How to Choose a Portable Air Conditioner
The best portable air conditioners cool a room by pulling in the air, lowering its temperature and humidity, then releasing it back into the space. They also use a fan to circulate air and a drain system to collect condensation, which they vent outdoors.
Some models offer programmable settings, a sleep mode, and 24-hour timers; others integrate with smart-home systems like Alexa and Google Assistant for voice-enabled control. Some even include night-lights to make it easier to locate the remote.
The size of a portable air conditioner affects how much cooling it can provide. Air conditioners are rated in British Thermal Units (BTU) per hour, and the higher the BTU rating, the more power the air conditioner has to cool your space. You should choose a model that matches the size of your room so you don’t waste energy or money on an AC that isn’t powerful enough for your space.
Most portable air conditioners vent moisture and hot exhaust out through a window, so you need to set aside enough open space to fit the tubing. The air conditioner needs to be set up 5 to 7 feet away from walls to maintain proper airflow.
Some manufacturers make extensions for sliding glass doors, so you can still use your portable air conditioner with a sliding window. However, you may need to install Styrofoam or plywood in the opening for the hose to fit.
Many portable air conditioners also have extra features to boost comfort and convenience. A timer, for example, lets you set a schedule for the air conditioner to start and stop cooling at specific times of day. Some have remotes to let you control the air conditioning from a distance. Several models dehumidify, too, which helps remove excess moisture from the air to prevent condensation and mould.
The fan and motor that runs a portable air conditioner produce a certain amount of noise. This may not be a concern for some people, but others would prefer Portable Air Conditioner that their home appliances operate as quietly as possible. If you are particularly concerned about noise levels, look for a model with a night mode that reduces sound to below 50 dB.
Portable air conditioners work differently than window air conditioners. While window units have their compressor, condenser coil and fan outside, portables have all of their mechanical parts packed into a small unit that sits inside the room you’re trying to cool. This means that the only way to vent this unit is through a window kit with a flexible exhaust hose that is usually just long enough to fit in a standard, vertically-open window.
While this is an effective solution for cooling a specific space, it does restrict the number of rooms that you can cool and can make the process much louder than window air conditioners. This makes portable air conditioners less desirable for many homes.
In addition, the hose that connects to the unit can make it difficult to use in sliding glass windows because most standard hoses aren’t tall enough for this type of window. If you plan on using a portable air conditioner in a sliding glass window, consult the manufacturer to see if they have an extension kit or Styrofoam to fill the gap and allow the unit to vent properly.
Many people are worried that portable air conditioners will skyrocket their electricity bills. However, if used properly, these units can significantly lower your Portable Air Conditioner energy bills by cooling only the rooms you’re using.
In order to function, the unit will have a venting hose that exits through your window and out into the outside. Most of the time, this hose will need to be positioned 5 to 7 feet away from walls and other objects in your home in order to maintain proper airflow. This is why a portable AC’s venting kit comes with everything you need to make sure it can exit your window while maintaining the proper position.
There are two types of portable air conditioners: single hose and double hose. Single hose units will have a tubing that hangs down from your open window while double hose systems will be mounted on the wall or ceiling and will circulate air through the room. The most efficient type of unit is the double hose system, since it will require less work to keep the room cool.
Other features of a portable air conditioner include a remote control, timer and dehumidification. The temperature controller allows you to set a precise desired temperature for your room, while the timer can be used to automatically turn the unit on before you get home and off in the evening so it won’t run all night. Some models also come with a drain hose that will pull any water and condensation from the air as it gets cooled, leaving only the fresh smelling air behind.
As with any household appliance, a portable air conditioner requires regular maintenance to keep it in good working order. Its small motors are prone to clogging, so it is important to clean the filter on a regular basis to prevent this from happening. Dust and pet dander can also get into the unit, which can compromise your indoor air quality. It is also recommended to regularly drain the condensate water from the unit. Most PACs have a collection tank that will fill up and need to be emptied on a regular basis.
The exterior of the device should be cleaned regularly, as well. Wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove any dust and dirt build-up. Avoid spray cleaners or chemicals, as these can stain or damage the exterior casing. Instead, a bit of warm water and mild detergent should be used to wipe down the surface.
If your portable air conditioner has an auto-evaporative feature, then the condensation water tank will not need to be emptied as frequently (unless you live in a very humid area). It is also recommended to empty the water collection tray on a weekly basis and clean it before storing. In addition, it is a good idea to clear the area around your PAC so that it does not become covered in leaves or other debris, which can block the ventilation and cause corrosion. Finally, it is always a good idea to have your PAC professionally serviced from time to time. This will ensure that it is operating at optimum efficiency and can identify any potential problems before they become serious.