How to Choose a Portable Air Conditioner for Your Home

Portable AC units on display in The Home Depot
Portable air conditioner units come in all shapes, styles, and sizes.

If the summer heat wave has overwhelmed your house’s cooling system, you may be considering a portable air conditioner to provide a boost in the rooms that need it most. Portable AC units are no substitute for the real thing, but they can come in handy for rarely used spaces, upstairs bedrooms, or anywhere else that is difficult to keep cool.

Read on to find out more about buying a portable air conditioner.


  1. There are two different BTU ratings on each unit. Of course the higher of the two is the one that’s touted loudly on the packaging and the lower of the two is in smaller print a ways down. What I want to know is why are the two numbers so far apart ? Mine says 8000 BTU / 5500 BTU. Is it a “peak” vs “average” or “continuous” like with generators ? Or something else ?


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