If you live in an apartment or condominium, you may have to rely on your building’s central cooling system to stay comfortable during the scorching summer heat. However, if this proves to be inefficient or if you’re concerned with rising energy costs, you may have to resort to less efficient cooling methods such as ceiling or portable electric fans in order to find respite from rising temperatures. Thankfully, portable air conditioners are the perfect portable cooling solution for areas that cannot accommodate traditional window units such as apartments or even computer server rooms.
Portable air conditioners work similar to traditional central or window air conditioners in that they utilize the refrigeration cycle and a coolant to cool a room or area. However, they are portable, mobile, and do not require any sort of permanent installation. Instead, they consist of a box-like frame that holds both the cold and hot side of the AC along with an exhaust hose to expel heat. Water is removed from the air, and this condensate is either collected in a tray or bucket located within the unit or in more advanced models, even self-evaporated.
When purchasing a portable air conditioner, one of the most common terms you’ll see advertised is a unit’s BTU rating. As an acronym for British Thermal Units, BTUs refer to a portable air conditioner’s cooling capacity, and this can range anywhere from 5,000 BTUs to 18,000 BTUs. The higher the BTU value, the stronger the air conditioner. To get a ballpark estimation of the amount of BTUs you’ll need for your room, simply find the square footage of the room and multiply this number by 35.
However, keep in mind that while BTUs are one of the most important factors to look for in an air conditioner, be aware that many portable AC manufacturers often overstate the BTU rating of their units as a way to market their products. Thankfully, in our quest to find the best portable air conditioners on the market, we found the NewAir AC-1600H to be one of the most powerful portable ACs available.
At a Glance:
When we first removed the NewAir AC-1600H from its package, we were quite impressed with its design. Its sleek silver finished complemented our 400 square foot living room’s décor, and the unit itself weighed approximately 75 pounds. Rolling casters made maneuverability a snap, while the large, easy-to-read LCD display panel with remote control made operation simple and hassle-free.
As mentioned above, BTU ratings are one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a portable AC. The NewAir AC-1600H provided 16,000 BTUs of cooling power – more than many of the units we tested. NewAir recommends this unit to be used in areas 400 square or smaller, but we found that it may have even had the capacity to cool areas slightly larger in ideal conditions (64° to 90° F).
A portable air conditioner’s use of the refrigeration cycle also allows it to remove moisture from the air, making it especially great for humid areas. In addition to cooling, the NewAir AC-1600H portable air conditioner also had the ability to remove up to 80 pints of water per day. Moreover, because it utilized advanced auto-evaporative technology, this eliminated the need to empty any water tanks (assuming your climate isn’t too humid).
The NewAir AC-1600H also came with a built-in space heater that offered 16,000 BTUs of heating power. Furthermore, the inclusion of a 3M Filtrete filter removed dust, pollen, bacteria, and animal dander from the air, while the activated carbon filter was able to adsorb odors such as smoke.
Overall, we found the NewAir AC-1600H to be an excellent portable AC that included many advanced features. Best of all, it offers more BTUs than most portable ACs on the market, and its sleek, European design is sure to complement any type of décor in your home.