Why Choose a Portable Air Conditioner
Portable air conditioners are designed to cool a single room and are simple and easy to install. Their compact design and wheels make it easy to move the unit from one room to another as needed. Installation is not permanent.
Portable air conditioners are a good option for rooms with no existing air conditioning or rooms that only need to be cooled at certain times. They’re also great for places where you can’t install a permanent system. For instance, some homeowners associations or local ordinances prohibit window air conditioners.
With a portable air conditioner, the heat exhausts through your window, but unlike a window air conditioner nothing is left hanging outside of the window.
How to Choose the Right Portable Air Conditioner
It’s important to select an appropriately sized air conditioner for your room. If the air conditioner is too small the room won’t be cooled properly. If the air conditioner is too large it won’t remove enough humidity and your room will feel damp.
Air conditioners are rated by British thermal units. The higher the number, the more heat it can remove from the room. You’ll want to match the size of your room with an appropriately rated air conditioner.
- Up to 200 sq ft: select an 8,000-BTU unit
- Up to 300 sq ft: select a 10,000-BTU unit
- Up to 400 sq ft: select a 12,000-BTU unit
- Up to 450 sq ft: select a 13,000-BTU unit
- Up to 500 sq ft: select a 14,000-BTU unit
NOTE: If you have a poorly insulated room or a room with heat-producing appliances you may need to step up to a larger BTU rating.
Installation and Maintenance
First you’ll need to find a location near a window and available power outlet. Generally the only tool you’ll need is a screwdriver. Install the adjustable window panel and connect the unit’s exhaust hose. Let the unit stand upright for at least and hour before starting it.
Most units have self-evaporators for the water, but you should still occasionally check to see if it needs to be drained. Clean the air filter as indicated by the manufacturer. Remove dust from the unit by wiping with a damp cloth.