Top Factors to Consider for Portable AC Units

It’s that time of year again, the weathers starting to get warmer so it’s time to put away the heater and start thinking about how you’re going to cool down this summer. Nothing saves money better than a portable air conditioner, and we’re here to help you pick out the right unit. They’re perfect for areas in apartments or offices because they are compact, easy to maneuver, convenient to use, and most importantly, energy-efficient. They can be used in various spaces to make any room cooler, tolerable, and comfortable. Learn what top factors and features to consider in order to easily select the best portable air conditioner to fit your needs.

Deciding on Your BTU Requirements:

The power of your portable air conditioner is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU). The higher the BTU, the more cooling power your unit will have. The amount of BTUs needed to cool the room goes up with room size. Consider the square footage of the room you would like cooled, and decide on the right number of BTUs for perfect ventilation. Here’s how to calculate your BTUs:

Step 1: Calculate the room’s square footage by multiplying its length by its width.

Step 2: Verify the size of the window opening for venting.

Step 3: Check the plug type and electrical requirements of your room.

For example, if your room measures 30 feet by 30 feet, your BTU will be 12,000:

20′ x 20′ = 400 square feet

400 square feet = at least 12,000 BTUs

As such, if your room measures 400 square feet, you will need a portable air conditioner that offers 12,000 BTUs of cooling. Please note that the figures in the chart above are estimates based on average room conditions in a moderate climate. Some exceptions may also apply, such as:

  • For second story homes or especially sunny areas, add the BTU amount by 10%
  • For shaded areas, reduce the BTUs by 10%
  • For each additional person over two persons in a room, add 600 BTUs
  • To cool a kitchen, add 4,000 BTUs  (there nothing more off putting when cooking than being to warm)

The following are general guidelines for the maximum room size and the coinciding BTU’s that are typically recommended for portable air conditioners:


Desired Features:

Other considerations when picking out a portable air conditioner include controls, noise level, or energy efficiency. All that matters is your preference and the area you need cooled. Here’s a list of important features that you may want in your portable AC unit:

Portability: does the unit have sturdy and durable wheels to be pushed from room to room, or a handle to easily lift and place elsewhere.

Ventilation: All portable air conditioners are built to be vented to the outside and need to be placed within a few feet of a window or vent. Some units also have a hose system that vents the compressor separately to provide even more efficient cooling.

Airflow: With a fan, an AC unit is able to circulate air efficiently. Look for units that oscillate and have adjustable airflow for truly great air circulation.

Temperature: Features with timers or sleep modes are convenient. It won’t use more energy longer than you want the unit on.

Noise Level: If you’re going to be using the air conditioner in a bedroom, office, or children’s room, it’s important to pay special attention to the volume each portable air conditioner produces. Particularly if you want a good night’s sleep.

Controls: Some portable AC units either have a remote control or digital controls available. Remote controls are convenient because you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own chair.  If you’re not so tech savvy, it’s best to opt for the simplest settings of digital.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER): EER is calculated by dividing your BTU by the wattage used to achieve this cooling. The higher an EER, the more efficient the unit is at cooling. High EER ACs will save you money because they use less electricity to keep you cool.

A Simple Comparison of NewAir AC Units:

Below are a selection of NewAir’s best selling portable air conditioners. in a variety of useful areas. These should help you make a choice based on the key areas that are important to you in a portable air conditioner:


REMEMBER, as stated before, portable air conditioner must be placed near a window. The condensed hot air must be vented out of the room with a hose to be slid into a window, and with the exhaust hose being fitted into the appropriate window space. Air conditioners are useful in many different types of rooms and spaces thanks to their compact size and lack of installation.

Best Rooms for your Portable AC


Many portable air conditioners operate quietly, so you can have a peaceful nights sleep. If you share a room, then its even more beneficial, as the more people in a room, the warmer it is.


When you’re sitting down all day, it’s easy to become uncomfortable and fidgety. Portable ACs are perfect to cool down any office because of their mobility, size, and low level noises.

Dorm Room

Most dorm rooms do not come with any central air or heating system. Sometimes not even a window. The size and no installation make it perfect to move-in with.

Living Room

It’s important to keep the air fresh, cool and and ventilating in the living room because that’s where more guests will relax. It will also save you a lot of money instead of a central AC unit with it’s energy efficiency.

Basement and Garage

Both areas can be difficult to work in when it’s suffering from warm, humid air. You’re going to need a cooling option and a portable air conditioner is a great alternative. Additionally, most portable air conditioners can also help to dehumidify the air.

What Maintenance is Required for Portable AC Units?

Portable Air Conditioners require less maintenance than any other alternative cooling system. Your unit may collect a good amount of water in it’s bucket, which needs to be emptied periodically. Other units have the ability to evaporate the moisture in which does not require any draining of water. Furthermore, most portable air conditioners can support the connection of a drain hose that allows water to be drained continuously, and there are even condensate pumps available which pump the water outside or into a drain pump located indoors.

The air filters eliminate airborne particles, and require bi-weekly or monthly cleaning or replacing in your portable AC. If your portable air conditioner has a washable filter, slide the filter out, immerse it in warm water and detergent, rinse thoroughly, and let it dry before replacing it back into the unit.

Those extremely hot summer days will soon be forgotten thanks to NewAir. Never sweat inside your home again!


Samantha Cuevas

Most of my friends call me Sam for short. I'm a Social Media & Brand Manger at Luma Comfort. I enjoy writing, reading, sports, and cooking. I have a huge love for animals and weird obsession with video games. When I'm not in the office, you'll find me at the beach either surfing or riding my bike. I love being outdoors and taking in the Vitamin D.

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