What You Need to Know about Portable Air Conditioners

As the temperature rises and the great British summer approaches, there is often a need for additional cooling within a home or office space. A portable air conditioner could well be the solution for you, especially if cooling is only an issue in the summer months.

In order to work out the correct size of the portable air conditioner you need to cool your space, there are a few things that need to be considered. First off, it is important to know the dimensions of your room, in cubic metres. Then you should consider the number of heat sources present in the space, which includes people and devices such as PCs, printers and monitors. This can be used to calculate the BTU needed to cool your space.

The BTU (or British Thermal Unit) is the measurement of the heat needed to increase the temperature of a pound of water from 60F to 61F, at constant pressure, and is used in rating the cooling abilities of a portable air con unit.

What size portable air conditioner do I need

A rule of thumb is that a small portable air conditioner with a rating of 7,000 BTU is appropriate for a fairly small room of 18 square metres. A medium room of around 24 square metres will need up to 10,000 BTU, and a portable air con unit of around 15,000 is suitable for an office space of up to 36 square metres.

In general, 5,000 to 7,000 BTU are ideal and will have an impact on a small space. Portable units can be doubled up and used in tandem in bigger spaces, should they be necessary.

Other points to consider

Once you have worked out whether you need a small portable air conditioner or something larger, you should consider where it is best positioned in your space. All portable AC units produce hot air, which must be exhausted from the space. This means that any air conditioner must be placed within close proximity to a window.

If this is an issue, there are other solutions which can vent a portable AC, but none are quite as effective as venting directly through a window.

What about noise?

Any appliance such as an air conditioner will produce noise, due to the moving parts involved in the creation of airflow. But as with any constant noise, this will become background noise very quickly and should not interrupt most activities. 

Each air conditioner will have a noise rating, including peak dB produced at the highest settings.

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