Portable Air Conditioner Fact Sheet

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If you live in a hot climate or find yourself dreading the heat of the summer months, it's time to look into a portable air conditioner. Convenient and movable, they're perfect for use in bedrooms, living rooms, and small apartments. These facts about portable air conditioners will help you figure out which one is right for your home.

Portable AC Facts:

  1. Portable air conditioners can be moved. This seems like an obvious fact, but technically, a portable air conditioner is one that can easily be moved from room to room rather than one that mounts in the window. Window-mount air conditioning units are semi-portable, and if your plan is to leave it in one room for repeated use, it's an equally good choice. If you want to move the air conditioner with you from room to room, then choose a unit on wheels for maximum convenience.

  2. Coverage varies by size of the air conditioner. Recommended coverage for a specific air conditioning unit is usually provided by the manufacturer, but there are general guidelines you can follow. In general, the bigger the room you're trying to cool, the more BTUs you'll need; fewer BTUs will be required if the room is consistently shady and more if it's consistently sunny.

    General BTU Guidelines:

    • For a large room (350 to 950 square feet), pick an 8,000 to 13,500 BTU appliance.

    • For a medium room (250 to 550 square feet), look for a 7,000 to 12,000 BTU unit.

    • For a small room (100 to 300 square feet), choose a 5,000 to 7,000 BTU air conditioner.

  3. Running a portable air conditioner can be inexpensive. Look for a portable air conditioner with a built-in timer to reduce costs. Like a thermostat, it can be programmed to be on when you're home or about to arrive and to be off when you're gone. Choose an air conditioner with as few BTUs as you can get away with; there's no reason to pay for cooling you don't need.

  4. Portable air conditioners have extra features. Air conditioners have come a long way from simply being fans; you can now choose from a variety of features, so it's practically tailor-made. Many air conditioners have high and low settings, can act as humidifiers, and can even be set to act as just as a fan.

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