Portable Air Conditioners - Why you shouldn't like them

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Published 2019-06-15
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Oh no. It’s a new version of a well-established product that trades efficiency for convenience. But this time, it’s more than just being cool. It’s about cooling.

Seriously, either we need to get more awareness of how dumb single-hose portable A/C units are, or we need to just use window units whenever possible. While I know that there are times a portable unit is the only option (remember, I’m in that boat), it seems that only very high capacity, premium machines have the facility to use two hoses. Which is frankly stupid but then again that’s what I’m trying to tell you now.

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All Comments (21)
  • Wyvern
    I worked at an auto shop, the boss lady loved an office as cold as her heart, so she used a portable unit pointed right at her, where did the heat pump out? That's right! right into the shop, right in front of the work computers!
    What a wonderful woman.
  • Chastain Mills
    I am a HVAC technician. I love your explanation of this. I always have a hard time explain to people how it works without getting too technical. You sir are awesome! 👍🏻
  • Dorran
    9:50 Window unit [coaxed cooling]
    10:03 Split system [cooling]
    10:44 Portable AC cheap [not cooling]
    10:49 Portable AC cheap [cooling]
    11:24 LG Portable AC [cooling]
  • Yannie Lyn
    The hose of my last portable AC finally broke apart after 3 years, so I was looking into a new portable AC because I had a decent experience with portables. After watching this video, I decide it's time for me to get a window AC to save energy. Very helpful video, easy to understand and interesting to watch
  • T D
    I have a portable, cooling AC unit. I live in a place that only gets sporadic heat waves, lasting anywhere from 2-8 weeks. This device has been one of the best purchases of my life, without a doubt.
  • I learned much more from this video than an entire year in my high school physics class.
    I rewatched the first five minutes repeatedly to understand how air conditioners work. Thank you! ♥
  • Anyone who can talk about over 15 minutes about conditioning without being boring ... deserves respect.

    Congratulations
  • Matt Y
    As a air conditioning engineer of 21 years this is a perfect explanation of how a air conditioning system works in basic terminology.
  • Han T
    My parents have a portable one and they love it! They move it to the room they need to cool, whether it be their guest room, the craft room, or the rec room in the garage which has no cooling at all. It seems to work well for their needs. It also has a heating feature, which they use in the winter, making it a versatile option for them.
  • Ryan
    I bought a Whynter ARC 14S about 2 1/2 years ago. It's Dual Hose, portable. Absolute beast of an AC unit. A tad more expensive than most single hose models. I used it in dead of summer in Las Vegas when it was 117 degrees outside. Cooled our western side of the house down nicely (living room) and I didn't notice our AC bill increase by much when it was used.
  • B.Hurley
    I'll be honest, I love the sound of ac units. Recently, the HVAC system went out at my house. Got real hot. Bout 90-100 degrees all the time. Got a portable ac unit, set it at 60 degrees, and life was good.
  • Schniebel
    I modded my single-hose unit into a double hose unit with a bit of cardboard, tape and a dryer hose from the hardware store. Its only hot for a few months where I live so it's well worth it not sweating your ass off. Oh and Window Units aren't a thing here because we have these fancy german windows. And good luck installing a split system at a place you rent.
  • Bruno Sempé
    This clears up a lot of gripes I've had with my portable. Sadly because of regulations in my building I was forced to buy one of them. You're dead right when you say this should be the last resort.
  • Dan Killam
    I got a dual hose unit based on your recommendation! Seems they've been expanding in availability since you made this. The word got out via videos like yours, reddit threads, etc. And they often aren't much more expensive than the single hose models. I wish I could have gotten a window unit for the noise and efficiency reasons, but this one is doing its job without the rigamarole of installing a window unit outside my second floor rental. I have it just for the late summer in CA, and other times of year I'm getting by with a swamp cooler that works really well.
  • craig
    i’ve watched most of these videos but i revisit them periodically because as i learn more, i can get a better grasp on the concept. keep it up man, these are super informative!
  • Autism Life Hacks
    I agree about pushing for dual hose AC's. Some single hose units have good features such as inverters, self-evaporation, dehumidifier mode, and possibly a heat pump, so it makes sense to design a dual hose conversion kit. When looking at their back, the procedures looked so simple that we can 3D print a conversion kit as it appears that there are separate filters for the air intakes of the evaporator and the condenser.
  • Jet Sawbones
    Great information, well presented. Unfortunately many people don't think about the subject anywhere near as detailed as this. For many people the fact that it works is good enough for them, they aren't going to give a flying toss about efficiency or the intricacy of how the systems work on a fundamental level. They just want to throw money at a problem and there ends their thought process. A shame really because the engineering behind AC (and a world of other devices and systems) is completely fascinating.
  • Zachary Rollick
    We had two newer single hose units that gave out fairly quickly. We pulled out an old two hose unit that we bought well over ten years ago out of storage. Works as good as it did new. It was originally bought to substitute when a mobile home's 40 year old ac unit gave out.
  • Seamas Righ
    As an old HVAC guy, you made this totally understandable for the consumer. I deal with trying to explain the operation all the time. Thanks for a fresh perspective.
  • False Prophet
    My 12K BTU was surprisingly effective when my 18K BTU window unit died recently. It cooled my downstairs far better than I expected, but you have to insulate it very well and keep the hose short, and have as direct a path to the exhaust point as possible