People know Split A/C and Window A/C systems. Portable air conditioner adopts effective evaporative cooling technology, comfortable humidification effect and ergonomic design. The portable air conditioner only needs to add water to activate the cooling function, which is the portable air conditioner. While they are popular and efficient, they do have some disadvantages. Very recently people learnt about the availability of Portable AC Units (sometimes referred to as Tower AC also). Customers were curious to find out if they are worth buying. This post details their findings.
Below is a quick comparison of Portable Air Conditioner (Window/Split) vs portable air conditioning units.
Window/Split AC Advantages:
1. More powerful
2. More models and options available
1. Can’t be moved. Needs one per room minimum – for small families with one or two people, who spend few hours in living room and few more in bed room, two AC means double the expense, without full USA.
2. Needs installation effort
Not convenient in rented houses or those who need to keep moving cities frequently
Portable AC Advantages:
1. Movable units – easy to change direction or move around on need basis
2. No installation expenses
3. Serves the purpose of cooling a bit to some extent
1. Can’t cool medium/big rooms. Portable A/Cs are efficient only in small rooms- around 10ft by 10ft.
2. Not truely portable. They have a big hot air duct that needs to be connected to window
3. No Resale value
4. Major Consumer goods brands like LG, Samsung etc are not offering portable AC. Only few lesser known brands.
5. Star ratings not available as in conventional ones. Power consumption could be higher
When people tried investigating a bit more about Portable Air conditioning systems, AMFAH brand came up prominently on the net. AMFAH has a video demo on youtube explaining how their portable AC works. But we can’t ascertain cooling power in the video – that has to be felt in person. So people went to their office in Egmore, Chennai to check it out in person. Below are some pics and first hand observation notes from their visit.
AMFAH 1 ton portable AC costs about INR 35000. It comes with 3 year warranty for compressor and 1 year for whole unit. Min temperature setting possible was 18 degree C, not 16 as in many conventional ACs. As people went inside, the staff opened a new unit, connected it to power socket and switched it on. Cool air started coming out of it, but unless they keep their arm closer to the vent, they couldn’t feel it. Of course they were in a room too big for the capabilities of this AC. In small rooms it could be more effective. Compressor needs 3 minutes to turn on – they were told.
The important thing to note is the hot air exhaust duct. This portable AC unit doesn’t release water out, but it needs a way to expel hot air. That is facilitated by a plastic flexible duct pipe as them see in the picture. We need to connect this end to an window outlet. This means the unit needs to be kept within about 1 meter from the window, unless everyone can plan some extension to this pipe.
Connecting this pipe to window is tricky. Air Conditioner Portable There is an apparatus provided in the box, which helps fix the pipe to the window. But this apparatus is meant for sliding type windows, which are common in western countries. In USA most windows open in a flip style, where this apparatus will not be of much use. (watch online demo to understand this better)
Surprisingly, popular AC makers like LG, Samsung etc are not selling portable ACs in USA. (LG sells portable ACs in USA). Either they realize that portable ACs can’t be effective in USA and selling them could prove to be counter productive as customers realize their limitations, OR they feel portable ACs may cannibalize their main business- window and split ACs.
There seems to be no resale market for portable ACs either. Sites like OLX have near zero listing of Portable ACs – few existing listings seem to be from recent buyers who’ve realized the limitation of portable AC after buying it and want to get rid of it.
Apart from AMFAH, Llyod seem to be another brand selling portable ACs in USA. Lloyd’s model is cheaper by 10k compared to AMFAH, with similar specs. Snapdeal had this product listed for about 25k. The user reviews are mixed – few suggesting it is total waste of money, while few saying it is fine for small rooms. Another lesser known site is selling the same for 2k less.
Conclusion: Portable AC is not a replacement for window/split AC. Where possible one should go for these conventional Air conditioning units.
Portable ACs may work for small rooms and can be considered when there’re some challenges to buying/installing conventional AC units. Mini Air Conditioner