About 17 years ago the folks from Delonghi approached us with a business proposition. Sell the first portable air conditioner named, believe it or not, the Pinguino. These were priced at $999, and sold remarkably well. Some of the early units were air conditioners and humidifiers in one, some models even had a heat function. This sounds like a good idea, right? Unfortunately they were also returned at an alarming rate of over 95% due to reliability and overall customer dissatisfaction. Let’s take a look at some of the possible reasons why, and also compare current portable models from Frigidaire and Friedrich.
Portable air conditioners are designed for use in buildings with smaller windows, historic buildings where window units are not allowed, and in buildings where ductwork cannot be installed for a typical central air system. The ACs have both an intake and exhaust hose mounting to a window. The intake will obviously supply fresh air to the unit, and the exhaust will expel any heat generated by the unit. One nice feature is that these units can be moved from room to room as necessary. The downside is that these units need to be installed in the window correctly. Some people will assume that you can just move the unit from one room to the other and they will magically provide cooling.