BLACK FRIDAY — See our top Black Friday picks for home here.

Modern Castle is supported by readers. When you buy with our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more

Black & Decker Portable AC Review

The Black+Decker Portable AC unit is designed to take cooling where there is no central AC. It is compact and can be used anywhere you have an exterior window.

Let’s go!

Portable AC with Good Performance

moderncastle-fs-table__image

Black + Decker Portable AC

The Black + Decker portable air conditioner is designed to install adjacent to an exterior window and can help cool spaces up to 300 sf. It has 3 modes—cooling, dehumidify, and fan. During our tests, it was able to cool the space down to 75.6° in 4 hours, even with an outdoor temperature of 100°. Check Price

Pros

  • 3-in-1: air conditioner, dehumidifier, and fan
  • Good cooling performance during our tests
  • Slide-out washable filter

Cons

  • Lengthy setup and install process

Specs

  • 8,000 BTU
  • Area coverage up to 300 sf.
  • 3 operating modes
  • Wheeled base

Black + Decker AC Design

The Black + Decker portable AC unit is medium-sized with a white glossy finish and rounded corners. It has an exhaust hose that inputs into the back of the unit and a vent towards the top that blows cold air.

Black + Decker portable AC unit design

It is required to be plugged into a power source indoors as well as have the exhaust hose be routed out an exterior window.

RELATED: Dyson fans reviews

This type of setup may limit exactly where you can install this type of unit so be sure to think about the factors of install prior to purchasing this air conditioner.

The Controls

At the top of the AC unit is a digital display that has touch screen controls as well as a current temperature readout.

Controls on the Black + Decker portable AC unit
Controls on the Black + Decker portable AC unit

The gray buttons change the settings and modes and a blue LED illuminates those changes in the icons above.

  • You can adjust the mode: Cooling, Dehumidifier, and Fan
  • Or you can adjust the fan speed: Low, Medium, or High

The up and down arrows in the middle of the control panel are used to:

  1. Change mode
  2. Adjust fan speed
  3. Select a different target temperature

The temperature can be displayed in Celcius or Fahrenheit. Additional controls are available on the remote control.

To use the remote, you don’t need wifi or any complicated setup. Just plug in the unit and you’re ready to go.

Remote Control

Using the remote control allows you to:

  • Turn the unit on / off
  • Adjust fan speed
  • View current temperature
  • View target temperature
  • Activate sleep mode
  • Set a timer
  • Switch between Celcius and Farenheit
Black + Decker portable AC remote control

Operating Modes

As mentioned above, there are three modes on this portable AC unit. The modes are:

  • Cooling
  • Fan
  • Dehumidifying

Other available features include Sleep Mode and Timer, which allows you to set a timer for up to 24 hours.

Size & Dimensions

The Black + Decker is a medium-sized unit that is designed to sit on the floor next to an adjacent window.

The exact dimensions are listed below:

  • 16.5″ wide
  • 11.5″ deep
  • 26″ tall
  • 52.9 pounds
Size of the Black + Decker portable AC unit

Accessories & Parts

The Black + Decker air conditioner includes everything you need for setup and install. The exact contents is listed as:

What’s in the box?

  • Black + Decker unit
  • Remote control
  • Exhaust Hose
  • Window Kit
  • User manual
Parts and accessories for the Black + Decker portable AC unit
Parts and accessories for the Black + Decker portable AC unit

The “window kit” includes everything you’ll need for a secure, draft-free install. For proper install, you’ll need to route the exhaust hose out an exterior window and seal the edges with the included foam tape.

This helps to bring in a constant stream of fresh air, without allowing additional hot air to leak into the space.

What’s NOT included?

One part to take note of that is NOT included is a rain cover or grate cover for the fan exhaust. We were surprised to find this not included.

Open exhaust with the Black + Decker portable AC unit
Open exhaust with the Black + Decker portable AC unit

Without a proper cover, inclement weather or even small animals may enter the home via the exhaust hose.

While this may not be a deal-breaker for every consumer, it’s definitely something to think about.

Black + Decker Performance

To evaluate the performance of this portable Black and Decker unit, we ran it through a series of tests to how well it was able to cool this area.

All of these tests took place under the following conditions:

  • Location: Phoenix, Arizona
  • Building: Frame construction, foam roof, fiberglass insulation, stucco exterior, built 2007, renovated 2020, 950 square feet.
  • Room: Testing room is a ~10’ x 14’, vaulted ceilings

With the performance test, we were looking at the following factors:

  • 4-hour span within the same day
  • Internal & External temperature
  • Internal & External humidity
  • AC Unit running constantly, attempting to achieve a temperature of 72° F

With all of those factors in mind, here is how the Black & Decker performed:

  • Date: September 1, 2020
  • Time: 4 hours (9:20 am to 1:20 pm)
Black + Decker performance cooling test
  • 0 Hour – 81.7° F, 39% humidity (inside) | 89° F, 43% humidity (outside)
  • 1 Hour – 77.9° F, 45% humidity (inside) | 92°F, 34% humidity (outside)
  • 2 Hour – 77.0° F, 45% humidity (inside) | 94°F, 32% humidity (outside)
  • 3 Hour – 76.1° F, 46% humidity (inside) | 96°F, 30% humidity (outside)
  • 4 Hour – 75.6° F, 46% humidity (inside) | 100°F, 26% humidity (outside)

The Takeaway

Overall, the performance of the Black & Decker portable AC unit was good. Starting with an inside air temperature of 81.7°, this unit was able to cool it down to 75.6°.

Considering the outside temperature was 100°at that point in time, I would say this performance was solid.

DID YOU KNOW? The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language identifies room temperature as around 20–22 °C (68–72 °F).

Humidity Concerns

Aside from the temperature performance, I also want to make a note about the humidity, as the Black + Decker prides itself on being a 3-in-1 air conditioner, fan, and dehumidifier.

In our tests, we did not notice any dehumidification going on with this unit. At the beginning of our test, the humidity was around 39% and at the end of the test (4 hours later), it was 46%—an increase of 7%.

NOTE: We did not extensively test for humidity control beyond the cooling tests as this review is intended to only review the air conditioning capability.

Setup & Usability

Setup of the Black and Decker air conditioner was a bit lengthier. The instructions were easy to understand, but you’ll want to give yourself at least 30 minutes for proper install.

Side view of the B+D portable AC unit installed
Side view of the Black & Decker portable AC unit installed

The instructions walk you through the details, but basically it comes down to the following steps:

  1. Unbox the air conditioner and properly dispose of all packaging.
  2. Attach the exhaust hose to the unit and route the house out of an exterior window.
  3. Use the foam tape provided to seal any gaps between the window and the unit.
  4. Plug it in and turn it on.
  5. Use the remote control or digital controls on top of the unit to adjust the settings until the room is comfortable.

How easy is install?

Install is not hard, but it does take time to do it correctly. It may take longer if you are unfamiliar with the parts and tools.

I would say most people could unbox and install this unit within about 30 minutes.

The foam sealing tape is a nice addition since it does help to better insulate the window.

If you plan on using this unit for an extended period of time I would encourage you to take the time and do a great install.

The better the install, the less cool air you will lose out the open window, making the unit more efficient and effective.

Black & Decker Maintenance

So let’s talk about maintenance.

Proper maintenance for this Black and Decker really doesn’t take much effort—less than 5 minutes all the way around and minimal maintenance costs, if any at all.

Back of the Black + Decker portable AC unit
Back of the Black + Decker portable AC unit

Here are the three parts to monitor.

  1. The Filter: It comes with a washable air filter that can be cleaned with soap and water, which helps to limit replacement costs.
  2. The Vent: Remember to wipe down the vent on the top of the unit with a dry, lint-free cloth. (Microfiber works great.)
  3. The Exhaust Hose: The exhaust hose has no grill plate or cover so it’s important to check that hose for debris, small animals, or any other thing that could get in the way and hinder performance.

Is the Black + Decker a good value?

Overall, I was happy with the value of the Black and Decker. For the price, it has good area coverage, a nice set of features, remote control, and good performance during our tests.

If you are specifically looking for a unit that doesn’t tap into an exterior window, that could be a disadvantage to this unit. But that being said, the seal seemed secure and it was fairly straightforward to install.

Black & Decker Portable AC Specs

Specifications 
ManufacturerBlack + Decker
ModelBPACT08WT
Width (inches)16.5"
Depth(inches)11.5"
Height26"
Weight52.9 pounds
Power8,000 BTU
Max AirflowNot listed
Wifi CompatibleNo
Room CoverageUp to 300 sq. ft.
ReturnsVaries by retailer
Warranty1-Year limited
PriceCheck Price

Should You Buy the Black + Decker?

I would recommend the Black & Decker air conditioner if you’re looking for the following:

  • Window exhaust, but not window mounted: The unit sits on the floor with an exhaust hose to the window. This is a nice benefit compared to a traditional window mounted unit, as it’s easier to take down in the off season.
  • Portable Design: This unit is 52.9 pounds and while heavy, is still lighter than some other models we’ve tested. The wheels on the base make it easy to roll from room to room, or for storage in the off season.
  • 3-in-1: Having the ability to run this unit as an air conditioner, fan, or dehumidifier is a pretty nice feature. This reduces the need for additional devices around your home.

To learn more or to buy the Black + Decker portable air conditioner, check it out here.

Portable & Powerful
  • 96%
    Design - 96%
  • 95%
    Performance - 95%
  • 94%
    Quality - 94%
  • 95%
    Usability - 95%
  • 94%
    Value - 94%
95%

Summary

The Black & Decker portable AC is a wheeled unit that installs a small window kit for the exhaust. The unit has 8,000 BTUs of power and can cool runs up to 300 square feet. In our tests, the unit was able to cool from 81.7° F to 75.6° in a 4 hour period (while the outside temperature increased from 89 to 100 degrees F). Install took around 30 minutes and usability is fairly straight forward. Overall, it seems to be a well built and strong performing machine.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ModernCastle.com. He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider, Realtor.com, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

Leave a Comment