Portable Air Conditioners vs. Window Air Conditioners

Is a Portable Air Conditioner or a Window Air Conditioner the right unit for me?

Whether you are looking for an air conditioner to be the primary source of cooling for your bedroom, living room or even office, it is important to consider what type of cooling system will best fit your needs and restrictions. The two primary concerns when selecting an air conditioner are the size of the room you are trying to cool and where the unit will be installed.

When looking to cool a small space, the most popular types of air conditioners available will be window air conditioners and portable air conditioners, both of which cater to different installation constraints and functionality requirements. Prior to making your purchase, it is important to consider the unique advantages that are offered by a portable air conditioner as well as some of the long standing benefits provided by a window air conditioner.

Portable Air Conditioners Offer Versatility

Portable air conditioners are ideal for the person who prefers an easy temporary installation. Portable air conditioners can be easily disassembled and rolled away into a closet for storage. Window air conditioners can be extremely heavy and hard to remove without help. Also, because portable air conditioners arrive with mobility casters, you can easily move the unit from room-to-room, cooling only those spaces you’re residing.

Especially if you live in a small apartment, great natural light can be hard to come by. Rather than block out what little light you have with a window air conditioner, you can use a portable air conditioner instead. Although these units vent through the window, the venting kit requires significantly less window space than a through-the-window a/c.

Many homeowner associations and housing ordinances forbid the installation of window air conditioners due to aesthetic, obstruction, and concerns of safety. A portable air conditioner provides the perfect option for someone facing these regulations.

Window Air Conditioners Save Floor Space

If conserving floor space is important to you, then it is likely that a window air conditioner is the more suitable. Although portable air conditioners are compact, they do reside on the floor and take up space. Window air conditioners, on the other hand, are stored entirely outside of your living space.

Additionally, though both window and portable air conditioners are more efficient than central cooling systems, window air conditioners utilize the energy they consume more efficiently and are able generate more cooling power per BTU. Many window air conditioners carry Energy Star certifications, further proving their efficiency.

Another factor to consider when deciding between a window and portable air conditioners is the level of noise produced during operation. Although they both tend to produce a similar range of noise and neither can be determined inherently quieter than the other, portable air conditioners’ noise levels are determined by a dB (decibel) rating. If noise is a concern, you will want to pay attention to these ratings and choose a unit with a low dB.

Alternative Cooling Solutions are a Win-Win

Central AC alternatives like these can do more than cool your space. They offer versatility, cost less to operate, and consume less energy than central cooling systems. They can also help alleviate energy costs through spot cooling or supplemental cooling. If you’re looking for a way to cool a specific area or room, consider choosing either a window or portable air conditioner. Once you weigh the pros and cons of each, you’re sure to find the perfect solution for your cooling needs.


About Author

Sarah is a savvy urbanite with small town roots. As a foodie, wine lover & adventurer, she loves the bustling city and the great outdoors equally. Her motto is that you don’t have to sacrifice comfort, convenience, or fresh air for small-scale urban living.

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