I had no idea that portable air conditioners were less efficient than window units

It’s as clear as day—I have always been a glutton for sleak, new technology.

For years I shelled out hordes of cash for needlessly expensive cell phones that I never used enough to remotely justify the high prices.

There was also my growing habit of buying new clothes each week. I have stopped short of buying myself jewelry, but my household purchases almost seem worse in comparison. I have a massive 4k smart television in my living room. Although I use it daily, I continually ask myself if the size and features justified the astronomically high price at the time. This is what led me into buying a portable air conditioner to replace my old window unit that had finally seen its last days of use. These portable units are so popular and stylized that it seemed like a no brainer to buy one of these with the intention of upgrading my setup. Sadly, I had no idea about one crucial factor—air circulation. In all air conditioning systems, there is the cold side and the hot side. In split systems in homes, the hot side is the condenser you see outdoors that expels heat energy harvested during the evaporation process inside the air handler indoors. With the condenser outside, the heat can escape unabated. But, in a portable unit, the condenser is right next to the evaporator in a single box that sits inside your home. Single hose portable air conditioners are forced to compensate by literally pulling in cooled air from the surrounding room and blowing it across the condenser to cool it off, then pushing that air out the exhaust hose into outdoor air. You literally have to waste already conditioned air simply to cool off a component that would normally be outside anyway, which is where it’s located in a window unit as well—outside the window frame completely.


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