course is the most important consideration, and displays how effective the unit is at cooling down the surrounding air. This is measured by British Thermal Unit which measures the amount of heat that can be removed from a room per hour.

As a general guide, the higher the BTUs per hour the stronger the cooling ability​. If you get a unit with insufficient BTUs per hour then it will take considerably longer for the room to cool down, or it may not be able to cool down the room at all. On the other hand you don't want to a buy a unit that has a BTU that is too high because they will often be more expensive and consume significantly more power so essentially you will just be wasting money.

Predicted running costs are tied into the BTU rating and the number will refer to the the cost of running the unit per hour in pence. For example, a 8000 BTU air conditioner will cost just 8p per hour to operate whilst an 11,0000 BTU air conditioner unit will cost 11p per hour to run.

You also need to use some common sense when choosing you unit, if it's hot where you live, if you have lots of heating creating appliances or if your room is not properly insulated then you'll need a higher BTU rating.

Price

​Price is an important factor to consider but there are several things that will affect the final cost price of a unit. Additional features such as an additional remote or timer function can raise the price. Well known reputable brands will also often have a higher cost price because their products may have a better build quality and be longer lasting.

You may not need a more expensive unit if you feel that you won't need to use all the additional features. However if you do decide to purchase a cheaper unit then you may end up having to replace the unit more frequently, so in the end you will spend more than you would have if you bought a higher quality model from the beginning.

Energy Effiency

Energy efficiency is important for both the cost of your electricity bills and the impact that an appliance has on the environment. It's important to remember that the most powerful air conditioner units can also have the highest energy efficiency rating.

​As with many household appliances, air conditioning units are given an energy rating to show their efficiency. A rated units are the most efficient at using energy, whereas G rated units will be the worst. The higher the rating, the less money it will cost to operate. 

Warranty

All types of electrical items that​ you purchase have a chance of developing faults, especially after the first year of operation. To limit the risk you should see whether the unit has a warranty included, this will not only protect you from any faults that surface but it also shows that the manufacturer has faith and believes in their product.

Size & Weight

​YOu'll need to consider the size and weight of the air conditioner unit, because this is important for portability reasons. If is big and heavy then it will need to stay in once place, but a smaller and lighter unit can be moved easily.  You also need to consider the space where the unit will be operate and if the space is big enough.

The units that are in this guide are the latest models using the best technology so will not have these portability issues​

Noise production

​If the main use of the air conditioner unit is to help you sleep during stuffy hot nights, then it's going to be a hinderance if the unit you purchase is noisy and begins to disturb your sleep. With this in mind you'll need to check the decibel level of your unit before purchasing.

The decibel measuring system is easy to understand even if you don't have a scientific background but for some people can be a little more difficult to understand. Using the Decibel system, any 10 decibel increase means that that the sound has become 10 times larger.

So 40 decibels is 10 times larger than 30 decibels. 60 decibels is often described as the sound of a normal conversation. So you will need to bear this in mind when making a final decision about which unit to purchase. ​ The majority of newer technology units will fall into or below this category so are very quiet units that you will have no problem sleeping through.

Installation & Maintenance

​Though we agree that portable air conditioners are relatively simple to set up and maintain, what one person finds easy another person may find challenging. A 90 year old may find it a little more challenging to install and maintain a AC unit. 

To the make the process easier you should ​read reviews written by actual buyers so you can see their thoughts and find out how hard it was for them to install. You can also usually download product manuals for free so you can get an idea of what it requires to install the unit.

Some units naturally need less maintenance than others apart from cleaning the filters.​

Timer setting

It's important to discover whether these units have built in timers that allow for you to select a specific operating time period. Once this selected time period has ended the unit will then automatically switch off.​ The time periods will usually be 12 or 24 hours and this reduces energy wastage which in turn saves you money and helps the environment.

Mode Settings

Some air conditioners have a number of different settings, allowing you to cool, dehumidify, heat or fan the air as and when you require it. This makes the units suitable all year round no matter the season or temperature.

Additionally these mode settings allow you to choose the speed of the fan so you can either increase or decrease the level of air conditioning that is happening within the room.​

Washable Pre-filters

Washable pre filters remove hair, dirt and dust from the air that is drawn into the filter as they clean the air. This improves the quality and cleanliness of the air that is circulated around your home. the filters stop your air conditioner unit from clogging up. If the unit is allowed to clog up then they slowly operate less efficiently over time.​ These filters are easy to remove, clean and replace.

Thermostat ​

An adjustable thermostat gives you complete control over the room temperature when the unit is operating. This is hugely important if you require a constant consistent temperature when you sleep as a sudden change in temperature can disturb you sleep.​

Water collection

How the unit collects water is important, does it have its own water tray? is it self evaporating? or do you have to use your own container to collect the water and empty it?​

1. Igenix IG9902 3 in 1 portable air conditioner unit review

igenix3in1

Igenix is a well known reputable brand that has been around for many years specialising in fans, air conditioners heaters and similar related products. Over this period of time they have established themselves as manufacturers of top quality durable products.

This Igenix air conditioner unit is no different​, and its 3 in 1 capability means that it also has a fan, cooling and heating functions built in. 

The cooling function has a capacity of 9000 BTU and a temperature range of 18 - 32 degrees celsius so it is ideal for home use and can cool rooms of most sizes. ​

The fan function recirculates air around the room which is ideal when the temperature is still mild which will also save electricity and energy. The unit has a 3 speed fan and air vents that is adjustable so you can alter the settings to your own personal preferences.

The heating function has a temperature range of 7 - 25 degrees which provides 2.1KW of power to make it extremely effective for the colder winter months.​

The unit has a built in 0.8 litre water tank to allow for continuous water drainage and has both a 12 hour timer and an energy saving sleep mode setting.​ There has also been special attention paid to the safety aspect of the unit as it also has a thermostatic cut off, overheat protection and auto shut off technology.

The inbuilt Active Carbon Filter works to remove impurities from the air as the unit simultaneously dehumidifies as it cools the room. The whole unit is easy to operate using the LED display and included free remote

Benefits of igenix 3 in 1 Air Conditioner

  • 3 in 1 Air conditioner unit
  • Built in water tank for drainage
  • Well known trusted brand
  • 3 speed fan
  • Auto switch off timer
  • Built in wheels for portability
  • Energy Saving Sleep Mode
  • Adjustable Air Vents
  • Thermostatic Cut Off, Auto Shut-off and Overheat Protection
  • Space saving design
  • Bucketless self evaporating system

Bottom Line

Overall this is the most impressive air conditioning unit because of the many features that have been included which shows the attention to detail that was shown by the manufacturer during the design process.

Also because it can cool, fan and heat the unit can be used all year round, whereas other traditional units may only be in use for half the year. So this can be used effectively if you also feel too cold throughout the night.

One downside is that it's slightly more expensive than competitor products however its cooling capability can't be questioned. There are a huge number of reviews where buyers have used it on some of the hottest days in recent years to cool down and get a great nights rest.​

2. EcoAir artica air conditioner unit review

EcoAir

Introducing the Eco Air Artica portable air conditioning unit which provides an efficient cooling solution. It uses a bucket less self evaporating system which allows for easy set up and maintenance whilst cooling and dehumidifying. The unit also has a built in filter system that improves the quality of the air by removing dust and dirt particles that may be harmful to your respiratory system. this mesh filter is also easy to clean and maintain.

The Artica AC unit has an A rated energy efficiency so not only is it great at cooling but it also won't sky rocket your electricity bills or cause significant damage to the environment.​ The capacity of the unit is 8000 BTU's per hour and the dehumidifier has a rating of 1L per hour. The unit is designed to be used within rooms up to 20 square metres in size or a conservatory of up to 16 square metres. 

In terms of sound, the unit is very quiet so even if you're trying to sleep there is little chance of you being awoken.​

Nothing has been spared in the design of the unit, which also features wheels so it can be easily transported from room to room, whilst there is also a wireless remote and a 3 speed fan so you can easily select the most optimal temperature. There is an inbuilt led display on the unit as well as a timer setting.

The unit itself weighs just 24.5kg and has the dimensions of 39.5 x 31.5 x 77cm using its space saving design. Also included is a 1 years manufacturers warranty to give you some peace of mind when you purchase.

Benefits of EcoAir Artica Air Conditioner

  • 3 speed fan
  • Auto switch off timer
  • Built in wheels for portability
  • Space saving design
  • Bucketless self evaporating system
  • 1 year manufacturer warranty
  • Washable mesh filter
  • External 1.5m hose included.

Bottom Line

This is an extremely effective air conditioning unit and is perfect for those hot day or nights especially if you're trying to sleep due to its quiet motor. But despite this quiet motor it can still cool down the room very quickly so you  can easily set the timer and nod off to sleep.

3. Igenix ig9900 Portable air conditioner review

igenixIG990

This Igenix portable air conditioner does not have quite as many additional features as the 3 in 1 AC unit but when it comes to the main aim of cooling down a room, this unit is highly effective. It can cool rooms up to 400 square feet in size and is self evaporating so there is no need for a water tray.

The unit features 3 unique modes:

​Cooling mode recirculates air around the room whilst providing a higher concentrated air flow which is ideal for milder temperatures which helps to conserve energy.

​Dehumidify mode can remove up to 1.4 litres of excess humidity and moisture per hour from the air.

Fan mode has 3 individual settings to meet your preferences and cool down the room creating a stronger air flow.​

All this is easy to control using the led display and the included remote control. It weighs just 30kg and is mounted on wheels so it can easily be moved from place to place in your home. ​The unit is extremely quiet and has a sound rating of just 50 decibels and has an auto shut off timer feature built in.

T​his unit packs a punch with a size of just 40 x 36.5 x 76.5cm and there is also a 2 year warranty included with each purchase. Its evaporating water capability means that you can run the unit for up to 10 hours without having to remove the water tank.

Benefits of Igenix IG9900 Portable Air Conditioner

  • Remote control
  • A Energy rating
  • LED display
  • Heat, fan and cooling mode
  • 3 mode fan
  • 2 year warranty
  • Low energy consumption
  • Self evaporating
  • Built in wheels

Bottom Line

This is an Igenix built product, so you already know that the build quality is high and performance will be extremely effective so it will efficiently cool down the temperature of the room.

4. Trotec Portable Air conditioner review

trotec

​Trotect have created air handling units for many years and traditionally have focussed on industrial air-handling, but have shifted their aims and have used their expertise to create a consumer product that can be used in the home.

The Trotect portable air conditioner unit has powerful attributes and can cool rooms up to 65 square metres in size and is powered by a 2.1KW power output which results in a BTU of 7,000. It also features a dehumidifying capability and its compact size means it can fit into the smallest spaces (37.5 x 30.0 x 80.7 cm)

It has built in wheels so it can be easily transported and includes a remote so it can easily be controlled from across the other side of the room but can also be controlled using the LED display. It is a powerful machine that is suitable for rooms with high ceilings, but is also not overly noisy at just 65 decibels.

Benefits of Trotec Portable Air Conditioner

  • Remote control
  • integrated cable box
  • Dehumidifier capability
  • Low energy consumption. A energy rating
  • Built in wheels
  • Washable mesh filter
  • External 1.5m hose included.

Bottom Line

This is a very well constructed air conditioning unit, the only downside is that there is no built in tank to collect the water, so you have to collect the water in a container on the outside. Other units higher on the list have built in water tanks or are self evaporating so you don't need to worry about this, however the other features such as its quietness and portability make this a very strong product.

5. Homegear portable air conditioner review

Homegear

This Homegear protable air conditioner unit can be the relief to your hot unpleasant summer days and nights. With a BTU of 9000 is has a great capability for cooling down rooms of most sizes of up to 10-17 square metres.

This unit can be easily stored due to its size, and it can be wheeled out as and when you require it. It can also work as a dehumidifier to dry and remove moisture from the air or can work as a fan to increase the circulation.

Its easy to use remote control means you can adjust it without barely having to move or it can be controlled using its easy to use display. The unit is also fitted with washable carbon air filters to purify and clean the air so its ideal if you suffer from an airborne issue such as hay fever.

Overall the air conditioner unit is affordable to operate and has an A rated energy efficiency. 

Benefits of Homegear Air Conditioner

  • Remote control
  • Dehumidifier capability
  • Low energy consumption. A energy rating
  • Built in wheels and side handles
  • Carbon washable mesh filter
  • Includes 1.5m discharge hose

Bottom Line

This would definitely would be our pick as the best portable air conditioner unit if you're on a budget as it does the basics well, but doesn't have the added benefits that other more expensive units have integrated.

Closing Remarks

Which unit will you buy? now you have made it to the end of the guide it will be clear that there is no right answer because it depends on each persons requirements and preferences. Different units have different uses.

Our recommendation is that the best air conditioner unit is the Igenix 3 in 1 due to its multi use and you can use it all year round so you have no excuse if you can't sleep due to being too hot or too cold.

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