If you’re in the market for an air conditioner, you’re probably familiar with central and window air conditioning units. But did you know there was another option? While they’re not perfect for every situation, portable air conditioners can provide reliable, even cooling for many homes.
Advantages of Portable Units
Of course, the main reason to buy a portable air conditioner is that it’s, well, portable. With one of these units, you don’t have to worry about which room to put the air conditioner in. Instead, you can simply take it with you wherever you go in the house.
Many people like to keep a portable air conditioner in their bedroom to take the edge off at night without dropping the temperature as much as a window unit might. And most portable air conditioners are quieter to operate than common window units. Portable air conditioners also come in a wide variety of sizes, so you can easily find one that matches your needs.
Disadvantages of Portable Units
Unlike window air conditioners that are automatically installed to vent and drain outside of a building, a portable air conditioner requires special setup. That means that every time you move your unit, you’ll have to find somewhere to place the exhaust hose so that fumes don’t accumulate in the room. This also means that portable air conditioners can’t be used in rooms without access to windows or air vents.
The cooling power of most portable air conditioners is not quite on par with equivalent window units either. You’ll want to choose a portable unit with slightly more BTUs than if you were buying a window unit to take care of the same sized room. As a result, the portable unit may cost slightly more to operate during peak cooling months.
Extras to Look For
Of course, while the cost may go up slightly, there are a lot of benefits to owning a portable air conditioner. For instance, many portable air conditioners can be used independently to dehumidify a room without cooling. This is often helpful (and can save energy) when the temperature would be bearable if not for the humidity level.
You also want to make sure that your portable air conditioner really is portable. That means finding a model with wheels and handles or some other mechanism that makes it easy to move it from place to place.