Top 11 Things To Look For When Buying A Portable Air Conditioner

Buying A Portable Air Conditioner

Summertime is just around the corner, and there are many things to love about this season – your first trip to the beach, BBQ in the backyard, and going to your closest swimming spots.

These might be the best bits of summer, but you also need to consider that summer comes with heat, and sometimes it can get pretty annoying.

It is why a lot of people are looking forward to buying their portable air conditioners to alleviate the heat coming from the weather.

What should I look for when buying a portable air conditioner? When buying a portable air conditioner, you need to consider the cost, unit size, room size, energy utilization, ventilation, noise, ease of use, aesthetic, condensation type, and how it is put together.

This article will discuss all you need to know before buying your very open portable air conditioner.

It is a very crucial moment because you need your unit to be working as efficiently as possible.

Why Buy A Portable Air Conditioner

Portable air conditioners are not just a smart option for many people who do not have an A/C unit in their house.

It’s also a great way to save enough money and limit the amount of energy you use. It’s also a known fact that having a portable air conditioning unit has many benefits.

For many homes with centralized air conditioning, a portable air conditioning unit will help you lower the temperature of a specific location.

It can be either your room or a portion of the house that does not usually get cold quickly.

Having a portable air conditioner will help you feel comfortable, but it will also save you when it comes to utility bills.

It can be beneficial for many households if you primarily use only one or two rooms for your entire home.

Cooling a whole house to keep one room is far less efficient than merely cooling one specific area.

It would help if you found the right portable A/C for your space before making any purchases.

Some Considerations When Buying A Portable A/C

In buying a portable air conditioner, finding the right one built for the job is essential.

If not, you will only end up in disappointment as finding the right product to work in your space available is essential.

To find the portable A/C that checks all the boxes, you need to consider these factors during your search:


The first important factor to consider is the cost of the portable air conditioning units.

Most portable A/C can range from around $150 up to $800 for many home versions, but it could go all the way to $10,000 for commercial use.

The vast difference in cost can vary depending on many factors, the main one being how powerful your air conditioner will be.

If you’re looking for a portable A/C that will cool a large living space, you should expect to pay more than one designed for a regular small bedroom.

The good thing about portable air conditioners is that they can serve as heaters and dehumidifiers as well.

It can be quite handy and not to mention extra features like remote controls or some programmable timers.

If you’re looking for good quality portable air conditioners, you should go with a known brand for making quality air conditioners.

They are generally on the expensive side, but it can save you money on not bothering to buy a new one for the next year to come.

As you know by now, most air conditioners utilize a lot of energy, so the price tag on the product is a small part of what it takes to have a portable A/C in your house.

It is known to be about 13% of an average home’s energy bill that goes to cooling costs. One thing to consider is the energy efficiency when considering getting one.

Unit Size

Most people buy portable air conditioners with the initial intention of keeping them comfortable in one room.

But for others, the portable part of it matters because they want to move their A/C without the hassle of the installation process from one location to another.

If you fall in the latter category, it is crucial to choose an air conditioner that can move quickly.

You need to be aware of both the size of your portable air conditioner and its corresponding weight.

You should ask yourself if it can fit in your car, can you pick it up on your own, or does it come with wheels for easier portability?

If you aim to keep in one spot for a very long time, you need to ensure that it will fit in that particular spot.

Measure your space and compare it with the product specifications to fit with the room you have.

Consider when you have to rearrange your room to work in the spot you have chosen for.

Room Size

Many buyers do not necessarily bother about the air conditioner’s size, which is as long as it gets the job done.

Many portable air conditioners can’t cool the entire house or even your apartment.

They are more useful to cool a specific room like a bedroom or living room. What you need to look out for is how big of a room they can cool.

Most manufacturers of portable air conditioners use BTUs to measure how powerful their air conditioners are.

In general, the higher the number of BTUs, the bigger the room your air conditioner will keep it cool.

Some manufacturers even include an estimated size of a room this particular A/C will work in.

Remember that there are still walls and doors that can affect how your portable air conditioner works and how cool air can travel.

If you happen to have a 1,000 sq. foot apartment and have several rooms and you expect an 18,000 BTU portable air conditioner to work, you will get disappointed.

The only thing you can work on is to invest in weaker A/C for each room or remove the portable A/C around your different rooms.

Energy Use

Regardless of how you use your A/C unit, you can always see a spike in the amount of energy you use.

What’s great is that many manufacturers have a handy directory of all the portable air conditioners and their rates.

It can be helpful when you are trying to compare different models in terms of energy efficiency.

If energy-saving is the most important factor, you should prioritize finding a portable air conditioner with a programmable thermostat.

It will help automatically switch off when your room reaches the temperature you set it for and will make it keep your unit clean and well maintained.


Most portable air conditioners can vent out hot air, which means that you need to keep yours close to an exit to your house.

Many people place their portable air conditioners near their windows, including a window venting kit and instructions.

This instruction will help them understand how to set up their portable air conditioner to vent correctly.

You won’t sweat with the instructions as they can be pretty straightforward and easy to understand.

One thing to remember is that if you are hoping to keep your A/C in a location away from your window, you need to check the maximum width the window kit can extend.

Some models have kits that can allow you to be more flexible, but you will have to stay close to the window in others.

Depending on the model you purchase, you might need to buy some extension hose or vent kit to allow you to move in a comfortable spot.

Dual-Hose VS. Single Hose

To know more about the proper ventilation for your portable air conditioner, you need to be aware of the two standard hose configurations to choose from.

These include single-hose and dual-hose A/C units as they are the most common ones.

The first one is the single-hose A/C units, and this design uses the same hose for intake and exhaust of air.

While it will still do its job in cooling your space, it will have to work double-time to do so, and this is not efficient as the dual-hose air conditioner.

On the other hand, dual hose air conditioners have one intake hose, and the other one is responsible for the exhaust function.

Due to having a dual hose, this type of portable air conditioner is not only energy efficient but can also cool your room 40% quicker than the normal one.


It is a known fact that most air conditioners will always make noises, and it does not matter if it is a window, ductless, or even the portable one.

You will always experience a little bit of noise regardless of any high-end air conditioner out in the market.

You can expect this noise to be minimal, described as background noise.

However, it is still an essential factor to consider when buying a portable air conditioner, especially if you plan to have a good night’s sleep.

There are plenty of designs that accommodate this kind of need that tends to be quieter than usual.

If the manufacturers have made their A/Cs quieter, you will most likely see them in their ads and marketing style.


Generally speaking, you are not expecting to encounter any troubles trying to install your portable air conditioners.

It is very much on-brand for them as they label it as portable, and the only thing you have to worry about is hooking up the window kit for its ventilation.

When it comes to the installation, your portable unit must come with some step-by-step instructions on how to do this, and anyone can follow them.

It is especially true to someone with a basic around-the-house. You can expect that the process will be smooth and relatively quick, and easy if you do not have much experience.

Bringing a friend to help you out may be worth bringing.

If you wish to enjoy this nature’s portable capability and move it from time to time, it might be a smart thing to buy an additional vent kit and install it in the second room. As a result, you only need to set up the hose and not have to fool around in making sure that the vent is installed in the window correctly.

Ease Of Use

Portable air conditioners are known to be pretty straight forward, and it is pretty simple to use. There are things that you should be considering as this can influence the overall effort they require.

The first thing is that you have all the controls – are they intuitive? Can you figure out how to set up your A/C to do what you want to do firsthand?

The next thing is you need to consider getting ongoing maintenance concerns, and this includes cleaning the unit and making sure that the exhaust hoses are clear of any blockages.

Most of it will include a filter that needs to be replaced, which is one more thing you need to remember and stay on top of.

None of these factors will add a lot of work to your life, but they are essential factors to consider while shopping for your very own portable A/C unit.

You need to prioritize how much you are willing to deal with and whether it is worth choosing a model just purely on its deal and maintenance.


Once your portable air conditioner is in your house, it will take up some real estate in your rooms, and you will be spending more time in it.

Many customers will be much more concerned with functions over form, but if you are the type of person who is more about your living space’s style and aesthetics, you need to find something that can deliver both function and form.

Portable air conditioners are made with different designs and visual styles, and most of them come in a lot of color ranges.

If you are particular about how anything you put into your room looks, you should be able to find something that will work on visual designs with a little bit of browsing.

Condensate Type

The condense type will have to be related to your portable air conditioner’s ease of use. Because drip air conditioners will deposit all of the condensates into an internal bucket, you need to dump it.

The bucket can fill up fast for many air conditioners, and you will find yourself needing to dump it regularly.

Partial drip A/Cs release most of the condensation through your exhaust hose.

You will need to check the pan and dump it from time to time, but you can go even longer without the need to worry about it.

The third and easiest option is to have a no-drip air conditioner, and these can help release all of the condensates into the air.

Having a no-drip air conditioner type means you do not have to worry about emptying anything. This type of air conditioner is the popular type among portable air conditioners in many households.

Common Portable Air Conditioner Features

When it comes to portable air conditioners, you can expect a wide variety of features that you can enjoy having.

These features are mostly advertised in many of their marketing materials, so you might want to check them out:

Programmable Thermostat

One useful feature of a portable air conditioner is setting the thermostat at a precise temperature.

You can either set it with the desired temperature and then turn it off once the room is cooled.

It can be energy-efficient because you eliminate the excessive energy loss, and also, you don’t have to turn it off manually.

Auto Drain System

Portable air conditioners have automatic drain systems solely responsible for turning all the liquid from condensation into the exhaust.

It means that you do not have to deal with emptying the tank inside.

Remote Control

Another feature of portable A/Cs is that it has a remote control that gives you the power to your air conditioner from a distance.

You can quickly turn it on and off without the need to get up or climb out of bed.

Heat/A/C Combo

Most air conditioners act as a heater as well, and it can save you money because you do not have to buy a separate product for heating your home during the wintertime.

This capability will give you more bang for your money, and you can even use it all year round.


It is common knowledge that there are many things to consider when buying your first-ever portable air conditioner.

The good news is once you decided to get one and turn it in during a hot summer day, you will be glad you took the time to pick the best one that works for you and your indoor spaces.

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