Portable AC is one of the variant of room Air Conditioners category. There are many types of portable air conditioners available in market to address home cooling needs. Portable AC is totally different than Split Air Conditioners and Window AC when it comes to its usage. There was time; Domestic Room Air Conditioners used come in very big sizes along with lot of maintenance and high cost. It was rich people’s product. But now over the years it has changed and you can find many types of Room Air Conditioners available in market with various cooling applications at affordable price.

Portable AC one of my favourite Air Conditioner by considering the need and demand for portable products in today’s world. If you are planning to buy one then I suggest you to go through this article, which will give you complete information about Portable Air Conditioners.

What is Portable Air conditioner?

Portable AC is single unit AC. It is made in such way that all required Air Conditioning components fixed in single unit. So there is no need of separate indoor and outdoor unit. Why it’s called Portable AC. First, it comes as single unit. Second, it doesn’t require any fixed installation setup. Third, it comes with wheels which makes easier to move from one location to another location

Air quality is very important when it comes to air conditioners. For that reason most of Portable AC comes with air filters to ensure clean air to breathe. Many think that Portable AC is like air cooler so better to use air cooler than Portable AC. Well, Both are totally different in many ways. Major difference is ‘It’s an Air Conditioner’. Let’s see how it works?

How do Portable Air Conditioners work?

Portable AC also works same like all other air conditioners. It also has essential components like Refrigerant Gas, Compressor, Condenser, Evaporators and Blowers.

Cooling Process

Refrigerant Gas is specialised chemical, which is capable of converting from liquid to gas and gas to liquid based on high and low pressure situations. Basically, it is the nature of Refrigerant Gas makes air conditioning possible. It start with Compressor, where low pressure or cool gas converts to extremely high pressure gas or heated gas once its passed through compressor.Then that hot gas passes through Condenser coils which are known as heat exchangers. It reduces heat of high pressure gas and makes it cool. Once gas heat comes down then it get converted in to liquid state. Now liquid is cooled. Then Evaporator plays its key role by reducing cooled liquid pressure and converting it in to gas again. This cooled gas helps to generate cool air. Then Blowers passes cooled air outside through Air Outlet.This cycle repeats again and again. That’s how it works.

Air Outlet of Portable AC comes on top in most the models. It also comes with Two Way or Three Way air swing options to cover maximum area inside the room. These Air Conditioners are available in various BTU range from 5000 to 14000 BTU. You will find two types of portable AC in market. 1- Single hose Portable Air Conditioner and 2- Double hose/ Dual hose Portable Air Conditioner. Let’s understand the difference between these two.

Single Hose vs Double Hose Portable AC

Single hose Portable AC

Basically hose is air duct pipe which helps to release the hot air outside of room. In simple terms it acts like exhaust pipe of car or bike. Single hose Portable AC uses room air for cooling, once cooling process done then AC has to release hot air outside using that hose. Generally hose fixed through window. Caution!  If room is not closed properly then there are chances of outside air flowing inside the room, which will cause negative air pressure as it takes room air for cooling. Single hose AC are low on power consumption, less expensive and suitable for small rooms.

Dual or Double hose Portable AC

Dual hose Portable AC comes with two separate hoses for air inlet and outlet. One hose used to take outside air for cooling process and other one is used to release hot air outside which is generated through cooling process. With proper distribution of air, Double hose AC gives you better cooling capacity and efficiency compared to single hose AC. Dual hose AC are little more expensive and it’s suitable for larger rooms based on BTU or Tonnage.

Every one often gets confused with features. As every brand has their own feature names to promote their portable ac differently than competitors. It is always better to know what the feature is and what it offers to you. Let’s see all Top Common features and its uses of Portable AC.

Top Key features of Portable Air Conditioners and its uses

Cooper Coil

Almost every manufacturer highlights this feature. As condenser coil is important component of AC. Basically, Copper coil AC performs better than aluminium coil and bit expensive. The reason is copper coil has better heat exchange rate and it’s resistant to corrosion. It gives more durability and optimum cooling efficiency. It little expensive

Gold Fin and Blue Fin Technology

It also known as Hydrophilic fins. Air Conditioners constantly come in touch with water droplets, moisture and dust. It causes rust on coils and results in reduced durability and low cooling efficiency. To prevent that, these condenser coils comes with Gold Fin and Blue Fin epoxy coatings.

Dry Mode

We often hate humidity during monsoon or if you are living in coastal areas. Dry mode helps to remove moisture from air.

Air Filters

There are chances of growth of bacteria due to rust and dust particles on AC components. To prevent that most air conditioners comes with Air filters that provides you clean air to breathe.

Eco Friendly

Always buy product which is eco friendly. Whether AC is eco friendly or not? That is decided on its energy saving ratings and refrigerant gas. Now a day’s most of Air Conditioners are coming with R410A and R-32 gas with lower power consumption.

Air Swing/ Air Deflection

Air swing is nothing but air flow direction. It is necessary that AC should distribute air to all corners of room.  Air Swing feature ensures that proper distribution of cooling in room. Various AC offers two way or three way air swing which helps to cool entire room.

Wi-Fi / Smart AC

Are you tech savvy buyer? Then consider this feature. There are various brands which come with Wi-Fi controlled Air Conditioners. This feature allows you to control your AC from anywhere without sitting next to your AC. Check out more about WI-Fi AC or Smart AC Feature.

Auto Drainage & Tank Full Alert

Unlike all Air Conditioners, Portable AC also needs drainage of water. Some AC comes with pipe to drain water and some comes with internal storage tank. If AC has storage tank then AC check its water level and gives an alert when tank is about to full. In some models that water also splashed on condensers to increase cooling efficiency.

Operating Modes

Most common cooling modes are Auto Mode, Dry Mode, Fan Mode, And Cool Mode. These modes can be controlled using Remote or Wi-Fi AC mobile Application.

R-410A Gas and R-32 Gas

It’s Eco friendly refrigerant gas. It’s available in most of the latest Air Conditioners.

Things to consider while buying Portable Air Conditioner

Room Size and BTU

  • Recommended BTU for small size room is 7000 to 10000. Ideal for small size bedroom less than 300 Square feet.
  • For medium size rooms such as large bedroom or living room recommended BTU is 11000 to 14000 BTU.  For details go through below chart.

Air Conditioner BTU chart

Cooling Area
(in square feet)
Required BTU
 (BTUs per hour)
100 to 1505,000
150 to 2506,000
250 to 3007,000
300 to 3508,000
350 to 4009,000
400 to 45010,000
450 to 55012,000
550 to 70014,000
Source: Energy Star

Power Consumption

  • Look for energy efficiency rate ERR or Energy Star Ratings for power consumption details. Basically ERR is the way to measure ratio between the amount of BTU spend an Hour to produce cooling and usage of power in Watts. In conclusion, Higher ERR means less power consumptions and more savings for you. Generally this information easily available when you go through air conditioner details. In addition you will find Energy saving calculators which will tell you how much money you are going to save. You just need to select type of AC, Tonnage or BTU size, Start Rating & Electricity Rate nothing but per unit cost. That’s it you will know how you going to save.

Water Drainage system

  • This is very important when it comes to portable AC. There multiple options available when it comes to water drainage system. You can choose based on your requirement.

Maintenance

  • Portable AC also needs maintenance like every other Air Conditioner. You can do minor servicing by yourself like – cleaning air filters and water storage box. But other servicing requires service professional touch. So look for warranty terms and service network of manufacturers.

Noise Levels

  • Well you can’t have AC without noise and vibrations but you can try to find best one by checking product technical specifications while you buy. Its mentioned in Db.

FAQ – Portable Air Conditioners

Can I extend hose of Portable AC?

  • Yes, it is possible to extend hose of Portable AC. But it is not recommended, as it may results in reduced cooling efficiency. Try to use the standard hose which is provided by AC manufacturers.

What is weight of Portable AC?

  • Average weight portable AC is around 30 Kg to 40 Kg.

What power supply Portable AC needs?

  • Power requirement for portable AC is 115/120 standard household voltage. So you don’t need to spend extra money on equipment for power supply arrangements.

Is Portable AC better than Split AC & Window AC?

  • Well, if you are not much concerned about portability option then better go with Split AC or Window AC which provides better cooling efficiency as compared to portable AC. Check out difference between Window AC & Split AC.

Does Portable AC comes with Inverter Compressor functionality?

Thanks for reading. If you feel some of your queries are not addressed in this article. Then please share your feedback through comments.

2 thoughts on “What is Portable AC

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