The Best Portable Air Conditioner

Portable air conditioner
Portable air conditionerPortable air conditioners are good solutions for cooling individual rooms. They can save a great deal of energy compared to a whole-house air conditioning system, so are well worth considering if you have specific areas you need to cool. They can be an ideal choice for cooling bedrooms, living areas, home-offices and garages.

Work is in progress

Energyboom's Best Portable Air Conditioner Recommendations will be published soon. These are relatively large devices and they can be quite energy-hungry, so our team takes the process of testing, compiling data and reviewing very seriously.The amount of energy that can be saved by choosing an Energy Star efficient model is significant, and can trim quite a bit off your utility bill while also reducing your environmental impact.

About Portable Air Conditioners

A portable air conditioner (PAC) is a self-contained portable system designed for use in cooling a single room.It will usually be supplied with an installation kit, and most have wheels making them easy to move from room to room.

Venting a Portable Air Conditioner

A PAC will need to exhaust warm air created by the air conditioning process. Most will come with an exhaust hose which can be quickly and easily be set up to exhaust warm air outside.As with most air conditioners, a PAC utilizes chemicals called refrigerants that absorb the heat from the air as it passes over a set of coils, thus chilling the air. As the refrigerant absorbs heat, it changes from a liquid to a gas.The gas is then pressurized by a compressor, which generates the heat that is evacuated elsewhere.

Energy Costs and Savings

The power consumption of portable aircons is generally between 500 and 1440 watts, which means the energy efficient models can offer a big saving over the less efficient units.
  • A 1440-watt air conditioner running for a 24 hour period would consume 34.5 kWh (1,440 watts * 24 hours, divided by 1,000). If you pay 18 cents per kWh, running such an air conditioner will add about $6.22 per day to your power bill (plus taxes and fees).
  • An energy efficient 500-watt unit would only consume 12 kWh, which at 18c per kWh would reduce the cost to $2.16 - saving more than $4 per day. Most people find they only need to run these units for a few hours in the day or night, further reducing costs.

What sort of Air Conditioner do you need?

There are several options for Air Conditioners, and which is most appropriate for you depends on your own needs. The main factors that may affect your decision include
  • The size of your space
  • Where you want to install the unit
  • Local rules and regulations
If you have a large space that needs consistent cooling you should probably go for a whole-house or -building system. If you have a smaller space, or an area that needs cooling while a larger space around it is infrequently occupied, a portable or window aircon will almost certainly save money on your energy bills as you can just cool one room at a time.An appealing feature of the PAC is that it is very easy to install, and the mobile wheel versions can be moved to another area quickly as the need arises.

Some homeowners' associations or local governments ban the use of window units because they protrude outside of the window. This can be considered unsightly, making portable air conditioners that don't have any parts poking out of the window an easy way to avoid violating such regulations.