Tips on portable air conditioners Bought a Portable Air Conditioner. The alternative to a window unit, explained.
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A window air conditioning unit is, in many ways, a terrible technology. It blasts cool air from only one location, as opposed to the many vents of central air. These heavy hunks of metal hang precariously over sidewalks—something I think about whenever I walk the streets of New York, look up at the many window ACs, and ponder the fact that they were installed by amateurs. Many of the same companies that produce window ACs also make portable air conditioning units that don’t have to sit in the window. Our main driver in choosing this AC wasn’t portability. It was another of the problems with window units: They take over your window and, depending on your style of window, you can’t open it until you take out the AC in the autumn. That just wasn’t an option for our one-window room, so we decided to seek alternatives.
The Frigidaire portable looks like a mini-fridge on wheels with a vent in the front. The controls are like those of a typical window unit: You can set the temperature and switch between fan and cool modes. This unit also comes with a dehumidifying setting. On the back there’s a filter where air gets sucked in, and a port where you have to hook up the exhaust hose: a big, thick dryer hose-like tube that has to run to the window. Our AC also came with a piece of plastic that fits into your window. It’s about 7 inches tall and slides to adjust to the window’s width.