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The Best Portable Air Conditioner and Heater Combos: Stay Comfortable All Year Round

CEO Khai Intela
Can you use a portable air conditioner as a heater? The answer is yes! Not all portable air conditioners have heating capabilities, but there is a special category of 'heater and air conditioner in one...

Can you use a portable air conditioner as a heater? The answer is yes! Not all portable air conditioners have heating capabilities, but there is a special category of 'heater and air conditioner in one unit' that can keep you warm in the winter. These units work as conventional portable air conditioners in the summer and portable space heaters in the winter.

double function of portable air conditioner with heater Why have 2 HVAC units if 1 would suffice? Portable AC units with a heater can BOTH cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

In fact, the best portable air conditioner and heater combos provide almost symmetrical cooling and heating output, meaning they can cool and warm spaces of similar square footage. For example, the #1 Vremi 14,000 BTU unit can cool up to 450 sq ft and heat up to the same area.

heating function of a portable air conditioner Producers of portable AC units with heating options indicate the heating option in various ways. On the photo: #1 Vremi 14,000 BTU unit

These dual-function units have become extremely popular because they save space, costs, and maintenance. Why deal with two devices when one can do the job?

Before we dive into the best portable air conditioner and heater units, let's explore how they work and the key metrics to consider before purchasing one.

How Do Portable AC Heaters Work?

Portable AC heaters work similarly to heat pumps, but they are not heat pumps themselves. They function by:

  1. Generating airflow with a portable AC fan.
  2. Passing indoor air over cold condenser coils to cool it down.
  3. Capturing heat from the indoor air and transferring it to hot evaporator coils.
  4. Expelling excess heat through a vent in the window.

In the winter, the refrigerant flow is reversed, turning the condenser coils into hot evaporator coils. This change allows the portable AC heater to warm the indoor air, providing a comfortable atmosphere.

3 Vital Specs To Check Before Buying A Portable AC Heater

When choosing a portable AC heater, consider three essential specifications:

  1. Cooling Capacity and Square Footage: The cooling capacity is measured in BTU (British Thermal Units) and determines the unit's ability to cool. Portable AC heaters typically have a cooling output ranging from 10,000 to 14,000 BTU, suitable for cooling spaces up to 600 sq ft. To properly size the unit, calculate the recommended coverage area using the rule of thumb: 30 BTU per sq ft of living space.

  2. Heating Capacity and Coverage: The heating capacity should match the cooling capacity, ensuring efficient heating. Symmetric cooling/heating output is desirable, covering a similar area. For example, a 14,000 BTU portable AC heater can heat spaces up to 500 sq ft.

  3. Energy Efficiency: Energy efficiency is crucial for cost savings and environmental considerations. Look for units with high EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings for cooling and HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) ratings for heating. An EER rating of 8.5 or above is considered average, while 10+ ratings indicate superb energy efficiency.

portable heat pumps capable of cooling and heating Example of cooling and heating coverage areas, based on BTU cooling and heating output.

Now that we understand how portable AC heaters work and the necessary specs to consider, let's explore the top-rated units in 2021.

Best Portable Air Conditioner Heater Combos

  1. Vremi 14,000 BTU Cooling + 13,500 BTU Heating: Overall Strongest And Best Portable Heater Air Conditioner Combo Vremi 14,000 BTU is an energy-efficient unit with a 10.3 EER rating. It can cool spaces up to 450 sq ft and heat them effectively. With a symmetric cooling/heating output, it provides balanced temperature control.

  2. BLACK+DECKER BPACT14HWT: Most Popular And Best-Selling Portable AC Heater BLACK+DECKER BPACT14HWT is a tried-and-tested unit known for its excellent performance and affordability. With 14,000 BTU cooling output and 11,000 BTU heating output, it can cool and heat spaces up to 375 sq ft.

  3. Whynter ARC-14SH: Very Powerful Portable Air Conditioner And Heater Combo Whynter ARC-14SH stands out as a true powerhouse. Its dual-hose system enhances efficiency, allowing it to cool up to 600 sq ft and heat up to 500 sq ft. With a remarkable EER rating of 10.8, it is one of the most energy-efficient units available.

  4. Honeywell MN14CHCSMN: Best Honeywell Portable AC Heater Combo Honeywell MN14CHCSMN offers exceptional cooling and heating performance. With 14,000 BTU cooling output and an 11,000 BTU heating element, it can cool spaces up to 550 sq ft and heat up to 400 sq ft.

  5. SereneLife SLPAC10: Best Small Portable AC Unit With Heater SereneLife SLPAC10 is a compact and affordable option for smaller rooms. With 10,000 BTU cooling output and 9,000 BTU heating output, it can effectively cool and heat spaces up to 350 sq ft.

These top-rated portable AC heater combos are selected based on their cooling capacity, heating capacity, energy efficiency, price, reliability, and customer reviews.

If you have any questions about these dual-function portable AC units, feel free to ask in the comments below. Stay comfortable all year round with these versatile and efficient units!

*Note: The images used in this article are sourced from the original article.