Portable air conditioners can offer much-needed cooling to a home, and if you happen to find yourself in a sweltering climate, yearning for escape, a portable AC units can be a wonderful solution to the constant fatigue, dehydration, and discomfort of a boiling hot day, and can even be a health concern in the case of the elderly, who are far more susceptible to problems regarding heatstroke, dehydration and other climate-related concerns.
As with any appliance, there are a number of options available among small portable air conditioner units, from window models to wheeled towers to freestanding monoliths. While any type of air conditioner will provide a cooling effect to a room, far better than a fan that simply moves hot air around the room, some types work better in certain climates, and the greater efficiency will mean a better AC unit.
The main difference between the types of air conditioners available is between air conditioners and evaporative coolers, also known as swamp coolers.
- Air conditioners can use a number of methods to cool the air, rather like a refrigerator. They need a window to vent hot air outward, and they will dehumidify a room (to some degree) in the process. This makes them more suitable for humid climates, where they will reduce the humidity which will make the room feel even cooler. AC units are more expensive than evaporative coolers, and also cost more to operate.
- Evaporative coolers (also known as swamp coolers) use the heat-absorbing quality of ordinary water, running hot air over cold water, evaporating it in the process, which draws heat out of the room. Because water is vaporized, it will make the room more humid, which is preferable in dry climates, where a little bit of humidity will make things more comfortable. Evaporative coolers are cheaper than real AC units, both in terms of upfront cost and electricity use. However, they need to be supplied with water, though that is generally a negligible cost.
Both represent good choices for their particular use, and will work better in their intended environment. Both can be portable, easy to set up and remove, and can provide a wonderful cooling sensation.