How to Determine if You Need a Portable Air Conditioner
A portable air conditioner is one that is mobile. It differs from window or central air conditioning units as it does not require permanent installation. Portable air conditioners have caster wheels for simpler portability and are lighter in weight.
The real question is: Do you need one? The biggest and most obvious problem with the alternative of window ACs is that since they are installed in your window, they take over it completely. So, if you have just one or two windows in your home, you might want to consider a portable alternative. With a window unit, you cannot use your window until you take out the AC after the summer is over. But with a portable unit, this is not the case.
Another way to know if you should get a portable unit is if you live in a rented apartment. Usually, tenants cannot install an AC if it is not already provided. To cool yourselves down in these hot and humid summers, portable air conditioners are the go-to option. They are portable and, hence, easily mobile.
Portable units also cut costs. So if you live on a budget, then maybe you should consider opting for a portable unit. Not only are they cheaper, but they also cut down on your electricity bills. This is because it cools one room at a time—the room you are in at the moment. If you move to a different room, you can take the unit along with you. This is unlike central air conditioning units that cool down the whole apartment. The installation charges of central units themselves are mind-boggling. Targeting one room at a time uses less energy and saves you money in the long run. This could also work for you if you lived alone or in a studio apartment. If you have a large family with members having their own rooms, then perhaps this is not your best bet.
Portable ACs also do not make as much noise as window units. The sound typically falls between 48 dB to 60 dB. A drawback about portable units is that in dehumidifying mode, water can collect in a reservoir within the unit. Although, some companies do manufacture ones with self-evaporative technology. So, if you get one where water collects internally, or you live in an excessively humid climate, you have to be prepared for this possibility. You will have to have the time and energy to manually empty this reservoir when it gets full.
It is wise not to expect too much from the portable unit. They are not as “portable” as one might expect, and this term is mildly misleading. They are portable in the sense of being mobile, but even then it is not as if you can lug it around as and when you feel hot. It is still a heavy unit. Another thing is that once you hook up the exhaust hose out the window, you can only move it inside as much as the length of the hose permits.
If these factors suit you, you should consider going for a portable unit.