How To Get The Most Out Of Your Portable Air Conditioner

 portable AC

Looking for ways to keep your rooms cool without overspending or having something permanently installed in your home?  Stay comfortable all throughout the warmest and hottest days of the year in a more efficient and cost effective way with Portable Air Conditioners. Discover interesting facts about these air conditioners and know how to get the most out of it by reading this simple guide.

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Coping With The Summer Heat

Nobody would ever want to be soaked up in sweat or be in a stressful situation especially during the hottest days of summer. To keep yourself comfortable you may consider turning to and air conditioning unit to keep your rooms and your head cool.


Air conditioning units however, can be quite costly that not too many people can afford getting one. Furthermore, you may live in a rental and your landlord may not allow you to install a fixed air conditioner and you may want to take it to your next home.  Surely you can you can find great steals at some local appliance store and home depots near you but it’s cost and portability are just two of the many things you really need to consider.

You see, most air conditioning units require a great deal of energy to run which ultimately increases your electricity costs. It is not a surprise that people with Air conditioners have sky high monthly electricity bills. An AC accounts for about 60-70% of an individual’s monthly energy consumption. Quite a lot, isn’t it? Imagine how much you can save if you stop using your AC for a while or at least use it sparingly. I’m pretty sure you’ll get to see dramatic drop on your monthly electric bill.

However, if it is the energy consumption and the monthly electricity bill that concerns you, there are some great alternatives that you can use in keeping cool. This is where a Portable Air Conditioner comes in…

What Is a Portable Air Conditioner?

A Portable Air Conditioner is a cost effective and flexible alternative to more expensive fixed Air Conditioning Units. They let you enjoy the perks of having cool air with the added mobility you can’t find in other air conditioning systems to suit your needs, living arrangements or budget. It’s freestanding feature lets you have to freedom to have it placed almost anywhere you please.  It’s more energy efficient too that you don’t have to worry about excessive sudden surges in your monthly electric bills and manage your consumption far better.

How Does a Portable Air Conditioner Work?

Like other air conditioning units it, works by removing warm air and replacing it with cool air. It doesn’t require permanent installation but some models need a window or a space for it’s exhaust.  These models usually come with a window kit you can put in and take out. An Air Conditioner of this type vents warm air into another location, usually with an exhaust hose that resembles those of your clothes dryer.

When Is A Portable Air Conditioner a Better Choice?

A Portable Air Conditioner is a better choice to cool your home or office with window configurations and building regulations that do not allow installation of window type air conditioning units and or split-systems. With a Portable AC’s maneuverability, you can easily have these units installed almost anywhere It is a great alternative too for people who are renting, quite low on a budget and are conscious on their monthly electricity bills.

Here are some settings where a Portable Air Conditioners can be put to good use:Hot woman in office

  • apartments
  • small rooms
  • workplaces
  • any room where other traditional installation options are not feasible
  • computer server rooms

How to Get Your Portable Air Conditioning Unit In the Right Size

As with other home appliances, getting your portable air conditioner in the right size and model determines how effective and efficient these air conditioning units are. If you want to maximize all the benefits and comfort you can derive from these units, take time finding out the size and model that best suits your home setting.  You can read all about how to select the right portable air conditioner on my post by clicking here.

In hindsight, you would think that getting a bigger unit is always better.  This is not always correct!  The first step is to carefully look into its BTU rating.  A BTU rating measures the capacity of your air conditioner to cool your room and can be calculated using the following formula:

Room’s Square Footage x 35 = BTU Required (rough estimate)

Now you know exactly how critical it is to carefully measure the area where you intend to keep your air conditioner. Here’s how you can get your portable air conditioner in the right size and model:

  1. Find the total area of the room you plan on using the portable air conditioner.
  2. Determine its BTU requirement using the formula mentioned above.
  3. Verify the size of your window opening that you can use as vents.
  4. Check on the power outlets and the electrical requirements of your room.

From the four points mentioned above, you can now choose the type and model of Portable Air Conditioner you think will best suit your needs and your home setting.  You can check out the different brands, models and types at Amazon by clicking here.

Helpful Tips in Getting the Most Out of Your Portable Air Conditioner

I am of the belief that the way your appliance functions and  its length of hassle free use rests on how you make use of it. Appliances generally don’t last very long if you don’t give the required TLC that it needs.

In order to ensure you are using your Portable Air Conditioner in the right way, here are some important tips on how to get the most out of your Portable Air Conditioner.

Keep Heat Sources at the Minimum

Portable air conditioners like other air conditioners work by removing warm air and replacing it with cool air. Any additional heat from your appliances and lights have a significant effect on how it will function. The more heat that needs to be removed, the greater the efforts your air conditioner makes to keep your rooms cool and the more expensive it will be to run.

Replacing your light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps or LED can somehow reduce the heat from your lighting. You can also try finding ways on using your microwave oven instead of your electric oven and stove when cooking your meals.

Closing curtains and drapes will keep the heat from windows out of the room.

Use It As Sparingly as Possible

People resort to Portable Air Conditioners not only for its affordability but for it’s mobility as well. You can easily transfer this unit from one room to another and can basically use it in every room you use.  In order for you to get more savings on your energy consumption, use this unit only when your room is occupied. Shut it down when there’s no one around to save on energy and money from your monthly energy consumption

Remember to keep your doors and windows tightly closed and curtains and drapes closed to ensure that cool air doesn’t escape and additional heat doesn’t come in. Using a ceiling fan or a cooling fan with this air conditioner will help you spread the cool air throughout the room thus give you a more energy efficient air cooling solution.

Keep Your Temperature A Degree Higher

The energy consumption of a portable air conditioner is inversely proportional to its temperature. The cooler the temperature setting, the more energy efficient the air conditioning unit becomes. Setting up the thermostat even by just a degree higher can translate to bigger energy savings over time.

Remember that a temperature of below 78oF will give you a surge on energy consumption of about 3-4%. Keeping a watchful eye on your thermostat and keeping it slightly higher can help you save up some dollars on your monthly electricity bills and prolong your unit’s life.

Put Its Built-In Timer To Use

Most people are at the habit of leaving their air conditioners turned on for longer periods of time. Some even sleep with it going, letting the air conditioner run even after it is no longer needed.

To maximize your air conditioner, you need to make use of the built in timer function. Not only does it save you energy costs but also prolongs the longevity of your cooler. You can have its thermostat set to turn off hours after you’re asleep and have it turn off whenever you leave your home.

Keep Your Windows Covered


Ambient light brings in additional heat into your room hence decreases the efficiency of your air conditioner. In fact it can raise the temperature of any room from anywhere between 10-20oF. The more heat your room has the harder your air conditioner works. One way to address this is to keep your windows covered with curtains or drapes, that way your room is  shielded against the heat of the sun.

Keep in mind that the size and the type of air conditioning unit depends on the size of your room and the amount of heat it receives. If your room is generally warmer or is exposed to direct sunlight, you would need an air conditioner with a BTU of at least 10% more. It will cost you more and will definitely be less energy efficient as those units with lower BTU’s.

Get It In The Right Size

In choosing an appliance, it is of great importance that you consider your needs and lifestyle before aesthetics. Nothing can ever be more rewarding than getting the exact model that can seamlessly fit into your lifestyle and home setting.

In choosing the appropriate Portable AC for your room, you need to take note of your room size. One of the most important things you need to carefully consider is your unit’s BTU rating. A BTU rating measures the amount of energy an air conditioner needs to raise a pound of water to a temperature of 1oF. The rule of thumb is that; the bigger the room, the higher the BTU requirement from your air conditioning unit.

However, keep in mind that larger isn’t always better. You need to get your AC exactly at the same size as deemed appropriate for your room size. Otherwise, you run the risk of increasing your energy consumption while lowering your unit’s efficiency in keeping your room within your preferred temperature.

Conduct Visual Inspection

As you know, any additional heat that may be present inside your room effects how your portable air conditioner functions. Any small opening or leak that may cause cold air to escape and warm air to come in is such a waste of energy. Therefore you need to check on your room if there are openings that can interfere with the cooling process. You should also ensure that your air conditioner’s window kit is properly installed so as not to compromise your AC’s cooling efficiency.

Keep The Filters Clean

To ensure that clean air continues to circulate within your AC, you need to clean your air filters at least once a month. Dirty air filters interfere with air flow and thus can result in malfunctioning over time. Clogged air filters can cause your unit to work even harder thus consumes more energy and electricity than usual. The end result is higher monthly electricity bills and less savings.

Use It In Conjunction With An Electric Fan

To get the most out of your portable air conditioner’s cooling ability, you can use it in conjunction with an electric fan or a ceiling fan. The fan helps distribute cool air all throughout your room and can cause about a 4oF  drop in temperature. In this instance you can keep you AC’s thermostat at a higher temperature setting without compromising the cool breeze you seek in having for comfort.  There’s nothing more refreshing than a cool breeze on a hot summer’s day.

Final Word

Portable Air Conditioners are indeed a great alternative to more expensive, inflexible fixed air conditioning units. It can help you save money on your monthly electricity bill thus making it among the most cost effective means in keeping your room cool and comfortable.

However, home appliances such as your portable AC is subject to wear and tear. The way you make use of it dictates how long you get to enjoy its use. It is therefore important to give your air conditioner the TLC that it needs. Not only does it lets your unit function to its fullest potential but also prolongs it’s longevity.

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