The Best Battery Powered Air Conditioner 2020: A Comprehensive Guide

If you want to stay cool whatever the circumstances may be, then a battery powered air conditioner is a good option to have in your arsenal. These compact and reliable devices are the perfect alternative to conventional AC.

Whether you are looking for a portable cooling device to take on a camping vacation or to have on board the RV, or you just want a reliable off-the grid backup option, then a battery powered air conditioner is a fantastic option.

Today there are a variety of battery powered air conditioner units available, some which are portable, relatively powerful, reliable and cost effective. Some have better access to the interior and the around the fins so you can more easily clean the AC coils.

In this article we will explore some of the best battery powered air conditioner models available and compare them with one another and answer some of the most common concerns.

Quick Picks: Battery Powered Air Conditioners

Our Pick
LifeSmart Indoor/Outdoor Single Port Air Cooler
Run Time:
up to 5 hours
up to 30 MPH
Ice'nplug 12V Portable Air Conditioner
Run Time:
up to 14 hours
up to 50 MPH
IcyBreeze Portable Air Conditioner and Cooler, Polar Blue
Run Time:
up to 2 hours
up to 25 MPH
  • Speed settings: 3
  • Speeds: 25 MPH

If you are looking for a portable air conditioner that you can easily take on your travels, then this unit by IcyBreeze is a good choice. 

This air conditioner is powered by it’s built-in rechargeable battery, which can last several hours in between charges. 

The unit comes with a standard wall charger in addition to a car charger, making it very easy and convenient to re-charge wherever you might be located. You also have the option to keep the AC running when the battery is dead by using the standard power adapter. 

Inside the unit is here water is stored, which is used for evaporation in order to provide the cooling affect. This space also doubles up nicely as a chiller to keep drinks and other consumables cool. The cool air is then sent out of the vents positioned at the end of the flexi-hose nozzle. 

The durable design makes the air conditioner great for outdoor use and the wheels and the pull handle make it easy to transport. 

  • Run time: 4 hours
  • AC and cooler combo

The Ryobi air conditioning unit is the perfect accomplice on any outdoor trip or vacation. The large, robust design can withstand almost any outdoor environment, while the wheels and pull handle make it easy to transport and store in the trunk. 

The cooler acts to cool your environment, as well as the consumables and other items you place inside the cooling area.

There is even a small storage compartment that allows you to easily and conveniently store small items including shades, hats, sunscreen and other personal belongings. 

The cooling combo comes with a batter pack and charger. It promises to deliver up to 4 hours battery life, which is relatively good compared to many other units out there. You can then very easily plug it into a wall or vehicle outlet to recharge. 

  • Speeds : 138 CFM
  • Speed settings: 3

The Ice’nplug cooler is another good option for remote areas and can even be used to keep workshops and other out buildings cool. You simply add ice, switch on and a cooling breeze will start to flow from the metal hose. 

Easy to transport around, like other units this portable air conditioner has wheels and handle. Utilizing a 12V battery it can last up to 4.5 hours and the power cable measures 6 feet.

These AC’s are designed for cooling small, enclosed areas. It even claims to change the temperature as much as 35F, which is pretty impressive. 

  • Coverage: 250 sq.ft.
  • Speed: 350 CFM
  • Run Time: 4-5 Hours

The Life Smart air cooler is essentially a mister rather than an air conditioner, however we thought it was worth a mention. 

The small size and lightweight design makes them very easy to move around different rooms and even take it outdoors.

You simply fill it with water ( 10 gallon a time) and it will provide misting for up to 14 hours. 

The downside of this unit is that it is not battery powered, but it does come equipped with a DC cord, allowing you to plug it into a reliable power supply. This makes it ideal for vehicles, RVs, camp sites, building sites and even garages. 

Why Choose a Battery Powered Air Conditioner?

Traditional air conditioning is the go-to choice in normal circumstances since it is designed to take advantage of your properties abundant power supply and relatively consistent air flow. Unfortunately, in a number if situations this isn’t always possible, in which case a battery powered alternative is a viable option.

Battery powered air conditioner units are great in a variety of different situations. For instance, if you are planning on travelling to a remote location that has limited access to the electric grid, or if you are going to be camping, you are unlikely to have the means to keep a normal AC running. 

Also battery powered air conditioner units come in useful in other unique circumstances too including recreational vehicles, caravans, tents, boats and days out in the sun.

If you know you are going to be in an enclosed or open space that is likely to get hot and humid and you won’t be able to run normal air conditioning, a battery powered alternative is a must.

Many people also use battery powered AC to keep their vehicles cool during long drives or commuting. Although many modern vehicles are equipped with their own cooling systems, many older vehicles are not, nor are trailers or the living quarters of many RVs, camper vans or caravans.

How do Battery Powered Air Conditioner Units Work?

Unlike conventional air conditioning units, battery powered units are typically not as sophisticated as their non-batter counterparts. They still utilize the concept of evaporation to create a cooling affect, but are usually not equipped with a compressor, evaporator coil, refrigerant-filled tubing, and condenser coil.

Instead battery powered units use a battery powered fan and usually ice or cold water. One fan will draw in warm air and is it is passed over the cold surface of the water or ice, it will cause evaporation of cold air, which in turn is transported out into the external space to create a cooling effect. 

This is not as effective as a traditional AC, but it’s certainly better than nothing.  

Final Thoughts

Battery operated air conditioners are not made for typical domestic use. They are made to provide cooling in situations where normal AC is not available.  This includes outdoor trips at camping sites, caravan parks and trips on the road. 

When looking for a battery powered AC consider the running time, CFM, speed settings and weight. These are the things that matter, a lightweight and portable unit that comes fitted with wheels and handles are also likely to come in useful. 

About the Author

Dave Miller is a HVAC technician with over 10 years in the industry. Dave created HeatTalk with the ambition for it to become a resource for individuals looking for answers, whether they be a layman, student or a professional.

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