Heat Wave Survival Guide: Choosing an Air Conditioner!

It’s “the” star of the moment: the monobloc mobile air conditioner! The summer season is starting and the first heat has caught you off guard: when the simple fan is no longer enough to cool the ambient air, the air conditioning option remains… But how do you choose the right device for your needs? What cooling capacity for your interior? Which options should be preferred? Follow the guide! However, if you already have an idea of the type of device you need, you can consult directly our selection of air conditioners.

Mobile air conditioner or fan?

As you may have noticed, in case of high heat, the good old fan, adopted by many of us, shows its limits… By circulating hot air, it ends up no longer cooling us and its ability to lower the global temperature is almost nil. The air conditioner, on the other hand, first acts on the atmosphere in the room: by capturing the ambient heat, the refrigerant contained in the appliance will release it to the outside via the exhaust pipe. The properties of this liquid also enable it to cool the air via a complex system of heat exchanges. Result: the air is renewed and the thermometer really drops! Most mobile air conditioners also have a ventilation function to distribute fresh air.

Non-vented, reversible: mobile air conditioners for all situations

Portable air conditioners, in addition to their small size, can be installed in any room with a window. By sliding the end of the exhaust hose through the gap, the unit can carry out the exchange between the outside and inside air and thus bring you freshness. But this duct limits the places where you can install your air conditioner (only near an opening) and its handling and installation are sometimes difficult: too short, too rigid, too wide end… Finally, having to leave a door or window ajar allows hot air to enter: the efficiency of the appliance is affected.

There are air conditioning solutions without evacuation: these are air coolers that operate with a water tank. This, cooled by an internal system, causes the hot air to evaporate from the room and be released as cooler air. The product of condensation is collected in a tray that simply needs to be emptied regularly.

Why don’t you go with the reversible air conditioner? This feature that cools you in the summer and warms you in the winter is also available as a mobile air conditioner . Cooling is provided in the same way as for any air-conditioning unit; heating is provided by an electrical resistance, or by reversing the cooling process: the unit recovers heat from the outside air and re-injects it back into the room. A practical system that makes your device indispensable!

How much power for my mobile air conditioner?

Choosing an appliance that effectively cools the atmosphere and is perfectly dimensioned depends on :

  • the size of the room you wish to refresh (surface area and volume) ;
  • of the outside temperature ;
  • of the type of insulation in the house;
  • of the number of people in the room…

But you don’t always have all these elements in hand when making a choice!

The power of a mobile air conditioner is expressed in BTU (British Thermal Unit). One BTU equals 0.3 watts. It is possible to simply estimate the required power of your portable air conditioner in BTU and its equivalent in W by performing the following calculation:

  • room volume x 100 = number of BTUs
  • we add by convention 1000 BTU per window in the room;
  • Finally, the result is multiplied by 0.3 to obtain the minimum cooling capacity required in Watts.

Example for a 20 m² room with a window and 2.40 m ceiling height (standard height) :

  • 20 x 2.40 = 48 m3 (the volume of the room)
  • 48 x 100 = 4800 BTU
  • 4,800 + 1,000 = 5,800 BTU
  • 5,800 x 0.3 = 1,740 W

To effectively cool your 20m² room, your portable air conditioner will therefore need to develop a minimum power of 5,800 BTU or 1,740 W.

  • For a room of 40 m² : 10,600 BTU or 3,180 W.
  • For a room of 50 m² : 13,000 BTU or 3,900 W.

Features, noise: which options should I choose for my mobile air conditioning?

A perfectly silent air conditioner is the dream of many! The noise produced by the unit is mainly related to the compressor. Unfortunately, most mobile air conditioners will be relatively noisy, around 60 to 65 dB: this is the equivalent of a vacuum cleaner or a printer in operation, and comparable to the noise of a television set set set at normal volume. At night, this noise can quickly become annoying, which is why, in addition to the noise level announced by the manufacturer, you should check that your portable air conditioner has a “night” or “sleep” function, which reduces the power and therefore the sound intensity.

Other options are interesting to have on your air conditioner:

  • a remote control to remotely manage the temperature and functions of your air conditioner; some have a thermometer sensor to best adapt the cooling.
  • A timer: preferably programmable, it allows you to run the air conditioner for a set period of time, for example during the night or in your absence. Most of the timer functions of portable air conditioners have a limited duration, in the order of 7 to 8 hours maximum.
  • Dehumidification: The operation of the system itself involves drying out the air by absorbing the ambient humidity. On average, a mobile air conditioner dehumidifier has an efficiency of 1 to 4 l/day: modest but useful in humid heat.

Now you have all the cards in hand to buy your portable air conditioner! There’s still one big unknown at the beginning of summer: the state of stocks… but also the delivery time! Let’s take a few examples, keeping in mind that availability is changing very, very quickly in this season.

  • At Darty: the high-performance Electrolux Airflower – EXP09HSECI mobile reversible air conditioner is available in more than 50 stores (can be picked up within 1 hour) and online, as is the Delonghi PA N87 Silent Clim mobile air conditioner, one of the quietest, available at your home in 5 working days.
  • At Boulanger, get the Remko MKT 251 Silver 2.6KW portable air conditioner in three days; at 62 dB, it makes little noise.
  • Finally, at Amazon, the OneConcept Caribbean Blue 3-in-1 air freshener, small size and low price, can be at your home within 5 working days. Freshness doesn’t wait!

See also:

  • Heat wave survival guide: what is the best mobile air conditioner?
  • 5 high-tech objects to survive the heat wave
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