Hot town, summer in the city! Back of my neck getting dirt and gritty… If this song resonates with you on a personal level then boy howdy do we have good news for you. You heard about La Nina right? Apparently we are in for a record breaking hot summer. Looks like the west coast and north east are going to get hit with it the worst so you better hunker down and stock up on some ice bags. Or you can be smart and efficient about it and buy our new portable air conditioner. You want to be smart and efficient right? I mean, don’t you?
|Portable AC Model||Capacity (BTU)||Price|
|Dyson AM07 Tower Cooling Fan||NA||£349.95|
|Igenix IG9900 Portable Air Conditioning Unit||9,000 BTU||£304.48|
|EcoAir ECO8P 8000 BTU Portable Air Conditioning Unit||8,000 BTU||£299.84|
|Multi-Split 18000 BTU DC Inverter Wall Split Air Conditioner||18,000 BTU||£799.98|
Here, we are accustomed to the rain. With it tends to come cooler temperatures, a year round temperate climate on the whole, and depending on where you are, a good deal of humidity. Still, that does not mean that you can escape the heat! And what to do when those days of unbearable humidity and sweltering sunshine warms up our homes and offices?
Depending on which part of the United Kingdom you call home, you may be able to get away with simply cracking open a window during the hottest part of the day and making do. Or, perhaps a standing floor fan or ceiling fan (though those are rarer) may suffice. But for those in a region we’ll broadly refer to as the south and central east of the country - including cities like Norwich, Cardiff, Swindon, Bristol, South Hampton, Canterbury, Ipswich, Colchester, Leicester, Cambridge, Nottingham, Coventry, and of course London – you may want to consider more heavy duty options that can not only cool down your house, but dehumidify as necessary.
You may be surprised to find that these portable air conditioners strike the right balance between comfort and a smaller investment than a central HVAC unit. Especially those that are capable of sucking out water from the air, which causes us to literally feel the heat much more viscerally, are worth a closer look.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what to consider in terms different types of air conditioners, what functionality you want your AC unit to have, what owners of various models have said about their experience with said products, and ways to maintain air conditioners and use them most effectively, plus some final parting tips! Look no further than guide to make your air conditioning decision that much easier!
If you live in a vast estate with lots of metric volume to cool down, chances are you will want (and have the means for) a more comprehensive cooling and heating system. Some sort of centralized temperature control system may in fact already exist, in fact. Alternatively, if you live anywhere north of say, Leeds, where the temperatures don’t often range into the mid 20s, you might be better off with a simpler solution, like cracking a window or sticking your face in the fridge for those rare days when it does get hot.
For everyone else not considering the above all-or-nothing solutions, there are different form factors of AC units to be aware of:
Our new portable air conditioner is a godsend. It’s about two and a half feet high and has four wheels for easy transportation and angling. It has also has a large exhaust pipe that’s flexible and feeds out of the back. So all you have to do is tuck this baby near some window, feed the pipe out the window, plug it in, and then you’re good to go! Furthermore, the pipe is fitted with expandable slides so you can fill up the whole window space and keep any of that good-good air from getting out. This also cuts down on your energy bill.
Our machine has six buttons on its very simple and easy-use interface. A TIMER, two temperature ARROWS, POWER, MODE FAN. The machine can Cool, Dehumidify, Fan even sleep until use. And it’s not loud either. Most other portable air conditioners sound like you have a jet turbine in your house, but not this bad boy. He purrs like a kitten so you can finally catch up on your sleep or the last episode of Game of Thrones in peace.
Our machine is energy efficient, cost efficient above all, space efficient. Good luck trying to lug those other heavy guys up into your window space. Those suck up your energy bill and over heat more than anything else. Also, if they fall from your window, then the people on the street have more to worry about than a heat stroke.
Our Portable Air Conditionerin is designed from top to bottom to impress. The inner workings of this machine is like an enigma. You ever heard of that “Masterful Design” thing where people believe in God simply because of how unique and crazy the human hand is? It has like a million capillaries and veins and tendons and joints and bones all working together seamlessly and effortlessly. Well, yeah, let’s just say the acclaimed atheist Richard Dawkins is a Church Go-er now… because his local church is cooled off and cared for by OUR portable air conditioner. He’s still an atheist, but at least he’s not a sweaty one.
When making the decision on which portable unit to buy, assess your needs. Some units are noisier than others, some require more energy, some are more efficient (as denoted by an EU energy label rating from A to G, most to least efficient), some have a higher cooling capacity (measured in British Thermal Units, or BTUs) and thus a higher cost, and some are cleaned in different ways. Some will have the ability to dehumidify the room, which may be a high priority mode for those that live in muggier climes. Keep in mind that humidity is often the culprit, not temperature, for uncomfortable weather.
You will generally have to change out water from a small storage tank because AC units draw water out of the air. However, some products are equipped with self-evaporating features so the user doesn’t have to do this. Many units have timers, which are handy if you are falling asleep and don’t want it running the whole night. This also helps save on electricity and cost.
A lot of units also include remote control units, reducing the need to get up every time you want to change the settings. Speaking of control, for those that want an extra measure of it, there are those that allow you to fine-tune the temperature via a thermostat setting. Instead of high, medium, or low, you can choose the exact degree you want to keep the room at.
Almost all will have a separate fan function to simply help with circulation without actually cooling anything down. A benefit to those units outfitted with pre-filters is that they cost less over time; this is due to the fact that washable filters will better remove dust and hair if you are able to keep them clean, and you don’t have to replace them each time they get dirty. Finally, and of high importance for residents in colder parts of the country, is the fact that many are equipped with heating capacities as well. It’s generally well worth the extra cost if you can use these units year round, so this feature comes highly recommended.
For smaller bedrooms or general purpose rooms up to approximately 30 square meters, you will want to look for a portable unit with somewhere around 7,000 to 10,000 BTUs to create a comfortable environment.
Medium-sized spaces on the other hand will require more. Anything from workshops to studios to living room spaces between 30 and 65 square meters will require 10,000 to 14,000 BTUs.
Large rooms and commercial spaces will obviously require something extra heavy duty, industrial strength portable AC units. Depending on the size, you are looking at units that run in the thousands, or even tens of thousands of pounds. These could provide anywhere from 20,000 BTUs to 120,000 BTUs, so you know you are getting a seriously sturdy unit.
These figures are already approximate, but also vary according to a few other factors. If there is a lot of sunlight coming through, bump those BTU calculations up by 10%. For kitchens which produce a lot of heat, an additional 4,000 BTUs will be necessary. For crowded spaces, thrown on about 600 BTUs for every person over two individuals present (people generate body heat).
For rooms with lots of windows and questionable insulation, higher ceilings, or parts of the building that are susceptible to humidity, increase your BTU capacity accordingly. It may be worthwhile to have an HVAC expert come by to inspect your space and make sure you don’t get a unit with too high or low cooling capacity, lest you undercool the space, or spend too much for something too powerful.
Finally, one thing to keep in mind is that you will be paying approximately £0.01 for every 1,000 BTUs per hour, so keep that long-term cost in mind when making a decision on which portable AC unit you can afford.
With all these considerations on the table, let’s take a look at a few of the best selling units:
This unit is for larger-sized rooms with a BTU of 8,000. It currently enjoys high ratings with online retailers that include user reviews, attributable largely to its array of features. Not only is it rated an A-level energy class efficiency, but it comes with a wireless remote for ease of use, three different fan speeds, a programmable 24 hour timer, and a washable mesh filter that will prevent you from having to buy a new one each time it gets dirty. Also for the user’s convenience is a self-evaporating system that means you won’t have to change out the water every few hours. The one year warranty is an added bonus. Just turn on and let it cool your room, no fuss required!
Users have boasted that it works quickly to cool down the room and it is easy to use with the remote control. A couple of users noted the bulk of the unit itself, and that it was “a bit too noisy.” With reviews of 4 or 5 stars across the board, this unit seems like a winner!
For a slightly lower capacity unit clocking in at 7,000 BTUs, the TROTECT PAC 2000 E is good for spaces of up to 65 m³. Also equipped with a remote, this baby has a dehumidifier as well. It can cool rooms down to 16 degrees Celsius, and sits fairly compactly. One user noted that the vent pipe needed to be extended because it wasn’t very long, but otherwise it was rated highly as a budget AC unit across the board.
This 900 W unit, recommended for spaces up to 19 square meters, is similar in scope to the other recommendations listed here. It’s slightly more powerful than the other portable units, clocking in at 9,000 BTUs, but also operates at a high energy rating of A, meaning you’re guaranteed to get efficient energy consumption out of this unit. While there’s no remote included, this Igenix air conditioner does come with a nice 2 year warranty. With a self-evaporating feature, there’s no need to clean out any water periodically. And the dehumidifier is going to help on those really muggy days.
Almost all reviewers say that it works very well to cool down the room in a short amount of time. Still, it has leaked onto the carpet for one user, while another complains about the excessive noise the unit makes. Finally, one review mentions that configuring the installation to make sure it properly ventilated. Overall, this is a good option with an average of 4 out of 5 stars.
Obviously, it goes without saying that you will want to clean or change the filters on those AC units that either have washable filters, or replaceable ones. This will help the unit run more efficiently and effectively. Checking to make sure all your rooms are insulated properly will go a long way towards sealing in the cool air. And in case common sense didn’t already inform you, close the windows of any room you’ll be using the AC unit in!
There is a lot of information to consider, so take the time to carefully process all your specific needs and all the options out there. Plan how ventilation will work in the space you need AC for. Take into account the long term cost of all of this. The good news is that there’s plenty out there for whatever your situation may be, so there’s guaranteed to be an air conditioning solution for you!