Common questions on portable air conditioners

Here are the most common questions that people ask about portable air conditioning systems:

Q: What is a portable air conditioner?

A: Unlike common air conditioning systems like split, window, and through-wall, a portable air conditioner is mobile. You can move the air conditioner whenever you want, to wherever you want, as long as there is a way you can vent hot air.

Q: Does a portable air conditioner need to vent?

A: Air conditioning works with hot air going in, and cool air coming out. By that logic, there will always be a by-product: namely moisture and hot air that the unit expels through a pipe. The standard method is to send the venting pipe out through a nearby window. Having said that some units are self-contained and do not require venting, like the Office Pro series from

Q: Are these units noisy?

A: Portable air conditioners have a compressor and a fan, so they are not completely noiseless. While it is difficult to quantify the volume, the noise is comparable to a window air conditioner. Each unit will have a noise rating going from 48db all the way to 60db.

Q: How do I choose one?

A: Choose one based on the BTU rating, which is how much cooling the unit supports. The larger your room or the area you want to cool; the more BTU you will need. Speak to the vendor, as they have calculators that take several factors into account when determining how much cooling you need.