Choosing the Best Portable Air Conditioner for You
If central air conditioning isn't an option for your home, or if you simply want to add extra cooling to a particular room, a portable air conditioning unit may be the perfect solution. Most portable air conditioners are easy to install and give you more flexibility than whole-home central air conditioning or window units. They provide instant cooling, can easily be moved from room to room, and come with multiple features: remote control, timer, auto shut-off, oscillating design, integrated heater, built-in Wi-Fi and more. When you're choosing the best portable air conditioner for you, you should measure the size your room and select a unit with adequate BTUs. You should also determine if you will use it as an RV air conditioner or even as a tent air conditioner.
Keep in mind that even a small portable air conditioner takes up some floor space. As portable AC units cool the room, they expel warm air and moisture, which need to be vented outside. Many units include a window exhaust kit, but you should consider whether you will be required to remove accumulated moisture by emptying a bucket manually or provide access to a drain for continuous water depletion. An evaporative cooler, designed for spot cooling rather than lowering room temperature, does not require venting but does require a constant supply of water. For any cooling option you may want to use a surge protector to defend your portable AC from unexpected increases in voltage that can damage electronic equipment.
Getting the Most Out of Your Portable AC Unit
Consider pairing your portable AC with a ceiling fan to boost air circulation and mix hotter and cooler air in the room for more consistent overall cooling. If you prefer, you can also use a box fan positioned close to a portable air conditioner to keep the air moving and facilitate spot cooling.
If you find the air in your home too dry for your comfort, try running a humidifier with your portable AC unit. However, since an air conditioner cools the air partly by pulling humidity out of the room, having both running can lessen the overall efficiency. You may also want to select a portable air conditioner with a built-in humidifier, for the same reason. Since many portable air conditioners have a single hose design that draws air from inside the room rather than pulling it in from outside like dual-hose designs, you might want to consider using an air purifier to help remove some airborne pollutants and to assist with preventing allergens from circulating.