5 Best Battery Powered Air Conditioners in 2021 [Reviews+Buyer’s Guide]

Disclosure: PickHVAC is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site. We may receive commissions at no additional costs to you.

Portable air conditioners are something millions of American’s search for each year, and it’s one of the more misunderstood areas in the HVAC world. While they do exist, they aren’t what most consumers imagine, and many don’t live up to the hype. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list featuring five of the best battery powered air conditioners.

The Best Battery Powered Air Conditioner

      Image                              Product

Zero Breeze Mark 2

Zero Breeze Mark 2

  • Max Runtime: 5 hours
  • Speeds: 4
  • Battery: Removable
  • Form Factor: Portable
  • Weight: 16.5 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1-year
IcyBreeze V2

IcyBreeze V2

  • Max Runtime: 4 hours
  • Speeds: 3
  • Battery: Removable
  • Form Factor: Wheeled Cooler
  • Weight: 16 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1-year
Evapolar evaCHILL

Evapolar evaCHILL

  • Max Runtime: 8 hours
  • Speeds: 4
  • Battery: Fixed
  • Form Factor: Desktop
  • Weight: 1.6 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1-year
Evaporative Air Cooler

Evaporative Air Cooler

  • Max Runtime: 8 hours
  • Speeds: 3
  • Battery: Fixed
  • Form Factor: Desktop
  • Weight: 2.4 lbs.
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Ryobi Cooling Cooler

Ryobi Cooling Cooler

  • Max Runtime: 4 hours
  • Speeds: 1
  • Battery: Removable
  • Form Factor: Wheeled Cooler
  • Weight: 35 lbs.
  • Warranty: 3-year

The Best Portable Battery Powered Air Conditioner

#1 Zero Breeze Mark 2 Portable Air Conditioner

Zero Breeze Mark 2

Each year we see a number of products arrive that are billed as life-changing or the first of their kind. The Zero Breeze Mark 2 fits that bill as it’s one of the only battery-powered AC units on the market, although it’s a niche product with an extremely high price tag.

The Mark 2 is the second generation portable air conditioner from Zero Breeze. It has a larger 24-volt lithium-ion battery, which provides up to 5 hours of runtime. It takes almost as long to recharge the system, and while it doesn’t work while charging, you can swap out batteries to extend the cooling time of this unit.

While the Mark 2 is 20” long and around 10” in diameter, this portable air conditioner has a tiny compressor inside. The micro-compressor can drop the temperature down by 30 degrees in only 10 minutes with Power Mode activated. A variable frequency produces 120 CFM, while a wind duct allows you to direct that airflow.

As this is a high-tech system, you can look forward to more features that you’ll find from other portable units on our list. That includes Sleep Mode, a built-in LED light, and a charging port on the base, which lets you juice up mobile devices on the go. The Mark 2 also comes with a remote control and is backed by a 12-month warranty.

Verdict

If you are looking for a real portable air conditioner that has a compressor and is actually cordless, the Zero Breeze Mark 2 is the best option currently available. While it’s a significant step up from the previous model, it is still a luxury product at this point, given the hefty price tag and the fact it isn’t marketed or sold through traditional channels. If you’d like to learn more about this system, check out our Zero Breeze Mark 2 Review.

The Best Personal Battery Operated Air Conditioner

#3 Evapolar evaCHILL Evaporative Air Cooler

Evapolar evaCHILL

Evapolar is a brand that specializes in personal cooling solutions, and while they don’t have any traditional AC units, they have a very popular cooler called the evaCHILL. It’s a Freon-Free system and one that’s small enough so that it can easily be taken on the go.

The evaCHILL is an evaporative cooler built for personal use with a range of 45 square feet. It has smooth curves and a foldable handle on the top that makes it easy to take on the road. Measuring 6.6” x 6.6” x 6.7”, it won’t take up much space and is lightweight when empty at only 1.6 pounds. Despite its size, this little unit can cool you off for up to 8 hours.

A leak-proof water tank holds 27 ounces of water and is easy to fill through an outlet on top. That tank is also illuminated with a soft Ice Blue LED, which doubles as a nightlight. Depending on the speed, this cooler can get you through the night, although there is no warning or refill light when the tank runs dry. It has a respectable airflow rating of 49 CFM and is listed at 50dBA, so the sound level will be noticeable given its range.

This portable battery operated air conditioner is powered through a USB cord. You can plug it into anything with power and add a longer cord to extend its reach. It’s not as easy to clean as similar coolers, but far more stylish and very easy to use. The replacement cartridges are a bit pricey, however, and should be changed every 3-6 months.

Our Verdict

The evaCHILL is one of the best personal coolers on the market, although it’s a far cry from a Freon-powered AC unit when it comes to cooling. Consumers like this system's style and its portable size, but many feel it’s overpriced for what it can actually do. If you’re interested in a small device that can chill the air while adding some humidity to a room, this one’s worth a look and has better reviews than portable coolers from Blaux and others.

A Budget-Friendly Personal Cooling System

#4 Evaporative Air Cooler Personal Air Conditioner

Evaporative Air Cooler

The second evaporative cooler to make our list has a completely different vibe from the first. The aptly named Evaporative Air Cooler is a system that can be found under a variety of different monikers depending on the seller, but it’s affordable and ideal for smaller spaces.

With a built-in 5,000mAh battery, this small system can be used anywhere as long as you have water on hand. It can be charged from other devices through a USB cable or even powered from portable power banks for extended use. The runtime is listed at up to 9 hours, but that depends on a variety of factors, including the speed and water level.

The tank on this evaporative cooler is listed at 23 ounces, which is slightly smaller than the evaCHILL. It has three standard speeds to go along with a misting feature and two oscillation settings at 60 or 120 degrees.  There are no other reliable tech specs or features to speak of on this unit, but consumers found it easy to fill, use, and recharge.

Our Verdict

While this evaporative cooler is half the price of the evaCHILL, it’s not nearly as well-made, and it’s a device that’s been rebranded by dozens of companies. It seems to work well as long as you can avoid quality control issues, however, and remember what it’s designed to do. The unit is backed by a lifetime warranty with registration, but you’ll want to read the fine print and take the length lightly.

Portable Cooling for Ryobi Tool Owners

#5 Ryobi One+ Cooling Cooler

Ryobi Cooling Cooler

The minds behind the IcyBreeze may have set the high mark for cooler-based air conditioners, but it isn’t the only system of its kind. Ryobi’s Cooling Cooler is geared to work with the company’s lithium-ion batteries and is worth a look if you’re already invested in the company’s cordless tool line.

The inside of this cooler has a 50-quart capacity, so there’s plenty of room for ice or beverages. It can hold more than the IcyBreeze V2 but is also heavier and larger. The Ryobi Cooling Cooler measures 20”H x 18”D x 30”W, and tips the scales at 35 pounds when empty. It’s a heavy cooler, but one that has rugged wheels and a handle to help you pull it about.

Part of the heft is due to the design of this cooler. The lid has a fan in the middle and two compartments on each side. One is for the battery and charging, while the other side doubles as a small storage area for smartphones or other gear. There are no charging ports on the cooler or other features aside from a drain port.

Ryobi lists the runtime on their Cooling Cooler at 4 hours, and it will work with any 18-volt ONE+ battery from the company’s lineup. Charging times vary depending on the battery used and charger used, although you won’t have to pick one up for this model. It comes with the P102 battery and P119 charger from Ryobi.

Our Verdict

While this cooler may seem like a great choice, the reviews are mixed, and it has a high price tag. After we ruled out reviews where consumers didn’t quite understand its purpose, we noticed a variety of problems related to quality control. A 3-year guarantee will buy some peace of mind, but it’s still a very basic swamp cooler when compared to the competition.

Battery Operated Air Conditioner Buying Guide

If you’ve found your way to this section of our guide, you’ve been on the hunt for an air conditioner that runs off battery power. While there are more portable units in this class than battery-powered heaters, the overall selection is underwhelming. In this guide, we’re going to tell you why a good battery-operated air conditioner is hard to find and discuss a few other portable cooling options available.

Breaking Down Battery-Powered Air Conditioners

The first thing you need to know about these systems is that manufacturers like to use the term air conditioner with reckless abandon. While you may see dozens of listings for battery-powered AC units, there are only 2-3 that actually work. That’s because a traditional air conditioner with a compressor requires a lot of power.

Engineering a battery-powered system that’s small but powerful enough to run for more than a few hours is challenging – especially if you want to keep the price down. It’s also somewhat of a niche product reserved for campers and outdoor enthusiasts from a practical standpoint. With that in mind, all of these devices fall into two categories, with refrigerant-based units and air coolers.

Air Conditioners vs. Air Coolers

An air conditioner is easy to identify despite how some manufacturers may have them classified. On the other hand, the world of air coolers is vast and encompasses various products in different form factors or styles.  There are significant differences between these systems, although it’s easy for consumers to become confused.

Air Conditioners

Any system that has a compressor and uses refrigerant is technically classified as an air conditioner. That includes large central systems that sit outside of your home, the AC unit in your vehicle, or window air conditioning systems. Portable units are also in this class, but 99% of traditional air conditioners are tethered to the wall with a power cord.

When you need to cool an area quickly or for an extended amount of time, this is your best choice. There is a price point and style to suit every consumer, but you will need to have access to a power outlet or generator at all times unless you pick up something like the Mark 2 from Zero Breeze.

Air Coolers

The term air cooler generally refers to evaporative cooling systems. It’s something we are very familiar with and a great way to cool down small areas while adding some moisture to the air. There are dozens of high-quality evaporative coolers that perform as advertised, but all of these units are corded – not powered by batteries.

Cordless evaporative coolers are small devices that you can take on the go. They are often low wattage systems powered through a USB connection and require water to work. Bucket coolers or mini swamp coolers are in this category as well, along with unique alternatives like “cooling” coolers and the G2T Moai N1 Plus electric scarf.

Power Source

Many people think of AAA batteries when they hear the words battery-powered, but that couldn’t be further from the truth with battery operated AC units and air coolers. While there are a few exceptions that didn’t make our list and some 12v hybrids, most of the devices have a rechargeable fixed battery or rely on a removable one.

If you appreciate ease of use, you’ll like any gadget with an internal battery. You simply need to plug these devices into the recommended outlet to charge them up, and they are often cheaper than systems with removable batteries. On the downside, once the battery goes dead, you typically need to purchase a new unit.

Systems with replaceable batteries allow you to run portable air conditioners for extended periods of time. They are more expensive, and you have to take the price of the batteries into account as well. Some companies allow you to use third-party batteries in their systems, but that’s not a common option and may require additional accessories.

Operating and Charging Times

This is an area where many consumers find themselves turning back to a powered air conditioner as the runtime isn’t great on battery operated AC units. In our research, we found that you can expect 3-5 hours from most units regardless of the speed or type of system. In the middle of the summer, that’s not exactly ideal, considering corded units can run continuously.

The only solution for an AC unit with a short runtime is fast charging times. Unfortunately, that’s something you won’t find on battery-powered air conditioners at this time. Charging times are usually 4-5 hours, although some units allow you to run the air conditioner while it’s charging or on low power. That’s a common feature on mini evaporative coolers but rare on Freon-based systems.

Coverage

Normally when we’re discussing central HVAC systems or window AC units, we talk about BTU ratings and square footage. The former is a measurement of heating and cooling power, and when combined with the latter, it gives you an idea of how large of a unit you need to heat or cool a room. With battery-powered air conditioners, you can throw those guidelines out the window.

All portable AC units are designed for small areas or considered personal coolers. While we’ve seen some manufacturers claim their battery-operated air conditioning systems can handle large areas, coverage is usually around 50 square feet in our experience. If you plan on using it as a tent air conditioner or in other open areas, coverage isn’t an issue.

Conclusion

As you can see, battery powered air conditioners are still not very common although that will change with new advances in technology. Considering we can already power large lawn mowers and other power-hungry appliances with big batteries, it’s only a matter of time before we see new battery operated air conditioners and heaters as well.

Leave a Comment

DMCA.com Protection Status