If you live in an area with long, hot summers, then chances are that you know just how important a solid air conditioning unit is. Even if your hometown has only short summers, you’ve probably wished your home had an AC a time or two before. When selecting an air conditioner, one of the first choices you have to make is between a window air conditioner and a portable air conditioner.

Because both air conditioner types have their benefits, and the best one for you really depends on your individual needs and preferences, we’ve decided to look at the pros and cons of each below. Hopefully this information will help you decide whether to buy a window AC or a portable AC.

Window Air Conditioner:

Window air conditioners are units that are mounted in a window in your home. This allows them to pull in and push out air.

The Pros of Window Air Conditioners:

Price: Window units are among the cheapest air conditioner options.

Efficient: These air conditioners have become increasingly efficient over the years. The newest models are highly efficient both at cooling and with energy use. Their energy efficiency actually affects their price too as they can lower the amount you pay for your energy bill each month.

Easy Installation: Window air conditioners are easy to install because they do not require ducts (like central ACs).

Size: Most window units are designed with a slim, low profile. They are tucked out of the way in your window and do not take up much of it, still letting sunlight through.

The Cons of Window Air Conditioners:

Noise: Window ACs are not the quietest units. In fact, they can be extremely loud. This doesn’t make them a good choice for bedrooms or other rooms where quiet is required.

Wear and Tear: This type of unit tends to wear out faster than others. As they age, window ACs become inefficient and even louder than before.

Size: Though the newest models are smaller than ever before, they still take up window space. If your home does not have many windows, this can be a serious concern.

Portable Air Conditioner:

Portable air conditioners are units that are not installed in one particular spot. They often include wheels and can be easily moved from place to place.

The Pros of Portable Air Conditioners:

Mobility: As mentioned above, portable AC units are easy to move from place to place. Many of them are mounted on wheels. This makes it easy to position the unit in whatever room you are using.

No Installation: Portable ACs are great because you can use them straight out of the box. No installation is necessary.

Price: Portable air conditioners are smaller than window units so naturally they cost a bit less.

Convenient: These units are great for apartment and home rentals since they are not permanent installations. You can use yours for your apartment and then pack it up with you when you move.

The Cons of Portable Air Conditioners:

Noise: Like window units, portable ACs are nosiy.

Efficiency: Portable air conditioners are slightly less efficient than their window mounted counterparts.

Placement Restrictions: Most portable air conditioners need to have room to operate. They recommend that no objects be placed with 24 inches. This limits the area that you can use them in. Most of them also pull in moisture from the air and this collected water needs to be discarded somewhere. These units come with a drain hose that either needs to run outside or into a pan or cache.

Final Thoughts

The type of air conditioner that is right for you depends on your own needs and preferences. However, most people find that both portable air conditioners and window air conditioners meet there needs. Central air conditioning units (not discussed here) are perhaps the most effective though they are also the most expensive. Chances are high that you will do just fine with one of the two options discussed here.