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Portable Air Conditioners -- Are They Worth It?

Portable Air Conditioners -- Are They Worth It?Portable air conditioners are becoming more and more popular. With their small size and portability, they seem like a good idea. But are they? Before you make any purchase learn the pros and cons about this product.

Portable Air Conditioners -- Pros

Small and portable

Portable air conditioners are just that - portable. These models are made to be rolled from room to room wherever you need cool air. This is convenient when you can't install a window unit or central air conditioning or you can't install multiple window units.


Portable units are much less expensive than installing a central or split-ductless unit.

Portable air conditioners -- Cons


Some of the units weigh up to 85 pounds. This can make moving them room to room or upstairs quite difficult. These units may not be as portable as you are led to believe.


Portable units are either single hose models or dual hose models. With dual hose models, one hose brings air from the outside and the other hose vents the hot, humid air outside. Single hose units have only one hose to perform both of these functions.

These hoses look bad and are inconvenient when it comes to trying to move the unit to different rooms in the house.

Ability to cool

The single hose units did not perform as well as standard window units. Dual hose portables did better but still not as well as window units.


Portables use twice as much energy to operate as the same size window unit.

Overall, you can see that portable air conditioners are not your best choice. Unless you have no other choice and don't plan on moving the unit around, it is recommended that you not buy portable air conditioners.


  • Gr
    Grim Reaper 7th of Jan, 2011

    I've had a portable air conditioner for the past 4 years in use in my 3rd floor sweat-box bedroom where it has made sleeping at night possible. Although I agree with their evaluation compared to window units, they are the only solution for cooling in situations where a window unit or an outside one with a fan-coil inside can't be installed such as rentals or where the window(s) can't be opened or modified.

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