Is a portable air conditioner worth it?

Is a portable air conditioner worth it?

With summer just around the corner and warm weather on the horizon, it’s the ideal time to start considering air conditioning options for your work and living spaces. After all, the last thing you want is to be caught off guard by a scorching heatwave

If you’ve already researched air conditioning options, you’ve no doubt come across portable air conditioners. Used for living rooms, offices, and anywhere else that gets a bit too hot and sticky, portable air conditioners are designed to cool down whatever room they’re placed in. However, whilst they’re a convenient option for some people, they also have numerous disadvantages that may have left you scratching your head and wondering if they’re worth it. 

If you’ve found yourself in this predicament, we’re here to help. Read on to find out all you need to know about portable air conditioners, if they’re better than having a window air conditioning unit installed, and whether they’re the best cooling option for you…

How does a portable air conditioner work?

Portable air conditioners are portable machines designed to cool down areas by taking in hot air from the room, cooling it, and re-releasing it to create a refreshing breeze. The excess heat and moisture are then drained through an exhaust hose, usually out of a window. 


Are portable air conditioners good?

Whether or not portable air conditioners are good is a tricky question to answer because they have several advantages and disadvantages, so it often depends on your needs and circumstances. 

One of the main advantages is its portability. As they usually have wheels or casters, they can easily be moved from a living area or working area to a sleeping area, making them suitable for day and night. Another major advantage is their price because they’re a lot more affordable than window units or central air-con systems, making them perfect for people who want a cheap fix and for people who don’t get hot weather very often. Another bonus is that they’re very easy to install, so they don’t require any DIY prowess or any costly professional help.

All these advantages make them a good choice for many people. For example, they’re a really great solution for people who rent and can’t install anything more permanent in their properties. 

Similarly, they’re a good option for anyone who’s planning to move soon and would rather invest in something they can take with them to a new property. Finally, they’re great for conservatory owners because portable air conditioners can easily cool down conservatories in the summer months, making them enjoyable places to relax all year round. 

However, they also have a few disadvantages. Firstly, they’re very noisy which could get quite distracting if placed in an office and could hinder sleep when placed in a bedroom. They’re probably not the right choice for anyone who’s sensitive to noise.

Another problem that comes with portable air conditioners is location as they need to be placed in close proximity to both a plug and a window. This simply isn’t possible in some rooms, making it very tricky to place or forcing you to rearrange rooms to accommodate it, which could be a lot more hassle than it’s worth. Finally, they’re not the most efficient option available as they don’t cool quite as well as an air conditioning window unit. 


Do portable air conditioners use a lot of electricity?

Another thing to note about portable air conditioners is that they use a lot of electricity. However, the exact amount varies depending on how they’re used. If you only use it for short, cooling bursts it shouldn’t have a huge impact on your electric consumption but if you use it for days on end, your electric bill will start racking up. 

Portable air conditioners also use more electricity on hotter days because they have to work harder to cool your rooms. So, you can pretty much guarantee that your electricity will take a hammering during a heatwave. Additionally, they use more electricity when cooling large areas. For example, a portable air conditioner would have to work a lot harder to cool down an open-plan flat than it would to cool a small bedroom. 

However, it’s not all bad on the electric bill front. As you can move them around the house, they can cool several rooms over the course of the day, meaning that they can be better value-for-money than other types of air conditioning. 


Can I use a portable air conditioner in a room without a window?

Although portable air conditioners work best in rooms with a window, they can still be used in rooms without one. Instead of a window, you can let the hot air vent through a door, a wall, or even a drop ceiling. However, it’s worth noting that to send the exhaust through the wall you’ll have to drill a hole, which might not be possible for you if you don’t own the property. 


Is a portable air conditioner better than a window unit?

The general consensus is that portable air conditioners aren’t as good as window units because window units are more efficient, quieter, and usually more cost-effective. However, there are instances where portable air conditioners come out on top. For example, if you have several rooms that you want to cool down with only one purchase, or want an easy way to cool down a conservatory on hot days.


New Windows Conservatories

If you’re thinking about adding a new conservatory to your home, you’ve come to the right place. We have years of experience installing them and will be able to give you a conservatory that’s ideal for your house, needs, and wishes. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch today — we’d love to chat about how we can help you. 



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