Whether you're working from home or trying to relax, there's nothing like sweltering heat to make it hard to concentrate or take it easy. Air conditioning units can be absolute lifesavers on a hot day.

While old-school, mounted and permanent units are certainly effective, they're not easy to install and are often pretty ugly, so we thought we'd take a look at some of the best portable models on the market. These are units that still might be fairly chunky but can be moved around your home as you see fit.

Our guide to the best air conditioners to buy today

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Honeywell MN 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

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Honeywell is on top of the game when it comes to keeping your home at the desired temperature - its smart thermostats are some of the best on the market. It also does a mean range of air conditioners, though, and while they're not particularly cheap, they're seriously effective.

Our top goes to its standard portable conditioner, in the 10,000 BTU variant (BTU is a measurement of how effectively a unit can control heat). This is a superb air conditioner for medium-to-large rooms, wheeled so that you can move it around easily. It's also a dehumidifier, handily for those concerned about damp. 

Amazon

Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner

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If you're looking for even more power, then Whynter's unit could be a solid alternative that cranks up the BTU count to 14,0000. It's got a dual-hose system that uses a window kit to access outdoor air, and the unit itself is pretty chunky, but once you've installed it you'll get great performance.

It's also not too loud, all things considered, and that dual-hose system means that it works really quickly compared to competing units. 

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LG LP0817WSR

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We really appreciate the clean, rounded looks of LG's conditioner, which we think might be the nicest we've seen. With 8,000 BTU to call on, this is a unit suitable for small to medium-sized rooms and dehumidifies into the package too.

It's not the quietest unit, but it also undercuts some of the others on this list by a decent margin on price, so that's perhaps to be expected or excused. This is a great little conditioner, and impressively simple to get up and running with. 

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Igenix IG9901WiFi

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Another impressive unit on the pricing front is this smart conditioner from Igenix, which adds Wi-Fi connectivity to its existing, successful conditioner without bumping the price up by much at all. That means that you can use Alexa and your smartphone to control it, which is a brilliant addition.

That said, its price does mean that it's a little noisy and its 8,000 BTU is only really suitable for small rooms, but if you're looking for a smart unit for a relatively contained area you can't do much better than this. 

Amazon

Honeywell Contempo Series HL12CESWB

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Finally, we return again to Honeywell, to a unit that has 12,000 BTU under the hood, but which really excels on the volume front - air conditioners are generally slightly loud by virtue of their fans, but the Contempo does a great job of keeping this to a minimum. 

This means that if offers a great mix of power and subtlety that we really value. It's also got a really solid dehumidifier on board, as you'd hope for, making it a really solid package for the price, and a great choice if you're particularly worried by the prospect of noise.