Mini A/C that Beats the Heat

For 'cool' comfort in a pinch, portable and personal air conditioning may do the trick
Fridays on the Homefront
The idea of portable, personal air conditioning is intriguing, and for smaller areas, such as home offices and bedrooms, these compact units, like the Chillwell above, may provide a cool benefit. Photos courtesy AC manufacturers

As we edge further into summer, the temperature outside has been climbing, driving our minds to think 'cool' and 'comfort.'

Which is precisely why our upcoming story on mini-split HVAC systems is slated for the summer '22 issue of CA-Modern magazine. You'll want to catch that 'Rise of the Mini-Split' feature, coming your way mid-July, with a teaser promoting it soon in this space.

Meanwhile, some of us continue to 'cook' while we work from our home offices. What to do?

The idea of portable, personal air conditioning is intriguing, and for smaller areas, such as that home office, or even bedroom, these compact units may provide a cool benefit.

For homes without central air or mini-split systems, running a portable A/C in a room could provide a short-term, limited solution. By design, a mini portable air conditioner or cooler is not going to deliver the power or coolness of a dedicated home cooling system, or window air conditioning.

But it may be a reliable pinch-hitter in a stuffy room, where it can both cool and keep the air flowing, much as a ceiling or tower fan does. And some models do double or triple duty as dehumidifiers, fans, or space heaters.

For starters, here are three portable picks under $600 that are popular this season—with three more on the next page:


Chillwell: A top-rated mini is the Chillwell, a personal space cooler that you can charge at a USB port and bring wherever you go. Also has a 4-speed dehumidifier, air purifier, and night light. Super silent operation. Built-in water tank lasts up to 8 hours. $89.

Evapolar evaCHILL

Evapolar evaCHILL: A favorite with an award-winning design, the evaCHILL is a true mini. This personal evaporative cooling unit also dehumidifies and filters the air. Charge via a USB or plug-in to an electrical outlet. Features a nightlight, remote mobile app, and is compatible with Amazon Alexa. $199.

SereneLife SLPAC10

SereneLife SLPAC10: Affordable and portable, this 10,000BTU refrigerated system with moving vents covers up to 270 square feet. Comes with a built-in dehumidifier, and a three-speed fan. Low-noise motor, and window mount kit for exhaust. Digital touch button control panel, and handy remote control. Easy install. $359.

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