In order to choose the best portable AC for your environment you need to understand the importance of BTU power. BTU’s (British thermal units) ideally measures the capacity of heat energy your portable air conditioner produces to cool your room. It’s therefore important to be keen on the BTU capacity of your unit since this will determine the efficiency of your cooling system in a room of a particular size.
Well before settling down on a particular machine, you should know the sizes of the rooms where you are going to be using your cooling system. This will ideally help you decide what capacity of BTU’s is best for your rooms. The BTU capacity that you require for your kitchen for instance would be different from that required for the bedroom or the living room. This has a lot to do with what appliances are in your environment as well as how much sunlight your room gets. You don’t want to choose a unit with the wrong BTU capacity for this could end up not cooling your room at all or even end up cooling it too fast. In that case, cooling a small room too fast will not effectively remove the humidity in the air as your compressor wont run long enough. As a result you may experience a clammy environment with excess condensation or many other potential problems that could affect the performance or lifetime of the machine.
While deciding on BTU’s and which unit is best for your room, you’ve got to keep in mind the different places that you are going to be using your cooling system. There is no doubt that one of the reasons you need a portable AC is its ability to move from room to room. If you decide to use your unit in the kitchen or if you live in a bachelor apartment you may have to get a machine with a little more BTU power. There is a lot of heat generated in the kitchen especially while cooking and that is why this becomes necessary. If you’re not the type to cook your own meals regularly, then you don’t have to worry as much.
The same principle applies to a room that gets a lot of sunlight. Ideally a sunny room is likely to heat up quicker making a unit with a high BTU rating an ideal choice. Another important factor that would also help determine the BTU’s of your unit is the insulation in your room. If you’ve just moved into a newly constructed home or just got an old one renovated then you may still have excellent insulation. You can test the insulation of your house by taking a candle near a door or window frame on a windy day to find out whether you have any drafts. If so, you may not have good insulation in place.
In the end, take your time and measure you room with a measuring tape if you have to. Knowing what you need in advance will save you time, money and the frustration of returns or exchanges down the road. Think of your AC as an investment as it will be sure to last you a long time if properly chosen and taken care or correctly.
For more information on Single Hose Units see our Koldfront Ultracool PAC1401W 14,000 BTU Portable AC Review.
Also, for more info on BTU’s see our article on What you should consider when buying the Best Portable AC Unit