THERE IS nothing worse than a stuffy home when the heat starts turning up outside, so why not invest in 2021’s best air conditioners to see you through summer.
There are plenty of top models on the market, from smaller budget buys to bigger luxe designs.
It will come as no surprise that air conditioners tend to be larger and more expensive than fans, but that’s because they are particularly effective at lowering the temperature of the entire room, as well as some can lower the humidity in the air.
As well as power, it is best to think about noise with air conditioners and it is best to check the size of the room compared to the model.
Abandon any notion of bulky air conditioners with complicated installation processes: these days, the most common air conditioners you’ll find from leading brands like AEG and De’Longhi are powerful – yet portable.
Air conditioners are costly: top-of-the-range models will typically set you back over £500.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option, check out portable evaporative air coolers, which use water and ice cubes to work as a humidifier or mini air con.
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1. Best quiet air conditioner: De’Longhi Pinguino PAC N90
- (AD) De’Longhi Pinguino PAC N90, £550 from Amazon – buy here
De’Longhi’s portable air-con gets an A rating for energy-efficiency – and an A+ for being super-quiet as well as a powerful performer.
The Pinguino PAC N90 doesn’t require any installation, and uses propane to work as both a dehumidifier and an air conditioning fan.
It features digital controls to perform at three different speeds, and runs at a maximum of 52 decibels, so it shouldn’t disturb your sleep at night.
‘The noise level (even on high) is about the same as a desk fan, the exhaust hose is sturdy, and it cools my living room quickly’, notes a reviewer.
2. Best compact air conditioner: Olimpia Splendid Dolceclima
- (AD) Olimpia Splendid Dolceclima, £549.99 from Amazon – buy here
Whether you’d like your air con installed or prefer a mobile device you can move from room to room, Olimpia’s Compact 8 P can instantly cool smaller spaces.
It helps eliminate heat and expel condensation – using the hose provided – as well as filtering the air in the process.
Fans are impressed with just how well it cools, stating that ‘as cooling goes, it’s the best I’ve tried’, ‘the look and feel is nice, it’s very easy to use and the window attachments are good and solid’ and it ‘makes the room cold in a few minutes’.
3. Best air conditioner to cool quickly: AEG ChillFlex Pro
AEG ChillFlex Pro AXP34U338CW, £529 from AO.com – buy here
This air conditioner is so powerful it’s been described as capable of giving someone ‘frostbite’ if they stood in front of it long enough.
Stylish and suitable for a larger space like a kitchen, living room or bedroom, this multi-functional air con has an LED display and automatically adjusts to the set temperature, acting as a dehumidifier, too.
It includes a basic remote control and gets an A rating for energy-efficiency. You also get a 2-year guarantee.
4. Best desktop air conditioner: Evapolar evaCHILL
- (AD) Evapolar evaCHILL, £60.39 from Amazon – buy here
Ideal for your home workspace, the evaCHILL delivers a cool blast of filtered air, which is capable of taking an entire room’s temperature down by a few degrees (one reviewer claims to have gotten the room 6 degrees cooler after using this product).
It’s portable, quiet, sleek and uses a patented Evabreeze material which is non-toxic and won’t harbour mould or bacteria.
It operates with a USB C cable, and works at the touch of a button.
Reviewers like the ‘cool bubble’ of air it creates around them, recommending it for bedrooms at night and describing this pint-sized air con as ‘chilly’.
5. Best smart air conditioner: electriQ AirFlex 14000
- electriQ AirFlex 14000, £549.97 from Aircon Direct – buy here
This multi-talented air conditioner is a heater, dehumidifier, fan and air conditioner in one, with a very high energy-efficiency rating (A/A++).
Castor wheels allow for easy mobility, and the design is well suited for rooms up to 400 square feet.
The best part of this air con design? It’s WiFi enabled – just download the accompanying app and you can control the unit from your smartphone, anytime, anywhere.
It also syncs with Alexa and you can operate multiple units simultaneously, so it’s handy for landlords who need it for commercial use.
‘Cools the entire downstairs (about 35 square meters) of our 5 bedroom house on hot summer days making work much more tolerable’, writes a satisfied customer.
6. Best value air conditioner: Challenge 5K Air Conditioning Unit
Challenge 5K Air Conditioning Unit, £299.99 from Argos – buy here
With an A energy rating, LED display with timer function and remote, omni-directional castor wheels and hose, this portable air conditioner is a great buy for smaller rooms (recommended for rooms 10m2).
It’s easy to use and move around and, as one reviewer notes, it ‘does a wonderful job of making our master bedroom like ice even when it’s 26 Celsius outside’.
7. Challenge 7K Air Conditioning Unit
- Challenge 7K Air Conditioning Unit, £349.99 from Argos – buy here
If your room is over the 10m2 recommendation for the 5K unit above, you could give this 7K model a go.
It’s got similar features to the 5K, but is more powerful and is recommended for rooms 16M2.
8. Best adjustable thermostat: EcoSilent Air Conditioner
- EcoSilent Air Conditioner, £399.98 from electriQ – buy here
A very silent air conditioner with its own adjustable thermostat, the electriQ EcoSilent Air Conditioner is great for medium sized spaces such as an office, bedroom and living room. With great energy efficiency, it costs just 12 pence an hour to run, while it doesn’t scrimp on quality and style.
9. Best 24 programmer: Klarstein Kraftwerk Smart
- Kraftwerk Air Conditioner, £419.99 from Klarstein – buy here
Conveniently control this Kraftwerk air conditioner form anywhere with a WiFi connection or even use the Klarstein app with ease. This stylist air conditioner has all you could need to keep your home or work speace cool; energy efficieny, a wide cooling space, integrated fan, and a sealing set. We also think it looks pretty stylish too!
10. Best Luxury Air Conditioner: Pro Breeze
- (AD) Probreeze Luxury Air Conditioner, £399.99 from Amazon – buy here
This Probreeze Luxury Air Conditioner has 4-in-1 features which include air cooling, dehumidifying, fan only, and even sleep modes. It has a digital LED screen with remote control for ease of use and with its 9000 BTU cooling capacity, it can be used in large rooms or offices. Hinged wings mean it’s perfect to control the air vents while the design means it fits easily into any corner or room.
Which brand of air conditioner is best?
Leading brands like AEG, De’Longhi and LG are all well-known for delivering excellent cooling results and have serious authority in the appliance world.
However, lesser-known companies and specific air con specialists can produce results that are just as good, if not better than big-name brands.
It’s advisable to research the market and shop around to find the air conditioner that’s right for you and your needs.
What is the best air conditioner for home use?
There are generally two types of air conditioner to choose from: a wall-mounted split-unit air conditioner, which is perfect for rooms that are always hot as they can’t be moved, or standalone portable units that can be shifted from room to room depending on your needs.
Split-air units are generally more efficient and better at cooling but are more expensive.
Portable units tend to be cheaper and bulkier, but if your house needs cooling in multiple rooms during the summer they can be carried from room to room.
A portable air conditioner is perfect for home use in the UK.
What is the best portable air conditioner?
The best portable air conditioners on the market right now are light and compact – ideal if you don’t have a lot of space to play with.
Leading models can powerfully and quickly cool down a room without draining too much energy.
They’re also as quiet as can be, so you can go about your day to day life with minimal disruption, or able to sleep easy if it’s on in your bedroom at night.
Many newer air conditioners are WiFi enabled, so you can control them via your phone, a handy extra that means you can get your house cooling down before you’ve even stepped inside.
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This article and any featured products have been independently chosen by The Sun journalists. All recommendations within the article are informed by expert editorial opinion. If you click a link and buy a product we may earn revenue: this helps to support The Sun, and in no way affects our recommendations.