The biggest portable air conditioner, the better.
That’s usually the right rationale when choosing a portable air conditioner for large rooms. You want as much cooling effect (measured in BTU or British Thermal Units) as possible. Choosing the biggest portable AC unit is the best guarantee for adequate cooling of larger rooms (up to about 700 sq ft).
Cooling capacity is portable AC units range from 8,000 BTU to 14,000 BTU. In short, the size of the biggest BTU portable air conditioner that is readily available is 14,000 BTU. You will find 100+ models of these large room air conditioners.
With one over-the-limit exception:
The Honeywell HJ5CESWK0. As you can see from the comparison table of the largest units further on (ranked at #1 place), this Honeywell unit is the only portable air conditioner with 15,000 BTU. No other can compare to Honeywell HJ5CESWK0; it generates 1,000 BTU more than other large room portable AC units and 87,5% more cooling effect than the smallest 8,000 BTU portable AC units.
We will cover the basic specification you need to be aware of when buying a portable air conditioner for large rooms (with 14,000 BTU or more). You can skip to the whole comparison and the following reviews of each of these massive portable AC units here:
Let’s first cover how many square feet can the biggest portable units cover and how to tell if they are energy efficient or not (and why that matters):
How Many BTUs And Cooling Coverage Do The Largest Portable AC Units Generate?
Portable air conditioners are used to cool down 1 room. A small 8,000 BTU will cool down a small 150 sq ft room. The bigger 14,000 BTU ones will generate enough cooling output to cool down larger rooms.
The biggest 14,000 BTU will cool down a combined area of 350 sq ft to 700 sq ft (you can check the ‘Cooling Area’ specification in the table below).
That means that the biggest portable air conditioner can cool down more than 1 room. If you have a door between Room A and Room B, you can install the big portable AC unit in Room A, and you will cool both Room A and Room B. The door needs to be there, however, to facilitate the airflow of cool air coming from the unit.
The #1 Honeywell HJ5CESWK0 can produce more cooling output than any other portable AC unit. Its 15,000 BTU cooling output is enough to cool down large rooms up to 775 sq ft. If you position it correctly, its airflow is strong enough to cool down 2 or 3 rooms.
Note on the cooling area: Every producer specifies the cooling coverage in the specification sheets. That can cause discrepancies in cooling areas of air conditioners with the same BTU output.
Energy Efficiency Of Large Room Portable Air Conditioners (EER Rating)
The larger the unit, the more electricity it will burn through. That’s why the energy efficiency of portable AC units more important in bigger portable AC units than smaller ones.
The energy efficiency of large BTU air conditioners is expressed as EER rating. This is the basic rating that uses total rated BTU output and rated electrical input, measured in watts.
The higher the EER rating, the better the air conditioner. The most energy-efficient big portable AC units use a less-than-average amount of electricity and effectively lower your cooling electricity bills.
The average EER rating for portable AC units is about 8.5. The biggest portable units can have a 10+ EER rating. The #3 Whynter ARC-14S, for example, is the most energy-efficient portable air conditioner for large rooms; it has an EER rating of 10.8.
Secondarily, the important specifications for the biggest BTU portable air conditioners are the airflow (to avoid hot pocket), decibel levels (quiet operation), and ease of use. #2 DELLA B07BH7Z37F, for example, can be used via WiFi; you basically set the temperature with your smartphone.
All of these things considered, let’s have a look at these massive portable AC units:
Biggest BTU Portable Air Conditioners (With Up To 15,000 BTU, Running On 115V)
1. Biggest Portable Air Conditioner (Only One With 15,000 BTU): Honeywell HJ5CESWK0
|Cooling Capacity:||15,000 BTU|
|Cooling Area:||Up to 775 sq ft|
|Dimensions (HxWxD):||18.9″ x 15.4″ x 30.7″|
There are large portable AC units, and there is Honeywell HJ5CESWK0. With 15,000 BTU of cooling output, the Honeywell HJ5CESWK0 is the most powerful portable air conditioner. It is in a class of its own; it generates 1,000 BTU more cooling effect than the 2nd biggest portable AC unit.
On top of that, it has a coverage area that can compare to mid-sized mini-split air conditioners. Honeywell HJ5CESWK0 can adequately cool down spaces up to 775 sq ft. That means it’s not only a room air conditioner; you can cool down 2 or even 3 rooms if you allow for ample airflow between the rooms.
It is made by Honeywell; a reputable and well-known company in the HVAC industry. Honeywell is the only company that makes the 15,000 BTU portable AC units. The advanced engineering allows for 15,000 BTU units to run on 115V. That means that you can literally just plug it in a standard outlet, install the vent out of the window, and enjoy 15,000 BTU of cooling output in a matter of minutes.
All in all, Honeywell HJ5CESWK0 is in a class of itself. It is undisputedly the biggest portable air conditioner, capable of cool down several rooms with up to 775 sq ft combined area:
2. Big Portable AC Unit For Large Rooms (Up To 700 Sq Ft): DELLA B07BH7Z37F
|Cooling Capacity:||14,000 BTU|
|Cooling Area:||Up to 700 sq ft|
|Power Input:||1430W (115V)|
|Dimensions (HxWxD):||17.5″ x 14.8″ x 28.4″|
DELLA B07BH7Z37F is a massive 14,000 BTU portable AC unit with the largest coverage area for this cooling capacity. The added value DELLA B07BH7Z37F provides is ease of use because you can control its operation via the DELLA app on your smartphone.
This unit uses an R410A refrigerant and runs on 1430W when at 100% cooling output. The energy-efficient EER rating is above the average of 8.5 for big portable AC units; with a 9.4 EER rating, DELLA B07BH7Z37F uses about 10% less energy than standard 14,000 BTU units.
On top of that, the DELLA B07BH7Z37F has a tremendous dehumidification rate. It’s the biggest portable air conditioner with an in-built dehumidifier that can achieve an above 150 pints/day dehumidification rate (157 pints/day, to be exact).
Because DELLA doesn’t have a lot of name recognition, you’re not paying for the brand; you’re purely paying for the insane amount of cooling output for a portable AC unit. This is a 14,000 BTU unit that costs less than $500. That’s quite a bargain:
3. Most Energy Efficient Big Dual-Hose Portable AC Unit (10.8 EER Rating): Whynter ARC-14S
|Cooling Capacity:||14,000 BTU|
|Cooling Area:||Up to 500 sq ft|
|Power Input:||1300W (115V)|
|Dimensions (HxWxD):||16″ x 19″ x 35.5″|
Whynter ARC-14S is the legendary big room portable air conditioner. It is the biggest dual hose portable AC unit and that gives it a specific advantage; extreme energy efficiency. With a 10.8 EER rating, Whynter ARC-14S is the most energy-efficient portable AC unit for large rooms.
To produce 14,000 BTU cooling output, the Whynter ARC-14S uses minimal electricity input; only 1,300 watts. This is an energy-saving unit that costs about 20% less to run than standard units and has a total coverage cooling area of up to 500 sq ft.
These superb specifications are a consequence of a dual-hose system. Most portable units are single-hose; they are easier to install but can create negative indoor pressure and are less energy efficient. It is exactly because of the dual-hose system why Whynter ARC-14S is the most efficient large portable AC unit.
Whynter ARC-14S has more than 4,600 positive reviews on Amazon and is considered one of the best portable AC units in general:
4. Cheapest Big Portable Air Conditioner (With 11,000 BTU Heater): BLACK+DECKER BPACT14HWT
|Cooling Capacity:||14,000 BTU|
|Cooling Area:||Up to 350 sq ft|
|Power Input:||1450W (115V)|
|Dimensions (HxWxD):||17.1″ x 13.8″ x 28.1″|
BLACK+DECKER BPACT14HWT is one of the most reliable large room portable AC units with a heater. It is a 14,000 BTU unit as far as cooling is concerned. In the winter, however, you can also turn on the heater with 11,000 BTU heating capacity.
If you need a simple large room AC and heater in one, you can go wrong with BLACK+DECKER BPACT14HWT. With dual cooling and heating function (with 14,000 BTU and 11,000 BTU output, respectively), you can cool down rooms to 55°F in the summer and heat them up to 81°F in the summer.
The energy efficiency is quite good. The 9.7 EER rating is well above-average, with 1450W electric input.
This is a classic model and therefore the price of the whole unit is quite low. In fact, with below $600 price tag, the BLACK+DECKER BPACT14HWT is the cheapest big portable AC unit with an in-built heater:
This was a list of the biggest portable AC units by BTU cooling output. If you have any questions, you can pose them in the comments below and we’ll try to address them as best we can.