Portable air conditioner vs central air conditioner: a guide
Whether your planning ahead or it is already hot, compare the pros and cons of a portable air conditioner vs central air conditioner.
Where do you need services?
If you live in a hot or humid climate, you are likely to rely on some kind of air conditioning to keep your home comfortable in the summer. Investing in a new AC will bring up the differences between a portable air conditioner vs central air conditioner.
Both options for home cooling provide different benefits to homeowners. It is important to consider the size of your home and its layout when shopping for HVAC equipment.
The installation requirements vary greatly for portable air conditioner vs central air conditioner systems. Portable equipment is not permanently installed in a particular room. Most models feature wheels or casters to help you move the unit around your home.
A central air conditioner is attached to ductwork in the walls, ceilings or floors. If there's no existing ductwork in your home or apartment, you'll need a professional HVAC contractor for installation.
Energy costs vary greatly between systems. A portable air conditioner in each room of a large house would definitely use more energy than an efficient central unit would.
Portable air conditioner models work best in buildings that are difficult to renovate. Renters often choose them because they can take the appliance with them when they move out.
If you own the house in which you live, the decision to install air conditioner ductwork will be one that you will reap the benefit from for many years. Central systems do a better job of keeping the home evenly cooled. Small and open floor plans often don't need multiple ducts.
Homeowners who only use a few rooms may also want to selectively cool these spaces with portable units to save energy in the summer. Yet, really if you need more than one portable AC unit, you're not going to be saving that much or at all on energy. In which case, best to go witha central AC system.
The fact that small units require some venting is a point to remember during your comparison of portable air conditioner vs central air conditioner models. Portable units need to stay near a window or other opening to vent moisture. An air conditioner can't cool the air through evaporation if the excess moisture just enters the interior air again.
If a room doesn't have a window, you may not be able to use either type of air conditioning without modifying the wall or ceiling.
When you compare portable air conditioner vs central air conditioner prices, remember to consider the warranty options as well. Central equipment usually comes with longer warranties on both parts and labor.
Maintenance is relatively low on both types of units, but you'll notice that portable units make more noise. Weigh up the benefits and disadvantages before investing your money in a specific model.
Discussing your options with a professional contractor could give you new ideas. Your personal preferences will ultimately help you make the decision when you consider portable air conditioner vs central air conditioner equipment.