I remember all those hot summer evenings and sometimes even nights when I had been craving even for a small air conditioning unit. Not to mention a full-on air conditioning device.
Each of those nights I would wake up and promise myself that it would be the last day without one. Then I would wake up and talk to an air conditioning company, that would promise me they would install one right away.
It seemed like a done deal, but sometimes my landlord would not be around to approve my work. Other times the air conditioning company could not come.
By the time everything seemed in place, the temperature would drop and I’d just forget about ever needing an air conditioner.
But one day I just shopped around and found small air conditioner units. Don’t know what they are? Well, let me help you with that.
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What are Mini air conditioner units?
Mini or compact air conditioner units are air conditioning devices that are easier to install, lighter to move around and take less space than your average air conditioning unit.
They don’t cost much less than an entry-level air con unit, but you save time and money because you don’t need skilled labor to install.
Some compact air conditioning units are fitted with wheels. This, in turn, is a great thing to have, especially when you need to use it in another room. Standard air conditioning units have zero mobility.
If you need cold air, then you better be sitting in the room where it is installed. That is when a portable air conditioning unit works great. As you move around the house on those warm summer days, so is your air con.
Not to mention that you can just take it anywhere with you on holiday. That is a great feature to have.
Even window fitted compact air conditioning systems are easier to move around. While they may not be on wheels, you can still easily take it up and just move it to another window.
Are these ductless air conditioner units?
The short answer is yes. The ones we recommend are all ductless air conditioning systems. We like things that don’t need complex installation.
I know that air conditioning units seem quite complex devices, and in reality, they are. But these days, you just want to buy something, take it out of the box, plug it in and there you go.
If it’s not very big, just like small air conditioner units are compared to standard ones, even better.
Not to mention the effort of moving ducts around the house and finding somewhere for it to drip. Just like with wireless connections, you should expect the device to be standalone.
I am sure no one likes hoses and ducts running around on walls. Or maybe like you can see in the photo below.
I don’t want to take anything away from the person that installed the ducts in the photos above. You can clearly see that this person has done a really good job.
But the thing is I really don’t want to have to do it. I want my air conditioning unit without hoses or ducts. I don’t have much personal space anyway, having ducts and hoses would only make it more cramped.
Just to recap, the photo is for informational purpose only. The person that installed the ducts did a really good job at installing them.
But these days, I would prefer not using hoses at all.
Can I install a mini air conditioner myself?
Short answer YES. We will only feature compact air conditioner systems that you can install by yourself.
But before we go to how easy it is, let’s just go over what it means to install a classic air conditioning system.
The curious case of installation labor. Yes, installing an air conditioner can be a pain. Quite a huge one actually.
First, you have to decide if you go for a specialized installation service or do it yourself.
When you go for a special service, take into consideration two aspects: time and money. The money part is clear-cut. It’s all down to how much the installation will cost you.
Time wise, you have to think how long it will take and when will the service be able to do your work. The hotter the day, the busier an air conditioner installer will be. So even if you book him, those hot days might be gone.
If you install it yourself, think tools, time and if you are capable of doing the job. You might just do some unwanted demolition job in your house. You have to prepare in advance for this task, otherwise, you risk doing significant damage to your house.
Installing a compact air conditioning system
These mini or compact air conditioning systems are much easier to install.
If they are wheeled, you just unbox them, strap the wheels to it and plug it in. Yes, there might be some units that will have some parts you have to mount on by yourself.
But it’s just 2-3 parts and it should not take you more than a couple of minutes.
The window mounted compact air conditioners, on the other hand, will require a bit of adjustment. Newer models though are built with clamps that make them easier to mount.
Yes, a drilling machine and some screws will lock it better in place. But for most cases, the strapping clamps will be good enough. Especially if you only get a limited number of hot days a year.
In general, compact and mini air conditioners are built with ease of use in mind. Considering that most of them will also be ductless, at least the ones we feature, that makes things even better for you.
Which compact air conditioner should I buy?
We have taken our time to select 3 great compact air conditioner units that you can buy right now.
Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 5, 000 BTU – Check the price on Amazon Now
This is a great entry-level model. It has a lot of reviews on Amazon, over 2000. You can be sure that a lot of people have tested it.
You can mount it on the window, and it comes both with a screwing kit or with a clamp kit.
- We estimate that the installation will take about 20 minutes for an average person.
- It is relatively quiet so it will be useful in small rooms or apartments.
- You should only mount it into small apartments. Don’t expect to put it in a big house and cool it all down.
- The unit comes with foam strips and accordion side pieces to cover the empty space
Frigidaire FFRA1022R1 10000 BTU – Check the price on Amazon Now
This is the big brother and a high-end alternative to the 5000 BTU Frigidaire model we recommended above.
You can still mount it on the window, but it can cool larger rooms.
- More powerful and suited for rooms of larger volumes
- It is a bit bigger and a bit louder, but given the increased capacity we think it is a good trade-off.
- The unit comes with a built-in thermostat and remote control.
- The manufacturer delivers it with accordion side panels to cover the empty space in the window.
Our choice for a portable air conditioner
Honeywell MO08CESWK Compact Portable Air Conditioner – Check the price on Amazon Now
The portable alternative to a window mounted compact air conditioning unit.
It looks great, can be moved around the house easily and best of all you can take it with you on holidays if needed.
- Powerful but portable air conditioner unit
- It’s rated for rooms up to 350 sg. ft, but will work for slightly larger ones.
- The auto-evaporation feature means the machine will not need a duct or a hose.
- The Honeywell product comes with a built-in filter that can be washed a few times, and it has maintenance alert for replacement.
- The digital display will also show you the humidity levels. It also comes with a remote with digital display.
- Best thing of all it has wheels so you can easily move it around the house.
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