Selecting the proper air conditioning unit for your home is a matter of determining the size of the space that you need to cool, and then finding an air conditioning unit with the capacity to cool it. In general, the bigger the room, the more powerful the machine must be to provide ample cooling for the space. Although not as powerful or effective as centralized or set air conditioning units, portable air conditioners are a good option for boosting the cooling effects for a room or for cooling rarely used spaces where a fixed system may not be practical or possible.
Portable air conditioners work by drawing warm air from the room, passing it through a heat exchanging element to cool it, and then expelling the heat as exhaust on the other end. Self-evaporating air conditioners release water vapor as part of their exhaust, while others have a condensation pan to collect the excess moisture and channel it away as drainage.
Portable air conditioners give a number of benefits like the ability to cool places where normal air conditioning units cannot reach or where they are not practical or possible. Note, however, that portable air conditioners have low cooling ratings and therefore cannot do as well a job like their window type or centralized counterparts.
Portable units may require a little more attention though, especially units with condensation pans which need to be emptied every so often. Fixed air conditioning units are usually built with drain points which act as part of their exhaust to clear condensation away automatically, without human intervention. Then there is the issue of cost. With their more limited output compared to their big brothers, portable units may end up costing about the same as fixed units. The differences in purchase and operational costs are negligible.