LG Portable Air Conditioner Reviews and Buying Guide 2020

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LG portable air conditioners are among the highest rated. The lineup includes affordable portable air conditioners with basic functionality, mid-range units and premium air conditioners with high-performance features.

This complete LG Portable Air Conditioner Review provides product details about efficiency, features, dehumidification and cost.

The goal is to put information before you that makes it easy to select an LG portable AC best suited to your climate control needs and budget.

Portable Air Conditioner Guide: If you’ve landed here but would prefer basic information about portable air conditioners, our comprehensive Portable Air Conditioner Guide covers the basics more completely than any guide like it.

Did you know?

We’ve reviewed other major portable air conditioner brands. Our Reviews of Frigidaire, Honeywell, Hisense, Haier, DeLonghi, Della and Whynter are just like this one and make it simple to compare models, features and cost.

LG Portable Air Conditioner Features

All LG portable ACs are equipped with 24-hour timers and LCD remotes for easy control.

This overview table gives the basics. Key Features are explained below. Performance features are in Bold.

Series

MSRP

Models

BTUs

Room Size

Pints/

Hr(1)

Refrigerant

Key Features

LP19IVSM

$700

LP1419IVSM

14K

500 s.f.

6.7

R32

Inverter, Dehumidify, WiFi

LP17SHR

$700

LP1417SHR

14K

500 s.f.

6.6

R410A

Heat, AC, Dehumidify modes

LP17WSRSM

$650

LP1417WSRSM

14K

500 s.f.

6.6

R410A

WiFi, 24hr timer

LP17GSR

$460 & $590

LP12 & LP1417GSR

12K, 14K

400 / 500 s.f.

5.5 & 6.6

R410A

AC & Dehumidify, 24hr Timer, Remote

LP17WSR

(2)

$320 & $370

LP08 & LP1017WSR

8K, 10K

200 / 300 s.f.

3.8 & 5.3

R410A

AC & Dehumidify, 24hr Timer, Remote

LP18GXR

$460

LP1218GXR

12K

400 s.f.

5.9

R410A

24hr Timer, Oscillating Vent, Remote

LP18WNR

$320 & $370

LP08 & LP1018WNR

8K, 10K

200 / 300 s.f.

4.9

R410A

24hr Timer, Oscillating Vent, Remote

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

*(2) These units are the same as the models on the line above except that they are white (W in the model number) instead of graphite/gray (G)

1. Inverter Compressor

Most portable air conditioners have single-stage compressors. They are either on at 100% capacity, or they are off.

The LG LP1419IVSM portable air conditioner is fitted with a compressor that varies in capacity from about 35% to 100%. It speeds up and slows down to deliver a precise amount of air conditioning.

When room temperature is well above the thermostat set point, as when you first turn on the unit on a hot day, the compressor runs at high speed to cycle refrigerant more quickly for fast cooling.

To maintain even cooling, the compressor delivers slows to a steady, moderate flow of refrigerant.

Benefits: There are three advantages to inverter compressors with their variable capacity:

  • Precisely balanced temperatures
  • Improved energy efficiency / lower energy use and cost
  • Quiet operation. This unit runs as quiet as 44 decibels much of the time because it isn’t using full capacity. Most portable air conditioners from LG and other brands average 53 decibels. You’ll notice the difference.

By the way, this is the same technology used in LG ductless air conditioners and heat pumps. If you’re considering heating and air conditioning for an entire home or addition, an LG ductless system is ideal.

2. Air Conditioning & Dehumidification

The table shows that the LP19IVSM, LP17SHR, LP17GSR and LP17WSR all offer dehumidification of indoor air without also cooling it.

While these features act very much the same, there is a key difference.

Air conditioning cools & dehumidifies your home, which is ideal for hot and humid weather.

Dehumidification only removes moisture. It doesn’t cool your home. This function is used in cool, clammy weather when you don’t want the air any colder.

If you like the technical side of things, here it is briefly. When in AC mode, heat and moisture removed from the air are exhausted out of the house. Temperature and humidity drop indoors.

In dehumidify mode, the heat pulled from the air is cycled back into the indoor air. Only the humidity is removed to dry the indoor air.

Benefits: Coastal areas, especially of the Northwest, Northeast and Gulf states often experience chilly, damp weather in fall, winter or spring. Lowering the humidity without lowering the temperature creates a much more comfortable home.  

3. WiFi & Smart Home Technology

The LP1419IVSM and LP1417WSRSM offer WiFi connection with the LG App. This allows you to control the AC from any connected location on a smart device.

The units also work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control.

Benefits: Beyond the obvious convenience of voice or remote monitoring and adjustments, using WiFi and the app improves efficiency.

For example, if you leave for work and want the house cool when you return, you have two options. Leave the AC on all day to cool an empty house is a waste of energy and money.

Instead, you can use the app to turn on the AC or turn down the thermostat an hour before you get home. The space will be cool when you arrive, with little wasted energy or cost.

4. Heat Pump Heating

The LG LP1417SHR portable AC heats too. But the heat it produces should be considered for supplemental heating to a central heat source – furnace, heat pump, wood stove, etc. At 14,000 BTUs, it isn’t big enough to supply all the heat needed in cold climates.

Here’s how it works. An air conditioner pumps heat from inside to the outside of your home.

A heat pump cools too, but it can also reverse the flow and performance of the refrigerant. In heating mode, heat is gathered outdoors and pumped inside.

This is not a heating coil, like a space heater in the AC. It is true heat pump technology, which is much more efficient.

Benefits: If there’s a room or zone in your home that isn’t adequately heated, then a portable air conditioner with heat pump technology is a great solution for cold winter days.

5. R32 Refrigerant

We’ll make this brief. R32 is a newer generation of refrigerant with less environmental impact than R410A.

Neither depletes ozone. The global warming potential (GWP) of R32 (675) is 2/3’s lower than R410A (2088).  

Benefit: Staying cool and comfortable with less harm to the environment.

6. Evaporative Technology

When you turn off an LG portable air conditioner, the system fan continues to run for 10 minutes. This allows any accumulated condensation that hasn’t been vented to evaporate.

LG models have one or two drain plugs in back. If you buy an LG portable air conditioner, you should open them periodically with a bucket handy. However, unless your climate is very humid, there will be little or no water to drain.

Features Not Available on LG Portable Air Conditioners

There are no dual-hose LG portable air conditioners.

All LG models have one hose. It is an exhaust hose. A few brands make units with two hoses.

One-hose portable air conditioners: Air is pulled into the AC from inside your home. Heat and humidity are removed and exhausted. Pulling air from inside creates negative air pressure, which causes hot, humid air from outside to be sucked into your home through air drafts around windows and doors.

This process partially defeats the purpose of the AC. It lowers total efficiency by causing the AC to run more.

Dual-hose portable air conditioners: The second hose draws air from outside that is used to cool the compressor and condenser coil.

Two things to note: First, the outside air doesn’t mix with inside air, so no moisture escapes into your home. Secondly, while the incoming air might be warm, it is cooler than the compressor and condensing coil and will lower the temperature of those AC parts.

The net effect is better efficiency from dual-hose portable air conditioners. 

If you want to consider dual hose models, you can read our another post: Best Dual Hose Portable Air Condtioner on the Market

How LG Portable ACs Compare to Other Brands

LG is an innovative company, which shows in its best portable air conditioner. What’s missing is surprising too.

Many features are similar to what you find across the market: Dehumidify mode in addition to cooling, 24-hour timer, full-function remotes and oscillating fan louvers. WiFi is available on units from about half the brands. At least one unit offers heat pump technology – heating in addition to cooling. That’s becoming more common too.

The Good

Inverter technology, as described above. LG is one of the few brands offering a unit with an inverter compressor. These compressors are the norm in mini split systems and are clearly the most efficient and quiet. In the years ahead, they will become the norm in all air conditioner types. LG is ahead of the curve.

R32 refrigerant is also the future. It is better for the environment and also more efficient. LG uses it on its top model. No other brand we’ve reviewed to date has an R32 portable AC.

What’s Missing

The lack of a dual-hose portable air conditioner is glaring from a top company like LG.

Haier and Whynter are among the brands that make dual hose portable air conditioner systems. They should be considered if your climate is very warm.

ASHRAE vs US DOE Efficiency Ratings

Let’s clear up a point that confused us before we looked into it. 

When you research portable air conditioners, some brands list two efficiency ratings, a higher rating from ASHRAE and a lower rating from the US DOE.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has long been the organization that tests air conditioner efficiency.

However, the US Department of Energy raised concerns about the inefficiency of portable air conditioners.

As a result, the DOE issues efficiency ratings that account for the inefficiency:

  • Single hose: Warm air being pulled into the house through drafty places when a single hose is used.
  • Dual hose: Warm air being pulled into the AC unit in a dual-hose system. Indoor and outdoor air don’t mix. But the warm air brought in through the hose to cool the condensing unit can warm the air around the hose and reduce potential energy efficiency.

The bottom line is that US DOE efficiency ratings for portable air conditioners is 25% to 50% lower than ASHRAE efficient ratings depending on whether it is a single-hose or dual-hose model.

What is no efficiency levels are given? This, unfortunately, is the case with too many brands including LG.

Due to the confusion, LG simply doesn’t list any energy efficient ratings (EER) or combined energy efficiency ratings (CEER). It is also an admission that portable air conditioners are not as efficient as LG window ACs.

LG Portable AC Prices by Size

We’ve looked at prices by the LG Series.

This table shows you price options based on the size unit required for the space you want to cool and dehumidify.

Note: These prices are not just the MSRPs, which are usually on the high end of the spectrum. They reflect pricing available in stores and online, which is usually lower than the MSRP.

AC Size

Room Size

MSRP

8,000 BTU

200 - 250 s.f.

$290 - $340

10,000 BTU

300 - 400 s.f.

$335 - $400

12,000 BTU

400 - 500 s.f.

$425 - $500

14,000 BTU

500 - 650 s.f.

$590 - $700

How to Choose a Portable Air Conditioner

See our Portable AC Buying Guide for complete details, but here is the quick version.

1. Measure the square footage of the room. Use length times width. If it is L-shaped, measure the two rectangles and add their sums.

2. For 9-foot ceilings, add 10% to the room size. For 10’ ceilings, add 20% to the room size. Even though cool air stays low in a room, the extra cubic footage makes a difference.

3. Choose a unit from the list designed for the square feet you want to cool and dehumidify.

4. If your climate can be damp and cool, consider a unit with dehumidification mode. It will remove humidity and exhaust if from the house. The heat that is also removed from the air won’t be exhausted, but rather returned to the indoor air.

5. Review the features available, and choose those that you want on units within your budget.

Pro Picks

If you’re shopping for an LG portable air conditioner, here are our Pro Picks based on our research and experience with these high-quality portable ACs.

Most Efficient Portable AC: LG LP1419IVSM

​Quietest Portable AC: LG LP1419IVSM

​Best Smart Portable AC: LG LP1417WSRSM

​Best Features on a Portable AC: LG LP1417GSR

​Best Portable AC with Heat: LG LP1417SHR

​Best Small Room Portable AC: LG LP0817WSR

Best Budget Portable AC: LG LP0818WNR


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