Updated 11.06.2023

Best Portable Air Conditioners To Buy In South Africa

Your home’s air conditioning system has the potential to have a big influence on your quality of life. In some hot climates, like the southern part of South Africa, air conditioning is necessary to ensure your family members and pets are in their most comfortable. However, the typical air conditioner is bulky and needs a professional to install it in your house. What is the solution? A portable air conditioner. Our editors gathered the best portable air conditioners to buy in South Africa.

Not all residences or homeowners need the same sort of air conditioning equipment. For many customers, a portable air conditioner that can be moved from room to room or set up temporarily is convenient to have throughout the house.

You can buy a portable air conditioner for almost any space, but you should seek one that suits the size of your room to guarantee it works well. 

Portable air conditioners may also be non-evaporative or evaporative. You may need the means to drain the accumulated condensation. Many variants have a pan, tank, or hose to handle accumulated moisture. Do not worry if you do not understand these terms now. We will talk about these technical terms later.

Buying Guide: Things To Consider Before Buying The Best Portable Air Conditioners in South Africa

Air conditioners are complex machines. Its specification sheet contains plenty of numbers that many people struggle to understand. Before purchasing your next portable air conditioner, it is necessary to evaluate the following critical features and valuable additions. Here are the things that need your careful consideration:

1. Noise Level

We’re not big on placing everything in a scientific context, but if you know a thing or two about decibels, we salute you. Decibel (or DB), as you may see on sales websites, is the unit for sound. The decibel quantity determines how loud a sound is.

A person breathing on its own, for example, registers at about 10 DB. That’s not too shabby. A typical air conditioning unit has a DB rating of 50-75. That’s like having all of your buddies breathing next to you.
You are probably used to the sound of your old air conditioner, but with a portable unit, you can arrange the hose and vents to alter the sound.

When shopping for a new air conditioner, pay close attention to the decibel rating so you know what you’re getting yourself into.

2. Single Vs. Dual Hose

Most consumers easily disregard the hose of a portable air conditioner when shopping for one. However, it is much more important than you believe in terms of personal safety and efficiency. So, which is better: a single hose or a twin hose?

Single hose units are great for compact rooms, but they interfere with your room’s air pressure. If you’re in a bedroom and your door is closed, you may notice a vacuum-like effect — however tiny — when you open it. You get an unexpected result when you combine temperature and suction. If other devices generate heat in your room, our experts do not recommend using a single hose unit. Go for dual hose units instead.

Dual hose systems are distinct in that the second hose is drawing air from the outside and passing it through the machine, resulting in a significantly more efficient procedure. However, the word “portable” becomes relative in this context. While you can still move it around the room, you cannot move it from room to room with the same ease as single-hose units.

Portable air conditioners that feature dual hoses are considerably larger in dimensions. However, they function better in more spacious rooms. Additionally, you won’t sense a vacuum-like effect, but they will seem more permanent than single-hose units.

3. BTU (British Thermal Units)

Imagine you have discovered the ideal portable air conditioner for your requirements. The price is reasonable, the design is ergonomic, the hose is lengthy, and you like the way it looks. But wait, these are not the reasons why you buy a portable air conditioner in the first place.

The idea is that it accomplishes what you need it to do and does it without fail. That is when you look at the BTUs on an air conditioner, which is quantified as follows:

What do BTUs represent? 

BTU is the quantity of thermal energy that must create appropriately. That thermal energy is utilized to heat the pure liquid to the ideal temperature for water density – 39 degrees Fahrenheit.

You spend somewhat more than 1,000 watts of energy per second for every BTU in a unit. Does that mean you should opt for a portable air conditioner with lower BTU? Not necessarily.

BTUs also determine how chilly your space will be. You may come across instructions that advise you how many BTUs a unit should have based on the size of the room you want to use it in.

When it comes to portables, the more BTUs there are, the higher the price usually is. There are window-mounted units available with more than 20,000 BTUs. However, these units are more for industrial usage.

How many BTUs do you require? 

Here’s a brief little information to show you what to watch out for:

  • 200 square feet – 4,000 BTUs
  • 500 square feet – 10,000 BTUs
  • ​1,000 square feet – 20,000 BTUs

You’re looking at 2,000 BTUs for every 100 square feet of area. Measure your room using a tape measure. Even if you use an excessive portable air conditioner in a tiny room, it will still provide the same temperature. It may be a little quicker, but it will increase your power cost.

4. Setup

Setup is extremely important in regulating air around the room. When the position of the portable air conditioner is not optimal, you will not take advantage of the power your air condition brings. Our experts recommend placing a portable air conditioner near a window. The purpose is to immediately evacuate the heat generated by the unit outside the room quicker. If your room does not have an accessible window, you need to build a vent for the heat. Otherwise, it is not advisable to get a portable air conditioner.

Additionally, you should ensure that there is an outlet near the window. The power cable on the majority of devices is not very lengthy. It is also not a good idea to use an extension cable.

Finally, ensure that your new unit includes a washable pre-filter as well as an extra carbon filter. These remove dust, mould spores, and pollen from the air, resulting in a cleaner atmosphere. Maintainance is key to prolonging the life of the air condition unit.

5. Functional Modes

Portable air conditioners have different functional modes. Others have that others do not have. Therefore, you need to familiarize yourself with all the available functional modes in the market.

•​ Dehumidifier Mode

Many portable air conditioners may also function as dehumidifiers. Unless the units include auto-evaporation, you will need to attach a hose to drain the moisture gathered from the air. Some portables can extract up to 100 quarts of water each day.

• ​Heat Mode

Similar to a dehumidifier, a heat setting may be handy if you want to purchase a single appliance that can perform numerous roles all year. Since South Africa has a warm summer and chilly winters, a heat mode in a portable air conditioner is indeed helpful.

• ​Sleep Or Night Mode

Normally, a sleep mode would change to a quieter setting so that you may sleep better and not wake up feeling chilly. Instead of leaving the appliance running overnight, it could be a better idea to pre-cool your bedroom before going to bed.

6. Remote Control Operation

Many systems will have a sophisticated and simple-to-use digital display panel, as well as a remote control. If you want to turn on the air conditioning without getting out of your chair or bed, remote control functionality comes in handy.

7. Fan Speeds

Having a variety of fan speeds to move air and provide cooling might be beneficial. Three-speed settings are very usual in a portable air conditioner.

8. Timer Function

Having a timer feature is helpful if you want to control when your computer turns on and off automatically. Many portable air conditioners have a 24-hour clock with countdown and delay functions.

Best Portable Air Conditioners To Buy In South Africa

After reading our buying guide, you are now equipped with the basic knowledge in choosing which portable air conditioner meets your needs. While there are more than a handful of portables in South Africa, our editors curated a list of the best portable air conditioners. Here are the top portable air conditioners in South Africa for cooling your house.

Best Portable Air Conditioners To Buy In South Africa
Midea 12000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Midea 12000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

  • WebsiteMidea South Africa
  • Cooling Capacity: 12000 BTU
  • Operating current: 5.57A for cooling
  • Moisture removal: 2.9 litres per hour
  • Airflow volume: 465 cubic meters per hour
  • Maximum noise level: 51.5 dB
  • Applicable area: 20 to 25 square meters
  • Product dimension (W x H x D): 459 x 865 x 565 mm
  • Warranty: 1 year (Standard), 2 years (Premium)
  • Dual hose design
  • 4 Cooling modes
  • 4 fan speeds
  • Timer functionality

Beyond a broad list of differentiating characteristics, the Midea 12000 BTU portable air conditioner differentiates itself from its rivals by the price range at which it offers.

Automatic swinging is provided by this portable air conditioner, ensuring that the whole room is pleasant and cool to the touch at all times. 

As a result of its lightweight nature (it weighs just 33kg), it is easy to transport from one location to another without causing any problems or inconveniences. 

Built-in caster wheels enable the portable air conditioner to travel smoothly from room to room. It comes with a fully functional remote control. Its functionalities include a timer, mode controls, and other functions. 

A consistent cleaning regimen will extend the useful life of filters by several years, resulting in significant cost savings throughout their lifetime.

Best Portable Air Conditioners To Buy In South Africa
Bauer BKY44 15000 BTU Mobile Air Conditioner

Bauer BKY44 15000 BTU Mobile Air Conditioner

  • Cooling capacity: 15000 BTU
  • Airflow volume: 550 cubic meters per hour
  • Exhaust hose length: 1.8 meters
  • 3-speed control
  • Cooling and heating

In addition to being a powerful piece of equipment that may aid you in escaping the heat during the summer months, the Bauer Portable 15000 BTU has many other advantages that make it a worthwhile investment.

The programmable timer on this portable air conditioner, which can customize to match your unique requirements, is a particularly noteworthy feature. As a result of the high level of stability provided by this unit, it is ideally suited for usage in an office or other types of a working environments.

The use of horizontal swing louvres improves the performance. It is also worth mentioning that the Bauer 15000 BTU has a dehumidifier, which can be helpful if you suffer from allergies or other respiratory disorders.

Best Portable Air Conditioners To Buy In South Africa
DEFY Portable Air Conditioner 12000BTU-H

DEFY Portable Air Conditioner 12000BTU-H

  • WebsiteDefy South Africa
  • Cooling Capacity: 12000 BTU
  • Maximum noise level: 56 dB
  • Product dimension (W x H x D): 480 x 800 x 400 mm
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • LCD remote control
  • Digital display LCD
  • Auto-restart function
  • Dehumidifier function
  • Sleep mode
  • Delay timer function
  • Defrost function

The Defy Portable Air Conditioner, with a capacity of 12 000 BTU, is the best choice for those who want a completely cooled room. This powerful cooling unit is also very lightweight, allowing you to move it about the house with ease, keeping you cool and collected no matter where you go.

Simply uninstall, relocate, and re-install your software wherever you need it, without requiring the aid of a technical expert. With a cooling capacity of 12 000 BTUs, this air conditioner regulates the interior environment of even the largest of rooms.

With Defy’s superior cooling technology, air conditioning is superb while saving you money on energy bills. Summer days may be unbearably hot, and this hassle-free, ingenious solution can keep you cool. Relax, Defy has your back!

GMC GMCP10Y Portable Air Conditioning System

GMC GMCP10Y Portable Air Conditioning System

  • WebsiteGMC Aircon South Africa
  • Cooling capacity: 10000 BTU
  • Maximum noise level: 62 dB
  • Product dimension (W x H x D): 480 x 880 x 410 mm
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • 3-in-1: Cool, Fan, Dehumidifier
  • Cooling only

It is easy to understand why the GMCP10Y is so popular, due to its tiny form and reasonable pricing.

When it comes to portable air conditioners, the GMCP10Y is the best choice since it provides plug-and-play cooling pleasures, enabling you to relax and enjoy the comfort of air conditioning no matter where you are.

The GMCP10Y is equipped with movable castors, allowing you to move your portable air conditioner about the room as needed. It distinguishes itself from the competition with its high-quality performance and innovative features.

The dehumidifier and purifying fan on this model are two of its most notable features. One other handy feature of the GMCP10 is the LED remote control, which is located on the back of the unit. Its energy-efficient design contributes to a reduction in operating expenses.

Alliance Portable Air Conditioner by Samsung
Alliance Portable Air Conditioner by Samsung

Alliance Portable Air Conditioner by Samsung

  • Cooling Capacity: 12000 BTU
  • Operating current: 5.61A for cooling, 4.90A for heating
  • Moisture removal: 1.2 litres per hour
  • Airflow volume: 380 cubic meters per hour
  • Maximum noise level: 52.5 dB
  • Applicable area: 24 square metres
  • Product dimension (W x H x D): 467 x 765 x 397 mm
  • Warranty: Up to 12 months
  • Cooling and heating

The Alliance units, which are produced by Samsung, are trustworthy and easy to install, and they cool the area quickly and efficiently.

The Samsung Alliance Portable air conditioner does not need expert installation; the small and portable Alliance portable air conditioner may be transported home and set up within minutes of arrival.

Unlike room coolers, which rely on the evaporation of water to reduce air temperature – which increases humidity – the Samsung Alliance Portable air conditioner is a true air conditioner, with a flexible exhaust hose that can vent through a window to remove moisture from the air.

The Alliance Portable Air Conditioner also dehumidifies the air in the room in addition to lowering the temperature of the environment. Lastly, this portable is particularly attractive because of its low energy usage.

Arctic Air Ultra Hydro Cooler

Arctic Air Ultra Hydro Cooler

  • Maximum noise level: 3 dB
  • Product dimension (W x H x D): 204 x 256 x 201 mm
  • Warranty: 1 year 
  • 3 fan speeds

Samsung AF9000 Floor-standing AC with Digital Inverter Technology

Samsung AF9000 Floor-standing AC with Digital Inverter Technology

  • Cooling capacity: 28000 BTU
  • Airflow volume: 1080 cubic meters per hour
  • Maximum noise level: 62 dB
  • Applicable area: Up to 56 square metres
  • Product dimension (W x H x D): 360 x 1948 x 269 mm
  • Cooling and heating

The innovative mix of power and control offered by the Samsung AF9000’s front-facing, independent triple fans is unmatched in the industry.

They give the best possible cooling and energy efficiency since they have a maximum cooling speed that is substantially faster than that of regular air conditioners. Not only does it provide continuous performance, but it also has a stylish look that will complement the décor of your space.

A magnet mechanism is used by the magic film filter to keep the air pure and healthy, while also capturing even the smallest particles of dust and dirt.

With the three strong, spiral airflows generated by the jet engine mechanism in the Samsung AF9000, the whole house is cooled more rapidly and effectively, and your home transforms into a cool and pleasant environment in the blink of an eye.

Its Smart Inverter Compressor automatically changes its speed in reaction to the temperature of the surrounding environment.

Jet Air 12000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
Jet-Air 12000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Jet-Air 12000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

  • WebsiteJet-Air South Africa
  • Operating current: 5.95A for cooling, 4.88A for heating
  • Airflow volume: 410 cubic meters per hour
  • Maximum noise level: 51 dB
  • Product dimension (W x H x D): 480 x 795 x 400 mm
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Super-quiet operation
  • 24 hours timer
  • Sleeping mode
  • Fashionable design

Install this air conditioner in your rooms and you’ll enjoy sophisticated cooling as well as fresh and cold air in your home or apartment. The most distinguishing feature of this unit is that it cools the whole space evenly and covers the entire surface area of the room. With a classic design in mind, the Jet-Air Portable Air Conditioner is easy to use and can be operated with simple remote control. Featuring a beautiful and sophisticated panel design with LED display technology.

Its mobility is limitless, allowing you to transport it anywhere and at any time. Running at a whisper-quiet level, which eliminates the need to worry about background noise. The warranty is valid for three years from the date of purchase.

TCL 11000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

TCL 11000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

  • Product dimension (W x H x D): 450 x 720 x 370 mm
  • Warranty: 60 months
  • WIFI Control
  • 24-Hour Timer
  • 4-Way Airflow
  • Cooling, Heating, Fan and Dry Modes
  • Easy Window/Wall Connection
  • Washable Filter
  • Sleep Mode
  • Auto Evaporation

The TCL air conditioner has three different speed settings. A programmed timer with a 24-hour mode turns the device on and off, and an extra sleep mode gradually diminishes the cooling power to ensure a restful night’s sleep.

Air conditioners use a refrigerant for cooling. However, in some cases, the evaporation of this coolant contributes to global warming. Fortunately, this portable air conditioner from TCL has a low global warming potential. This index determines how detrimental the unit is in the case its coolant leaks out. 

Using a coolant with a global warming potential of 3, this gadget performs three functions at once: air conditioning, dehumidification, and ventilation. 

Additionally, the use of washable dust and air filters helps to maintain a healthy environment in the space. Lastly, the TCL portable air conditioner can be controlled either directly or by remote control.

Best Portable Air Conditioners To Buy In South Africa
Goldair GTAC-708 Mini Portable Air Cooler

Goldair GTAC-708 Mini Portable Air Cooler

  • Water Tank Capacity: 550 mL
  • Maximum noise level: <65 dB
  • Product dimension (W x H x D): 160 x 153 x 190 mm
  • Warranty: Up to 12 months
  • 3 fan speed modes
  • USB Connection

Smaller rooms do not need bulky portables. Sometimes, a small fan would suffice, like the GTAC-708 Mini Portable Air Cooler from Goldair. This unit does not require huge power to function. You can use this mini air cooler by powering it through a USB port. Additionally, you can plug it anywhere because it is USB-powered.

Further to this, it makes the GTAC-708 uber highly efficient. Therefore, you will not worry about that huge power bill that comes every month.

This handy Goldair GTAC-708 portable air conditioner is versatile with its 3 fan mode option from which you can adjust speed as per your convenience.

The cooling power of this portable air cooler is enough for one person. It comes with a spacious 550-mL water tank so you can survive the hot summer days. Lastly, it has a lengthy 1-meter power cable. So, the cool breeze can reach you anywhere in the room.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. When should you use a Portable Air Conditioner instead of a window unit?

While window-mounted air conditioners provide good long-term cooling, they are heavier, more complex to install, and less adaptable than portable options. 

Portable air conditioners are usually the preferable choice if you need to transfer the unit from room to room or even across buildings.

2. How should a portable air conditioner be installed?

Non-evaporative portable air conditioners must be installed near a window or vent so that their exhaust line can push hot air out of your house. 

These systems often include a window adaptor that creates an airtight aperture for the hose. Installation should take no more than 15 to 20 minutes.

Evaporative portable air conditioners do not need to be connected to a window or vent, although they perform best in a well-ventilated environment. Keeping it near an open window will keep the room from being too chilly or humid.

3. How should a Portable Air Conditioner be emptied?

When the time comes to drain your portable air conditioner, you can manually empty the water tank by putting a pan beneath the machine and allowing the water to flow into it. 

If your unit comes with a drainage hose, you may connect it to a floor drain and run it down there.

Final Verdict

You may transform your connection with your house simply by chilling it down, as with all of the top air conditioners. 

Whereas it may have previously been a destination to flee on hot days, with a portable air conditioner, your house can now become the location your family seeks out when the temperature increases. 

Portable air conditioners also make it possible to sleep better and entertain visitors in comfort. If you want to purchase a portable air conditioner for your house, any of these models will keep you cool this summer and in the future.

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