Picking the right wallpaper and carpeting aren’t the only considerations crucial for setting up your baby’s room – maintaining a controlled environment where your little ones are going to sleep and play is of the utmost importance to ensure they develop healthily. Too high temperatures aren’t just uncomfortable for babies, who don’t have the same resistance and adaptability of a grown adult – they can be potentially life threatening. Heat speeds up heart-rates and the process of homeostasis – the regulation of an ideal body temperature – likely to overheat your child and keep them from sleeping fitfully, interfering with their natural physical and mental development.
Meanwhile, excessively warm and humid temperatures also create the perfect conditions for mold and mildew, as well as a playground for pathogens like bacteria and viruses and bugs like dust-mites. For kids with still-underdeveloped immunity systems, this could cause a heap of respiratory and health related problems, some of which could become lifelong afflictions if not dealt with early. This is why most baby-care magazines and blogs will recommend you keep an air conditioner in your baby’s room, ideally the portable kind – a central cooling unit wouldn’t be able to regulate the temperature and humidity of a specific room, while window units might be forbidden by the law or your landlord, or simply not practical if you’re worried about letting in the right amount of fresh air and natural light your baby needs. Looking at all these caveats, we’ve put together our picks for the best portable air conditioners to keep your baby healthy and happy.
Whynter ARC-14S Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner
AWARD-WINNING: Good Housekeeping’s 2022 “BEST OVERALL PORTABLE AIR CONDITIONER”. This dual hose air conditioner cools faster and more efficiently than single hose options, heat being vented outside while indoor air is repeatedly cycled and conditioned without leaking out and being wasted. This uses up less energy, which, along with the environment friendly specs of the unit with its R-410A refrigerant and lead-free Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) compliant parts, make this friendly to both your electricity bills and the environment.
Functionality-wise, the air conditioner comes with a dehumidification capacity of 101 pints per day, making it a heavy-duty unit capable of tackling rooms of the highest degrees of humidity. As well as keeping conditions just dry enough to prevent mold, dust mites and other allergens likely to impact your baby’s health, the unit is also fitted with two layers of filtration, with a washable pre-filter and a carbon air filter ensuring dust and other allergens aren’t constantly being recycled in the room. The self-evaporative system ensures you don’t have to worry about frequently emptying out water tanks, with an in-built Leakage-Current Detection and Interruption (LCDI) plug to switch the unit off just in case it gets too moisture-logged.
It is recommended by child specialists that the ideal temperature range for a baby’s room is between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which falls perfectly within the adjustable temperature range offered by this unit. The temperature can be set using either the touch controls featured on the unit’s contemporary digital interface, or via remote control. The unit also comes with an in-built fan operable at three different speed intensities. At 14,000 BTU cooling, the unit is perfect for spaces as large as 700 square feet.
Other handy features include caster wheels that make maneuvering the unit effortless business, while the window installation panel is adjustable to 46 inches.
KEN’S BUDGET PICK
LG LP0817WSR 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
Suited for smaller spaces compared to our top pick, this 8,000 BTU unit is still perfect for cooling and dehumidifying areas as big as 250 square feet, just right for a sensible nursery or playroom. The self-evaporative system keeps moisture from building up inside the unit, so you won’t have to constantly empty it out. A washable filter captures dirt and dust and keeps these from circulating back into the air and causing your baby discomfort, the 24 hour timer letting you regulate the temperature to ensure it’s always at the most comfortable degree for your baby even when you’re not there, for instance while you pop into the shower or take care of some chores while your little one naps. The unit comes with a window installation kit and has a digital control interface and remote control to operate it. Caster wheels allow for easy maneuverability, with the unit doubling as a fan operable at two speeds.
Whynter ARC-12SD Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner
AWARD-WINNING: Good Housekeeping’s 2022 “BEST PORTABLE AIR CONDITIONER FOR HIGH HUMIDITY”. With the same dual hose technology, energy efficiency and eco-friendly design that earned our top pick its place, this swift-cooling unit is slightly smaller, though still with 12,000 BTU cooling, perfect for spaces up to 400 square feet. The dehumidification capacity may be lower than our top pick, but at 96 pints a day is still more than enough to tackle all the humidity of well over 2,000 square feet without breaking a sweat (pun intended).
A washable pre-filter and a carbon air filter trap potential allergens and prevent them from being spewed back into the room, the dual hose system ensuring indoor air is constantly being circulated back, without wasting any air leaking outside or using up excessive energy. The self-evaporative system keeps moisture from accumulating in the unit, with an LCDI plug built in to switch it off in the unlikely event that venting doesn’t occur fast enough to keep moisture from building up.
With temperatures adjustable between 61 and 89 degrees Fahrenheit (falling neatly within the range recommended for a baby’s room) and intuitive digital and remote-activated controls, the unit comes with an installation kit of maximum 46 inches and caster wheels that let you easily push it into place.
Honeywell Classic Portable Air Conditioner 14,000 BTU
This is a 3-in-1 appliance that can cool rooms up to 700 sq. ft. It has advanced safety features like thermal overload protection and adjustable vertical wind motion for even cooling. The filter is washable and has a clean alert to help extend product life. It has a digital control, 3 fan speeds, a 24-hour energy-saving timer, and a remote control. It also has auto evaporation and a built-in dehumidifier that removes up to 53 pints/24 hours. The cooling capacity is 14,000 BTU (ASHRAE-128 Standard)/10,000 BTU (SACC BTU).