Portable air conditioners are available in two variants when classified on the basis of inlet/outlet hose – Dual hose type and Single hose type! Do you know the difference between a Dual hose vs Single hose air conditioner? If not, this article will help you get a good idea about the basics before you buy a portable air conditioner.

People choose portable air conditioners for different reasons. Often, they choose a portable air conditioner for an isolated area in their home (which is not covered by the central heating system), for the garage, for small houses where a portable ac is more economical and practical rather than installing a central system and so on! You’ve come here to learn in detail about the 2 variants of a portable ac right? So let’s get that done!

Dual Hose vs Single Hose Portable Air Conditioners

The Differences – Dual hose vs Single hose portable ac

All portable air conditioners has to be vented out properly (exhaust hot air and moisture). This is usually done through the windows/ventilations in a room. The exhaust hose in a portable ac is vented out through the window openings inside a room usually.

The basic difference is in design and appearance, as the name suggests – a single hose device has only one hose and the dual hose portable ac has two hoses. The key differences lies in the way of operation of the air conditioner, efficiency in heating a room, power consumption and the price of the portable air conditioner.

So how do they operate?

A single hose air conditioner takes the air inside the room through inlet, cools it down and the cool air is released into the same room through the outlet. In this process, hot air and moisture is created inside the air conditioner, which is send out through the exhaust hose. This is a cycle that is repeated continuously to maintain the set temperature.

An air conditioner has internal parts which gets heated up in the process, and air is needed again to cool these parts. A single hose portable ac draws the same cooled air inside the room to cool down these internal parts also. As a result, the set temperature maintained inside the room is affected, and the portable ac needs to do more work again to achieve this set temperature.

In the case of a dual hose portable air conditioner, it has two hoses vented out through the windows/ventilation. One hose is the normal exhaust hose to discharge hot air and moisture (just like in a single hose portable ac), where as the other hose is to draw air from the outside environment.

So the key difference between a dual hose vs single hose portable ac is this – a dual hose air conditioner draws air from outside environment through one of its hoses and use that air for heat exchange (mainly to cool down the room air and also to cool down the internal parts). In the case of a dual hose air conditioner, there is no problem of altering the set temperature inside the room (as we saw in the case of single hose air conditioner).

So what do you understand now? A dual hose portable air conditioner is more efficient, cools down the room faster, maintains the room temperature constantly, and uses lesser electricity. A single hose portable air conditioner has this problem of taking more time to cool down an area, lesser efficiency and so on.

Now, as we got the main difference between the two, is it always advisable to buy a dual hose portable ac? Not always is the answer! A dual hose portable air conditioner comes with a higher price tag compared to the single hose portable air conditioner. If you’re considering the portable air conditioner for frequent usage (for example: daily usage), I’d advise to go for a dual hose model as it has better efficiency. The higher price you pay will be recovered as energy savings in the long run.

If you’re buying the portable ac for a room that is not used often (say you get inside only during weekends), I’d advise to go for a single hose variant.

Now let’s see top 3 best selling models of dual hose and single hose portable air conditioners!

3 Best Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioners

I’ve shortlisted 3 best selling dual hose portable air conditioners based on customer rating and feedback.

#1 Whynter Arc -14S Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner/Dehumidifier

Whynter Arc 14 – Dual hose portable ac

Currently Whynter Arc 14S is one of the best selling dual hose portable air conditioner. This model is in fact a 3 in 1 device – it can be used as an air conditioner, a dehumidifier and as a fan! You get to switch between these 3 modes. The cooling capacity is 14000 BTU which is enough to cool an area of 500 sq feet space.

Dehumidifying capacity is 71 pints per day; Air Flow  rate (at high speed) is 430 m3/h / 253 CFM; and 3 fan speeds available. The cooling capacity is 14000 BTU (ASHRAE – 128 standard).

The Whynter Arc 14S comes with activated carbon filter and a washable pre filter. This ensures a very good air quality (filters dust and polluting particles) inside the rooms. The device has a 24 hour programmable timer, has a built in thermostat (61°F – 89°F), and comes with a remote to control the temperature and other features from a distance.

Another highlight feature is the automatic drain function which automatically exhausts all the moisture fully.

Note: Whynter has more dual hose portable dual hose air conditioner models like Arc 143MX (3M filter, 91 pints/day dehumidifying), Arc 122DS (76 pints/day dehumidifier), Arc 122DHP (82 pints/day – comes with a drain pump), Arc 131GD (91 pints/day – automatic mode available). All these models differ mainly in features and capacity. Have a look at these models before you make the final choice.

#2 Midea Duo Smart Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner

Midea Duo – Dual hose portable air conditioner

We live in a connected world now, and our homes are transforming to ‘smart homes’ with home gadgets that can understand our lifestyle! Most of the smart home gadgets can be controlled using smart phone apps and voice commands. Midea Duo – is a smart portable air conditioner/dehumidifier with WiFi facility. The Midea Duo can be controlled over the internet using smart phone apps, and with voice using Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

Midea Duo – is a dual hose portable air conditioner (the two hoses are combined into a single hose unit – so you won’t see two separate hoses) with smart features. The model is available in 3 capacity options – 8000 BTU (for upto 175 sq feet), 12000 BTU (for upto 450 sq feet) and 14000 BTU (for upto 500 sq feet).

The highlight feature of Midea Duo is inverter technology – which ensures faster cooling (with less electricity) and upto 40% energy savings annually compared to other traditional models. This model is also a 3 in 1 device (just like the Whynter Arc 14S) – with air conditioner, dehumidifier and a fan mode.

Finally, Midea Duo has a noise level of 42dB only – which is a very quiet and calm operation. Whynter Arc 14S has noise level 56dB. I think Midea Duo offers the lowest noise level among other similar products.

#3 Dreo TwinCool Smart Inverter Portable Air Conditioner/Dehumdifier

Dreo TwinCool Portable Air Conditioner

Dreo TwinCool is also a dual hose portable air conditioner using the “hose in hose” innovative design style (just like Midea Duo we featured above), so we don’t see ‘two hoses’ in the device really. This type of design helps faster air circulation, cooling the room efficiently in lesser time.

This model is available in 12000 BTU variant, which is enough for rooms upto 450 sq feet. The noise level is only 42dB, which means the operation is silent. You can operate this device in 5 modes (cool/fan/humidify/auto/sleep), a built in thermostat control is available (60 to 86 degree F), and a 24 hour programmable timer allows you set the device in your comfortable time period.

3 Best Single Hose Portable Air Conditioners

Now lets see the 3 best single hose portable air conditioners, their features and specialities.


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