Best Portable Air Conditioners for 2014

Best Portable Air Conditioner HONEYWELL MN12CES

Honeywell MN12CES Portable Air Conditioner

The Honeywell MN12CES Portable Air Conditioner is probably the sleekest looking cooling mobile device available on the market, with an unusual black front which you don’t really get with air conditioners. It is a three in one multifunctional item. It cools the air, it is an efficient dehumidifier and it can also be a fan. It features a cutting edge technology, the Auto Evaporative System, with no filling water bucket. Read more…

Overall Rating 9/10

Friedrich PH14B Portable AirconFriedrich PH14B 13500 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

The problem with conventional portable air conditioners has always been the wet messes these units can make. With air getting super-cooled and condensed, it’s easy for more water to end up on the floor than in the collection tank. Thankfully, the Friedrich PH14B ZoneAire series portable air conditioner has this problem solved once and for all. With integrated condensate overflow protection, this unit shuts off automatically when the tank reaches a certain level. Read more…

Overall Rating 8.5/10

Small Portable Air Conditioner Honeywell MN10CESWW

Honeywell MN10CESWW Portable Air Conditioner

Keeping cool when the weather gets hot and sticky is a top priority for all of us. The Honeywell MN10CESWW 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner is designed to help take the edge off of those hot summer months by providing top quality cooling power that can easily cover medium-to-large areas of just about any home or apartment. And since it’s made by Honeywell, people expect a higher level of performance and durability from this portable air conditioner. Read more…

Overall Rating 8/10

Portable Aircon Buying Guide

Small Portable Air ConditionerFor relief from the heat and humidity on those scorching summer days and nights, many find comfort in the form of a portable air conditioner. These units are typically small in size, and most are wheeled, which contributes to their convenience and user-friendliness. Although the reasons for purchasing a portable AC may vary from consumer to consumer, the majority agree that they opt for these units because of their ability to swiftly and effectively cool rooms, garages, and other spaces. They also agree on the economic efficiency, as the operating costs are usually nominal.
Before purchasing a unit of your own, you should do your own research, including comparing and contrasting a few different portable models that will suit your needs. With the large number of manufacturers and machine types available to the public, it is important to consider how and where you will use your air conditioner. Our portable air con comparison guides & portable air conditioner reviews can help guide you choose the best portable air conditioner for your needs.

If you live in an apartment or home with smaller rooms, or if you will use it to cool areas such as a computer server closet, a small portable air conditioner may be your best option. You may also consider how often you will use it and if you will transport it to other locations. If you will use it daily or in multiple locations, a lighter weight model for easy transport may be the top choice. In short, just as with any other monetary investment, you want to make an educated and conscious choice when you decide to purchase a new portable ac unit.

Size

NewAir AC-14100H Portable AirconAs mentioned above, size is a major factor when determining the portable air conditioner that is best for you. If an AC is too small, it will fail to cool the area for which it was intended. As well, if the room or space is improperly insulated or particularly humid, a small portable air conditioner will not be able to operate effectively against its environment. Conversely, if the AC is too large, it will certainly cool the area, however, it will shut off prior to any excess moisture being removed from the air.

Where these factors must be taken into account, some additional considerations include the number of windows and the ceiling height in an area, as well as the amount of equipment or appliances that will be used in that space while the air conditioning is running. In rooms with high ceilings and where heat will be produced from computers and the like, the size of the air conditioner should be increased.

To get a general idea of the size you will need, consider the following:

If your room is 100 square feet, look for an AC with 7,000 BTU

If your room is 200 square feet, look for an AC with 9,000 BTU

If your room is 300 square feet, look for an AC with 10,000 BTU

If your room is 400 square feet, look for an AC with 12,000 BTU

If your room is 500 square feet, look for an AC with 14,000 BTU

Ventilation and Exhaust

Portable AC UnitVenting hot air out of a room is part of the portable air conditioner cooling process. By way of an exhaust hose that is expelled either through a window, into a drop ceiling, or through a wall leading to a vacant space, hot air is forced out of a room. While most portable AC units are packaged with their own drop ceiling or window kits, they will vary from unit to unit, and adjustments will more likely than not, be needed to fit properly.

It is important to note that exhaust hoses come in a standard length, and it is suggested that they not be manually lengthened, as it compromises safety and can also nullify any manufacturer’s warranty. There are, however, longer hoses that come with commercial grade ACs. These should be considered if it better suits your needs. Additionally, you must consider whether you’d like a single hose exhaust or double hose exhaust. Each type has its own positives and negatives, however, a dual hose system is generally more efficient in its operation. On the other hand, it is also more expensive and uses more electricity.

The major disadvantage of a dual hose system is that the room air is recycled. Basically, the AC unit pulls in air from the room, and after cooling it, propels the same air back into the room. That simply means that the air quality in any room will not change, only the temperature will change. With a single hose system, the AC will pull air from outside, cool it, and then push it into the room. The choice to purchase a single or dual hose model is strictly a matter of preference.

Efficiency

When purchasing a portable air conditioner, one consideration may be efficiency. Not unlike other appliances, an AC’s efficiency rating is measured by the energy efficiency ratio or EER. The rule is the higher the EER rating, the more efficient the AC unit. Overall, portable air conditioners are both energy efficient and cost effective, meaning that it can positively affect your monthly electric bill. Look for the Energy Star logo when making your purchase. This will ensure that you are selecting a highly rated, energy efficient unit.

New Air Portable AirconDraining

While portable ACs are cooling air, they are concurrently removing humidity from the air. As such, the unit must have a receptacle to collect that water. Some units come with a container attached that will need to be regularly drained. Other, more complicated systems are self-evaporating, meaning that the unit itself can evaporate most of the moisture into its hot air exhaust system. In essence, this means that very little emptying would be required.

Besides these drainage types, there is also the fully evaporative unit that completely and internally evaporates moisture, so that no emptying is needed, and also the gravity drain, which is a permanent connection that permits water to empty into a floor drain using gravity as its force. Finally, there is the option of an external condensation pump. These force collected water through a drain hose directed to a desired drain location, generally outdoors, or to a floor drain.

Noise Level

The noise levels of portable air conditioning units will vary. Most portable AC units, however, will have decibel ratings ranging from around 40 to 60. These will fluctuate based on the unit itself, as well as the speed at which you are using your AC. For instance, using the appliance on low will be significantly quieter than using it on high. When comparing decibels, consider that a whisper is around 30 decibels, and the hum of a refrigerator is approximately 40 decibels, while a hair dryer is rated around a 70.

Maintenance

Maintaining a portable aircon is very minimal. Besides the drainage requirements, you should follow the manufacturer’s suggestions in regard to annual air filter cleaning and preparation for long term storage. Other than these, portable units are for the most part, plug-in, set and let run.

Heating Options

Some portable AC units have an optional heating mode that allows a user to adjust the machine’s settings to provide either air conditioning or heat. Choosing a unit of this type is wise for consumers who live in areas with cold seasons, or areas where the temperatures are warm during the day, but drop dramatically at night.

Special Features

Portable ACs have a variety of optional features that should be pondered when making the choice to buy a new unit. For example, all-directional air vents. This feature allows the unit to dispel cool air evenly through a room, as opposed to blowing straight, in one direction the entire time it’s being used. Other examples include units that allow 24 hour programmable cycles, those that come equipped with remote controls, and models that can also be used as dehumidifiers. These are only a few of the many options that are available on modern portable units.

While there is no way to deliver an exhaustive guide on portable air conditioning units, this guide has provided enough information to put you on the right road to make an educated and informed decision on the best portable air conditioner for your home or workplace.

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