Portable Air Conditioner Buying Guide

When the summer months come around and the temperature begins to heat up, it is nice to have a way to stay cool in your home. If you do not have a central air unit, you can cool yourself down by using a portable air conditioner. This buying guide can help give you the information you need to choose the right one for you.

Types of Portable Air Conditioners

Window units are one of the most popular types of portable air conditioners. They can quickly and easily be installed in a single hung or double hung window. There are accordion type of panels that extend outward on each side of the air conditioner to help cover the rest of the window that is not occupied by the air conditioner to ensure it fits securely. There are models that have been designed for sliding windows as well. In order to secure these models in the window, a support is often required to be used and is attached on the outside of the house.

Freestanding portable air conditioners can easily be moved from one room to another as needed. The room that this portable air conditioner is in needs to have a window in it though because the unit needs to be vented out a window. They come with a window venting kit that will vent air out similar to the way that a dryer is vented out of the house. Most of these units come with a reservoir where the water that is pulled out of the air will go. The reservoir needs to be emptied from time to time. Some of these units will come with an optional drainage hose that can be attached as well. There are also other units that will evaporate the water and vent it out through the window vent. This will not eliminate the need to empty the reservoir but will reduce it.

Built-in or through the wall portable air conditioners are great for those that are looking for a more permanent type of portable air conditioner. If you have central air in your home, but are adding onto your home, then you may want to buy a built-in air conditioner to cool off the addition rather than running new duct work, which would be quite costly. The units are installed in an exterior wall and get a snug, airtight fit which ensures that the cool air in your home will not escape causing your air conditioner to be less efficient and to have to run more often.

Pay Attention to

The energy efficiency of the portable air conditioner

All air conditioner units are given an energy efficiency rating or EER. The air conditioner is tested for how much energy it takes to cool a room or area and is then given a rating. The higher number the rating is, the more efficiently the unit runs and the less money you will spend when using it.

The size of a portable air conditioner you will need

You will determine the size of the air conditioner that you need by the square footage of the room or area you are looking to cool. If the room you are looking to cool is around 350 square feet, then a portable air conditioner with 10,000 BTUs will efficiently cool it. For a room that is about 500 square feet, a portable air conditioner with 14,000 BTUs will work.

How much noise the fan makes

It is nice to have an air conditioner to cool off your home, but when the unit is running, you will still want to be able to easily hear the TV you are watching. All portable air conditioners do make some noise, but it is beneficial to be able to continue a conversation while it is running.

Whether or not the portable air conditioner has a dehumidifier feature

All air conditioners remove at least a small amount of moisture from the air, but it is beneficial to have a dehumidifier feature that will remove a great amount of moisture and make your home more comfortable in humid weather. This feature is also great when the weather is humid, but it is not hot enough for you to want to turn on the air conditioner. The dehumidifier will remove the moisture from your home without giving you a blast of cold air.

The controls for the portable air conditioner

Some units have a digital display which makes it easy to read the setting the unit is on and gives you the ability to quickly and easily change the setting. Some models come with a remote control that allow you to change the setting for your air conditioner from a distance. But the functionality of remote controls differ from each model.

Top Brands and Product Lines

Haier HPN12XCM

This freestanding portable air conditioner is best known for its ability to quickly cool a room and for being a multipurpose tool with a dehumidifier as well.

Haier ESAQ406P

This portable window air conditioner is best known for its multiple energy saving options and quiet operation.

Frigidaire FFRE0633Q1

This portable window air conditioner is best known for its high power and low energy cost to run.