Are Portable Air Conditioners Worth It?
Let’s say you’ve found an efficiency apartment without air conditioning, or perhaps you spend a lot of time working in a shed without air conditioning that gets hot and humid in the summer. The two most likely options to stay cool at that point are window air conditioners and portable units. There’s no doubt that a portable air conditioner will cost less than a similar-sized window units, but are portable air conditioners worth taking a chance?
How do portable air conditioners work. The main difference between a portable unit and a window air conditioner is that the portable unit is completely located inside the room to be cooled. In truth, there are quite a few similarities between the two. Portable units, like window air conditioners, rely on a compressor and coolant. However, because an air conditioner pulls out moisture from the area it is cooling that means a portable unit must have a drip pan or a hose line that can extend to a window to dispose of the moisture collected.
Benefits of portable air conditioners. Having an air conditioner you can move around to the exact location where it is needed can be a tremendous benefit. While some of the most popular portable units weigh 50 pounds or more, virtually all come with wheels. That makes it easier to move the unit from one room to another. Another great benefit is the simplicity of this type of air conditioning. There is virtually no installation involved, something that can definitely be an issue with window air units. Imagine taking a portable air conditioner out of the box from the store and plugging it in. Also, if you live in an apartment complex, there can be many rules about having window units. Instead, you can bring in a portable air conditioner and set it where you want.
Disadvantages of portable air conditioners. Noise is a fairly significant disadvantage of a portable unit, since all of its components are inside and usually very close to the person being cooled. Air conditioning window units are usually not as noisy because the part of the air conditioner that makes all the noise is on the other side of the window. Consumer Reports tested the leading portable air conditioners on the market recently and found that none could come close to matching the cooling capacity of window units. In fact, none of eight portable units tested could cool a 90-degree room to under 80 degrees in four hours. The bottom line is Consumer Reports declined to recommend any portable air conditioner.