Tech-loving Brits shouldn't wait for Prime Day — this is the ONLY thing worth buying now that makes summer working bearable

Air conditioning is a rare luxury worth every penny in a UK heatwave. Americans will regularly scoff at our complaints of an uncomfortable 80°F to an unbearable 90°F but ask any tea-drinking Brit, and they'll gladly tell you how our houses are built to keep the heat in. So, I'll never regret spending £329.99 at Toolstation on a portable air conditioning unit (and £15.99 at Amazon for a window seal) that keeps my home office at a comfortable 17°C (that's 33.8°F,) and neither will you. US residents can still pick up similar units, like the $360.99 SPT Portable at Best Buy if you're without dedicated AC.

Wessex Portable Air Conditioner & Dehumidifier 12,000 BTU/h | £329.99 at Toolstation

Wessex Portable Air Conditioner & Dehumidifier 12,000 BTU/h | £329.99 at Toolstation

That mysterious "BTU/h" stands for "British Thermal Units," and 12,000 is just about perfect for an average UK bedroom or home office. 9,000 will suffice in a smaller room, but speaking from experience, it's worth pushing slightly higher.

✅ Perfect for: Cooling a bedroom or home office in an insulated home.

❌ Avoid it if: You don't have a nearby window to mount the exhaust tubing.

💰 Price check: Pro Breeze 12,000 BTU Portable AC | £399.99 at Amazon

👀 US alternative: SPT Portable 12,000 BTU AC | $360.99 at Best Buy

Essential extras: Portable Universal AC Window Seal | £15.99 at Amazon

The essential extra that really SEALS the deal

It didn't take me long to understand the appeal of a flexible window seal when I started using an AC unit in the UK, preventing recently cooled air from blowing out again. (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

These portable air conditioners need somewhere to redirect the hot air from your room, which usually involves a giant, thick ventilation tube hanging out of a nearby window. It's similar to how some older tumble dryers work in the UK, but you'll need a way to maintain your room's cool environment without most of it escaping.

I used my first portable AC, rated for 9,000 BTU, for a few days with a lingering sense of buyer's remorse because it barely cooled the room by a few degrees until I realized what was happening.

Buying a suitable window seal kit at Amazon for around £15.99 allowed me to keep the temperature low by keeping my office door closed and the outside heat at bay. These kits are far from anything fancy; you attach a shaped piece of cloth to your window frame with velcro strips and push the exhaust tubing through an elastic opening. It looks comical to anyone passing by, but I guarantee you won't care if people think you're hanging pillowcases on the window once you feel the cool breeze in your room.

As seen through a thermal camera, I already sit in front of a gathering of electronic space heaters, so I don't need a British heatwave on top of that; thank you very much. (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

I understand how silly (and eco-unfriendly) it might seem to try to cool a room full of electronics, which kick out a generous amount of heat on their own. However, I also don't have much choice. While I can sit in the darkest, quietest room in my home with a laptop, eventually, I'll need the software suite installed on my desktop PC, which quickly raises the temperature in my home office. These portable AC units aren't silent either; quite the contrary, but a good headset is enough to ignore the noise.

Nevertheless, I can tell you that if you've been mulling over the idea of buying a portable air conditioning unit for your toasty UK home, you will not regret it. I sit here like Mortal Kombat's own Sub Zero as I type this in the comfort of my chilled office, now akin to a walk-in supermarket fridge. Those in the USA might find this whole thing strange and overblown, but the more fragile of us in old Blighty melt at the first sign of sunshine — Brits, buy the air conditioner you wish you had bought last year and keep your office cool during a heatwave.

Ben Wilson
Channel Editor

Ben is the channel editor for all things tech-related at Windows Central. That includes PCs, the components inside, and any accessory you can connect to a Windows desktop or Xbox console. Not restricted to one platform, he also has a keen interest in Valve's Steam Deck handheld and the Linux-based operating system inside. Fueling this career with coffee since 2021, you can usually find him behind one screen or another. Find him on Mastodon to ask questions or share opinions.