Are Portable Air Conditioners Worth It?

Were you unsatisfied satisfied with the performance of your AC system this year, or is it on its last leg and ready to be replaced? If so you’re likely doing a bit of shopping around, and you might have heard of portable air conditioning systems. These small, inexpensive units sound like just the ticket to keep things cool and cozy in your home, right? Well, maybe not. Let’s talk a bit about portable units, and how we’re certain you can do better.

What Are Portable Air Conditioners?

The question is worth asking because the industry can actually be a good bit misleading on product naming at times, and often things like evaporative coolers and window units can get mixed into the term. But these are not portable air conditioners!

Portable units are a simple standalone cooling system that functions much in the same way as a portable space heater. Usually a tube or mini duct will run from the unit out a window, and the system is simply plug and go at any old outlet.

Are Portable Units Good?

Well, mostly no but a little yes? It’s confusing we know, but bear with us. The problem is that portable air conditioners aren’t (or shouldn’t) be considered a permanent solution. You can get some mileage out of the investment when your AC system is being repaired maybe, or they can be handy to cool a garage or office. But the fact is they are pretty much never the best option (If you can’t deal with the ducts of a central heat pump or forced air system, you can go ductless!).

Portable units are, at heart, extremely simple. They lack many of the major components and technology of central or whole-home cooling systems, meaning they have to make up for that lack by using up more power. And for less results.

The three biggest drawbacks of a portable system are:

  • They’re extremely low energy-efficiency. If we just take the sample of an 8,000 BTU (250 square feet of cooling power) portable unit with a standard EER, we can expect the unit to consume between 900 and 1100 watts. That’s like a microwave running 24-7! Needless to say the energy consumption is massive, and you can expect bills to absolutely skyrocket.
  • They’re low on strength. A good portion of that energy consumed goes into the exhaust system of a portable unit, which takes away from its ability to actually cool. That means on a hot Florida day you’re not even getting as much cooling as you need.
  • Maintenance is frustrating. Portable units, like whole-home air conditioning, will create condensation. Portables are equipped with a drain pan to catch this, but the pan has to be emptied every few hours which can be very aggravating.

Better Air Conditioning Solutions with Greens Energy Services

All in all we can say that a portable AC might be able to pull you through while your central system is getting repaired, but otherwise they aren’t enough to really offer what you need. But don’t worry! As specialists we can confidently say there is a best option always available. All it takes is a quick call to your trusted Orlando experts. So stop waiting and contact us today!