The warm season is coming, and although one can try to lower the temperatures inside the house with a few tips, equipment and accessories, there is nothing like a good air conditioning system to create a pleasant atmosphere in the rooms. , especially if there are many we share the same space.

Fixed mounted air conditioners are clearly a great option, but there are times when due to budget, because we live on rent and can’t do any work or simply because we are looking for more flexibility of use and mobility, we can also bet on a portable model. What should I look for to choose before ordering one in store?

Basic features

The first thing to know before buying a portable air conditioner, also called “penguins”, is that it is an air conditioner, not a simple evaporator with a fan. Portable air conditioners are equipment that operates similarly to stationary ones, with a compression system integrated under its casing that generates a heat exchange cycle and therefore produces cold air that it expels into the room.

Unlike fixed installation equipment, they do not require any work or installation, since it is sufficient to place them near a window and bring a hot air extraction tube to the outside (there are models more complex with several tubes). We can move it from room to room if we need to and keep 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 house. We have to look for a model that has everything needed to fit our living room, whether it is in a window or in a door that faces the outside, and we have to make sure that the air outlet tube is quality, the length we need and be flexible.

Likewise, we must check that the condensate outlets have a tube suitable for our place of installation or, failing that, that they have a condensate tray that is easy to access and clean.

We also have to ask ourselves if we want it to be able to generate only cold air or if we are also looking for equipment capable of producing warm air for use in winter. They are a little more expensive but their possibilities of use are increasing.

Another point to assess is whether we need it to have a dehumidifying function. In areas with high humidity, it can be useful to have this feature, as they are able to extract moisture from the air and deposit it in a container of our choice.

Finally, we must consider the type of air filters that the equipment has. They are usually very basic in entry models, but it still comes in handy that they can be easily removed for cleaning. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to take a look to see if we like the UI, if it has an LCD screen, or if it has a remote control, the latter being a big factor in 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: How much cooling power or capacity do I need? The quicker the response would be the better, but in this case we risk 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 heat absorbed) or BTU (the unit of the English system, each frigorie is worth about 4 BTU), recommending, in theory, about 100 frigories per square meter assuming a standard height of about eight feet.

In the case of a portable air unit, this figure should be increased to around 130-140 frigories per square meter without fear of overdoing it. This happens because they are not very efficient devices since the tube that expels the air to the outside also radiates some of this heat in summer or cold in winter inside the room, because it s Usually it is a plastic duct without any type of insulation.

In addition, although there is usually an adapter to cover the space of the window or the door ajar where we install the equipment, there are always spaces through which the cold escapes in the summer and the heat. in winter entering the air from the outside so 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 generally suffice with fixed installation equipment, with a laptop you have to bet on a model that reaches at least 3,000 frigories if you want equivalent performance.

Regarding energy efficiency labels, it should be remembered that this year the “A +”, “A ++” and “A +++” classes will disappear, which were created to cover and be able to describe the most efficient products and which now replaced with the values ​​”B”, “C” and “D” respectively. This does not mean that the rating of the device has deteriorated, but that the new labeling is stricter and for the moment the category “A” is left empty while waiting for new products more efficient than the current ones which will arrive in the next years.

Vibrations and sound level

Yes, portable air conditioners are noisy pieces of equipment that generate vibrations wherever you install them. Hence the importance of having some type of damping system in their legs and that the maximum noise level stated in the specs is not too bulky.

Normally we find typical values ​​between 45 and 60 dB, well above the 24-25 dB recommended for sleeping with the device on at night, so the lower this value, the better the user experience and it will not bother us. . a lot to have it in small rooms.

A good tip to reduce vibration and noise is to place it on a mat. You can also look for a specific low noise function or “standby” mode which reduces the cooling power of the equipment but thus lowers the sound level produced by a few decibels.

Interesting models

Cecotec EnergySilence Climate 9050

A basic model for small rooms is this one from Cecotec EnergySilence Clima 9050. It is a compact set of 35 x 33.5 x 70 cm which offers an output of 2270 frigories per hour (recommended for rooms of approx. 15 m2) and has 3 main functions: cooling, fan and dehumidifier. It has an air flow of 350m3 / h, offers the possibility of programming and remote control. Its price is 259 euros.

Cecotec Portable Air Conditioner EnergySilence Clima 9050. Refrigerators 2270, 3 Functions (Cooling, 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: cooling, heating, dehumidification and ventilation with a maximum cooling capacity of 1750 frigories and a heat pump of 1512 kcal. It offers different ventilation speeds, an air flow of 380 m3 / h and a capacity in dehumidifier mode of 20l / 24h. Its price is 356 euros.

Taurus AC 205 RVKT 3-in-1 portable air conditioner, 780 W, aluminum

Daitsu APD-12HK

A simple model to start with is this Daitsu APD-12HK, a portable air conditioner with heat pump that delivers an output of 3027 kcal / frigories per hour in relatively compact dimensions of 390x405x820 mm. It uses R32 refrigerant, is recommended for rooms up to 22 m2 and offers cooling, dehumidification, ventilation and heating functions. Its price is 498 euros.

Daitsu portable air conditioner 3NDA0088 with heat pump APD-12HK, power 3027 kcal / h, new refrigerant R32, application area: 22 m², energy class A-A +

De’Longhi penguin PAC N77ECO

Another interesting model is the De’Longhi Pingüino PAC N77ECO, a 44.9 x 39.5 x 75 cm unit 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 349 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 9P

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 a capacity of 2,280 frigories. It has a multifunction remote control and a touch screen, programmable with a built-in timer, as well as cooling, fan, dehumidifier, night, automatic and turbo operating modes. Its price is 298 euros.

Olimpia Splendid 01914 Dolceclima Compact 9 P Portable Air Conditioner 9,000 BTU / h, 2,280 Frigories, R290 Gas, Designed in Italy