Portable AC vs. Window AC: Which is Better?

Today’s air conditioning units are smart – they can be determined by applications, monitor indoor air quality, and inform you when filters need to be changed. But looking at those new, room-based AC products (those that don’t use ductwork) still have an important decision to make: should they get a portable air conditioner that stands on the floor or a window air conditioner that is installed nearby? Window?

Let’s take a look at the key AC features and how the portable and window models differ so you know which is the right option for you. And, if you want to see potential models, we have guidelines The best smart portable air conditioner And The best window air conditioners you can buy.


It is important to identify this largely in both portable and window AC units Ceremony Same: They use refrigerant to draw and store from nearby indoor air to cool the room and release hot and excessive moisture into the outside air. That stays the same in both options, so how their designs actually come down to how they are used.

Portable air conditioner units are designed to sit on the floor, and they can come in a variety of designs, although often shaped like a tower, small enough to rotate around, and often equipped with easy-to-move wheelchairs. They should often be located near a window (more on it below) to allow more heat and water vapor to escape from the outside, but otherwise they have fewer placement requirements.

Window AC units on the other hand (more or less) are made in the place where the window pan is used for permanent installation. This allows them to withstand outdoors so they can let in hot outdoor air and connect to a permanent drainage system if needed. To standardize the window air conditioner size, to fit the specific type of windows. This means you have to leave window space to use it, which in some cases can be more difficult than others.


Window AC units become larger and more powerful, and Research from tool analysts Indicates that their coverage is more reliable as their power increases, up to about square00 square feet (often window AC units cannot easily cool areas larger than this). This is why window air conditioners are the best choice for apartments and lofts and portable AC units can’t really compete with them in an efficiency rating.

It is also worth noting that some window AC units are hybrid models that can switch to heating mode. It doesn’t make them more efficient, but it does provide more year-round utilities that some users may prioritize.


Cost for both portable and window AC units Tilt from about 200 to around 400 Depending on the size of the model you are interested in and how many features. Portable air conditioners that have dehumidifier functions and many smarts also cost the most and can go up to around $ 600. Hybrid window models that provide heat can also go even higher.


A portable air conditioner is designed to be easy to install. When setting it up for use, you attach the AC vent to a window near you. Often these AC units come with special Windows inserts or panels for the best fit, but no other installation is required.

Window AC units, on the other hand, are designed for self-installation where they are screwed into the window area, and one of the most difficult parts is simply lifting the unit into place. However, if you have to remove a full window and don’t really know how to do it, it is a good idea to schedule a professional installation.

Portability and handling

The portable type AC unit comes in two different designs, both different, so we wanted to spend some time discussing it.

The first type uses a gift line that operates from a nearby window and is in a safe patch of ground. This is the usual type of model that takes some time to set up but can be moved to a different room as needed and save room for cold weather. Although it requires open windows and possibly holes in Windows screens, which can increase the risk of insects or pollen inside the house (many models have sealed features to help prevent it, but the quality may vary). In some cases this type of model may be connected to a silicate vent, although this is not common in home units.

The second type of portable unit is called a “ventless” unit, because an evaporator cooler, aka a window does not need to run a temporary vent outside. Instead, the evaporative cooler is a fan that also adds cool moisture as water vapor in the air, which has a cooling effect on human skin. This is an option for offices that do not have Windows and can open similar situations.

Window AC units, of course, aren’t really portable. In extreme cases, they can be displaced or replaced, but they are generally considered building stability.

GE Aros Smart Air Conditioner
GE Aros Smart Air Conditioner


Window-based air conditioners are generally easier to use and better return for the money unless you really want a portable AC unit. Here are some situations where a portable model is the best choice.

  • Windows can be much higher than Android terrain to install Windows AC to install Windows AC, even on the first floor.
  • Windows has a shape or style that prevents the use of Windows AC.
  • You don’t really want to give up light or airflow from your windows.
  • There are rules against the use of window AC (this seems strange, but some HOA or complex rules do not mention it).
  • As we mentioned some of the blanks do not have access to Windows or Windows that will open.
  • You already have central AC but want a spot-coolie particularly particularly for hot areas.

If you are unsure about which model to take, we suggest contacting a local HVAC specialist to discuss the size of your home, what other cooling methods you use, and how much power you need.

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