Pros and Cons of a Portable A/C 

Maintaining consistent household comfort always involves some compromises and use of a portable A/C is no exception. A portable air conditioner can be moved about and utilized for spot cooling, filling gaps in comfort control wherever and whenever it’s needed. To help evaluate the utility of portable cooling, consider the following pros and cons:

Pro:

For the average do-it-yourselfer, installing and utilizing a portable air conditioner is generally doable.

Con:

These units are not totally “plug and play.” All air conditioners vent hot air. For a portable unit, a venting kit must be installed in an available nearby window or sliding glass door. A bulky vent hose must be routed to the vent without presenting obstruction or trip hazard to occupants.

Pro:

Portable units are relatively compact and inconspicuous.

Con:

Most units require placement with at least 18 inches of open space on all sides to accommodate air circulation into and out of vents. When in use, portable units can’t be pushed out of the way against a wall or shoved discreetly into a corner.

Pro:

A portable air conditioner adapts to most spaces with minimal maintenance.

Con:

A portable unit cooling a large bedroom can produce as much as eight gallons of condensation per day. Water is contained in an internal tank that requires manual draining daily, or a condensate drain tube must be extended to an available sink or other drain—if one exists nearby.

Pro:

A portable unit is efficient because it allows you to cool only occupied rooms and saves the expense of cooling the entire house.

Con:

Both central air and window units provide more BTU capacity per dollar of energy expense. The compressor and blower motor inside a portable A/C add heat to the room. Nearly 30% of heat removed by a portable air conditioner originates from the unit itself. These units must therefore extract more heat per square foot than other options to achieve equal BTU capacity.

For more about the pros and cons of a portable A/C in your home, contact the cooling professionals at Beyer Boys.

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).