If you’re dreading sweating it out at home this summer, acould be just what you need. These plug-in units are designed to cool rooms with the help of a nearby window and a power cord.
, they can be a big help for rooms that aren’t climate controlled or just don’t get quite enough air flow. They’re also useful in buildings with windows that can’t fit a . Here’s everything you need to know if you’re on the hunt for a portable air conditioner.
How portable air conditioners work
Portable air conditioners are different than window units; they look more like tower fans or air purifiers that can sit easily in the corner of most rooms.
Like the dryer vent that exits your home via a nearby window or wall fitting, portable air conditioners use a hose to vent moisture and exhaust out of your home. You should get a window venting kit with your purchase, and it includes everything you’ll need to hook up the hose to your window and seal off the rest of the window’s open space.
Your portable air conditioner will plug into a power outlet nearby and pull air through its system to cool it and circulate it throughout your space. Most units include a water reservoir to help dehumidify the air it is circulating. Others use their vent hose to evaporate that moisture.
There are two main types — single-hose and dual-hose — and they work differently. Let’s take a look.
Single-hose portable air conditioners
A single-hose portable air conditioner works by taking the stagnant, hot air inside your room, cooling it and then circulating it through your space.
Any excess warm air or moisture is vented out of your space through the portable air conditioner’s window venting hose. These models, likeare typically more energy efficient than dual-hose models.
Dual-hose portable air conditioners
Dual-hose models don’t use the air inside your home. Instead, they pull fresh air from the outside through that hose attached to the window. That’s the air the portable air conditioner will cool and then circulate through the room.