5 mistakes when buying mobile AC
Here are the 5 commons mistakes and ensure you do avoid them before your portable aircon purchase.
1-Do not buy the wrong cooler.
Realize that a swamp cooler is much different than a portable air conditioner. While a swamp cooler does work in the right climate, it uses a different way of cooling than a portable AC. Portable air conditioners pull air in and over a cold coil to cool it and cause the water in the air to condense. After the AC cools and dehumidifies the air, it spreads the cooler air out into the area in which it is located. All the heat is pushed out through the exhaust hose and the water collects in the reservoir. Because of new technology, there are some portable units that can evaporate the water and obliterate the need to empty a reservoir. A swamp cooler contains a big fan with pads soaked with water surrounding it. When the fan pushes hot air through the wet pads, the water is evaporated and the air temperature drops considerably. The fan keeps going by blowing the air into the area. With this type of cooler, the air is humidified rather than dehumidified. Portable AC units work best in a more humid environment. Swamp coolers work best in an environment that is dry. Humidity levels that are above 20 percent make swamp coolers less effective.
2-Do not miscalculate the necessary amount of BTUs.
Some consumers choose to buy the biggest and strongest, and sometimes most expensive portable AC units they can find because they think it means they have their cooling needs covered. Many are wrong. BTUs are the way in which the cooling and strength of air conditioners are measured. High BTU ratings mean the AC is powerful. Unfortunately, more powerful portable ACs are not always the best option. If you want the best cooling device for your space, you must make sure that the space size correlates to the BTU rating. If the rating is too high for the size of the room, you may have just as much difficulty with it. A portable air conditioner with a BTU rating that is too high will run at high power and then stop, and then repeatedly go through the same cycle. The air the room receives will be cool, but it will be moist and not feel as good as when the air is properly dehumidified and cooled. When the BTU rating is too low, the air conditioner needs to work with harder, but it will not provide the best results.
3-Do not ignore the Energy Efficiency Ratio.
The EER is the measurement use to determine the efficiency of the air conditioner when the temperature outside is at a particular level. The temperature reading the EER uses is most commonly at 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The number of BTUs is divided by the amount of watts of power the unit uses in one hour to determine the EER rating. For example, when an AC unit has 12,000 British Thermal Units and uses 1500 watts in one hour, the EER rating will be calculated like this: 12,000 divided by 1500 comes out to an EER of 8. A higher EER and BTU rating usually means a unit will cool the area efficiently; people tend to buy large units without giving thought to the EER. Let’s look at the math with a lower amount of watts used in an hour: 12000 divided by 1200 means an energy efficiency ratio of 10. When these are the numbers, the AC will cool as well as the first example, but it will not use as much energy to do it. You can conserve energy and money by buying a portable air conditioner that is sized for the area and has a high energy efficiency ratio. If you find this a bit too technical, alternatively you may choose to consult an aircon servicing company to advise you further.
4-Do not make mistakes in venting.
AC units have to be vented. This is done through a window, drop ceiling, or wall. Venting takes the hot air the AC sucked out of the room and vents it elsewhere so the hot air does not end up warming the room and making the conditioner work too hard. Portable conditioners are usually packaged with a venting kit. This kit consists of a hose and a kit for the window. You can buy other attachments to vent the exhaust through a wall, but installation in a window is much simpler and takes about 5 minutes from start to finish.
5-Do not underestimate the impact of electrical power.
Your home or office must have sufficient power. Without enough power, the AC may burn out a fuse. ACs tend to use a high amount of power. Match your electrical outlet to the AC’s plug. Smaller ACs require just 115 volts in outlets, but you might need to use a dedicated circuit. Larger portable air conditioners may need as much as a 230/280-volt circuit. If you are concerned about getting the right unit and have questions, contact us and one of our cooling professionals will gladly answer your questions and help you get the portable unit you need.
Information from Ben & Nick from the Guide to Portable Aircon Repair.