Portable Air Conditioners

Image Credit: Dimplex (www.dimplex.com.au)

Image Credit: Dimplex (www.dimplex.com.au)

FAQ - Portable Air Conditioners

What are the advantages of a portable air conditioner? Portable air conditioners can be moved from room to room, or even house to house. Non-portable air conditioners are fixed to one location and are often only effective at cooling the main living area. When you factor in the installation costs, fixed air conditioners are also more expensive.

What are the disadvantages of a portable air conditioner? Disadvantages include reduced size and power output (which make them less effective at cooling), louder noise during operation, and additional maintenance tasks, such as removing drip buckets or manually adding water.

What are the different types of portable air conditioner? Portable air conditioners are divided into two basic varieties, depending on the type of condenser they use - remote or ducted. Remote condensers can be hung out a window in a similar manner to a split-system AC system (a window slider kit is usually provided). Ducted condensers blow excess air out a rear-mounted duct.

Portable air conditioners can also be drip or non-drip. As their name implies, drip models expel excess moisture that needs to be periodically drained from the system. Non-drip models, on the other hand, evaporate the condensation back into the air.

What size unit should I purchase? Air conditioners are rated in kilowatts (kW). This is a measure of two factors: an air conditioner's output capacity (the amount of heat that will be removed or added to the room by the air conditioner), and its energy consumption (the energy the air conditioner uses per hour at rated capacity). Both these measurements are shown on the Energy Efficiency Rating label found on all air conditioners as Capacity Output kW and Power Input kW.

The kW rating you will need depends on the size of the room you want to heat or cool and its heat load, which is determined by environmental factors such as the amount of windows and sunlight entering the room, weather conditions and what type of insulation you have. Generally, the bigger the area you have, the more kW you will need to service it. Many portable air conditioners list a suggested room size to match the kW rating.

Is a cooling-only system better than a heating/cooling system? Cooling systems are not necessarily better than combined cooling/heating systems, but they are generally cheaper to buy. Air conditioners that can both heat and cool can save you money because you don't have to purchase additional heaters.

Can I leave doors and windows open while operating the unit? You can leave windows and doors open, but it's not a good idea if you're trying to heat or cool your room. If you're trying to cool down a room, it's best to close curtains, blinds and windows during the hottest part of the day. This will keep your house cooler and prevent your air conditioner from having to work harder than it has to.

Are there filters that need to be cleaned in portable air conditioners? Yes.

How often will they need to be cleaned? If you use your portable air conditioner regularly, you should inspect the air filters twice a month to see if cleaning is necessary. Trapped particles in the filter can build up and block the airflow.

Can I reduce energy usage while still using the unit? You can if you use it economically. If you close windows, doors, curtains and blinds, your portable air conditioner will cool the room more quickly. Air conditioners with Auto settings are economical in their power consumption because they automatically adapt and maintain the temperature you want.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Jager

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?