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by Lindsay Wilcox
Skip the hassle of professional installation and buy a portable air conditioner to keep your home cool. Whether you need a small portable air conditioner for your bedroom or several air conditioners to cool an upper floor, the following suggestions can help you find the best portable air conditioner for your space. Read on for tips on buying a portable air conditioner.
Find a unit that really is portable. Many models are labeled as portable air conditioning units if they do not require wall installation; however, some of these air conditioners can be heavy and cumbersome to move. Buy portable air conditioners that include wheels and built-in handles if you plan to move your unit from room to room during the summer, or look for lightweight air conditioner units that include window kits if you plan to mount the model in a window. The best portable air conditioner will fit in a variety of spaces and be simple to move and lift by yourself.
Buy the right size. While you may be tempted to buy a small portable air conditioner that uses less energy and only takes up a little space, this model may not work best for a large living room or family room. Check the labels before you buy portable air conditioners; the product description usually includes the size of the area, measured in square feet, that the unit can cool efficiently. Make sure you don't put a large portable room air conditioner in a compact room, either, as the model will overwork to cool the area and make the room clammy. Air conditioner units that include a high energy-efficiency ratio number, determined by dividing the cooling output by electric energy input, are considered very cost-effective; use these labels to find an efficient portable room air conditioner for your space.
Look for air conditioners with features you like. Don't spend forever figuring out how to set up your portable air conditioning units. Find models that include remotes so you can easily adjust temperature and air flow from across the room, built-in water tanks for easy drainage and window kits for mounting room air conditioners on a window sill when you want a stronger breeze. You'll also want to look for room air conditioners that feature programmable timers when you don't want to run your unit continually.