Portable air conditioners can be helpful when the temperatures soar and there is no relief. Perhaps it is a result of living where the temperature rarely gets so high. Perhaps the air conditioner is not working. Solving the problem can not only be a matter of comfort, but it can also be life-saving.
When the situation becomes dire an affordable, inexpensive solution is a real help.
One might ask why anyone needs an air conditioner. There were few buildings air conditioned when I was a child. Certainly, an air conditioned home would have been a luxury, perhaps even opulent. But air movement in homes was different. High ceilings allowed hot air to rise above the people inside the dwelling. Fans moved hot air out of windows. Transoms above the interior doors allowed privacy while air flow was not impeded. Modern homes are not so well suited for heat.
Some have battery back-up included in the unit. I believe these units normally would be plugged into an outlet, so a large battery is needed only in a power failure. Not only a large battery, but the power must be converted to ac, since batteries use dc. Such batteries are available, and I showed one. I have one myself so I can operate an applience from my solar unit, which is what stores solar at night, since solar power requires the sun. So, when a battery back-up is needed it is a special unit with not only a battery but also a dc to ac converter. As for easy to fnd, they are rather commonplace now. For use in a heat wave or air conditioner failure, just plug into an outlet. Central air conditioners use so much power that they cannot operate from batteries, you need a generator, hence the power failure use for these small devices, with battery support.
blackspanielgallery, Thank you for all the practical information, pretty pictures (of portables and totes ;-D) and product lines.
Do the portables use readily available batteries or special batteries perhaps not so easy to find online or off?
Here it is humid and we can reach 98-100 dwgrees at 98 % humidity. Air conditioners are essential, but in many places they are not used. The northwest is having extreme heat, over 100 degrees, with a significant number of people with no air conditioners. I ran into a similar situation years ago visiting Chacago for a training school, temperatures in the mid 90s and humidity in the 90s. It seemed cool and dry to me, but people there were dying from the hear, and taking refuge in supermarkets and stores during the day. But, here when a central air conditioner fails there is a need for back-up.
Pictures are suggestive of air coolers which comprise of a fan and motor. The latter pumps up water drawn from tank at bottom which fall on sides filled with wood shavings. Incoming air cools as it crosses the wood shavings. The fan blows cool air in the room. These are very popular in India and almost indispensable. They fail in extreme humidity of pre-monsoon. It is then air conditioners with with compressors are used. Indian summers are very hot while monsoon period can be very humid like in coastal areas.