Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner Reviews and Buying Guide 2020

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The six Honeywell portable air conditioner lines offer good quality and the best features of any major brand. Price ranges from the middle of the pack to fairly expensive for the top models.

This Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner Review explains the features and performance each Honeywell series offers – things like dehumidification mode, self-evaporation and convenience features. Honeywell portable air conditioner prices are included too.

Did you know?

Our complete Best Portable Air Conditioner and Guide is full of detail and information about portable air conditioners, their costs, features to consider and how to choose the right one for your purposes.

Plus, we’ve completed reviews like this Honeywell review on Haier, DeLonghi, LG, Hisense, Frigidaire, Whynter and other top brands. They make it easy to compare brands, prices, features and more.

Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner Features

All models have important features that improve performance, offer convenience and make your home more comfortable.

These features, in addition to Air Conditioning mode are:

  • Dehumidification Mode (explained below)
  • Evaporative Mode, so no drain buckets (More information below)
  • 24-hour programmable timer
  • Full-function remote
  • Caster wheels
  • R410A refrigerant. 

R410A is better than discontinued R22, but it has a higher global warming potential (GWP of 2088) compared to R32 (GWP of 675) refrigerant which is being used in some portable air conditioner models like the LG LP19IVSM portable AC.

Here is an overview of the Honeywell portable AC models. Explanations of key features follow.

Model

Sizes / BTUs

Room Size

EER (1)

Pints/Hr (2)

Refrigerant

MSRP

Key Features

HL14CHESW (3)

14,000

625 s.f.

10.3

4.6

R410A

$680

Heat, Dehumidify, Evaporation

MM14CHCS

14,000

500 s.f.

10.3

3.6

R410A

$660

Heat, Dehumidify, Evaporation

HL-CESW (4)

10K, 12K, 14K

350 - 625 s.f.

8.9 - 10.3

3.3 - 4.6

R410A

$460 - $620

Dehumidify, Evaporation, No heat

MM14CCS (5)

14,000

500 s.f.

10.3

3.6

R410A

$620

Dehumidify, Evaporation, No heat

MN - Multiple colors

10K, 12K

350 &450 s.f.

9.0 &9.5

2.7 & 2.9

R410A

$440 & $570

Dehumidify, Evaporation, No heat

MO - Multiple colors

8K, 10K

300 & 400 s.f.

Not listed

1.8 & 2.5

R410A

$370 & $410

Dehumidify, Evaporation, No heat

*(1) EER is Energy Efficiency Rating - Rating how efficiently the unit uses electricity.

*(2) This is dehumidification - The amount of moisture removed per hour in cooling or dehumidification mode

*(3) Availalable in White (HL14CHESWW) and White w/ Black trim (HL14CHESWK)

*(4) Available in White (Model # ends in W), White w/ Black trim (Ends in K) & White w/ Blue trim (Ends in B)

*(5) Available in Black w/ Silver (MM14CCS) and Black (MM14CCSBB)

1. Heat

The HL14CHESW and MM14CHCS series units provide heat pump heating. This means that the same technology that pumps heat out of your home in hot seasons can pump heat into your home in cold weather. The direction of the refrigerant is reversed to accomplish this.

Keep in mind that this is designed for supplemental heat in most homes. Unless you live in a warm climate that only needs heating help a few days of the year, this unit won’t replace a central heat source like a split system heat pump, mini split heat pump or gas furnace.

Benefit: Heat pump heating is much more efficient than heating with a space heater.

If you live in a cold climate and there are rooms in your home that stay chilly even when the central heat is running, then a heat pump portable air conditioner will pay for itself compared with buying a space heater and using electric resistance heat.

2. Dehumidification Mode (all models)

Does your home ever feel damp? This happens mostly in high-humidity areas during cool weather. On days like that, drier air is nice, but you wouldn’t want cooler air. In AC mode, heat is taken from the air by the refrigerant. It is exhausted to the outside, with the effect that your home gets cooler.

In dehumidification mode, the compressor and refrigerant work the same. The ACs coil gets cold, and moisture in the air is condensed onto it and evaporated out the exhaust hose.

Benefit: This reduces the humid “cool and clammy” feeling.

However, the heat that is removed from the air is directed by into your home, so there is no cooling effect.

3. Automatic Evaporation (all models)

As noted, moisture is pulled from the air in AC and dehumidifier modes.

Benefit: Convenience – and the unit won’t shut off (or worst-case, leak) if a condensate bucket gets full.

Instead of it draining into a bucket that you have to empty, these units evaporate the moisture and send it out the exhaust hose. This adds convenience to the units.

4. Timer

This feature offers more than convenience. It can help you reduce energy use and cost too.

Benefit: Set the timer, so that the unit doesn’t run longer than you intend it to. It can be frustrating to forget to turn off the AC and realize it is cooling or heating space that nobody is using.

Features Not Available on Haier Portable ACs

There are two features we like to see on a portable air conditioner. The first is more important; the second offers convenience and efficiency.

1. Dual Hose Systems

A single-hose system is less efficient than a dual hose model. Why?

Because it pulls in warm and possibly humid air from outside. How?

When a single-hose portable AC exhausts warm air out the hose, the pressure in your home drops slightly. Air is drawn in through drafty doors or windows or gaps in the siding/sheathing. So, as hot air is expelled, a little bit more is pulled in. The net effect is to cool your home, but efficiency drops.

A dual hose system doesn’t exchange outdoor air for indoor air. Instead, the unit pulls warm air into the AC, cools it and pushes it back into your home.

The two hoses pull in outside air to cool the compressor and refrigerant. The air cycles in one hose, gathers heat and humidity, and exhausts it out the second hose. There is a slight warming affect. And it does reduce absolute efficiency, but not nearly as much as single-hose performance.

You may also like: Best Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner on the Market

2. WiFi or Smart Technology

Several WiFi portable air conditioners are available including the DeLonghi PACEL276HGRFK and the Hisense AP1419CW1G have WiFi connectivity and/or can be controlled by voice using Alexa, Google Assistant and similar smart systems.

Efficiency Ratings for Portable ACs

When you select any model from the Honeywell portable AC page, the info page lists two efficiency ratings.

For example, the Honeywell HL12CESWW page states the model’s efficiency as:

  • 12,000 BTU (ASHRAE-128 Standard) / 6500 BTU (DOE 2017 Standard)

12,000 is almost 100% more powerful than 6,500, so why the difference?

ASHRAE, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, has always tested ACs for efficiency.

Their 12,000 BTU rating measures how much heat a portable AC removes from your home per hour.

It does not factor in that single-hose systems pull in heat as they exhaust heat. Even two-house systems are less efficient than a window AC or split and mini split ACs.

The US Department of Energy, or DOE, recognizes that portable air conditioners waste some of that efficiency by pulling in warm air. So, the DOE tests the BTUs exhausted plus the BTUs of heat pulled in for a more accurate picture of total efficiency.

Model Comparison

Most brands make portable ACs at different quality and price levels to attract the full range of consumers.

For example, if you live in a warm climate, you want a top-of-the-line model.

In cool climates where AC isn’t as crucial, then a more affordable unit, maybe with fewer features, is OK.

Let’s look at Honeywell units in this light.

Basic

Honeywell MO and MN Series. The last two lines of the table above show these models.

Pros: Dehumidification and Evaporation features, timer and remote. Their prices are lower, more competitive.

Cons: The efficiency for the MO series isn’t listed. This likely means it isn’t very efficient. The efficiency of the MN series is lower than most others listed. This means the units require more energy to produce the same amount of cooling.

Best Use: Anywhere the unit won’t get heavy use. In a northern climate or if you simply won’t use the AC a lot, then it’s worth saving money on the cost of the unit vs. slightly lowering energy costs.

However, if your first commitment is energy conservation, then these aren’t your best option.

Better

MM14CCS (no heat) and MM14CHCS (heat). These are the same units except that one offers heat for $40 more.

Pros: All the features of top models and good efficiency too. These Honeywell portable ACs offer the best value, in our opinion, if you’ll use the unit frequently.

Cons: They are only offered in 14,000 BTU units, and that might be too much cooling if your room is significantly less than 500 square feet.

Best Use: Moderate to warm/hot climates. The unit with heat is a good choice where winters get pretty chilly and you find that your central heating system needs a little help at times.

Best

The HL10/12/14CESW and the HL14CHESW are identical models except that the first is available in three sizes and the second is available only in 14K BTUs and it has heat.

Pros: Efficient cooling (and heating). The AC-only models are available in 3 sizes to suit your needs. They remove more humidity than the other options too.

Cons: Higher price.

Best Use: They are ideal for areas with extreme heat (and chilly winters, for the model with heat mode). It’s worth paying more for the unit because you’ll recoup the cost through lower energy bills – and your space will be more comfortable too.

How Honeywell Portable ACs Compare to Other Brands

Honeywell’s lineup is similar to LGs and Haier’s. There are fewer models than Whynter offers.

Here are specific comparisons.

The Good

Honeywell portable air conditioners are efficient, especially the “better/best” models.

All have dehumidification modes and are self-evaporative models. This is fairly consistent with other brands, though some don’t have these features in their lesser models.

For example, only the top 2 Haier models offer dehumidification. Not all Hisense models are evaporative.

Heat Pump Heat: This is a nice option in cool climates or even in warm climates where you need a little heat and don’t want to install a central heat source.

Haier, Whynter, Hisense, Della, LG and DeLonghi make heat pump models.

Frigidaire has a unit with electric coil heating, which isn’t as efficient.

24-hour timers are standard on all models. This is true for Hisense, Frigidaire and LG too. But only the “better/best” units from Whynter and DeLonghi have them. Other models have 12-hour timers.

What’s Missing?

As we discussed above, none of the Honeywell models offer WiFi/smart technology.

More significantly, there are no dual-hose systems.

Honeywell Portable AC Prices by Size

Once you know what size room or zone you want to cool (and heat?), you can look for a model in your budget.

Prices are the MSRP – manufacturer suggested retail price.

You should find these units at a lower price from online and local retailers.

AC Size

Room Size

Price Range

8,000 BTU

200 - 250 s.f.

$370

10,000 BTU

300 - 400 s.f.

$440 - $460

12,000 BTU

400 - 500 s.f.

$550 - $570

14,000 BTU

500 - 650 s.f.

$620 - $680

Choosing the Right Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner

There’s more information on our general Portable AC Buying Guide, but here are the basics.

1. Determine the size of the room or zone that the AC will serve by measuring length times width. If the room is L-shaped, measure the rectangles separately and add their sums.

2. Add 10% to room size for 9-foot ceilings and 20% for 10-foot ceilings. This is essential if you plan to use the unit for heating.

3. Consider a dual-hose system if your weather is very hot and/or summers are very humid.

4. Consider a model with heat if your home is chilly in winter.

5. Consider a unit with Dehumidification mode if you experience damp conditions during in-between times of the year when you don’t want AC or heating.

Pro Picks

Here are the top Honeywell portable air conditioners in the most popular categories.

​Best Overall Portable AC: Honeywell HL14CESWK

Most Efficient Portable AC: Honeywell MM14CHCS

​Best Features on a Portable AC: Honeywell HL14CESWK

Best Portable AC with Heat: Honeywell HL14CHESWW

Best Value Portable AC: Honeywell MM14CCS

​Best Budget Portable AC: Honeywell MO08CESWK

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