It’s no surprise that heating and air conditioning increase your monthly electrical bill. If you want to stay cool this summer you are going to have to sacrifice some money, but why not sacrifice as little as you can by using your portable air conditioner as efficient as possible? This article aims to show you how to do just that. If you’ve chosen to go portable then you made a wise choice. When compared to regular window AC’s or complete central AC systems, portable AC units are much more flexible cooling devices. Rather than buy two window AC’s for your apartment to cool your living room and bedroom, you could always just roll your portable AC into your bedroom once you choose to go to sleep at night. Portable AC’s can take up a lot of energy, although there are many new models that do a great job of cooling your room while still having a high EER(Energy Efficiency Rating) rating.
Below are some tips to help you ensure that your unit isn’t just doing a good job cooling, but also keeping away heat.
Purchase the right size for your room
Measuring the square feet of the room you intend to use your unit in is very important. This should be your first step before deciding on which one to go with. If your room is small you might be looking for something 10,000 BTUs and less, if your room is big then you might want to go above 10,000 BTU. (See our article on things you should consider when buying the best portable air conditioner)
Try to avoid placing your unit directly near sources of heat. Keeping it in the shade away from the sun is a good idea. Electronics such as stereo systems, big-screen TVs and computers are all other potential sources of heat. Try your best to keep your AC at least 5 to 10 feet away from these devices and 1-2 ft away from any walls or obstructions.
Cover your windows and close your blinds
Besides providing cool air in your environment it’s also a good idea to close your blinds and eliminate any direct sunlight coming into your building. This will cause your unit to work less to keep your room temperature and not require as much energy overall.
Ensure that you have securely fastened the hose to the AC unit as well as the window. It’s very important to make sure that no hot air is leaking back into your room.
Regularly clean your air filter
It may sound like nothing but cleaning out your filter will not only keep your AC fresh but will also make sure it’s performing at its best. Have you ever turned your unit on after storing it away for the winter and noticed it wasn’t cooling as good? Well there is a good chance that a dirty filter is your problem. Most filters can be washed with warm water and detergent. Just read the instructions that came with your unit for further details.
Use your timer(if you have one)
Take advantage of the timer function on your machine. All of the best portable air conditioners on the market should have one. Rather than keep your AC on throughout the day you can schedule it to function while you’re at home and only then. You can even have just the thermostat increase or decrease depending on when you are home as well.(not on all models) (When setting your thermostat remember that each degree raised reduces energy consumption by 3 to 4%.)
Another trick you can try is insulating your exhaust hose with towels. This can help reduce a lot of heat as the hose radiates a lot back into your room during normal operation. Lastly, consider purchasing a dual hose unit especially if you’re cooling a large room. It might be pricier upfront, but could save you $$ in the long term.
Also see our price on the Whynter ARC-10WB 10,000 BTU Portable AC.
Need less BTU power? Then see what the Koldfront Ultracool PAC801W 8,000 BTU Portable AC has to offer in our review.