Portable devices are suitable air conditioner units for condos because no installation is necessary. Read more to discover the advantages and disadvantages associated with purchasing a portable air cooler.
These units are completely self-contained and typically measure approximately 30 inches tall and weigh around 80 pounds. The biggest advantage is the fact that these units do not require installation because they sit on the floor instead of being mounted in a wall or window.
Most of these units have wheels on the housing allowing users to move them quickly from one location to another.
The Advantages of Mobile Air Cooling Units
You do not need to purchase wall units for every room in the house because a portable one is easily moved from one room to the next.
There is no need to put holes in the wall or block a window because a mobile unit is ready for use right out of the box.
Using one of these coolers saves energy because you are only cooling one room at a time instead of cooling every room all at once.
The Disadvantages of Mobile Cooling Units
Portable units cost a little more than window air conditioners with the same capacity for cooling.
Similar to mini-split units, which have a compressor located outside, and central cooling systems, portable coolers can create a lot of noise. If this a problem for you, read the reviews for several models and choose a quiet one.
Can a Portable Air Conditioner Cool a Large Room?
This will depend on how big the unit is. Small ones with 8,000 BTUs – like the SPT 8,000BTU Single Hose Portable AC – can cool a room up to 300 square feet and larger units with 24,000 BTUs – like the MovinCool Classic Plus 26 24,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner With Dual Fan Speeds – are suitable for rooms as big as 1,000 square feet.
The right model will effectively cool even large rooms. This does not mean that bigger is always better. Purchasing a cooler that is too large is inefficient and costly to operate because it is constantly turning on and off.
Analyzing Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency is always a concern because air conditioners use a lot to keep a home cool. The latest breakthroughs in technology are allowing manufacturers to make units that are extremely energy efficient. There was a time when an energy efficiency ratio of 7 was consider acceptable. The standard now is more like 12 or more.
A modern portable air cooler is just as efficient as most mini split and window units. Check the appliances’ EER for an idea of how efficient it is and remember that a higher EER is better. It is also best to select a unit that has an Energy Star rating. This means it meets the standards set by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.
How Much Does a Mobile Unit Cost?
Many consumers are surprised to find out that these types of air conditioners are affordable. Prices have dropped recently and consumers can purchase one for approximately $300. A product with a larger capacity to cool is more expensive and you will also pay more for one with a high energy efficiency rating. When you send more for a high EER, you will pay less for the energy to operate it, which saves you money in the long term.
If you need an air cooler and do not want to invest in installing a central system, a portable AC is a reasonable and affordable alternative. If your home has a central system, purchasing an additional portable cooler allows you to cool a single room instead of the entire house. This saves money because you avoid cooling empty rooms.