Portable Air Conditioners buying guide

Portable Air Conditioners

First of all, you should know that portable air conditioners are used for supplemental cooling without access to central AC. Some Places in your home due to the poor air circulation are often warmer than they should be. The best solution, in this case, is a Portable air conditioner. They are easily mobile so no need for permanent installation.

Please keep in mind that most of the models require separate space to direct the system’s exhaust and as they cool at the same time they dehumidify.

Things you should know before choosing a Portable air conditioner:

Size: Small size air conditioner will not cool your environment as you need. Large AC will shut down the cooling process before removing excess moisture from the area.

Draining Moisture: As a result of cooling indoor air, portable AC acts as a dehumidifier (removes water from the air).

– Fully self-evaporative: You never have to empty the collected water

– Partially self-evaporative: Evaporates a big part of moisture. You have to drain the collected water, but this depends on  usage and your environmental conditions

– Drain hose option.

– Condensate pumps: separate accessories which can move the water in an upward direction.

– Internal container: needs to be manually drained regularly.

Ventilation and Exhaust

As a part of the cooling process, portable air conditioners vent out hot air from the area(the one is being cooled by AC). They are equipped with an exhaust hose that can vent out hot air from a window, drop ceiling, sliding glass door, or through a wall. You can get portable ACs with single or double exhausts. The difference between them is that the single exhaust one uses room air to cool down the compressor and this creates little negative air pressure. The double exhaust portable ACs use the outside air to cool down the equipment.

While It may be good to use the double exhaust one to avoid the slight negative pressure created by single exhaust AC, it may be less efficient since it uses unconditioned air to cool down the compressor, also some models may have 2 fans which means slightly higher energy usage.


Take a look at Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). the higher the EER, the more efficient is the model.

Noise Level

In order to cool and circulate the air portable air conditioners use fans and compressor systems which cause noise. Some people may consider it background noise but for others, it may be a problem. If it is important for you to have low noise try to buy portable AC with special features which can minimize the noise:  multiple speeds, a programmable timer, and Sleep mode.

Heating Options

Portable air conditioners that offer a Heat mode generate heat either through a heat pump or electric heater.

Here are some special features which may 

  • Self-evaporating technology
  • Directional air control option
  • Remote control
  • Washable air filters
  • Casters for easy mobility
  • Programmable timer
  • Digital controls
  • Multiple fan speeds
  • Carrying handle
  • Extra modes: Dehumidify, Fan, Heat, Automatic, Energy-conserving

portable air conditioners

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