Is it worth using mobile air conditioning? (For and against) (2023)

There are many good things to say about portable air conditioners, such as the fact that they are easy to use, can be easily moved from room to room, and serve as a great addition to central cooling.

But when you consider all the benefits that come with portable cooling, you might still be wondering:Is portable air conditioning worth it?That's exactly what we'll cover in this guide, where we'll weigh the pros and cons to determineIs portable air conditioning worth it?

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Is it worth using mobile air conditioning?
(Are you well)

To know if a portable air conditioner is a worthwhile investment or not, it is best to knowhow a portable ac unit works. While the exact steps for cooling will depend on the type and style of portable air conditioner, the general concepts are always the same.

When you turn on the system, it all starts with the air intake. Either through an inlet hose or inlet vents, warm air from the house is drawn into the air conditioning box. Inside, the air is condensed and cooled with the help of a compressor. Once it cools, it is blown back into the room, lowering the ambient temperature as it fills the room.

When used correctly, a portable AC unit is worth it!

Many people wonder if this simple process really leads to a fresher home. The answer is usually yes, but it really depends on the specific AC brand and model you choose, the size of the room, and the amount of cooling you need.

If you're trying to significantly cool an area of ​​1,000 square feet and you bought a portable air conditioner rated to cool 200 square feet, it's probably not worth it. But if you follow the manufacturer's guidelines for using the device in the right square footage, yes, it can be a very good investment.

Related articleAir conditioning sizing guidelines

Advantages of Portable AC Units: Who Should Buy One?

Just like everyonetype of air conditioning, there are advantages and disadvantages of portable ACs. Let's talk about the benefits first:

  • easy to install
    Portable ACs are, well, portable. This fact alone means that they are compact and easy to install. This is especially true when compared to complicated mini-split elements or heavy window elements.
  • Can be moved between rooms
    Portable units are designed to be easy to move from room to room, and many even come with sturdy casters or carrying handles.
  • An alternative cooling system for travel
    Some portable units are designed specifically for the mobile lifestyle. There are portable air conditioners designed for use in RVs, trailers or pop-up trailers, and some even run on rechargeable batteries.
  • Less expensive to operate
    Investing in a portable AC unit can really help you save money on your utility bills. With the help of a portable air conditioner, you don't have to keep your central unit running at maximum, thus reducing your overall energy consumption.
  • Can be stored in winter
    When the outside temperature drops, it's easy to pack up and store this portable unit until you need it again. This is not the case with many other styles of AC such as mini-splits or wall mounted air conditioners.
  • Can cool and heat in a single device
    This is not the case with all portable models, but many do offer heating and cooling capabilities. Portable AC heater combos allow you to use the device all year round.

(Video) Portable Air Conditioners - Why you shouldn't like them

Who can benefit from portable cooling?

One of the biggest advantages of portable drives not mentioned above is that they don't take up window space. This is a huge benefit for homeowners who love natural light, who have hard-to-reach windows, or who are dealing with strict HOA rules.

It's also a good choice for anyone who just wants to freshen up a specific room or part of a room. As it cools, aportable air conditioner also works to dehumidify the airSo, if you live in a high humidity region or have high humidity levels in your home, you can definitely reap the benefits of using a portable air conditioner.

Disadvantages of portable ACs

There aren't many downsides to portable air conditioners, but that doesn't mean this cooling solution is perfect:

It can be quite noisy

Because a portable device's fan is not installed outdoors, these devices tend to be noisier than many other models. However, leading manufacturers design their portable air conditioners with sound insulation systems.

Related articleHow to make a portable air conditioner quieter

Less economical with electricity

Portable units are generally less efficient than window units, using more electricity to cool the same square footage. Two-hose units tend to be more efficient than single-hose portable air conditioners. So if efficiency is your main concern, opt for a dual-hose design.

Related articlePros and cons between a single hose and a dual hose portable air conditioner

You need to drain/clean them regularly

Air conditioners remove moisture from the air as they pull in hot air to cool it, and this moisture needs to be depleted regularly. However, some portable units are designed with continuous drainage, so you don't have to manually drain the water.

Not as effective for cooling large rooms

Due to their compact nature, portable air conditioners are less capable of cooling larger areas. However, there are some models designed specifically for larger spaces - just look for a higher BTU rating.

(Video) How to Select a Portable Air Conditioner | Ask This Old House

Mobile air conditioners versus other AC systems

As a homeowner, it's up to you to do your due diligence and compare portable air conditioners to other air conditioners. the usualThe comparison is between portable ACs and window units. Both systems are compact and easy to install, but portable air conditioners are often preferred as they don't put a strain on the home's exterior.

Is it worth using mobile air conditioning? (For and against) (1)

However, theThe best window air conditionerscome with some advantages. First, they are generally more energy efficient than portable devices, and second, they don't take up space in the home. However, there is no right or wrong when choosing between wearable and window; It all boils down to weighing the pros and cons of each.

Another common comparison for AC systems is portable mini-split vs. no duct. Whether you're looking for convenience, ease of installation or portability, there really is no competition - portable air conditioners are the obvious winner. However, mini-split units tend to be more powerful and suited to larger spaces, so this style should be considered for large rooms or small apartments.

Considerations when buying a portable air conditioner

Once you've decided that a portable air conditioner is worth your while, the job isn't done yet. Now it's time to consider some important factors so you can choose the perfect portable drive based on your specific needs. Here are the main things to consider before buying:

  • BTU vs Room Size –The first thing to look for when buying an air conditioner is the BTUs. BTUs or British Thermal Units determine how powerful a unit is and how many square feet it can cover. A higher BTU = more coverage area.
  • Location- Even with a wearable designed for easy movement around the house, it's important to consider placement. Some devices require a window to vent hot air, and you also need to place it conveniently near a compatible outlet.
  • Easy installation/maintenance –Portable air conditioners are known for their ease of installation and are most often plugged in to initiate cooling. However, some require a bit of maintenance, like B. Devices with two hoses that expel hot air through a window.
  • noise level -Most portable air conditioners make a low hum, but some are louder than others. A noisy air conditioner can be irritating and distracting, so always check the decibel rating (dBA) specified by the manufacturer before making a purchase. Read about thequieter models here.
  • energy efficiency -The energy efficiency of a portable air conditioner is measured by its EER or Energy Efficiency Index. The higher this number, the more efficient the device. Although portable units are not as energy efficient as some other types of AC, it is still possible to find models with a good EER.

Related articleVentilation options for a portable air conditioner

Big brands: are they worth your money?

The next big part of the buying process is comparing portable AC brands - there are loads of them, and some are definitely more reputable than others. Well-known brands tend to have more features and better cooling performance, which means they sometimes command a higher price tag.

Below, we compare some of the biggest portable air conditioning brands and provide some tips on whether or not their portable units are worth it:

(Video) COMPARED: Portable VS Window Air Conditioners - Pros & Cons!

Are LG portable air conditioners any good?

are not justLG mobile air conditionersgood but they are highly intelligent and beautiful to look at. LG has done a great job developing wearable devices that are full of features and functions - some even offer smart functions and can be controlled from a smartphone. Also, this AC brand looks good in every corner of a room with its sleek design style.

Is it worth using mobile air conditioning? (For and against) (2)

Are Danby portable air conditioners any good?

Danby manufactures portable air conditioners in various sizes for rooms ranging from 250 to 700 square feet. They have many unique features such as the patented Silencer technology for ultra-quiet operation. So yes,Danby ACs are good, especially if you are looking for silent portable air conditioners for the children's room, office or bedroom.

Is Delonghi portable air conditioning good?

As you read it becomes obviousDelonghi mobile air conditioner reviewsthat they are a leading brand and there are a few reasons why. The most important thing is the variety of products; You can opt for a basic unit if you're on a budget, or spend more for all the bells and whistles. The only downside is that the Delonghi doesn't have a dual-hose option, so you'll have to look elsewhere.

People also ask (FAQ)

Can you run a portable air conditioner all day?

WhileYou can technically run an air conditioner all day., that doesn't mean you should. Operating a portable air conditioner 24/7 wastes a lot of energy and there is no need to keep the unit on unless you are in the room.

If you prefer to leave the device on, choose at least one with automatic mode or energy saving mode. In this way, the machine works more efficiently and only works to cool the room when needed.

How long should a portable air conditioner last?

That depends entirely on how well you treat your portable air conditioner. These machines need regular maintenance, and if you keep up with that maintenance, you can use them for 10 years.

Cleaning is a big part of air conditioning maintenance, so read our complete guide.How to clean your mobile air conditioner.

(Video) Do Portable Air Conditioners Really Work? (A real world test)

How often does a portable air conditioner need to be drained?

This depends on how often you turn on the air conditioner, the humidity in the air and the general design of the machine. Some portable drives do not need to be drained; Air conditioners with a continuous drain system drain the water through a hose, so you don't have to manually drain the tank.

Can you use a portable air conditioner in a windowless room?

Yes, just be sure to choose a model that doesn't require you to exhaust hot air through a window hose attachment. check out our favoriteWindowless air conditioners on the market.

Related articleCan a portable air conditioner be ventilated without a window?

Need to put water in a portable air conditioner?

No. The only type of portable air conditioner that requires water - or in some cases ice - is the evaporative swamp cooler type. Evaporative coolers are a great choice for camping, RVs, or keeping cool in your car or truck.


Mobile air conditioners are extremely practical and effective when used correctly. There are many different portable air conditioning options on the market. So be sure to think about things like room size, BTU rating, design features, and energy efficiency before you buy.

Related articleIs a portable air conditioner safe?

Last updated on July 9, 2022

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Josch M

My name is Josh and I'm obsessed with the HVAC industry. I created this site to help HVAC technicians of all skill levels get the most out of their heating and cooling systems. I've spent thousands of hours studying air conditioners, heaters and home air products so you can learn and buy with confidence. To know moreabout the team here.

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(Video) Portable Air Conditioners vs Ductless Mini Splits


Is it worth getting a portable air conditioner? ›

Portable air conditioners can be remarkably convenient for many homeowners and renters, and they are an affordable way to bring a little cool air into your living space. They can also be a lifesaver if your regular air conditioner is broken — you can get them up and running quickly while you wait for repairs.

What are the disadvantages of a portable air conditioner? ›

The cons of mobile air conditioning are:

Noise levels are quite high; Not energy efficient; Not a good choice for large rooms; Once the air conditioner cooling pipe is brought out the window, it is quite likely that you do not want to move it, so as not to spoil the installation.

Can you save money by using a portable air conditioner? ›

The DOE also reports that you can save up to 50% on your cooling bill by investing in a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. Popular among homeowners as well as business owners, portable air conditioners provide substantial energy-savings because they cool only one room instead of the entire home or office.

Is it cheaper to leave portable AC on all day? ›

The answer to the question “is it cheaper to leave your air conditioner on all day?” is a resounding yes. You'll save money on your energy and repair bills, especially during the summer months.

Why dont portable air conditioners work well? ›

Unlike a window air conditioner, all the mechanical parts of a portable air conditioner are sitting inside the room you're trying to cool. This contributes to the noise they can make. It's also a reason for less-than-capable cooling.

Is it cheaper to run a window air conditioner or a portable air conditioner? ›

Generally speaking, window ACs are more affordable, more efficient, and more effective than their portable counterparts, so they are usually what you should get.

Does a portable AC waste a lot of electricity? ›

How Much Electricity Does A Portable Air Conditioner Use? Mid-sized portable air conditioners use an average of 2900 watts per hour. Particularly large units can exceed the electricity usage of even central air conditioners, expending about 4100 watts per hour.

Do portable air conditioners make your bill higher? ›

Energy Efficient Cooling Option

One of the more obvious reasons why a portable air conditioning unit can lower your energy bills, is because they can easily be moved from room-to-room. No matter where you are in your house, you can rest assured that you will be in a room that is cool and comfortable.

Do portable air conditioners use a lot of electricity? ›

They're extremely low energy-efficiency.

If we just take the sample of an 8,000 BTU (250 square feet of cooling power) portable unit with a standard EER, we can expect the unit to consume between 900 and 1100 watts. That's like a microwave running 24-7!

What is the most cost effective way to use air conditioning? ›

Utilize fans to circulate air.

Fans are an inexpensive and effective way to cool any living space. Ceiling fans, floor fans, and even small desktop fans circulate the air to help reduce temperatures, and you can move them so they're blowing directly on you to cool you off even further.

What temperature should I set my portable air conditioner? ›

According to the Department of Energy1, 78° Fahrenheit is the sweet spot for air conditioners to balance energy savings and comfort when people are at home and need cooling.

What is the most efficient way to run a portable air conditioner? ›

Turn on the portable air conditioner a few hours before you need it. It's more effective and energy efficient to turn it on during the early morning or late afternoon hours, when the temperature is cooler. The portable air conditioner won't have to work as hard to cool the room down.

Should I turn off portable AC at night? ›

Your AC system can only remove humidity from the air when it's turned on. If you turn off the system when you're away, humidity levels will increase and the system must work harder to remove it from the air. This also increases your monthly electric bill.

How long does it take to cool a room with a portable air conditioner? ›

A portable AC unit cools a room similar to the standard window air conditioner. A dual-hose portable air conditioner will offer faster and more efficient cooling thanks to the enhanced airflow. Your portable AC system should cool your space in about 20 minutes as long as your BTU rating is appropriate for your area.

Why is my portable AC not cold enough? ›

If your AC is blowing cold air out of the top vent, but your room still isn't getting cold, your room is probably too hot or too large for the heat capacity of your air conditioner. Remember that portable air conditioners can only cool the room size they're advertised for in moderate outdoor heat.

Do portable AC use a lot of electricity? ›

They're extremely low energy-efficiency.

If we just take the sample of an 8,000 BTU (250 square feet of cooling power) portable unit with a standard EER, we can expect the unit to consume between 900 and 1100 watts. That's like a microwave running 24-7!

Can I use a portable AC in a room with no window? ›

These AC units are like self-contained heat pumps: They collect heat from a room and send it somewhere else through an exhaust vent. But portable ACs don't need to vent out a window, so long as you can find another way to send the heat outside.

Do portable air conditioners cool as well as window units? ›

Window and portable air conditioners are both designed to cool a room, but their performance is not equal. A window AC cools a room the best and is more energy-efficient and affordable. A portable air AC is easier to install and is useful when your window is too small for a traditional unit.

Does portable AC cost a lot of electricity? ›

At this rate, running a small, medium or large PAC for eight hours a day would cost roughly $2.84, $3.75 or $5.31, respectively. For 30 days of use, these figures come to $85.20, $112.50 and $159.30.


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