Central air conditioning is a luxury during the summer months. But not every home has a central unit, and some have the unit but don't get enough cold air to certain rooms. If the temperatures outside are rising, you will want to look for a cooling solution beyond ceiling fans. Window and portable air conditioning units are both available at a fairly low price to cool individual rooms.
How do you choose which type of unit is right for you? Here are a few considerations to help you decide.
Does the Room Have a Large Enough Window?
Window air conditioners need to be properly mounted into a window frame so that the unit can properly drain its condensation -- and so the unit doesn't fall out. Most units are suited for windows that open vertically so that the window itself can add an extra level of security for the unit. If you do have an appropriately sized window, a window unit will deliver a more efficient cooling experience for your room.
Don't have a large enough window? Consider a portable air conditioner. The unit only needs a window large enough for its vent hose to stick through. Note that the vent hose does need to be pointed outside, so there needs to be a window or opening of some sort for the hose.
How Much Insulation Will You Need?
A window air conditioner fits snug in the window but there can still be small gaps around the edges where hot air can sneak in and cold air can sneak out. This is easy to fix with self-adhesive foam stripping found at the hardware store.
The vent hose of a portable air conditioner isn't very large, so there's a good chance you will have a lot of open space around the hose in the window. You will have to patch those areas closed with insulating film or fabric, which is a little more obvious than the foam stripping.
Are You Dedicated to Maintenance?
All air conditioners require upkeep to keep the unit running efficiently. Portable air conditioners are fairly easy on upkeep. You will need to open the drain valve and dump out the condensate periodically as well as change the filters. Consult your owner's manual for how often you need to perform this maintenance. To store the unit in winter, you only need to make sure the condensate is dried out, then put the unit in a closet.
Window units only require changed filters and exterior cleaning. But these units are harder to get in and out of the window to store for winter. An air conditioner repair technician can do most of that work for you and can service the unit should anything go wrong. Portable air conditioners aren't typically serviced by repair technicians, as there aren't as many parts that can break. Contact a company like Arlington Heating & Air Conditioning for more information.