how to choose best portable air conditioner

One of the things I look forward to the most in the summer is hot weather. The only downside to hot summer days is that they lead to uncomfortable, sweaty nights. Our house heats up so much, there is no way to cool it off before we go to sleep. Thankfully, there’s one appliance you can bring home that will make you look forward to summer nights; a portable air conditioner makes it easy to cool off one room or multiple rooms in your home.

Why choose a portable air conditioner

A portable AC is an amazing appliance, and there are a number of reasons why you would choose a portable AC over a window AC.

Because it’s portable you don’t have to hover in the one cool room that has an air conditioner while ignoring the rest of your house when it gets hot outside. Portable AC units are also self-contained, so unlike a window air conditioner that’s mounted in your window, they don’t need to be permanently installed in your house.

Installing a portable air AC unit

The only thing you need to make sure of when installing a portable AC is that it’s vented properly. Venting your portable ac with an exhaust hose ensures the hot air heads outside where it belongs, leaving you with nothing but a steady stream of ice, cold air.

venting a portable air conditioner

How to vent a portable air conditioner

  • Decide where you want to put your portable air conditioner
  • Connect your portable AC to the exhaust hose
  • Install the sliding window kit in your window, ensuring it is the right height
  • Connect the venting kit to the window kit
  • Turn on and enjoy a steady stream of nice, cool air

Choose the best portable air conditioner for you

To choose the best portable air conditioner for you, you’ll need to know about the BTU label.

Updates to BTU label for portable air conditioners

Insignia air conditionerBefore 2017, the output of a portable AC unit was determined by BTU or British Thermal Units. BTU is used to measure heat, and the higher the BTU rating, the more efficient the cooling power of your portable AC.

Recently, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) have come up with a new label to describe how efficiently a portable AC works. The new DOE labels take into account that heat is generated by the portable air conditioner itself. The heat from a window air conditioner is expelled outside because it sits half in and half out of your house, while the heat from a portable AC stays in the room. Because of that, the new Seasonally Adjusted Cooling Capacity (SACC) ratings will lower the effective cooling power of portable AC units. For example, if you’re looking at a 14,000 BTU portable air conditioner, the DOE label will appear as 9,500.

When you’re browsing the listings for your new portable AC right now, you’ll only see the BTU labels. That will change over time and both labels may be listed. If you have any questions about one or another rating system, just tap the instant chat button and you can connect with a blue shirt who will answer all of your questions.

Will you put your portable AC in a big or small room?

Shutting the door on a room with a portable AC will keep that room cool and comfortable. For a small room, small air conditioners or a mini air conditioner are a perfect choice. For a larger room, you may want to consider a higher BTU. You can find a useful chart to determine the size of your space and how powerful you need your portable air conditioner to be on this post about sizing an air conditioner.

Just as an example, a 14,000 BTU portable AC unit can cool a room of 600 square feet and up, while a 10,000 BTU portable AC can cool a room from 400 to 599 square feet.

Features on portable air conditioners

Wi-Fi portable air conditioner

Portable AC units have great features to make them easy to use. You can find models with built-in Wi-Fi so you can control your portable AC via an app. Some models also feature remote controls, digital displays, and sleep timers so they turn off after a set amount of time. They are easy to move around and place where you need them because they have built-in handles and castors to roll across your floor.

Which portable air conditioner will you choose?

Portable air conditioners are the perfect way to stay cool this summer. They’re easy to use, easy to maintain, and with one as your trusty sidekick this year, you’ll be ready for all the sun and fun of the summer season.

If cool and comfortable is your summer goal, head over to Best Buy’s selection of air conditioners, fans, and dehumidifiers right now.

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