Portable Air Conditioner vs Window Air Conditioner which is the best choice, it depends on the usage and the needs. If you want to have a movable air conditioner so you can pace whenever you are, I suggest the portable AC. But portable units tend to be noisier than permanently mounted ones. It may also become a tiresome chore if you opt for a portable unit where the condensation has to be removed manually. While window type AC is designed to fit in a window of a room and hence do not take up a lot of space and can fit in just about any room. They function as any other air conditioner does, they are very affordable, do not make a lot of noise and are also long-lasting.
Portable Air Conditioner vs Window Air Conditioner
If you have a choice, a window unit will always be more efficient and give you a bigger bang for your buck. After the refrigerant is compressed to a liquid, the heat from that compression must be expelled to the outside by blowing air over the condenser fins. With a window unit (or a central or split system), the condenser fins and coils are already outside and are easily cooled with the exterior fan.
A “portable” or free-standing unit has the condenser fins inside the unit inside your home. This is why these units have a flexible duct connecting to a panel to be installed in the window. The better units have two ducts, so that outside air is drawn into the unit via the first duct to cool the condenser and pumped back outside through the second duct.
But I haven’t seen one of these in a long time. Most units seem to have just one duct. This means that air from the room is being used to cool the condenser and being blown outside. You are literally using some of the room air you just cooled to reduce the temperature of the refrigerant and throwing it away. It’s terribly inefficient compared to a window unit or central system.
Also, since you are pumping some air out of the room, you are creating a negative pressure. To balance the pressure, that air must be replaced, otherwise you would create a vacuum inside. So some warm air from the outside is further encouraged to seep inside through poor window seals and so forth.
Another disadvantage of a portable unit is that water from the room air that condenses on the evaporator coils must be collected and regularly disposed, otherwise your floor would get soaked. A window unit doesn’t have this problem because the condensate can be drained outside.
The only real benefit of a portable unit in my opinion is aesthetics. Some people just don’t like those ugly metal boxes sticking out of their windows, or their landlord or HOA doesn’t allow it.
Window air conditioners win this battle fair and square. The problem with portable units is the compressor and fan motors are inside which means it will tend to be on the noisy side. Another problem is they take air from the room to cool itself off and puts that air outside.
This means that somewhere, hot outside air is coming into your living area. A dual hoze model doesn’t have this problem but still has the moving parts are all inside. With a window unit the compressor and fan motor are outside so they tend to run quieter.
Now the cheap models will still be rather noisy where as more expensive models will be quieter. Window units also suck air from outside to cool them selves off so there’s no hot air leaking into your living area.
Window Air Conditioner vs Mini Splits Air Conditioner
Mini-split AC units may be ideal for homes that cannot accommodate a central AC system or if you have an affordability issue. In these cases, a ductless cooling system may be the best option for you. Mini-Splits are quickly gaining popularity in the US market, and with good reason. They are versatile and many newer models have sleek units with low noise and high cooling/heating power. I would go for a Lennox mini split air conditioner because they seem to be the best built and still use a insulated metal divider wall between the inside ans outside.