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A portable air conditioner is a convenient option for those renting as it doesn't require a permanent installation. It also gives you the flexibility to move it from room to room whenever you need it. They are designed with caster wheels for easy portability, are relatively lightweight, and are generally about a metre high.
These mobile units do need to vent and do so through a pipe which can be fed through a window. They cool air by pulling in hot air from the room, cooling it, and expelling the cooled air out of the unit's front. Warm air and moisture are pushed out of the back of the unit.
Rod from Peninsula Air Conditioning shares with us some advice when investing in a portable air conditioner. Firstly, you will need to assess it is the right size for your room size. Look at the BTU – the higher the BTU, the larger area it can cool. To get the best use of your mobile aircon, measure the room that will need to be chilled before you choose the model. If you buy a too-small unit for a place, you will only get the effect of spot cooling – that is, the room's overall temperature will not drop. Measure the area and compare it to the BTUs on the portable air conditioner units you are interested in.
If you want to assess a product's efficiency, look for the Energy Efficiency Rating (EER). The higher this is, the more energy-efficient the portable air conditioner is.
Let’s look at some of the common questions about this type of cooling system.
What happens to the moisture that is left after the air is cooled?
The technology used in portable conditioners has improved considerably, and many models use self-evaporative technology that evaporates the moisture and exhausts it out. However, in very humid areas, some humidity may still collect in the unit, in the reservoir. This can be easily drained if needed.
Are air portable air conditioners noisy?
Most people compare the sound to that of a traditional window air conditioning unit. A portable aircon has a compressor and fan, so they naturally make a sound, but you will check the range on the product description information. Noise is measured as a decibel rating (dB level) and falls between 48 dB and 60 dB. The fan speed can be adjusted to lower the sound if it is bothering you.
By placing it on a softer surface, such as a rug or carpet, you will lower the vibration of the compressor and internal fans, which will make it quieter.
Is it advisable to vent a portable aircon out a dryer vent?
This isn’t recommended, especially if the hose's diameter is bigger than that of the dryer vent. What you should avoid at all costs is using the dryer vent if it has flaps. The compressor is not strong enough to push the flaps open. A possible solution is to use a screen if you want to cover the vent's exterior opening.
Are they easy to transport?
Portable aircon are not hard to move, particularly if they are models with casters installed on the bottom. They are designed to be mobile and weigh a lot less than traditional window units.
Do they filter air?
Portable aircon are designed to have a removable air filter. This will help remove all the damaging particles we have in the air in our homes or offices. These include carcinogens, dust mites, and other pollutants. The air filter traps many of the particles that cause illness or trigger allergies. Many window units don’t have this feature. Humidity in the air can cause discomfort and have health repercussions if you have sensitive lungs. A portable aircon with a built-in dehumidifier removes excess moisture from the air. You will feel cooler, sweat less, and be able to enjoy your home in comfort.
What are some of the features that come with a portable aircon?
It depends on the model, but here are some of the features you should ask about when purchasing a unit:
- Remote controls. This feature is convenient as you can turn it on or off and adjust the temperature with ease, as long as you are within the right range.
- Timer. This function means you can set it to run only when you need it, such as while you fall asleep, rather than running it throughout the whole night.
Can they be stored easily?
Storing portable aircon is easy as they are usually slim and small, so they can be placed in a cupboard or tucked away in a corner. What you want to ensure is that when they are stored, they are not cramped, as this can lead to damage. After the unit has been in storage, beware of dust that may have accumulated and clean it before use.