Pros and Cons of Portable Air Conditioners

With the soaring temperatures that we have all experienced over the past few weeks, it comes as no surprise that the air conditioners around Perth are getting a workout.  Whilst there is no question that any air conditioning unit would improve the comfort of your home, there is a debate to be had of which type you should choose.

Portable air conditioners are not something we have discussed previously but they may offer a cost effective solution to cooling your home (or parts of it).  For those on a tighter budget, renting or just needing a quick solution to a stinking hot house, a portable air conditioner that you can pick up from your local JB Hifi may seem like a good option.  In complete fairness, it might do the job just fine but often we hear that months alter, buyers are often feeling shortchanged with the limitations that portable air conditioners face.

Keep on reading below and we’ll detail out the pros and cons of these units to help you make the most informed decision.


Cost - Without a doubt, the number one reason people buy a portable unit is because of price.  For less than $500, you can have something providing some cool air relief to your home.

Portability - It’s in the name and it’s their biggest feature.  These units can be picked up and moved around to cool certain rooms as required.  Working in the shed?  Bring the air conditioner along.  Need to just cool your bedroom down?  No problem.

Ease of setup - There is no drilling or ducting required with portable units.  Simply point the exhaust vent outside the window, plug it into power and you’re done.  This makes them particularly good for renters who can’t make alterations to their home


So far, so good?  There are a few drawbacks when compared to split systems or fully ducted systems.  

Effectiveness - Those exceptionally hot days test all air conditioners and often, portable units just can’t get a space cool enough.  Small bedrooms are generally okay but anything bigger is a struggle.  

Noise - Although they can cool a bedroom down reasonably well, they are noisy which is a problem when trying to sleep!  All components are in the one place (condenser, evaporator, fan and more) so instead of having the noise outside, it’s all right there.

Final thoughts

For the most part, we would really only recommend a portable air conditioner to someone who is renting and has no other choice.  For anyone with the option to mount a split system, we would recommend that as it’s more efficient and effective.  Rather than spending a little less and being disappointed, we’d strongly recommend spending the extra few hundred dollars and investing in a split system.

If you have any questions, we’d love to hear from you.  Give us a call on (08) 9417 1071.


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