Three Features to Look for in a Portable Air Conditioner

The weather has started to warm up so there’s never been a better time to think about how to stay cool. It can be difficult to keep cool in a home without central air conditioning. Wall units are great and all, but they only cool down the one room the are placed in and they can’t be moved. If you’re looking for something you can keep around the house and use as you please, then you should think about getting a portable air conditioner. These portable models can be hooked up to an outlet without the need for installation. Portable units also offer other features and perks, such as having built in dehumidifiers. Here are three features to look for with portable air conditioners.

The BTU Rating

BTU stands for “British Thermal Unit” and it is the most important thing to look for when deciding on any kind of air conditioner. The BTU rating is effectively a measurement of how much heat portable air conditioners can remove from surrounding air.

In general, you’d want to get 20 BTU’s for every square foot of living space in a room with an eight-foot ceiling (which is the standard). If your room came in at 300-square-foot then you’d want to get a unit with a BTU between 6,000 and 10,000, depending on factors such as the amount of natural light and ceiling height. For a 500-square-foot room you’d want a model with between 10,000 and 14,000 BTUs.

Dehumidifier

There are lots of advantages to having cooler air. One of the best ones is that air is dryer when it is colder. Cold air means less mildew and mold develops. Units with dehumidifiers built in are able to reduce the relative humidity of a room. It’s recommended that relative humidity be kept to between 30% and 50% depending on current weather conditions and season.

If you live in a humid and warm area, then having an AC unit work as a dehumidifier too reduces the chance that mold and mildew will develop. Humidity also affects some respiratory conditions and so cutting down on humidity helps keep everyone healthy and happy. Why choose between a dehumidifier or air conditioner when you could have both?

Combination Heater and Air Conditioner

Staying cool and comfortable during the summer is great and all, but if you want to be comfortable all throughout the year, you need an air conditioner that doubles as a heater. A heating unit keeps you warm during the winter. Getting a combination model gives you the power to cool rooms down during the summer and then warm them up a bit in the winter. Look to find a portable air conditioner that has thermal controls to get total control of the interior temperature in your home.

Summary

Portable units are an excellent way to get air conditioning where you need it most. Move them around your home as needed to keep individual rooms cool. Look for a unit that has a built in humidifier and heating capabilities to get even more out of your portable AC unit.

Steven Cooper

Refrigeration and air conditioning engineer with over thirty years hands on experience.