What is Mobile Air Conditioning?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Mobile air conditioning is a term that is used to describe home air conditioning systems that are easily detached and stored when they are not needed to keep the home comfortable. These types of air conditioning units are usually somewhat small in size and will set on a flat surface somewhere within a room or hallway. Unlike central air conditioning or even window air conditioners, the mobile units make use of expandable plastic ducts in order to vent warmer air from the space.


As a room air conditioning option, a mobile air conditioning unit is normally the size of a small end table and is relatively lightweight. For the most part, systems of this type are intended to cool a single room, although some models are equipped to cool larger spaces. While a system of this type is usually considered to be a form of ductless air conditioning, most mobile units do require some means of venting air to the outside. This is usually accomplished with the aid of plastic ductwork that can be attached to the device on one end while the other end is ran out a nearby window.

In terms of functionality and efficiency, a mobile air conditioning unit is much less expensive to operate than a central split air conditioning system. At the same time, the ability to move the unit around the room makes it easier to focus the flow of air in a given direction. Even window units with directional vents do not allow the same flexibility when it comes to directing the stream of cool air in just the ideal direction.

However, mobile air conditioning does not necessarily blend in well with the décor in a room. Unlike central units that feature discreetly place vents in the room, or even window units that are relatively unobtrusive, a mobile unit requires floor space and tends to stick out in any room. The addition of the plastic ductwork used to vent the systems is also not particularly attractive, a fact that tends to discourage some people from purchasing this type of unit.

Still, mobile air conditioning can be extremely helpful in a number of situations. The mobile units are ideal for use at lake cabins and other weekend getaways when the temperature and humidity begin to rise. Some people keep a mobile air conditioner on hand in the event that the home’s central air system fails for some reason. Since the purpose of the units is usually to offer temporary relief from humidity and heat, the awkwardness of the units setting in a room can be overlooked for the short term.

Many home stores and hardware stores will carry at least one or two different sizes of mobile air conditioning units. As with window units, it is possible to purchase relatively small units that will adequately cool a small space or larger units that can keep a larger and more open room comfortable even in high temperatures. While mobile units tend to cost a little more than window units, they are an ideal backup system and much easier to store when not in use.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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