Top 5 Best Air Conditioner Units for Semi Trucks

More than two-dozen states and several municipalities in the US have adopted some form of anti-idling regulations that limit how long commercial heavy-duty vehicles and school buses sit idle. Prior to that, it used to be common practice for truck drivers to idle their engines to run the air conditioner. 

How the Anti-Idling Regulations Affect the Trucking Industry 

While these have helped reduce the health and environmental hazards of idling and businesses to save on fuel costs, they made it harder for truck drivers to stay cool and comfortable while waiting for their load or deliveries. For long-haul truckers who are looking to get a good night’s sleep, it means they may find themselves soaking in sweat in the summer or cold during the winter when they are parked for the night. All trucks need to be DOT compliant, trucking companies can learn more about this over at, if they are not then they risk being shut down, so proper transport and comfort of drivers in all conditions is a necessity in cases such as this.

As a truck operator, the comfort of your drivers should be of top priority and your efforts may include investing in air conditioner units they can use for such situations. Buying one for your used dump truck for sale can also make it more appealing to potential buyers while allowing you to increase its sale price. 

4 Types of  Air Conditioner for Semi-Trucks: Everything You Need to Know 

Air conditioners for trucks are made to keep smaller areas cool. There are at least three types of ACs you can find in the market. 

Portable Air Conditioners – By design, most portable ACS can cool an area less than 200 sq. ft. by up to 15 degrees. But, this can significantly vary based on the style, brand, coverage, as well as ambient temperature. 

Rooftop Air Conditioners – These are generally used in recreational vehicles and camper vans. They function the same way as a window AC unit with a compressor, evaporator, and thermostat controls. Unlike a portable option, rooftop ACs are installed permanently in the vehicle. 

Fan Coolers – This cooling option works by moving air to supply a cool breeze. Most cooler fans can have ice or water added to the system for a cold stream or air. They can be clipped on the headrest, windows, or air vents. It can only keep a single person or an area of the truck cool, thus is not intended to replace the truck’s AC. 

• Bucket Coolers – As the name suggests, bucket coolers are large compartments that hold ice and water. They have a fan mounted on the top which pulls the cold air out and pushes them through the vents. This type of cooling system requires you to constantly check the levels of the water and refill them when necessary. 

Continue reading as we list, in no particular order, the best air conditioner units for semi-trucks and their features. 

1. 12-V Mighty Kool K2 Cooling Portable Unit 

This cooler is capable of producing up to 25mph of cool air through each of its air vents. Having a large space for water and air, it is capable of cooling people or pets in a non-moving truck. But, while there’s adequate space, keep in mind that pouring more water than recommended will not make the area cooler. 

2. Zero Breeze Mark 2 

The portable air conditioning units from Zero Breeze work as advertised. While seemingly small at roughly 20x13x18 inches, the Mark 2 is capable of cooling small areas. But, the key selling points of the unit is its 8-hour battery runtime and multifunctionality. It has a dehumidifier mode and has three USB ports where you can plug your devices. 

3. Arctic Cove MBF0181 

This unit is a bucket top cooling fan, which has the features of its predecessor, plus some added features including a Hi/Lo switch, misting control, and low-noise pump performance. It runs on an 18V lithium-ion battery which can last for up to 10.6 hours of run-time. 

4. IcyBreeze Blizzard Package 

True to its name, the IcyBreeze Blizzard package is a portable air conditioner that doubles as a cooler. It has multiple power source options including a 110V charger, 110V transformer, and a 12V car power supply cord which you can plug into a cigarette lighter. With its durable plastic container, you can even use it as a chiller. 

5. Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU 

While advertised as a portable air conditioning unit for homes, the Whynter ARC-14S can work just as well in cooling up to 500 sq. ft. of your semi-truck with its 14000 BTU cooling capacity. It has three operational modes-AC, dehumidifier, or fan. 


These portable air conditioners operate on low voltage, if not on cold water and ice. They are durable yet capable of cooling trucks, vans, and other heavy transports. Ultimately, these features can improve your bottom line while maintaining a comfortable atmosphere for your drivers. 

Which air conditioner do you like most from the list? Let us know by leaving a comment below. 

Joie Mojica

Joie is the passionate writer and blogger of She enjoys writing and works at an amazing pace. Blessed with two adorable boys, she dreams of creating a successful career online. She also loves to write about parenting, home and family life, technology and gaming, as well as beauty and health.