What is Portable Air Conditioning?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 December 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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Portable air conditioning is a broad term used to refer to any type of air conditioning equipment that is not permanently installed. The term has been applied to small window air conditioning units that can quickly be removed and transported to another room. More commonly, portable air conditioning describes air conditioning equipment that is mounted on wheels and can be rolled from one location to another with ease.

This type of ductless air conditioning equipment offers a viable way to either augment the function of central air conditioning or replace it altogether. Portable air conditioning is an especially attractive option when the cost of installing ductwork and a large heating and cooling unit is not feasible either due to structural issues or the lack of money to install such a system. Portable units make it possible to enjoy quick and easy room air conditioning within minutes, since many of the units are capable of cooling air in a single room with no great effort.


Portable air conditioning units are normally mounted onto a rolling base. This makes it possible to move the unit into position easily, as well as store the unit when it is not required. As with any type of air cooling equipment, a portable unit usually requires some venting in order to circulate air properly. To this end, most examples of portable air conditioning with make use of either a hose or split air conditioning design in order to achieve the expulsion of hot humid air and circulate cooler dry air throughout the room.

Both small and large portable air conditioning units are available. The smaller units normally work well in the home and can be stored in a pantry or hall closet with relative ease. The venting is usually accomplished by running a hose from the unit to a window, allowing the hot air to be directed outside. Larger units are useful in commercial settings, such as retail stores or on manufacturing floors. The larger units are often kept on hand as a backup for a central air system, making it possible to continue production in the event the main system fails for some reason.

One benefit offered by many types of portable air conditioning is that the units can be powered by a source other than standard wall current. For example, it is possible to connect some models directly to a battery backup system or even to an alternative energy source, such as solar panels. This helps the units to be especially helpful when there is a general power failure and there is a need to cool and enclosed space such as a switch or computer room in an office. These same models can also be plugged into wall outlets if the backup power source feeds the wiring system within the building.



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