Portable Air Conditioner vs Window Mounted

By | February 10, 2023

Portable Air Conditioner vs Window Mounted
Window-mounted and portable air conditioners are both very popular for cooling down a room.

While similar, there are some differences between the two packages.

Should you buy a window mounted mounted air conditioner unit or a portable unit?

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

Window Mounted Pros and Cons


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


  • It cannot be moved easily and needs a window to work.
  • They are more difficult to set up than portable units.
  • The back sticks out a window which is unsightly for some.

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

A window unit is more difficult than a portable unit to set up, 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

Portable Air Conditioner Pros and Cons


  • 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.

Portable air conditioner units are built for easy setup and mobility and to be easily stored away.
Portable Air Conditioner Vs Window Mounted Conditioner

They do require a hose to be fed out an 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 an 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.
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 when a room is not being cooled enough.

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

Category: window mounted air conditioner

About Aaron H. Benetti

Aaron H. Benetti an HVAC technician who has worked in the field since 1991. He began his career as an HVAC installer and later began doing troubleshooting and repairs. Around 2010, he began to write books on HVAC topics, mainly tutorials and how-to information. Currently, Aaron works as an HVAC tech and also writes many articles and posts for websites as well as books and videos on HVAC topics.

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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