Are Portable Air Conditioners Worth It?

Are Portable Air Conditioners Worth It?
 
 
 
 

Summer might be your favorite season to go outside and enjoy nature. However, you also have to deal with hot temperatures indoors, especially at night, which can leave you all sweaty and sleepless. That’s why an air conditioner is a must-have. For most people, when thinking about which air conditioner to buy, what comes to mind is either the window AC or central AC. But, what if the circumstances are not favorable?. That’s where the more versatile and convenient portable air conditioners come in. These units have been gaining popularity in recent years and most of them offer unique benefits that other ACs don’t. Here’s why you should consider getting one this summer.

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Image: Shutterstock

What Are Portable ACs?

Portable ACs are units that can be placed anywhere in your house for cool air circulation. They are way better than the dust-collecting fans and without the complications of window ACs. They are effective in keeping the hot air out, especially in those rooms that don’t have a Window or central AC fitted.

How Do Portable ACs Work?

The concept is basically the same as that of any other air-conditioning unit. The refrigerant flows through a series of coiled tubes, absorbing the heat from indoors. The system then cools and dehumidifies the warm and humid air, and blows it back into the room. The warm air is guided outdoors via a single or dual flexible hose that comes in varying lengths. Usually, a portable AC unit comes with a supplied kit for installation. Keep in mind that when using a portable AC, you must exhaust the warm air through an opening like a window. This means, if you move the AC, you also have to move the exhaust vent. However, it's a pretty quick and easy process that doesn’t cause inconvenience.

Benefits of Portable AC Units

Portability

As the name suggests, these units are easily portable, unlike window ACs which are permanently fixed. They are designed for ease of movement, giving you the ability to cool any room without complicated installations. Most of them are fitted with wheels to roll them around to any location in the room, so long as you have an outlet for the hot air.

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Image: Shutterstock

Ease of Installation

Ease of installation is probably the best thing about portable ACs. It's ready to use right out of the box and you hardly need any tools or help from anyone. Unlike window air conditioners that require a window for ventilation, a portable AC doesn't necessarily need one. While venting the portable AC through a window is the traditional and commonly used way, you can also vent the unit:

  • Through the wall
  • In a dryer vent
  • Out casement (crank) windows
  • Out sliding patio windows or doors
  • Into a ceiling

These options mean that you don’t have to block your only source of natural light with a chunky window air conditioner.

Convenience

Now you can get portable AC units that feature a self-evaporative technology. This means that the water collected during dehumidification will automatically be evaporated. Ultimately, this eliminates the stress of connecting a tube to a drain. Unlike a window AC which can only work on the right kind of window, a portable AC can be fixed anywhere. You don’t need to incur the costs of installing a new window for the window AC. Furthermore, certain buildings have rules about the installation of window air conditioners. For instance, in New York City, it's considered illegal to block fire escape with a window AC device. Don’t stress yourself if you're in a situation where a window AC won't do. Get a portable air conditioner instead.

Portable ACs Save You Money

There is a misconception that portable ACs use a lot of energy. On the contrary, these units can save you a lot of money each month. For one, they allow you to cool one room at a time, which means you can switch off the central AC, subsequently reducing your energy bills. Additionally, the fact that they require little to no maintenance cuts down on costs as well. Remember to block the sun to reduce the heat from outside to prevent the AC from overworking.

Cool Features

Thanks to technology, portable ACs do more than just cool the air. Some are fitted with fun features like air dehumidifiers to help lower the humidity levels in your home, making it even cooler. Others also have HEPA filtrated air purifiers that remove airborne pollutants like dust, allergens, bacteria, and more to give you a cleaner, cooler air. Most modern units now come with Wi-Fi capabilities and remote controls, allowing you to control the device from the comfort of your seat. You can set automatic modes and timers, and also check the cooling status from the app or remote.

To Consider Before Your Purchase

  • Portable air conditioners are rated in BTU (British Thermal Units) per hour. In essence, the higher the BTU ratings, the more capacity to cool larger spaces. Therefore, be sure to purchase the right AC suitable for room size.
  • When using a portable AC, you must exhaust the hot air through the supplied hose. Hence, you must be able to plug it in near a window or other venting options.
  • Also, keep in mind that water is collected in the device. You can attach a hose to drain the collected moisture or use a pump to drain the water. To make life easier, opt for the more advanced portable AC that comes with fully self-evaporative designs that automatically evaporate the water they collect.
  • Portable AC units generate some level of noise since they are housed indoors. Therefore, be sure to compare the different decibel levels and go for quieter models.
 
 

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