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7 Best Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioners For Powerful Cooling

Josh Mitchell

Written By

Josh Mitchell

Expert Reviewed By

Holly Curell

Last Updated On

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You know you want the high-efficiency cooling that only dual-hose portable air conditioners can offer.

So how do you pick the right appliance out of the proverbial haystack? I’ll help you.

I tested and reviewed more than a dozen portable dual-hose AC units to find which ones boast the most cool air.

This detailed buying guide will help you choose the unit that works for you. Let’s find the best dual-hose portable air conditioner for your home!

Quick Glance - My Recommendations

Whynter ARC-1230WN 14,000 BTU (12,000 BTU...

Whynter ARC-1230WN

  • Covers a large 600 sq.ft area
  • One of the best efficiency ratings
  • Inverter based and quiet
  • WiFi and smart controls
  • Sleek design

Whynter Portable Air Conditioner 14,000 BTU...

Whynter ARC-14S

  • Strong cooling capacity for large rooms
  • Double air filter.
  • Affordable for a powerful unit.
  • Sleek design

Midea Duo 14,000 BTU (12,000 BTU SACC) High...

Midea Duo MAP14HS1TBL

  • Inverter compressor.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity makes operating the AC easy
  • Includes a heater unit
  • Very popular

7 Best Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioners

ACLAB Note On EER Ratings

Portable AC EER ratings on official and marketplace listings are often confusing as some base it on DOE BTU, while others base it on ASHRAE BTU.

For the sake of uniformity, we are calculating EER ratings based on ASHRAE BTU which is measured at 95 °F outside temperature, 80 °F inside temperate, and 50% relative humidity.

The formula used is

EER = BTU / Cooling Watts

1 - Whynter ARC-1230WN

4.7

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.75

Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.75

Current Progress
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Value For Money

4.75

Current Progress
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Cooling

14,000 BTU

Noise

42 dB

EER

10.79

Inverter

Yes

Pros
  • Covers a large 600 sq.ft area
  • One of the best efficiency ratings
  • Inverter based and quiet
  • WiFi and smart controls
  • Sleek design
CONS
  • Some quality control issues

I’ve included the Whynter brand three times on my list, because they really know what they’re talking about with dual hose portable AC models. 

A newer player to my list that quickly moved all the way to the top is the inverter based Whynter ARC-1230WN. It's not as efficient as the Dreo model further down, but its EER of 10.79 is impressive for a portable 

 It's not as energy efficient as the Dreo model further down, but its EER of 10.79 is impressive for a portable unit, and it can cover a whopping 600 square feet. 

I recently installed this portable AC in a small one bedroom guest cottage, and the owner couldn’t believe she was getting all the cooling power needed from this one unit, instead of the three window units she was using previously. 

The icing on the cake for my client was the sounds levels. On low, the Whynter ARC-1230WN performs at just 42.5 dB, much quieter than the Whynter ARC-14S.

The dual hose setup on this model is not as flexible as the Whynter model below, so placement is a bit trickier, and right in front of the window is your best bet. 

I think that most people will agree that while the hose is more difficult to work with, proper placement guarantees no energy loss by escaping exhaust.

Just like the other two Whynter models I’ve worked with, the ARC-12320WN can be purchased as an air conditioner only, or as an air conditioner with heat for slightly more money. 

I like to remind my customers that while the AC can be your only source of cooling during the hot months, the heater functions on these units aren’t as powerful, and are meant for supplemental heat only. 

This is the most expensive of the three Whynter models that I typically work with, and that’s due to the inverter driven compressor.

This feature allows the motor to adjust according to the temperature instead of cycling on and on. 

So I can guarantee you that while it’s a bigger cost upfront, over it’s lifetime the ARC-1230WN will ultimately save you more money.

I absolutely recommend this one for large spaces where energy efficiency is concerned, and it's my top choice for dual hose cooling.  

Whynter ARC-110WD controls

Who Is ARC-1230WN Best For?

The ARC-1230WN is best for those looking for an efficient dual hose AC with a capacity to cool a large 600 sq.ft. area.


2 - Whynter ARC-14S

4.5

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.5

Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.25

Current Progress
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Value For Money

4.75

Current Progress
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Cooling

14,000 BTU

Noise

56 dB

EER

10.77

Inverter

No

Pros
  • Strong cooling capacity for even large rooms
  • Double filters keep indoor air very clean
  • Long exhaust hoses make positioning easy
  • Well-functioning self-drainage keeps your home dry
  • Sleek design
CONS
  • Big and heavy unit
  • So-so energy efficiency
  • Window panel feels flimsy

The Whynter ARC-14S should be your go-to dual-hose portable air conditioner when you need a unit that does its job and does it well.

This extremely popular portable AC unit has a powerful 14,000-BTU cooling capacity, putting it in the same class as the Midea and Honeywell units on my list. 

The unit is rated for 500-square-foot spaces but can work well in even larger ones with low ceilings. If you have very high or arched ceilings, though, I would recommend keeping this AC in rooms up to 400 square feet.

The air vents can only be adjusted to blow the cool air upwards, which ensures more even cooling throughout the room. High ceilings can slow the process down quite a bit.

This device has AC, fan, and dehumidification modes and a handy timer for setting it to your schedule. I would've liked to see a sleep mode, too, but I didn't end up missing it.

I have to give two thumbs up to maintenance with this dual-hose air conditioner.

It has a washable pre-filter AND an activated carbon filter (one of only two units on my list to have one). 

Both are straightforward to take out and clean or replace.

The filters work very well — I'm asthmatic, so I definitely would've noticed poor air quality.

Drainage is also easy to manage since there’s no drainage to manage. This unit’s self-evaporation feature works very well and uses any condensation to cool the coils.

The AC produces about 56 dB of noise, making it one of the loudest I’ve featured. The sound is steady across all modes, though, so you get used to it quickly. 

I love the long 5-foot intake and exhaust hoses (a common feature with all Whynter units). They let you position this unit quite freely.

In terms of energy efficiency, this Whynter has an EER rating of 10.77, making it almost as energy efficient as the Whynter ARC-1230WN above (except this model doesn't have an inverter). 

Overall, though, it’s no wonder this unit is an award winner. It works exactly as advertised, providing efficient and reliable cooling.

For about $100 more, you can even upgrade to an AC+Heat option. 

Whynter ARC-14S dual hose

Who Is Whynter ARC-14S Best For?

The Whynter ARC-14C is the best dual-hose portable air conditioner for anyone seeking powerful and reliable cooling without issues.


3 - Midea Duo MAP14HS1TBL

4.4

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.5

Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.5

Current Progress
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Value For Money

4.25

Current Progress
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Cooling

14,000 BTU

Noise

42 dB

EER

10.77

Inverter

Yes

Pros
  • Inverter compressor has high energy efficiency and low noise levels
  • Wi-Fi connectivity makes operating the AC easy
  • Includes a heater unit
  • Lots of cooling power for very large rooms
CONS
  • Expensive
  • Heavy and large unit that must go in front of the window

Do you want it all? Do you want it now? Well, Mr. Mercury, Midea Duo MAP14HS1TBL should satisfy your cooling needs — and heating, for that matter!

Midea products are continuously climbing up my lists, and their dual-hose AC is no exception. 

Midea has equipped this dual-hose air conditioner with an inverter compressor. With a 14,000 BTU rating, it can freeze you out of a large 500-square-foot room.

Set up a few fans, and I could see this AC unit keeping even a 1,000-square-foot space comfortable. 

This unit serves double duty as a space heater. I don’t use the hot air function too much, but it’s efficient — although you need to hook up the supplied continuous drain line.

Midea Duo’s SEER rating of 10.77 matches the Whynter ARC-1230WN.

Although the Midea Duo does not have an Energy Star rating, it did win the Energy Star 2023 prize for the most efficient portable air conditioner.

The inverter compressor also makes Midea Duo a very quiet air conditioner. Like the Dreo further down my list, it has a noise level of only 42 dBA on the lowest setting—a good choice for your bedroom.

The dehumidifier mode on Midea Duo is the most powerful on my list, removing 122 pints of moisture daily.

As a cherry on top of it all, Midea has included built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. I love that I can connect Midea Duo to my smartphone or Alexa to control it from anywhere in my home.

Unlike the Whynter units, which have a separate intake and exhaust hose, Midea has wrapped both into a single enclosure. 

That makes the window panel very heavy and difficult to install at 78 lbs.

The thick hose-in-hose design is also inflexible and forces you to place the AC unit directly in front of the window. 

On the plus side, though, it does add a bit of extra insulation to the hoses.

The unit's black color may divide opinions. I like it but I could see some people thinking it looks like a trash can. 

Midea Duo is also the most expensive machine on my list at almost $700. Still, if you want a lot of power and all the latest features — including heat — it's well worth the investment.

Midea Duo MAP14HS1TBL hose

Who Is Midea Duo MAP14HS1TBL Best For?

The Midea Duo AC/heater dual-hose model is great for homeowners with large rooms who want the latest high-tech features.


4 - Cooper & Hunter CH-STLS-14AC

4.4

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.25

Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.5

Current Progress
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Value For Money

4.5

Current Progress
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Cooling

14,000 BTU

Noise

42 dB

EER

10.23

Inverter

Yes

Pros
  • Performs efficiently as both an air conditioner and heater
  • Good at removing moisture from the air
  • 2-year warranty
  • Good bang for your buck
CONS
  • Drainage problems due to a design oversight
  • Consumes a lot of energy

Cool or warm air — pick your poison.  The Cooper & Hunter CH-PDH14AC3 can keep you comfortable both in the summer heat and autumn chill.

Like the Midea Duo, this Cooper & Hunter model wraps a dual-hose portable air conditioner and a heat pump into one machine.

In terms of cooling capacity, it matches its dual-purpose competitor’s 14,000 BTU rating.

Yet it’s heating where this machine really shines. It pumps out a lot of hot air to keep you toasty once the temperatures start falling.

I actually have this model in my living room. The first time I tried the heating option, I turned it on and went into my kitchen for about twenty minutes to finish dinner.

By the time I came back, the room was so toasty I had to turn it down! This is something I’ve never experienced with other models. 

This C&H model offers total climate control for medium-sized rooms of up to 550 square feet. 

The AC portion of the unit offers similar functionality as Whynter and Honeywell, with the same fan speed options and 3-in-1 functionality.

The remote is like the Honeywell's in the sense that it has no display but works fine otherwise.

Despite having both heating and cooling, the C&H is a fairly compact machine and over 5 inches shorter than the Whynter ARC-122DS.

It can fit in slightly smaller nooks as long as you have the muscle to move it — this is a heavy model at 85 lbs.

The product listing for this Cooper & Hunter model lists an SEER of 2.6, which is not only really awful, but also just wrong. Using BTUs/watts, I've calculated the EER to be 10.23, which falls just short of my first three models.  

It's also one of the more affordable models on my list. 

Of course, it doesn’t have the smart features of the Midea model, but if you’re looking to save a couple hundred dollars up front, this might be the best choice for you.

Those looking for heating and cooling capacity should definitely have a look.

Cooper & Hunter ‎CH-PDH14AC3 controls

Who Is Cooper & Hunter CH-PDH14AC3 Best For?

Cooper & Hunter’s combo unit is a great option for those who want both heating and cooling for medium-sized rooms.


5 - Whynter ARC-122DS

4.3

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.25

Current Progress
Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

3.75

Current Progress
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Value For Money

5.0

Current Progress
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Cooling

12.000 BTU

Noise

52dB

EER

10.00

Inverter

No

Pros
  • Excellent value for money
  • Strong cooling performance in mid-sized rooms
  • Sturdy and well-designed unit
  • Low energy consumption keeps your bills in check
CONS
  • May draw excessive power with high outdoor temperatures
  • Temperamental remote control

I believe that a budget shouldn’t stop you from living in a nicely cooled space.

Whynter ARC-122DS is a relatively affordable dual-hose portable air conditioner that brings plenty of value to the table.

Despite its low price point, this Whynter portable air conditioner sports a respectable BTU rating of 12,000.

With a 400-square-foot coverage area, it squarely matches the much pricier Dreo unit in cooling ability.

I wouldn’t try to cool larger spaces with this Whynter, but that’s not a knock on the machine.

When used in an appropriately-sized room, this air conditioner can reduce the temperature by 10 degrees in a couple of hours.

Another value-adding factor is the ARC-122DS’ low power consumption, matched only by the Midea AC unit.

With a 10 EER rating, this portable AC can keep your home cool without impacting your energy bill that much.

It’s almost as efficient as the Whynter-1230WN, but without the inverter it doesn’t quite have the chops to cool bigger spaces. 

In terms of features, this value-packed unit brings you all the advantages of its bigger brother, with AC and fan modes and a 24-hour timer. 

The dehumidifier mode is actually more powerful than on the ARC-14S, making this machine a great choice for regions with high humidity.

The only thing it lacks is the activated carbon filter — although that’s available separately.

The ARC-122DS is fairly compact and lightweight. It's not as small as the ultra-portable Honeywell, but at 60 pounds, it's still easy to move and position, thanks to the long 60-inch hoses.

I also have to praise the fairly quiet operation. This unit doesn’t quite match the inverter-equipped Midea or Dreo ACs, but for a traditional compressor, it has a low noise level.

There’s one big warning I must give, though. The owner’s manual states that this air conditioner uses 9 amps of power, but I noticed that it can draw up to 13 amps if outdoor temperatures rise above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

I strongly recommend that you plug this unit into an at least 15-amp outlet to avoid blowing a fuse or overheating your wiring.

If you’re looking for a portable air conditioner with a dual-hose design and you’re on a budget, I can warmly recommend this machine. 

You get a well-engineered machine and a lot of cooling efficiency for your buck.

Whynter ARC-122DS remote

Who is Whynter ARC-122DS Best For?

The Whynter ARC-122DS is the best dual-hose portable air conditioner who want good cooling performance at a relatively low price point.


6 - Honeywell HW4CEDAWW0

4.3

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

3.75

Current Progress
Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

5.0

Current Progress
Current Progress
Current Progress
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Value For Money

4.25

Current Progress
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Cooling

14,000 BTU

Noise

51 dB

EER

7.54

Inverter

No

Pros
  • Produces plenty of cooled air for very large spaces
  • Very compact and portable AC unit
  • Overload protection
  • Very quiet for a traditional compressor unit
  • Example text
CONS
  • Lousy energy efficiency
  • Short hoses

Think you need a big beast of a portable air conditioner for a big room? Think again.

Honeywell HW4CEDAWW0 is the smallest and most portable machine on my list — but it’s also the best for larger rooms!

The Honeywell portable air conditioner is rated for 14,500 BTU, above all other units I’ve reviewed here. It has the chops to cool rooms up to 700 square feet.

Yet, with some creative AC and fan placement, I was able to keep spaces almost double that size tolerable my my open floorplan.

Despite its power, this Honeywell dual-hose model is only 28 inches tall and weighs less than 60 pounds. It’s a compact and lightweight AC unit, which makes it easy to move.

I wish the exhaust and intake hose were longer than the restrictively short four feet, though.

Although this air conditioner doesn't weigh much, installing it is a hassle because of the short hoses.

The window kit is also pretty sub-standard since it doesn't come with any weather stripping.

The Honeywell matches the Whynter AC units in features. It comes with three fan speed settings and can operate in AC, dehumidifier, and fan modes.

There’s no sleep mode, though, so if you need that, Dreo or Midea might be better choices.

You have a remote operation, although the remote doesn't have a display. On the bright side, Honeywell’s remote is the most responsive out of the ones I tested. It’s basic, but it gets the job done.

I found the Honeywell unit to be surprisingly quiet for an air conditioner without an inverter compressor.

It produces only 51 dBA on the high setting, so I could see myself using it in a bedroom.

This is the only one out of the dual-hose units I reviewed that comes with thermal overload protection. 

If the air conditioner starts drawing excess power, the protection system stops the condenser, preventing overheating and damage to the unit and electricity lines.[1]

If you start looking for the heater function after reading the user manual, as I did, don't bother — there's no heater option as the Cooper & Hunter model has.

As far as I know, Honeywell doesn't make dual-hose models with heating, so I'm not sure why that's in the manual.

Yet, my biggest gripe is the very low energy efficiency.

With a 7.54 EER, this is the most energy-hungry air conditioner on my list. Be prepared for higher electricity bills with this unit.

Power always comes at a price, though. And if it’s power you’re after, this is the best portable air conditioner for you.

Honeywell HW4CEDAWW0 controls

Who Is Honeywell HW4CRDAWW0 Best For?

This Honeywell unit is ideal for those looking for a compact and powerful dual-hose portable air conditioner for big spaces.


7 - Dreo TwinCool DR-HAC001

4.3

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

5.0

Current Progress
Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.0

Current Progress
Current Progress
Current Progress
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Value For Money

4.0

Current Progress
Current Progress
Current Progress
Current Progress

Cooling

12,000 BTU

Noise

42 dB

EER

12.24

Inverter

Yes

Pros
  • Quiet and effective cooling for medium-sized spaces
  • Reliable and low-maintenance operation
  • First-grade customer service
CONS
  • Seems to have packaging issues

For my customers who like the quiet operation of the Midea Duo but don’t have the budget, I recommend the Dreo TwinCool.

The Dreo TwinCool DR-HAC001 brings just as quiet cooling at a slightly lower price point.

Like Midea Duo, Dreo TwinCool boasts an inverter compressor, making it one of the quietest portable air conditioners I've seen. On low, it produces only 42 dBA of noise, and even the highest setting doesn’t get louder than 53 dBA.

In terms of power, this AC unit matches the Whynter ARC-122DS with a 12,000 BTU rating and 400-square-foot coverage area.

If you need a dual-hose air conditioner for a big bedroom, Dreo is a great candidate.

The TwinCool is surprisingly the most energy efficient item on my list, with an EER coming in of 12.24. 

Although the TwinCool lacks a heater, it’s otherwise practically identical to Midea Duo in features.

Frankly, based on my tests and looking at the user manuals, I suspect the internal components come off the same assembly line.

On top of the AC, dehumidifier and fan modes, Dreo offers three fan speeds, a timer, and a sleep mode option. 

Like Midea Duo, the TwinCool has dual thermostats, with one on the machine and one on the remote, allowing it to set the desired temperature according to your location.

There's no Wi-Fi connectivity, but the remote works well enough. I like the Star button (Shortcut in the manual) that lets you save your favorite settings to the remote's memory.

The Dreo does weigh less than the Midea Duo or the big Whynter model, though, which keeps it a bit more portable.

I'm not sure if Dreo has some quality control issues or uses poor packaging, but occasionally I will get a unit that’s broken in the box. 

That's not too big of a deal, though, since Dreo's customer service is among the best in the business.

This of course, is just an extra wait for my clients, so I like to have at least one of these units on hand. 

Overall, Dreo TwinCool simply works well. If silence is golden to you, this dual-hose portable air conditioner won’t offend your ears.

Who Is Dreo TwinCool DR-HAC001 Best For?

The Dreo TwinCool is the best dual-hose portable AC for quietly cooling medium-sized rooms, like a bedroom.


8. KwiKool KIB12023

Best Portable AC for Commercial Space

3.3

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

3.0

Current Progress
Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

5.0

Current Progress
Current Progress
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Value for Money

2.0

Current Progress
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Cooling

120,000 BTU

Noise

125 dB

EER

4.00

Inverter

No

Pros
  • Extreme cooling capacity for a portable AC.
  • Rugged design and high quality caster wheels for mobility.
  • Great for large commercial spaces/warehouses.
CONS
  • Very expensive.
  • Due to high noise levels, will need to be placed in a separate room.
  • Not very efficient.

Every now and then, I’ll be asked to fit a commercial space with portable cooling.

These scenarios often include large warehouses where swamp coolers aren’t just cutting it or extra large server rooms where cooling is paramount.

My go-to model for these situations is the KwiKool KIB12023.

This super-powerful portable AC has a whopping 120,000 BTUs of power to cool up to 4000 square feet of space. For commercial applications looking for an alternative to central AC, this is the one to choose.

That said, I often get asked if this model can be used for entire home cooling, and in that case, my answer is no. KwiKool is very clear about its intended design for this industrial model, and it is not rated for residential use.

One reason for this is the noise level. The KwiKool runs at 125 dB on high mode, which is comparable to a loud concert or a jet plane.

Compared to the Dreo TwinCool running at 42 dB, you would feel like you’re standing in a wind tunnel while standing next to this one.

(For the record, levels of over 90 dB can cause hearing damage over time. So you’ll see why this is more suitable for a large server room that doesn’t have a lot of human traffic.)

While all the other products on my list are meant to be vented out of a window, the KwiKool is meant to be vented through a drop ceiling, so I do recommend professional installation for this one.

My favorite feature is the internal pump, which can draw water up and out of your space up to 150 feet away.

While the KwiKool is listed as a portable commercial AC, this makes me laugh a little bit.

Yes, it does have wheels, but at 986 lbs and a semi-complicated installation, I don’t think you’ll be moving this one around very often.

Of course, all this cooling power comes with a staggering price tag of $19,000, not including installation.

Yes, this is expensive, but when I consider the alternative of putting in a central AC with ducting and electrical work, the KwiKool quickly becomes a reasonable alternative. 

Who Is KwiKool KIB12023 Best For?

The KwiKool KIB12023 is best for cooling down large commercial spaces quickly.


Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioners Compared

Preview

Name

Rating

BTU

Cooling Area

Price

Whynter ARC-1230WN 14,000 BTU (12,000 BTU...

Whynter ARC-1230WN

4.7

14,000

600 sq. ft.

Whynter Portable Air Conditioner 14,000 BTU...

Whynter ARC-14S

4.5

14,000

500 sq. ft.

Midea Duo 14,000 BTU (12,000 BTU SACC) High...

Midea Duo MAP14HS1TBL

4.4

14,000

550 sq. ft.

Cooper&Hunter 14,000 BTU (12,000 BTU SACC)...

Cooper & Hunter CH-STLS-14AC

4.4

14,000

550 sq. ft.

Whynter ARC-122DS 12,000 (7,000 BTU SACC)...

Whynter ARC-122DS

4.3

12,000

400 sq. ft.

Honeywell 14,500 BTU Smart Portable Air...

Honeywell HW4CEDAWW0

4.3

14,500

700 sq. ft.

Dreo TwinCool 12000 BTU Smart Inverter...

Dreo TwinCool DR-HAC001

4.3

12,000

400 sq. ft.

KwiKool KIB12023

3.3

120,000

4,000 sq. ft.


Why Choose Dual Hose Over Single Hose Portable ACs?

In most cases, a dual-hose AC is faster and more efficient than its single-hose siblings.

Do I recommend a dual-hose option for every situation? No, not necessarily. Here are some of the pros and cons of choosing a dual-hose setup.

SINGLE VERSUS DUAL

Benefits

  • Uses less energy overall to cool larger spaces.
  • Cooling comes faster, and there is less exhaust leaking back into the room.
  • The filters last longer and need less maintenance than single-hose units. This is because dual hose units draw in fresh air from outside rather than recycling the room’s current air. 

DOWNSIDES

  • Dual hose units become less efficient if the outdoor air is extra humid because they have to work much harder to dehumidify the air.
  • Although portable, they are much more difficult to move from room to room.
  • More expensive than single-hose units.

Dual Hose ACs Compared to Other Room ACs

 

Dual-Hose AC

Single-Hose AC

Window AC

Mini-Split AC

Price

$380 +

$250 +

$100 +

$1,200 +

Efficiency

SEER Range of 2.6 to 10

SEER Range of 6 - 10

SEER of 11.5 and higher

SEER of 15 and higher

Noise Levels

Average 50-70 dB

Average 50-70 dB

Average 50-60 dB

Average 25-35 dB

Installation
Difficulty

Moderate

Easy

Difficult

Requires Professional

Cooling Capacity

200 - 700 square feet

200 - 700 square feet

150 - 1500 square feet

400 - 1500 square feet

Product Lifespan

5-10 years

5-10 years

8-10 years

Up to 20 years

*metrics based on averages across product lines


How To Find The Right Dual Hose Portable AC For Your Home

Dual-hose portable air conditioners are more efficient than single-hose units—but they’re not all the same.

How can you find the best dual-hose model for your home?

I’ll help you! Here’s my breakdown of the most important factors to consider when shopping for dual-hose portable air conditioners.

BTU Rating Vs Your Room Size

ROOM COVERAGE

For medium-sized rooms, look for a dual-hose portable air conditioner with a BTU rating of 12,000.

The efficiency of air conditioners is measured in British thermal units (BTU), with the BTU rating directly corresponding to a certain coverage area. 

Portable AC units with 12,000 BTU of cooling capacity can generally cool rooms up to 500 square feet. For larger rooms, aim for a 14,000-BTU unit, like Whynter ARC-14S or Midea Duo.[2]

Note, though, that even the best portable air conditioners — whether dual or single-hose units — lose a bit of cooling power when compared to a central or window AC.

When looking at BTU ratings for portable ACs, I tend to adjust the coverage area down by 50 square feet for more realistic results.

EER Rating For Saving Money

Try to find a dual-hose portable AC with at least a SEER 7 rating, but a higher EER score is always better.

The seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating describes how much energy portable AC units consume over a one-year cooling season. 
Portable AC energy efficiency

That sounds technical, but the basic gist of SEER is simple — the higher the SEER rating, the less energy the air conditioner eats, and the more money you save!

There’s no set standard for when a dual-hose air conditioner counts as “energy-efficient,” but I would look for a SEER of 7 or higher to keep your bills in check.

Some portable air conditioner manufacturers claim their units are Energy Star-certified, but don’t fall for that.

ACLAB Note:

Portable ACs are not eligible for an Energy Star rating due to not meeting US DOE requirements.[3]

Compressor Type Makes A Difference

I recommend purchasing a unit with an inverter compressor if you want the most quiet and energy-efficient dual-hose portable air conditioner.

Inverter compressors, like those on Midea Duo and Dreo TwinCool, run constantly, unlike traditional compressors, which cycle on and off.

Starting and stopping the compressor consumes more energy and produces noise.

ACLAB Note:

An inverter compressor doesn't cycle, so the noise levels and energy consumption stay in check.

Installation — Aim For Easy!

Aim for air dual-hose portable air conditioners that come with a full window installation kit that matches your window opening.

Although a portable air conditioner is practically always easier to install than a window AC, it can get tricky.

A complete installation kit, with a window panel and weather stripping, makes the job simple and straightforward. I’d also keep an eye out for units that come with a floor drain hose.

I recommend measuring your window carefully before buying a portable AC and comparing it to the maximum dimensions of the window panel. 

With some units, you may have to cut the panel to fit small windows.

Noise Levels — The Lower The DBA, The Better

I always look for portable air conditioners with a maximum noise level of 55 dBa.

Portable air conditioners tend to be louder than most other models, but you shouldn't have to put up with a blaring machine. 

My personal breaking point is at 55 dBA, but some people can put up with noise levels up to 60 dBA.

That's comparable to a regular conversation.[4]

If you want a really quiet unit, look for something with an inverter compressor, like Midea Duo or Dreo TwinCool.

These units make less noise than most other portable ACs and can provide soothing white noise even in a small bedroom.

ACLAB Note:

The noise you perceive also depends upon how close you are to the Portable AC.

Price — Don’t Spend Too Much

Decide on your budget before you start shopping for dual-hose portable air conditioners to make finding the right machine easier.

Dual-hose models tend to be more expensive than single-hose portable ACs — the units on my list range from around $400 to $700. 

I can’t tell you how much to spend, but determining your budget ahead of shopping helps you avoid wasting time with units you can’t afford.

Separate Hoses Vs Hose-In-Hose

Choose a dual-hose unit with separate hoses or a hose-in-hose design based on whether you want flexible positioning or better insulation.

The exhaust and intake hose of dual-hose units can be separate, or they may be contained in a single enclosure, called hose-in-hose.

Separate hoses are more flexible but often thin and may allow heat energy to radiate back into your home. 

A hose-in-hose structure is often better insulated, but it is also stiffer and restricts where you can place the air conditioner.

Other Features To Look For

There are other smaller but still important details to keep an eye on when browsing dual-hose AC units.

Consider these things to find a machine with the best features for you:

Portability If You Plan to Move It Alot

If you plan to move the machine a lot, look for portable AC units that are small and lightweight.

Ideally, they should also have caster wheels so you can easily roll the unit along the floor.

How Easy It is to Maintain

Check how easy it is to remove the filters and gain access to the internal components so you can keep your dual-hose unit clean.

With dual-hose ACs, most models recycle condensation water to cool the internal coils, so extensive drainage is rarely needed.
The Length of the Warranty

The longer the warranty period on your AC, the better.

All dual-hose units on my list offer at least a year of warranty, but some — like Cooper & Hunter — give even longer warranties.

Extra Features
  • Timer:
    A good 24-hour timer lets you set your portable AC to run automatically when you need it the most. This can save you a good bit of money — there’s no point in cooling your house if nobody’s home.
  • Filter:
    If you're sensitive to airborne contaminants (like I am), choose a unit with a standard activated carbon filter, like my #1 Whynter ARC-14S portable air conditioner. Additionally, aim for portable AC units that have washable filters to save some money on replacement filters.
  • Thermostat:
    An accurate thermostat helps your AC maintain a comfortable air temperature in your home. All portable units on my left have reasonably accurate thermostats, so any will work well.
  • Remote Control:
    A good remote controller with a display makes operating your portable AC unit much easier. Every portable AC unit on my list has a remote, but some — like Honeywell and Cooper & Hunter — lack displays, limiting their usability.
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity:
    A smart portable air conditioner with Wi-Fi capability — such as Midea Duo — can connect to a smartphone or a voice control unit, like Alexa. This can make controlling the appliance very simple.

ACLAB Note:

A portable AC can have several additional features. The more features an AC has, the higher it generally costs.


How Do Dual-Hose Portable AC Units Work?

Dual-hose portable air conditioners draw air from outside your home instead of from the inside.

This makes them more efficient and powerful than single-hose units.

A single-hose model pulls in hot air from inside the room it’s placed in. This generates a negative pressure inside your home, causing warm outside air to seep in through cracks and gaps to replace the removed air. 

The encroaching warm air can re-heat your home and force the single-hose model to work harder.

Dual-hose units, on the other hand, use separate exhaust and intake hoses to expel and draw in air from outside your home. 

The dual-hose machine cools the air it pulls in and emits it into your home. 

The cooling process generates heat energy that the machine spews back out through the exhaust hose.

This method allows dual-hose units to cool your home much faster while eliminating the negative air pressure problem.

The only downside is that these machines generally cost more than single-hose units.


FAQs

What Are The Benefits of Dual-Hose Portable ACs Over Single-Hose Models?

Dual-hose portable air conditioners cool indoor air faster and more efficiently than single-hose models. They are also generally better at filtering impurities out of the air.

Is A Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner Better?

A dual-hose portable air conditioner is more efficient in terms of cooling than a single-hose one. However, they also tend to be more expensive and may be louder than comparable single-hose units.

Do You Have to Drain a Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner?

You generally don’t have to drain most dual-hose air conditioners as they recycle condensation water to cool their components.

If you live in a region with a very high humidity level, your portable AC may need some help from a drain line.

Can you Convert Single-Hose AC to Dual-Hose Configuration?

You may be able to convert a single-hose AC model to a dual-hose configuration by building a makeshift hose adapter over the intake vent.

Yet, it can be difficult and is far from a perfect solution, so for most users, buying a new dual-hose AC is often the best solution.

So, Which Dual Hose Portable AC Unit Should You Buy?

Dual-hose portable air conditioners can be cost-effective and powerful options for cooling large rooms. 

With my buying guide, you can now confidently purchase the best dual-hose portable AC for your home.

If you’re still wondering about which model has the best features for you, here are my personal Top 3 portable AC units:

My #1 Recommendation
Whynter ARC-1230WN

  • Inverter compressor has high energy efficiency and low noise levels
  • Wi-Fi connectivity makes operating the AC easy
  • Reasonably price for a powerful unit.
  • Lots of cooling power for very large rooms

References: 

  1. https://www.c3controls.com/white-paper/what-is-overload-protection/
  2. https://www.calculator.net/btu-calculator.html
  3. https://www.energystar.gov/products/heating_cooling/air_conditioning_room/key_product_criteria
  4. https://www.mdhearingaid.com/blog/decibel-chart/
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Josh Mitchell

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Josh Mitchell
My name is Josh and I am obsessed with home appliances. From portable AC units to heaters and air purifiers, I enjoy testing, learning and using these devices to improve the air quality inside my family home.

My Favorite Home Appliance?

Midea U Shaped Window Air Conditioner

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