Best Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioners [2021 Buyer’s Guide]

| Last Updated: August 24, 2021

Let’s face it, sometimes portable air conditioners just cannot go the extra mile. If you have ever tried to use a portable air conditioner to cool a large, open space, such as a commercial space, or to cool a space with high ceilings, you know the limitations inherent in these units. But have you ever tried working with a dual hose air conditioner?

Dual hose air conditioners will likely surprise you in terms of efficacy and efficiency. Read on to learn more about these kinds of AC units.

Comparison of the Best Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioners

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Our Final Rating: 7.2
  • Cooling Capacity: 400 sq. ft.
  • Cost to Run: $97/year
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  • Our Final Rating: 7.2
  • Cooling Capacity: 450 sq. ft.
  • Cost to Run: $98/year
View Latest Price →
  • Our Final Rating: 6.8
  • Cooling Capacity: 450 sq. ft.
  • Cost to Run: $132/year
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  • Our Final Rating: 6.7
  • Cooling Capacity: 700 sq. ft.
  • Cost to Run: $118/year
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  • Our Final Rating: 6.3
  • Cooling Capacity: 450 sq. ft.
  • Cost to Run: $132/year
View Latest Price →

How Do I Choose a Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner?

There are certain characteristics or factors that make air conditioners stand out and give you a good experience. Let’s go over them so that before purchasing, you are able to make a note of all these features. 

Energy Efficiency

When looking for a portable air conditioner, you need to ensure it is energy efficient and does not require large amounts of power.

Make a note of the EER or Energy Efficiency Rating on each model you wish to consider purchasing. A high EER will ensure a smooth experience.

Overall Effectiveness

Dual-hose ACs perform better than single-hose ones since indoor air is not vented outside with the former. They are capable of cooling a room better and quicker if their quality is excellent. This is particularly important to consider for larger spaces or rooms.  

Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU

Ease of Setup

Dual-hose air conditioners can be tedious to set up and operate. So when making your purchase, look for quality units to make this process as simple as possible as some of them usually come with some helpful tools. Consult your salesman with this too.  

Size

Before making your purchase, keep in mind how large your room or space is so that you buy a unit accordingly. Some ACs are capable of cooling small spaces only. For this purpose, you can refer to the BTU rating, which indicates the cooling capacity of an AC.  

Review of the Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioners

Now that you know what to keep in mind, let’s check out some actual products!

Best Overall

Whynter Elite ARC-122DHP

Whynter Elite ARC-122DHP 12,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner and Heater, Dehumidifier, Fan with Activated Carbon Filter Plus Autopump and Storage Bag for Rooms up to 400 sq ft, Multi

Product Ratings

7.2

Affordability:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Portability:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Noise:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Performance:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Ease of Setup:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Cost Efficiency:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

How We Determined These Scores

We may earn commission from purchases made from our links, at no additional cost to you

Quick Product Specs:

BTU DOE: 7,000

Cooling Capacity: 400 sq.ft.

Size & Weight: 16x17x29.5″ ; 63 lbs

Avg. Yrly Cost: $97/yr

Decibel Levels: 52 dB

Review

Whynter Elite ARC-122DHP is an economical dual hose air conditioner with a variety of great features. Its cost-efficiency has a rating of 5, however, everything else is just average with a rating of 3, besides portability and ease of setup which have a rating of 4. A tremendous benefit of this AC unit is that it has heating as a feature. Basically, you can run this unit all year long, for cooling and heating because of its efficiency. 

Whynter Elite ARC-122DHP is a self-evaporating system, which is normal for dual-hose ACs, but still, you won’t have to drain pans nor change trays. Just set this portable AC anywhere you’d like and let the fan, as well as the dehumidifier, freshen up the room.

Bottom Line

The Whynter Elite ARC-122DHP isn’t your everyday AC unit. You should have a pretty easy time moving and setting up this unit, and once it’s set up, you can leave it there all year long because this is a very cost-efficient unit equipped with a heater.

Pros

Efficient unit that’ll cost you close to nothing to run

Can be used during any season because it has a heater setting

Self-evaporating system will save you from the hassle of cleaning the filter

Cons

This is a dual-hose system and we expected better than average performance

Runner-up

Whynter Elite ARC-122DS

Whynter Elite ARC-122DS 12,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner, Dehumidifier, Fan with Activated Carbon Filter Plus Storage Bag for Rooms up to 400 sq ft, Multi

Product Ratings

7.2

Affordability:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Portability:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Noise:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Performance:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Ease of Setup:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Cost Efficiency:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

How We Determined These Scores

We may earn commission from purchases made from our links, at no additional cost to you

Quick Product Specs:

BTU DOE: 7,000

Cooling Capacity: 450 sq.ft.

Size & Weight: 16x19x29.5″ ; 60 lbs

Avg. Yrly Cost: $98/yr

Decibel Levels: 52 dB

Review

The Whynter Elite ARC-122DS portable AC unit is very similar to the previous unit we discussed, the Whynter Elite ARC-122DHP. This dual hose AC is just as efficient, if not even more efficient considering that it can cool 450 square feet. For every other category, it’s average with portability and ease of setup ratings of 4, which makes the unit pretty simple to move and install. However, unlike the previous unit, this one doesn’t have a heater.

The Whynter Elite ARC-122DS is self-evaporating, so just set it and forget it; there aren’t any filters, you’ll have to change. Also, it comes with a dehumidifier and a fan which will make the air you breathe much more pleasant.

Bottom Line

The Whynter Elite ARC-122DS is an extremely efficient unit to run with an abundance of features. Even though the unit can cool 450 square feet, you’ll still be able to move it around and set it up with ease. The great thing about this AC is that it doesn’t have a single category where it’s worse than average.

Pros

Very cost-efficient unit

Doesn’t disappoint in any category

You shouldn’t encounter much trouble with the portability and installation

Cons

Not too loud, not too quiet

Could have come with better than average performance

Most Affordable

Whynter ARC-126MD

Whynter ARC-126MD 12,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner, Dehumidifier, Fan with 3M and SilverShield Filter Plus Storage Bag for Rooms up to 450 sq ft, Multi

Product Ratings

6.8

Affordability:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Portability:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Noise:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Performance:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Ease of Setup:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Cost Efficiency:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

How We Determined These Scores

We may earn commission from purchases made from our links, at no additional cost to you

Quick Product Specs:

BTU DOE: 7,700

Cooling Capacity: 450 sq.ft.

Size & Weight: 18.75×18.5×30.25″ ; 72.75 lbs

Avg. Yrly Cost: $132/yr

Decibel Levels: 55 dB

Review

The Whynter ARC-126MD is an affordable unit for its category, however, that’s for good reason. With a performance rating of 2, this AC is just below average, and that could definitely be better. Since this unit cools 450 square feet, with an efficiency rating of 3, you’ll have to spend a few more bucks on the bills. Also, the unit weighs more than it should, so we gave it a portability rating of 3.25. The setup shouldn’t cause too much trouble, so you won’t have to worry about that. Another not-so-great thing about this unit is that it’s slightly louder than your average AC.

In terms of features, you’re getting the dual-hose self-evaporating system, as well as a dehumidifier and a fan.

Bottom Line

The Whynter ARC-126MD is an affordable unit for its category, but the previous two units cost less and offer either the same or better performance.

The Whynter ARC-126MD isn’t a bad portable AC, the previous two units we discussed are just better. However, if you do like this unit more, you’ll get an average all-around AC with a few great features.

Pros

Pretty affordable for its weight category

Has a dehumidifier and a fan that’ll keep the room fresh

Dual-hose self-evaporating system removes the need for changing trays

Cons

Dual-hose AC unit like this one should offer better performance

Although it has handles and wheels, it’s pretty heavy

Best Performance

Honeywell MN14CEDWW

Product Ratings

6.7

Affordability:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Portability:

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Noise:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Performance:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Ease of Setup:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Cost Efficiency:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

How We Determined These Scores

We may earn commission from purchases made from our links, at no additional cost to you

Quick Product Specs:

BTU DOE: 8,500

Cooling Capacity: 700 sq.ft.

Size & Weight: 15.2×18.1×34″ ; 29.3 lbs

Avg. Yrly Cost: $118/yr

Decibel Levels: 51 dB

Review

Honeywell MN14CEDWW is an extremely powerful dual-hose air conditioner. It has a performance rating of 5 combined with the fact that it can cool 700 square feet. Also, it can do it very cost-efficiently, so it won’t cost you too much to run this powerful AC. The downside of this unit is that it’s difficult to move because it doesn’t have wheels, but it does have handles and it weighs only 29.3 pounds.

Another downside of the Honeywell MN14CEDWW is that it’s a bit pricey, which is nothing surprising considering what you’re getting out of it. Also, it’ll pay for itself over the years because it costs less to run than quite a few low-performance AC units.

Bottom Line

The Honeywell MN14CEDWW is just an excellent unit. It’ll cool 700 square feet efficiently and effectively so that pretty much negates its poor portability. It’ll cost you a bit more to purchase, but it’s worth every single penny if you have the budget for it. – You won’t regret investing in this portable air conditioner.

Pros

Extraordinary performance

A very cost-efficient unit to run

A very quiet unit for a dual-hose air conditioner

Cons

Quite costly

Very difficult unit to move from one place to another

Whynter ARC-126MDB

Whynter 12000 BTU Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner with 3M and SilverShield Filter - Black, Multi

Product Ratings

6.3

Affordability:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Portability:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Noise:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Performance:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Ease of Setup:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Cost Efficiency:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

How We Determined These Scores

We may earn commission from purchases made from our links, at no additional cost to you

Quick Product Specs:

BTU DOE: 7,700

Cooling Capacity: 450 sq.ft.

Size & Weight: 18.75×18.5×30.25″ ; 72.75 lbs

Avg. Yrly Cost: $132/yr

Decibel Levels: 55 dB

Review

The Whynter ARC-126MDB is an interesting unit. It doesn’t stand out anywhere nor does it have anything special to offer; it’s average all-around without upsides nor downsides. With a performance rating of 2 and a cost-efficiency rating of 3, it will do a decent job cooling 450 square feet without piling up the monthly bill. At 55 decibels it’s not that noisy, but not too quiet either, and as for the price it costs no more or less than a similar unit.

With a dehumidifier and a fan as well as a self-evaporating system, it has decent features that will improve your quality of life.

Bottom Line

The Whynter ARC-126MDB is a portable dual-hose AC that’s average all-around. It’s priced accordingly for its category, but in our opinion, you’d benefit more from some of the previous units on this list. However, if this is the one you want, it’s still a decent choice.

Pros

Easy unit to install

Dehumidifier and fan will keep the room you’re in fresh

Self-evaporating system removes the need for changing filters

Cons

Isn’t the easiest to move around

Below-average performance, especially for a dual-hose unit

What is a Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner?

A dual hose portable air conditioner is an air conditioner that is operated using two hoses – one that brings in air from the outside and cools it down, and one that takes the hot exhaust air and expels it. Air conditioners with two hoses are noticeably more efficient than those with a single hose since one hose will necessarily have to work harder to perform both functions at once.

ASHRAE vs SACC Rating Systems and Why They Matter in Dual Hose ACs

Although the standard cooling capacity of the models hasn’t changed, the Seasonally Adjusted Cooling Capacity (SACC) is lower than the previously accepted American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) rating.

The reason for this change and, honestly, confusion for many users is the actual vs. perceived cooling capacity of a portable AC.

Whynter ARC-12SD

You might already know that a portable air conditioner and a window unit of the same BTU might produce different perceived coolness in the room. The reason for this is the heat a mobile unit emits back into the room during operation.

Portable air conditioners are now rated with a new SACC rating (since 2017) to cover this issue. This grading is a couple of thousand BTUs lower than the previous (ASHRAE) one.

This distinction is crucial for users of portable air conditioners to differentiate the “claimed BTU” (ASHRAE) from the one you feel on your skin (SACC) when the unit actually operates in the room.

Top Brands in the Dual Hose Portable AC Space

Portable air conditioners are a specific market appreciated by many and despised by others (because of being less efficient than most window or wall-mounted ACs). However, some portable AC brands have been consistent in quality and customer care over the years. Below are two of them.

Whynter

Whynter is a US brand located in Brea, CA. It generates more than $7 million annually, making refrigeration, outdoor living, and other lifestyle products. Their “Air Comfort” product category includes misting fans, mini-split units, dehumidifiers, coolers, purifiers, and portable ACs.

Its portable air conditioners cover single and dual hose units with a cooling capacity from 10,000 to 14,000 BTU. Whynter’s mission is to make the lives of its users more convenient and build products that give you “one less thing to worry about.”

Honeywell

Honeywell is a multi-profile manufacturing and technology company with divisions in various industries, including aerospace, buildings and cities, materials, retail, and safety.

The corporation licenses its brand name for various commercial and retail products and services, including thermostats, ACs, security safes, home products, and even paper shredders.

The brand’s portable air conditioners consistently outperform on the market.

Price Points of Dual Hose Portable ACs

Portable air conditioners come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on how much functionality the appliance has and how complicated operations it can perform, the prices fall in specific ranges. The pricier the unit, the smarter options it has.

$300 – $500

Most standard portable units are in this range. At the lower end of this range, the appliances have lower BTUs (5,000 to 8,000) and only a few functions like cooling, fan, and dehumidification. They might not include a remote and don’t usually look too modern or sleek.

$500 – $1,000

This is the price range where the manufacturers put more effort into the appliances, making them more modern and sleek, adding a led display, remote control, or smartphone connectivity.

If the previous price point units need a tank or a hose for drainage, these might have a self-evaporation functionality. Portable air conditioners in this price range also have a heating mode and can serve rooms of up to 1000 square feet.

$1,000 – $2,000

This category includes units with more than 10,000 BTUs or some intelligent functionality. These portable ACs usually have up to eight speeds, a built-in timer, air purification, and fancy modes like “natural wind.”

$2,000-$5,000

This benchmark is either for higher BTU residential or specialized equipment. Most of the products here employ hospital-grade particle filtering with ULPA filters. They even use UV lights to reduce microorganisms in the environment.

What Size Dual Hose Portable AC Do I Need? 

Sizing the room for a portable air conditioner works the same way as it does for any other variety. However, as the units also heat during operation, you might need to buy a higher BTU unit to get the same effect as you would from a wall-mounted appliance.

First of all, you need to find out the square footage of the area the AC is going to work for. Next, you can either use the “AC power capacity” formula, a power/area chart, or a BTU calculator to estimate the AC size for your space.

Whynter ARC-143MX

Who Would Not Benefit from a Dual Hose Portable AC?

Although dual hose air conditioners prove helpful in combating the heat and keeping your house’s humidity levels under control, there are cases where they aren’t the perfect solution.

No Venting Option

While you can vent a single hose unit virtually from everywhere (window, ceiling, door, or chimney), dual hose ACs are trickier to set up. Sure, if you have the perfect window venting opportunity, it’s not a problem, but it needs proper access to clean air to function.

Thus, floor or chimney venting might not be an option.

Silent Operation and Higher Than 12 EER Needed

Portable units aren’t remarkably silent and efficient. Higher capacity units might reach the 60 dB noise threshold, and the most efficient ones are up to 12 EER. The reason for both negatives is the fact that the unit is entirely indoors. You get extra heat and noise during operation.

If you require more energy efficiency and silence, choosing a wall-mounted AC would be better.

Large Spaces With a Lot of Obstacles

Large BTU dual hose portable air conditioners can cool down spaces of up to 1,500 square feet when mounted in one spot. Still, they aren’t designed to work for the whole house simultaneously (only one room at a time).

If your house doesn’t have an open plan, the AC can do little to cool the other side of the wall.

Where a Mini-Split or a Central AC Would Be More Efficient 

If you have a huge house and only one little portable AC, it can do next to nothing for the area. There’s no doubt how much more efficient central ACs are in this case. Even a multi-split unit could do better, as those can connect several indoor units to one outdoor condenser.

Honeywell MN14CEDBB

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

There is certainly a difference between cheaper dual hose A/C models and those that are on the nicer side. Check out some of the most important aspects to consider:

Effectiveness

Dual hose air conditioners are supposed to cool your home better than a single hose model – so make sure you find one that actually will do so effectively! Well-made models typically are able to get your home cooler than their cheaper counterparts. If you are trying to cool a large space or an open space, this consideration can become particularly important.

Energy Efficiency

One of the best things about dual hose air conditioners is that they will be able to cool your home using significantly less power. When comparing different models, check out the EER (Energy Efficiency Rating) to find one that will use the least amount of energy. Keep your energy bills low by investing in a quality dual hose air conditioner!

Ease of Setup

The one thing that is not great about dual hose air conditioners is that they often are more laborious to set up than simpler, single hose models. Quality units are often able to mitigate this process and make it as painless as possible. Also, higher end units often come with helpful extras, such as additional insulation, to help make the setup process easier and cut down on the likelihood of needing to make a run to the hardware store.

Pros and Cons of Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioners

Dual-hose portable air conditioners have both their benefits and drawbacks. Here are a few listed below. 

Pros

Let’s first go over the benefits 

Whynter 11,000 BTU Air Conditioner

Faster and Efficient Cooling

A dual-hose system is capable of eliminating negative pressure. One of the hose draws air into the unit while the other removes warm air from the room. This makes it 40% faster than single-hose systems and more efficient in cooling the room. 

Access to Windows

A portable AC can be moved around the room or even your house, which is extremely handy for you. A large window AC can sometimes block windows and, therefore, any sunlight in the room. This way, you can move your AC around as you wish.  

Ready to Use

A traditional air conditioner is tedious to install and takes up a lot of time. Portable air conditioners can easily be set up, without any particular tools. They don’t even need to be lifted to place in a vent like a window AC.  

Cons

However, they come with their fair share of limitations, which include:

Noise Pollution

Some air conditioners can produce a lot of noise depending on the fan speed and also because all their working parts are in the same room. This can be really annoying. 

Energy Efficiency

Dual-hose air conditioners take more BTUs and use more electricity to run. For this reason, your power consumption is higher. 

Conclusion

Dual hose air conditioners are an excellent, effective option for cooling larger spaces and not using a ton of energy in the process. If you are looking into cooling a commercial space, cooling an entire apartment, or cooling a space with high ceilings, you will likely want to invest your money and effort into a dual hose unit. Take a long hard look at what you want from your air conditioner and make the choice to go with a dual or single hose.

Avallon APAC120S

People Also Ask

Here are some of the most common questions related to dual hose models:

Can I Convert a Single Hose AC Unit to Dual?

Many single-hose units come with two intake ports, and you can easily convert them into dual hose ones with some DIY and creativity. If you cannot find the second port, you’re probably out of luck.

Other requirements include having a separate evaporator and condenser side airflow and a temperature probe that measures the room temperature.

How Long Can I Expect a Dual Hose Portable AC to Last?

Portable air conditioners can serve you for about ten years. If you examine it periodically, change the filters, and give it proper treatment, it could perform longer.

Is a Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner Better?

Dual-hose portable air conditioners are a great option for larger rooms or spaces. This is because they are more efficient and cool a room faster due to their capacity to resolve the negative pressure problem. 

Meanwhile, single-hose portable air conditioners take their time to cool a room. 

Given that, dual-hose portable air conditioners are more costly and take up more power to run. Therefore, it all goes down to your needs. They can be a great option for you given the space you wish to run it in.

Why Do Some Portable Air Conditioners Have Two Hoses?

Some portable air conditioners have two hoses because the two hose system is often able to make them more efficient and effective than single hose systems. One thing to consider with a dual hose air conditioner is that they can sometimes be more laborious to set up, but this additional effort is offset by the multiple benefits that using a dual hose air conditioner can provide (and the reduced maintenance that is often entailed).

Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner vs Single Hose – What’s the Difference?

Single hose units are typically cheaper than dual hose units. They are also usually lighter and easier to set up. These units are ideal for smaller spaces as they often lack true power. On the other hand, dual hose units, while more expensive, are far more efficient and require less maintenance. This makes them ideal in terms of cooling larger areas, including commercial spaces.  

How Does a Dual Hose Portable A/C Work?

A dual hose portable A/C takes in air from the outside via one hose, cools it, and pushes it out into the space. It then takes the hot exhaust air and removes it using the other hose, which is more efficient and does not create negative air pressure. As a result, these units are typically better when it comes to conserving energy and reducing your power bill, as well as are more effective when it comes to cooling larger spaces.



My name is Bob Wells and I am a retired HVAC tech from Washington state. I am currently retired and no longer do much with HVAC, however, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge in the subject and I wanted to create a website where I could talk about what I've learned and help upcoming HVAC techs. Find more info about me and HVAC Training 101.