Portable air conditioners are small cooling units that are often overlooked in favor of their larger window air conditioner brothers. There are pros and cons to portable air conditioners that can help you decide if these units might provide a valuable cooling service for your home. Despite the small size of portable units, it is still worth consulting an ac installation company to discuss the best cooling options for your home.
Pro: Doesn't Require a Large Window
The major selling point for portable air conditioners is the fact that the room doesn't need to have a window large enough to support a window air conditioner. Portable windows can also be used in rooms with large windows that aren't the right style to support a window unit, such as casement or hopper windows, which crank fully open or shut.
While portable units don't require a window for support, you will still need at least a small window in the room. That's because portable units have an exhaust hose that needs to point outside.
Pro: Easy to Move and Maintain
Portable air conditioners, as the name would suggest, are highly portable. You can simply pick the unit up by its handle and move it into another room as needed. The movability of the unit can come in handy if you have fluctuating cooling needs in your home, such as guest rooms that are only used occasionally.
A portable air conditioner is also fairly easy to maintain. There is a filter that pulls out to be vacuumed occasionally and a drain valve. Simply remove the drain valve over the bathtub, dump out the condensate, and your portable air conditioner maintenance is complete.
Compare this to the maintenance of a central air conditioner unit, which includes cleaning coils and debris out of the condensing unit, or to a window air conditioner, which includes taking the unit out of its case and cleaning inside, and the ease of use might be a selling point.
Con: Less Efficient
Despite the advantages of portable units, there is one major reason portable units are less well known than window units. Portable units are only slightly more cooling efficient than a ceiling fan.
A portable unit can't cool a 90 degree room down to 70 degrees even if the room is somewhat small. The unit won't have the juice to do the job. Does that mean portable units are worthless at cooling? No, but you need to understand the limitations.
Consider your home's specific cooling needs and consult with an HVAC company, such as Arlington Heating & Air Conditioning, to determine if a portable air conditioner is one of your best options or how a portable unit could be used in an overall cooling plan.