Whynter portable air conditioners sell well and offer by far the most model options of major brands. In fact, Whynter doesn’t group the 20+ portable ACs into series as most brands do. If you browse the lineup, it seems to be more a random collection with no organized design scheme.
This Whynter Portable Air Conditioner Review includes performance features, cooling capacity, pros, cons and costs.
Looking for a General Guide?
If you’re looking for general information, our Ultimate Portable Air Conditioner Reviews and Guide gives full details about these units – how they compare to window air conditioners and other cooling options, pros and cons, prices, how to choose the best model for your purposes and much more.
Whynter Portable Air Conditioner Features
The large Whynter portable AC collection of models offers all the features available today in portable air conditioners.
Here’s an overview table to allow you to compare Whynter portable air conditioner models at a glance. Details follow.
Sizes / BTUs
Dehumidify mode, Carbon filter
Compact, Carbon filter
Compact, Anti-bacterial filter
Dehumidify mode, Antibacterial filter
Dual hose, Dehumidify, Carbon filter
Heat, Dual hose, Carbon filter
Dual hose, Carbon filter
Dual hose, Antimicrobial filter
Evaporative, Dehumidify mode
Heat, Dual hose, Dehumidify
Dual hose, Evaporative, Carbon filter
Dual hose, Carbon filter
Dehumidify mode, 12hr Timer
ARC-13S & 13W
Compact, Pull belt and rear wheels
Dual hose, Carbon filter
Dehumidify mode, Carbon filter, 4-speed fan
Dual hose, 3M anti-microbial filter
Heat, Dehumidify, 3M standard filter
Evaporative, 3M standard filter
Heat, Dual hose, Evaporative
Dual hose, Carbon filter
*(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) Same as the unit on the line above it, but without heat.
*(4) This unit is white. Also available in black as ARC-126MDB
1. Dual-hose Models
Whynter makes the most dual-hose models of any brand, perhaps not surprising given it’s huge collection. The dual-hose setup is available on more than half the portable ACs.
A dual-hose portable air conditioner is 7% to 12% more efficient than a single-hose model. If you live in Massachusetts, that might not add up to great savings, but it will in humid Missouri and hot New Mexico.
Some of the top units with dual hoses are: ARC-110WD, ARC-122DHP heat pump and ARC-131GD.
Benefit: Not only are they more efficient, dual hose systems also cool faster.
2. Dehumidify Mode
When a portable air conditioner is running in AC mode, moisture is removed. The coil inside the appliance gets very cold as the refrigerant carries away heat from your living space. Moisture from the air condenses on the coil and is evaporated out the exhaust hose along with hot air.
But there are damp, cool days during the year when you want drier air but not cooler air. That’s the ideal time to use Dehumidify Mode. The moisture is removed, but the heat removed is redirected back into your living space, so there is no drop in indoor temperature, just a drop in that “clammy” feeling. Dehumidify mode is called Dry mode by some brands.
The list shows which models have this mode. Among the best are these: ARC-10WB (10K BTUs), ARC-110WD (11K), ARC-122SD and ARC-122SDH (12K) and the
Benefit: Drier, more comfortable indoor air without AC.
3. Heat Pump Heating
Using electricity to circulate refrigerant to absorb and remove heat, as is done with heat pump technology, costs less than using electricity to make heat through resistance technology, as space heaters do.
Upfront cost of upgrading to a heat pump model is higher than buying a space heater. But you’ll soon gain back the higher cost of the equipment through lower energy bills, especially in climates with cold winters or if you use the portable heat pump as a main source of heat.
Among the best models with heat pumps are: ARC-122DHP, ARC-12SDH and the ARC-148MHP. There are no 8K or 10K models with heat.
Benefit: More energy efficient heating than a space heater give you.
Note for cold climates: In cold climates, these units are meant to supplement a central heat source. They aren’t large enough to heat more than a few hundred square feet in very cold weather. How much square footage they can serve in winter depends on the outside temperatures and how well the room is insulated.
4. Evaporative Technology
This feature is common to most portable air conditioners and certainly the future of these innovative ACs.
Units with this technology don’t need a drain tank or drain tube. Most of the moisture removed during the cooling process is evaporated out the exhaust hose fitted into the window opening.
Most models offer this useful feature.
Benefit: No tank-emptying hassles.
5. Convenience/Efficiency Features
Like most portable air conditioners made today, Whynter models come with a full-function remote that allows you full control from a distance. Secondly, most models have 24-hour timers.
Benefit: There are two. First, of course, is convenience. The second is energy efficiency. Using the programmable timer allows you plan for the AC or heat pump to come on when you need it, and not when you’re away for the day. Come home to a comfortable room or zone without wasting energy when you’re not there.
Features Not Available on Whynter Portable ACs
There is one major feature missing.
LG has two WiFi/Smart portable air conditioners. DeLonghi, Hisense and Frigidaire each have one model. Whynter doesn’t have any.
While not a big deal to some users, those functions offer convenience. And you can definitely cut cooling and heating costs by controlling the unit with an App on your smart device. Instead of wasting energy running when you’re not there, the portable AC can be turned on using the app an hour before you arrive.
The units do have remotes, as noted, but voice control with Alexa or Google Assistant is even easier – but not available from Whynter on any of the current units.
The large selection of models can be divided in a few ways.
Standard vs Compact Portable ACs
Most are standard size, but Whynter makes 4 compact portable air conditioners. These are models ARC-102CS and ARC-101CW (10K BTUs), ARC-13S and ARC-13W (13K) with their innovative pulling belts and rear casters.
They offer space savings with no loss in performance.
Most portable air conditioners have standard mesh, washable filters. They’re usually treated with antimicrobial coating to limit mold growth.
Whynter also has several models with carbon filters. The value of activated carbon is that it helps to absorb odors. These models are a good choice if you do a lot of frying, someone in the household smokes or the home has a musty odor.
They might not be the entire answer. If odors are an issue in your home, consider a portable air purifier with an activated carbon filter.
Whynter models ARC-08WB, ARC-101CW, ARC110-WINDOW, ARC-12SD, ARC-131GD and ARC-141BG all have carbon filters and give you a range of sizes to consider for the space you want the unit to serve.
How Whynter Portable ACs Compare to Other Brands
In our comparison and reviews of all major brands, here is what stands out.
Pros: Whynter offers more model options than other brands. This gives you the opportunity to find the size and features you want in the same model. For example, Whynter offers dual hose models in 11K, 12K, 13K and 14K models. Haier has two dual hose models, but they are both 14K. DeLonghi, LG and Honeywell don’t have dual hose models.
Whynter portable air conditioner prices are among the most competitive you’ll find. When comparing similar models, Whynter costs are below LG, Honeywell and Frigidaire. They are competitive with Hisense and DeLonghi. Only Della models are consistently more affordable.
Cons: As mentioned, there are no WiFi or Smart portable air conditioners. If you’d like to shop for WiFi/Smart portable ACs, see our reviews of LG, DeLonghi and Hisense brands.
No efficiency ratings are available. Whynter is one of the few brands that doesn’t disclose efficiency.
Whynter Portable AC Prices by Size
MSRP pricing is listed in the table above. Note that when you shop online or locally for portable air conditioners, the prices will likely be significantly lower than the MSRP.
Once you determine which size you need, this table shows your cost options.
200 - 250 s.f.
300 - 400 s.f.
$340 - $390
400 - 500 s.f.
$370 - $460
500 - 650 s.f.
$440 - $600
Choosing the Right Whynter Portable AC
There are more details in our complete Portable Air Conditioner Review and Guide, but here are the basics.
1. Measure the room or zone to determine square feet.
2. Add 10% to the total if the ceilings are 9 feet; add 20% if ceilings are 10 feet.
3. Consider your climate: A dual-hose model is more efficient, so a good choice in a warm climate. There are also dual-hose options with heat for cold climates.
4. Consider the features you’re willing to pay extra for such as Dehumidify mode, an odor-fighting carbon filter or compact size.
Here are the best Whynter portable air conditioners in popular categories.
Best Overall Portable AC: Whynter ARC-148MS
Best Features on a Portable AC: Whynter ARC-143MX
Best Portable AC with Heat: Whynter ARC-148MHP
Best Compact Portable AC: Whynter ARC-102CS
Best Budget Portable AC: Whynter ARC-101CW