Are Portable Air Conditioners Worth It?

by Raymond Archambault

It’s time to consider how you’ll keep hot air from spoiling your enjoyment as the temperature rises and the calendar pages turn toward summer.

If you already have a good central system, all you have to do is swap the filters and you’re ready to go.

If you don’t have enough air conditioning, now is the time to make your arrangements so that you are not caught off guard by an early heatwave.

If you’re looking for a way to stay cool, there are a few choices available to you, including a portable air conditioner.

Portable air conditioners have grown increasingly popular in the last decade, but are they worth it?

How Does Portable Air Conditioners Work

Unlike a window air conditioner, the mechanical components of a portable air conditioner are all housed in the room that you’re attempting to chill. This increases noise levels.

It’s a factor in less-than-ideal cooling. A window AC cools the coils on the outside part of the machine with outside air, whereas a portable AC cools the mechanical components with conditioned air from the room it’s in. Negative pressure is generated as a result of the doors being closed. This causes warm, unconditioned air from nearby rooms or the outside to flow into the room you are trying to chill.

It’s also debatable how portable they are. You won’t want to move the kit after connecting the hose to it in the window (to vent it outside). Not to mention that they generally weigh 50 to 80 pounds and, on occasion, even more.

They have wheels, but portable air conditioners are tough to roll over carpets and raised thresholds between rooms because they have no casters. They also require plenty of areas. The hose is 5 to 7 feet long, and the air conditioner must be placed at least 2 feet from any walls or furniture that might impede its flow.

Factors That Affect The Efficiency Of Your Air Conditioner

It’s no secret that keeping your house cool requires a significant amount of energy. To keep your home cold, air conditioners consume a lot of power, regardless of the sort you choose. The total cost will be determined by how often your portable or window air conditioning unit cycles on and how long it runs. This is influenced by several factors, including:

Room Size

To be effective, an air conditioner must be sized correctly. Even if your air conditioning has plenty of cooling power, it won’t make your rooms much more comfortable unless it’s sized properly. For example, one window air conditioner will never cool an entire house. An undersized air conditioner will constantly run, costing you a lot of money while providing very little comfort.

The BTU (British thermal unit) rating of your portable air conditioner will tell you how efficiently it can cool the space you want to use it in. A portable air conditioner with 8,000 BTUs is ideal for rooms up to 200 square feet. Look for a portable air conditioner with 14,000 BTUs if you’re cooling a large living area of 600 square feet.

If you’re trying to cool down a kitchen, you’ll need more cooling capacity than normal refrigeration. All of those appliances produce a lot of extra heat, making your equipment have to work even harder to do the job.

The Weather

On hot summer days, the more hot air you’ll have to remove from your home, the greater amount of energy it will take. It takes less energy to cool a space to 72 degrees on a 77-degree day than it does to get chilly on a 95-degree day. On particularly scorching days, change your thermostat upwards to reduce your power bills. You’ll still be cooler inside than you would outside, but your portable air conditioner or window AC won’t have to work as hard. You may also assist your air conditioner by making sure that your space is well-insulated and shutting blinds and curtains to block out strong sunlight.

The Cost Of Electricity

The cost of running your portable air conditioner will differ considerably based on the price of power in your region. These expenses are typically greater during peak summer months, so getting cool during a freak heatwave in May won’t necessarily cost you as much as seeking relief in August. If the cost of your portable air conditioner varies with the seasons, it may be cheaper to operate it at night than during the day. That said, this is all to imply that you may have a different opinion than mine on whether the cost of operating a portable air conditioner is worth it on a hot day or if you’d rather hold out with a fan or an evaporative cooler.

Are Portable Air Conditioners Worth It?

Depending on your cooling requirements, portable air conditioners may provide a lot of advantages. These are just some of the benefits you may get from using them:

Portability And Ease Of Installation

The most apparent advantage of these sorts of air conditioners is that they are mobile. These equipment are created to make moving them between rooms in your house as simple as possible (more about this later).

Furthermore, they are simple to set up and only require minimal modifications to space in order to operate. When compared to window air conditioners, which need a specific window for installation and usually need the assistance of two people, this is quite an advantage.

With portable air conditioners, you don’t need a window for ventilation and can easily install them without experience.

Require Little-To-No Maintenance

If you invest in a self-evaporating portable air conditioner, you won’t have to worry about it. Because these units evaporate the water they collect during the dehumidification process, they don’t require any additional care. This eliminates the problem of emptying a collection tank or running a drain tube to a sink drain.

Wi-Fi Control Is Available

You may now buy Wi-Fi-enabled air conditioners or upgrade an older model to work with a smartphone or tablet, based on current trends in the industry. Portable Wi-Fi air conditioners include a mobile app through which you can operate it from anywhere.

Several of the biggest brands, such as Frigidaire, LG Electronics, and Kenmore, have committed to this new technology and provide some great apps with a lot of handy features.

Finally, while you may not always need a Wi-Fi portable AC unit, you do have the option of upgrading your existing, conventional air conditioner to provide Wi-Fi control. All you need is a Smart/Wi-Fi controller in order to get mobile functions.


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