It appears each summer is hotter than the last and unless you live underground, it makes living without an air conditioner out of the question. When your unit dies, you must buy another one, but you’re stuck with the question: Should I get a portable or window air conditioner?
It’s not a decision one should take lightly, since this is a costly purchase. There are several factors to consider before making the decision to buy a mobile unit or one that fits in the window, including
- What room will you install the unit in?
- Is there a place for ventilation?
- What size is the room or rooms?
Deciding which one is right for you means knowing the pros and cons of the air conditioners. You need to know why one could be better than the other, which we will discuss below.
Window Air Conditioner
Depending on the size of the room or rooms, window units are often the best bet. They are cheaper and more energy efficient to use. However, there are just a couple of the drawbacks of owning a window air conditioner. Window units are bulky, and the body of the air conditioning unit sits outside of the window like a sore thumb. This takes away from the overall appearance of the home or office.
The body is mounted on a stand or fixed to the window so it’s difficult to take out. When consumers buy window air conditioners, they install it so it’s stable and remains in the window until it needs replacing. Not only that, but some units make plenty of noise.
Portable Air Conditioners
Some people prefer a portable air conditioner because of the obvious — it’s mobile. You can move it from room to room or even to another building. Still, these units can be large and heavy to lift, but they claim to be quieter than window units while running.
Portable units can also be any easier to install. Often, it’s just a plug and play with a few simple adjustments. The unit may come with an exhaust pipe that removes hot air, but some don’t. If it does, it should come with a kit to help you install it. Make sure it seals properly to prevent air from escaping.
If you buy a portable unit, you may pay a little more for it. Even though it may cost more, it doesn’t do any more than the window air conditioner. Another disadvantage could be if the space is extra small, it could be in the way.
Choosing the Best Air Conditioner
Besides the portable air conditioner being super easy to install, what other pros does it have? Which unit saves you the most money over the year? Here are a few more features you should consider before you buy.
Portable air conditioners are not as energy efficient as window units. The electric bill shows how efficient it actually is. In fact, it uses more energy than any other appliance in the home. On the plus side, you can turn it on and off when you want. You can cool as many rooms as you choose or only one room at a time. This option stands for both the portable unit and the window air conditioner.
Have you priced an air conditioner?
The best time to buy an air conditioner is during the off season, however, you can’t always plan these things. Think about the size of the unit and the name brand before you buy. This will undoubtedly drive the prices up, but your wallet will ultimately decide on who’s the coolest.
You could pay $300-400 for a portable unit and own a decent air conditioner. Some stores may offer a name brand 6000 BTU window air conditioner for around $250. Prices go higher the more BTUs you require. When comparing the prices per BTU, they could be cheaper depending on brand and location. The best suggestion is to shop and compare online before buying.
What size air conditioner do I need?
The BTUs per hour affects how well the air conditioner cools the room. You don’t need a unit with 25,000 BTUs for a 12×12 room unless you are freezing fresh meat. You can cool a room that size with a smaller unit, therefore you shouldn’t have to pay a lot. The rule of thumb is the more BTUs you need, the more expensive it is.