3 Portable Cooling Device Options

There are a wide range of portable cooling devices available on the market. Cost, size, convenience and regional climate are some of the issues to consider before selecting your portable cooling device.  Determine what size room or area you want to cool. This will be a key factor in your choice of portable cooling devices.

Portable Air Conditioners

Air conditioners actually extract heat and cool by a refrigeration cycle. Pay attention to the cooling capacity. The manufacturer’s instruction will tell you how large a room the unit can cool based on BTUs. Portable air conditioners extract moisture from the air and by doing so, produce condensation. This is released into a bucket or tray you may have to empty. Some cooling units process the condensation back into the air. This is an excellent choice for tropical climates. The hot air needs to be ventilated outside the room you wish to cool.

 A portable air conditioning unit on wheels can easily be moved from room to room. You may choose to use a portable window air conditioning unit. These are easily mounted in a window, with sliding side or sliding top and bottom panels. The sliding panels allow them to fit into most window spaces. These are excellent for apartments, as they require no additional ventilation. While not as simple to move as a unit mounted on wheels, the window unit does not have additional ventilation requirements.

Evaporative Coolers

Commonly known as swamp coolers, these units are an excellent choice for dry arid regions. You will need to check the unit's CFM rating to determine the size you will need to cool the room. These units can cool a room up to 20 degrees cooler than the outside air. Outside air is pulled into the unit, drawn over water filled pads and then pushed into the room with a big fan, forcing warm air out of the room. It is an exceptionally cost effective way to cool any room. You should be sure to check the swamp cooler's air moving capacity. The portable swamp cooler will need to be located near a window or door for ventilation.

In most cases these units require more attention from you than a traditional portable air conditioning unit. You may need to periodically drain the unit, replace the water and clean the cooling pads. The maintenance is minimal, considering that the cost to operate an evaporative swamp cooler is approximately 1/3 the cost of operating an air conditioning unit.  Purchase a unit with multiple fan speeds.  This gives you greater control over the output of the unit.

Portable Fans

While a fan technically does not cool air, it does cool you. The fan creates a wind chill effect by circulating the air. The wind chill effect created by the fan increases the body’s thermal energy release, known as convection heat loss. The wind from the fan evaporates the moisture on your skin, cooling the body. When you only need a mild cooling effect, the use of a fan to circulate air is a more economical alternative than either a portable air conditioner or a portable evaporative swamp cooler.