Dual-hose portable air conditioners are the new-age efficient AC units. They solve many problems single hose AC has; including negative air pressure and system overheating. If you’re looking for a capable portable AC unit, the best dual-hose portable AC units are the smart long-term choice.
LearnMetrics recommends 5 top-rated dual-hose portable air conditioners with the highest EER rating, lowest noise levels, and most balanced operation. Below you will find a list of the best two-hose portable AC units, complete with a spec-by-spec comparison table, and reviews of each selected dual-hose AC, including the best-in-industry Whynter, Honeywell, and Haier units.
Before we check what are the best dual-hose portable AC units on the market, let’s first familiarize ourselves with the specific advantages dual-hose units bring, how the two-hose AC system works, and what are the 4 key metrics you should be aware of when buying your first dual-hose PAC.
Single-Hose Vs. Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioners (4 Vital Advantages)
Compared to single-hose units, the double-hose portable air considerers have significant advantages. These include:
- Eliminating negative pressure problems. Dual-hose portable AC units have balanced air intake and outtake; they don’t cause a drop in indoor air pressure that might suck in hot air as is the case with single-hose units.
- Increased energy-efficiency. While the most single-hose unit can achieve a 10 EER rating, the best dual-hose portable air conditioner can reach an 11+ EER rating, and spend less electricity.
- Increased capacity without overheating the unit. Two-hose portable AC units can achieve higher airflow and don’t have to work as hard as single-hose units to achieve 10,000+ BTU cooling output.
- Better filtration system due to double filters. Intake hose has a filter, and the outtake hose has a filter; doubling the filters improves indoor air quality.
Just switching from one-hose to two-hoses makes a big difference. All the advantages of dual-hose portable AC units over single-hose units are logically connected to how dual-hose units work (more about that in the next chapter).
Double units have a balanced airflow:
Intake Air From Outdoors = Outtake Air To Outdoors
In effect, this volumetric air exchange eliminates the changes in indoor pressure. Because the indoor pressure stays the same (and doesn’t drop like with single-hose units), the dual-hose units have to use less energy to produce the same cooling effect.
They don’t have to pump the air against a negative pressure difference. This results in:
- Higher EER ratings (decreasing the electricity bills).
- Less unit overheating.
- Consequently, less overheating prolongs the lifespan of dual-hose AC units.
Dual-hose portable air conditioners do cost 10-20% than same-BTU single-hose units; but that’s just the unit price. Due to higher energy efficiency, the electricity savings make up for that difference in just a few years. After that, the long-term actually cost of dual-hose units is lower than single-hose units.
Let’s look at exactly how dual-hose system is set up and how it works:
How Do Dual-Hose Portable AC Units Work?
There is quite a bit of difference in how dual-hose vs. single-hose portable air conditioners work.
Single-hose units most of us are familiar with draw the indoor air via air gaps, usually located at the bottom of the unit. The single-hose serves only one purpose: as an exhaust hose for hot air. The net effect is that indoor air is cooled, yes, but also sucked outdoors, creating negative indoor pressure.
Dual-hose units are the perfect solution to this problem. Dual-hose portable air conditioners work by having:
- 1 intake hose. It brings in fresh outdoor air.
- 1 exhaust hose. It expels heated indoor air outdoors.
This creates a perfect indoor-outdoor balance; an equilibrium if you will.
All the positive consequences of dual-hose units follow from this simple addition of an extra hose. The higher energy-efficiency and double filtration also make these units eco-friendly and better at improving the indoor air quality.
You can check out the simplified step-by-step process of how dual-hose PAC works in this post.
4 Specs To Check When Choosing A Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner
Portable air conditioners with 2 hoses follow much the same selection-criteria as other units, be it portable, window, mini-split, or central AC unit.
To choose the best dual-hose portable AC unit for your home, you should check:
- Cooling capacity (measured in BTU/hr). While standard portable units range from 8,000 BTU to even 15,000 BTU, the dual-hose ACs are capable of producing higher (12,000 BTU to 14,000 BTU) cooling outputs while actively preventing the units from overheating. Cooling capacity determines the recommended coverage or square footage.
- Room coverage. For energy-saving cooling, EPA recommends ’20 BTU per sq ft’ coverage. Following this logic, the 14,000 BTU dual-hose units can cool down places up to 700 sq ft (14,000 BTU / 20 BTU per sq ft = 700 sq ft). However, in hotter climates, less isolated rooms, and rooms more exposed to the sun, the coverage is lower. Every producer will provide a recommended coverage area that is a good real-life estimate. For example, the best unit – the 14,000 BTU Whynter ARC-14S – will adequately cool down rooms up to 500 sq ft.
- Energy-efficiency. High efficiency is one of the main advantages dual-hose AC units have. EER rating is used to express just how energy-efficient they are; all units over 10 EER are considered to have high energy-efficiency. They save both power (lower electricity bills) and the environment. In the comparison table of dual-hose AC units below, you will even find 11 EER rated units.
- Noise levels. Dual-hose AC units can do more with lower airflow; add to that sound-dampening technology and two-stage compressors (the main source of noise), and you will find dual-hose units that generate less than 60 dB of noise levels. 55 dB noise levels, for example, are considered whisper quiet.
Do check these metrics before buying a dual-hose air conditioner. After the following list of the best dual-hose AC units in 2021, you will a comparison table with all of these specs; they are also included in the reviews of dual-hose air conditioners further on.
List Of The Best Dual-Hose Portable AC Units
- Whynter ARC-14S: Best Overall Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner.
- Honeywell MN14CEDWW: Best Honeywell Dual-Hose AC Unit.
- Whynter Elite ARC-122DS: Most Energy-Efficient Dual Hose AC Unit.
- Haier HPND14XCT: Best Haier Two-Hose Air Conditioner.
- Whynter ARC-12SD: Cheap Two-Hose Air Conditioner.
1. Whynter ARC-14S: Best Overall Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner
|Cooling Capacity:||14,000 BTU|
|Recommended Coverage Area:||Up to 500 sq ft|
|Max. Airflow:||253 CFM|
|Noise Levels:||Up to 56 dB|
|Power, Voltage, Amps:||1250 W|
|Dimensions (HxWxD):||16″ x 19″ x 35.5″|
Whynter is most well-known reliable brand here; they specialize in producing energy-efficient two-hose portable air conditioners. Their best-selling model is the best overall dual-hose portable AC unit: The Whynter ARC-14S.
Whynter ARC-14S is considered not only one of the top dual-hose units; it’s arguably the best portable air conditioner currently on the market. A lot of its success has to do with the implementation of the dual-hose intake-outtake system.
First of all, the Whynter ARC-14S is a powerful 14,000 BTU air conditioner. For energy-optimum cooling, EPA would give it a 700 sq ft coverage. Whynter, having practical experience with 14,000 BTU dual-hose unit, has a recommended coverage area of up to 500 sq ft.
To produce the 14,000 BTU cooling output, the Whynter ARC-14S is powered by 1250 watts. This skyrockets its energy-efficiency above 10 EER. In fact, the Whynter ARC-14S has one of the highest – 11.2 – EER ratings among all portable and even window AC units. This can save you over $1,000 in electricity bills over the next 10-to-15 years.
The noise levels are well below 60 dB. Whynter ARC-14S generates at most 56 dB of noise, even when it runs on the high fan speed setting (operating at the highest 253 CFM airflow out of all dual-hose AC units).
Pricewise, the Whynter ARC-14S is one of the more affordable units which is quite surprising given its rising popularity and superb specs. The price tag will probably adjust higher to match up with similar-spec models.
All in all, the Whynter ARC-14S is not only the best dual-hose portable AC unit; its hands down the best portable AC unit altogether. Superb energy-efficiency, high CFM airflow, and low-noise operation, coupled with an affordable price, is the most optimum and best possible combination:
2. Honeywell MN14CEDWW: Best Honeywell Dual-Hose AC Unit
|Cooling Capacity:||14,000 BTU|
|Recommended Coverage Area:||550-700 sq ft|
|EER Rating:||N/A (Energy-Star)|
|Max. Airflow:||229 CFM|
|Noise Levels:||51/53 dB|
|Dimensions (HxWxD):||16″ x 19″ x 35.5″|
Honeywell is one of the bigger brands that make dual-hose portable AC units. Honeywell has engineered a 14,000 BTU unit named Honeywell MN14CEDWW. It has an Energy Star rating, high airflow, and is one of the quietest dual-hose portable air conditioners.
It’s interesting that we don’t have the wattage input for Honeywell MN14CEDWW; therefore, the EER rating cannot be calculated. However, when Honeywell makes an energy-efficient unit, they always go for an Energy Star rating. Honeywell MN14CEDWW has been awarded this certification as one of the more energy-efficient units. The EER rating is likely above 10, and possibly even above 11.
Honeywell MN14CEDWW has the 2nd highest airflow (229 CFM) among the top dual-hose portable AC units. On top of that, it has very low noise levels. On the low setting, it will generate only 51 dB of noise. That’s on par with the quietest portable AC units.
Due to higher complexity (engineering for dual-hose units has to be more up-to-date) and good energy-efficiency, the Honeywell MN14CEDWW costs a bit more than single-hose units. Its price tag is about $700.
Honeywell MN14CEDWW is the best dual-hose portable AC unit Honeywell has ever created. It’s a powerful and silent 14,000 BTU unit with one of most quiet operations of any portable AC units:
3. Whynter Elite ARC-122DS: Most Energy-Efficient Dual Hose AC Unit
|Cooling Capacity:||12,000 BTU|
|Recommended Coverage Area:||Up to 400 sq ft|
|Max. Airflow:||155 CFM|
|Noise Levels:||Under 52 dB|
|Power, Voltage, Amps:||1000 W|
|Dimensions (HxWxD):||17″ x 29.5″ x 16″|
Whynter has always had a reputation for engineering energy-efficient 2-hose portable AC units. They are the main producer of this type of AC units and the most energy-efficient dual-hose they manufacture is the Whynter Elite ARC-122DS.
Whynter Elite ARC-122DS is the ultimate cost-saver. It has an EER rating of 12.0; that’s just outstanding. To produce 12,000 BTU, Whynter Elite ARC-122DS uses only 1000W of electrical power. That makes it the most energy-efficient dual-hose PAC currently on the market. This model will save you a minimum of $1,000 due to lower electricity usage compared to standard 8.5 EER rated units.
On top of that, it is the quietest dual-hose portable AC unit. With noise-dampening technology, the Whynter was able to keep the unit’s maximum noise level below 55 dB. In fact, its highest noise levels are only 52 dB.
The superb specs come at a price of a lower airflow. It’s max. airflow is 155 CFM; that means that the air exchange is slower than with comparable units.
All in all, the Whynter Elite ARC-122DS is the most energy-efficient and the quietest two-hose portable air conditioner. It has a little lower airflow but that’s why it’s also available at a very reasonable cost for a 12.0 EER unit:
4. Haier HPND14XCT: Best Haier Two-Hose Air Conditioner
|Cooling Capacity:||13,500 BTU|
|Recommended Coverage Area:||Up to 600 sq ft|
|Max. Airflow:||190 CFM|
|Noise Levels:||50+ dB|
|Power, Voltage, Amps:||1260 W|
|Dimensions (HxWxD):||15.25″ x 17.75″ x 29.44″|
One of the biggest domestic AC producers in Haier. They make everything from central air conditioners to mini-split, window units, and, fortunately, they also make the Haier HPND14XCT dual-hose portable AC unit.
With 13,500 BTU, the Haier HPND14XCT is capable of cooling down rooms up to 600 sq ft (recommended Haier coverage area). To produce the 13,500 BTU, the Haier unit requires 1260W electrical input. That means that its EER rating is 11.4; super high spec. Even the best Whynter ARC-14S cannot use electricity so efficiently.
It also has a decent 190 CFM airflow; right about average for 14,000 BTU dual-hose units.
The biggest problem with Haier HPND14XCT is the unknown noise levels. The lowest noise level is 50 dB but it’s not known what is the noise levels on the highest fan speed setting. The price of the unit is also above the best Whynter dual-hose models.
Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a reliable Haier dual-hose PAC, the Haier HPND14XCT is their best model:
5. Whynter ARC-12SD: Cheap Two-Hose Air Conditioner
|Cooling Capacity:||12,000 BTU|
|Recommended Coverage Area:||250-400 sq ft|
|Max. Airflow:||188 CFM|
|Noise Levels:||Up to 56 dB|
|Power, Voltage, Amps:||1100 W|
|Dimensions (HxWxD):||16.5″ x 20″ x 34″|
Whynter ARC-12SD is a 12,000 BTU classic dual-hose unit. It was one of the first 12,000 BTU units; it’s simple, fairly energy efficient, and easy to set up and use.
12,000 BTU is generated using 1100W electrical input; with an EER rating of 10.9. That’s very high but below the most energy-efficient dual-hose units.
For a 12,000 BTU unit with up to 400 sq ft recommended coverage area it has a high airflow. For example, the newer and more energy-efficient 12,000 BTU Whynter Elite has a 155 CFM airflow; lower than the 188 CFM Whynter ARC-12SD is capable of in the highest fan speed setting.
The noise levels of classic units are also a bit higher. The Whynter ARC-12SD has up to 56 dB noise levels; still very silent but it’s not exactly the most silent AC in the category.
Whynter ARC-12SD has one of the lowest price tags. With a bit above $500, it’s considered one of the cheapest reliable dual-hose portable air conditioners:
That’s about it with dual-hose AC units. These are the new-age units that will likely overtake the single-hose units due to higher energy-efficiency; the most important factor when picking any portable air conditioner.