Although the thought of a portable unit can seem very appealing to those in the market for a new air conditioner, there are several aspects to consider before committing to any new appliance, portable or otherwise. There are two schools of thought around portable air conditioners.
Love them or hate them, there are valuable arguments on both sides of the coin. Some people believe them to better than a fan, but nowhere near the quality of a wall-mounted air con unit. Others love them for their portability, rental-friendliness and efficiency. The answer lies in what your needs are, and whether your setup can allow for the option you prefer.
Have a look at your home first.
Portable air conditioners are an excellent alternative for those whose houses fall under building regulations or rental agreements that prevent window units from being installed.
In your hunt for the portable air conditioner units that answer all your requirements, start by analysing the size of the area you would like to cool, and based on that, you will be able to make the best decision on what unit works for you.
How does a portable unit match up to a window-mounted unit?
Where a wall-mounted or window-mounted air conditioner is split across the inside and outside of the room, all the components of a portable air conditioner are together in the same room. While this does make everything more compact, it also means that all noise generated by the unit, are in the same area.
It is also worthwhile to focus on the efficiency of the cooling. A window-mounted air con cools the coils on the part of the unit that sits on the outside of the building, while a portable unit by necessity has to use the air in the room within which it sits.
What if the room has no windows?
Although it’s technically not impossible to use a portable AC in a room without windows, you will still need a way for the hot air that is generated by running the unit, to leave the room. Not doing so will negate the cooling effects of the unit, and you will have wasted your money. In a windowless room, one of your options will be to make a hole in the wall that is just big enough to accommodate the outlet hose.
How do I keep my unit clean and in good condition?
Make sure that you clean the filters (or change them, depending on the model) every month. Filters play a huge role in keeping your environment clean and clear of dust, pollen and other allergens. Ensure that you do clean consistently, in order to continue getting the best lifespan out of your unit.
Stay away from generic filters, and definitely never use another brand’s filters on your unit, if they are not the same make and model! You could risk making your unit less efficient, or worse – lead it to break or malfunction.