AC Guide: Are Portable Air Conditioners A Good Choice?

Mobile conditioning system for production. Portable air conditioners in enterprise.

With the hot and sometimes unbearable temperatures that happen during the summer in Austin, you may be wondering which type of air conditioner is the right choice to keep your home cool during these months. Portable air conditioners have grown in popularity over the last few years for the easy maintenance and ability to cool your indoor space without having a big, unsightly unit in one of your windows. While these benefits sound lucrative, many homeowners question if these types of cooling units are effective and worth the overall cost. You can read below to learn more about portable air conditioners so you can determine if choosing one would benefit your home.

What is a Portable Air Conditioner?

A “portable” air conditioner is essentially a self-contained portable unit that stands on the floor of a room rather than sitting directly in the window. These units typically have a set of wheels on the bottom to help them move easily from room to room and have a hose that releases the heat energy outside through the window. While the hose will take up some space in the window, it is just a fraction of space when compared to a full window unit. These units are not permanently installed, meaning they can be moved throughout your house or stored away as needed.

How Does a Portable Air Conditioning Unit Work?

Portable air conditioners work similar to any standard wall or window AC unit, using refrigerant and coiled tubes to take the heat from inside your house and transfer that energy outside. The main difference between a portable AC and a window unit is how the heat energy is expelled. With a window unit, the heat is pushed out the back of the system (the section that hangs out the window and is outside). A portable air conditioner is different, as the exhaust hose is placed in the window and expels the heat energy.

Important Factors To Consider:

When choosing a new AC for your home, there are some important factors that you should consider before making any purchases or starting installations. Portable air conditioners are a good choice for small spaces, but may not be able to handle cooling a large area efficiently. Read below to learn about some of the important factors to remember when selecting a new unit for your home.

Size of Your Home:

As stated above, a portable air conditioning unit is designed to cool a small square footage area rather than a large space. These units are self-contained and must sit close to a window, meaning they may not be able to reach areas far away or blocked by walls/obstructions. On average, a 6,000 - 8,000 BTU portable air conditioner will be able to cool around 200 square feet, which is around the size of a standard bedroom. If you need to cool a larger space like a kitchen, living room, or dining room, consider purchasing a unit with high BTUs. A room like a kitchen that is subject to high heat can benefit from a unit around 12,000 - 14,000 BTUs.

Energy Costs:

While portable air conditioners are a great choice for small rooms that need temperature regulation, using these units to cool your entire house can be costly from high energy usage. These types of units require more BTUs to cool a space than a standard window unit or even a central air conditioning unit! This means that a standard window air conditioner can cool a bedroom with only 6,000 BTUs, while a portable unit will require 10,000 BTUs or more. This excess energy usage can end up costing you a lot more in monthly electricity bills and maintenance costs.

It’s important to consider these factors and any other ones that relate to your preferences when selecting an AC unit for your indoor space. Portable air conditioners are convenient and keep the outside of your house looking clean but can end up costing you more money in energy costs every month to run than a standard unit. If you are still struggling to determine what kind of AC is right for your house, read some of the pros and cons of portable air conditioners below.

Pros of Portable Air Conditioners

Simple to install

Allows you to still access your window

No heavy lifting - can roll from one room to another

Will not block natural light

No restrictions for HOA

Can help with humidity levels

Cons of Portable Air Conditioners

Can be loud when in use

Not energy efficient

Only cools small spaces

Requires more maintenance than standard AC

Some require draining water tank regularly

Trust Austin AC For All Your AC Needs

If you are considering a portable AC or any sort of cooling system for your home, reach out to the team of NATE-certified professionals at Austin AC! While portable air conditioners provide a wide variety of benefits, they are not the right choice for every home or family. In addition to servicing most types of air conditioners, Austin AC can assist with installations and full replacements. If you are looking for help with your air conditioning unit or want to discuss specifics on getting a new system, reach out today and a team member can provide you with a free quote on services.

Call now! 512-598-6577