Is It Worth Buying a Portable Air Conditioner?

When looking to cool your home down and keep it that way, there is no denying that the air conditioner is king. There is a great deal of variety in systems on the market for replacing an old system or buying a new one.

One of the systems that gets the most buzz, and discussion is the portable air conditioning unit. Is it worth buying a portable air conditioner?

Whether it is for spot cooling areas of your home or combating a humid environment, portable air conditioning units are worth the cost. Portable systems are easy to move and less unsightly than your traditional window unit, giving your home the cooling you need without detracting from your style. They can even save you on your energy usage. 

It can be challenging to decide if the portable air conditioner is the best bet for your property.

Different homes have varying requirements that can illuminate which system would be best for your set up, so it is essential to review the reasons and benefits for each on your property.

With that in mind, consider the possible causes for choosing a portable system over a traditional one. 

Reasons to Choose a Portable Air Conditioner

Your home is your palace, and you deserve to be comfortable there. Even if you are in an office, this system can keep you comfortable in your room. 

There are many reasons to choose a portable air conditioner for your property, ranging from uneven cooling to dealing with an HOA. Whatever the reasons, the portable air conditioner may change your environment to suit you. 

For some homes, adding this system may be more beneficial than for others. If you are considering a portable air conditioner, it is essential to consider why you need a new system

There are many personal and situational causes that can lead you to make your decision. Some of these may be: 

  • Window placement
  • Uneven cooling from the present system
  • High humidity environment
  • Living in an HOA area

The windows’ location can affect the natural light within your home and whether or not a window unit can even be easily placed. 

Portable systems are more easily installed as they simply require an exhaust vent area to use.

You will not have to worry about potential hazards if this system slips, and it won’t obstruct your view or lighting in your home. 

Some environments suffer from higher humidity, making it feel muggy and sticky. While not as effective as a swamp cooler, a portable air conditioner provides some dehumidifying capabilities, reducing the overall mugginess of your home in one fell swoop. 

If you have a traditional AC system already, but it is not cooling the entire house, using a portable AC can create a spot treatment effect supporting your traditional system.

Finally, HOAs, or homeowners associations, can be very strict regarding certain exterior adjustments or installations. 

If you are trying to replace a failed system, you may not have time to jump through all the hoops to get a new one installed during hotter months.

A portable system can keep your home cool and prevent you from having to stress during the summer. 

What Are the Benefits of a Portable Air Conditioner?

Once in your home, the biggest benefit you get from a portable air conditioner is that your home will be cooled to your liking. 

However, you need to know that you are getting the most out of your air conditioning unit for your buck. These systems can cost a lot up front, so how else can they benefit you?

  • Low maintenance
  • Easy installation
  • Mobility

Certain traditional systems may require daily checks to ensure they are draining correctly or are unobstructed. With a portable system, there is little to no risk of obstruction from external factors. 

These systems also do not require drain maintenance as they may evaporate the water they collect or create by dehumidifying and evaporating it away. 

Bigger systems require scheduled dates, contractors, and careful work to get them up and running for your home. 

With a portable system, it is as easy as place, vent, and go. Portable air conditioners were designed to be handled by one person, so you can lift and move it as needed to get the perfect comfort in your home. 

Speaking of, you can move it between rooms all by yourself. The only requirement that portable ACs have to work is an outlet to vent to.

Proper “vents” can include sliding doors, windows, through a wall, and even though a dryer vent! As long as the room has a vent location, you can keep your home cozy. 

Do Portable Air Conditioners Really Save You Money?

It seems as though every appliance nowadays has a claim to energy savings. As they grow in popularity, portable air conditioners also claim to save you that extra cash from power usage. 

How does this system manage to save money, and can you guarantee that you will be able to save?

To explain this, one has to look further into the differences between traditional and portable systems. 

With a traditional air conditioner, there is a lot that goes into the cooling process. It has a network of ducts throughout the home or business that hurls cooled air to maintain the desired temperature. 

All of the different ducts working together can create uneven cooling. Some rooms may receive the majority of the cold air or trigger the right temperature, causing the system to overwork.

This is a problem because now that your air conditioner is trying to keep everything at one level temperature, it is drawing more and more energy to keep running. Portable air conditioners have a much smaller job and therefore use less energy. 

These systems are designed to cool one room instead of the whole property. To do so, they must be efficient in doing so quickly and using as little energy as possible. 

According to Sylvane.com, this means these systems can have operating costs ranging from six to forty dollars a month, depending on usage.

Compared to the average cost of a normal air conditioner bill, it is quite a drastic difference! Since the system is as needed, you may find that you are saving quite the chunk of change during months where you don’t need AC. 

Why Sizing is Important for a Portable AC

When you finally decide on a portable air conditioner, the hardest part is determining the size you need for your home or business.

Size plays a huge role in the efficiency of a system. An undersized unit may feel like it does nothing at all, where an oversized unit can draw immense power just to run a few minutes. 

Part of the mobility and ease of installing portable air conditioners is that they are designed for one room size.

Keeping this in mind, it is essential to review your room’s square footage to identify the best size for you. 

You can do this by reviewing the original plan of your property that you may have received as part of your initial purchase. 

Room Area To Be CooledCapacity Needed
Up to 350 sq. ft.8,000 BTU
350 to 400 sq. ft.9,000 BTU
400 to 450 sq. ft.10,000 BTU
450 to 550 sq. ft.12,000 BTU
550 to 700 sq. ft.14,000 BTU

Table from HomeAirGuides.com

What if you intend to move the system around the home? Your best course of action is to refer to the most oversized room you plan on cooling and identifying the square footage there or purchasing one more extensive system and one smaller. 

Keep in mind that the cold air can travel from one room of your home to the smaller places if you use your system in tandem with fans. 

Portable Air Conditioners Are a Great Choice

For those looking for a quality system that is easy to install, low maintenance, and can help them cut costs on their energy bills, portable air conditioners are a fantastic option.

After purchase, all you have to do is place it, vent it, and get comfortable. You can move the system where you need it most as long as it can vent through a window or wall.

Because it is designed to be used in one room, these systems do not draw as much power as larger systems that cool the whole property.

This means you can expect lower costs in energy use since the system is used as needed.

Getting the right sized system for you is a snap; simply use the largest room specs you plan on cooling to find the right one!

Finally, portable air conditioners provide all of these great benefits without the unsightly look of an external or window unit.

These systems can make your property less appealing to look at and be difficult to put in place and install. A portable system can come in a variety of looks to appeal to you and any guests or clients that may come by.

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