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Portable Air Conditioners

If you're looking for a flexible cooling solution that can be moved from room to room, portable air conditioners are the answer. Whether you’re searching for small portable air conditioners to place in your study during summer or portable air conditioners with heat for year-round comfort anywhere in your home, there are a number of solutions available to provide instant relief.

Portable AC Unit Energy Efficiency

Mobile air conditioners are an ideal way to cool down a room and lower your monthly energy bill. The key is finding a portable AC that offers the appropriate British thermal unit (BTU) rating for your room’s size. A BTU rating measures how quickly and efficiently a portable air conditioner unit can cool your room. After measuring your room, see which BTU rating matches your space:

• 100 to 200 square feet: 6,000 to 8,000 BTU
• 300 to 400 square feet: 10,000 to 12,000 BTU
• 500 to 600 square feet: 14,000 to 16,000 BTU
• 700 square feet or larger: 18,000 BTU or larger

Be sure to check the portable air conditioner’s EER (Energy Efficiency Rating). The higher the rating, the more energy-efficient the unit is. Check out this portable AC buying guide for additional information on cooling capacities and energy efficiency.

Noise levels for common portable air conditioners usually range from 50 to 60 decibels, about the same as a light conversation. There are some quiet portable air conditioner models that are available if you’re using it in a room where you’re going to sleep. A portable air conditioner with remote may also be ideal so you don’t have to get out of bed or your favorite chair to adjust the temperature.

Portable Air Conditioner Considerations

Portable AC units must be ventilated. They produce hot air that needs to be exhausted through a hose, so they should be placed near a window. Most portable air conditioner units include a window kit with instructions for easy installation. Dual-hose portable air conditioners provide more energy efficiency and quicker cooling than their single-hose counterparts.

Portable AC units accumulate moisture, so be sure to drain the collected moisture periodically. Most mobile air conditioners have reservoirs that should be emptied, but some offer hookups for a drainage hose.

Evaporative air coolers offer a ventless portable air conditioner option. These portable AC units don’t have a hose and deliver cool air in your home by evaporating water. These add moisture and humidity to the air. They are efficient in dry climates but less effective in humid areas.


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