Portable ACs and Heaters Versus Traditional System: What's Better?

AC Unit

Saving money is a thrill, a rush, to get the best mileage out of your hard-earned dollars. While we love good savings, we always want to stress the importance of quality versus quantity. Regarding your HVAC needs, we know that HVAC systems can be quite an investment, so how can you save in these scenarios? You may have seen cheaper solutions for heating and cooling with portable systems, but are they worth their price tag? Well, let's take a look together!


Intro to Portable Heaters And ACs

Right off the bat, let's just say that portable air conditioners and heaters are not necessarily terrible and can service many living situations in big cities where individuals have odd spacing layouts. For an apartment high up, a portable AC might be a good idea if a traditional window unit is a bit of a risk for installation. Portable systems are cheap compared to window AC and traditional HVAC systems, partly due to their single-use function and less robust system. While the upfront price is low, some drawbacks come with a fast and cheap solution.


Portable Air Conditioners Break Down

Portable AC units are traditionally built with a single hose design that requires homeowners to simply point the hose out the window and plug it into the device. While installation is fast, the drawbacks are immediate. The first annoyance with portable AC units is the space they take up in a home. The key word here is "portable," not "compact." Many portable AC systems are large and bulky and hard to miss when in a room.


Likewise, if you can't find the portable AC in a room, don't worry; the noise it makes will quickly alert you to its location. Due to the way portable AC units are built, typically, there is less insulation and noise reduction mechanics compared to traditional HVC systems, or even window units, leading to a relatively loud experience when powered on.


If aesthetic blights were not enough to turn you away from portable ACs, there comes the issue of energy efficiency. In some cases, portable AC units that tout being more energy efficient are only marginally better, with a 10% gain compared to standard window AC units. You are essentially using the same energy for a system that cannot cool your whole home down, is bulky, noisy, and needs several units to accommodate your whole home.

Portable Heaters

With the cold months comes the concern of heating, and while a heater is your best bet for staying warm, what about those rooms that feel chillier than usual at times? You might be tempted to get a space heater or similar unit. Let's get one thing across, these miniature heating systems are not as dangerous as some people make them, but that does not mean they cannot pose risks. When using a portable heater, always be aware of what surrounds the unit and ensure no flammable material is next to the heater.


Likewise, always power off the hater when you are not closely monitoring the unit. Much like the portable AC, you are paying for a heating unit that covers a smaller amount of space, and while it can be suitable for just a single room, it's not an efficient substitution for whole home heating.


What To Do?

We suggest a mini-split ductless system if you want flexibility on your home's temperature. While central air systems can offer excellent whole home cooling or heating, sometimes you want to tweak each room. Mini-split units can easily be mounted to any room in your home and cover large spaces while quiet. If mini-splits are not what you need, a standard HVAC unit outside the home is a great option. Traditional HVAC systems take up far less space in the home, allowing for no glaring eye sores.

Regarding energy efficiency, we can help break down wattage usage with your home habits and show you how much you can save on average by investing in a whole home system. Likewise, our indoor air quality services can help find ways to improve your HVAC system's airflow, so you don't have to consider a portable system.

At Air Treatment Company we know a thing or two about HVAC solutions, so call (703) 270-0881 today, and we can help you find the right system for your home and lifestyle!