|Whynter Portable Air Conditioner|
Picking out the right portable air conditioner to fit your needs is easy if you know all the facts. Here then are 5 things you need to know about portable air conditioners before you spend your hard earned cooling dollars.
1. what is EER?
EER stands for energy efficiency ratio and is a numerical guide to help you compare the energy efficiency of different models. The EER of most units ranges between 8.5 and 11; the higher the number the better. If the EER is not stated you can figure it out for yourself by dividing the unit's wattage into the BTU rating.
2. What's the difference between single hose and double hose portable air conditioners?
All portable air conditioners need at least one hose to exhaust the hot air generated by the compressor. So the primary difference between single and dual hose models is where the intake air comes from. A single hose model intakes air from the room and recirculates it just like a window air conditioner. While a dual hose unit intakes air from the outside through one hose and exhausts the heated compressor air from the other.
3. Are dual hose models more efficient than single hose models?
There is no quantifiable evidence that I can find, (and believe me I've been researching this for quite a while) that a dual hose model is more efficient than a single hose model. As a matter of fact, I can't find one instance where a dual hose model has a lower EER than a single hose unit where the BRU outputs are equal.
However, I can tell you this: In most cases, portable air conditioners with higher BTU outputs are more efficient than units with lower BTU ratings simply because incrementally, it doesn't take that much more power (watts) to run a larger compressor.
For instance, the Whynter Dual Hose 12,000 BTU ARC-12SD draws only 18% more power than the Mobile Comfort single hose 8,000 BTU KY-80, yet delivers 50% more BTUs of cooling.
4. Are portable air conditioners with heaters a good deal?
Portable air conditioners with heaters are a real convenience and a good value. However, heating capacity varies a great deal between models based on which type of heater is used in the unit. Some models use a separate electric heater, while others run the existing compressor in reverse for heat just like a central air conditioner's heat pump.
Those that use a heat pump have the capacity to heat approximately the same area that they cool. Those that employ a separate electric heater heat only 30% of the area the unit is capable of cooling.
Besides the convenience of having two appliances in one, the price is nearly identical to a similar size unit that offers cooling only.
5. Are portable air conditioners expensive to run?
Surprisingly, even the most powerful 14,000 BTU model consumes only 1,250 watts versus 1,500 watts needed to run a typical electric space heater.