Summer is almost upon us and for those of us with any intention of living or working indoors over the next few months, the prospect of sweltering heat isn’t something to look forward to.

Luckily, there are options out there to keep us cool. From the humble fan to dedicated air conditioning unit installation, there is a myriad of ways in which we can bring a little cool to overly warm spaces.

Say you want more cooling than a fan can offer, but don’t require a full-time air conditioner? Maybe you want to move your unit from room to room, or project to project? Well, that sounds like you require a portable air conditioner. But what do you need to know about portable air conditioners? Let’s take a look:

What is a portable air conditioner?

Much like its name implies, a portable air conditioner is an all-in-one portable air conditioning unit which is ideal for cooling a single room. Sitting on the floor and offering quick installation with a 240v plug, they typically feature an exhaust hose which can direct the hot air out of a window or vent.

Although air conditioning is the primary function of portable air conditioners, some models like the Rhino H03608 Portable 4 in 1 unit have additional features, like heating, dehumidifying and fan functions.

Do you need anything to set up a portable air conditioner?

Portable air conditioners are self-contained, with all they need to work right out of the box. However, you may have to choose settings on the unit before it functions. These settings vary from machine to machine but will typically involve temperature setting.

Do portable air conditioners require maintenance?

In general, your portable air conditioner will require little maintenance. All gasses and liquids inside your air conditioner are self-contained and thanks to advances in air conditioning technology, these elements now last significantly longer than they used to.

What size of portable air conditioner is right for you?

Each air conditioner is rated in BTU (British Thermal Units), which dictate how powerful they are. The higher the BTU an air conditioner has, the more air it can cool. Here’s how each measurement stacks up:

  • 7,500 BTUs = 1,200 cubic feet
  • 9,000 BTUs = 1,600 cubic feet
  • 10,000 BTUs = 2,400 cubic feet
  • 12,000 BTUs = 3,200 cubic feet
  • 13,000 BTUs = 3,600 cubic feet
  • 14,000 BTUs = 4,000 cubic feet

If you’re attempting to cool a small room, a portable air conditioner between 7,000 and 10,000 BTUs will be just fine. Medium sized rooms, like living rooms or large bedrooms, will likely require a model between 11,000 and 14,000 BTUs, like the Rhino H03608 Portable 4 in 1 Air Conditioner with 12,000 BTU output.

For larger spaces, industrial portable air conditioner units are available, like the Elite AC1600 Mobile Air Conditioner with 16,000 BTU output.

Can you extend the exhaust hose?

Attempting to extend the exhaust hose of your portable air conditioner is not recommended, as this will likely result in the voiding of your warranty and potentially leading to overheating of the unit itself.


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