We hear of HVAC systems and central heating and cooling systems so often that doubts are bound to occur when it comes to portable air conditioners. The lack of knowledge in their respect is the major culprit behind the doubts. Also, we tend to go on hearsay without verifying the facts. So the belief in half-truths and blatant myths gets compounded and just adds to the confusion.
Many of us want to buy a portable air conditioner but are not sure whether to take the risk or not, especially when everyone propagates a central heating and cooling system. As a party more interested in your comfort and budget, we at Aztil Air Conditioning thought this is the best time to answer all your concerns and tell you once and for all whether portable air conditioners are worth it or not.
Portable Air Conditioners
Investing in an HVAC system is a significant investment. If you don’t wish to invest that much, a more economical option is buying a window AC. However, if there is no provision for installing a window AC in your home, your only viable option is a portable air conditioner.
As the name itself suggests, a portable air conditioner can be moved around. Although, it will require some work like installing a tube for exhaust and ensuring a usable power-point in every room. A typical portable air conditioner will have wheels, so moving it around is very convenient.
How Portable Air Conditioners Work?
When the portable air conditioner is plugged into a power source, it is ready to work. The front portion will discharge the cold treated air while the hot air will be discharged from behind to the outside via an exhaust pipe. The exhaust pipe is a flexible tube-like structure, approximately 5” or a little less in diameter. This hose is usually mounted on the window, so there is no difficulty in discharging the hot air.
As a part of cooling, the condensation that forms is collected in a bucket or tray inside the portable AC. The collected water needs to be drained manually when it becomes full. Hence, you need to keep an eye on it. In some models, you can even attach a hose to drain the water.
Ideally, a 12,000 BTU unit can cool a 400 square feet residence with ease.
Features Of A Portable Air Conditioner
1. Manual Or Electronic Controls – Some models of portable ACs have manual controls, while some have electronic ones. Manual controls are simple and straightforward. You set the temperature, and the AC does the cooling. Conversely, electronic or digital controls provide a wider range of options. In addition to the temperature setting, you can also put the AC to sleep, where after an hour or so of working, the AC automatically increases the temperature. With this feature, you can ensure energy savings while sleeping.
2. Auto Restart – If the electricity supply in your area is erratic, the auto-restart feature will be especially useful. If the power supply goes off while the AC is working, it will resume working based on the last recorded user setting when the power comes back.
3. Timer – The timer function allows the user to operate the AC for fixed hours. Say you are going to sleep and want the AC to run for 2 hours only. You fix the timer to 2 hours. After this time, the AC will switch off automatically.
4. Swing Action And Louvre For Better Air Distribution – A portable AC has louvers to direct the airflow in a particular direction. It also has a swing function for distributing the air throughout a closed space or room. In some portable ACs, you can even use the supporting remote to avail the function with more convenience.
5. Heating – Some portable air conditioners can do heating as well. They make for a better choice and investment, especially when the cold season comes.
As you can see, even portable air conditioners have almost the same range of functions as a typical window AC. Therefore, buying it is not going to make you compromise on comfort or functionality.
Are Portable Air Conditioners Worth It?
Let us now come to the main reason for this article: whether the portable air conditioners are even worth the trouble. So let us have a look at its advantages and disadvantages.
1. Advantages Of Portable ACs – Prime advantages are :
1. It can be used anywhere in the house as long as there is an outlet for the exhaust pipe.
2. It provides almost the same set of functions as the window AC.
3. It is any day, a cheaper option.
4. One can even use it in a newly added room or wing.
2. Disadvantages Of Portable ACs – The most obvious drawbacks of portable ACs are:
1. These systems are very low on energy efficiency.
2. Its cooling power is also low as a large part of the energy is expelled through the exhaust pipe.
3. It needs a lot of manual attention and may need more frequent maintenance depending on your usage.
If you are looking for energy efficiency, you will be disappointed with a portable air conditioner. But, if you are limited by budget and nothing else seems to be working for your space, these small wonders will do an admirable job of providing some relief. Hence, whether they are worth it or not ultimately depends on why you are opting for them and your expectation thereof.
If you live in West Palm Beach, Florida, and need help in exploring the heating and cooling options for your residential or commercial building, the air experts at Aztil Air Conditioning will be glad to be of help. We are a full-fledged HVAC contractor catering to all your HVAC needs. Our range of services includes installations, repairs, maintenance, duct cleaning, and indoor air quality solutions. Providing good quality services at an affordable rate to everyone is one of our top priorities. The next time you need any help with your HVAC system, contact us at +1-888-729-8452.