What You Need to Consider When Buying a Portable Air Conditioner

What You Need to Consider When Buying a Portable Air ConditionerA portable air conditioner can fill the cooling gap in a home where certain rooms are too hot or lack ductwork to connect to the existing central air conditioner. The portability factor is also a plus as a single unit can potentially be moved to various areas of the house that need spot cooling. If you’re considering the portable option to cool limited areas, here are some other pros and cons.

  • Set-up of a portable air conditioner in a room is not difficult for a do-it-yourselfer. However, a venting kit must installed in an available window and the bulky vent hose must be routed in some way where occupants aren’t tripping over it. Also, a portable unit requires a minimum of 18 inches of open space on all sides. Therefore, it can’t be easily concealed in a corner.
  • By design, any air conditioner produces condensate water. A central A/C is permanently plumbed to your household drain system. In a portable A/C, condensation is contained in an internal tank that must be manually drained daily. Alternatively, a drain tube must be routed to a drain, if one is nearby. A portable A/C sized to cool a large bedroom can produce up to eight gallons of condensate daily.
  • A portable air conditioner must extract more BTUs of heat per square foot to effectively cool a given space than a central A/C. This is because the compressor and blower motor inside the unit generate heat, which adds to the room’s cooling load. In fact, about 30 percent of the heat extracted from a room by a portable A/C is waste heat that was produced by the unit itself. Conversely, most heat-producing components of a central A/C as well as a window unit are located outdoors and have no effect on the cooling load inside the house.
  • Noise can also be a factor in portable units because the compressor and blower motor are inside the room versus located in an outdoor unit.

For more pros versus cons of a portable air conditioner, ask Paitson Bros., the cooling experts in Terre Haute since 1922.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about portable air conditioners and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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