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Does a Portable AC Unit Make Sense For Hot Rooms?

portable ac in a living room

Every room in your home should be comfortable, but the weather may be a challenge to your indoor climate. A portable AC unit is one way to cool things off. However many people wonder if a portable AC unit makes sense for hot rooms and if it’s up to the challenge. 

While a portable air conditioner will cool off any room in your house, weatherization will treat your problem at the source. Weatherization or weather-proofing will improve your home’s climate, maximize energy efficiency, and keep you comfortable. If you’re considering weatherization, call our HVAC specialists today. 

That being said, if you’re in a pinch and just need something to handle the extra hot room in your house, keep reading to learn more…

What is a Portable Air Conditioner?  

A portable AC unit is mobile. You can’t move other air-conditioning options, such as window units and central air conditioning units, but you can roll a portable AC to any room. Most are lightweight, about 28 to 34 inches tall, but have enough power to cool a single room.    

How Does a Portable AC Work?  

Any air conditioning unit cools the air by cooling air inside and venting hot air outside. Just like a traditional air conditioning unit, a portable air conditioner uses a refrigeration cycle to cool air.   

Chemical refrigerant cycles through components, cooling the air inside and pushing that air into the room with a fan. Cycling cooler air throughout the room with a portable air conditioner can add to the performance of your existing air conditioning unit or if it’s not working, make your space cooler until an HVAC technician arrives.   

Portable air conditioners will need to be placed by a window so their exhaust duct can vent hot air outside. This window vent lets hot air escape, helping keep the room cooler.   

Portable AC units pull moisture out of the air, too, which is a plus for those who live in humid climates. Many portable air conditioners have self-evaporative technology, allowing moist air to be processed and vented from the back of the unit.   

In cases of high humidity, water may collect in a reservoir inside the portable AC unit. If needed, water can be emptied manually or drained, but technological advancements are making that unnecessary.   

Benefits and Limitations of Portable AC  

Portable AC units can be handy to have on a hot day if your house hasn’t been weatherproofed to keep the heat out. However, a portable air conditioner has its limitations, too.  

The Pros  

The advantages of having a portable AC unit include:  

  1. Portable air conditioners can cool any room with a window that can be opened.   
  2. A portable AC unit is easy to use right out of the box.  

The Cons  

Portable ACs have their limitations. Among the disadvantages of portable air conditioners are these:  

  1. Portable AC units are less energy efficient than weatherizing your home.  
  2. The noise levels of portable air conditioners can be loud.  

When Is a Portable AC for You?  

If you have a hot room or two on warm days, a portable AC may make sense as a short-term solution. Portable AC units could be an option for your home when:  

  1. You need spot cooling in your home.  
  2. You live in a humid climate.  
  3. Your upstairs rooms get warm during the hottest part of the year.  
  4. You want a good night’s sleep but get warm at night.  
  5. Your regular air conditioning unit is broken, so you need cool air while repairs are underway.  

Does a portable AC unit make sense for hot rooms? Portable air conditioning units are best used in a pinch and aren’t a long-term solution to hot rooms. If you’re using a portable air conditioner daily, it might be time to call UFirst HVAC for air conditioner service and maintenance.   UFirst technicians are the HVAC professionals in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, and the surrounding area. All UFirst technicians are licensed and insured and will provide efficient service. Call UFirst for upfront pricing and service you can trust.