Three Features You Need in a Portable Air Conditioner

If you are having trouble cooling the room that’s the farthest from your air conditioner, adding a portable model can help.

Air conditioner
Unlike the bulky, heavy window air conditioners, a portable model is light, easy to set up, and often comes with wheels to make it easy to shuffle wherever you need cool air in your home.Whynter

When the days get longer and warmer, it’s time to start thinking about keeping your living space cool. In many cases, especially homes without central air, this can be a challenge. Wall units work fine, but only for the one room in which they are mounted. For a multipurpose and mobile solution, consider a portable air conditioner. They are great for spot cooling wherever there is an outlet, don’t require installation, and have the added benefit of reducing humidity levels. Here’s what to look for in a portable unit.

Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner
The bigger the space you need to cool, the more power you need in an A/C unit.Whynter

The BTU rating, or British Thermal Units, is the single most important variable in the effectiveness of a portable air conditioner. In A/C technology, BTUs relate to how much heat the device can remove from the air around it. As a rule of thumb, you need about 20 BTUs for each square foot of living space with eight-foot ceilings. So, for example, a standard 300-square-foot room would be fine with a unit rated from about 6,000 to 10,000 BTUs, depending upon ceiling height, amount of sunlight, and other factors. A 500-square-foot room needs a unit capable of about 10,000 to 14,000 BTUs, etc.

BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner, 8,000 BTU, White
If the air is humid where you live, an A/C unit that also removes moisture from the air will reduce the potential for mold or mildew growth.BLACK+DECKER

One of the advantages of portable air conditioning is that cooler air is dryer, cutting down on the emergence of mold and mildew. A unit with a built-in dehumidifier will decrease relative humidity, which in most living spaces should be maintained at around 30 to 50 percent depending upon the season and outside temperatures.

SereneLife 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
An A/C unit that can also heat the room in the cold months is a great value for your dollar.SereneLife

If you are looking for year-round comfort, that means heating capacity in the winter months. A combination air-conditioner/heater is a great solution to cool down rooms that need a little extra help in summer and then to warm them up again once the season changes. Look for a unit with digital thermal controls for an accurate gauge of interior temps at all times of year.