There are many different types of rooms, buildings or spaces that are not designed to allow typical types of air conditioners to be installed. This may be because they don’t have a large window for the window mount units or are not in an area where a through the wall air conditioner could be mounted. This is often the case for basements or second or higher stories. In addition the home or building may not be suitable for a forced air or conventional type of air conditioning unit for a variety of reasons.
New technology now allows the option of cooling these rooms using portable air conditioning units. These units are not much more expensive than window or through the wall units and have the added benefit of being moved from room to room or space to space, which may in fact result in overall energy saving as only the needed area is cooled.
These portable units do not need any type of permanently mounted outside air exchange, which means they do not need to be attached to a window ledge or through the wall to the outside. The portable air conditioning system does need to release the hot air outside, however this is done by a simple, flexible hose that is attached to the back of the unit. The other end of the hose is placed through the window, allowing the system to get rid of the hot air and prevent warming in the area around the unit.
A portable air conditioning system is identical to a window mounted, wall mounted or forced air system. The system draws in air, removes the heat from the air, runs the air through the cold side of the unit to cool the air and blows the cool air back into the room. Through this process water is removed from the air that collects either in a tray at the base of the unit or is partially evaporated and released with the hot air through the flexible hose. The portable systems that use this method are easier to maintain as there is less need to continually check the water levels in the collection tray during operation. If you cannot access the outside of the building through a window, the non-evaporative system may be much more practical. Care must be taken to avoid venting the humid air near drop ceilings or any vents to the attic to prevent adding additional moisture to these areas of the house or building.
Some of the newer models of portable air conditioning systems also double as heaters, dehumidifiers and even as fans. Looking at the features of each unit will help determine which is the best possible option for individual needs.