Do you feel overheated? Cool down with a portable air conditioner!
I am living near Dallas in Texas. As you can imagine, we have got really hot summer days down here. If you do not want to get cooked alive, you definitely need a decent air conditioning in your house. Luckily, I am working as a mechanic for an air conditioning company. People often ask me what I think about portable air conditioners. Since this topic seems to be of interest for a couple of people, I thought that I should write a little review about portable air conditioners.
What is a portable air conditioner?
Before I will go into depth about the portable air conditioner test, I want to clarify what a portable air conditioners is about. Air conditioning is the process of cooling air and reducing heat in a room through removing heat. Portable air conditioners offer the advantage compared to the standard units that they can be moved and cool down any specific space.
Which different kinds of air conditioners are available?
A wide range of different air conditioners due to the growing popularity among consumers have been introduced to the market. Below there is a list with the most common used types of air conditioners:
- Window Air Conditioners: This type of air conditioner is designed to be fitted into a window frame or a prepared wall hole. The part of the appliance that is outside exhausts hot air while the counterpart inside returns cool air.
- Package Terminal Air Conditioners (PTACs): PTACs are the preferred air conditioning unit in the hospitality sector. They can be installed through an external and are usually positioned just above the floor. Most models allow you to control several air conditioners from one location.
- Portable Air Conditioners: The portable air conditioners usually include a window kit which enables them to vent hot air outside. The core advantage of portable air conditioners is that you can move into any location. Moreover, they are an affordable option compared to other air conditioners.
What to consider when buying a portable air conditioner?
I have compiled a check-list with the most important criteria which you should follow step by step to select a portable air conditioner that suits you the most:
- Cooling Capabilities: British Thermal Units (BTUs) are a fundamental unit that you should consider selecting a portable air conditioner. The BTU rating of any air conditioner relates to the size of room it can cool.
- Energy efficiency: This is very important aspect of portable air conditioners as it impacts your electricity bills and the environment. If you wish to buy an environmental friendly appliance, you should look out for an energy efficiency rating (EER) close to 10 in this portable air conditioner review.
- Design: Weight and size of the air conditioning unit are essential your purchase decision if you plan to move it a lot within your house.
- Noise Production: The decibel level has to be taken into consideration if you want to use your portable air conditioner to help you sleep better. A decent noise level which does not disturb you during your sleep is around 55 decibels.
- Installation and Maintenance: You may think that portable air conditioners should not be that difficult to install. Most of them are easy to set up but you should be aware that you will have to clean the filter or drain the collected moisture after a while.
- Price: If an appliance includes, for example, a remote control, there will be additional costs for these features.
The Top 6 portable air conditioners
Pros: The Friedrich P09B with a 9.5 energy efficiency rating (EER) and 50 decibels is outstanding regarding its environmental friendliness. It can remove around 5 pints of moisture per hour which is more than any other unit of this portable air conditioner comparison. It includes the additional features of a remote control and a 24-hour programmable timer.
Cons: The only major downside of this product is its weight and size. It is the heaviest unit of this portable air conditioner test which makes it very difficult e.g. to carry it upstairs.
Verdict: Price-performance winner.
Pros: It is the best portable air conditioner regarding environmental friendliness with an EER of 11.1. In addition, it is a very powerful air conditioner producing 12,000 BTU. This means you can cool a room very quick. The machine also convinced me through being very compact and easy to store.
Cons: The air conditioner does not have a sleep mode which hinders a comfortable sleep at night.
Verdict: A highly effective and efficient portable air conditioner.
Pros: This product is all about power. The 14,000 BTU air conditioner enables you to regulate the temperature in a 700 foot space. In addition, it convinced me with its versatility since it has a function for dehumidification.
Cons: It has the lowest EER with 8.9 of this portable air conditioner review which makes it expensive to operate. Another point of critique is that it is not certified to be free from hazardous materials such as cadmium.
Verdict: Very powerful but also pricey air conditioner.
Pros: The Haier HPN12XCM combines two functions: air conditioning and dehumidification. The product is highly convenient. It can be controlled via a remote control. You also have the option to turn it on or off after a certain time. Another advantage is the built-in casters which allow you to move it easily around your house.
Cons: The EER of 10 and its weight are just about average of this portable air conditioner comparison.
Verdict: Portable air conditioner test winner.
Pros: This model is very green through its great EER value and the eco-friendly refrigerator installed in this machine. It is made of high quality material which does not overheat and is very solid. Moreover, it is easy to use via its control panel and comes at an affordable price. The weight of 51 pounds is slightly heavy but not impossible to carry around.
Cons: The very low output of 8,000 BTU is unsuitable for cooling larger areas.
Verdict: Best portable air conditioner for small rooms.
Pros: The design of the included remote control and the control panel display are minimal but easy to use. An automatic evaporation system is installed in the Honeywell model. Therefore, no water tank has to be emptied.
Cons: The short vent hose of this model limit its adaptability to your available space. This means you need a clear space in front of your window to be able to connect the hose with it.
Verdict: A good portable air conditioner with some weaknesses regarding its design.
Do I need special electrical requirements for a portable air conditioner?
- All portable air conditioners usually require a typical household 115 VAC wall outlet.
Can I cool my garage using a portable air conditioner?
- The usage of a portable air conditioner to cool a garage is not recommended.
Do all portable air conditioners need to vent?
- Yes, all portable air conditioners need be vented in some form.
I am not able to give you a clear answer to which portable air conditioner you should purchase. There is not a single best portable air conditioner that satisfies the needs of everyone. Everybody has its own needs like the size of a room or a certain temperature that is comfortable. Therefore, this portable air conditioner test should only give you a rough idea which type of portable air conditioners could be the solution for your requirements.