Expert-Tested: Top 7 Portable Air Conditioners of 2023 That Will Keep You Cool Anywhere
The fundamental purpose of portable air conditioners is to extract hot air from a room, cool it down and then re-circulate it back into the space, expelling the residual heat outside via a tube usually attached to a window. There are three primary types of portable air conditioners currently available in the market. Depending on the area you wish to cool and the ambient conditions of your space, one type may prove more beneficial than another and may come at a higher price point.
Single-hose:This is the most common portable air conditioner model, wherein cool air is drawn from the room, while the excess heat is expelled outside via a hose linked to a window. Since there is only one hose, a negative pressure is created while constantly cooling the internal components. Such a situation draws in more air from the room, thereby making the air conditioner work harder to cool the additional air. Therefore, it is important to seal the window after installing the single-hose portable air conditioner. These units typically cost less than dual-hose models.
Dual-hose:Dual-hose portable air conditioners work differently compared to the single-hose units and are more efficient. Dual-hose models use both an intake hose and an exhaust hose attached to the same window. While the exhaust hose expels additional heat, the intake hose serves two purposes: firstly, it prevents negative pressure, and secondly, it cools down the air conditioner's internal components using external air, thus resolving the negative pressure issue. Because of these factors, dual-hose portable air conditioners can cool larger rooms and have a higher energy efficiency rating, making them more expensive than other portable air conditioners.
Evaporative cooler (EC):Evaporative coolers are a unique type of portable air conditioner and only qualify for this category as they are portable and meant for cooling. Evaporative coolers don't have exhaust or intake tubes, rather they use evaporative cooling to cool down the space. The only moving part of an evaporative cooler is its internal fan. Typically, an evaporative cooler consists of cooling pads and a water reservoir. When the fan pulls hot air through the cooling pads, the pads absorb the water from the reservoir, leading to slow water evaporation that creates cooler air, which is released into the room. As compared to other types of air conditioners, evaporative coolers consume much less energy since they lack internal components for cooling. Their efficiency is independent of proper exhaust, and they can be used in any space, including outdoors.
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