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Beat the Heat: 6 Tips to Choosing the Perfect Mobile Air Conditioning Unit (May 2024 update)

  • 11 Apr 2024
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A mobile air conditioning unit is a good investment for staying cool in hot summers, even if we live in the UK. It is portable, low-cost, easy to set up, and very energy efficient. A mobile AC unit, also known as a portable air conditioner, comes in various shapes and sizes, and the one you choose will depend on your cooling needs.

Whether you are looking for efficient cooling for your home, office, or conservatory, a mobile air conditioning unit can provide a much-needed breeze from the sweltering heat. Read on to discover useful tips for choosing the perfect portable air con unit tailored to your needs.


How a Mobile Air Conditioning Unit Works


A mobile air con unit works in the same way as a traditional AC. They do not produce cold air per se but draw in hot air and blow it out as cold air. Below is a breakdown of how that works.

A mobile air conditioning unit has four main components:

  • The Fan
  • Condenser Coil
  • Compressor
  • Refrigerant

The process begins with the compressor, which compresses the refrigerant gas, increasing its temperature. The hot gas then flows through a condenser coil, where it releases heat and transforms into a high-pressure liquid. This liquid passes through an expansion valve, causing it to expand and evaporate into a low-pressure gas.

As it evaporates, it absorbs heat from the air, thereby cooling it. The cool air is then blown back into the room, while the refrigerant returns to the compressor to repeat the cycle.

 

How a mobile air conditioning unit works?

 

This continuous cycle of compression, condensation, expansion, and evaporation allows the mobile air conditioning unit to generate a stream of cool air, providing relief from the summer heat.

Note that portable air conditioners generate a lot of heat around the condenser coils. This is why a venting kit is fitted to direct excess heat away and prevent the unit from overheating.


Are mobile air conditioners any good?


There are numerous benefits to using a mobile air conditioning unit. They can be handy in small spaces or where noise levels are a concern. Here are some more reasons why you should choose a mobile aircon over a traditional AC.


Portability

Unlike traditional air con units that are fixed to a specific location, mobile AC units can be moved around, from room to room, and you can travel with them as well. This flexibility ensures that you can stay cool wherever you are, whether it is in your bedroom or caravan.


Easy installation

Mobile air conditioning units are incredibly easy to install. They typically come with a window installation kit that allows for hassle-free setup. You don't need to hire a professional or make any extensive modifications to your space. Simply follow the manufacturer's instructions, and you'll have a cool and comfortable environment in no time.


Energy efficiency

Thirdly, mobile aircon units are energy-efficient. They are designed to cool specific areas rather than the entire building, which helps reduce energy consumption. This not only benefits the environment but also saves you money on your electricity bills. Additionally, many mobile air conditioning units come with energy-saving features such as programmable timers and sleep modes, further optimising their energy efficiency.


Easy to maintain

Portable air conditioners are easy to maintain and some of the repair work can easily be done at home. Modern mobile aircon units feature removable filters that can be washed and fitted back in. This helps keep the AC clean and functioning optimally.

Also, it is easy to remove the mobile aircon's outer casing and clean the coils inside. When not in use, the portable air conditioner can be covered to prevent dust from getting in, ensuring it works efficiently next time you need it.

 

Are mobile air conditioners any good?

 

6 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Mobile Air Conditioning Unit


Choosing the right portable air conditioning unit requires careful consideration of several important factors that are tailored to your specific needs and space requirements.


1. Cooling Capacity (BTUs)

It is crucial to determine the appropriate cooling capacity for effective temperature control. The cooling capacity of an AC unit is measured in British Thermal Units, abbreviated as BTUs. A rule of thumb is to select a portable air conditioner with a cooling capacity that will suit the environment in which it will be used. For instance, a 9000 BTU portable air conditioner would be ideal for 20 m2, while a 7000 BTU portable AC would suit spaces of 10–15 m2 and below.


2. Noise Level

The noise level of a mobile AC unit can have a significant impact on comfort, especially if you plan to use it in quiet environments like bedrooms or offices. Look for mobile air con units that have decibel ratings as low as ≤65 dB, indicating quieter operation.


3. Energy Efficiency

Seek out portable air con units that have high Energy Efficiency Ratios (EER) or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios (SEER) to decrease energy consumption and lower operational expenses in the long term. Appliances are rated from A to G on the EER rating scale, with A being the highest rating for efficiency.


4. Portability and Mobility

Assess the portability and mobility features of the AC unit, such as caster wheels or handles, which facilitate easy movement from one room to another. This flexibility can be particularly advantageous if you intend to use the unit in various locations within your home or office.


5. Installation Requirements

Consider the installation instructions of the portable AC unit. Some units may necessitate venting through a window or wall, while others are designed for simple setup without the need for permanent installation. Select a unit that aligns with your installation preferences and limitations.


6. Extra Features

Factor in any supplementary characteristics or functionalities that match your preferences and needs. Certain portable air conditioning units provide additional perks such as dehumidification, air purification, and the ability to be operated via remote control. Evaluate your priorities and create a checklist of desired features to assist you in comparing various models. Arrange the features in order of importance to ensure that you find a unit that perfectly suits your requirements.


Is it worth buying a mobile air conditioner UK? 5 Reasons Why You Should Get One


If you are still on the fence whether to get a portable air conditioner, here are more reasons to convince you:


1. Versatility

One of the primary reasons a mobile air conditioning unit is a must-have this summer is its versatility. Unlike fixed air conditioning systems, mobile units can be used in various settings. Whether you're at home, in the office, or even camping in the great outdoors, a mobile AC unit ensures you stay cool and comfortable wherever you go.


2. Cost-Effective

Investing in a mobile air conditioning unit can save you money in the long run. Instead of cooling an entire building, you can focus on specific areas that require cooling. This targeted approach reduces energy consumption and lowers your electricity bills. Additionally, mobile AC units are generally more affordable than installing a central air conditioning system.


3. Quick and Easy Installation

Setting up a mobile air conditioning unit is a breeze. Most units come with a window installation kit that includes all the necessary components and clear instructions. You don't need any special tools or professional assistance. Within minutes, you can have your mobile AC unit up and running, providing you with instant relief from the heat.


4. Flexibility

With a mobile air conditioning unit, you have the freedom to cool different rooms as needed. If you're working from home and need to cool your office during the day, simply move the unit to that area. In the evening, when you want to relax in the living room, bring the mobile AC unit with you. This flexibility ensures that you can create a comfortable environment wherever you spend your time.


5. Convenience

Mobile AC units offer convenience like no other cooling solution. They often come with features such as programmable timers, sleep modes, and remote controls, allowing you to customise your cooling experience. You can set the unit to turn on before you arrive home or adjust the temperature without leaving your seat. This convenience enhances your comfort and makes managing the cooling process effortless.


Is it cheaper to run a mobile AC or central air?


To maximise the benefits of your mobile air conditioning unit and reduce its cost to run, here are some tips for using it effectively:


Close Windows and Doors

To optimise cooling efficiency, ensure that all windows and doors in the room are closed. This prevents hot air from entering and cool air from escaping, allowing the unit to work more effectively.


Clean or Replace Filters

Regularly clean or replace the filters in your mobile AC unit. Dirty filters can hinder airflow and reduce cooling performance. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for proper maintenance.


Keep the Unit Ventilated

While it may seem counterintuitive, mobile air conditioning units require proper ventilation. Ensure that the unit's exhaust hose is vented correctly to expel hot air outside. This prevents the unit from recycling warm air, improving its cooling efficiency.


Utilise Energy-Saving Features

Take advantage of energy-saving features such as programmable timers and sleep modes. These functions allow you to set specific operating times or adjust the temperature automatically, reducing energy consumption.


Avoid Direct Sunlight

Position the mobile AC unit away from direct sunlight, if possible. Sunlight can increase the temperature in the room, making it harder for the unit to cool effectively. If necessary, use curtains or blinds to block out the sun's rays.

 

Morris mobile AC unit

 

Maintenance and Care for Your Mobile Air Conditioning Unit


Proper maintenance and care are crucial for the longevity and optimal performance of your mobile air conditioning unit. Here are some essential maintenance tips:


1. Regularly Clean the Unit

Clean the exterior of the unit with a soft cloth and mild detergent to remove dust and dirt.


2. Pay attention to the air vents and filters

Cleaning them according to the manufacturer's instructions.


3. Check and Clean the Condenser Coil

The condenser coil is responsible for releasing heat. Over time, it can accumulate dirt and debris, hindering its performance. Check the condenser coil regularly and clean it if necessary.


4. Inspect the Exhaust Hose

Ensure that the exhaust hose is free from obstructions and securely connected to the unit and the vent. Blockages can reduce airflow and affect the unit's cooling efficiency.


5. Store Properly

When not in use, store your mobile air conditioning unit in a dry and clean area. Protect it from extreme temperatures, moisture, and direct sunlight. Refer to the manufacturer's guidelines for specific storage instructions.


Conclusion


As the temperature rises, don't let the heat get the best of you. Invest in a mobile air conditioning unit and enjoy the benefits of portable, efficient, and customisable cooling. Whether you're at home, at work, or on the move, a mobile AC unit ensures that you can stay cool and comfortable wherever you go.

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