Portable air conditioner in general are less efficient compared to window or central air conditioning system. However, in certain situations, it is better to use a portable AC. In fact, in some circumstances, it may even be more efficient and effective comparative to other AC systems.
The decision really depends on factors of space, location, time of operation and overall accessibility. In this article, I have covered 12 reasons why you need a portable AC and when it is actually better and convenient for you than other types.
1. Spot Cooling Portion of Your House
If you spend most of the time when you stay home in a specific room or a specific location in a room it might be a good idea to use a portable AC. This will prevent the operation of entire central air conditioning system and replace it with a single unit.
This replacement of central AC by a Portable AC will have a noticeable effect on your electricity bill.
I know what you may be thinking, you can run a window AC in your room that would give comparatively better operation and efficiency. But then you will also have to take into account the mobility. You will be able to run your window AC in one room only.
Not to mention the hassle you will have to go through to install it, and eventually remove it when you are no longer using it, or have to go in a different room.
The cool thing about a portable AC is that you can actually run it in a room of your choice without thinking about the installation, compatibility and uninstallation. it will also give you portability with in the room, in terms of orientation and location unlike a window AC that is fixed at a certain location.
2. Incompatibility of Windows with Window AC
Whether a window AC is compatible with your room or not also depends on the kind of window you have.
If you have a hopper or awning window you will not be able to fit your window AC. There is a possibility of doing it but it would probably require some permanent modifications of the windows. That is really not desirable.
There may be other window problems too. Window may be so small that you cannot fit your window AC. It may be too large that padding around a window AC is ineffective or difficult. Or the window is so high that even if you fit window AC somehow, it is inaccessible and a problem when uninstalling.
All these window problems are resolved by a portable air conditioner. Of course you still will have to vent portable AC with the hose but it is doable with almost every window even when you don’t have a window.
3. Mobility: Convenient to Move
Portable air conditioner can be moved from one room to another conveniently unlike most of the other air conditioners that have to fixed at a spot.
The only factor that somehow limits this mobility is the need to vent the portable air conditioner by a hose. This means that no doubt you can move it from one point to another, exhaust hose has to be directed outside where it can reject hot air.
That may be done with or without window. If you have a window it would be quite convenient for you to buy a window kit. It will make fixture simple and convenient. I selected one for you. You can view its specifications by clicking here.
4. Places With Bad Air Flow
There may be rooms in your home that have inadequate flow of air. One example is your basement that does not have a proper flow of air. You can use a portable air conditioner there.
You may or may not have an openable basement window. In either case you can vent your portable AC. You could also use portable AC in other places like this i.e. sunrooms, rooms with no windows etc.
5. Computer Server Rooms
Any machine during its operation is prone to produce heat and so do computers. Office and home computer desktops have internal fans and built-in cooling setups and generally do not need external cooling.
However same is not the case with computer servers. They generate enormous amount of heat that may even form hot spots behind operational equipment. This can cause serious failure.
If sufficient cooling and ventilation is not maintained in the server room, it can lead to ambient temperatures inappropriate for the hardware. As a result it will lead to poor functioning and performance. Excessive heating may lead to repeated reboots and permanent hardware failure.
Portable AC can help with this problem and keep operation of servers up to requirements. Central AC can be used but they are complex systems that are prone to failure.
A side benefit of using a portable AC is the movability that you will get with it. You can easily replace it if it fails or supplement it with other portable ACs with the hoses removing the heat to external environment.
High humidity is not suitable for electronic appliances. Portable AC can act as a dehumidifier also and may solely be used for the purpose of removing humidity besides doing it with the cooling process.
6. Regions That Rarely Need Air Conditioning
There are specific regions in your country that have a comfortable weather for most of the year. According to a analysis there are regions within United States that have the nice/bearable weather during the year. Similarly there are also regions that have the least days with the nice weather.
Of course the “nice weather” has to be described as it is relative. It is taken it as a weather convenient for most people (moderately warm temperature, a little breeze and low humidity). Cities like Long Beach have the comfortable weather for maximum days of the year (210 to be exact) while cities like Texas and Ohio have the bearable weather for very few days in the year.
If you happen to be in the “nice” regions in US or regions equivalent in your countries, portable AC is a good choice for you. As you don’t need air conditioning for most of the time of the year. All you want is cooling or warming your home for a very limited and variable time.
You don’t need to take out your window AC, install it in your window, then uninstall it and store it again. With portable AC you just drag it into the required space when you need air conditioning then drag it back where you need to store it. No hassle!
7. More Window Accessibility (More Natural Light)
If you are using a window AC it will occupy a major part of your window. It will obstruct the natural sunlight to come in. Similarly you will have to compromise when you are not running your window AC and just want fresh air to come in.
You will not have to bear this in portable AC. If you choose to vent your portable AC through a window it will take only a very small negligible portion of it. Thereby allowing the sunlight light during the operation of portable AC.
Despite saving electricity more natural light can make you feel your room is bigger. It also improves your mood. Some studies have shown that mild exposure to daylight can improve productivity as it helps regulate our circadian rhythms.
You can also open your window any time you want to let fresh air come in without the fear of any accessories falling out.
8. Remove Humidity
If you live in an area with humid climate a portable AC can help you remove humidity by acting as a dehumidifier.
Dehumidifiers use cool air to extract humidity from air. To prevent that cooling the room does not uncomfortably lower the temperature, warm air is vented with in the room. In this way cool air is balanced by warm air.
In case you use portable AC to cool your room it would automatically remove humidity as a positive effect. However in case you don’t need to cool your room you can turn on dehumidifier mode.
For dehumidification you need not to vent your portable AC. So even there is no dehumidifier mode by venting warm air in the same room portable AC will act as a dehumidifier. Water vapors extracted from the air in the form of water are collected in a water tray that can be drained easily afterwards.
9. Strict Apartment or Community Rules
Another factor that has to be taken into consideration is the limitation to modify your apartment. It varies depending on the community rules. Most of the HOA never restrict this but some may. In some apartments the administration may not allow you to modify the external look.
Thereby in order to maintain the historical look or attraction towards apartment building you may be prohibited to install a window air conditioner. In this case, even if window AC is the best choice to go with, a portable AC will solve your problem.
10. Very Convenient Installation: Use Right of the Box
Those of you who have installed or tried to install a window AC you know how much a hassle it is. It takes time and effort. You should also have some experience or have done it before to make sure that the window AC does not simply fall from window. Similarly when the season changes then you will have to take it off and winterize it. You cannot simply install and uninstall for short changes in weather.
On a bigger scale your home might have a central air conditioning system. But then after it is installed (of course by a technician) you will have no control over the modifications. In case you want to cool your house entirely it is suitable for you. If mostly one room then you it is better to think about other options.
It is the entire home that will be cooled and generally not a specific place where you stay in. And sure you could zone your central AC but the whole system will run to cool the specific room/spot you want cooled. This is inefficient.
For a portable AC, all you need for its operation is attachment of hose(s) with it and venting it/them outside. For your convenience you may want to use a window kit (it is pretty simple than it sounds). That’s all. Here’s the installation of a dual hose portable AC that I recommend.
11. Supplement Central Air Conditioning
If you are using central air conditioning then you may supplement it by using a portable AC. This will improve efficiency and operation.
For example you want to air condition your home but want special treatment with one room. Now one option is that you could adjust your central conditioning to alter the air conditioning in the entire home. The other option is that you could use a window or portable AC in that room and keep the central air conditioning intact.
The latter option is better as it is more efficient to control a unit in one room than entire home to make it cooler, warmer, remove humidity etc. If the room in which you stay is fixed window AC is better but if you want this efficient configuration in other rooms too then you may consider a portable AC.
12. Want to Use Only For a Good Night Sleep
If you spend most of the time of the day at office or outdoors, a portable AC may be a good idea for air conditioning. If you have a window AC installed in your room then go with it, you are better off without a portable AC as it will do the job and even better.
However if you don’t have a window AC installed in your room and getting a descent sleep at night is the only or major goal for air conditioning use a portable AC.
Using portable AC will also give you the advantage of mobility. You will be able to operate it in any room. Let’s say you want to pull an all-nighter for exams or prepare a presentation; you want to spend your night in library, study room or any other room you have reserved for working (if not bedroom) then you can easily move your AC there.