What to Consider When Comparing Portable Air Conditioners

A portable air conditioner can save the day if your central air conditioning calls it quits. They can be expensive, but you can save money with discounts like zoro coupons among others.

What to look for in a portable air conditioner

According to Sylvane’s Better Air Begins with Knowledge blog, there are 5 things to consider when you are deciding on which portable air conditioner to buy: size, noise level, placement, draining and maintenance, and efficiency.

Size: British Thermal Units (BTUs)

The higher the BTU rating, the more cooling power a portable air conditioner has. The amount of power you need depends on how much area you need to cool. According to Sylvane, you can follow these guidelines for a room with an 8-foot ceiling (standard for most homes and apartments):

Size of Room – BTUs Required

200 square feet – 8,000 BTUs

300 square feet – 10,000 BTUs

400 square feet – 12,000 BTUs

500 square feet – 14,000 BTUs

Sound: How loud will your portable air conditioner be?

Portable air conditioners are noisy. If you want a quieter model, you will probably need to pay more. When you are comparing units, look at how many decibels (dB) it produces. Even the quietest units produce about 45 dB. This is slightly softer than a running refrigerator.

If your portable air conditioner will be in your bedroom, think about how much you can manage. It is probably more comfortable to wear earplugs to sleep for a couple of nights than to sleep in a hot bedroom, but noise can be very annoying.

Placement: The best place to put your portable air conditioner

The ideal place to put your portable air conditioner is near a window that slides open. Portable a/c units take the hot air out of the room and need to push it outside through a tube that goes out your window. You also need to be close to an electrical outlet,

Maintenance: Getting rid of the collected moisture (water) and changing filters

When your portable air conditioner cools air, it removes some of the water content. In most units, it collects the water in a pan that you need to occasionally remove and empty. In hot weather, you may need to drain the pan two or three times a day. Some portable units self-evaporate, but they are more expensive. On the other hand, if you forget to empty the drain pain it will overflow and may damage your carpet or flooring.

Portable air conditioners also require filter removal and cleaning (or replacement). You will only need to do this every few weeks.

Efficiency: How much will it cost to run your portable air conditioner?

If you are getting a portable air conditioner as a temporary source of heat relief, energy efficiency may not be a great concern. If you are planning to use it indefinitely, then energy efficiency can save you a good bit on your electric bill. You’ll also help save the environment.

In the US, look for the Energy Star label from the Department of Energy. The Energy Star label measures an electrical appliance’s efficiency by the energy efficiency ratio (EER). To calculate the EER, divide the cooling capacity in BTUs by the power input in Watts. The higher the ERR ratio, the more efficient the portable air conditioner.