Portable or Window Air Conditioner: Which is Most Efficient?

When the heat of summer arrives, you, along with everyone else, will start depending on your air conditioner units to ensure that you and your house, or workplace, remain cool and not feel overheated.

There’s not much more annoying than not being able to escape the summer heat, even when you are inside. No matter if you are in your living room, kitchen, bedroom, or family room, you are going to want to be comfortable and away from the heat.

The time-tested solution is turn on the air conditioning to keep you cool. But there’s always that concern that goes along with running the AC: the cost of electricity.

This may lead you, like many others, to a search for a more efficient air conditioner.

While there are numerous units to choose from, a good decision to make early on is whether you need a portable or window air conditioner.

So which is the most efficient?

The short answer is that window air conditioners are more efficient than portable air conditioners. By comparing the amount of electricity that they each use, we found that generally, portable air conditioners do use a little more than window air conditioners.

But there are so many other factors to take into account when considering which is more efficient for your needs.

For example, if you want air conditioning in more than one room, a window air conditioner is not going to help nearly as much as a portable air conditioner.

Whether you are leaning toward a portable or window air conditioner, here are a few things to consider when trying to decide which unit is more efficient and better for you.

Make Sure You Know What You Need

When deciding what kind of air conditioning unit you should get, the first thing you need to figure out is what you will be using it for. What is the size of the space you will be trying to cool down? Where in your space do you want to place the unit?

While a lot of houses and offices have centralized air, it is one of the more expensive units to install. Both portable and window air conditioner units are much more cost effective. Let’s look at the key differences between the portable air conditioners and window air conditioners.

Portable Air Conditioners

Portable air conditioners use a compressor, condenser, and an evaporator coil to help bring that nice cool air into your living area. There are two exhaust types: single hose or dual hose.

Each of these kinds of exhausts come with their own benefits. The single hose exhaust will take out the hot air in your room with one hose that is hooked to the back of the ac unit.

The dual hose is a bit more efficient in how it works. This unit has two hoses, both in the back of the ac unit. One takes out the hot air, while the other brings in the cool air.

True to their name, portable air conditioners can be placed anywhere in your home or office. You can put this unit in a doorway, window, or another type of ventilated passage in your home.

You can use portable air conditioners in your basement, garage, workshop, bedroom, living room, home office – you name it!

There are a lot of reasons that people go with portable units over window units. As you can see, they are very flexible. You can be chilling in your bedroom and move into the living room, bringing the unit with you. They are much easier to install than window units.

The biggest drawback you will find with portable units is that they are usually not as efficient. These units usually take more BTU to run. This means they use more electricity than a window unit would need to help cool down the same size of room.

Portable units run into this problem because they create their own heat which means that there is more heat for the unit to push out. They also make more noise than window air conditioners, which isn’t a problem if you’re fine with white noise.

Window Air Conditioners

Window air conditioners are designed to cool down your living area by removing hot and humid air, then cooling and dehumidifying that air, and then pushing it back into your living area while keeping out the hot air.

They do this at different levels of power, measured by BTUs. The higher the BTU rating is, the larger the room a window air conditioner can cool down.

Like portable units, window air conditioners come with features such as thermostat remotes and timers.

And just because it is called a window air conditioner does not mean it needs a window to work! Some air conditioners can be installed through a wall.

Window air conditioning units can be used either to help your central air conditioning work more efficiently, or they can be the main air conditioning you use to help cool down rooms in your home.

The most common places you will find a window air conditioner is in places like your bedroom, home office, living room, or smaller commercial places.

If you are going to be using a window to install your air conditioner, rather than a wall, you should use the highest window. That way you will get the most out of your unit.

A big benefit of window air conditioners is that they are very energy efficient. The most efficient ones are Energy Star Certified.

Another benefit is that window air conditioners run smoothly and pretty quietly.

So Which Unit is Best?

While there is no clear-cut answer since it depends on what you want to use the unit for, most will say that if you want the most energy efficient and quiet unit, a window air conditioner is the way to go.

But if you want to use your air conditioner in more than one room, a portable air conditioner is the obvious winner.

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