Summertime is often paired with visions of sandy island beaches, tropical rainforests, cool mountain rivers flowing over a rocky bed, or pitching a tent by the lake. Whether it is planning the location of your next getaway vacation, or strategizing how to stay entertained at home, planning for excruciating temperatures is a must. Blasting the air conditioning or fan all day racks up an impressive electricity bill, and even lounging around at the nearest lake, river, beach, or pool can lead up to sunburns and heat stroke. You may be wondering, is there truly no way to keep cool during the summer while being cost-efficient and eco-friendly? A portable AC unit, however, is the perfect way to combat the heat. The portable AC is a transportable and small air conditioner that improves the temperature of a given area. By using a fan to gather hot air in a room, the portable air conditioner blows cool air back inside while venting exhaust outside. Making AC portable is perfect for transporting cool air directly to an area that might need it. Ideal for cooling down apartments and specific rooms that you may frequently occupy, there are many uses for the portable AC unit. Costco, Home Depot, and Lowe’s are all places in which you might escape the heat, as well as find a unit. In this article, we will give you a couple of tips for cooling down in the summer such as:
• How can I keep my room cool without AC?
• How can I cool a room with no windows?
We will also settle other questions you may have, like:
• Do portable air conditioners use a lot of electricity?
• Are portable air conditioners good for the environment?
• What are the disadvantages of portable air conditioners?
After answering each of these queries, hopefully you will be able to determine yourself if it is truly worth it to buy a portable AC unit.
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How Can I Keep My Room Cool Without AC?
Arguably the most important method to cool your room without AC is to block your windows. This is one of the easiest tactics to employ and makes a wonder of a difference. In the summer, it is not just light streaming through your glass windows; it is UV radiation as well. Transparent materials like glass allow visible rays to come into your home, heat up the air, and then trap it, causing temperatures to skyrocket. Covering your windows with either blinds, curtains, or with a UV tint can help block out sunlight and improve the temperature of your area overall. Curtains can even be installed in places you may not want to drill into walls. Rental-friendly curtain rods and black out curtains are options you can consider. They are also easy to install. Window tint is another simple way to block out light, while blinds may take a professional. Either way, research your methods and come up with a plan that works best for you! Another way to keep cool is by using fans. Portable fans are great for circulating air in a room, which can lead you into thinking that the temperature is improving. Unfortunately, they do not actually alter the air temperature, and may dry out the room. This could be beneficial or detrimental depending on the humidity of your area. In places where humidity is heavy and dense, a portable fan could be a good addition to your home, whereas in dry climates, they might be less welcome.
Other tips include turning off lights, electronics, or other heat-producing appliances that may otherwise heat up your room. Remember to switch off unnecessary machinery, turn off lights when leaving rooms, and shut down computers. These gadgets all emit heat and can make a difference in your home. As an added benefit, you will utilize less electricity and your energy bill will thank you later! The last and probably simplest tip is to open your windows at night. When the sun goes down, the temperature will also drop.
This change in temperature will of course depend on your location, with areas like the desert experiencing exponentially larger dips than places like the tropics. Experiencing Nature’s AC, however, can be hindered by all the insects and pests that want to join you in your home. Deterrents such as mosquito nets, window screens, and bug zappers are all plausible solutions for your pest problems. Despite all these methods to stay cool during the summertime, the single most important way to stay cool in general is to be well-hydrated! Using fans or avoiding sunlight will mean nothing if you are not drinking enough fluids. Staying hydrated keeps your body healthy and regulates your body temperature. You cannot stay cool if you are not properly hydrated!
How Can I Cool a Room with No Windows?
Ventless portable air conditioners are the perfect way to bring cool air to a windowless area. The ventless portable AC uses evaporation to lower the temperature of a given area. Because they do not release moisture or hot water through a portable AC exhaust hose like a normal portable air conditioner, the ventless AC can be utilized in rooms without windows. No need for a portable AC window kit! The ventless, or hoseless portable air conditioner, is ideal for dry, hot climates because of the way it releases moisture into the air. If you are trying to cool a room with no windows, first consider whether or not you live in a humid environment. Ventless air conditioners are less efficient in places where there is already a lot of moisture in the air, as they cannot continue to pump water vapor into the air past a certain threshold. It would be like cramming more people into a room at max capacity. Also, if the humidity in a room exceeds 50%, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold that thrive in wet environments. For your own health and safety, we do not recommend using a ventless air conditioner in places with high levels of moisture in the air. The ventless portable AC unit would work best in an area where there is little humidity.
In these circumstances, ventless ACs would excel at lowering temperature. The ventless portable air conditioner would in draw hot air via internal fan. Once inside, the hot air crosses over a cooling pad with cold water. The cooling pad captures the heat and floods the air with moisture. After this, the cool air is pumped back into your room, decreasing temperature while increasing humidity. Therefore, yes, it is possible to cool a room without a window using a portable AC. Outlet plug-in ability is the one of the only considerations needed, as you will need to power your AC unit.
Do Portable Air Conditioners Use a Lot of Electricity?
According to SFGate, a San Francisco news website, portable ACs use around 2,200 to 4,100 watts of energy per hour. This number, of course, depends on features like make, model, and BTU. Compared to a central AC unit, which uses approximately 3,000 to 4,000 watts, and a window AC which uses around 500 to 1,400 watts, the portable AC unit may not be as big of an energy saver as consumers believe. Does this, however, count as “a lot of energy?” Let us take a look at the math. SFGate claims that portable air conditioners with 7,500 BTU consume around 2.2 kilowatts per hour (kWh), 10,000 BTU around 2.9 kWh, and 14,000 BTU around 4.1 kWh. As of October 2022, the US national average cost of electricity is around 16.09 cents per kilowatt-hour, depending upon where you live. With a formula of (kWh x 16.09)/1000, we can determine (in cents) how much it costs to run a portable AC unit per hour. Using the numbers from SFGate, a 7,500 BTU portable air conditioner will cost around 35.4 cents per hour, a 10,000 BTU around 46.7 cents per hour, and a 14,000 BTU around 65.97 cents per hour.
Of course, these numbers are relative and depend on the cost of electricity in your state, as well as the specifications of your specific AC unit. Realistically, you will also most likely be running your portable AC for longer than an hour a day, which can rack up quite an electricity bill. If you are considering buying a portable AC unit, keep in mind the circumstances under which you are purchasing. Do not buy an unnecessarily large AC unit for a small room. Remember to keep up with maintenance as well, as this can hinder the performance of your unit. The best portable AC unit is the one that fit the specifications of your home!
Are Portable Air Conditioners Good for the Environment?
Yes, portable ACs are good for the environment. Let us tell you why. Two of the biggest concerns when it comes to air conditioning are the use of refrigerants and the use of energy. General AC uses refrigerants such as R-410A in order to cool down hot air. However, refrigerants can leak out of your AC, and are a main contributor to the greenhouse gases that are tearing through our Earth’s ozone layer. The ozone layer protects our planet from the sun’s radiation and helps cool down the Earth. Greenhouse gases are directly responsible for climate change, which in some areas can result in global heating. This cycle of global warming and air conditioning only perpetuates the damage in Earth’s ozone layer. Portable air conditioning units may use almost as much energy per hour as general AC units, but they are transportable and do not leak as much refrigerant as centralized air conditioning. Because you can move a portable air conditioner throughout your home, you can directly cool areas of your home that need it. Instead of blasting general AC for hours at a time to reach the furthest rooms of your house, you can set up a portable unit to cool a specific room directly. This is advantageous if you regularly occupy only a couple rooms in your home. This can save you money in the long run, as it decreases the amount of time spent needing to run the portable air conditioner. 14,000 BTU ACs can cool a room up to 700 square feet, 12,000 BTU up to 550 square feet, 10,000 BTU up to 450 square feet, and 8,000 BTU ACs can cool a room up to 200 square feet. When figuring out what rooms require AC, carefully consider how big the area is, and what kind of unit you might need.
What Are the Disadvantages of Portable Air Conditioners?
There are several disadvantages of portable air conditioning, some of which being: they can use a lot of electricity, they can be noisy, they have lower cooling levels, and they can be high maintenance. As mentioned prior, portable ACs can use just as much wattage as general air conditioning, therefore making it a not-so-efficient power source. This, of course, depends on the make, model, and BTU of your specific air conditioner. Portable air conditioners can also make a lot of noise. Compared to generalized air conditioning, which makes around 19 to 50 decibels of sound, portable AC units can make anywhere from 40 to 60 decibels of sound. A quiet library may be around 40 decibels, while a normal conversation is around 60 decibels. Noise levels may vary on the power, size, or supplier of the model. If you are used to blocking out white noise, a portable air conditioning unit may not bother you. If you are sensitive to sound, or perhaps have a baby or sound-triggered pet, a portable AC may not be best. Portable AC units will always emit some sort of sound; whether it is tolerable or unbearable will depend upon you.
Because of its transportable, compact size, the portable AC has less cooling power than general AC. Central air conditioners have approximately 20,000 to 50,000 BTU, while portable air conditioners can range from 8,000 to 14,000 BTU. This is only to be expected, however, as central AC has more surface area to cover, and portable AC only cools a specific area or room. A small air conditioner means smaller cooling power. You should not expect a portable AC unit to be able to sufficiently and effectively cool rooms over 700 square feet. The last con of portable air conditioning is the effort that must be put into these units. Portable AC units typically need to be vented, as units require an exhaust hose for hot air and water to come out from.
This demands for the air conditioner to be placed close to a window, so that the hose can lead out of it. Setting up a portable AC window vent kit can be easy or hard, depending on the kit as well as your window. Non-traditional windows like sliding windows or casement windows may prove difficult to vent your portable AC unit out of. Portable ACs also need to be drained regularly, depending on your humidity levels, as condensation can build up in your unit over time. Units typically have water tanks located underneath and need to be drained as often as every day for some users.
The portable AC unit is a compact, transportable unit that keeps rooms cool especially during hot summer days. Fans inside the unit take in hot air, which passes over refrigerant coils or cooling pads, and is then cooled and funneled back into a room. Portable air conditioners may not, however, be as energy efficient as you think. Portable ACs use almost as much electricity as central AC and twice as much as window AC units. However, they are better for the environment than central AC because they leak less refrigerant and do not need to be left running for as long, depending on your needs. Portable air conditioning has its pros and cons, but you may believe that it is better not to use overall. That is alright! Now that you know more about portable ACs and their usage, you can determine whether or not it is worth it to buy a portable AC unit.