Maximize Portable AC Cooling Efficiency: Money Saving Tips and Tricks

green-piggy-bank-flippedToday's portable air conditioners are extremely energy efficient. While using less energy than ever, you can get powerful spot cooling to keep your space comfortable even through the hottest weather.

But no matter how efficient your unit might be, there are things you can do maximize portable AC cooling efficiency, so that it cools your space more effectively while saving you on electricity costs. These money-saving tips and tricks will help you get better performance from your mobile air conditioner.

Pick the right location

AC-10000E Image12For portable ACs to perform at their full capacity, you need to place them in the right spots.

  • Usually at least 12 to 18 inches clearance is required on all sides to allow air to flow freely through the unit's air vents - wedging it between the couch and a table will only make the fans work harder as it tries to circulate the air.
  • Avoid placing it near direct sources of heat, including various living room and kitchen appliances. Big screen televisions, stereo systems and computers can use a large amount of energy which is radiated as heat into the room. Placing an air conditioning unit nearby can be counterproductive. A good rule of thumb is to try to keep your portable air conditioner a minimum of 10 feet from these types of appliances.
  • You'll also want to avoid placing your portable AC in direct sunlight. Beware of sun-facing windows and open doorways, as sunlight can raise the temperature of a room by 10 to 20 degrees.

Reduce heat sources

Reducing the ambient heat in the room will help your room air conditioner keep it cool. Try these tricks:

  • Turn off unused lights
  • Replace lightbulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs which radiate 75% less heat
  • Cover windows that let in direct sunlight
  • Don't use the oven or stove in the hottest weather
  • Ensure the windows, doors and other openings are properly weatherized to avoid leakage
  • Install insulation if it's feasible
  • Plant trees or install awnings on the outside of the house to provide shade and reduce internal temperatures

Properly vent the unit

AC-10000E Image5Most portable air conditioning units work right out of the box without any permanent installation. Set up is quick, but it's crucial to vent the unit with the included window kit in order for it to work correctly.

  • Make sure the hose - or hoses - are properly connected to both the back of the unit and the included window kit.
  • Keep the hose as straight as possible. If you do need to bend it, try to avoid sharp angles.
  • Exhaust hoses are extendable, but keep the hose length as short as possible for maximum cooling.
  • Above all else, be sure to read and follow the included directions carefully.

Combine your air conditioner with a fan

9220 Image7An electric fan costs only a few pennies a day to run, but can create a wind chill effect that significantly reduces your need for air conditioning. The wind created by the fan bows away the bubble of heat generated by your own body, so that you feel cooler. When you feel cooler, you can turn up the thermostat on your AC so that it won't have to work so hard.

Cool drinks, cold showers, and lightweight clothing are other ways to keep your body temperature comfortable in hot weather, so you don't need to depend so heavily on your air conditioner.

Monitor the thermostat

AC-10000E Image10Did you know that each degree below 78F on your portable AC's thermostat will increase energy usage by as much as 4%? Keep an eye on the built-in thermostat and evaluate how cold you actually need to keep the room in order to be comfortable. A few degrees higher can result in significant energy savings.

In addition, keep in mind:

  • Use the timer to avoid running the air conditioner when you're not at home or sleeping.
  • Turning the thermostat down lower won't make the room cool off quicker.

Regularly clean the air filter

airfilterMost portable air conditioners include a washable air filter that serves to remove particles from the air. These filters should be cleaned at least once a summer to ensure efficient cooling, as well as cleaner air for your home or office.

Simply wash the filter in warm water, using a mild detergent if needed. Rinse and dry them thoroughly before sliding them back into the unit. If your model includes a carbon filter, then you will need to replace it per the manufacturer's directions. Carbon filters should typically be replaced every few months for best results.

Store the unit properly

If you don't plan to use the portable air conditioner unit year-round, store it properly to ensure the unit continues to cool efficiently and to the best of its abilities in years to come.

To store a portable AC properly, first turn off and unplug the unit. Drain all condensate water from the water container and switch the unit to fan mode for several hours to make sure that the interior of the unit is completely dry. Clean the filter one last time before packaging the unit in its original wrapping. Store the box in a dry location in your home or office.

Buy the right size portable air conditioner

The cooling efficiency of a portable air conditioner is linked strongly to the size of the space you are trying to cool. Having a too-powerful AC in a small room can be just as inefficient as having a too-small unit in a large room. Click here to read more about choosing the right size portable air conditioner for your needs.

We have a wide selection of energy-efficient portable air conditioners for sale with great online discounts available. Contact us today to speak with of our cooling experts, or click here to begin shopping!


Portable Air Conditioner Comparison Chart
5 Common Portable Air Conditioner Mistakes
How to Maintain Your Portable Air Conditioner