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5 Things to consider when choosing a Portable Air Conditioner

By The Air Purifier

A portable air conditioner can seem like a great idea when you are renting a place or don't want to do any permanent modifications to your home. Perhaps you don't want an air conditioner to block your window, or you simply prefer something you can move from room to room. Portable air conditioners are also cheaper than window ones, and sometimes perform useful secondary functions such as dehumidifying. They are also very easy to install. Here are the five things you should consider when choosing a portable air conditioner:

1. Single vs Dual Hose

Single hose units take air from the room, cool it down and then expel hot air through a hose connected to a window. This creates negative air pressure in the room, forcing air to enter through cracks or vents in order to replace the air lost. Since the air is warm, this makes the process slightly inefficient, and the unit has to work harder in order to compensate. Dual hose units bypass this negative pressure problem and are more efficient, and thus more expensive. For larger spaces, dual hose units are more suitable than single hose ones.

2. Efficiency

The cooling efficiency of an air conditioner is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units). It might seem like a good idea to purchase the unit with the highest BTUs, but actually, more BTUs isn't always a good idea, since it will cause the unit to turn on and off again often, overworking itself. On the other hand, not enough BTUs will prevent the room from reaching your desired temperature. In order to purchase the right air conditioner, you should consult a BTU chart based on room square footage.

3Installation

Portable air conditioners are advantageous because they can be placed anywhere in the house. However, in order to be efficient, they have to be connected with a hose to a vent, door, or window, and the area around the hose opening has to be completely sealed. All portable air conditioners include a hose, and some of them also include a window sealing kit that is easy to install. Alternatively, window sealing kits for all window types and sizes can be purchased separately.


Products

Honeywell MN10CESWW 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

NewAir AC-12200E 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

The Most Compact Portable Air Conditioner


4Noise

Portable air conditioners tend to be noisier when compared to window units or central air conditioning, mostly due to their reduced efficiency. Most of them fall in the 45-55 dB range, although there are quieter units available for a higher price. Before choosing a portable air conditioner, consider where you are planning to use it, in an office where you need to speak on the phone, in a bedroom, or in an area that is just occasionally used. When checking the dB rating of a unit, remember that an increase of 10 dB means that the unit will be ten times as loud.

5Other functions

There are portable air conditioners available on the market that are at the same time a heater, dehumidifier, and fan. While it might be tempting to buy something with as many functions as possible in order to save money, it's better to opt for a unit that is just a good quality air conditioner. If you would like it to have other functions, one that also works as a dehumidifier is preferable, since both air conditioning and dehumidifying work on the same principle.

Conclusion

When choosing a portable air conditioner, there are several things you should keep in mind. First of all, the size of your home should determine the number of BTU-s the unit should have, and if it's a single or a double hose model. You should consider how easy it will be to install the venting hose, according to your type of window, and what extra accessories you might need for this. The type of room you want to use it in is also important since portable air conditioners are noisier than regular ones, most of them producing around 50 dB.




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