Portable air conditioning: What are its advantages and disadvantages?

Summer is already here and although the heat has not yet made an appearance of safety, it will soon arrive ready to raise the temperature of our homes. The air conditioning is a great option to get rid of or minimize its effects, and one of the possibilities of the market is the portable equipment increasingly present in stores.

portable air conditioning

You may be thinking about buying some and if you have never had one of these devices at home, you may have doubts about whether they really work well, if they are effective, they produce enough cold and above all what are their advantages and disadvantages, aspects that we are going to try to clarify next.

Main advantages of portable air conditioning

The portable air conditioning systems are equipment that has a similar operation to that of the fixed, with a compression system integrated this time under its casing. However, unlike these, they do not need installation or at least they are not as complex as to place them near a window and remove a hot air extraction tube outdoors (there are more complex models with several tubes).

Therefore, they do not require a technician to visit and we can make them work according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This lowers your cost as we save its installation. In addition, we can move it from room if we need it and save it when we do not use it and even change it if we move easily.

It is especially indicated in situations in which we cannot or want to install a conventional one as when we are renting, in second homes, when the community of neighbors does not allow us to place one with an outdoor unit, etc.

In addition, in recent years manufacturers have been incorporating more features and in the market we can find models with heat pump for winter or dehumidification systems that also do not need installation.

Main drawbacks of portable air conditioning

According to my experience with this type of equipment during the last decade (we have had several different brands at home), three are the main disadvantages: they occupy a considerable space, the energy efficiency is reduced with respect to a fixed model and they are very noisy.

Starting with the question of space, it is clear that we have to reserve a space in the room to place the air system. Although modern equipment is very compact, the fact of having to take the tube outside at the end forces us to put it near a window and in positions that are not always the most appropriate to go unnoticed.

The second problem is that of energy efficiency. The tube expels hot air to the outside but also radiates some of that heat inside the room to be generally a plastic tube without any insulation. In addition, although there is usually an adapter to cover the space of the window that remains, there are always gaps through which the cold escapes and the outside air enters, so we will need more BTU than normal. For example, if with a conventional air we need 2,000 or 2,500 BTU’s to cool a room, with a portable one this figure will probably increase to more than 3,000 due to its inefficiencies.

Finally we have the appearance of noise. It does not matter the figures that the manufacturer indicates in the propaganda. Portable air conditioners are usually very noisy. Normally we find values between 45 and 60 dB much higher than the 24-25 recommended for sleeping with the device turned on at night.

Is it annoying? It depends on whether you can put it a few meters or you have to be sitting next to it. During the day you can get used to the ambient sound, the TV, the noises of the street, etc. but if you want to use it at night and you are a light sleeper you should probably turn it off.