The hot season is coming, and although we can try to lower the temperatures inside the house with some tricks, equipment and accessories, there is nothing like a good air conditioning system to achieve a pleasant atmosphere in the rooms, especially if there are many of us sharing the same space.
Appliances fixed installation air conditioner They are clearly a great option, but there are times when due to budget, because we live for rent and cannot do works or simply because we are looking for more flexibility of use and mobility, we can also bet on a portable model. What do I have to look for to choose before ordering one from the store?
The first thing to know before buying a portable air conditioner, also known as “penguins”, is let it really be air conditioning and not a simple evaporator with a fan. Portable air conditioning systems are equipment that has a similar operation to that of fixed ones, with a integrated compression system under its casing that generates a heat exchange cycle and therefore produces cold air that expels to the room.
Unlike fixed installation equipment, they do not need works or installation, since it is enough to place them near a window and take a hot air extraction tube outside (there are more complex models with several tubes). We can move it from a room if we need it and store it when we are not using it and even change it if we are easy to move.
The next point to consider is related to the possibilities of location in our home. We have to look for a model that has everything necessary to adapt it to our room, either in a window or in a door that faces the outside, and you have to see that the air outlet tube is of quality, have the length we need and be flexible.
In the same way, we must check that the condensation outlets have a suitable tube for our place of installation or, failing that, that it has a condensation tray easy to access and clean.
We also have to consider if we want it to only be able to generate cold air or we are also looking for a equipment capable of producing hot air for use in winter. They are somewhat more expensive but their possibilities of use multiply.
Another point to assess is if we need it to have dehumidification function. In regions with high humidity, it can be useful to have this feature, since they are capable of extracting moisture from the air and depositing it in a container of our choice.
Finally, we must consider what kind of air filters has the equipment. They are usually very basic in entry models, but it is still convenient that they can be easily removed for cleaning. In addition, it does not hurt to take a look to see if we like the user interface, if it has an LCD panel or if it has a remote control, the latter being an important factor so that we do not have to get up every time we want to change a parameter of its operation.
What power do i need
The most important question when it comes to getting a portable air conditioner is precisely this:what power or cooling capacity do I need? The quick answer would be the more the better, but in that case we may be wasting resources, especially if our room is not very large.
In general, air conditioning manufacturers give cold generation values in frigories (1 frigory corresponds to 1 kcal of absorbed heat) or BTU (the unit of the English system, each frigory is equivalent to about 4 BTU), recommending, in theory, some 100 frigories per square meter assuming a standard height of about eight feet.
In the case of a portable air equipment it is convenient to increase this figure up to about 130-140 frigories per square meter without fear of passing us. This happens because they are not very efficient devices since the tube that expels the air to the outside also radiates part of that heat in summer or cold in winter inside the room, being generally a plastic conduit without any type of insulation.
In addition, although there is usually an adapter to cover the space of the window or ajar door where we install the equipment, there are always gaps through which the cold escapes in summer and heat in winter, entering air from outside so that we will need more frigories or calories than normal.
Thus, for a room of about 20 square meters in which 2,000 or 2,500 frigories would usually suffice with a fixed installation equipment, with a portable one we will have to bet on a model that reaches at least 3,000 frigories if we want equivalent performance.
Regarding energy efficiency labels, it must be remembered that this year they disappear the classes “A +”, “A ++” and “A +++”, which were created to encompass and be able to describe the most efficient products and which will now be replaced by values of “B”, “C” and “D” respectively. This does not mean that the rating of the appliance has worsened, but that the new labeling is stricter and for the moment the category “A” is left empty pending new products more efficient than the current ones that will arrive in the next few years.
Vibrations and noise level
Yes, portable air conditioners they are noisy teams and that generate vibrations where you install them. Hence the importance of having some type of cushioning system in their legs and that the maximum noise level marked in the specifications is not too bulky.
Normally we find typical values of between 45 and 60 dB, much higher than the 24-25 dB recommended for sleeping with the device turned on at night, so the lower this value, the better the user experience and it will not bother us so much to have it turned on in small rooms.
A good trick to reduce vibrations and noise is to place it on a carpet. We can also find that it has a specific low noise function or “sleep” mode which reduces the cooling power of the equipment but thus lowers the noise level produced by a few decibels.
Cecotec EnergySilence Clima 9050
A basic model for small rooms is this one Cecotec EnergySilence Clima 9050. It is a compact device measuring 35 x 33.5 x 70 cm that offers a power of 2270 frigories per hour (recommended for rooms of about 15 m2) and has 3 main functions: cold, fan and dehumidifier. It has an air flow of 350m3 / h, offers the possibility of programming and remote control. Its price is 269 euros.
Cecotec Portable Air Conditioner EnergySilence Clima 9050. 2270 Refrigerators, 3 Functions (Cold, Fan, Dehumidifier), Flow 350m_ / h, Programmable 24h, Remote Control
Taurus AC 205 RVKT
Another interesting model is the Taurus AC 205 RVKT, a device with 4 different operating modes: cold, heat, dehumidification and ventilation with maximum cooling capacity of 1750 frigories and heat pump 1512 kcal. It offers several ventilation speeds, an air flow of 380 m3 / h and a capacity in dehumidifier mode of 20l / 24h. Its price is 391 euros.
Taurus AC 205 RVKT 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner, 780 W, Aluminum
A simple model to start with is this Daitsu APD-12HK, a portable air conditioner with heat pump that offers a power of 3027 kcal / frigories per hour in relatively compact dimensions of 390x405x820 mm. It uses the R32 refrigerant, it is recommended for rooms of up to 22 m2 and offers functions of cooling, dehumidification, ventilation and heating. Its price is 457 euros.
Daitsu 3NDA0088 Portable Air Conditioner with Heat Pump APD-12HK, power 3027 kcal / h, New R32 Refrigerant, Application Area: 22 m², Energy Class A-A +
De’Longhi Penguin PAC N77ECO
Another interesting model is the De’Longhi Penguin PAC N77ECO, a computer measuring 44.9 x 39.5 x 75 cm with a cooling capacity of 2.1 kW, a fan and dehumidifier function, a low-consumption Eco Plus function, a timer and a 12-hour thermostat. Its price is 480 euros.
De’Longhi Pingüino PAC N77ECO Portable Air Conditioner, 8200 Btu / h, 2.1 kW, Fan and Dehumidifier, Low Consumption, Eco Plus Function, Timer and 12-Hour Thermostat, White
Olimpia Splendid Dolceclima Compact 9 P
A mid-range model is this Olimpia Splendid Dolceclima Compact 9 P, with a size of 34.5 x 35.5 x 70.3 cm and capacity for 2,280 frigories. It has a multi-function remote control and touch panel, programmable on and off with a built-in timer as well as cooling, fan, dehumidifier, night, automatic and turbo operating modes. Its price is 299 euros.
Olimpia Splendid 01914 Dolceclima Compact 9 P Portable Air Conditioner 9,000 BTU / h, 2,280 Frigories, R290 Gas, Designed in Italy
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