Portable Air Con Units: They’ve Come A Long Way Baby
Remember those ugly, noisy window air conditioners your grandparents used to have?
The ones that dripped and smelled and looked like they were harboring every germ known to man? Well, those days are long gone.
Today’s portable air conditioners are better built, much more effective, and much easier to maintain. Why suffer in the sweltering heat when it’s this easy to live in cool, clean comfort.
Window Air Conditioners: Window air conditioners are portable in the sense that they’re not part of the structure of your home. You can move them from window to window, and put them away when they’re not in use. Look for a model that has adjustable extensions that can be expanded to fit the width of the window.
Air conditioners work by pulling in hot air, removing the heat and humidity, and then cooling the air and recirculating it back into the room. Some models require no ventilation but for others this means you’ll need to vent the hot air to the outside or into another room. Drainage option vary, too. Some models have a drainage hose for continuous drainage, others have a small drawer or container that you’ll have to manually empty, and some re-use the water to keep the unit cool.
Portable Air Conditioners: These days there are even more “portable” options than window air conditioners. Free standing units can be easily picked up and moved from room to room, just like a portable fan or dehumidifier. In fact, many of these units act as air conditioners/dehumidifiers/heaters so they can be used year round.
While these models also require ventilation and drainage these functions are typically self contained so you can truly move this air conditioner anywhere in your home that it’s needed.
How To Choose A Portable Air Conditioner
Portability: Window air conditioners are ideal for any size room. They don’t take up any floor space and you don’t have to worry about messy extension cords. If you choose a model that has outside ventilation and drainage features you rarely even have to worry about maintenance.
On the other hand, window units are a little more difficult to move around. If you’re on a limited budget it may be better to go with a more portable unit that you can move from room to room. These require a little more maintenance but the total portability makes it worth it.
BTUs: Contrary to popular belief, more isn’t always better. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and it’s the amount of energy required to change the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
It might seem like the more BTUs you have the faster your room will cool however, that’s not how it works. Measure your room before you buy an air conditioner. If you buy a model that’s too powerful it will pull the warm air out of the room and recirculate it too quickly, before it’s had time to dehumidify that air. Your room will either be too cold or too humid.
Look for an online BTU converter or read the manufacturer’s specifications before purchasing an air conditioner.
Filters: Many of today’s air conditioners either have air filters or filters can be added to help improve the air quality in your home. If you have allergies or respiratory problems look for HEPA filters, too.
Power Consumption: Obviously you’re going to be using electricity to power your air conditioner, but you can alleviate excessive costs by choosing the right size air conditioner for your home or room and following the manufacturer’s installation and maintenance instructions.