What Should I Look For When Buying Portable AC?

When looking to buy a portable AC, there are several different things you’ll need to look at. Portable ACs can differ in size, energy efficiency, cooling power, and much more, so it’s important to know what you want and how to identify it when you see it. 

This guide will break down the factors you should consider while buying a portable air conditioner to get the best deal possible and avoid spending money on features that aren’t important to you.

What Is Portable AC?

A portable air conditioning unit is a cooling system installed in a room and can be moved from room to room. It draws cool air in through a hose or duct, blowing hot air out of the vent. The units are usually 10,000 BTU or less, except for some commercial models. Units typically run on electricity and have an internal fan and an electric motor running the compressor.

What Should I Consider When Buying A Portable AC?

Portable AC is a large purchase, so it’s worth spending time making sure you’re getting the right one. Here are some things to consider when buying a portable ac unit: 

#1: Size of AC

Remember, size matters! A larger capacity AC means a heavier weight which could potentially cause problems with lifting or installation. So, keep this in mind when selecting one.

#2: Space Available

Ask yourself what size room you need to cool. A large unit would be a good fit for reducing humidity levels if you have more than one person living in your home or apartment. A smaller space will require less airflow so smaller units will work better. 

Also, check if your window is big enough so that the window exhaust hose can fit comfortably without being obstructed by blinds or curtains. 

Related: Benefits of Rechargeable Air Conditioners

#3: Number of BTU of AC

Don’t forget to check out how many BTUs the unit has – this will help determine how quickly it can cool down your space. Some units can be outside within 10 minutes of being turned on, while others might take up to 24 hours.

For example, a 5000 BTU unit can cool an average-sized bedroom up to 18 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) within 30 minutes; whereas an 8000 BTU model would take 15 minutes. 

#4: Auto Restart And Remote Control For AC

It may also be helpful to find out whether the unit includes a timer or remote control and whether it offers auto restarting after a power outage.

#5: Cooling Type

You would have to decide what type of cooling you want – Is it a heat pump or just standard AC? Heat pumps work both heating and cooling but not very efficiently. Assuming you have someone that has used either of these options, getting some insights from that person’s experience will help you make the right decision. 

#6: Product Review of AC

Reading portable air conditioner reviews from other past buyers and users of the model that interests are another way to decide which one to buy. When you look into the best portable air conditioners on Amazon, you’ll find lots of positive and negative reviews of each model. Interestingly, learning from other people’s experiences will help you choose the affordable air conditioner that will match your budget and other preferences. 

#7: Usage And Noise Level of AC

You must consider how often you’ll use the unit and its noise levels. A quieter unit may make sleeping easier but if you’re looking for something that provides more cooling power, expect it to be louder.

Related: Rechargeable Air Conditioner vs Inverter AC Comparison 

#8: Location of The AC For Efficient Usage 

Think about where you want to use your unit: Is it indoors or outdoors? 

If you plan on using the portable air conditioner indoors, be sure to buy one with high airflow rates and low sound ratings (under 60 decibels). If you’re looking for a portable air conditioner that can work outside during heat waves or cold winters, then be sure to get one with metal coils, not plastic ones.

However, keep in mind that some units have high power usage, so before buying one, check the wattage. And finally, if you have very little space outside, look for outdoor units that can attach to windows instead of installing them outside.

What Is The Difference Between Portable AC And Window AC?

Portable air conditioners have a few things that make them different from a window unit. 

Window units are not portable and are harder to install, but they are also more powerful than their portable counterparts. 

If you live in a house with many rooms, then window units may be the best option for you. But if you live in an apartment or small space, a portable air conditioner may be your best bet since moving from room to room is easier. 

A major difference between these two types of ACs is how they cool: while window units blow hot air out of the back, a portable AC blows cold air into the room. The other difference is that portable ones must be plugged into an outlet which can take up some floor space, while window units do not need this plug-in unless they are gas-powered.

How Can I Save Money On My Portable AC?

  • Check the filters and see if they need to be replaced. You can save money by buying your own filter instead of replacing the entire unit. 
  • Shut off the power while not using it to save energy and money. 
  • Clean or replace the air filter at least once every six months to extend the life of your unit and improve airflow for more efficient cooling. 
  • Close any vents that are not in use because this will prevent cool air from escaping and wasting valuable energy. 
  • Ask about a warranty before purchasing your unit; it may come with one, but if not, you may want to buy a service plan along with it that provides coverage in case something goes wrong down the road. 
  • Consider how often you’ll be using your portable air conditioner and select accordingly: heavy usage will require a higher BTU (British Thermal Unit) capacity than light usage.

Related: Do Portable Air Conditioners Use A Lot of Electricity?


If you are looking for a portable air conditioner, there are many factors to consider. The most important thing is ensuring the unit can provide sufficient cooling power without making too much noise. You also need to find out if it’s compatible with your current window size and has enough features to meet your needs. 

Finally, don’t forget about the warranty length and maintenance cost.

Donald Felix

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