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Warnings on Portable Air Conditioners


As summer heats up in California, many people seek air conditioning solutions for their homes. Portable air conditioner units may seem appealing at first, but several factors make them less attractive than window units. At MightyServ, were committed to connecting clients with the best possible units for their spaces. Before investing in a portable AC, review the FAQs below and feel free to reach out with any questions.

How Portable Are These AC Units?

We’ve found that portable AC units aren’t as mobile as advertised. Frequently displayed without hoses and marketed as no-installation systems, these units seem like quick, easy cooling solutions. However, all AC units work by dispersing warm air outside the building, which presents some difficulties when it comes to portable devices.

Window AC units employ coolants to move heat from inside the home into coils outside the house, where it’s expelled. A portable device works similarly, except the coils are indoors. A hose resembling a clothing dryer vent hose must connect to the coils. Warm air travels through these tubes and is released outside. In combination with its 50- to 80-pound weight, this large hose attachment makes portable AC units less mobile.

Because the tube must connect the coil to the outdoors to expel hot air, you must install venting kits in a window or wall for every room in which you use the AC unit negating the claim that a portable air conditioner needs no installation.

Is A Portable Air Conditioner Unit Energy Efficient?

We measure the amount of hot air an AC unit can remove from a given space within an hour in British thermal units (BTUs). A larger room or warmer climate requires a higher BTU air conditioner to be effective. Portable and window AC units are both measured with this system, but these ratings can be misleading.

A portable unit measuring the same BTUs as a window unit doesn’t cool at the same rate. Since air moves through coils and a hose that are both indoors, some redistribution of heat into the home is inevitable with portable units. In general, portable AC units are dramatically less energy efficient because they must run for extended periods to attain the same cooling impact as window units.

Will A Portable Unit Create A Vacuum?

Window ACs can circulate air from the outside to the inside, producing fresh air. People tend to seal off areas that have an AC running to make the most of the cooling capacity, which is safe with a window unit. However, portable units create a closed system, since they only expel and don’t bring fresh air into the home. An unfortunate side effect this recycled air, is that occupants re-breathe the same air, which isn’t healthy. The vacuum that portable AC units create in a home is a serious concern.

Are The Risks Worth The Benefits?

Consider the above complications before investing in a portable air conditioner unit. Are the risks worth the benefits you have from owning a portable AC unit? If you have any questions, contact us at MightyServ. We’re here to help residents of the greater Los Angeles area with all their HVAC needs, and we’ll happily answer any of your questions.


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