Portable air conditioners are very nice devices. Instead of having to pay all of that money for an air-conditioning unit, you are able to purchase a portable air conditioner that enables you to move it around, so that you can cool more than one space. That, and you don’t have to pay anyone to install it for you!

Not to Buy a Portable Air Conditioner

However, that doesn’t mean portable air conditioners don’t have their flaws. In this quick article, we’re going to be looking at seven reasons why you don’t why want to buy a portable air conditioner. Now, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy a portable air conditioner, but the purpose of this article is to give you an unbiased overview of what kinds of things you might have to deal with, when using a portable air conditioner.

What Are 7 Reasons Not To Buy A Portable Air Conditioner?

You Have Limited Cooling Space

Most portable air conditioners have a fairly limited MAC – Maximum Area Coverage – which means they are, more often than not, unable to fully cool a larger space. So, you might have only a single portion of the space being cooled, while the rest is still quite warm. Now, if you close the windows and allow the air to circulate, this problem can be solved.

Portable Air Conditioner

However, for rooms and spaces that are especially large, this isn’t the greatest solution, and in all likelihood, a portable air conditioner won’t be able to adequately cool that particular space.

Portable Air Conditioners Are Very Noisy

Air conditioners can be noisy. But portable air conditioners are even more noisy. Most of this is due to their design and the way they conduct the air conditioning process, which is a bit different form that of a standard air conditioner.

For some people, this isn’t really much of a problem. For others, though, it’s a really big problem, because that amount of noise makes it hard to concentrate, hard to think, and hard to sleep.

If you’re someone that requires a certain amount of silence, a portable air conditioner may not be for you.

Moving A Portable Air Conditioner Can Be Difficult

Do not be fooled by the word “portable”, portable air conditioners are not lightweight machines. Instead, they are very heavy, and moving them around is not an easy task. It almost always requires two people, unless you’re especially strong, and if you have to take the portable air conditioner up a flight of stairs, that will be even more difficult.

Portable Air Conditioners

The other reason why this can be annoying is if you intend to move the portable air conditioner to different spaces, on a regular basis, such as every week. That will quickly turn into a big annoyance.

Water And How Portable Air Conditioners Dispose Of It

Many portable air conditioners require one of two things. One, they might require some kind of direct connection to your pipes, so that they can dispose of the water that the cooling process is producing. If they do require this, then you are a lot more limited, when it comes to the spaces where you can put this portable air conditioner.

The other requirement may be that of a water tank. Now, if a portable air conditioner requires a water tank, it will almost always come with one. However, more often than not, this water tank isn’t particularly large, and it can’t actually hold that much water. So, you’re going to have to empty it out every couple of hours, or so.

Most portable air conditioners have a sensor in place, that turns the air conditioner off if the tank is full. Others do not. So, you may also have to pay close attention, to make sure that the tank doesn’t overflow, and damage your home.

Portable Air Conditioners Aren’t As Powerful Or As Economical As Window Units

Unfortunately, portable air conditioners, while powerful, aren’t as powerful as window air conditioners. However, they are cheaper and easier to install. But, this leads to another problem.

Reasons Not to Buy a Portable Air Conditioner

You see, while window units do consume a lot of electricity, portable air conditioners usually consume even more electricity than that of a window air conditioner. This is due to a number of factors that have to do with the motor and the way air is conducted.

From an economical standpoint, though, they aren’t as powerful, and they consume more electricity. So, while the initial investment may be smaller, the long-term investment isn’t.

Portable Air Conditioners Take Up A Lot Of Floor Space

While they are “portable”, portable air conditioners aren’t small. They are wide devices that take up a lot of floor space. Since you have to put them by a window, you might have to put them in a space that you would rather keep open, which makes them a bit less “portable” than they should be, since you are a bit restricted when it comes to where you put the air conditioner.

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Portable Air Conditioners Are Very Expensive

As mentioned before, the initial investment for a portable air conditioner is, usually, smaller than the initial investment for that of a window air conditioner, or any other kind of air conditioner. That doesn’t mean they’re cheap, but the upfront cost is cheaper.

However, the long-term costs are actually quite a bit higher. And that is where things become expensive. Portable air conditioners use more electricity than window air conditioners, for example.

Air Conditioner

What Is A Good Alternative To A Portable Air Conditioner?

Cooling tower fans have become very popular in recent years, and there is a very good reason for that. The cool air they produce is similar to that of a portable air conditioner, but since they are a fan, and since their cooling process is much more simple, they cost much less.

You can buy one for relatively cheap, and you won’t spend nearly as much on your electricity bill, but the cool air that the cooling tower fan produces is nearly identical to that of a portable air conditioner.


Overall Recommended Portable Air Conditioners
Best of the Best! For Large Spaces Budget Pick
Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner hOmeLabs 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner
Whynter ARC-14S hOmeLabs BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT
 • 14,000 BTU
 • up to 500 sq ft
 • 16 x 19 x 35.5 in
 • 80 Lbs
 • 12-14,000 BTU
 • up to 600 sq ft
 • 17.9 x 15 x 30.7 in
 • 72.3 Lbs
 • 8,000 BTU
 • up to 150 sq ft
 • 16.5 x 11.5 x 26 in
 • 52.9 Lbs