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Portable AC Unit

A portable AC unit is what you need if you do not have the space to install a conventional air conditioner. You will need to know what capacity AC unit and the size of the room that you want to cool. A portable unit not only cools a room but can also dehumidify the room. They can also be used as space heaters or fans. What functions they offer depend on the AC unit chosen. Before shopping for a portable AC unit make sure that you know the size of the room that you are going to use this unit in. They may be easy to install but they are not trouble-free and mobile. These units are bulky and can weigh fifty to ninety pounds, are thirty inches tall, and take up twelve to eighteen inches of space.

How they work

The unit will need to be kept near the window so the hot hair can be exhausted outside. The water can be drained in two different ways: outside the window using a drainage hose or in a bucket in the room.


A portable unit is generally 7,500 to 8,000 BTUs but there are some with higher BTUs. BTU stands for British thermal unit and in reference to air conditioners, this is how many per hour the AC unit can remove or add from the air. With these BTU’s the portable AC unit can cool rooms that are 150 to 200 square feet. This type of air conditioner is the most economical and smallest of all air conditioners.

Types of portable AC units

When choosing a portable AC unit there are small, medium, and large units, each with different BTUs.


• 7,500 BTU free standing units

• 9,000 BTU free standing or digital unit

• 10,000 BTU free standing unit


• 12,000 BTU free standing or portable unit with built-in water pump


• 13,000 BTU free standing unit

• 14,000 BTU free standing unit with ion and UV light, or heater with ion and UV light, or non-free standing air conditioner

Size and area it covers

• 7,000 BTU covers 250 to 300 square feet

• 8,000 BTU covers 300 to 350 square feet

• 9,000 BTU covers 350 to 400 square feet

• 10,000 BTU covers 400 to 450 square feet

• 12,000 BTU covers 450 to 550 square feet

• 14,000 BTU covers 550 to 700 square feet

If the room that you are cool is heavily shaded, you should decrease the BTU by ten percent but it should be increased by ten percent if the room is very sunny. If the portable AC unit is in the kitchen the capacity should be increased by 4,000 BTUs.

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