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Best Battery Powered AC Unit in 2021

Find the best battery air conditioner unit for your needs!

Do you have an area in your home without a power outlet for a traditional air conditioner, or are you a fan of a camping trip in summer but don’t enjoy the sweltering heat? A battery-operated AC unit is the best solution for you!

A battery air conditioner is also ideal if you live in an area with frequent power outages in summer and a must-have for outdoor fans that still like the luxury of air conditioning.

I’ve worked as a licensed heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) engineer for over a decade. I know that battery-powered ac units are one of the most misunderstood areas of HVAC.

Although these units exist, they aren’t what most consumer expects, and some units that are described as battery-powered air conditioners by manufacturers aren’t actually battery-powered ACs.

I’ve used my years of experience to find the top battery-powered ac units on the market to help you make the best choice. With my buying guide, you’ll be sure to know what to look out for when comparing the different options of battery-powered air conditioners.

Battery-Operated Air Conditioner Buying Guide

There are many features to consider when choosing the right battery-powered AC for your personal cooling needs. Let’s take a closer at what to consider when deciding on the best air conditioner.

Air Conditioners vs. Air Coolers

It is easy to become confused between air conditioners and air coolers. They look very similar, but they use different cooling systems.

Air Conditioners

An air conditioner uses a chemical coolant to cool warm air. The cooling fluid flows through a series of coils. The refrigerant that passes through these coils removes heat from the air. The cool air is then blown into the room while a hose vents the hot air.  

Air conditioners are best for cooling areas quickly and for longer periods.

Air Coolers

An air cooler looks like an air conditioner but uses a different cooling process. An air cooler uses cold water and evaporative cooling rather than a chemical to cool the air.

A fan draws air from outside and passes it through wet pads that cool the air through evaporation. Water is continually pumped onto the pads to keep them moist.

Air coolers are ideal for a small space and add moisture to the air, so they work as a humidifier too.

Charging and Operating Times

Battery-powered air conditioners have different charging options. Some portable units can be plugged directly into an electricity unit, while others charge via a USB or even a car charger.

 Generally, a battery AC unit can run for 3-5 hours, depending on the speed that you are running the system at. Most battery-operated ACs take 4-5 hours to charge, but you can generally use the air conditioner unit while it is charging.

Power Source

The type of power source is a big consideration when choosing the best battery-powered AC unit for your needs. Most models have a rechargeable fixed battery or a removable battery pack.

An AC unit with an internal rechargeable battery is generally the cheaper option, and you can simply plug the unit into a power outlet to charge the battery.

Keep in mind, though, that if the battery fails, you will have to replace the entire battery air conditioner.

You won’t have this problem with portable air conditioners that use replaceable batteries, but they will be more expensive to run because of the cost of replacing the batteries.

Coverage Area

While battery-operated air conditioners aren’t as effective as traditional air conditioners, they’re still great at cooling small spaces of up to 100 square feet. This makes battery air conditioners a great option for personal use in a small space, camping trips, or cooling your RV.

The cooling power of air conditioners is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU). The BTU rating will vary by brand, size, and type.

The BTU rating doesn’t really apply to battery-powered ACs because they aren’t designed to cool large spaces. You would be better of using the temperature range as a guide to how much cooling you can expect.

Noise

If you are looking for a battery-powered AC to keep you cool as you sleep, you want to make sure that it isn’t too loud.

Most battery-operated units run at under 60dB, which isn’t that loud, but it’s still something to keep in mind.

Warranty

Ideally, you want to make sure that the product you buy has a warranty. When shopping online, you don’t always have a guarantee of the quality of the product or the state that it will be delivered to you in.

This is especially important if you are investing in a more expensive product.

Battery Powered AC Unit Reviews

Choosing the best battery-operated air conditioner can be challenging. To make shopping easier, I have reviewed the top five battery-powered air conditioners available now.

Best Battery-Powered AC

Zero Breeze Mark 2 Battery Powered Portable Air Conditioner
Editor’s choice
B08Z3HNXH1
Check price on Amazon
Features
Easy to use
Adjustable fan speed
Lowers ambient air temperature by 30 degrees

The Zero Breeze Mark 2 is a revolution in portable ac units and is suitable for indoor and outdoor use. The original Zero Breeze model had a couple of additional features like a USB charging station and a Bluetooth music player, but the company scrapped those for this updated model. One of the upgrades from the original Zero Breeze is the extension hose for the cool air discharge and the dual air intake hose.

This cooling unit has a 24-volt lithium-ion battery that will ensure cooler air for up to five hours. This unit comes with an ac adapter that can be plugged into a power outlet to recharge the battery. It takes 5-8 hours to charge, but you can swap out batteries for extended use. It does a great job cooling down small rooms, tents, or even RVs.

The Zero Breeze weighs only 16.5lb, so it’s much lighter than most portable AC units and can easily be carried around in one hand. This unit has a small but powerful compressor and can drop the ambient temperature by 30 in just 10 minutes.

This battery-powered unit has four fan speeds, and the powerful 2300 BTU microprocessor can cool up to 200 square feet. The BTU rating puts this unit in a class of its own because none of the other battery-operated ACs on the market come even close to this cooling power.

The Zero Breeze Mark 2 also comes with a nifty LED light and a USB charging port on the base to charge small devices like a bluetooth speaker while on the go.

This unit is on the louder side and runs at 52dB, but it is still quieter than a traditional AC.

This battery air conditioner comes with a hefty price tag, but its performance and warranty make it a great investment.

What We Like:

  • easy to use
  • lowers ambient air temperature by 30 degrees
  • adjustable fan speed
  • lightweight
  • 1-year warranty
  • comes with an ac adapter compatible with standard outlets

What We Don’t Like:

  • one of the most expensive battery power units on the market

Best Battery-Powered Air Conditioner for Personal Cooling

Evapolar evaCHILL Evaporative Air Cooler
Runner up
B099NBTBLZ
Check price on Amazon
Features
Large tank
Small and compact
Humidifies, purifies and cools air

The Evapoler evaCHILL is an excellent choice for personal cooling. This portable battery-powered unit not only produces cool air but humidifies the air too. The evaCHILL is an air cooler rather than an air conditioner. So it uses water rather than a chemical coolant to produce cool air.

This portable battery-powered unit has enough power to cool up to 45 square feet. The evaChill’s compact design makes it perfect for use on a desk or bedside table. The leak-proof tank is easy to fill and has a capacity of 8800ml.

This compact evaporative cooler has a single button for control. You can adjust the cooling fan speed by pressing the button, and the grill can be adjusted to change the direction of the wind.

This compact unit has a runtime of up to 9 hours and can be recharged with a USB cable. Simply connect the cable to a standard charger, or you can even use a power bank.

This unit has a stylish minimalist design, so it won’t be an eyesore, and is available in three colours. It runs at only 39dB, so it’s a great option to use in your bedroom to keep you cool while you sleep.

The evaCHILL does a great job of providing you with enough cold air to keep you cool and also purifying the air at the same time. The only downside is that the water cartridges need to be replaced every three to six months.

The evaporative pads are made of inorganic nanofibre that is fully biodegradable, so it is eco-friendly. The inorganic material also prevents bacteria and mold growth, so you can be sure you are always breathing clean, healthy air.

This stylish little unit also has an added LED that makes it ideal for use on your bedside table or as a nightlight for kids.

What We Like:

  • small and compact
  • humidifies, purifies and cools air
  • large tank
  • ecofriendly
  • 1-year warranty

What We Don’t Like:

  • Expensive replacement cartridges
  • No indicator to show you need a new cartridge

Best Multipurpose Battery-Powered Air Conditioner

Ryobi Cooling Cooler
Runner up
B075GC5S2Q
Check price on Amazon
Features
3-year warranty
Removable rechargeable battery
Dual function: cooler fan and drinks cooler

Ryobi is known for its quality products, and this battery-powered ac unit is true to its reputation. The Ryobi Cooling cooler is a great multipurpose air conditioning unit.

Not only does it do a great cooling job as a portable air conditioner, but it also doubles as a drinks cooler. The cooler has a 50-quart capacity that can be filled with ice to keep your drinks cool while on the go.

When it comes to battery-powered ac units, this model from Ryobi is definitely one of the most robust. The handle and wheels are great for portability, and its design is more appealing than its competition – the IcyBreeze Cooler Blizzard Package.

This portable air conditioner is powered by Ryobi’s P102 18-volt rechargeable battery and comes with a P119 charger, but it can also work with a longer-lasting lithium battery. The unit can easily provide you with cold air for up to 4 hours.

Unfortunately, this air conditioner and cooler combo only has one speed setting, so its cooling power is limited.

What We Like:

  • dual function: cooler fan and drinks cooler
  • durable design
  • removable rechargeable battery
  • 3-year warranty

What We Don’t Like:

  • Heavy
  • Only one fan speed

Best Budget-Friendly Battery-Operated Cooler Fan

OKF Portable Air Conditioner
Runner up
B097YCZ6VH
Check price on Amazon
Features
Quiet
4 fan speeds
Rapid cooling

If you are looking for a battery-powered unit that can provide you with cool air without killing your budget, the OKPF Portable Air Conditioner is the right choice for you.

It’s important to note that even though the name of this product might say ‘air conditioner’, it is actually an air cooler. It uses water evaporation rather than a refrigerant to cool the air.

This portable battery-powered unit has three different speeds and sprays a cool mist for an extra cooling effect.

You can choose to use his unit in different modes. If it is used as a fan only, it can drop the ambient temperature by 2.2 degrees. If you add water and ice, though, you can lower the temperature by up to 18.4 degrees.

This battery-operated unit has a nifty digital LED display panel to keep track of the various settings and battery level.

The power source for the OKF Portable Air Conditioner is a 4000mAh Battery which takes 4 hours to charge fully and works for 3-4 on the highest setting.

It can be charged by plugging it into any electrical outlet or a compatible USB port such as a laptop, power bank, or AC adapter. This air conditioning unit uses water evaporation to lower the ambient temperature. For faster cooling, you can also add ice cubes to the 220ml water tank.

This unit runs at only 28dB, which is basically a whisper, so it won’t keep you up at night. The added LED light is ideal as a night light too.

What We Like:

  • quiet
  • rapid cooling
  • 4 fan speeds
  • oscillating fan

What We Don’t Like:

  • small water tank
  • no warranty

Battery-powered AC unit FAQs

Do battery-powered air conditioners really work?

Yes, battery-powered air conditioners do really work. It’s important to remember that they don’t have the cooling power of a traditional AC and are not designed to cool large spaces.

A battery-operated AC works well, though, for personal, close-up cooling or small spaces such as a tent or RV.

Can you run portable AC on battery?

Portable air conditioners are designed to run on 120-volt household electrical voltage. Small batteries like AA rechargeable batteries don’t stand a chance, but a lead-acid battery can provide sufficient power to run an air conditioner, but the air conditioner can’t use the lower voltage or type of current that a battery provides.

A power inverter can be used to change the battery’s direct current into an alternating current. This alternating current is then passed through a transformer to increase the voltage to match the household electrical voltage.

How can I maximize the lifespan of the battery of my portable air conditioner?

The first thing you want to do is keep the battery healthy by fully discharging it every couple of weeks. This will ensure that it stays in top working order. The only batteries you don’t need to do this with are Li-Ion batteries which do not possess a memory and are therefore not susceptible to this effect.

You also want to keep the batteries clean by wiping off their contacts with a cotton swab and alcohol. Doing this will help to maintain a solid connection between the battery and the aircon.

Exercising the battery is another important thing to keep in mind. You don’t want to leave the battery inactive for long periods of time. I recommend using the battery at least once every couple of weeks to keep it performing well. And if the battery has not been used for a long time, perform a new battery break-in procedure.

How you store the batteries will also have an effect on lifespan. If you don’t plan to use the battery for a month or more, store it in a clean, dry, cool place away from heat and metal objects.

NiCad, NiMH, and Li-Ion batteries will self-discharge during storage, so remember to recharge the batteries before use. Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries must be kept at full charge during storage. This can be achieved using a trickle charger. If you do not have one of these chargers, do not attempt to store an SLA battery for more than three months.

My final thoughts

Battery-powered air conditioners are not as powerful as traditional air conditioners, but they have a definite purpose. 

If you’re traveling or a fan of the outdoors but like to stay comfortable, battery-powered AC units are definitely the solution for your portable cooling needs. Portable battery-powered units are also a lifesaver if you live in an area with regular power outages in summer. 

Make sure you do your research and consider all the pros and cons of the different battery-powered ACs before making your choice.