Portable Air Conditioner vs Window Mounted

By | May 10, 2020

Window mounted and portable air conditioners are both very popular for cooling down a room.

While similar there is some differences between the two packages.

Should you buy a window mounted mounted A/C unit or portable unit?

Let look at the positives and negatives of both as well as other things that separates them.

Portable Air Conditioner vs Window Mounted Air Conditioner

Window Mounted
Portable Air Conditioner Vs Window Mounted
Window air conditioning units have been in use for many years and are a tested way to cool a space in a home or small building.

A window unit is more difficult than a portable unit to setup but once installed it does not need to be moved again.

The back will stick out a home which to some is unsightly.
Window Mounted Air Conditioner Vs Portable Air Conditioner

  • Works well cooling a small area.
  • Small or large units can be bought.
  • Out of the way taking up no floor space.


  • Can not be moved easily and needs a window to work.
  • More difficult to setup than portable units.
  • The back sticks out a window which is unsightly for some.


Portable A/C Unit
Portable Air Conditioner Vs Window Mounted Conditioner
Portable A/C units are built for easy setup, mobility, and to be easily stored away.

They do require a hose be fed out a opening such as a window to pump out hot air.
Portable Air Conditioner Vs Window Mounted Air Conditioner
This takes more space than a window unit since not only does the unit itself take up a area the hose will need its own area.

There are hose-less portable units but they are Evaporative type models and work with water that evaporates. Hose-less type units are not true air conditioners. They do work in regions with low humidity but do not work in humid climates.


  • Easily stored away when not needed.
  • Most have wheels to roll the unit about.


  • Needs a hose extended out through a window.
  • Are limited in capacity to keep the unit mobile.
  • Takes up more space than a window unit.

Using a portable air conditioner or window unit will be a personal choice as every situation and home is different.

Personally, I prefer a window unit as once they are installed they are out of the way set and forget option.

Portable units do have their place and I still use one on hot days that a room is not being cooled enough.

Which do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below.




One thought on “Portable Air Conditioner vs Window Mounted

  1. Andy

    I think you may want to add as a negative for the portable AC unit that it uses inside air to cool the condenser (at least with the single hose units). The makeup air has to come in from the outside and therefore heat the house. I have a 9000 btu portable LG unit at home and it cools maybe like a 5000 btu window unit. It pushes out a high volume of cold air, but at the same time, doesn’t cool a room well because it is taking in hot air from outside.

    I can measure the cfms being discharged and calculate the actual btu vs. outside temp at some point. I think it would be intesting to have an effective btu output rating.

    Love your site!


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