Last updated: August 10, 2021

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It's the height of summer, it's 30 degrees outside and you want to find refuge from the heat in your flat? Unfortunately, you find that the temperatures inside are similar and there is no cooling in sight. The installation of a mobile air conditioner can help you and provide sufficient cooling.

With our large mobile air conditioner test 2021 we want to help you find the best mobile air conditioner for you. We compare monobloc, split and non-exhausting air conditioners with each other and tell you what the advantages and disadvantages of the individual models are. With this guide, you can keep a cool head and make the right purchase decision!




Summary

  • Mobile air conditioners are used to keep the room temperature low or to cool it. They are particularly compact and flexible in use.
  • Essentially, there are mobile air conditioners with an exhaust air hose in the monobloc and split versions, as well as models that cool without an exhaust air hose. These non-exhausting air conditioners work with the condenser principle.
  • The energy efficiency and consequently the power consumption of mobile air conditioners is an important point in deciding on the right product. The higher an air conditioner is rated in the energy efficiency categories, the more efficiently it cools.

The Best Mobile Air Conditioner: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for mobile air conditioners

Here we will show you which criteria you should pay attention to in order to choose the right one from the wide range of mobile air conditioners. The criteria that will help you compare mobile air conditioners include:

In the following paragraphs, we explain in more detail what you should look for in each criterion.

Energy efficiency class

As with any electronic device, it is also important to pay attention to the energy efficiency class of mobile air conditioners. Energy efficiency in general indicates the ratio between the energy supplied and the energy yield.

The better the energy efficiency class of an air conditioner, the more expensive it usually is

Mobile air conditioners are classified in energy efficiency classes A+++ to D, with A+++ being the best class.

This means that the better an air conditioner is rated, the lower its electricity costs. However, what also needs to be considered is the interplay between price and energy efficiency. Despite the higher initial cost of an appliance with good energy efficiency, one should also keep in mind the lower electricity costs incurred while using the air conditioner.

Maximum cooling capacity

When choosing the right mobile air conditioner, the maximum cooling capacity is of course also decisive. The cooling capacity is not only an essential criterion for measuring electricity consumption, but also for the place of use. Basically, there are two units to look for when buying an air conditioner. The first is the unit BTU, which is the abbreviation for British Thermal Unit.

This describes the heat energy used to heat one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. On the other hand, the unit watt is used, which is more common in Germany. BTU and watt are of course also related - 1000 BTU/h correspond to 293.71 watts. Good mobile air conditioners are available from 1000 watts.

Suitability for maximum room size

As already briefly mentioned in the previous point, the maximum output of a mobile air conditioner plays a role in its use. This also includes suitability for the maximum room size.

When selecting a suitable air conditioner, the room size is primarily important. Then there is the question of whether the room is well insulated and how strong the direct sunlight is.

If the room is well insulated, the number of square metres is multiplied by 60; if it is poorly insulated and exposed to strong sunlight, the number is multiplied by 100.

The result is the cooling capacity suitable for the room size. Basically, a monobloc air conditioner is sufficient for rooms up to about 65 cubic metres, and a split air conditioner should be used for larger rooms up to about 120 cubic metres.

Volume

Depending on where you want to use the mobile air conditioner, the noise level naturally also plays a major role. In principle, mobile air conditioners are louder than permanently installed air conditioners due to the external removal of the air.

In general, it is usually the case that air conditioners are a little louder at the beginning of their operating time because they run at maximum power. In normal operation, mobile air conditioners for indoor use have an average decibel level of around 20 to 50 decibels. This corresponds, at maximum, to about the volume of a normal conversation.

Size and weight

The size and weight of mobile air conditioners are also not unimportant, as they have a considerable influence on the installation and the place of use. The smaller and lighter a unit is, the more compact and easier it is to install. On average, the size dimensions of mobile air conditioners are around 90 x 50 x 30 cm. It should be noted that monobloc units are usually a little smaller than split units.

This difference is also relevant for the weight. The average weight of monobloc air conditioners is between 10 and 30 kilograms, while split air conditioners are considerably heavier at up to 50 kilograms.

Decision: What types of mobile air conditioners are there and which one is right for me?

Of course, there is not just one type of mobile air conditioner. Essentially, a distinction is made between three different types, which, together with their advantages and disadvantages, are shown in the following table.

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Monobloc air conditioner Single unit, handy and easy to transport Requires external exhaust, often quite loud depending on sound insulation
Split air conditioner Relatively quiet, can be used for large rooms Less mobile than monobloc air conditioner, external exhaust
Non-exhausting air conditioner Inexpensive and handy, works with condensation Not suitable for large rooms due to low power, often very loud

If you want to learn more about the different types of mobile air conditioners, you can read more in the next sections.

Monobloc air conditioner

Monobloc air conditioner

If you are looking for a handy and uncomplicated air conditioner, then the monoblock air conditioner is the right choice for you. Due to its often small size and low weight, the monoblock unit is suitable for use in a wide variety of rooms. The simple design also facilitates installation, which is usually quick and uncomplicated.

A monobloc air conditioner must have an exhaust hose, which means that it must be installed near the window or door. Due to the external exhaust, the noise level is often higher than with other types of air conditioners.

Advantages
  • Quickly installed
  • Handy and uncomplicated
  • Small and light
  • Coolant already included
Disadvantages
  • External exhaust hose
  • Often noisy
  • Mounted near window or door

However, you don’t have to worry about the right coolant, as most units are already filled with the appropriate agent by the manufacturer.

Split air conditioner

Split air conditioner

With a split air conditioner, you can rely on dynamic and flexible inverter air conditioning technology. The power is adapted to the demand, which means that the power is always adjusted. The maximum output is only given when it is really needed, such as immediately after the unit is switched on.

This makes split air conditioners highly efficient and climate-friendly. Split units consist of two end units, one of which is installed indoors and the other outdoors. They are connected by a coolant line.

Advantages
  • Automatic power adjustment
  • Efficient and climate-friendly
  • Suitable for larger rooms
Disadvantages
  • Complicated installation
  • High initial costs
  • High operating costs

Split air conditioners are much more complicated to install and purchase due to their individual parts. They are best suited for larger rooms, but they also entail higher operating costs.

Non-discharging air conditioner

Non-discharging air conditioner

A non-discharging air conditioner usually does not need a discharge hose because it works on the principle of condensation. It can therefore be described more as a “cooler” and less as an air conditioner. In terms of procurement, however, they are very uncomplicated, small and inexpensive.

Due to their small size and power, however, they are only suitable for use in small rooms. They are also relatively noisy.

Advantages
  • Inexpensive
  • Low acquisition costs
  • Small and handy
Disadvantages
  • Only suitable for small rooms
  • Loud
  • Much effort in operation

Water is simply used as the coolant in non-removing air conditioners. However, the capacity for this is also relatively small, which is why the tank has to be refilled often.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about mobile air conditioners answered in detail

In the following guide, we would like to give you the answers to the most important questions about mobile air conditioners. We have collected the questions for you and will answer them below. After reading this guide, you will know all the essentials about mobile air conditioners.

What is a mobile air conditioner?

A mobile air conditioner is a useful tool to lower or keep down the indoor temperature in summer.

The mobile air conditioner works on the same principle as a refrigerator, for example: the coolant in the unit extracts heat from the air and cools it to a comfortable temperature compared to the outside temperature.

The decisive advantages of a mobile air conditioner are its handiness and flexibility. It can be easily transported and therefore flexible installation is possible in almost all rooms. The only prerequisite is that it be installed near a window or door so that the warm air can be conveyed outside through the exhaust hose.

What are the different types of mobile air conditioners?

Of course, there is not just one model of mobile air conditioner. Depending on the place and purpose of use, different versions are available.

Mobile Klimaanlagen-1

Mobile air conditioners do not always have to be visible from the outside. Many designs are mounted inside.
(Image source: Ashkan Forouzani/ Unsplash)

Basically, as already described in detail in the previous section, a distinction is made between three different designs. There are:

  • Monobloc units
  • Split units
  • Non-discharging units

Each of these types of design offers individual differences. Depending on what you have in mind, there are also significant differences in colour, size and function. Many designs of modern air conditioners offer additional functions besides the cooling function. For example, they also function as a dehumidifier, fan or heater. Newer models even have WLAN and are thus even more convenient to operate.

What does a mobile air conditioner cost?

When it comes to the costs of a mobile air conditioner, you have to distinguish between purchase costs and operating costs. Both cost items essentially depend on the individual use. However, you can get an approximate overview in the following table.
Type purchase costs operating costs
Monoblock low low
Split high high
Non-removable air conditioner low high

The prices of mobile air conditioners vary greatly depending on the desired performance, brand and available features. Inexpensive models can be purchased for as little as around 100 euros, while the price range extends to around 800 euros.

What alternatives are there to the mobile air conditioner?

Not everyone likes the mobile air conditioner. Both personal feeling and the question of cost are reasons why other solutions for a cooler room climate are sought.

mobile Klimaanlage-2

A mobile air conditioner is not the optimal solution for everyone. A classic alternative is the use of a stand fan.
(Image source: Ava Sol/ Unsplash)

If you are looking for alternatives to mobile air conditioning, we have collected some options for you here:

  1. Fan: As a general rule, a ceiling fan cools better than a floor fan because it distributes the draught better in the room. Fans are generally very inexpensive to buy and have a much lower power consumption than mobile air conditioners. The decisive disadvantage, however, is that a fan only has an effect on a limited space. In addition, the air is not actually cooled, but the resulting draught only ensures that you feel a cooling sensation.
  2. Room humidifier: A room humidifier is essentially the same as a non-exhausting air conditioner, as it also works with a water tank and the principle of condensation. The room air is enriched with water, which increases the humidity and improves the existing room climate. However, the cooling is only limited and, in terms of time, cannot be used for as long as an actual mobile air conditioner.
  3. Fighting the heat yourself: In summer, it is especially important to ventilate properly. The best time to ventilate is in the early morning, when the outside air has not yet heated up. During the day, you should make sure that windows facing the sun are well closed and, at best, darkened.

What is the power consumption of a mobile air conditioner?

The power consumption of mobile air conditioners clearly depends on the use and the power of the unit. When using stronger units in larger rooms, the power consumption is also higher than with weaker units, for example. Of course, the energy efficiency class also plays a role here. The higher an air conditioner is rated, the less electricity it consumes, with category A representing the lowest power consumption.

What is the best way to transport a mobile air conditioner?

Opinions differ on the best way to transport mobile air conditioners. Many are of the opinion that mobile air conditioners should only be transported and stored standing up.
If you want to be on the safe side during transport, then transport your mobile air conditioner standing up.

Others are convinced that the units can also be transported lying down. Possible dangers, such as the suspension being damaged or even jumping out of the holder, are technically quite possible, although not probable. If there is no other option than to transport it lying down, then put it upright after transport and wait around 24 hours before putting it into operation.

How do I clean a mobile air conditioner properly?

To maintain the full function of a mobile air conditioner for as long as possible and to minimise health risks, proper maintenance and cleaning is important.

mobile Klimaanlage-3

For an air conditioner to perform properly, it also needs to be cleaned regularly.
(Image source: jeshoots.com/Unsplash)

If the air conditioner is heavily used, it is necessary to clean it weekly. Not only will this prevent the formation of unpleasant odours, but it will also optimise the performance of the air conditioner. When cleaning, not only the air filter but also the condenser should be cleaned. It is important to disconnect the unit from the power supply!

  • Air filter: For a major cleaning of the air filter, it is sufficient to clean the grille of the air conditioner with a hoover. To also clean the air filter of smaller dirt particles and bacteria, you should remove it and wash it with soapy water. After the filter is dry again, it can be reinstalled normally.
  • Condenser: The condenser is cleaned with foam sprays, which are available in specialised shops. These disinfect the ventilation system and rid the unit of germs. For mobile air conditioners with a condensation water tank, it is necessary to empty it daily.

Image source: Auremar/ 123rf.com

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