Portable Air Conditioning

Portable air conditioning systems are, as the name suggests, compact units capable of cooling and dehumidifying the air in a relatively small space – a single room perhaps – and being easily transferred from place to place or stored away when not in use. Portable air conditioning systems vary in cooling capacity – measured in kW (“kilowatts”) or Btu (“British thermal units”) – and can be used in conjunction with a central HVAC (“Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning”) system, or in their own right to keep the air in your home, or office, cool and dry.

How Portable Air Conditioning Works

The fundamental operation of a portable air conditioning system is actually very simple, and akin to that of a standard domestic refrigerator. Warm, or hot, air from the interior of a room is blown over a cooling “evaporator” coil which reduces the temperature of the air and removes some of the moisture from it. Cool, dehumidified, air is circulated back into the room, and exhaust heat is discharged, or expelled, to the outside of the building via a flexible hose.

Pros & Cons of Portable Air Conditioning

Portable air conditioning systems reduce the temperature and moisture content of the air and so provide a comfortable environment in which to live and work regardless of extreme temperatures and humidity levels outdoors. They also improve the quality of the air by removing dust and other impurities – including microbial spores, bacteria and viruses – producing a hygienic environment that is of benefit to everyone, but particularly to suffers of allergies, asthma and other respiratory ailments.

Portable air conditioning units are inexpensive to buy, require no installation per se, and can obviously be used in different areas as and when required. They are ideal for cooling a small area on a temporary basis – during, for example, the height of the British summer – and can be stored away unobtrusively when not in use.

Portable air conditioning does, of course, require a fan and a compressor for its operation and so can be fairly noisy; a less sophisticated air “cooler”, rather than “conditioner”, for example is much quieter. Portable air conditioning is not suitable for larger areas and requires a window, or door, to be left open during its operation to accommodate the exhaust hose. By the same token, all other windows or doors in a room must remain closed for a portable air conditioning unit to function to maximum efficiency. There is also the problem of disposing “condensate” – water extracted from the air during the process of dehumidification – which typically accumulates in a drip tray, or tank, that needs to be emptied on a regular basis to keep the portable air conditioning unit running.

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