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Read: Advantages and Disadvantages of a Portable Air Conditioner

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Portable Air Conditioner
Which one to choose - a window air conditioner or a portable one? Well, if you are looking for a portable air conditioner, but don't know whether it's suitable for you, read this HomeQuicks piece to find out the advantages and disadvantages, before you buy one.
Snehal Motkar
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
Did You Know?
Some portable air conditioners have air filters that purify the air by removing allergens, making it beneficial for people with respiratory disorders.
A portable air conditioner is an in-demand home appliance for innumerable reasons, one of them being mobility. However, there are several other important concerns that should not be overlooked when planning to buy a portable AC. The first and foremost thing is to learn the difference between air coolers and portable air conditioners. An air cooler uses water and evaporation to cool a room (similar to a swamp cooler), while a portable AC uses a compressor and a coolant, and is much more effective. Portable units are efficient in keeping the humidity at a low level while enabling proper cooling.

Although being more efficient than an air cooler, a portable air conditioner, when compared with a conventional window AC unit, has some drawbacks. The cooling range, inefficient water management, and problems with the placement are a few major concerns to look for while investing in a portable air conditioner.
The Positives
✔ Mobility
Portable Air Conditioner
As opposed to the traditional window air conditioner, a portable one is easier to move from one place to another with the help of casters mounted to the unit, or wheels attached to the base. Being mobile, it can be used in a home office during the day and moved to the bedroom at night.
✔ Easy Installation
Installation of AC
What could be better if you can use a home appliance right out of the box? Well, a portable air conditioner will enable an extremely easy, hassle-free installation without any screws and other fixing materials. The only thing you have to do is create an exhaust vent for the condensed air to pass out of the room.
✔ Cost-effective
Portable air conditioners are smaller units and hence, cost less as compared to large window units and central air conditioning systems. Since they are available at cheaper rates, you don't have to cut down on your other expenses and can easily get one for your home.
✔ Convenient for Rental Apartments
There are too many limitations on everything when it comes to a rented house, one of them being the equipment in your house. You ought to buy furniture or other pieces of equipment that are convenient for transportation while shifting, and easy to install in the new house. In such a situation a portable AC is the best equipment because of its mobility and easy installation. Your trouble is lessened with this type of AC and you can focus on the transportation of other heavy appliances and gadgets while shifting.
The Negatives
✘ Noisier than Other Systems
Since each component resides in the same single unit, these ACs tend to create more noise than other air conditioner systems like split and ducted air conditioners. Also, window ACs are less noisier than a portable unit because the noisiest part of the unit is situated on the outer side, which automatically eliminates the noise coming from it.
✘ Difficult Water Management
An air conditioner has the ability to pull the moisture from the air present in an enclosed space while dehumidifying the room and creating a comfortable atmosphere. However, the moisture that is pulled from the air needs to be discarded somewhere, and hence, a portable AC needs to be placed near a window or a similar location, which will allow the water to flow out of the room through a hose connected to the unit. In some models there is a pan inside the unit that needs to be emptied every time it fills with water. On the contrary, a window air conditioner has an exhaust fan on the outer side, which eliminates the water in the form of steam, in an appropriate way.
✘ Placement Restrictions
Portable Air Conditioner
There are two aspects which put restrictions on the placement of portable air conditioners - the water management and the plug-in system. Although it's an easy to install unit, it has to be positioned in an area where you can plug it in. This puts limitations on cooling space, and instead of the AC being closer to you for your convenience, you will have to be closer to the unit. Like mentioned in the above section, the water that is collected after dehumidification, needs to go out of the room and either someone has to do it manually every few hours, or position the AC near a window to let the hose discard the water.
✘ Less Efficient
AC units with a single hose are definitely inefficient in cooling the room, because the air that is sent out of the hose is the air from the inside of the room that has been dehumidified. This results in wastage of energy as the condenser has to cool the air that has taken the place of the dehumidified air. The air that replaces the dehumidified air is outside air that is warm and humid, which creates an uncomfortable atmosphere as well. However, recent portable AC models possessing two hoses (similar to the setup of a conventional window AC unit) to direct the warm and cooled air to proper locations are much more efficient.
Although being transportable, there may be difficulties while actually moving a portable air conditioner due to its heaviness. Also, the floor surface has a great impact on the movement of the AC, in the sense that a thick layer of carpet spread on the floor or an uneven leveling of the floor may cause obstructions while navigating the AC from one room to the other.