How long does a portable air conditioner take to cool a room?

Portable air conditioners, like other cooling systems, do not cool a room instantly but need time for their cooler air to be circulated and felt in the room.

Portable air conditioners, like all other air conditioning systems, make the air in a space, room or entire home cooler by extracting humidity in an indoor environment, where weather conditions are very hot, humid, and uncomfortable.

In order to cool spaces effectively, air conditioners need to extract humidity from the air, pass it through the unit’s coils, and release it, so that the cooler air can be blown into the room. But just how long does a portable unit take to cool a room?

How portable air conditioners cool rooms

Portable air conditioners are slightly different from other home air conditioning systems in that they are self-contained, need to be positioned on the floor as stand-alone units, and are portable.

Nevertheless, portable units still work the same way as other air conditioners to cool spaces. They use a similar refrigerant cooling cycle to transfer cooler air into a room, and this requires some time before the room feels cooler after switching the unit on.

How long does a portable air conditioner take to cool a room?

A portable air conditioner is a convenient AC to have if you want to be able to cool any space in your home. As long as every room that you move the portable unit to has a way of venting the exhaust hose, you should not have a problem moving your portable unit between different rooms.

Portable air conditioners do require some patience, as they are not quite designed to instantly provide cooling when they are switched on.

The unit needs some time to adjust to the temperature setting it has been set on to optimally cool the room. This process involves extracting enough humidity from the room so that the cooler air can be felt.

You will notice that when you switch the unit on, you will not feel instant cooling, and this is because it takes a portable air conditioner up to 20 minutes for the unit to lower temperatures in a space by 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

This means that once you switch on your portable unit, you will only start feeling a slight difference after about 20 minutes.

You should not assume that if the unit is not cooling your space instantly, that it is not working, as many people may assume this and panic.

Cooling, however, does not need to take too long and there are some methods you can use to help the unit possibly cool in a shorter time.

Get an early start by turning the unit on before you need it

Fortunately, with the advancements in technology, air conditioners, including portable units, come with programmable timers that allow you to set what time and how long you would like the unit to work.

Setting the unit to start cooling a while before you occupy the room can give the unit time to cool the space so that by the time you are in the room, it is cooler and you do not have to wait 20 minutes to feel the difference.

This is also ideal for when you have been out or at work – you can set the unit to start cooling an hour or two before you get home, so that when you arrive, the space is already cool.

Where to install the unit to help it cool faster

If 20 minutes is too long for you to wait, it may be a good idea to strategically place the portable air conditioner in places that are not sunny and have low levels, as this can help the unit cool in less than 20 minutes.

If possible, avoid windows that allow a lot of sunlight to come through as the heat can make the unit take longer to cool the room.

Using blinds and curtains over windows that AC units are placed in can block out sunlight from entering the room. Additionally, venting the unit in windows that are shaded and not sunny will help the unit cool faster.

Switch off unnecessary heat sources for faster cooling

There can be various appliances that may be emitting heat in and around the room, which can cause the portable unit to take longer to cool.

Turning off these appliances can help reduce the portable air conditioner’s cooling time, as the heat in the space will be reduced.

Televisions, computers, and even lightbulbs should be turned off if they are not being used, as they have significant heat generation.

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