Portable Air Conditioners for the Home and Office

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Portable Air Conditioners: What You Need to Know Before You Buy

Cool your living space without having to invest in an expensive central air conditioning system with portable air conditioner.  Portable air conditioners allow you to enjoy all the benefits of traditional air conditioners but have the added benefit of being fully portable.  Best of all, portable ACs don't require permanent installation and are perfect for keeping apartments and condominiums cool and comfortable. 

To get the most air conditioning for your money, consider these features before you decide on a unit that's right for you:

Calculate the square footage of your room to find out how powerful of an AC you need.

Before you choose a portable air conditioner, the first thing you should consider is how large of an area you're trying to cool.  Portable air conditioners are rated in BTUs, or "British Thermal Units."  Most portable ACs have cooing capacities ranging from 5,000 to 16,000 BTUs.  The higher the BTU rating, the stronger the AC. 

Don't be tempted to purchase a unit that's significantly more powerful than your cooling needs.  The size of your portable air conditioner should be adequate and not too large or small.  A unit that's too powerful will cycle off too quickly and not properly dehumidify the room while a portable air conditioner with too low a BTU rating will not adequately cool. See our portable AC sizing guideto figure out how large of a unit you need. 

Pay attention to the portable air conditioner's Energy Efficiency Ratio.

Always check the unit's EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) before making your purchase.  The higher the EER, the more energy-efficient the portable AC unit.  The current minimum requirement by law is an EER of 10.  Purchase a model with the highest EER you can reasonably afford because this will eventually save you money on your energy bill. 

Look for portable air conditioners that can do more than just cool.

Many popular portable air conditioners can do more than just cool.  Since all units remove moisture from the air, they double as dehumidifiers.  There are also heat pump models that actually double as space heaters in the winter, so if you're looking for something that will maintain your comfort year-round, these portable ACs will fit the bill.

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