How Portable Air Conditioners Compare to Split Systems

How Portable Air Conditioners Compare to Split Systems

How Portable Air Conditioners Compare to Split Systems


During summer, keeping cool and saving on the electricity bill are the top two priorities for renters and homeowners. But while split-system air conditioners might be the most popular option, they’re not that cheap to buy or install. A portable air conditioner, either bought or rented over summer, might do the job just as well and cost you less.

First and foremost, you need to consider:

  • How much you want to spend: for a portable air conditioner find out the purchase or rental cost then compare it with a split system (you’ll need to take into account installation and maintenance costs for this).
  • The size of the room or rooms you want to keep cool and your cooling needs: for instance do you need to have it like Antarctica or are you happy with just taking the edge off?
  • If you’re needing a permanent or flexible cooling solution: if you’re renting, installing a split system may not be possible unless you talk nicely to your landlord.


Pros and Cons of Portable Air Conditioners:

The main benefit of a portable air conditioner is that it is cheaper than a split air system, but more effective than a ceiling fan. There’s no installation or maintenance costs and it can be wheeled between rooms to sit discreetly in a corner whenever it’s needed. Many can also work as a heater and a dehumidifier in the winter months.

The main drawback of a portable air conditioner is that if you have a very large room, a portable air conditioner isn’t going to make much difference to the room temperature. They’re best used for cooling smaller rooms.


Pros and Cons of Split-system Air Conditioners:

Split air conditioners are popular because they provide instant blast of cooling air and can be programmed to switch on before you arrive home and turn off at a certain time at night, which is a great energy saving (and money saving) feature. They’re great for cooling open plan rooms that are larger and that a portable air conditioner may struggle with.

The main drawback of a split air system is the cost of purchasing the unit which isn’t cheap and the installation costs as you can’t install it yourself. If you can only afford one unit then you also have to figure out the best place to put it as once it’s in you can’t move it around like a portable air conditioner. So it’s slightly inflexible in this respect.


If you’re renting or owning, a portable air conditioner from MacRae may be the best choice for your needs this summer. Get in touch with us to find out about how we can help cool your home!