If you’re afraid to sweat at home this summer, a portable air conditioner might be the solution. These small units are designed to cool rooms with the help of a nearby window and a power cord.
Without the need for expensive installation, they can be of great help to those rooms that are not air-conditioned or simply do not receive enough airflow. They are also useful in buildings with windows that cannot fit a standard window A/C unit. Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking of buying a portable air conditioner.
How portable air conditioners work
Portable air conditioners are different from window units. Portable air conditioners look more like tower fans or air purifiers. They are units the size of a mini refrigerator that can easily sit in the corner of most rooms.
Like the ventilation of the dryer coming out of your home through a nearby wall attack, portable air conditioners use a hose to vent moisture and drain it out of your home. You will probably have a window ventilation kit with your purchase and includes everything you need to connect the pipe to the window and seal the rest of the open window space.
The portable air conditioning will be connected to a nearby power outlet and will draw air through the system to cool it and distribute it throughout the space. Most units include a water tank to help de-emphasize the air that is circulating. Others use their ventilation tube to evaporate moisture.
Portable single-hose air conditioners
A single-hose portable air conditioner works by taking stagnant hot air inside your room, cooling it and then circulating through your space. Hot air or excess moisture is ventilated from space through the ventilation tube of the portable air-conditioning window.
Portable dual-hose air conditioners
Dual hose models do not use air inside your home. Instead, they extract fresh air from the outside through that tube connected to the window. This is the air that the portable air conditioner will cool down and then circulate across the room.
You may already know which room in your home needs cooling, but you’ll also have to think about where you’re going to put it. You will need close access to an open window that can serve as a source of ventilation. You’ll also need a nearby power outlet.
Portable air conditioners are not cheap. Small and personal models can cost about 50 dollars, but for a unit that cools an entire room, it’s likely to cost at least 200 dollars. The bigger and more powerful the unit, the more you pay.
Many models available online range from 250 to 499 dollars for rooms between 200-650 square feet. Seasonal items like air conditioners tend to be on sale in the off-season, so keep your eyes peeled for autumn and winter deals.
Portable air conditioners are equipped with air filters to keep the circulating air clean. It’s a good idea to clean the filter every two weeks to get the best performance. You can wash these filters with dish soap and warm water.
Since portable air conditioners also de-mite to some extent, it will also be necessary to drain the unit’s water collection tray, if it has one. Dual tube models may not collect water if they vent most of the moisture in a second hose, so refer to the unit’s care instructions for more information. Drain the collection tray frequently, before or after use to avoid the growth of the molds.
Apart from these two maintenance elements, the general dust and the cleanliness of the downside will keep your unit fresh and functioning well. If you keep it in the cold months, store it in a cool, dry place.Photo:LG
With a little math and planning, you can solve your summer heat issues before they spoil the season with a portable air conditioner for your space.