A Buyer’s Guide to Portable Air Conditioners

Portable AC units are a great option for homeowners in cooler climates who need to run their AC for a few weeks each year. These units are much less expensive than central AC and are easily stored  when not in use. They can also be moved from room to room, allowing you to cool a smaller space and keep that cool with you wherever you go. Choose what features you want, and how much you are willing to pay, BEFORE you shop.

Here are a few features to consider:

  • Cooling Capacity – How much square footage can the unit cool? How much square footage do you want to cool? Be sure that the unit you select will have the capacity to cool your home.
  • Drip or No Drip – AC units create condensation. Some less-expensive models have a drip pan to collect that condensation. These pans need to be changed on a regular basis. There are no-drip models available, for a higher price.
  • Single vs. Dual Exhaust – Duel exhaust units will circulate cleaner air.
  • Multi-function – There are some units on the market that also work as a dehumidifier and/or heater. If this is appealing to you, consider getting a multi-function unit.

User Reviews: Some of the most valuable research you can do is to read user reviews about the model you wish to buy. Reading reviews will help you determine if the brand is reliable and if the model functions well. It’s important to watch for patterns when reading reviews, don’t let one bad review spoil your opinion of a truly good unit. There are always two sides to every story and some consumers are just naturally picky.

Installation: These units should be simple to setup, take out of the box, plug in, and enjoy! If you do have trouble with installation, contact a qualified HVAC contractor to help. They can also assist in determining the right sized unit for your home. Depending on your lifestyle, a portable AC unit could be the right choice for you. Be sure to determine what will work best for you, do the research, and contact a local HVAC technician if you need help. Once you have you unit up and running, sit back and enjoy the cool!