What Should You Consider When Buying a Portable Air Conditioner?A portable air conditioner (PAC) offers an ideal way to cool a single room, the flexibility to cool a different room when necessary, and the ability to cool a seldom-used space or one where a window unit isn’t feasible. If you’re thinking of buying a PAC, here are some factors worth considering.


PACs are rated in British Thermal Units (BTU) per hour, and models that produce more cooling have higher ratings. It’s important to choose a PAC that matches the square footage of the space you intend to cool, so compare the ratings on the EnergyGuide labels.


Portable air conditioners are equipped with a four- to five-foot hose and come with a kit to fit it into a nearby window. So if you’re buying to cool a specific room or space, make sure that you have easy access to a window for venting hot air outdoors, and an electrical outlet because you’ll also need to plug the unit in.

Condensate Disposal

Just like a central A/C, portable air conditioners draw moisture from the air during the cooling process. In basic models, the water drips down into a condensate collector pan that you remove and dump out as needed. Higher-end units evaporate most or all of the water they produce, so condensate disposal is rarely necessary.

Noise Level

You’ll hear more noise with a portable A/C than you will with a central split-system or window unit, because all the mechanical parts are right there in the room that the unit is cooling. If noise is a concern, compare the decibels (dB) produced when you’re looking at different brands and models and choose one with a lower level.

Energy Efficiency

Portable A/Cs are given an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) that tells you how many BTUs are produced for each watt of electricity it consumes, under specific set of test conditions. You’ll find the EER listed on the EnergyGuide label, and more energy efficient models have higher ratings.

If you’re considering buying a portable air conditioner and need expert advice, contact the Indianapolis comfort pros at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).