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Community and Q&A

The almost-perfect portable AC unit?

frasca | Posted in General Questions on

Hi gang – I just saw that Midea, maker of the U-shaped window unit AC that has been favorably reviewed here, has a portable unit with two hoses and an inverter:

It’s a few hundred dollars more than some other options, but the two hoses (–> no depressurization) and inverter (variable speed -> quieter and less cycling) make this a real winner for people who need something temporary, right??


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  1. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #1

    The 'two hose' style are more useful since they don't draw air out of the conditioned space, which means they don't pull in outdoor air that can potentially offset some of your cooling and dehumidification efforts. The downside is a second hose, and you ideally want to keep the intake hose from sucking in any of the hot air coming out of the exhaust hose. A common way to do this is to put 90 degree elbows on the two hoses and face one up and one down, to help minimize the mixing of the intake and exhaust air.

    I don't know how much an inverter helps you with a portable spot cooler. Spot coolers in general tend to be compromise units anyway.

    Note that the trendy little "air conditioners" you see in online adds (which are different from the unit in the OP's post) are usually evaporative coolers (easy to spot since they'll have a water reservoir), and they'll increase the humidity in the space they're cooling. Evaporative coolers are also much less effective as the humidity increases, ultimately reaching a point where they are humidifers and not really evaporative coolers anymore.


  2. iainb | | #2

    I’ve seen a couple of examples of portable mini splits that probably have advantages over the two hose style. Like the U design and minisplits it isolates the parts of the AC on different sides of the windows and only the coolant lines go through.

    I haven’t seen them from any large manufacturers, so I’ve hesitated putting down the money, and I’m not clear how easy it is to handle the lines over time. Or if the odds of damaging the lines and leaking coolant gets too high.

    1. frasca | | #3

      That ForestAir Mini looks pretty good. The only listing I could see for sale was $1600 on Amazon Canada. And I agree with you on the vulnerability of the lines.

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