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Things to Think About When Buying a Portable Air Conditioner

A portable air conditioner basically works the same way as a traditional system. However, it doesn’t have the complex installation requirements that a traditional system does. It’s designed to cool individual rooms and is a great option for rooms without cooling systems or that don’t need cooling all the time. It can supplement a larger A/C unit.

To make sure you find the best portable A/C for your home, consider the following factors:

BTU Rating

Portable A/C units are rated in BTUs (British Thermal Units). The higher the BTUs, the greater the cooling power the unit has. You should buy an appropriate portable A/C for your room size to avoid wasting energy. Use these general guidelines:

  • 7,500 BTU will cover up to 150 square feet
  • 9,000 BTU will cover up to 250 square feet
  • 10,000 BTU will cover up to 325 square feet
  • 12,000 BTU will cover up to 425 square feet
  • 13,000 BTU will cover up to 475 square feet
  • 14,000 BTU will cover up to 525 square feet


All portable A/Cs dehumidify the air as they cool it, so you’ll need to drain the collected water after several hours or days. If you want less maintenance work, go for self-evaporating models. They evaporate most or all of the moisture they collect.


A portable air conditioner can vent out warm air through a window, adjacent wall, drop ceiling, or attic. If you’re planning to exhaust your A/C through your attic or drop ceiling, moisture shouldn’t be exhausted with the air. For that reason, you shouldn’t buy the evaporative type.

Noise Levels

If you’re planning to use the portable A/C in your work area or bedroom, you’ll need to pay attention to the noise level. Make sure you compare the decibel levels that different units produce.

Energy Efficiency

Don’t forget to look at a unit’s EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating. The higher the rating, the more energy efficient a unit is.

The right portable air conditioner will meet your cooling needs conveniently and efficiently. For more information on portable A/Cs, contact Beyer Boys, serving the San Antonio area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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