Buying Portable Air Conditioners

A portable air conditioner is a handy solution to a hot room. The smaller residential units, starting around 8,000 BTUs, will only cool the immediate area around them while larger residential units, up to 14,000 BTUs, will cool a whole room. Larger commercial portable air conditioners are available up to 42,000 BTUs.

What Size Do I Need?

The smaller 8,000 BTU residential air conditioners will cool an area about 150 square feet. 14,000 BTU units will cool up to 500 square feet. Choose an air conditioner that adequately sized to chill your room effectively. A unit that is too small for your room will run longer, trying to keep up, and wear out sooner. A unit that is too large will short cycle causing failures.


  • Air Filters and purification
  • Remote control
  • Eco-friendly R410a refrigerant
  • Digital thermostat
  • Condensate drain tube
  • Self-evaporated
  • heat

Portable Air Conditioners Features

A filter system can purify your indoor air while cooling it. Filtering is helpful for reducing hay fever symptoms and alleviating respiratory problems. Some portable air conditioners incorporate ozone technology into their filtration systems. Remote controls are handy for controlling your portable air conditioner without getting off the coach. This feature also enables placement of the air conditioner in a less accessible locations. Easy access to the air conditioner controls can also save energy.

Air conditioners that use eco-friendly R410a refrigerant will save the planet from ozone depleting gases that contribute to global warming from the greenhouse effect. This occurs if the refrigerant accidentally leaks out of the air conditioner.

Digital thermostats can save power by using the set back features in the programming. Some portable air conditioners feature a timer as well. Be sure to save the programming instructions for future reference.

Condensate drain tubes are a very nice for long term applications. Air conditioners remove moisture from the air while cooling. This moisture condenses into a reservoir that needs to be emptied periodically. Some portable air conditioners can hold up to 40 pounds of water. Route your condensate drain tube outside and there is no reservoir to empty.

Self evaporated models have a way off reducing the amount of condensate they produce and require less maintenance..

Some portable air conditioners can produce heat if needed.

Initial Cost per Cooling Power

To compare the initial cost per cooling power, simply divide the purchase price by the BTU output of the air conditioner. Do this for each air conditioner you are considering and compare the dollars per BTU.

Operating Cost per Cooling Power

Use the average operating dollars per year rating to compare operating costs of various units. Energy Star compliant air conditioners will be much more energy efficient.


Prices range from $300 to $1,300 with large commercial units going for $3000 on up to $8,000.

Check the warrantee information and operating noise level before making your final decision.